Clarion DB285USB

CD receiver

Item #: 020D285USB

94 Reviews

This item is no longer available.

Original Price: $79.99

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Clarion built the DB285USB CD receiver for convenience, with the ability to play all of your favorite media file types and an ergonomic design that puts all the important function buttons in easy reach. The versatile stereo also features user-friendly front-panel USB and auxiliary inputs that allow you to plug in your thumb drives, hard-disk drives, and portable audio players.

Gone are the days of lugging around your CD collection. The DB285USB plays MP3 and WMA files, whether burned to disc or stored on thumb drive. You can carry an entire music library in your pocket and plug it into the front-panel USB slot, or burn a road trip's worth of music onto a single disc.

A muscular built-in amplifier keeps the sound coming on strong. The Z-Enhancer equalizer offers three preset settings, and the Magna Bass EX bass boost kicks up the lows when you want some thump. Two sets of preamp outputs give you the option of connecting outboard amplifiers and subwoofers.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with built-in amplifier (20 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs (including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files)
    • detachable face with dot matrix display
    • optional wireless remote
    Audio features:
    • Z-enhancer EQ with three preset tone settings
    • Magna Bass EX bass boost
    • subwoofer level control
    • inputs: front-panel USB input (no iPod control) and auxiliary input
    • outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (front, rear)
    • compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required)
    Other features and specs:

    Why replace your factory radio?

    Two good reasons - sound quality and cool features. A new car stereo offers power that's superior to most factory radios, along with more sophisticated tone controls. And most car stereos offer built-in or optional features that add safety and fun to life in your car, including inputs for your iPod or MP3 player, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free cell phone calls, satellite radio or HD Radio reception, and connections for building an audio system in your car.

    Clarion DB285USB Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Yash, Martin, MS on Sunday, June 28, 2009

    Good unit for the price but definitely not high end. Been using for about five months with no problem. Looks nice. Display does not blind you at night but controls are easy to see. Got it mainly for MP3 and front loading USB and Aux In. The user manual is a must to navigate the function/setup selections. FM sensitivity is weak in rural areas compared to the Pioneer I replaced.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Frank, Barre ,VT on Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    DOA Unit would power up but no speaker outputs. Crutchfield promptly replaced with upgrade at my cost. All is well now.
    Thanks Crutchfield, Frank

    Sad it's discontinued, but happy I got one!

    Written By Brian, Knoxville, TN on Saturday, June 13, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I recently bought a 1991 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible to fix back up, and this HU forms the core of the stereo system. The LeBaron has 6 factory speaker locations, two 3.5" in the dash, two 5.25" in the doors, and two 5.25" in the rear side panels. I needed an entire new system, as the one that was in the vehicle was a cheap aftermarket. The supplied wiring harness made connecting up to the factory wiring a breeze (Once I repaired the factory harness where the previous owners cut it), and the stereo works great! It puts out enough power to be heard nicely over the wind and road noise on the interstate with the top down, and with the JVC BS-BB2 self powered sub installed over the center hump beneath the dash, I have no problems with loss of the bass that is so inherent in convertibles.

    I am sad to see this is a discontinued item, as I would recommend the unit to anyone. After a month or so of use, the only quibbles I have with it is that the display can be a bit hard to see in sunlight, especially with sunglasses on. A bonus, is that the USB port can read external hard drives, so I have loaded up mine, and can cruise down the road with 100 GB worth of continuous music!

    My passengers enjoy being able to control it with the included remote as well! I can't recommend it enough!

    Highly Recommended

    Written By Ed, Washington, DC on Thursday, May 28, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I highly recommend this stereo. Aux and USB inputs on a reliable, good-sounding HU for under $100 is an incredible deal. It's not the flashiest stereo, but it matches the interior (red lighting) of my car almost perfectly -- most people don't realize it's aftermarket. Also, the build quality of the stereo is pretty good (especially impressed with the volume dial, which clicks firmly and solidly into place). All inputs work exactly as advertised.

    The adjustment settings for the bass are exactly what you'd want (adjustable Q and frequency). The treble adjustment is a bit wide (Q is set wide from the factory and is not adjustable), but at least the frequency is adjustable between 10-17.5khz. I paired the HU with factory speakers (wanted a nice, cheap setup) and after dialing in the treble/bass adjustments, it sounds pretty good.

    Overall, one of the best purchases I have made.

