"Voice recognition flawed, user interface complex."2.0 starson by californialife
Pros: Navigation is good and easy to follow. Sound quality very good and display has nice graphics. Mechanical design and finish are elegant and not overly flashy like some other units and it has a handy micro-SD slot on the front panel.
Cons: Voice recognition is horrible for hands-free calling, unusable. Less than 10 percent correct recognition of contacts. I had a Parrot system that recognized 100% from the start and I replaced it with this? Also misinterprets commands and pauses iPod.
Summary: I mainly purchased this product for the purpose of providing hands-free bluetooth calling and iPod/MP3 playback, and secondarily to have everything integrated into one unit where I had several separate components before that never played well together.
I'll be candid with you and tell you that I've had the system for less than 24 hours. I haven't read the whole manual but have read some of the portions pertinent to my issues, to little avail. It took the installers two days to integrate this into my 2004 GMC Yukon with steering wheel controls. and we still had to figure out some of the functions when I went to pick it up.
User interface is inconsistent. I can scroll music selections by swiping my finger across the touchpad, but cannot do this with contacts. Trying to do so simply selects the contact you first touched. Although there appears to be a slider bar on the left side, it only seems to function as a position indicator. In the absence of workable voice recognition, this makes navigation and selection of hundreds of contacts a cumbersome and distracting task, driving or not. My Android phone is set to display first name first on the contacts listings but the Pioneer displays last name first and I haven't found a way yet to change this. Annoying.
Voice recognition is unusable for me. I had this problem with my older Pioneer navigation unit that I replaced with this unit. Maybe it's my voice but it should be more robust than this, being 6 years newer than the one I replaced. Both technicians also tried the contacts voice dialing and it didn't work for them either. They couldn't believe the results. I had a Parrot MKI-9100 bluetooth adaptor in place just before this and the voice recognition was amazing; never missed a single one from the start. The Pioneer unit is getting 10% or less correct and I finally just stopped trying; total frustration. And yes, I tried both first name first and last name first and it didn't make a difference. Some of the basic commands work for switching sources and the like, but it falls completely apart when trying to do hands-free dialing out of my contacts. Several times when attempting to issue voice commands for a call, the system interpreted the command as a Pause command for the iPod instead. System frequently returns wrong guesses or "didn't understand" messages. Voice inputs to the navigation mode were unreliable, sometimes having to back up and retry 2-3 times to get the right city or street name. Having seen what voice recognition is capable of in other systems, I was profoundly disappoionted in the results from the Pioneer and would suggest that you find someone who has one that you can try out voice commands on before you invest in this system.
I find the user interface less than intuitive and overly complex when driving. If this were a home stereo unit where you could devote your entire attention to using it, it might be great, but not so when driving. Simple things like selecting a different FM preset require you to change screens to pull up a selection screen when a simple row of buttons across the bottom of the main screen would have made this a simple, one-step action.
The iPod shuffle selector on the iPod control screen does not appear to be able to select a shuffle of all songs in the iPod or a genre. I had to go to a separate setup screen to do this. Also annoying was the fact that when I plugged inmy iPod for the first time, it automatically switched sources and began building a song inventory. The iPod continued to play the first album on the iPod and could not be interrupted. I had to shut the power off to get back to testing other parts of the system without having to listen to an album I did not want to hear while it indexed.
I cannot comment on the MusicSphere function because I am not willing to invest the time into setting up something that may go away if I replace this unit, which I probably will unless Pioneer support produces some miracle to make the voice recognition work for me.
All I can say is maybe it will work great for you but try before you buy if you can! I'll probably be replacing this with another brand.