Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

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wbmkk
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Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by wbmkk »

The radio in my van works but there is no longer any visible display, which as you would imagine is very annoying, made worse by the fact that I usually turn off the power (via an isolation switch) as there has been a drain somewhere on the electrics. This means all the pre-sets are lost.

I think it's about time I get a new radio, especially as I have an auto electrician coming in a few days, he came yesterday to see what's what.

I don't need anything fancy, although a CD would be nice. DAB is not necessary and anyway I think the signal isn't too good as far a car radios are concerned.

Has anybody got any suggestions on something semi-decent, for £50-£60.

I have an iPhone with music, so if I can plug this in somewhere on the radio, that would be good too.

I thank you for any advice. :D

ps Where's the best placer to buy from ?

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Re: Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by CovKid »

ALDI do some great head units when they're in - generally under £40. I stopped using CDs as its just simpler to load a USB stick or memory card these days. Mine will accept an iphone and also mutes if the phone rings (not that I answer it).

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Re: Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by baj25 »

I find that USBs and leads that stick out of the front get in the way of my hand when changing gear. All the aftermarket head units I've seen (I admit I haven't looked at many...) have fancy flashing displays and features to appeal to a 16 year old, and tiny buttons that are hard to find while driving along. What I'd really like is a basic RDS FM set (presets for BBC R2 and 4), CD player so I can play the CDs that I've just bought at music festivals and input for iPod out of the way, and simple display with no disco lights. Does that mean I'm officially not a yoof anymore? If I find what I'm looking for in the next few days, you are welcome to my bling unit fitted by PO for your budget! Bri

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SamsBus2012
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Re: Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by SamsBus2012 »

Lots of japanese and korean vehicles are fitted with pretty basic single din head units (rds fm with single cd) with nice big buttons and are often on ebay for pennies when the owners upgrade to somethinbg more fancy. It worth noting as many others have said on other posts, CD head units are genrally deep and tend to poke out of the dash a bit requiring a spacer trim (widely available) if you are fussy about looks. They can foul the heater control cables if you're not careful too, whereas a non cd head unit will fit flush. My own CD player regularly gets switched on or off when I select reverse.
As for ipod connectivity, autoleads do some great connectors for most head units which will charge the thing at the same time - got one on mine with the cable routed through the ashtray (now ipod holder).
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Re: Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by CovKid »

USB sticks don't stick out the front unless you use the clunky ones that are designed for PCs and laptops. I use micro ones. Can barely see mine. I'm old school but was really impressed with not only the ease of use but the bass quality from the ALDI ones. I wouldn't recommend them lightly - many on here have them and say the same. They are also only 2-3" deep so its not stuffed hard against the bulkhead or else sticking out of the dash. You can still get CD players but they are rapidly being replaced by MP3 only systems. Purists might reasonably argue that CD is better than MP3 but I challenge anyone to tell the difference in a metal and glass box. No moving parts either - definately a bonus. 32GB can hold one hell of a lot of music. They're nearly all bluetooth too. Very few buttons on mine and dead easy to operate. You only use a couple of buttons I found :D

I've got this model (for £25 as they were clearing remaining units one evening).

Image

and micro usb (32GB) - doesn't even protude as far as vol control...

Image

If plugging in at the front (ipod) presents a prob, just use the line inputs on the back and leave yourself a small jack to plug into. Theres bags of room behind unit for cables due to its low profile. You could also use a right angled plug.
Last edited by CovKid on 31 Jul 2014, 11:53, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by CJH »

baj25 wrote:All the aftermarket head units I've seen (I admit I haven't looked at many...) have fancy flashing displays and features to appeal to a 16 year old, and tiny buttons that are hard to find while driving along.

Couldn't agree more - aftermarket car radio design seems to have evolved in the opposite direction to other car controls, where clarity and intuitive functions are priorities. With their distracting flashing displays, and tiny buttons with tiny text that mean you have to stare at the unit to find the function you want, they seem to be purpose-built to make you take your eyes off the road. The worst one I came across had separate tiny buttons for volume up and volume down - what's wrong with a great big knob! (go on, take it out of context :shock: ).

That said, the Aldi unit is pretty good in this respect - a big knob for volume, and only a few buttons I need on a regular basis - power, start playback (1), shuffle (4), next/last track.

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Re: Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by Tinium »

E D I T - Sorry, just saw "CD player would be nice" - sorry! :oops:

I've got this pioneer headunit - no CD player, so nice and short, and easy to fit cos you can just fit your hand through the ash tray hole if you need to swap anything about :)

http://www.caraudiocentre.co.uk/product ... -31366.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
£76, works with iPhone, Android and Bluetooth.

If you don't need bluetooth, there's this one for £48 quid:
http://www.caraudiocentre.co.uk/product ... -31368.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I didn't buy from there BTW, so can't vouch for the site, just the headunits/prices :) And then I found I needed new speakers... ah the slippery slope!

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Re: Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by Dougal devon »

I have just bought two stereo's one a jvc with input 3.5mm and one digital dab with everything also a pair of 6x9 infinity referance speakers from alocal scrap yard 40 quid for the lot..... check out your local breakers as saturday is the day joe public brings in thier scrappers ! Forgot to say the stereos are both jvc and the dab is brsnd new should cost about 170....
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Re: Decent car radio for about £50 .. any suggestions please ?

Post by ghost123uk »

+ me on the "deckless" head units. Mine is a "Beat Audio" and I love it :)

Tinium wrote:E D I T - Sorry, just saw "CD player would be nice" - sorry!

I wonder if one of those (nice n cheap) computer style USB CD players would work, plugged into the USB on the radio. I haven't tried it but I bet it would (as it is just "external storage" protocol). Anyone got one to try it ?

Or you could buy a CD walkman and plug it into the 3.5mm jack on the radio.
Got a new van, but it's a 165bhp T4 [shock horror] Accurate LPG Station map here

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