car stereo display visibility

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Golden Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,154
273
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We have a 2000 Chevy Metro with a dual din opening. We put a Dual branded stereo in there a year ago, and it appears to have died.
Not a surprise, since I think it cost about $25.

I was looking at replacement car stereos, and found myself thinking about what is probably the weakest part of most car radios - the
display.

I've seen some radios that have the 'old fashioned' black LCD (calculator like) displays, with a side led light for night visibility. These seem to be the cheapest, and also the very best for daytime visibility.

Then there are the popular displays on everything else that change color, but just can't be seen very well in bright daylight. Unfortunately, most of the displays seem to be the latter.

Does anyone make a good radio with a plain display any more, that is visible in daylight?
 

WhiteNoise

Golden Member
Jun 22, 2016
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I like Pioneer, Kenwood and Alpine myself and I have never had any issue reading any display in the day time.
 

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Golden Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,154
273
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I like Pioneer, Kenwood and Alpine myself and I have never had any issue reading any display in the day time.

Really? I've had a number of different units, and the ones with multicolored LED's and curved front faceplates seem to get reflections, and the bright daylight often makes it a bit difficult to see the details. The only one I've had that was REALLY easy to read was the factory installed black LCD display, with an orange back lit (electroluminescent?) panel. No matter how bright the sun, those black letters and numbers show up great!
 

Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
12,538
2,233
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Really? I've had a number of different units, and the ones with multicolored LED's and curved front faceplates seem to get reflections, and the bright daylight often makes it a bit difficult to see the details. The only one I've had that was REALLY easy to read was the factory installed black LCD display, with an orange back lit (electroluminescent?) panel. No matter how bright the sun, those black letters and numbers show up great!

Maybe check ebay or local caryards for a used OEM unit. After all, if what you had is what you want, why bother hunting out something different?

OTOH I doubt your original headunit had bluetooth and probably most if not all the aftermarket units do. Bluetooth in the car is a huge plus.
 

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Golden Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,154
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Maybe check ebay or local caryards for a used OEM unit. After all, if what you had is what you want, why bother hunting out something different?

OTOH I doubt your original headunit had bluetooth and probably most if not all the aftermarket units do. Bluetooth in the car is a huge plus.

I agree on the bluetooth, but I mostly wanted CD playing ability and USB port for playing music from my hard drive. My son found a Pioneer radio with both for $10 at the local thrift store, so I gave him $70 to put it in. It works great, and the sound of the music is much better than the cheapo stereo we had in there.
 
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Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
12,538
2,233
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Great news. BTW my previous car was a 2007 w/o bluetooth. I was driving a lot for work and needed handless phone access in the car. I bought a few gizmos and cables from Amazon. I had cables all over the place but it worked fine for 4-5 years until I had to replace the car. If you are interested in that sort of thing PM me and I will see if I can figure out what I had from my old Amazon orders.
 

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Golden Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,154
273
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I had a tiny FM transmitter once that let me put music from my portable CD player onto my car stereo, using FM. I wonder if something like that could be hooked up to the headphone/stereo out of a phone, to get your song collection from the phone playing on a car stereo?
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
7,906
1,400
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^ No need for the headphone jack, there are lots of those on Amazon that use phone bluetooth, to link to the FM transmitter that plugs into a cigarette lighter outlet.

They've gotten fancier over the years, now allow hands free calling, larger display, many have mSD card slots so you can just toss a year's worth of music on the card and not even involve your phone unless all you have is streaming service. Since you have the CDs, I'd just rip those to FLAC or high bitrate MP3 and put them on a mSD card for an FM transmitter, or if using a head unit with USB, a little USB flash drive.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,834
775
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I had one of these back in the day for my portable cd player:

1677775548081.png
 

bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
37,901
11,828
146
Back when I purchased my (used) 2009 Camry in 2014, I wanted to replace the stock stereo. I purchased an Alpine CDE-HD137BT. It was a single DIN unit. It had CD, AM/FM HD radio, Bluetooth, a front USB input and controls for Pandora. I never used the Pandora controls, but HD radio is amazing if you've never heard the difference. It comes with a wired microphone. You just need to do the cable routing yourself and it plugs into a jack in the back of the unit. The sound was phenomenal.

Originally, I went to a local electronics store and set up an appointment to have it installed. They convinced me I needed a wiring harness adapter to mate up with the existing system. I did not. But I did find the adapter for $5 on Amazon. They charged me $20. I asked them to match that price. They said they wouldn't match 3rd parties. I told them to stick it and cancelled my installation appointment and returned their overpriced adapter. I went back to Amazon, where I originally purchased the head unit, and ordered a dash kit. I then installed it myself. Love being able to play music on my phone and stream it to the Alpine through Bluetooth. Even better when I connect to my home server and do the same.