Bluetooth Car Stereo - JVC KDX50BT

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urinsane

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2006
316
105
Maui
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_105KDX50BT/JVC-KD-X50BT.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/698...AQFjAA&usg=AFQjCNE28H5hsYS9gz484lxxo97Nukzipw
 

randomrobbi

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2010
172
11
Louisville, KY
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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urinsane

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2006
316
105
Maui
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.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using xda premium
 

abdeviation

Senior Member
Nov 17, 2008
250
33
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
 

SDC_Bolts

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2009
168
26
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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Ferrograph

Member
May 26, 2010
11
1
-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.
 

SDC_Bolts

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2009
168
26
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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urinsane

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2006
316
105
Maui
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.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using xda premium
 

SDC_Bolts

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2009
168
26
Thank you, just let me know what you find out when you get the GN, curious if it works for you.
 

lviv73

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2010
1,529
91
Buffalo NY
First i bought this JVC KDR530 http://www.bestbuy.com/site/JVC+-+5...back/4005163.p?id=1218447374174&skuId=4005163 and loved it,it was $89 at best buy.I ended up returning it because it would not work with Epic over usb and required separate bluetooth adapter.

I returned it and decided to try Pioneer DEH-6300UB http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer...back/1752039.p?id=1218289372932&skuId=1752039 ,it was POS,buttons looked like they was gonna fall off any minute now and menus and sound was nowhere near JVC,plus it would not connect to my Epic over usb.

Then i wanted this JVC KDHDR71BT(same as KDX80BT but with cd) http://www.bestbuy.com/site/JVC+-+5...Deck/4888181.p?id=1218572403189&skuId=4888181 because it said on the box that its compatible with not only iphone but blackberry and android but it was sold out at best buy.

So after days of research i finally ended up getting this Kenwood http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113BT852HD/Kenwood-KDC-BT852HD.html?tp=5684#customer-reviews-tab for $239(yeah i know more then double as JVC,lol) but man it was worth it.
The reason i went with Kenwood because i read that JVC and Kenwood merged together, sense i loved first JVC i thought that i would get same quality from Kenwood and i did.
To make it short,it still doesn't play music from my Epic over usb but only charges the phone.But thats ok because it plays it over bluetooth and i can control my Epic from Kenwood(switch tracks,answer phone,display album info and more).Its real pretty to look at, a lot of options,same great quality as JVC(and not a pos like Pioneer),and sound is definitely superb(better than JVC but its in another price range,im sure that JVC in this price range be just as good).

If you want good solid built quality and great sound go with JVC or Kenwood because they are same company.If you want higher end models go with JVC Arsenal or Kenwood Excelon series.Their cheaper models are solid but don't pack as many features and sound is warmer on higher end models.
From my experience Pioneer's quality is not what it used to be(they still heve solid speakers) and i heard the same about Alpines.I cant comment on Sony,they used to be pos but i think they improved lately.
I say that JVC and Kenwood get you best value for you money from my experience.

Oh and i recommend Buying from Crutchfiled because you get free wiring and dash kit and end up saving $40,i wish i knew that before i bought them from best buy.And their tech support actually know what they talking about-which is rare these days,and it only took 3 days for my shipment to arrive.
 
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urinsane

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2006
316
105
Maui
Oh and i recommend Buying from Crutchfiled because you get free wiring and dash kit and end up saving $40,i wish i knew that before i bought them from best buy.And their tech support actually know what they talking about-which is rare these days,and it only took 3 days for my shipment to arrive.

Completely agree about Crutchfield, but I did want to mention that for mine, it wasn't expensive enough apparently to qualify for free wiring and dash kit. But said items were cheap enough, and they shipped to Hawaii for free, so I'm not complaining. I didn't need to call their tech support as they included very detailed instructions (and I'd installed on my vehicle previously) but I have heard nothing but great things.
 