    Much more than I expected

    Written By Gerald, Lawrenceville, GA on Sunday, May 24, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    My first aftermarket, self-installed radio/CD player. I am fully satisfied with its performance, though I'm having to learn a whole new set of controls.

    Installation was much easier than expected. The wiring harness perfectly matched factory color codes. A call to customer service helped remove any doubts that I was doing it properly. Customer service was prompt, knowledgeable, and accurate. From the time I dialed their number until I was fully satisfied, I was on the phone about two minutes.


    Written By Lomax, Hammond,IN on Thursday, May 14, 2009

    This Is The Best stereo.The Sound Quality is amazing.It is easy to use and the AUX and USB ports make it all the better.I would recommend this stereo for anyone that is looking for a new stereo.

    Great bang for very few bucks

    Written By richard, Tacoma, WA on Thursday, May 07, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    You can't go wrong for the money with this reciever. I was looking for a replacement for the radio in my beater work car that had aux and usb inputs. This unit has impressed me greatly. The sound adjustments are a little tough to dial in at first since the process is a little complicated, I recommend keeping the manual in the car. The sound quality is great and the price was unbeliveable. The display can be a little tough to read in bright sunlight but I have the same problem with the Alpine deck in my wife's car that cost 5 times as much. As usual, Crutchfield service was top notch. I buy all my electronics from them and always will.


    Written By Girth, Venice, CA. on Thursday, May 07, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    You gotta admit the price is right. USB, & aux. in is a nice touch. If only it had a coffee maker!

    Abosolute best deal for the money!

    Written By will, eastern PA on Wednesday, May 06, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    first off i would just like to say thaks to the crutchfield team as they surpassed even my high expectations. i recieved the item in just a few days with the unit and all accessories packaged neatly. As far as the unit, i love it. front usb w/3.5mm jack is the bomb. no more lugging cd's around. clarity and overall sound quality is very good. i was just upgrading a factory unit and would have paid this price even without all the bonuses. install was a snap with the included coverplate and wiring harness. the remote was also nice however i have yet to use it. i plan on letting my daughter use it when she rides in the back seat off the truck. you guys definately set the bar high. thanks again.

    Great value! Very satisfied with this radio/service!

    Written By Thomas, Fairfax, VA on Saturday, May 02, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I didn't want to spend a lot of money to replace my stock radio. I just wanted a simple receiver with a CD player...this receiver exceeded my expectations! It has a great functional receiver and CD player, but the USB and AUX inputs are just great extras to have. Not to mention how nice it was to get the kit and instructions that matched up with my car. Crutchfield is great to make it so simple. I think the actual install into my car took about 30 mins since the instructions told me exactly what to remove on my dashboard. I was a bit nervous about all the wires an connecting the adapter, but Crutchfield tech support walked me through my questions at 10pm on a Saturday! Crutchfield gives customer service a GOOD name again!

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By dominic, new haven, CT on Saturday, May 02, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice radio for the money. Installation was a breeze with the instructions and adapters supplied by Crutchfield. Even got a free remote. If your looking for a basic radio this is the one.

    Great head unit for the price

    Written By David, Mobile, AL on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great head unit for the price. It has an auxillary input and usb input which is great for using with your other devices.

    For Me...Right Price = Great Radio

    Written By Monty, Grove City, OH on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I won't cut this radio some slack because of the price like some people tend to assume. Correct, the price is not bad; so my wallet is thanking me.
    1: The sound is great for my needs. Sounds better than my previous Dual head unit.
    2: Most radios have a faceplate. This one will take some getting use to but I'll live. It is in my convertible...pretty much any radio is difficult to see with the top down. Plus, my kids like the moving characters on the screen.
    3: Also, I listen to radio perhaps more than others who have reviewed this unit, and the reception is noticeably stronger than the stock radio with Infinity speakers and the aforementioned Dual head unit. C'est la vie.

    Works Exactly as Advertised

    Written By Jason, Ruston, LA on Saturday, April 25, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased 2 of these units. One for my wife's minivan and one for my truck. Both were fairly simple to install. I called Crutchfield once on each install, but if I had read the instructions better, I would not have needed to do that. Once the units were installed, i plugged in a 8GB thumb drive in my truck and a 2GB in my wife's van and they played great. It took very little time to read in the files and begin playing. I had a Sony with front USB in my old Crown Vic and I think this unit is better than the Sony and this unit was half the price. It has plenty of power for the factory speakers. The only con I might say would be that some menus are a little confusing to navigate, but a quick read of the user's manual and I was good to go. I would definitely purchase this unit again and I would of course buy it from Crutchfield.

