My wife and I recently found ourselves looking at that gift from the
future (our future tax dollars) - the government stimulus check. We decided
to use part of it to upgrade our car stereo receiver. Currently, our car
stereo supports only cassette tapes. We've tried using adapters and such,
and are sick of starting a trip, only to realize we've forgotten whatever
adapter we needed.
We found one that supports HD Radio, front USB port with MP3 playback, and
a front audio input jack - all for under $130 shipped. We felt pretty good
about the purchase, until I looked things over more thoroughly.
When I got it, though, I was very unimpressed with the controls on the
stereo receiver. Currently, we have a GM factory install radio. It has
slider controls on it that allow us to move the signal from front to back
easily whenever we need to. (like when our toddlers are in the car with us,
or someone in the back needs to sleep, etc.) There are also bass & treble
slider controls right on the front of the unit. We are constantly having to
minimize sound to the back speakers, then turn it back up when we drive with
no one in back. There is no way I want to have to go into a menu for this.
The new unit requires you to go into a sub menu and select from different
options to access these features. I've already wrecked my car once just
from playing around with the tuner while I was driving, so I'm not too keen
on swapping out a radio I can adjust by touch with one that essentially
REQUIRES you to look at it to navigate menus. It just seems like an
accident waiting to happen. If I want to get the HD radio, front USB & MP3,
I'll be putting my family's safety at risk to do so. I'm not very
comfortable with that, so I'm thinking of sending the radio back.
However, I've also noticed that NONE of the radios I see for sale online
or in stores seem to have basic functionality like the factory installed one
the car currently has. I want knobs and sliders on the front, so that even
a blind person could control things. I don't want flashy displays or
submenus I have to navigate.
I'm not the only one who feels this way about it, either:
(note, there's some rather strong language on the site)
I also noticed that it wasn't going to be easy to install, like the last
time I did this. The last car radio I installed was on a 1986 Plymouth
Reliant. I unscrewed 4 lag bolts, then removed the old radio. I put the
new radio inside a plastic adapter, hooked up the wires, inserted it, and
put the 4 bolts back in. That was it, and it only took a couple of hours,
At this point I am kind of disgusted and disheartened. I just want a
simple radio that has real knobs and slider controls on the front, and has
front USB and audio in, as well as HD Radio support. Does nothing like this