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Pioneer AVH-X7500BT and SPH-DA210 AppRadio Review

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Pioneer AVH-X7500BT and SPH-DA210 AppRadio

Pioneer AVH-X7500BT and SPH-DA210 AppRadio

Summary

  • Product Name: AVH-X7500BT and SPH-DA210 AppRadio
  • Manufacturer: Pioneer
  • Review Date: February 16, 2014 14:43
  • MSRP: $500
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now

AVH-X7500BT

  • Maximum Power Output: MOSFET 50W x 4
  • Tuner: D4Q RDS FM/AM Tuner (24 Presets)
  • Plays: DVD, CD, iPod, iPhone, Android, MP3, WMA, AAC, DivX, Xvid, MPEG-4, WMV, H.264, WAV, USB (MP3, WMA, AAC) 
  • Screen: 7 Inch anti-glare slide-out touchscreen, with Advanced Display Resolution
  • Installation Type: 1-DIN integrated entertainment hub
  • Front Panel: Detachable (partial)
  • Button Illumination: 210k color variations / RGB multi-color
  • DVD Region Code: 1
  • AppRadio Mode
  • Supported Apps: Optional cable required
  • Navigation Ready
  • Multi-language Display: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Turkish & Russian
  • Remote ControlOptional: CD-R33 Card Remote, CD-SR110 Bluetooth Steering Wheel Remote

 

SPH-DA210

  • Maximum Power Output: MOSFET 50W x 4
  • Tuner: D4Q RDS FM/AM Tuner (24 Presets)
  • Plays: DVD, CD, iPod, iPhone, Android, MP3, WMA, AAC, DivX, Xvid, MPEG-4, WMV, H.264, WAV, USB (MP3, WMA, AAC) 
  • Screen: 7 Inch anti-glare capacitive touchscreen, with Advanced Display Resolution
  • Installation Type: 2-DIN integrated entertainment hub
  • Front Panel: Detachable (partial)
  • Voice Control: Siri Eyes Free and Google Voice Compatible
  • Button Illumination: 210k color variations / RGB multi-color
  • DVD Region Code: 1
  • AppRadio3 Mode
  • Supported Apps: Optional cable required
  • Navigation Ready
  • Multi-language Display: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Turkish & Russian
  • Remote ControlOptional: CD-R33 Card Remote, CD-SR110 Bluetooth Steering Wheel Remote

Executive Overview

I got a chance to report from our "remote studio" testing out two of Pioneer's latest in-dash receivers. I'm looking at the AVH-X7500BT, that's a single DIN $500 unit that has a 7" WVGA screen (800x480) that ejects out of it so that you can use the AppRadio apps. I'm also looking at the SPH-DA210 which has the same 7" screen and is a bit fancier model. It is a double DIN unit and has the omnipresent touch screen that lets you interact with AppRadio. And AppRadio3 is now out, which is fully-compatible with the SPH-DA210 head unit.

Both of these models cost $500 and both of these models use SSP "Secure Simple" Bluetooth pairing. It's the coolest thing for Bluetooth use that I've sen. There's no code to use—it's just a prompt asking you if you want the head unit to use the app. What these models do is use the AppRadio app for both Apple and Android. So you have a system that uses the same Android or iOS apps—they're just optimized for the widescreen display of the in-dash receiver and they also take into account safety features. You don't want a lot of little tiny little buttons, and you don't want to have to stare at the screen. These apps are made so that you can really just keep your eyes on the road and not get distracted by using the basic features of the radio. You can really just "wing" a hand out and access a track or turn up the volume without really thinking about it.

AVH-X7500BT opening

This motion garnered the most comments from the system.

Both of these radios come with AM/FM. They are both 4 x 50W per channel systems that offer plenty of amplification for your car. If you're really into car audio then you'll want to make use of the preamp outputs to add additional amplification for your car, but if not, then you can just plug this in and replace what you have and do pretty well for yourself. 

lightning connector

You can use AppRadio with either Lightning or the older 32-pin Apple cable. Of course, Android works, too.

You also got hands free calling, and, on the DA210, you have a very cool feature called Siri Eyes Free. What that means is that you're going to be able to talk to Apple's Siri via the head unit, and you're going to hear audibles back, but it's going to stay in the mode that it's in. If it's on the home screen, it's going to stay on the home screen. It prevents you from having to look at the phone. You just push the button, wait for the beep, and it's going to work. It's a safer way to use the system.

