Pros Good 2 line screen, works well with XM
Cons Bit pricey; bluetooth option too expensive
Summary Had to upgrade to this when my last head unit got jacked. Very good screen with a 2 line display, visible even in direct sunlight. I've got an iPod adapter and XM unit attached, and it works them both well. Would like bluetooth but not for $200.
Pros Ipod Integration, Sirius Integration, everything that I was looking for!!!!
Cons Lack of Scrolling Ability with Remote Control
Summary I did some research on a new Ipod integrated stereo that also has Sirius compatability. When I found this stereo, I was very happy until I started to read some reviews. The reviews have been mixed, especially on the Ipod Integration. Some people loved it, some people hated it. After much contemplation, I decided that I would go out and try it. I was floored by how easy it was to use. I have a 60gb Ipod and the system pulled up the information with no problem. At that moment, I decided to get the stereo and have the Ipod integration and Sirius installed on this stereo. I absolutely love it. It sounds great and I could not be happier. I would highly recommend getting this stereo if you want to run your Ipod and Sirius radio through your stereo face instead of fiddling around with various components!
Pros Good sound, clean appearance
Cons Lousy ipod controls
Summary If you have a lot of songs on your pod, this unit makes them hard to come by. The controls must have been designed by someone that has never operated a motor vehicle.
I suggest you take YOUR ipod to the store, plug it in and try it first. If you are used to wheeling through your ipod menu and being able to navigate easily.... well then you are going to hate this thing.
Other than that, nice unit.
Pros Wide linear amplifications range, easy to navigate, beautiful deck and finish
Cons Haven't explored all the options that this deck has to find its weaknesses
Summary I bought this deck after I purchased a $300 Kenwood. It only took me about 5 minutes to realize that there was something odd about the Kenwood deck sound. It was muddy and ringy, and all the sound controls on it could not make it sound better! I've had an Alpine before in another car so I was used to their particular sound. I realized I took it for granted. I went right back to the store and had them rip out the Kenwood and replace it with the CDA-9857. The difference was amazing! It made the rest of my stereo sound better than it ever had. Everyone is different and likes different features in stereo equipment. As an electrical engineer, the only thing I care about is how good the guts are. Any stereo or amp can claim to amplify or produce power, but how well and over what range? Amplifying distortion isn't good! If you like to listen to CD's, this deck met and exceeded my expectations. It has a warm and clear sound that sounds awesome when you crank it up. All the bells and whistles on some of these new decks are fooling people to think that they're better at a cheaper price. There is no substitute for good circuitry and that's because the technology hasn't really changed a whole lot in the analog portion of these decks. If you want good sound in a stereo, you have to pay for more expensive components that are put in the amplifier and CD portions of the unit. I think the satellite radio and IPOD features are cool, but I beleive that if the basics aren't good, novelty items just don't make up for the lack of good audiophile sound. And as I found out with the Kenwood, you can have all the sound control you want and it has no real effect on the quality. Also, I'm using this particular Kenwood as my personal example and do not think they make all junk.
Pros iPod control, power, sound
Cons lousy AM/FM tuner, not enough characters displayed for SIRIUS, no mid-range control
Summary Very good sounding, but my beefs with the unit are:
1. When using the SIRIUS option the display does not show enough info about the artist and the song. Needs to have more characters per line to do justice to the text that SIRIUS is transmitting. My old JVC standalone and my cheapie (don't remember the brand but it's the one that you can flip the display) displays all the info. Hard to believe that for what this unit costs it does not display as much text as my old units.
2. Cannot save favorite songs when using the SIRIUS tuner. My JVC receiver allows me to save up to 30 favorite songs so when they are playing on any of the streams in SIRIUS then I get a message pop up on the display that shows me the title of the saved favorite songs that is now playing somewhere on SIRIUS and would I like to listen to it.
3. The tuner does not have a "back" button so you can go back to the previously listened to station (or SIRIUS stream). Mighty handy when you are listening to a station (or stream) that is not one of your pushbuttons.
4. The AM/FM tuner sucks!!!! Using the stock OEM antenna I can't get a signal strong enough to even want to listen to the regular radio. Hard to believe that the OEM radio using the same antenna has an awesome tuner, but this unit does not. Sometimes you have to hear those traffic reports during drivetime.
5. The display is too bright at night. I even attached to the dimmer wire on my light control in the car and still can't get the display to get dim enough at night. (Yes I enabled that option on the Alpine unit).
6. The Alpine web site sucks when it comes to tech support. Not enough info about this unit online, and there is now way listed on the site to contact tech support by e-mail. You have to waste your time with them via telephone and during their normal business hours. I'm working those hours so it is difficult for me to find free time to call them.
7. The iPod control is a bit cumbersome, but better than most.
But on the good side:
1. It sounds good, almost great.
2. You can adjust the frequency where the bass and treble are centered. You can also adjust the "bandwidth" of the spectrum around the selected bass center frequency.
3. The BIOLITE display is easy to read in the daylight, even in bright light.
4. Comes with a wireless remote control, but does not allow you to search SIRIUS satellite radio. For that you must use the controls on the radio.