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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well basically i've earnt a load of vouchers at work and one of the places they can be used is Halfords.... so i'm thinking I might get a new headunit and speakers. Any comments on their fitting service would be useful too if they have one (I thought I heard they do it free with new stereos but I could be wrong?)

I'm not looking to go all-out with amps and subs, just upgrade the current headunit and speakers as one of my rear speakers is dying. I-pod connectivity would be handy, other than that I don't think there are any other major features I'm looking for.

Let's set £200 as the top end of the budget for now. I'm looking forward to hearing some ideas :)
 

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Hi matey

I'd always go for a lower-end unit by a brand I know (Kenwood, Sony etc) rather than a higher-spec unit from a random Jap company no-one's ever heard of - they'll be crap and you'll struggle if you ever want to add a CD changer, Remote Control etc.

From the Halfords site: "Yes, Halfords offers a hardwire fitting service for all car audio units bought from us. Fitting starts from £9.99, but is offered for FREE on selected car audio models. Fitting is subject to vehicle inspection."

So basically if it's a simple in/out job they'll do it, but don't expect them to start pulling trim off the car rerunning wires. Quite frankly I wouldn't want them to anyway as if all they're doing is ripping bits off to figure out how to unsrew a speaker you can do that yourself with much more time and care. You may also find there's a waiting list - if there is then replacing a stereo is a five minute job anyway. Budget a tenner for the adapter cable you'll possibly need for the car, depending on what wiring harness you have.

IGNORE THE POWER OUTPUT FIGURES, they tend to stink remarkably of bullcrap. If people honestly believe that you can get 500w of amplification into a single DIN head unit along with the CD mechanism AND all the rest AND keep it cool then they're sadly mistaken - 4x20w will be more than enough unless you want thumping bass, and then you'll need an external amp anyway.

With speakers, get the best you can afford for the money. Watch out for the sizes as I believe that 16cm and 16.5cm are both common standards, but are NOT interchangeable - make sure you're very careful about what size you go for. If in doubt, ask a Halfrauds guy to come out and take a look at your current ones and pick you some that'll fit - that way they'll be obliged to take them back if they don't fit.

As for the head unit iPod connectivity is great, and a 3.5mm jack on the front is also handy as it'll take an input from any device with an analog output - portable DVD, MP3 players, Walkmans, Diskmans, Minidisk players, you get the idea...

Good luck, and don't forget if you don't find anything you want then just leave it for now - you can always go back another time rather than coming out with something you're not 100% happy with.

O.
 

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well, much of what I was going to say has been covered, so I'll keep this pretty short :)

It's easy to get lost in "feature stickers" in halfords, ipod, mp3, divx 3 1/2 inch screen dvd playback, almost every head unit on display will have a sticker showing you that it can do half a million things, but you have to think to your self how many does it do well, and how many do I need?

When the honeymoon period is over and you've pressed all the buttons and used all the features a head unit has to offer, you need it to do one thing well, and that is play music. take your core requirements and concentrate on them

ipod connectivity, ideally full speed ipod with a rear cable for it that you can pop in your glove box with charging, this will allow you to plug your ipod in, close the glove box and use all the features straight from the head unit instead of having to faff with the ipod to change tracks whilst driving. Take your ipod to the store, there are many models of ipod and not all "Ipod ready" head units will work as desired on all of them

Again I'll mirror Owain when he said if you can get a known brand you will have better chance of adding features at a later date, for example good pioneer units have something called IP-Bus, this means you can spend your initial cash on your head unit which plays music well, then at a later date you can add on modules, like the ipod connector, usb support, and bluetooth.
 

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very sexy unit, and has the ipbus so you can expand it with hundreds of possibilities. one thing I would say is the ipod stuff is via a optional cable so make sure you factor that into the cost of your purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
isn't the cable the same as the standard USB -> iPod cable that comes with the iPod to connect it to the PC?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
looks the same... doubt they could do much to make it any different. It's not too bad anyway. Just picked that headunit off ebay for £86 :)
 

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one of the good things about the unit that, there aint 200 un-needed bits of hot components inside.
 

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Yup, looks spot on that. It's simple so less stuff to go wrong, looks good, spot on for power, and even as standard has more than enough features to keep your eyes off the road.

That and some decent speakers and you'll be laughing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In the end the iPod cable that came with the iPod did just fine, no need to shell out £30 for a pioneer special one! Just incase that mattered to anyone :)
 

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Thanks for letting us know, very useful. Im interested in this unit myself. bored of mine now takes 1min32s (approx) to load the disk of MP3's :evil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
this thing picks up the iPod instantly on connection and is playing it within 5seconds.

I've got a pic now too :)
 

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Very nice, cant really go wrong with a Pioneer, I have a DEH50UB and its great, just been picking LiDL's brain on components to expand.... It was a short conversation!! :twisted:
 
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