iPod Car Audio

Discussion in 'iPod' started by chairguru22, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. chairguru22 macrumors 6502a

    May 31, 2006
    I was looking to get my car audio system upgraded to have a cd player and iPod connection and wanted to ask you guys for any advice and/or suggestions.

    I went to best buy and this Alpine model looked pretty good (and affordable).
    this model can apparently control the iPod's functions right from the dash which I find really cool.

    Anyone have experience with connecting their iPod to a head unit? thanks.
  2. chairguru22 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 31, 2006
    ok, i got a head unit installed and here's my follow up...

    I got the Alpine CDE-9870 (link above) and had it installed in my '92 Acura Legend. The iPod connection runs into the center console and that's where the iPod sits.

    The head unit is able to control ALL of the search functions of the iPod so i basically don't need to touch my iPod at all. The interface is simple to use. Its not a scroll wheel interface but rather a series of menus that you go up and down through and then hit enter to go to the next hierarchy. Slower, but it gets the job done. I use a lot of playlists so it makes searching easier.

    What's cool is that if I'm walking home from class and listening to my iPod, I can take off the headphones, connect it to the head unit, and the song picks up where I left off. Pretty neat.

    Sound quality/radio/CD are all standard and what you expect out of a car stereo. The unit cost $119 plus the iPod cable $29 and then other parts and installation labor the total was about $210. More expensive than I would've liked but the parts and labor are 'hidden' costs that are unavoidable (unless self-installed).

    I would recommend this as an affordable solution to getting iPod music into your car and maintaining sound quality. (Especially for older cars that don't have CD-players).
  3. Sean7512 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    Very nice! Does the connection keep your iPod charged up? Enjoy your new system!
  4. chairguru22 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 31, 2006
    oh yea, forgot about that, it does keep it charged up. which is sweet since im gonna use my old 'dead' iPod as my car one.
  5. lawclerk macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2007
    I just installed the CDA-9885 (279.99 through crutchfield) and the ipod cable in my 02' accord. It's awesome. Plays AAC, MP3, and WMA. Ipod cable charges the ipod and you can leave it plugged in.

    The navigating the ipod is going to take some getting used to through the headunit, but i've found it to be really simple. i would highly recommend it. if you want pics, i can take them tomorrow and post them.


  6. boss1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    ohh i see what alpine did with their headsets. What they did in the past is sell a seperate unit serving as a middle man between your iPod and the AI jack on the back of most Alpine headsets. Now it looks like they have an iPod module built in the their decks so now all you need is the KC cable thing.

    Either way reason im posting to your thread is because i got really sick of using the Alpine head unit to control my iPod. Not sure what the controls are like now but was very cumbersome, slow, of course no scroll wheel. I pretty much got really sick and tired of using the radio to control my iPod. I instead wanted my iPod to control my music.

    iPod is so much better at navigating and playing music and i got tired of shoving it into a glove box like dead weight :( . I also refused to use those funky FM transmitter options..what a pain those things are...and the horrible sound quality....dont get me started.

    So this was my solution: What i used: 2 cables:
    1. Cable: AI (the alpine connecter on the back of the headunit) to RCA (red and white plugs) .... it cost less than $20bucks i think. sorry no link..its out there somewhere on the internet.

    This pretty much eliminated the need for any funny devices and can be used with just about any audio device..ipods, walkmans, anything with audio out pretty much.

    2. Cable: http://www.xtrememac.com/audio/ipod_cables/roadshow not only does this cable use the clean audio out option from your iPod (USB) ..it also recharges your iPod. This product i found doesn't get enough credit though. A lot of people complain that they hear a buzzzz humm sound when the charger is hooked up to the 12v cig lighter. The problem there isnt xtrememac. the problem and solution is that the 12V cig lighter has to use the SAME GROUND as the alpine deck. if not then the 2 differenet sources of power create a hum sound.

    The great thing is i have my iPod mounted on my dash now using a sleek iPod dash holder. The sound quality is pristine for lack of a better word. Trust me on this one...i know sound quality, i wouldn't pound 3000watts of garbage sound through 4 - 12" subs and 4 6x9's. Best part is i use the iPod to control my music. The only reason i touch my Alpine deck now is for FM/AM and an occasional CD. Im actually trying to figure out a way to get rid of the Alpine deck and place my iPod soon the be iPhone dead center where a normal radio would go.
  7. pjarvi macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2006
    Round Lake, IL
    I just have a Sony X-Plod head unit, and a retractable mini-stereo cable. The Sony unit has a line-in on the front, so I just use the mini-stereo cable to connect to that. Lets me use my iPod Shuffle and iPod 60GB, as well as allows any guests in my car to hook up whatever they've got with them (came in handy during a roadtrip last year).

    I'm not particular about brands (other than :apple: of course :D). I only bought the Sony unit because it was the cheapest thing Fry's had with a line-in on the front ($95). As for the audio quality, since I haven't upgraded the speakers or added a dedicated amp I'm not concerned with the quality at this point, either.

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