I'm looking for an affordable mp3 playing CD unit for the insight with an ipod link. Which ones will fit my car and will they need major modifications? I was looking at crutchfield and they all said it's going to need mods...
Crutchfield's data is largely incorrect for the Insight. I purchased a Kenwood KDC-X789 for my Insight, and Crutchfield said modifications would be necessary. However, it was easy to drop in the new stereo without mods.
If iPod compatibility is high on your list, then you should consider the new 2006 Alpine headunits. Most of them have a feature called "Full Speed iPod", and this makes them the best iPod headunits in my opinion. The older Alpines and Kenwoods (and other brands) have a very slow connection to the iPod that basically treats the iPod like a CD changer. They are good for shuffling songs, but that's about it. Navigating playlists and genres is almost impossible. I hated my Kenwood iPod adapter so much that I sold it, and just use an AUX input now.
The Alpine Full Speed interface is very fast. You can just twist a knob and easily move through your songs. I think I'll get one of these in a few months.
These Alpine units support the Full Speed Connection:
i installed a kewood that was ipod ready (can operate the pod through the head unit), an ipod adapter, and a pair of speakers for like $375. the speakers were like $100, and so was the adapter.... so that leaves 175 for the headunit and taxes. i did get my install free though
i'm happy with the setup although sometimes the ipod adapter doesn't recognise tracks that i've downloaded off limewire so i can't get any info on them. they still play though
I have the Alpine CDA-9857 w/ iPod Hi speed connection and it's fantastic. I can access all my music and podcasts right from the biolite display (which is 40% brighter than conventional displays and is easy to read in direct sunlight) and it comes with a remote control as well so you can perform simple functions without taking your eyes off the road.
My Alpine is driving a pair of Polk 6 1/2in coaxials with external crossovers. The sound is excellent, but I am adding a pair of Polk 6x9 three ways and an Alpine 200w 4 channel amp to fill out the soundstage.
To stay on the lower cost side you may want to go with a pair of Boston Acoustic 6 1/2s and one of the 3 Alpine units with iPod Hi-speed.
One note on the podcasts. You'll need to make a playlist to include them as the unit doesn't list them as an individual category. If you use the smart playlist feature in iTunes you can specify the parameters and it will update the playlist automatically when you download new podcasts.
A coaxial speaker (also known as a two way speaker) is simply a speaker with an integrated woofer and tweeter combination as opposed to a component speaker which has individuals spakers for the woofers and tweeters.
Here's a link to the Polks I put in and the rears I'm trying to fit.
Component speakers usually allow for better imaging since you have more flexibility in placing the tweeters for best sound stage.
I went with the coax design to minimize cutting of the door panels on my Insight although if we can get them to fit, the three way 6x9's going in the rear may require a bit of metal trimming. Worst case, we'll see if we can fit a set of Polk component 6 1/2s in the rear or an identical pair of coaxial 6 1/2s to the ones in the doors. Either way, the Alpine amp driving the four speakers should be a big improvement with minimal loss of usable storage space.
From a purely technical point of view, round is best. Bigger is not always better. Carbon fibre can create nasty ringing if your crossover is not steep enough. Steep crossovers cause nasty phase distortion. Cast frames should be as open as possible to prevent standing waves. See
I just ordered a JVC KD-HDR1 CD-receiver. My main reason for getting this unit was that it has a built in High Definition Radio tuner. HD Radio is digital and now being broadcast by many local radio stations. The JVC unit also has multicast capabilities. Some stations broadcast 2-3 digital streams on the same frequency.
This unit supports Ipods with the JVC adapter. It plays MP3 and WMA CD-R and CD-RW discs. It has SRS Circle Surround sound. It is also Satellite Radio ready.
I'm not sure about the Ipod features, but with a built in HD radio tuner, I believe this unit is worth a look.
I'm with spacecowboy - I also have the Alpine 9857 (but in my S2000) and it works great with the iPod. As I mentioned in another thread, while you are driving, it is easier and MUCH more safe to navigate your iPod through the head unit than using the clickwheel. And yes - the full speed link is just as fast as using the clickwheel, so no annoying delay.
If you purchase it from Crutchfield, they will include the wiring harness and the full speed link cable for free.
I just got a $130 Clarion with an aux input in the rear of the unit through Crutchfield, installed it myself. I picked up a Monstor aux in adaptor for the iPod. The cable runs nice out the back, under the passenger side floor mat, and the iPod sits nicely under the e-break handle. You can always set up specific playlists for short trips to minimize the iPod distractions and have you passenger play DJ during longer road trips.
I just wanted a simple head unit that I could plug in the iPod without dropping to much dough...my set up meets all my criteria and sounds good.
I finally broke down and purchased the Alpine 9857 with Fullspeed iPod interface. I've only had it for one afternoon, but I'm happy so far. It's looks much better in the Insight than my Kenwood KDC-X789. It matches the Insight colors better, and it's more flush with the mounting surface.
The iPod control is excellent. I used to have the iPod mounted to my dash, and I was worried about giving up control to my headunit. However, the Alpine is very easy to use. I figured everything out without reading the manual. The text display is easy to read, and it's reasonably easy to scroll through long lists of songs. After trying numerous iPod solutions in my car, the Alpine is definitely the best.