    Great Value

    Written By Kris, Asheville, NC on Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a basic unit at a great price that is super easy to install with Crutchfield's help. I purchased the open box version, wiring harness, master sheet, and dash kit for a great price including shipping! Thanks Crutchfield!!

    Cons: The sound (bass, treble, etc) are little annoying to adjust & I'd like to know if the screensaver can be shut off. I would like to see the time instead.

    Pros: VALUE!

    P.S. For my 1998 Subaru Legacy I did not need the mounting bracket/dash kit so unless you get it free don't worry about it.

    Install time including wiring was approx. 1 hr!

    Very good head unit

    Written By Brandon, ny, ny on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought it during christmas of 2008. No problem with the sounds. The usb feature is wonderful. Good product!!!

    Best Bang For Your Buck Right Here!

    Written By Kyle, Minneapolis, MN on Monday, April 20, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is simply the best Cd receiver you can get for the money. It comes with plenty of features. I-pod compatible and USB slot for flash memory! Lots of tuning features for the best sound in your car!

    It is some what hard to see in the day but at night it is the coolest looking thing ever! You get a good brand name CD receiver with 4 preamp outputs,Ipod compatibility, USB slot and plenty of other features for a great price. Easy decision! Crutchfield gave me all the installation gear for installing it myself! Thanks Crutchfield!


    Written By Keith, New York, NY on Monday, April 20, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds great. Only thing is I whish the common controls like Bass, Treble and Fade were not buried in a menu but I guess from looking at the images of the unit I should've known this would be the case.

    Also, as most others commented, the default screen saver is the lamest thing. You can disable it. Why would skilled technicians, scientists, marketers of Clarion decide in a meeting that having a screen animate '/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/' on a screen would be a great idea?

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Ken, Manitowoc, WI on Sunday, April 19, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this unit and isntalled it in my Mazda B4000 4door. The wiring adapter and dash installation kit made it easy. I got it mainly for the USB and AUX jack so I can play my MP3 player and use thumb drives. I am very happy with the unit sounds great through the Kenwood 8 x 6, 3 ways I installed with it. I did the wiring using the solder method and used shrink tube over each connection. Makes a neat and tight installation, only I wish I would have pulled the stock unit out before I did the wiring. The adapter coupled with the Clarion wiring made for a long bunch of wires that needed to be stored behind the dash. You may want to shorten up the harness a bit, check before you do your wiring. The other thing was the back brace, it slides onto a track under the dash. That took some fooling with to get the it just right, but I'm picky! After that the unit snapped right in, works and looks great. A good unit at a great price, thanks Crutchfield.

    It's OK---but

    Written By Edward, Los Angeles,CA on Sunday, April 19, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Many reviewers seem to cut this unit some slack due to its low price. For the price it is not bad, but:
    1: The sound isn't all that great.
    2:The unit might as well not have a faceplate because it is completely unreadable in sunlight while wearing polarized sunglasses.
    3:I listen to radio perhaps more than others who have reviewed this unit, and the recption is noticeably weaker than the stock radio.

    What A Deal

    Written By charlie, Etowah,TN on Sunday, April 19, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am still smiling from the purchase of this unit,easy install ,great sound, and great options. I use the usb port on the front no more fumbling thru cds, its great !!!

    As good as it gets for the price

    Written By Pranabesh, Glendale, CA on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I think I could not have gone any luckier with this purchase.
    I surely had no plan to change my car's factory-fitted stereo, even though it played only audio CDs and cassettes. But, I was forced to do so as the unit died, and a repair or a replacement of the same turned out to be as costly as my half-yearly car insurance premium!!
    I started looking, and Crutchfield is right at top when it comes to options. I went for the cheapest one at the block. Though my chat advisor pointed out that some accessories become chargeable when the HU costs less than 129.99; but I just found out the sweetest deal - this HU, it came with all the required accessories free as part of a special deal. That discount made it possible for me to afford a professional to install this in my car.
    Coming to the actual specification of this unit, it does everything you want it to. I am not an audiophile, especially when I drive, and I love the unit for its diverse capabilities. Go for this.......

    You will not be disappointed!

