Reviews Pioneer AVH-X8700BT Car AV Receiver

Discussion in 'Member's Reviews' started by RogerH69, Saturday 9th May, 2015.

  1. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    This is a quick review of the Pioneer AVH-X8700BT Car AV Receiver, which I just had installed in my '04 Civic.

    On a rating of 1 to 5 (1 bad, 5 great), I would give the AVH-X8700BT a rating of 6 :Grin:. The AVH-X7600BT is exactly what I have been looking for in a double din, touch screen car AV Receiver for a long time, and Android Auto works first time, every time, with no special configuration required.

    The AVH-X8700BT is one of Pioneer's newest car AV Receivers, and one of only a few third party ICE systems that currently support Android Auto AND Apple Carplay. I'm not going to go into it's specs, as they are available at the link above.

    Initial impression when I first turned on the unit are that the screen is noticeably bigger than the previous Pioneer unit I had (to be expected as the previous one was only a 6 inch screen), and more responsive.

    The unit itself is also quicker to respond and move through the interface. It seems to be more stable when reading media files from USB as well, as the previous one could 'stutter' a little sometimes when the unit was doing something in the background (such as cataloging the USB stick's contents) while playing audio files.

    The previous unit (AVH-X2700BT) could hardly play any of the video files I had, whereas the AVH-X8700BT has only failed to read MKV files so far. Pioneer has also changed the way the unit catalogs the USB / SD storage, so it is quicker to respond and builds it's internal database quicker. I will admit the previous unit I had was towards the bottom end of the Pioneer range, so had less processing power, which probably accounts for most of the performance improvements I have seen.

    The AVH-X8700BT works perfectly with my Nexus 5 phone and Android Auto, and contrary to what I said before, it seems I might actually be able to listen to the radio / CD while using navigation via Android Auto (not tested this yet though). The great thing about using Android Auto and not AppRadio Mode (like i did on my previous 2 Pioneer units) is that I don't need to run a special utility to turn my phone's screen off while it;s connected to the head unit (as Android Auto on the phone does this automatically), and I also don't need to 'root' the phone. Android Auto is also MUCH quicker to connect than AppRadio Mode was

    The radio works as well as can be expected, and I am glad to see Pioneer has kept the very easy to use interface for the radio. It makes tuning the radio and switching stations with the touch screen simple, meaning less time looking at the stereo and more time looking at the road.

    Media file playback is excellent, both from SDCard and USB. The unit comes with 2 USB ports, and USB2 is for Android phones and USB memory sticks. USB1 is for Carplay use. When playing MP3s, the player reads the MP3 tags in the MP3 files and uses them to create a catalogue of your media files. You are also able to browse the USB / SDCard contents by filename if desired.

    I have not played a CD or DVD, as, I must admit in shame, I do not have any - all my media is on my PC or media streamer. However, my previous unit played CDs and DVDs flawlessly, so I expect this one will as well.

    The reversing camera works fine with the head unit, and one nice feature that the head unit has is that it allows you to add your own guide lines to the reversing camera video signal (in case your camera does not add them already). These guide lines are completely adjustable - this is shown in the video linked to below.

    The interface colours and backgrounds are configurable as expected, and you can choose any picture on your USB / SDCard to use as a background.

    The steering wheel controls work perfectly with this head unit as well.

    The pictures below show the unit in use, and there I also uploaded a video to Youtube to show the unit in action.

    20150509_083129.

    20150509_083455.

    20150509_091657.

    20150509_083641. 20150509_091739.

    20150509_083738.
    MP3 Playback
    20150509_091807.
    Browsing MP3 catalog that is autocreated by head unit
    20150509_091829.
    20150509_091841.
    20150509_091854.
    Reverse camera
    20150509_091928.
    Currently active inputs (NO idea what aha is)
    20150509_091956.
    Graphic EQ
    20150509_092031.
    Changing what type of media files to play
    20150509_092245.
    Video playback
    20150509_092303.
    Video browsing
    20150509_092338.
    Image browsing
    20150509_092418.
    20150509_092434.
    20150509_092449.
    When you press the button circled in red, this screen appears, aloowing you to tilt / open / remove the screen
    20150509_092517.
    Screen all the way down, allowing access to the SDCard
    20150509_092529.
    USB stick containing my media files
    20150509_094808.
    USB cable would replace USB stick and then go into my phone for Android Auto
    20150509_094826.
     
    Last edited: Saturday 9th May, 2015
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  2. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    I did some more testing today on this stereo, specifically with navigation using Android Auto. It works as well a scan be expected, considering it's just Google Maps navigation, and also depends on your phone having a view of the sky. Other than that it works pretty well, and your phone screen remains off the whole time. I'm also glad to find that I CAN play radio / MP3s on the SDCard while using Android Auto Navigation. Android Auto decreases the background volume when giving voice prompts.

