Skip to main content

Any car can rock Android Auto or CarPlay with Pioneer’s latest in-dash receivers

Pioneer has announced five new in-dash receivers starting at unprecedentedly low prices, making Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto attainable for a wider array of car owners. The entry-level $400 deck sports CarPlay and upgraded sound, as well as a new single-DIN option for those with classic cars and exotic sports cars. Now virtually any driver who needs to stay connected to their smartphones can do so safely and, more importantly, legally.

15 states in the U.S. currently consider it illegal to so much as touch a smartphone while driving, and 37 states will ban teen drivers from using their smartphones while behind the wheel. And with more widespread legislation on the way, Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto are becoming increasingly valuable tools for staying connected while on the road.

Until now, unless you purchased a new car with one or both of the technologies already built into the dash, expensive aftermarket in-dash receivers were the only way to retrofit a vehicle into the modern age of smartphone connectivity. Pioneer changed that today with the introduction of the AVH-1330NEX and AVH-1300NEX receivers at $400, along with the step-up AVH-2330NEX and AVH-2300NEX at $500, and the all-new single-DIN AVH-3300NEX with pop-out touchscreen for $600

The AVH-1300NEX with CarPlay only and the AVH-1330NEX with both CarPlay and Android auto are currently the least expensive way to put the two most popular smartphone platforms right into a car’s dashboard. Drivers can use CarPlay to make and receive phone calls, compose and respond to text messages, and access Apple maps for navigation, all using voice control with Siri. You can also access Apple Music, iTunes Radio, Spotify, Pandora, and SiriusXM satellite radio for music playback.

Android Auto provides access to Google Maps, Google Play Music, and all the aforementioned music apps as well, with the promise of direct Waze access coming in the near future. For those who wish to use Waze now, Pioneer makes the popular traffic-based maps app available through its Apps+ feature, putting the app right up on the touchscreen for easy viewing and integrated audio directional instructions.

All of these new receivers will also let drivers create new Pandora stations on the spot based on the song being played, and store up to six stations as presets, much like standard FM Radio. All decks also play CDs and DVDs, and support high-res FLAC file playback up encoded at up to 192kHz/24-bit, though resolution will be scaled down to CD quality.

While the cheaper receivers sport a 6.2-inch display, the step-up AVH-2300NEX and AVH-2330NEX, at $500 each, offer a larger 7-inch display. All this is still packed into a standard double-DIN slot. Sleeker controls and smaller bezels on these receivers also make for a slightly more attractive option.

Finally, the AVH-3300NEX makes a single-DIN installation for those with older cars, classic cars, sports cars and exotic cars a possibility, thanks to a flip-out 7-inch touchscreen. This model, along with the 2330 and 1330, also supports dual cameras, while the rest of the line supports a single back-up camera with boundary lines overlaid on the image.

Pioneer AVH-3300NEX
Pioneer AVH-3300NEX Image used with permission by copyright holder

Drivers will also enjoy an upgrade in sound quality in most cases thanks to Pioneer’s 50-watt X 4 built-in amplifiers, graphic EQ, and fine-tuned balance and fade controls.

For those concerned about replacing the existing system in their car due to its heavy integration with such features as environmental controls and on-screen instrument clusters, Pioneer offers support for a system called iDatalink Maestro, which allows all those features to be uploaded to the new in-dash receivers and displayed on the touchscreen at the touch of a tab. In many cases, this upgrade will allow even more interaction with vehicle controls and informational displays than what was available on the stock display.

Pioneer told Digital Trends the new receivers will be available for purchase July 2017.

Editors' Recommendations

Caleb Denison
Digital Trends Editor at Large Caleb Denison is a sought-after writer, speaker, and television correspondent with unmatched…
Amazon Music now has a car mode, but don’t use it while driving
Amazon Music Car Mode

The Amazon Music app for iOS and Android now comes with an optional car mode that offers up a simplified interface that can automatically launch as soon as you connect to your car's Bluetooth system.

It looks like the ideal solution for those who don't have an infotainment system that's compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but want to stream music from Amazon Music while driving. According to an email from Amazon's PR partner, the new feature was designed "to limit extensive browsing while driving." Curiously, however, on the webpage that promotes car mode, Amazon warns its customers that they should not "interact with this app while operating your vehicle." Which naturally raises the question: Why give the app a car mode at all?

Read more
The best CarPlay apps
best car apps for the iPhone Carplay press shot

Apple CarPlay overrides your car's native infotainment system and promises to put a familiar, distraction-free interface right at your fingertips. It's also loaded with compatible third-party apps that give your car nearly the same level of functionality as your iPhone or iPad. We've put together a list of the best CarPlay apps available in July 2020.

Further reading

Read more
The best Android Auto head units
best android auto head units 1e755b6f4820d4a252af27261c02340d

Maybe your vehicle’s stereo has gone kaput, or perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. Maybe you’re just tired of humming along to a washed-out, tinny sound. Whatever the reason, an aftermarket head unit is usually the solution. Many people have Android smartphones and would also like to take advantage of Android Auto, which allows popular phone features to be projected into the vehicle’s dash. No matter the need, there are several options available, but before you run out and buy a new stereo, consider these things first:

How much room do you have: Different vehicles have different dash configurations that make picking a head unit a bit more challenging. Some vehicles have what is known as a double-DIN stereo, which is essentially two “slots” stacked together. Others have a single-DIN stereo, which is a smaller space overall. You’ll need to know which units will fit before shopping.
Installation: Many car audio shops will install anything purchased in their store, but if you’re buying online, you’ll need to make sure your local shop will accept the job. Installing yourself is an option, but newer vehicles’ electronics are very complex and there may be additional parts (brackets, mounts, etc) that you didn’t know you needed.
Other vehicle systems: In some vehicles, removing the stereo will cause all sorts of problems with other systems, such as airbags, climate controls, and theft deterrent systems. It’s important to know how your vehicle will behave once the stock head unit is removed.
Appearance: If you have an older vehicle, you may want to preserve the stock look of the dash. In these cases, a custom install or running your smartphone separately might be a good idea, because Android Auto head units take up a lot of space. They also don’t look particularly period-correct. In other cases, make sure that the head unit’s color scheme and appearance fit with the rest of your vehicle’s interior aesthetic.

Read more