    Written By Travis, Wyoming on Monday, April 13, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am very pleased with this stereo. I have owned and installed several systems in my vehicles and am extremely impressed with this item. The price on this unit is amazing. You can pay three times this price for stereo's with half of the features. I went out and bought a 4 Gb USB card and now have nearly two thousand songs at my disposal. I just get in my truck and plug the USB in the front port of the stereo and I am ready to go. There is no longer a need to keep Cd's in your vehicle, risking them getting broken or scratched. Clarion has also done a great job on their Magna Bass Extend mode and the Z-Enhancer Plus settings. These are nothing like the old Rock, Pop, Vocal.......etc. These are quality settings that deliver clean well balanced sounds that are brilliant throughout all of the speakers in my vehicle. It makes my single 10" sub sound like two 15''s and still my highs are clean and crisp. I saw that several people said that this unit was difficult when it came to navigating through some of the settings. I found that if you have experience operating an after-market stereo, then this unit should not be difficult to operate. I also think that if you do not have that experience then the directions are simple to understand and apply.

    Bottom line- great price, great stereo, free installation parts, detailed and easy to follow instructions and guaranteed top notch customer service.


    Written By Bradley, Niantic, Illinois on Wednesday, April 08, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a fantastic unit. My wife and I love everything about it. Her favorite feature is the USB slot. She made up thumdrives of her favorite music and brags to all of her friends that her entire music collection fits her drink holder.

    The best car stereo i have ever brought

    Written By Ronald, Miami,FL on Tuesday, April 07, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    this car receiver is the best great sound easy access to the aux and usb port I love it. Crutchfield is the best in home and car electronics I should know I brought my home theather from them years ago.

    What A Difference From Factory Radio

    Written By Daniel, New Jersey on Monday, April 06, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this Clarion for a 1996 Jeep Cherokee. It was my first install and it took more than half the day but that also included installing 4 speakers in the same vehicle. If I only installed the receiver itself the job would have taken me 90 minutes.

    The receiver functions great. Really no complaints. The USB port was the main feature I wanted which this has. You can hook up your portable MP3 player to this unit as well.

    Just make sure you purchase all the items recomended by Chutchfield if it is not included. I needed special speaker wire adapters for the speakers.

    The instructions are not perfect. You still have to "think" and that pertains to how the dash is taken apart and the wiring of the receiver. Not everything is plug and play. I had to purchase plastic wire connectors to connect the speaker wires to the harness. No biggie but I wanted everything supplied by Crutchfield so I didn't have to make a trip to a local shop. Most tedious was just connecting and crimping the wires. For the experienced this is not a problem. For the novice it could take longer.

    Would I do it all again. Yes. Just take your time and it helps to have a second pair of eyes.

    Perfect upgrade for factory radio

    Written By Scott in Dallas, Dallas on Friday, April 03, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'd looked around for a while, weighing features, wondering what I really needed in a stereo. I finally decided on the '285usb, mainly because I needed the wiring harness and installation gear, and it's not free with the '385 (which has more features). How bad could it be for this price, right?

    After a day with it, I can say that it's an excellent receiver. The buttons feel nice and solid, it's got a good rotary volume control, and it sounds great. I'm amazed at the detail and clarity, even with the factory speakers. Channel separation is amazing; it's so good it points out problems with the placement of the factory speakers. The controls are easy to use. I like that bass boost can be turned on or off with one button, so you can disable it if you're going to crank the volume. The EQ is easy to set up, the stereo presets are easy to get to, and the USB input is fabulous! It's very fast. I set up each album in a folder off the root and it swaps between them as fast as you can press the button. At this rate, I may never regret that it doesn't have HD radio built in.

    I'm extraordinarily happy with my purchase. It beats the factory cassette deck every day of the week. Thanks, Crutchfield!

    Great value

    Written By Gary, Duluth, MN on Thursday, April 02, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good sound, plenty of power for the money. I replaced my factory deck mainly to have an input for my i pod, don't care for the sound quality of a FM modulator and the cost of this deck was'nt much more than one of those. The only negative so far is the complicated procedure for adjusting bass, treble, etc.. and too many little buttons. But I don't think anybody makes a truly simple to use deck.
    Very happy with Crutchfield's prices and service, they will get more of my business.


    Written By Richard, Newfoundland, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit is sweet! Looks sharp and the installation was a piece of cake with the vehicle adapter and wiring harness. I LOVE the USB input because I just hook up my MP3 player and have a lot more tunes available to me while I'm behind the wheel. The only thing I didn't care for was the scrolling screen saver. I say "was" because all I did was look in the manual and found how to turn it off. I didn't replace the factory speakers(yet)in my 2004 Dakota Quad-cab but they can handle the power from this unit for now. To sum it up, I would recommend this to anyone wanting a reasonably priced head unit with a lot of power and good looks.

