Pros Bluetooth, USB, color options, remote, EQ w/ parametric
Cons Menus get a little hard to navigate until you get used to it.
Summary I did lots of research on which HU to purchase. I wanted bluetooth with an external mic (not part of the head unit itself or hidden away behind the faceplate), USB, and wanted to color match my indiglo guage dash. The bluetooth works perfectly. The external mic on my sun visor sounds great on the far end, even better than my bluetooth earpeice I was using before. I can turn the volume up and down as needed and the sound comes through my stereo speakers with plenty of volume and no complaints of echo from the other end. The downside is you will need to have your windows rolled up while driving, or wind noise will be bad. My entire contact list was uploaded automatically when I first paired my phone, and the stereo pairs with my phone when I turn the key on, no button presses needed... ever. Awesome. Voice recognition works great with the press of the phone button on the face of the head unit. You can also search your contacts by name, phone number, or recent calls from the stereo. When using voice recognition to make calls, the stereo does not display the name you are calling, however it does tell you who is calling when calls ring in. If I make a call from the list inside the phone, the name will show on the display. I think it does the same for text messages, but it didn't work the one time I tried it. Don't care, as I almost never text.
The USB is great! It will run a flash drive, or even power a hard disk drive and will see as much music up to 10 gig! That's a lot of music. I ran the USB cable from the back of the head unit to my unused ashtray. It keeps multiple 4 gig flash drives and I just swap them depending on the music I want to listen to, then close the ashtray and search through the flash drive like I would an MP3 disc. No more cd's rattling around in my glove box!!! Wait, it gets better.
The display can be configured to your choice of over 1700 different colors. That's right. I matched the dash of my SVT Focus indiglo guages perfectly! Amazing.
The remote is a little clunky. Not very large at all, but good to keep in your pocket if you are hanging out in a parking lot and need easy access to tunes and volume.
The JVC KD-BT1 has 3 sets of pre-outs. The front and rear are fading pre's at 2.5 volts. The non-fading sub pre's are 4 volt.
The unit has a built in eq, and parameteric eq. Also has built in crossover for the sub at your choice of 80hz, 120 hz, or 160hz. Also allows you to select the volume for the sub. I use this feature often, just by pressing the select button once, then turning the volume knob for the sub volume or the track forward and track backward to adjust the crossover frequency. Easy as pie.
I can't comment on the power output of this unit. I use the preouts. A 4 channel Alpine to run my 4 door speaker Infinity 6x8's and an MTX mono sub amp to run a single JL Audio 10w3.
I must say that I like the display. Usually only very expensive units will give a higher resolution display that will give more than a few words at a time. This JVC unit has plenty of room to show the entire track name, artist name, folder number, track number, time elapsed, without having to scroll, although some longer track names will scroll (user defined to scroll once, or continuously).
The KD-BT1 has a mini jack on the back to plug in a PAC SWI-JACK to keep the factory steering wheel controls. I don't have one yet, but will soon. The mini jack on the head unit is better than the normal IR emitters because sunlight does not interfere with the hard wired remote. Great!
I was astounded to find all of my requirements in one head unit. My freinds first said to not buy JVC, and to get an Alpine or comparable. After they have checked out all the features like parametric EQ and the extensive options in the deep menus that I haven't talked about, they have a much found respect for the new JVC KD-BT1. I'm very glad I purchased this unit, for all the reasons I have told you about, and more. If you need a GREAT sounding phone system in your auto to pair with your bluetooth phone, USB to hold days of music, color options to match your dash perfectly, and 3 sets or pre-outs for a full fledged sound system with outboard amps (again I can't comment on the built-in amp), not to mention the great display that doen't jump around all the time while your driving to distract you, then this head unit is perfect. I don't regret this purchase, and if I need to replace it for any reason down the road, I will buy another just like it. 10 out of 10 all the way!
Pros Usb with memmory stik works great,Tuner works great when hot.sounds great
Cons KD-BT1 does not support anny form for firmware opgrade and after 20 pairing there will be problems for further parring. It vil not be kept i the memory. JVC have no solutions on this...
When tuner is cold it skips radio channels as it pleases.
Summary Too big Cons issues..
Pros multiple colors, usb, bluetooth
Cons Hard to navigate, horrible sound quality, internal crossovers are useless, subwoofer control is poor.
Summary I bought this brand new for $150 which i know is a steal, but after only using it for 4 days i pulled it out of my car. I previous unit was a Pioneer premier and it sounded sweet,,,crisp highs to all the component speakes and all the bass channeled to the sub, it didnt have mp3 so i thougth id switch. However the JVC has more features if you can find them throught the nasty navigation of the unit and the sound quality with my system was horrible, with the subwoofer level all the way up..,very low bass is available at low-medium volume...but the highs are not so bad....however if you turn it up the bass is there but you cannot hear the lyrics because it becomes so distorted. all my components are aftermarket alpines so thats not the problem. IMO i think this unit is too focused on Bluetooth, and not about sound quality. I ended up buying a Pioneer Premier DEH-P600UB and I love it...yes i had to sacrifice bluetooth but my main concern is sound quality and it totally satisified that .
