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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This could open a can of worms or two! There seem to be two types of car junkies from my experience: those who don't know or don't give a crap about anything mechanical and care solely about making their ride as ridiculously loud and overpowered as possible.

Then there's people like me who love the mechanical stuff, the tweaking, the mods, the upgrades, handling/power, etc. And either we don't care much for an insane aftermarket stereo setup, or we're fairly modest (I'd say) in what we want.

Therefore, that's where I am at. I don't want or need a subwoofer. I don't want any attraction brought to my car for anyone to attempt to steal my stereo stuff. What I would like is just a really nice solid aftermarket head unit (in the past I've always used Pioneer and Kenwood and both seemed perfect). I've also primarily used aftermarket Alpine Type-S speakers. They were in my budget, and had great reviews, and aftermarket speakers always been the stock ones anyways, right? However, in my last car (Honda Prelude), the previous owner had a field day with speakers, head unit, and an amp in the trunk that he horribly installed. The whole thing was a mess. Once I got it working correctly and tweaked and tuned the amp, it sounded great.

SO.....
Now that I have a "newer" car, aftermarket head unit choices get a little confusing to me. Would we/I want a single or double DIN? Can our Cruzes support double DIN? What's better about double DIN? Would I still be able to keep all the stock radio control from the wheel or no? From what I understand, I'd need adapters for all that jazz...

Any current "hot" head units you audio nuts recommend? Not looking to spend a ton here. As much as I would LOVE one with Nav i.e. the Pioneer AVIC stuff, not sure if that's in my price range.

I'll probably stick with some Alpine Type S speakers. Maybe add an amp someday, but we'll start with the HU and speakers for now.
 

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yes our cruze can support double din any after market head unit installed will look a little weird because we still keep the oem screen on top, and yes you will be able to maintain stock controls on your steering wheel with the adapter
 

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First question I have is what features do you expect to find on a "best head unit" that's not in the factory radio?

In the past, I've generally stuck with the factory radio as it's easier to operate without taking my eyes off the road. Most aftermarkets seem to have a ton of buttons or knobs and menus. So I'd want to know just what I'd gain with a aftermarket.
 

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Free view TV ..Navigation , PC , WiFi . 4G , 5 channels to control , rearview camera , front traffic camera and DVR . the list goes on .. Shoot Don't Butcher enhance !

Here are some examples of the more affordable Head Units available .
Driving Entertainment | Xtrons

Now Gentlemen . what is your preferance ?

We do not have to get Gauged to have it all .
 

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Does anyone know if it's possible to retain all of the vehicle controls? I don't mean the steering wheel volume/track skip controls, I mean things like the clock, autovolume, etc. I've heard there's an adapter out there, but I've been unable to find it, and I'm unsure how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First question I have is what features do you expect to find on a "best head unit" that's not in the factory radio?
Bluetooth audio streaming? The fact that aftermarket head units can push out more power to the speakers and tend to sound better? (or maybe that's all in my head...)

They look cool. :grin:

I'd love NAV GPS capabilities...

Who has thoughts on the Apple Car Play?
 

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That APP Radio 4 is preety sweet for the money .. Snappa can fill us in on that particular Model if he should so desire .

Now for any inquiries about integration Please refer to this Link and Research IT ..

Installation Parts for Car Stereo Installers - Harnesses, Dash Kits, Bluetooth, Tools, Do it Yourself Stuff

I have chosen to go a different direction Because of Area and the capabilities of retaining the OEM Radio with the Integration of a Aftermarket H U .. I am a wiring Guru , that loves to read Schematics and Diagrams ..
 

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Bluetooth audio streaming?
I think the MyLink does that - at least on newer models.


The fact that aftermarket head units can push out more power to the speakers and tend to sound better? (or maybe that's all in my head...)
That's what amps and stuff are for. I'd think you get more bang for the effort on that front.


They look cool. :grin:
Well, yes, they CAN. But done wrong, it feels like a hack job when trying to use them. As integrated as the Cruze is, that's a problem. Ah, for the old days when "integration" meant the display dimmed with the dash lights....
 

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Hey man if you cannot come up with an original thought that does not take away inspiration then , well admit that you are clueless when it comes to installing a better Radio then what these Manufacturers offer the consumers for an arm and a leg for !

Personally the wisest thing is to rip out all of that OEM Junk and start fresh with creativity and Pause .. Plenty of Research and Desire to enhance your listening pleasure ..

These systems today are upwards of $2500.00 installed from the factory .. I have the same darn options installed today on a 2011 LS for H U $89.00 plus shipping from china ..plus $ 139.00 for integration Harness and modules .. I have all factory fuctions aside from the New H U ..

Now tell me why I can not . And I will show you can .

And all for the price of admission .

By the way where do you think these H U s and Entertainment systems are Manufactured for these Auto Manufacturers to Install ? All of them with some exception of Europe ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think the MyLink does that - at least on newer models.
Yea, I'm pretty sure as well. I've played around with some newer/higher end GM cars (rental) like the Malibu and Impala that have it. Still, what would be the point of buying a MyLink + install which would probably cost $1000, plus still be stock with "stock"-like sound quality?

That's what amps and stuff are for. I'd think you get more bang for the effort on that front.
I thought about that. I know in the long run, an amp would be ideal to push out that power to the speakers better. Again though, not sure if hooking up an amp to a stock stereo head unit and pushing to stock speakers is going to sound that great?


I guess that brings me to the audiophile question of the day. What combination (not allowed to use all 3, which I know is ideal for optimal results) would be best sounding for right now? Going all out maybe some day...

Stock head unit + aftermarket quality amp + stock speakers?
Aftermarket quality head unit + stock speakers?
Stock head unit + aftermarket quality speakers?
 
