12 Volt Price Wars Return

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Pioneer Low Priced All Wireless Radios

For the last two years the car audio industry enjoyed a break from constant price wars. But in the last few weeks, that appears to have changed.

Pioneer, as we reported, introduced an all wireless (wireless CarPlay/Android Auto) deck, the DMH-W2770NEX  at $430.  The previous price floor for all-wireless decks from Pioneer and other top brand retailers had been at about $650 to $900.

BOSS Audio also ran a promotion on its all-wireless BE950WCPA, bringing the price down to $369 from its previous price of $469. The promotion runs until at least August 21. The BE950WCPA has a 6.75-inch screen and Hi-Res Audio FLAC playback.

Price Wars Return to Car Audio

In addition, BOSS will offer in mid-to-late October a new BE920WCPA all-wireless deck for $349.

In response, said Epsilon, it dropped prices as last Friday on certain Power Acoustik models. A wired CarPlay deck with DVD player went from $169/$179 to $134.50.

Nakamichi will also introduce a new lower cost all wireless deck (stay tuned).

Ronnie Brashear, VP Sales at Epsilon said margins are back to 2018 levels. Brashear lamented, “I thought we had gotten away from the race to zero.”

Car audio sales rode high during the pandemic and prices actually increased due to product shortages.  But sales slowed this year as inflation and higher gas prices took root.  Many dealer stock rooms are now filled to the brim and dealer orders have slowed, prompting suppliers to cut prices to move inventory.

Meanwhile some dealers said they are not keeping up with the new pricing because they have so much head unit inventory already, there’s no need to buy for a while.

Mark D’Elia of SoundFX, West Warwick, RI said he’s not ready to place any orders. “A lot of dealers are stocked up and we have more inventory than we’d like to and we are trying to get into more of a cash position. ”

Regarding new competition in pricing, Kenwood’s  Seth Halstead said, “We try everything in our power not to contribute or participate in the race to zero. Sometimes to be competitive you have to, at some point [lower prices], but we’ll always have a price premium. We’re proud of what we do…we never try to be the lowest.”


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  1. So let me get this straight. A cheaper Pioneer of China, Formally Pioneer Japan takes the already hated 1700/1770 platform that is already not known to be true to Pioneer quality and adds a wireless CarPlay chip. The only reason this is news is because the guys at Epsilon and BIG don’t push the envelope enough. The Boss Elite has zero clip at full volume on RCA outputs. But at least the cheapest Pioneer gives you crossover points. The Boss has a higher resolution screen already and instead of taking the competition to Pioneer Boss will likely cheapen the quality of there now surprisingly good units. Boss has made it into the top 5 now quarter after quarter because people that said they would never sell Boss had to try it during the pandemic shortage and they ended up liking the Elite. It should be here to stay. Boss should add a true DSP chip with crossover and slope and just take on the Pioneer on head on. Nakamichi is back and so is Clarion but they haven’t been able to get into the top 5 like Boss has. Epsilon, Well they have a lot to learn. I have a near Zero return rate on Planet Audio Carplays. As for Epsilon they had a VRCP65 that was bullet proof and the new model is far from the same quality. More features sure. 50% defective rate? Yes. We expect this from a Chinese Pioneer. These guys actually see Dual Jensen as competition. Sony, Kenwood, JVC, and Alpine will continue to set the bar that Boss can continue to follow.

  2. Follow the manufactures that are sticking to take the high road (Profit). Buy as little as possible of the brands that want to fail. This way those that get it will rise and the others will stagnate. All it takes is for us as professionals we are, to believe in what you are doing and tell our story to our customer’s and they will follow us. Our, let me repeat “OUR” customers come to us because we are the ones that know what we are doing, or do you know what your doing. If we are about a discount mentality then we deserve to lose and have no room to complain. If you are looking down the street and wondering why and how your competitor is always doing so well, then you might take a second look at their prices. Chances are, nothing is discounted. Discounting is a result of poor PLANNING AND INSECURITY. Always remember your customer wants to be a part of your success. Otherwise they would be talking to a clerk. Our family has been at this since 1962 and I have been a the helm since 1984 and all I have ever wanted for me and the next person is true prosperity. In the end it’s hard to get everyone to see in the same direction and for so long now we specialist have been taking a beating from those that say they care, but they don’t. It’s all about the Green God for them. Our dream and talent should not be abused and waisted. So with a Heart that cares, I say rise up and take what belongs to you and don’t settle for the scraps.


  4. When quota’s return so do the bad distribution decisions manufactures make to hit them….

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

  5. It is a little embarrassing that we seem surprised about an immediate return to the race to zero while at the same time trying to be the leader in the same race. We have seen that when we are FORCED by factors beyond our control to ba able to manage pricing, we can do it. BUT as soon as we regain control… we revert to our normal manage by desperation… No surprise I suppose but embarrassing never-the-less.

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