Pros Tons of features (bluetooth, usb especially great), clock at all times
Cons Basic/dull look to the unit, somewhat strange menu
Summary This unit is really affordable given all its features. USB, Bluetooth, an optional Aux input for only $40, and your usual options ... I did a ton of comparison shopping and this was just clearly a great bang for your buck item.
Being a tech-junkie, I have really enjoyed this unit. I paid to have it installed, I wanted everything done right and it was cheap and worth it in the end. I have my microphone strung up the roof of my car and coming out like a alarm/remote start antenna, mounted nicely by my rear view mirror in a small 4 door car. I also had a hole cut out and the USB pulled through so.
Bluetooth: I recommend playing with placement of the microphone. For me, the rear view mirror turned out great. There is a tiny bit of echo when I first make or receive a call. Note - this echo is the person on the other end, hearing their own echo. You hear them crystal clear, they hear you crystal clear. It's an odd sound, but it's just a matter of a second or two for me. If you hear it consistently, I am told changing mic placement can correct that. Don't mount it too close to the unit itself, or by the drivers window if you crack your windows at all. The visor can also be a good place, or center console up top if you have one. In terms of the bluetooth function itself, I think it's wonderful. My phone paired instantly, a Sony Ericsson W580i. It only took a couple seconds for it to transfer the phone book, too. I can make a shortcut on my phone to turn on bluetooth in a snap (it of course takes more power from your phone when on), and then the moment I am around my car with the unit on they find each other. It's not hard to use your phone book either, and answering a call is simple since you just press any button. I am going to set up my voice dialing and hopefully simplify the process even further. I never thought bluetooth was that great or useful, but I was crazy. Having it a part of this unit is really one of the best things. And for the price, I didn't have to shell out an extra one or two hundred for it.
USB: HANDY! This unit really does resume playing if you turn the car off/back on again. Be careful - some units do not, they can make having tons of songs at your fingertips more of a pain than a bonus. You could pull it through your glovebox - but I personally think that's too far for you to be reaching if you want to plug something in mid-drive, also you don't really want to leave devices trapped in extreme cold or heat which I personally think a glovebox promotes.
Clock: Silly, but I have had Kenwood units up until now - terrible stories on those motorized folding units - they never had a clock up. It was an either or, a clock or song information. In this JVC unit you can have the clock up always, in all source modes. This is such a little detail but it is note worthy to me. I can now keep my phone tucked in my purse and still keep track of time.
Display: Yes, the display lacks. With all the new fancy full color picture LCD styles, why get this? Well, it's really not bad, and for the price it's actually quite decent. I compared other units and some of them had those old style dot displays that are a pain to see. At least this one is more clear and has a good number of customizable options. I have it set to switch background/text color with my dimmer - white/black text with no lights on, and when they are black/white text. When I power the unit on, it has been cold lately, it will display 'low temp' in small letters. This is letting me know it's cold and I should let it warm up. (I don't really, it's going to be cold here OFTEN so it needs to work for me!) Even with this notice, the unit doesn't seem to really have any issue. The display is a bit less easy to read, but 5 minutes later the warning went away and everything looked better. It sounded fine from the get-go, so no biggie. Also noteworthy on the display is the color choice. There are tons of presets, and you can customize any color using Red, Blue and Green levels. It's not bad, but it's true that the darker colors are harder to see in daylight than the others. You can not change the red color of the buttons with blue for the rotary dial. I hate that, but what can you do. It's not terrible.
Sound quality: Great! I have after market speakers, but that's it. I like my music to sound nice, but I don't need to wake up the block or blow my ear drums. This unit sounds wonderful. And, I can adjust the volume level of each source compared to the FM radio which is hugely helpful so that I don't switch from one source to the next and accidentally blast something too loud.
Menu: Not the best, true. But have you ever found a unit with a great menu? Because I sure haven't! I think they are all clumsy, this one is ... but even after going through a few things once or twice I am confident I will navigate through it easily in the future. For now, though, it's a negative - sometimes you go left/right, sometimes up/down, sometimes you use the knob or numbered buttons corresponding to the text above them ... it's not really intuitive. Keep the book in your car for a few weeks, and mess with the major changes while parked. You'll do fine.
Overall, I am thrilled. It's so much more simplistic looking compared to my older fancier Kenwoods, but in terms of performance the JVC outperforms. It was worth taking a step down in looks and a step up in technical features, and the price isn't cheap but it sure is compared to models offering the same features.
Pros BT for calls works great
Cons my E61 can't transfer contacts to stereo
Summary General the item is great, you will need a few days to get familiar with the menu's but after that it will be great, bad because my phone can't sync contacts and messages, audio for incomming and outgoing calls excellent, Information in the same display for mp3 discs enough, missing auto text on radio stations