Pioneer will release this month many 2014 head units including 5 new audio/video models, all of which now offer optional MirrorLink, to allow mirroring of a smartphone onto the car radio screen.
In addition, many decks now offer iPhone control over Bluetooth. And they allow Pandora “station creation” directly from the car radio, as you drive. If you are listening to a song in Pandora and like it, you can convert the song or artist to a new station.
MirrorLink is now offered as an optional cable on the company’s new AV radios. The cable plugs into the same port (proprietary) used to add navigation modules or iPhone cables so users can only use the port for one of those features.
Pioneer now says it offers the most options for connecting to a smartphone in the aftermarket, given the expansion of MirrorLink (previously only available on Pioneer’s AppRadio 3 deck) and other new features.
Siri Eyes Free voice control that launches directly from the radio is offered on almost all the new AV decks and in every new Pioneer CD radio with Bluetooth. Users can press a button on the radio to listen to and compose text messages, set calendar appointments, and reminders and other functions via Siri on an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5.
All the new AV radios offer Android phone control plus AppRadio mode to view and control apps from the radio. All have Bluetooth except the leader model AVH-X1600DVD (with DVD receiver with 6.1 inch display and MIXTRAX) at a street price of $300.
The line caps with a top-end AVH-X5600BHS DVD receiver at a street price of $500. It has a 7-inch VGA display, HD Radio, SiriusXM capability and the above features.
A step down model AVH-X4600BT has the same features without HD Radio and SiriusXM capability at $450 street price. Next, an AVH-X3600BHS moves to a smaller, 6.1-inch VGA display and has HD Radio and SiriusXM capability at $400 street price. An AVH-X2600BT is similar, but without HD Radio and SiriusXM capability at $350.
Pioneer is also expected to introduce 5 new single CD radios, many with Pandora station creation and two CD-less models—its first new “mechless” radios in several years. The single CD models will range in street price from $150 to $260. The two CD-less models carry street prices of $100 and $130.
The top CD-less, radio—model MVH-X560BT–is Pioneer’s first deck with a reduced chassis size. It’s depth was shortened by 40 percent, making it easier to install the $130 deck in powersports vehicles like ATVs or in cramped car installations, said Pioneer.