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Old 07-18-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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Factory Radio-- How do I know?

I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rocky Mountain Package with the premium sound option. I am wondering if anyone would have a general idea about this: Is there a possible that my stereo is MP3 ready but the harness is in the rear of the stereo and I have to attach a harness to use the MP3? I know that some of the older radios, when the MP3 option came out, were in the rear of the radio and you could have the dealer put an extension so that you could access this.

Is this a possiblility? I am trying to figure this out without going in and breaking down the dash board to figure this out.

If it isn't MP3 ready then I may end up just installing a new radio someday. I would rather not do this but I would like to have an MP3 capable radio.

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Old 07-18-2010, 07:12 PM   #2
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There is no direct connection on the factory radio. There is a Mopar add on interface you can buy.

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Old 07-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #3
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Oh! Good question. I was wondering that myself.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
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Where do I find this add-on and how does it install? I would love to know because this might be a better route than replacing the factory stereo
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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For what Mopar would likely charge for it, you can buy an aftermarket radio that will have a built in aux-in jack, USB port, and even an ability to control an Ipod. My Sony has all that.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:46 PM   #6
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Jerry.....What specs should I look for in a good radio? I am not going to mess around with the speakers as the ones I have now sound descent. They are also loud enough to blow me out of the seat if I turn them up all the way.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #7
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Specs like frequency response, distortion, etc. are pretty useless for a vehicle installation because let's face it, our Jeeps are not exactly acoustic Gardens of Eden.

The only specs I pay attention to are the features included with the radio. USB, ability to control an Ipod, auxilliary input port, how many output channels, how many pre-amp output channels, center-sub preamp output channel, low and high-pass filters, etc. When I find one with things I want like a USB port, Ipod control abilities, and it has a user interface I can understand, that's good enough for me.

But since you want to stick with your current speakers, just make sure the unit is one of the higher wattage rated radios. The wattage rating can be all over the board so stick with a higher wattage output rating and you'll be fine. It's important you understand what kind of watts they are talking about too. RMS is the accepted way to rate an amplifier's wattage rating... like 22 watts RMS which will be louder than 30 watts Peak power. RMS is how much continuous power it can put out, Peak power is normally about double what its true RMS wattage rating is. So compare apples-to-apples when talking output power in watts.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:59 PM   #8
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I am seeing a lot of reviews where they say that the Sony radios are really nice and they get high reviews from their owners.

Is 22 watts RMS a good rate to look for then?
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:06 PM   #9
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22 watts RMS is about as good as you're going to see out of a head unit without an external amplifier. That's what I have and that amount of power works fine with my high sensitivity (91 dB) Polk speakers.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:06 PM   #10
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:15 AM   #11
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22 RMS watts is as much as you'll find in a head unit and a higher wattage rating from 17 to 22 RMS watts is what you want if you don't want to have to also install an external amplifier and have efficient speakers (have a high Sensitivity rating like 91 dB) that much power can drive.

The Sony CDX-DT630UI is what I installed into my new Jeep after the old TJ was stolen, it works well and does a good job with everything. That ad you provided the link to for this radio is a good example of a misleading wattage rating. That ad says that radio has 4x52 watts which is obviously only 52 "Peak" watts per channel but its true wattage rating is more like 17 watts RMS which is how much it can actually put out continuously.

With a good efficient speaker with a high sensitivitiy rating, that amount of watts is enough to sound good in a Jeep. With an inefficient low sensitivity rated speaker, it's not (not even 22 watts RMS is enough for that).

The "cheaper Sony" is ok if you don't want to play music from a thumb drive, Ipod, etc. which require a USB port which it doesn't have. The most expensive Sony adds Serius and HD radio abilities. HD is not "high definition" radio like they want you to think it is and not many areas have HD radio available. You'l have to pay a monthly fee to have Sirius so if you don't need HD radio or Sirius, I wouldn't go for the more expensive Sony (the 740).

The Pioneer looks ok but it too uses that misleading Peak wattage rating when it says 4x50 watts, its more likely to have the same 17-18 watts RMS the Sonys have. It looks like it competes directly with the CDX-630UI with about the same features & wattage power.

The Boss radio is not a brand I am familiar with but it at least shows its RMS wattage rating. It can play Ipods and thumb drives through its USB port but it can't control the Ipod from its front panel like two of the above Sonys and the Pioneer can. You'd have to select the songs you want to hear from the Ipod itself with the Boss. Being able to keep the Ipod locked up safely in the glove box and control it from the Sony or Pioneer is nice.

Hope that helps.

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