    I'm hoping that more manufacturers make their apps support Android Auto sooner rather than later, as it's even more limited than Pioneer AppRadio mode at the moment....
     
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  3. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    That's great little review mate :Thumbup:
     
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  4. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Just re-read this review, have to say the unit looks excellent. My only question is whether the phone screen can be mirrored onto the headunit if you want to use another navigation app (like TomTom or CoPilot)? Google Maps is great but without Speed camera alerts its a no go for me :Frown:
     
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  5. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    At the moment, the only navigation app supported is google maps. As there is no HDMI cable, you cannot mirror the phone screen like with the previous unit I had. I am hoping that more apps will be approved / designed for Android Auto.
     
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  6. chris2982 Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Chris Rowlands Gill
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    excellent review mate !

    and is that a bit of die antwoord I see there :Smile:
     
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  7. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Ty. Indeed it is. You like / know them ?
     
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  8. chris2982 Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Chris Rowlands Gill
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    I know them , , , not personally ..

    don't get to listen much as the other half isn't a fan lol

    you seen chappie???
     
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  9. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I'm tempted to get a unit like your previous one tbh, as much as I love your head unit, its a large expense. All I really need is a dumb output terminal for now, that said if I do go ahead with it then it will be my 5th head unit in just over two years!
     
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  10. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Yeah. Not bad actually
     
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  11. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    I'd recommend you put a lot of research into which unit you get, and keep in mind what phone / mobile device you will be using with it, to ensure that are compatible and will give you the experience you want.
     
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  12. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Very true, I ended up pulling the trigger and buying the X8500bt (almost the same but hasn't got Android Auto).

    My only issue now is that I'm upgrading to an S6 which no longer supports MHL so I need to find another way to mirror the phone screen.

    Anyway your guides have been invaluable @RogerH69, got one of them from a link of XDA too!
     
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  13. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Glad to be of help mate. The X8500bt is a nice unit.

    I've read somewhere that it may be possible to use Chromecast, and cast from your S6 to the Chromecast which is connected to the head unit. Dunno what apps would work though. Alternatively, try a dedicated Android stick, or get a cheap ass Android phone and leave it connected permanently.

    Or.... don't 'upgrade' to an S6
     
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  14. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I'm torn between the S6 or Note 4. Loss of MHL along with MicroSD is a real mistake by Samsung on the S6. I was pretty content with my M8 but the charging port is useless, the only way I can charge my phone is by forcing the port down so the phone charges, otherwise it doesn't!

    I've read that too, I've got a spare chromecast so I guess that's the best option for now.
     
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  15. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    @SpeedyGee - I just found your post suggesting I could use an HDMI to S-Video converter to connect my Nexus 5 to one of my old head units . I think that may actually be a viable solution to mirroring my Nexus 5 screen on my latest head unit. In theory, I could split hte HDMI signal into separate video and audio channels which my head unit should accept as inputs. Initial Googling seems like it's a simple enough thing I need to buy, but it looks like it needs to be powered, so I may need assistance in getting the correct power to it.
     
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  16. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    Sure, let us know what voltage and wattage the the convertor needs we'll advice you appropriately.
     
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  17. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Cheers @SpeedyGee , but I was meaning more along the lines of "I'm too chicken to mess with electrical stuff, so may need someone else to do it" :Smile:

    Still, I'll see what's what first :Smile:
     
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  18. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    Oh right ok LOL

    No problem, we can still advise what you need and then come up with a plan to get it installed.
     
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  19. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Hehehe.

    I just found this one on Amazon. Seems to do the trick, and it's powered by 5V USB power. I have two 5V USB power connectors available in my glovebox from this lil gadget that I use for my dashcams and satnav.
    - - - Updated - - -
    First gotta check that my head unit will support composite video and audio signal....
    - - - Updated - - -
    Erm.....

    Looking at the installation manual for my head unit, it seems to indicate I CAN connect an MHL / SlimPort / Mirrorlink device to the headunit via HDMI......
    I wonder if AppRadio Unchained Reloaded (ARUR) would still be able to allow controlling the phone with the head unit? From what I understand, on my previous head unit, ARUR used HDMI for audio and video only and used the phone's bluetooth conenction to the head unit to allow the head unit to control the phone....

    Now whatever happened to that CD-AH200 kit I bought that I was convinced I would never use again ..... ?

    Oh yeah.... I gave it to Nighthawk. :brickwall:

    doh'.
     
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  20. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    @RogerH69 Go on ebay and search for Veyron V-Link

    I worked out that double din was more hassle than worth so I'm getting a motorised single DIN with the above adapter
     
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