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Old 01-30-2018, 07:48 PM
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Head unit - Android vs ???

I want to replace the head unit in my '14 JK this spring. Been trying to decide between going with an Android unit, like the Joying, or a big-name brand one like a Kenwood or Pioneer. Anyone have any thoughts on those 2 options? Trying to stay under $300, I already have an amp & sub. Thanks.

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Old 01-30-2018, 10:23 PM   #2
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Beware that the Chinese (which they all are) Android units use a slightly different sizing format than European DIN. They're a little bigger.

I have a Kenwood DDX374BT and I'm largely unimpressed. Bear in mind that I use mine almost exclusively for Bluetooth and backup camera and neither of those are great. I will say it has a ton of options for configuring crossovers, EQs, DSP type stuff if that's your thing.

I might be a little more excited about it if I could ever get the APP functionality to work on it, but the documentation on it is so ambiguous.

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Old 01-31-2018, 08:22 AM   #3
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I'm old fashioned but I never could understand the appeal of the Chi-fi off brands. Maybe reliability isn't as horrible as some of the other stuff I've seen, but I would think servicing could be an issue....I just don't know why someone would go this route when Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine etc. make perfectly fine stuff even at the lower price points.

(All the head units I've owned over the last 25 years have been Pioneer or Kenwood)
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:06 PM   #4
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It might be the appeal of all the features of those Android units. Aside from the usual features,
I plan on using the Torque app,
offroad trail map apps,
geocaching app,
dash cam recording from multiple cameras,
and sync my Spotify playlist for offline playing, which i can do when the wifi connects to my home router.

Unfortunately, the usual players in the stereo industry can't do half that, or at ten times the price. I openly encourage them to start building something like this.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:37 PM   #5
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Caveat Emptor.

My Joying head unit was junk and I ended up returning it within 3 weeks.

Cost me almost $100 to send it back to China.

I mentioned this in another thread but it bears repeating:

Think of the cheapest junk brand of radio (Sparkomatic, Pyramid, etc) and they will have higher quality than the Chinese units.

While my current Pioneer 4200 NEX does not have all the bells and whistles the Joying had, it also does not lock up with boring regularity while emitting an autistic screech that can only be silenced by powering the unit down.

The 5+ minute reboot after that was always a real hoot in traffic. Oh yeah, that also reset the unit and wiped all apps, radio presets, customizations etc.

After the 4th such round of excitement I decided to cut my losses.

Some have had good luck, but if you research you will see they can be very problematic, especially the Joying Intel units which run too hot.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:39 PM
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Thanks for the info ... that's what I am afraid of. I feel that the name-brand units will be more reliable.


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Caveat Emptor.

My Joying head unit was junk and I ended up returning it within 3 weeks.

Cost me almost $100 to send it back to China.

I mentioned this in another thread but it bears repeating:

Think of the cheapest junk brand of radio (Sparkomatic, Pyramid, etc) and they will have higher quality than the Chinese units.

While my current Pioneer 4200 NEX does not have all the bells and whistles the Joying had, it also does not lock up with boring regularity while emitting an autistic screech that can only be silenced by powering the unit down. Oh yeah, that also reset the unit and wiped all apps, radio presets, customizations etc.

Some have had good luck, but if you research you will see they can be very problematic, especially the Joying Intel units which run too hot.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info ... that's what I am afraid of. I feel that the name-brand units will be more reliable.
Infinitely so.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:26 PM   #8
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I can't speak for the chinese radios that can be put in a Jeep, but I put one in a 2006 BMW then ordered a replacement because the first one was junk. The second one was junk too. Never again.
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:29 AM   #9
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It sounds like the Joying units have the same issues as most of the Chinese products. IE: The feature set and low prices are too tempting to pass up until you realize you're in the 90% of buyers that got a bad one.

About 10 years ago I wanted to buy a scooter to buz around town on, and enjoy the satisfaction of rarely having to buy gas. After a lot of research I bought a used Honda Helix. The chinese knockoff was 1/3 of the price but they broke all of the time. My local Craigslist is full of people trying to sell a 2 year old chinese scooter with just a couple hundred miles on them. A local dealer stopped selling the chinese brands because most of them were dead out of the crate.

My Honda has worked flawlessly except for normal maintenance stuff. I can work on it myself and can still buy parts even though it was built in 1987.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:45 PM   #10
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It seems like the Chinese HU require constant software up dates to get all the features of the unit to work ? Wondering if this is common with all other name brand HU as well?
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:40 AM   #11
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It seems like the Chinese HU require constant software up dates to get all the features of the unit to work ? Wondering if this is common with all other name brand HU as well?
As a software engineer, the need for "constant" updates would indicate to me that they were poorly implemented to begin with and this is an attempt to band -aid a lot of customer complaints. Not uncommon with chinese products that were built with cheap as the main design goal.

Kenwood and Pioneer will release software updates on many of their head units, but there are usually only a few updates over the life of the model. Normally these will be for small feature refinements or software fixes for less common, corner case use scenarios.

So no, constant updates with the name brand stuff is usually rare.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:37 PM   #12
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Ok thanks, that makes sense.

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