"A ton of functionality in a 1 DIN slot (SACD and DVD)"4.5 starson by Cornan
Pros: SACD - support for HD radio - plays DTS surround
Cons: My unit doesn't return to same channel after power off
Summary: This is a great 1-DIN unit at a great price point. Sony also supports SACD with a 2-DIN unit (XAVW1) with built-in DVD screen.
Surround sound is great for the car! Obviously the CNET reviewer has never had any interest in surround audio; too bad. (Check out sa-cd.net for the almost 5000 SACDs released).
With 5.1 discs and a sub you don't just get big bass derived from stereo; you get a sub signal as intended in the studio. Best pop multi-channel SACD: Destiny's Child. Pipe organ discs sound great. With pop mixes that use the rear channels for something other than ambience you get that little bit of extra interest; your ears perk up to hear what's different between front and rear.
There are several center channel speakers available, though they're hard to find - I chose a 1/2 DIN Clarion unit as my Dodge Durango has a 1 1/2 DIN opening. The Pioneer center channel speaker sounds better but needs dashboard (on top) space.
Given the limited frequency range of the 1/2 DIN center channel speaker, only one album so far has sounded peculiar; a James Taylor SACD with his voice only in the center channel.
I also bought the Sony slim sub amp (under the seat) and their HD Radio unit (somewhere in the dashboard) with an Infinity REF1220SE sub.
I wish I could balance the four usual car speakers individually - if only to boost the left rear speaker, due to its position right behind the driver.
The biggest problem is that my unit doesn't return to the same channel when turning off the engine and then getting back into the car; it just tunes to some random preset. So I set almost all the presets to my favorite station.
The HD Radio option gives me more choices in my area (two more classical "multicast" stations).
Oh, and this is a DVD player, too, if you get a separate screen.
This is the unit Sony should have released five years ago, but at least I've got it now.