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lviv73

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2010
1,529
91
Buffalo NY
Completely agree about Crutchfield, but I did want to mention that for mine, it wasn't expensive enough apparently to qualify for free wiring and dash kit. But said items were cheap enough, and they shipped to Hawaii for free, so I'm not complaining. I didn't need to call their tech support as they included very detailed instructions (and I'd installed on my vehicle previously) but I have heard nothing but great things.

Yeah my shipping was free to new york too.I think you need to spend over $120 to get free wiring and dashkit.
But look at it this way:If you go to best buy and spend $80 on mediocre stereo and spend another $40 on dashkit and wires which totals $120,you might as well spend $120 on crutchfield and get better stereo and get free dashkit,wires,detailed instructions and free shipping.

After I connected my kenwood my radio was playing fine but I had no sound from cd's.I thought I had a defective unit.So I called their tech support,guy told me that on chryslers I need to hook up onr wire differently and my cd's started playing.Try to get that from bestbuy or wallmart,they will tell you **** like push reset button,lol.I think im about to buy all my stereo equimpment fro them,plus their prices are same as other places if not cheaprr.
 
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coldblooded79

Senior Member
Jan 5, 2010
492
73
Murfreesboro, TN
I bought this deck yesterday at Best Buy. I'm loving it so far. Apparently it's a hell of a deal as it was their last one in stock. Was gonna buy it at electronic express so I could get my 10% off, but they were sold out. Here's a pic in my mk2 Jetta diesel:)

sent from my Epic Touch
 
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coldblooded79

Senior Member
Jan 5, 2010
492
73
Murfreesboro, TN
sent from my Epic Touch
 

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altamonte32

Member
Mar 9, 2010
29
8
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.

I installed mine a week ago, I realized that I have to change my speakers. So I ordered four boston acoustics speakers from crutchfield. I received it and installed it today and now I am loving this thing! Thanks CRUTCHFIELD!
Sent from my SPH-D710 using xda premium
 

SDC_Bolts

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2009
168
26
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.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using xda premium

So how is your ID3 trading with ICS working? Are you streaming through Google music or playing cached music or actual mp3s on your phone? Just curious, might try to sync some actual mp3s to the phone instead of streaming or cached music.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
 
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  • 11
    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_105KDX50BT/JVC-KD-X50BT.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/698...AQFjAA&usg=AFQjCNE28H5hsYS9gz484lxxo97Nukzipw
    2
    Came here to find out if USB hub would work and thought I'd share.

    Purchased one of these from Crutchfield a few months ago and couldn't be happier.
    First of all, got for $80 total with all the installation stuff. It was $120, but then used the $20 off promo code. And for anyone with a Discover card, you can use your cashback to get $100 Crutchfield gift card for $80.

    Bluetooth works fine for me. A few startup connection issues on occasion, but turning BT off/on on the phone fixes that.
    I went the way of a USB hub also to keep my front port open. Got a Belkin 4-port hub from Amazon for $5. Haven't tried multiple USB drives, but it works fine with a 32gb and the BT module connected.

    The Pandora integration is very cool. I love being able to thumbs up/down songs from the unit.
    Google Music works well and depending on your rom displays the ID tags.
    The dash menu is klunky, but it's standard issue for aftermarket radios like this.
    The JVC app is junk. I was hoping it would allow for better scrolling through the usb mp3s, but all it does is mimic the basic remote functions (play, pause, skip, mute, etc.) with touch gesture control.

    Did the install myself. Never installed an aftermarket before. It wasn't the hardest thing, but it wasn't the easiest either. Took me about 3+ hours, mainly just double checking stuff. If I did another one, I bet it would take half as long. The Crutchfield directions helped once I got my bearings, but they weren't the most detailed for a rookie.

    Very nice unit considering the features and the price.
    2
    I don't know about a software update, but mine does the same thing. And, I agree, this thing is an awesome purchase for the price.

    Sent from my CM9 E4GT using Tapatalk 2

    Are you using Google Music? I'm going to try different apps tomorrow and see if any make a difference in that regard.

    and I actually did find a software update, http://www3.jvckenwood.com/english/car/support/navi/r50/unit_soft_download.html
    2
    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.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using xda premium
    1
    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.