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Headunit options?? Please help

Ash187 May 22, 2010

  1. Ash187

    Ash187 Audi-Retrofits.co.uk Site Sponsor VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A5

    Hi Guys,

    Now i know i run the risk of asking this question but what headunit should i go for?
    I have a 2005 Sportback that currently has Bose and the Symphony 2, but no bluetooth or ipod currently.

    I am looking for a headunit that will be double din, play ipod with full menu and have bluetooth capability so i no longer need to shout on loud speaker.

    I also do not need satnav...

    the current options i am looking at are:

    1. RNS-E with bluetooth upgrade and possibly the Alpine KCE 425i for ipod functions...

    2. Alpine IVA-W502R

    3. Pioneer AVH-P4200DVD

    Now i know i would need to get additional bits with all the above to fit and have them working the way i want to in my A3 but the price for the RNS-E with extras (bluetooth, voice activation, video in motion with DVD, reverse camera) would take it over £1500 where as the other 2 would be around £700-£900.

    the RNSE also does not have touch screen and is outdated in comparison to the other units, but does feature as an OEM unit that works well with the car. I also do not need the Satnav so the standard RNSE is mostly useless to me.

    The Alpine and Pioneer both being excellent units would both leave my DIS with a black strip at the top as the radio part of DIS would no longer work and not look OEM but would it do everything i want with excellent sound quality... but i don't want to buy something and then later regret it as it doesn't look right in the car.

    I have recently installed a MFSW and want to be able to use that to its maximum capability, which is also another reason i am worried about getting the aftermarket units.

    So what are your thoughts on this? any help on this dilemma would be appreciated.
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  2. Pii

    Pii Member

    I know your pain!

    Just to add confusion to your dilema you need to consider replacing your BOSE if chose the aftermarket route. I have been informed by some very competent sources that BOSE and aftermarket can be problematic. The safest solution is to replace the speaker/wires/BOSE amp. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    On the up side you can buy steering wheel adapter that will enable you to use the MFSW against the Head Unit. Both Connects2 and Autoleads have a product but the Connects2 is considerably cheaper at approx 55 quid.

    Have you considered a Kenwood as they are very nice.

    Most guys on here would recommend the OEM route all the way though and you will never acheive perfection from aftermarket. It's a difficult trade off and some guys here have gone back to OEM after an aftermarket.

    All the best with your choices.

  3. Ash187

    Ash187 Audi-Retrofits.co.uk Site Sponsor VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A5

    I have found some adapters that converts the Bose system to allow it play on aftermarket units but i don't know how it would actually sound and if there are any problems with it.

    I have had Kenwood in my last 2 cars and find their bluetooth kits very unreliable and lag alot. So this time i was thinking of something better and have heard lots of good reviews on the Pioneer and Alpine units... lets face it everyone recommends Alpine.

    As for OEM i wouldn't mind the RNSE so much but the fact there is no touch screen makes it painful to navigate and the costs of even simple upgrades is so steep, it just puts me off it!
  4. Pii

    Pii Member

    I heard that even with the adapters you can have issues but it's not something I have tested myself. Either way just factor in that aftermarket may require further upgrades.

    I think Alpine and Kenwood now use Parott as BT which in theory makes them the same BT product. I recall bad some negative reviews around the Pioneers being slow and problematic but haven't looked into it much to be honest. The Alphines are always favoured by the general public and do have a good rep. However, Kewood 2010 range have the removable face plates... I like the idea of doubledin with face off.

    In terms of OEM route I agree it's a premium and yes it isn'e touch screen but it does look completely at one with the car. In terms of integration you get to use the SDS with the MFSW to control everyone. It is without doubt very nice!

    So long as you can get past the non-OEM look then aftermarket will give you the product you want it to be, be it couch screen, dvd player, sat nav etc.

    Make the decision yourself as it's your car and you will be the driver.

    Good Luck.
  5. Brett Butler

    Brett Butler Member

    I had your dilemma, and in the end gave in and bought all Audi, and Am very pleased, as it does all work very well.

    but my biggest disappointments:-

    No Touch Screen still
    Not full Post Code search.
    Is not HHD, hence need DVD in so need a multi CD player is you want to listen to CD's as well as Sat Nav
    Cannot add POI's
    Even Worse no speed Camera Data Base.
    It is a little annoying having to plug my Iphone in the Glove compartment all the time, wish there was somewhere else a lot more convenient.
    As I use the Iphone, I have an app that gives speed camera placings mobile ones as well, that informs me through the stereo while listening to mp3's with Sat Nav running as well. works really well.
    Very over priced.

    I do love the hands free,
    AMI does work well with IPod, and gives track listings.
    It all does work well together, looks right, and will give a better return on selling the car, as I also have the BE means it is an upgraded amp and speakers.
    The instructions and info that you get in the center console area. (Though TBH that could be so much better Why you need such big Speedo and rev counter is beyond me, they could so much smaller with a larger screen for info).

    If time and money was less of an object I would love to play at getting an after market set up, as I am sure you could get the perfect set up to work really well, better than OEM.
  6. Ash187

    Ash187 Audi-Retrofits.co.uk Site Sponsor VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A5

    Which RNSE do you have Brett? you mention AMI?

    I have seen a Hard drive for the AMI system:

    looks like a good idea but i have no idea how to get the AMI working on a 2009 RNSE?

    I dont need the Sat Nav as i have Tomtom on my phone which i am more than happy with which has all the speed camera and post code searches in. Yes its a pity that the RNSE does not have it but i would only use the RNSE sat nav because its just there. Thats kind of why i think it would be a waste to get the RNSE, i wouldn't really use it for what it was made for. i only really want a unit that can do all the music and bluetooth uses... with a good ipod display.
    I used to have a Kenwood system in my last 2 cars where i would leave the ipod in the glovebox connected to the headunit which would also charge the ipod. I was able to select the songs on the unit via touch screen and could see the ipod menu as it is on the ipod (playlists, artists, albums) . i liked the way that worked and would really like something like that again. but i am worried how it will look and fit in the A3... dont want it looking Chavvy :(

    What do you guys think about the Zenec systems? they do a good unit for the Golf which looks OEM and works with the DIS, also has bluetooth, satnav and ipod as standard. i hear they are bringing out a unit later this year for the A3.

    If only Audi could make a unit that can do everything we want...

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