    Great reciever .

    Written By ERNEST, Collierville, TN on Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The receiver is a lot better than the original equipment. The receiver I was going to buy cost twice as much. This is one great radio ! It is easy to use and has better sound than my BMW radio. . Love it!. You will not be disappointed .
    CONS. I don't care for the red lighting on the controls.
    CRUTCHFIELD is a great place to purchase it from.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By jeremy, Deep dark outback of Pa on Monday, March 23, 2009

    This is a pretty good receiver for the money! USB/flash drive all the way! It is a little bit tricky to work the EQ/ sound functions if you don't read the manual, but with one read-through I was able to figure out all the functions I need.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Merle, Billlings,MT on Thursday, March 19, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    the installation kit for my car was great, everything was clearly explained and all necessary parts were included. i had a couple of questions which were answered promptly by the person who took the call. will recommend crutchfield to anyone. thank you

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Brett, Southwest Michigan on Saturday, March 07, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    easy install, sounds and works great. The USB connection is a great way to access your songs.

    thumbs up!

    Written By tmston2, fargo, nd on Sunday, March 01, 2009

    this head unit was remarkable for the money!!!, the only downside is that
    the sound quality is a bit sacrificed, but other than that this radio is great!
    it had 2-pre amp outs and the kicker is that it has a usb and aux inputs,
    nor more sratched up cds!!!!

    Easy to use and sounds great!

    Written By jcool1985, Atlanta, Ga on Friday, February 27, 2009

    I installed this unit inside a sealed comparment on my boat and it sounds great with plenty of power even on the water. Makes my jbl maine speakers sound great! I know it's not "marine" rated but it will hold up fine because it won't get wet. Could not beat the price and the free remote. It is very easy to use and the menus are simple to navigate. The display is easy to see even in the sun with sunglasses on. It has some nice sound EQ's but I really like the simple bass and treble controls and the magna bass ex. The usb is great for playing a flash drive and the aux in is great for my mp3 player. The tuner and cd player work great also. You can not go wrong with a clarion unit. The sound quality and build quality is great! Recommend. Thanks crutchfield and clarion!

    Great Buy!

    Written By Rodney G., Cadiz, Ky. on Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this in my mothers 2005 Ford Explorer and it was money well spent! My mom loves the sound, and the simple and easy to use design. Thanks once again Crutchfield!!

    Good so far. Only one small issue

    Written By Lee, NH on Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Works well. However, the antenna adaptor for my unit was not offered as part of the necessary installation accessories. I assumed that it was included with the radio. I will pick one up locally, and it will be fine.

    Not Bad

    Written By Tom, Fredericksburg, VA on Monday, February 23, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have an '89 F-150 4x4 that I installed this radio in; overall I'm impressed. This was the first time I have tried to install a stereo and Crutchfield's installation kit and instructions were first rate.

    The radio itself looks good, and so far seems to be a good fit for my truck. With the exception of being able to see a small amount of the aluminum DIN sleeve along the top of the deck it looks like it came pre-installed.

    My one complaint so far is I would like to have the display only show the time instead of the dancing doo-dads but that may be an option I can set. Need to read the book and see.

    I also installed some Blaupunkt GTx542 speakers and think it sounds great.

    Perfect for the Price

    Written By Ross, Baton Rouge, LA on Friday, February 20, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I Purchased it for the USB AND front Aux inputs. Works great. Other than
    those two features not much else to the deck.
    One annoying issue I have with it is the display; instead of just showing
    the time or the station the display will go to a "screen saver mode" and
    show lines making different patterns after a few minutes of being idle.

    I wish it would just show me the time or station.

    Much better than expected

    Written By ROBERT, Delano MN on Friday, February 20, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is much better than I expected for the money. I got it mainly for the MP3 port - I was using an fm transmitter for my ipod and the interference was getting pretty bad. But, it surprised me that the ability to play mp3's via the cd made music via the ipod unnecessary, except when I listen to podcasts. It is also nice seeing which song is playing. Install was very simple with the directions supplied. Sound is fine with my factory speakers and it is loud enough where I have yet to turn the volume all the way up.

    Great Receiver! Must Buy!