SPH-DA210 touchscreen

The capacitance touchscreen on the SPH-DA210 is a bit easier to use than the older technology of the AVH-X7500BT.

AppRadio 3

Where Pioneer really gets into it is with AppRadio. And what's really powerful about AppRadio is the number of apps available. It really is taking off. In fact, Pioneer recently debuted a SDK (software development kit), and developers are going to be able to make these apps much more quickly (and with a lot more features) than they were able to before. It's less cumbersome than app development for Pioneer has been in the past. You're going to have a lot more adoption. And it's just cool. You've got a lot of them out there. 

AppRadio Home

The AppRadio home screen on the AVH-X7500BT

There's iHeart Radio, Google Music, apps for Pandora that are integrated into the system. There are tons of navigation apps. I'm kind of partial to NavFree...cause it's free. Waze is pretty cool. Waze is like this up to date traffic pattern app. And it's crazy, it's like social media for traffic so you get real-time feedback from other people who are actually on the road telling you what's going on. 

Navigation menu

And these are just the options for one of the navigation apps!

And there's just a lot of other choices in apps out there, like Car Media Play which optimizes your system or playing back your music. The buttons are oversized so you can keep your eyes on the road. Commute WX is a $5 app that helps you understand how weather will affect your commute every day. 

Photo stream

Conclusion

You know what I really like about these radios? I love that I can take the experience that I have with my iPhone or my Android device...and put it in my car. I mean, I can't run every app—but the number of apps already out there is astounding. The fact that I can run an app that can tell me the traffic patterns that are out there based on the city I'm in... that's cool. Or how about the fact that I can run a GPS app for free that I can update every year without having to pay money? Or I can chose from multiple GPS apps and decide which one I want in my radio to help me navigate the streets.

SPH-DA210 video playback

Or watch Star Wars...*ahem, when I'm parked, of course...

Or how about the fact that I can be in LA driving around and listen to an iHeart Radio station that's out of New York? That's really, really cool and I think that's the future. I think that's what Pioneer is getting at with these radios. You can put a radio in your car for $500 in a 1-DIN or 2-DIN configuration and you can have something that's going to endure and last and continue to be new and fresh—and use apps that you may not even have thought of today. It's just going to continue to become something that expands over time and really gives you a new and updated experience. 

I like that. I think that's smart and I can really recommend either of these radios to anyone out there. I think it's a no brainer and a great choice.

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About the author:

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

pereze posts on February 19, 2014 08:16
pnutbutter81, post: 1017575
I don't doubt the Bluetooth and app ability on this unit, but what ever happened to reviewing the video/audio performance? Maybe a test bench you can use for these to benchmark or figure out if they reach the same specs we look at for a TV? It seems more and more of your product reviews are becoming subjective instead of objective these days…

+2 for this. You even say “…4 x 50W per channel systems that offer plenty of amplification for your car.” This is very unlike you guys to report on the MAX watts per channel. The unit is actually rated at 14wx4, which I personally would not define as “plenty”. And for those of us that would like to add additional amplification, the unit has two 2v preouts which is not very good. I can deal with the fact that there are only two preouts but 2v is pretty weak.

I know mobile audio isn't what you normally report on, so I do appreciate you bringing this side of the industry.
peterro9 posts on February 19, 2014 05:27
app radio with android

“You can use AppRadio with either Lightning or the older 32-pin Apple cable. Of course, Android works, too.”
I have this unit (avh 7500) and how it is possible to connect to the android device, to use AppRadio? it seems to me that only works with ios.
zieglj01 posts on February 16, 2014 19:32
pnutbutter81, post: 1017575
I don't doubt the Bluetooth and app ability on this unit, but what ever happened to reviewing the video/audio performance? Maybe a test bench you can use for these to benchmark or figure out if they reach the same specs we look at for a TV? It seems more and more of your product reviews are becoming subjective instead of objective these days…

+1 on that - it seems to be more about marketing these days.

Also, what about safe driving - look at some driving records from
having some toys in the car.
pnutbutter81 posts on February 16, 2014 17:52
I don't doubt the Bluetooth and app ability on this unit, but what ever happened to reviewing the video/audio performance? Maybe a test bench you can use for these to benchmark or figure out if they reach the same specs we look at for a TV? It seems more and more of your product reviews are becoming subjective instead of objective these days…
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