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Soundspeak revelators and Illuminators ..

End of Discussion ..

Look up X​tremerevolutions the SQ sound audio thread V 2 and stop waisting my time .. if ya want it all then purchase it all .. if you want Quality sound then ask for that and research .


Best H U would be hands down the Pioneer Avic 8100 nex series
 

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I guess that brings me to the audiophile question of the day. What combination (not allowed to use all 3, which I know is ideal for optimal results) would be best sounding for right now? Going all out maybe some day...

Stock head unit + aftermarket quality amp + stock speakers?
Aftermarket quality head unit + stock speakers?
Stock head unit + aftermarket quality speakers?
I've heard more than once that the stock amp and stock speakers are matched to each other. To get an improvement, you need to change the speakers AND amp. So, I think the answer would be "stock head unit, aftermarket amp, aftermarket speakers". I know that's not one of your selections, but I think that's where most people start.

But if I had to pick one, it'd probably be adding an amp.
 

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As Brian mentioned, I have the appradio 4 set up and i love it! Also the Pioneer Avic 8100 Nex that he mentioned is great. Basically put, these setups are the best because they feature the new wave of the future, and that is the smart phone connectivity. Soon all cars of the future will come with this setup standard as almost everyone will have a smartphone. Everything on your smartphone is accessed through the headunit. Androids has this set up and Apple does called CarPlay. Just saw a video of the latest Koenigsegg, the Regera and it too comes with CarPlay. Feels good knowing that a setup I have was worthy enough to be put in a $3,000,000 megacar lol. After my experience with it (won't lie isn't flawless has few bugs here and there that will be ironed out no doubt with updates), I refuse to touch anything in a car headunit/entertainment wise without this feature/setup. Driving my Cruze is like a whole different experience now and even more enjoyable driving a car I already loved driving. Texting, phoning, scrolling trough music all done with ease and safety. This means a lot because my first and only car accident in my whole life (albeit just a fender bender) was caused by me while I was college fooling around with an iPod. At that time iPods had click wheels. Trying to find a song and boom! Rear ended an older lady lol. Wish CarPlay existed back then. No more distractions. And as far as it looking odd? Not at all, in fact I've had multiple people in my cruze since it was installed and they think it came like that from the factory. I even had workers at a dealership commend me on the setup and they look at cars all day. One time I had someone ask me was it the 2015 because they had never seen anything like it before, seeing all of the iPhone apps on screen. I do believe it will be standard on most 2016 Chevys though. I don't mind the two screens because modern cars are known for having more than one display. Some have a display as the DIC along with an infotainment display. It by know means look awkward or out of place. But I can clearly understand where your fear of that comes from. The only part of it that does look weird is the date being wrong because my cruze doesn't have steering wheel controls and I didn't feel like dropping and extra 100 to just set the date. Time is fine. Just unplug the battery - at midnight at re connect lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess that brings me to the audiophile question of the day. What combination (not allowed to use all 3, which I know is ideal for optimal results) would be best sounding for right now? Going all out maybe some day...

Stock head unit + aftermarket quality amp + stock speakers?
Aftermarket quality head unit + stock speakers?
Stock head unit + aftermarket quality speakers?
I've heard more than once that the stock amp and stock speakers are matched to each other. To get an improvement, you need to change the speakers AND amp. So, I think the answer would be "stock head unit, aftermarket amp, aftermarket speakers". I know that's not one of your selections, but I think that's where most people start.

But if I had to pick one, it'd probably be adding an amp.

Do our stock head units even have the outputs to hook up to an aftermarket amp? In my experience, stock head units never do...
 

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Do our stock head units even have the outputs to hook up to an aftermarket amp? In my experience, stock head units never do...
You have to make a choice some day . when that day arises let us know and then maybe some 1 will guide you to your destination ..

Nice Tag ...
 

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Do our stock head units even have the outputs to hook up to an aftermarket amp? In my experience, stock head units never do...
They don't have pre-out (unless you have the upgraded Pioneer system). But some amps will accept the speaker in or it can be adapted.

The biggest difference in any sound system is the speakers (and to some extent an amp that can manage them). Most anyone can tell the difference between two speakers. They might be hard-pressed to say one is better, but they can tell the difference. I think most people would struggle to hear the difference between head units. They're not the weak link in most systems.
 

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Get a parts list together and then start with purchasing , Bartering or any opportunity that arises ..

Me . I started with my younger brother and his endless speaker collection .. then an amp , now as of late last year i installed the Td 630a .. I love IT ..

Next project is to get American Eagle Wheels to mass produce the MSR 0958-9831 wheels .. I'll get mine ..

Why I chose the aftermarket H U is now I have 5 channels of audio to control !

View attachment 138858
 

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They don't have pre-out (unless you have the upgraded Pioneer system). But some amps will accept the speaker in or it can be adapted.

The biggest difference in any sound system is the speakers (and to some extent an amp that can manage them). Most anyone can tell the difference between two speakers. They might be hard-pressed to say one is better, but they can tell the difference. I think most people would struggle to hear the difference between head units. They're not the weak link in most systems.
Not trying to exaggerate even the slightest but I noticed better sound quality and increased volume immediately after replacing my stock headunit with the appradio 4. Everyone is astounded at how loud the system gets and sounds even without maxing out the volume. I'd say if someone was really into a sound system, replace both speakers and headunit. Also, most people when they think of amps in sound systems they automatically think of the external amp added to more high powered systems but the truth is, all heady it's have an amp built it and a headunit with a better internal amp could make a serious difference which I assume is what I am experiencing.
 

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Just Bought the 5 channel amp I've been looking at ..Great price to .. 3200 watts Cool .. completes my parts list now .. if any 1 's looking for parts , I have a ton extra . Fair prices only !
 
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