    Written By Chris H, Bella Vista, AR on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    You will not be dissappointed with this purchase. USB makes it all worth it. I bought a 4GB flash drive and use the folder option for each artist (make sure to turn autorun off of usb device if equipped). So no need for cds or even an mp3 player, but if you choose you can use those as well. Sound is very clear compared to factory radio. I installed this in my 95 Jeep Wrangler using the factory radio mount and did not have to cut the dash as instructions specified. You will want to turn off the screensaver because it is annoying looking down wanting to know what song it is and some cheesy animation is going on.
    Crutchfield sent all mounting, wiring, remote, and way could have gotten this anywhere else by even buying an el cheapo no name brand.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Daniel, Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'm so glad I bought this Clarion receiver. My previous receiver, a Kenwood, had a hard time playing CDRs - it would only play the first two to three tracks without a problem - then the rest of the tracks would be played with skips, stutters or not at all. Also, the Kenwood was overly sensitive to bumps on the roads. With this Clarion, I have none of these problems, and so far it has played all my CDRs without a single problem.
    It was very easy to install with the supplied installation kit - it took me about an hour and a half to install it. I love that it has an USB port and an auxiliary line input, making it possible for me to use my thumb drives and MP3 player.

    I'm liking it...

    Written By Jack, Freeport, IL on Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    So far so good! The buttons are small, but I'm certain that in time I'll find my way around the panel. Everything works well and I'm very satisfied.

    Great Value

    Written By jeremy, Davenport, IA on Friday, February 13, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy install! The price was amazing! Sounds great!


    Written By peter, Smoky Mtns, NC on Friday, February 13, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great value for money. The installation in my Highlander was a breeze and with the free kit, the looks are great too. Everything was so self-explanatory, I didn't need to call Crutchfield for assistance. I used to carry my Ipod on trips, but now an 8GB Cruzer is all I need. CD audio is pretty decent and the FM tuner very satisfactory, The method of tone setting etc takes a bit of getting used to and I still have to refer to the manual even after a couple of weeks of experimenting.
    Highly recommended

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Jeff, NJ USA on Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great unit at a great price. Sounds fantastic with the factory speakers in my 2001 Jeep Cherokee. When I install the aftermarket speakers that I also bought here,it'll be a completely new driving experience. Had to deal with tech support for a minor issue and they were extremely helpful. I have dealt with Crutchfield before and will deal with them again.

    Stop Shopping Around!

    Written By Hilda K., Apex, NC on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    First things first- Thank you Crutchfield! I was looking for an upgrade on my '91 Jeep Cherokee and this receiver fit the bill, both for features and price. I love the USB port (and not carrying cd's). Sounds great with the Alpine speakers I purchased! The directions were vehicle specific and I installed the speakers and receiver in about 1 1/2 hours. In fact, I ordered the same receiver, but with Kenwood speakers for my boyfriend's '99 Yukon and installed those in about an hour. So easy, a CAVEWOMAN can do it. The last thing that I should mention is the EXCELLENT customer service and tech support. I never waited on hold for more than a minute, my questions were thoroughly answered and every person I talked to was nice, polite and knowledgeable. Very rare nowadays! If you are shopping for car audio components-look no further-Crutchfield is it!

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Ross, ct on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome radio for the price. Its not the most styleish head unit with the clunky buttons and rectangle theme, but it is a clarion that gives you sub outputs with volume control (not great control of your preamp outputs) and has the usb port, which is kind of a pain to use if you have a boat load of songs on your flash drive.

    Good for the Price

    Written By William, Clarksville, MD on Monday, February 09, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Pro: Price, sound, flexibility, hookup, looks, usb, cd, sensitivity, ease of installation, good tech support, additional installation items included.

    Con: Daylight dash illumination weak, setup not intuitive, static caused it to not turn off -- had to pull fuse to reset.

    Good Radio

    Written By NICK, Florida on Sunday, February 08, 2009

    I just installed the radio in my Chevy Tracker. Installation went fairly smoothly. The radio sounds great with the factory speakers. I like the preset EQ & bass boost. It is easy to use and no one could beat this deal. Free install kit & remote. I plan to upgrade the speakers next.

    Incredible Sound and Options

    Written By HsSrvnt, Grants Pass, OR on Friday, February 06, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is the 2nd Clarion that I have owned. What a great stereo. The options are phenomenal and I was shocked to learn that the stereo picked up the song I was playing (at the beginning but so what), AFTER I had pulled it out and put it back in when I got back in the car. The power is perfect and is a HUGE difference from the factory stereo. I now have my wife cranking her tunes once again. Yes, I love to drive her car too.....Good thing it is our snow vehicle....Snowboarding here I come...... Definitely worth the buy and a tremendous price. Yes, it takes a bit to set up but is worth the time it takes, even though there may be easier configurations out there. It really isn't that difficult, especially following the manual.

