Pioneer offers these two head units that will give you clean sound in your car and upgrade your electronics to the 21st century. Let’s look at them both to see which one is best for you.
Pioneer DEH-80PRS Mobile CD Receiver with 3-Way Active Crossover Network, Auto EQ and Auto Time Alignment
This is the best receiver for the budget-conscious audiophile. To begin, it has an auto equalizer (EQ) microphone to help do the first setup. Users tend to be glad for that because it gives a decent starting-point, if sometimes a little flat. After that, the user can fine-tune the 16-band digital equalizer in 2/3-octave steps so everything sounds just like it should. The 28-bit binary floating-point DSP keeps the signal noise-free and the auto time alignment helps the sound reach the driver’s ears in sync.
There are three Hi-Volt RCA preouts for three external amps (speakers and subwoofer). For better sound in high, mid, and low frequencies, there are three Burr-Brown 24-bit digital to analog converters.
Besides the tuner with 24 stations and 6 presets for your favorite radio stations, this receiver can play CDs, read SD/SDHC cards and USB drives, and stream audio through Bluetooth. It reads mp3, AAC, wma, and wav formats. There’s also an option for hands-free calling with a paired mobile phone. The DEH-80PRS works well with iOS on Apple’s iPhones in App Mode. This means some apps can be controlled with the receiver instead of the phone. Pandora is one example.
The physical design of the receiver is flap-face to keep out dust. The front can be detached for security. There is an external remote control, along with the SD card port, two USB ports, and an aux port. The LCD display has three lines and its illumination can be changed to various colors and levels of brightness.
Some users have said that the DEH-80PRS is challenging to setup because of the time needed to read and understand the manual and the complexity of the menus on the receiver. Keep in mind that this receiver doesn’t have satellite or HD radio like the DEH-X9600BHS described below.
More features of the Pioneer DEH-80PRS receiver
- 1-year limited warranty
- The three preouts are 5V each
- Built-in amp is MOSFET 50-watt x 4
Pioneer DEH-X9600BHS CD Receiver with SiriusXM SXV300v1 Satellite Radio Tuner and Antenna along with a FREE SOTS Air Freshener
The DEH-X9600BHS has great sound but it is not nearly as customizable as the DEH-80PRS. It has only a five-band equalizer where the previous receiver has 16-band. It also lacks the other audiophile features like the Burr-Brown converters and the 28-bit DSP. But where it lacks tweaks for audiophiles, it has even more modern conveniences targeted to our smartphone world.
Compatible with both Android and iOS, it pairs to phones with Bluetooth or by USB. This allows for hands-free calling and streaming audio. The receiver can control some phone apps like Pandora with App Mode. iPhone users can use Siri’s Eyes-Free for voice control of music selections and phone calls. If the phone is connected by USB, the receiver puts out a 1amp current to keep it charged.
This receiver also has a fun feature called MIXTRAX that creates a party atmosphere by changing colors on the display and adding in DJ-like sound effects. Besides CDs, digital music on devices, SD cards, and USB drives, the DEH-X9600BHS has AM/FM, HD, and satellite radio. HD is subscription-free wherever there are stations but the SiriusXM radio requires the user to pay.
Like the previous receiver, this one has a flap face that is removable. The user can change the colors and brightness of the three-line LCD display. There three Hi-Volt RCA preouts for speakers and a subwoofer.
More features of the Pioneer DEH-X9600BHS receiver
- 1-year limited warranty
- Bluetooth Guest Mode
- SiriusXM radio SXV300v1
- Saves 24 stations with 6 presets
- Compatible with mp3, wma, wav, AAC
- Android 4.0 and up needed to use MTP file support
- AUX, two USB ports, and SD/SDHC card ports
- MOSFET 50W x 4 built-in amplifier
If you want the cleanest sound possible this side of an Alpine receiver, get the DEH-80PRS. Keep in mind you may be tweaking it for a while to get it just how you like it. It also offers basic phone and device connectivity, although it is aimed more at Apple users.
If you’re less into perfect sound and more into tech, get the DEH-X9600BHS. It works with either Apple or Android devices and has great features like Voice Control. The kids may even love MIXTRAX.