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Bluetooth Car Stereo - JVC KDX50BT

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By urinsane, Senior Member on 23rd March 2012, 05:47 AM
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Though I would post this for anyone looking for bluetooth car options. I've been using this deck for the past week and love it. For years I used FM Transmitters, but after breaking/losing/etc several and not loving the sound quality, I bought a deck with auxillary input. That was fine, but still wires everywhere (especially when charging).

I purchased and installed the JVC KDX50BT. It is their entry level bluetooth deck, and does not have a CD player. Thats fine for me. I drive a Jeep and the CD players always end up getting dust inside and stop working after a few years (and I never use them). I ordered from Crutchfield for $100 shipped: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_105KDX5...T.html?tp=5684

In short, I love it. The bluetooth streaming audio sounds great, and although its hard to do an A/B comparison, I believe it is better quality than the old deck with auxillary in. Bass seems to not distort at higher volumes as much as the auxillary in. This would make sense if the stereo itself is doing the digital processing. It also shows the current song information. This is "BT Audio" mode, and will basically stream whatever audio you are currently playing from any app.

It also has Pandora capabilities. This is called "BT Pandora" mode and it will display your current station info. Even better, you can thumbs up or thumbs down a track from the deck itself. When you do this, the Pandora app recognizes this and displays a screen that does not allow user input from the phone. It is kind of annoying as I plan to put in a car mount and wouldn't mind being able to see the album art. On the other hand, I have put in about 3 hours of listening so far (off and on) and haven't had a commercial yet, so I'm not complaining too much! I was going to upgrade Pandora but now I may not need to.

There is also an external microphone you can mount anywhere in your car to use for calls. I haven't used it much but initial reports from my friends are that sound quality for the other party is good.

It isn't completely bug free with my Epic Touch (Running Mijj's Blend ICS right now). Sometimes it will switch over to the Pandora mode in the middle of a song without me telling it to. This is annoying, but it is quick to switch from Pandora mode. It doesn't always display the current song information correctly in BT audio mode, but most of the songs I'm streaming from my phone I don't need to know the title. It does not show song info from Spotify. It also will not display info from my podcast player (beyondpod) but I don't really care about that. The stock music apps seem to work best for song info.

I am guessing many of these issues are with the Bluetooth protocol and the way our phones handle it. It could also be the fact I am using a custom ROM rather than stock. All issues are minor annoyances.

Other pros:
-You can change the colors of the display to pretty much anything you want, and have different schemes for night and day.
-Easy to pair.
-Two USB inputs (front and rear) but if you are using bluetooth, one of these will be taken up by the JVC USB Bluetooth adapter.
-USB inputs are 1.0mA rather than the standard 0.5mA for faster charging. (I still use my car charger as it is positioned better for my needs)
-Radio does seem to have great reception; finding quite a few more stations that my old deck.

Other cons:
-Radio station presets awkward to use... you have to "scroll" through them rather than just hitting button 1-6. I've been playing with the bluetooth too much to really get used to it.

Meh:
-I also have a set of bluetooth headphones. If I am listening to the headphones and get into the Jeep, I have to either turn off the headphones before turning on the stereo, or manually connect in the bluetooth settings menu. As far as I know this is a bluetooth limitation and not the fault of the deck. It would be sweet to have it transfer automatically to the new source when it finds it, but not sure this is possible regardless of the setup.
-There is a JVC app that allows some touch based controls on your phone. I haven't used it much but it does seem to work OK.

All of that aside, the real reason I bought it was for the ease of getting into my Jeep with my phone in my pocket, having the phone automatically connect and begin streaming high quality audio to the stereo within about 30 seconds of the car starting (it takes a moment for the phone to connect). On short drives the phone doesn't even leave my pocket. So far, I couldn't be any happier with the results I am getting, especially for $100.


................And I just found the following deal that gets it down to $81 shipped. That sucks for me, but even at $100 it is a steal!
http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/6987...4lxxo97Nukzipw
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23rd March 2012, 06:46 AM |#2  
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Nice find. I was just looking at a Sony Deck earlier that does the pandora control. It's a bit more expensive but also lacks a CD Player and has an OLED Screen or whatever.