    Good Vibrations

    Written By William, Charlotte, NC on Tuesday, February 03, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great inexpensive receiver with the added benefits of a USB slot AND an aux input on the removable faceplate. With all the instructions and wiring harness included, it was a breeze to install. This was my first aftermarket install in twenty years and everything I needed was included (except tools which I had). Hooked up my Sony mp3 player and a 16 gig usb drive without any problems. Digital readout is a bit hard to see in bright daylight, but otherwise a great deal for the money. Highly recommended!

    Great inexpensive MP3 CD Receiver!

    Written By Hak, Riverside, CA on Monday, February 02, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Pros: Great sound in my stock '01 Camry speakers, Front USB/Aux input, easy to install, inexpensive, came with remote (although I don't use it much), looks good in the dark.

    Cons: No dedicated power button (have to hold SRC for 3 seconds - which doesn't always work well, but you get used to it), No option to speed up/slow down scroll speed of Song Titles, wish sound settings (Bass/Mid/Trebble) were easier to adjust, radio signal is slightly weaker than factory radio, but not noticeable most of the time.

    This is a great MP3 CD Receiver I've enjoyed for a Month now. The installation was really easy with Crutchfield's master sheet. The price recently went down and it's become an even better deal. I'm glad I purchased from such a reputable retailer that has 30 day price protection. I simply called and requested price adjustment and the nice customer rep. processed it - no problem.

    Best bang for your buck

    Written By martin, michigan on Monday, February 02, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    clarion hit the nail on the head with this one.
    No complaints.
    If only they could make a home reciever with that technology for a price under $300.00.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Roberto, Wharton, NJ on Sunday, February 01, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice unit. It looks natural in my Concorde. With the mounting hardware, it seems as though it is a factory unit. I installed it my self in about 1 hour with the adapter cable provided.

    Great replacement for 6 Disc in-dash changer

    Written By Scott, Greenville, MS on Saturday, January 31, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Got this to replace the old In-Dash 6 Disc changer of my girlfriends 2003 Ford Focus. The USB port function was my main concern for buying this and
    the added installation gear. I am a little disappointed that it's cheaper now than when I bought it last month. The CD player works great in the car and not having to deal with CDs is great benefit.

    Great Value for the money!

    Written By David, Granada Hills, CA on Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this receiver to replace a beat-up after-market receiver in my '95 Chevy van. Since there were already mods to the wiring, antenna, and mount, I didn't need all the extras that Crutchfield sends, but know they could have been handy otherwise. The receiver itself is very nice! Great sound and lots of features, very cheap! It took a bit to figure out some of the controls (sometimes the instructions aren't terribly clear, and finding what you're looking for in them can be tough), but after it was set up, it works great. Don't throw out the book on this one though, as making any changes later would be REALLY difficult without it. Love the USB input!

    No Brainer

    Written By puterscooter88, Warsaw, IN on Sunday, January 25, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Had an older Clarion aftermarket MP3 player that began to keep the CDs. I saw this one and couldn't resist for the money. Since I already the Clarion connector from the old player, installation took about 5 minutes. The USB is great. You can stick in a flash drive that contains data files and music files and it will still just play the music. I work on PCs so I have my necessary diagnostic software/files along with my music on a flash drive. With an 8 Gb flash drive costing less than $20 these days, you can really carry all the music you need. Changing your music around on the USB is so much faster than even making MP3 cds. I haven't even tried out the cd slot yet. My truck isn't as messy since I don't have the cds anymore. Just my flash drive and I am good to go. So far I haven't had any issue with my flash drive data getting corrupted. I just make sure the truck is off or I am not on the USB input mode when I remove or insert the flash drive. The main reason I chose this USB model over others is that it still had the CD slot just in case something happened with the USB. Then I could still use the MP3 or CD capability. It is good to have options.

