John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Pioneer DEH-P7000BT review

Well back over a year ago my one channel on my car stereo gave up the ghost. Sad cause the stereo in my car was a “high end” (from GM’s point of view) Delco Bose system. So I decided to look around. Given my other electronics I wanted to find a car stereo that would integrate with my Windows Mobile phone, iPhone, iPod, and of course my existing music collection. The biggest challenge is finding good information. Sales people are always biased by what they are carrying and this not the people you want to listen to. I found it hard to find good information on the web, mostly because there is so much out there. In the end I found a car stereo I am thrilled with.

So to start off I should admit, I am not an audiophile. So I won’t be quoting s/n ratios and the like. My car has a big honking V8, my tires are on the loud side and I have hearing loss from years in extremely loud clubs.

So the one I found and bought is a Pioneer DEH-P7000BT from FutureShop.

I really beat them up on price. They were in excess of MSL on the Pioneer web site and were charging too much for installation. Negotiate! In the end I got the unit, taxes in and installed for $500.

So what can this puppy do … From an output point of view I really wanted this to work with my subwoofer and it does. A major bonus with a V8 beating under the hood!

Input can come from a variety of places. Let’s do the obvious first. It has an AM/FM tuner with 6 Am and 18 FM presets. Menus on this unit are bizarre at best and take some getting use to. I’d say keep the manual handy but of course it only comes on soft copy and it’s quite large so printing it is an endeavour.

There is a CD player that can handle normal audio CDs, as well as MP3/WMA content. It doesn’t do much with mp3 tags so best to organize your individual albums by folders. The one short coming of this device is I wish it had been a DVD reader instead of a CD. Oh well …

Now onto the more interesting stuff:

The unit comes with a USB cable that allows you to:

– Power USB keys (but not USB readers oddly enough). Plug in a USB key with music on it and it will start playing the music straight off …

– Plug in your iPhone/iPod! Now this is where it gets interesting. You can totally control the iPod/iPhone from the deck in which case you can see who is playing, what’s the song name etc. You can select playlists, podcasts. Brilliant! And if you want with the press of a button the controls can be handed over to the iPhone/iPod for control. Sweet! My daughter positively loves this! The unit is not designed for iPhones so does not work perfectly. Incoming calls to the iPhone while plugged into the stereo do not work properly.

The unit supports Stereo Bluetooth A2Dp profiles. This means you can stream audio over Bluetooth wirelessly to the stereo. I’ve been quite impressed with this. The quality is quite good. My HTC S710 does a wonderful job of this. What the stereo does is when you select BT Audio as the source for input it links up to your phone and starts streaming. Takes a few seconds but works well. So if you are listening to something, say a podcast or music or whatever and get into your car, and select BT Audio (or if that was where you left it when you shut the car off) it takes the input from your headphones, moves it to the car stereo and magic! It all just actually works. I have tried doing this with the Motorola ROCKR I have reviewed in the past and while this gadget works, because it isn’t integrated it took a bunch of button pushed to get it working. And the FM transmitter on the ROCKR was useless.

So far I am quite impressed with how A2Dp is working. And when you shut the car off the phone goes back to the head sets and your uninterrupted in what you are listening to. I can’t get over how well this works!

Bluetooth hands free is also included in this unit. It came with a wired microphone that the installer wired up to my visor. The phone once paired automatically links to your phone as soon as the car is turned on. Without pressing anything. This is by far the best hands free experience I have had. It just works. When calls come in the number calling is displayed on the head of the unit and if you accept the call the stereo is muted, the call comes through the car speakers and your talking. Wow. I tried this with both my iPhone and the HTC S710 and both worked perfectly. Additionally the address book of the phone was transferred over Bluetooth to the car stereo, up to 400 contacts.

You need to think ahead to what’s next. And in reality that’s pretty tough. So to future proof yourself this unit also has an aux input that will allow you to connect just about anything. Mint!

Things like this are never perfect. So for example it will display the artist or song title or album but you have manually select which you want to see. Wouldn’t it have been nice to scroll through these? When the iPod is controlling the car stereo does not display what’s playing. When streaming A2Dp there is nothing displayed on the unit as to what is playing. And so far I have not found a way to do fast forward/rev type functions on A2DP. Minor nits really.

So all in all I am quite impressed. The biggest dilemma will come when I put my Camaro away for the winter, what do I do with the crappy stereo in my beater … Sigh …


August 6, 2009 - Posted by | Electronic gadget reviews


  1. […] P6100BT review A while back I bought a new car stereo Pioneer 7000BT for my summer car. The seasons change and the summer car goes away and I miss the convenience, […]

    Pingback by Pioneer P6100BT review « John Galea's Blog | November 25, 2009 | Reply

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