Craving a totally geek stereo...
I feel good about my choice of not getting the 430n or 730n for my 2012 Rubicon. I tested them and, well, they're nice enough, but they seem a little primitive, low resolution, slow, and EXTREMELY expensive. Instead, I opted for the 130 with the connectivity group as I figured I'd eventually get around to finding a better stereo for less.
Even though I knew the 130 was more basic, I have to admit it's a little laughable. The voice recognition software/menu software on it is completely chaotic and unorganized. If you have a lot of music on your ipod or usb, you're in for a looooooooooooooooong wait as you scroll through the tracks. The system is clearly designed by tech-unsavvy people.
That's fine though...'cause I want to replace it anyway.
There was a nice thread I found here a couple of weeks back which offered some good suggestions on double din head units...but I've looked and looked and can't seem to find that specific thread. I did, however, find a lot of other useful information (thanks for that).
Being the nerd that I am, I'd really, really love to find a good Android based system. So far, I've only really found two which might be compatible and both are a little less than desireable so far (looks like they just need more development time).
The first, and best designed so far is the Parrot Asteroid
Parrot - Parrot ASTEROID
Of course, it's not a double-din system and has a really tiny, apparently non-touch screen). It's ability to load lots of external apps from the android market is questionable (but it does seem like it's possible in a limited manner).
The other, with the most long term potential is the Ca-Fi system at
It's a little closer to what I'd like, but it still seems like it is in the early stages and I can't even find a place to buy or an email contact.
So maybe Android isn't really ready to shine as a head unit just yet....
Still, I need/want a replacement stereo.....and I'd love some suggestions. I've looked at a number of newer, more expensive systems and many seem nice, but I'm not sure how well integrated they are with the Jeep and with Android phones.
Here are a few few features I'd love to see in such a stereo...
- Bluetooth streaming (very important)
- Voice command. Although the Jeep's version of voice command is a disorganized mess, the feature is important. I want to say "Dial mom," or "dial 800-555-1212." I'd also like to say "Play Madonna"
- Ability to be wired into Jeep's steering wheel controls (I don't want to lose that functionality)
- Assuming that the Jeep has a better microphone for phone calls, it'd be nice to have the phone system tied into the default mic. Perhaps these radios have better voice systems, but I figure the Jeep engineers set up noise cancelling, etc., to minimize noise at the specific location.
- Pandora (this is the tricky one). Several head units suggest they have Pandora compability........on iphones. However, there's no indication that this compatibility will extend to Android phones. Being able to control playlists from the stereo would be much better than dragging out the phone while driving.
- multiple storage options - some of these units have multiple USB and memory card ports and allow you to connect an ipod, a USB dongle, and an SD card all at the same time. This is nice. It would be especially nice to be able to use the existing USB port in the console provided by the connectivity group.
- And above Parrot Asteroid unit can use a 3g dongle to access the internet which is quite nice. Apparently future plans are to allow a use port to connect to your Android phone so you can share a single (unlimited Sprint) data plan rather than use a dongle or a wifi connection. Any system that connects to the internet should have this ability.
- GPS/Maps. This is why I'd love to have an Android based system...Google Maps rocks. However, any decent nav would be sufficient.
hmmm....trying to think what else would be in my wish list? I'll have to post up as I think about it. One of the reasons I'm writing here is to help me organize my thoughts while I'm looking....and other reasons is to find out if there are other nerds looking for the same thing and what kind of solutions have they found.
I have found several high end units from Pioneer to Kenwood to others. They're all nice and range in prices from 600-1500. Obviously the cheaper the better. If the Parrot Asteroid cam in double-din, I'd probably be lusting over it right now.
There's a member here on the forum named xsdbs who seems to be the resident guru concerning Jeep stereos / multimedia options. He apparently knows someone who works for Chrysler, since he regularly finds info about upcoming media upgrades, etc.
I'd PM him if I were you.
Here are two links that came up under "double din head units".
Installing New Stereo Amp and Subwoofer in Jeep JK Wrangler (PART 1)
JK Factory Radio: Has anyone replaced with aftermarket?
Best I could do for ya. To me, double din is eating supper twice. :D
Scrolling on the head unit is a joke on the 130, but the voice commands I have used so far are perfect!
I've done the below while tethered to my 6 year old iPod with 28gb of music (300+ albums, 5000+ songs)
"Play genre children's music" (plays all the toddler CD for day care pickups/drop offs)
"Play songs by U2"
"Play album Stunt"
"Play track New Age Girl"
All have worked great for me.
To boot, Bluetooth streaming on my iOS 5 iPhone 3GS displays the track info and steering wheel controls forward/backward. And even better, the latest Pandora now displays track info on the 130 and allows skip forward.
In all I think the 130 with Uconnect is a great effort - but I admit I had low expectations!
Couldnt you just get a 7" android tablet and hook it into the 130? I like the google nav better than the stock navs. I use it on my phone all the time, and dont have to pay $250 for map upgrades. Plus you get all the other added functionality of android. I'm sure a mounting solution wouldnt be too difficult either.
I actually have one of the 7" android tabs and I love it. I'm just not keen on taking it in and out of the Jeep all the time. It'd be so cool, though, if such a radio were built so you could just dock the tab on the fly. Maybe in a few years we'll have stuff like that.
Also, I'm with sprint so I get u nlimited data on my phone, but only a 5gb with the tablet. I have no idea, but I figure Pandora would eat up that 5 gb pretty fast. I might run some tests, though, to see how much data I use.
I'll post here any results for those who might be thinking of doing the same.
I'm swapping emails with a guy from Crutchfield who kinda peed on my parade regarding current stereo functionality with Android. Most of the cooler stuff is made to function only with Apple. I will have to consider getting an iphone from sprint.
Whatever the case, I'm not in a rush. There will surely be some cool stuff coming out near Christmas.
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