I have a Sony now and it uses the same wiring harness so would be a quick install for me and I've always loved my one I had now.

The BT Streaming and Pandora Control are what i'm after though.
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23rd March 2012, 06:47 AM |#3  
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Just ordered mine few hours ago. I saw it at dealnews.com

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23rd March 2012, 07:53 AM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomrobbi

Nice find. I was just looking at a Sony Deck earlier that does the pandora control. It's a bit more expensive but also lacks a CD Player and has an OLED Screen or whatever.

I have a Sony now and it uses the same wiring harness so would be a quick install for me and I've always loved my one I had now.

The BT Streaming and Pandora Control are what i'm after though.

Check the reviews of the low end Sony and pioneer Bluetooth decks on Crutchfield... from what I remember they were not recommended. Wiring harness took me 20 mins while watching a movie.

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23rd March 2012, 08:04 AM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altamonte32

Just ordered mine few hours ago. I saw it at dealnews.com

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Nice! Wish I had seen the deal before I ordered mine but still no regrets.

When you get yours installed let me know what you think.
30th March 2012, 12:50 AM |#6  
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alright i'm glad someone else here is using this car stereo. I just installed mine, it's pretty damn amazing. The only problem I have is that the display doesn't show the track information when streaming over bluetooth. Just shows "No Name". Pandora track info shows up fine however. I did a google search and it brought me here. Any ideas what may be wrong? I'm on a EVO 3D btw
30th March 2012, 03:59 PM |#7  
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I also have a newer JVC deck, same controls as the OP talks about. Mine does have the CD player though. I would like to know what music app ever displays ID3 Tag info. I have never had luck with it other than Pandora.

Edit: JVC deck is a KDA735BT. Love the deck, works well with BT and Pandora. Would love to get ID3 Tags to pass through, perferably from Google Music but would be interested in any music player that has worked in this situation for someone. CDMA Galaxy Nexus.
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30th March 2012, 05:04 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urinsane

-Two USB inputs (front and rear) but if you are using bluetooth, one of these will be taken up by the JVC USB Bluetooth adapter.

Seriously looking at getting one of these.

Can anyone tell me how good the BT range is? Reason I ask is that often my daughter who is sat in the back of the car will use grab my Aux-In lead and play music from her phone. It would be great if the range was great enough to allow it to stream from her phone sat in the back of the car - no fights about stretching the cable!

I know to some extent it depends on the phones BT capabilities and bods in the car etc etc. But if someone could confirm it works from the rear seats or even further it would be very helpful.

Cheers.
30th March 2012, 05:30 PM |#9  
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The one I posted is bluetooth 2.0, 10m range via standard. On my deck I have gotten out to get gas with phone still in pocket, never missed a beat.
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30th March 2012, 08:52 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDC_Bolts

The one I posted is bluetooth 2.0, 10m range via standard. On my deck I have gotten out to get gas with phone still in pocket, never missed a beat.

agreed; I think you would be good even in a stretch limo. : )

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30th March 2012, 09:01 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDC_Bolts

I also have a newer JVC deck, same controls as the OP talks about. Mine does have the CD player though. I would like to know what music app ever displays ID3 Tag info. I have never had luck with it other than Pandora.

Edit: JVC deck is a KDA735BT. Love the deck, works well with BT and Pandora. Would love to get ID3 Tags to pass through, perferably from Google Music but would be interested in any music player that has worked in this situation for someone. CDMA Galaxy Nexus.

Hmmm, this is strange. Google Music shows the ID3 tags for me. I have noticed a handful of times that it does not update after a track change, but I'd say less than 10% of the time. I'm using an ICS based rom on my epic touch.

Have you tried using the JVC app? I don't use it but it might be worth a shot.

Edit: I just ordered a GSM Galaxy Nexus and will be switching over to prepaid, so I'll let you know if it works with that phone.

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