    The Replacement

    Written By Rick, North Little Rock, Arkansas on Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit has high build quality and performance. However, it has a fault that is common with all receivers of this type. The mechanism that locks the receiver into the dash relies only on the face bezel to hold it in place. The face bezel just snaps into the dash making the receiver easy to remove with out tools. By easy to remove I mean, easy to steal. After thinking about the problem during the installation, I devised a cable anchor that now secures the Clarion.
    Previously, I had a CD changer that couldn't play CD's that were burned by my computer. The Clarion has flawlessly played all my disks.
    The USB port is so handy, I don't know how I ever got along without it. My USB drive works flawlessly. It does stick out of the face a couple of inches but the mounting location is high on the dash and out of harm's way. I believe the USB drive sticking out of the face gives the unit a high tech look but to avoid attracting undesireable attention I no longer leave the drive mounted in the receiver when the car is parked.
    When I first got the Clarion I didn't think I'd have a use for the remote control. How wrong I was... the remote is so handy to change the radio station and to adjust the volume, my eyes stay on the road.
    Crutchfield was a few dollars less than local stores for the receiver and they also threw in the face plate, antenna adapter, the wiring harness and instructions to do it myself.
    Thanks Crutchfield.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Jeffrey, Brigham City, UT on Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    A very good sounding unit, an easy install, and a great price. Perfect.

    Great value.

    Written By William, Syracuse, NY on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit at the price I paid was an incredible value. The unit sounds great even with my stock speakers. Even at high volume the sound is clear and crisp. For the price I can't think of any credible complaint. If the unit was priced significantly higher I could come up with a list of nuisances, but at this price I don't think it's fair. With that said here is the list. Rear USB connection would have been nice instead of front. I leave the usb device in and fear I may hit it and destroy the plug. The folder forward and back buttons are tiny and hard to use and they get used a lot. Impossible with gloves on. Not sure if there is a setting for this but the random feature goes random within a folder first then to the next random folder. I would like all songs on my device to be randomized. Again, I don't think it's fair to judge this unit on these nit picky items at this price. That's why I give it a 5 star rating overall. Overall quality is excellent. The unit does not look or feel cheap in my opinion.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Andrew, Long Island, NY on Friday, January 16, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was looking for an inexpensive replacement for my factory radio ( 2003 Mitsubishi Galant), and choose this unit. A great decision! The Clarion sounds much, much better then the factory unit, and I haven't even swapped out the original speakers yet. The Aux and USB inputs work very well, and the radio is easy to navigate. As always, Crutchfield makes it a snap with their custom instructions and wiring harness. Another great product at a very reasonable price. I have been a Crutchfield customer for 20 years, and they are truly #1.

    Great unit

    Written By barry, De Queen, AR on Wednesday, January 07, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I put this in my 98 Ford F-150 just about a week ago. This is a great stereo unit. The sound is amazing. The onboard buttons are well-placed and large enough that they are easy to use while driving. The rotary knob has a good feel to it when changing the volume or manipulating the settings--not to loose or tight. The remote is easy to use as well. I love the EQ settings. You can choose one of the presets, which sound better than any I've heard on my previous receivers, or you can choose to set your own custom EQ. Sound from the CD player is also really good. Haven't tried out the Aux or USB inputs yet. Great product at a great price! I matched this up with some Pioneer 3-ways for the front and Kicker 2-ways for the rear.

    great company

    Written By john, doylestown pa on Sunday, January 04, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    When I talked to my "car friends" about ordering this radio I couldn't recall the company's exact name. As I started it they finished it. These fellows who both own high end sports cars said I really couldn't go wrong with Crutchfield. They were right. I called customer service to check on the wiring diagram and they were able to give great help on my particular unit and vehicle. The unit itself is great! Good sound and easy to use controls. The only draw back is that I needed a separate charger for my I-Pod. I will soon be ordering the same unit for both other cars.

    Great value and good performance

    Written By Tim, Indianapolis, IN on Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The settings, for the most part, are easy to find and set. The audio settings are not very intuitive but easy once you RTM. I just wish I could change the lighting, it doesn't match the green lighting of the Jeep Cherokee dash. Also, the dimmer only dims the display, not the buttons, and even then only slightly, which was noted on another review.

    Install in our 2000 Jeep Cherokee was painless. Easiest install of the 4 or 5 that I've done. You easily pull off the molding and remove two screws and the OEM radio pulls out. From the back of the OEM radio I unclipped the two wire harnesses, the black ground wire, and the antenna wire. I had already soldered the wires from the Clarion harness to the wires of the Crutchfield-supplied Jeep harness and plugged it all in. However, it didn't turn on. I called Crutchfield and the associate quickly figured out that I had connected only one, and not both, of the yellow wires of the Clarion harness to the yellow wire of the Jeep harness (I didn't see this in the instructions). I also asked him what to do with the black ground wire that was coming from the Jeep and had been connected to the back of the OEM radio. He told me to connect the black wire from the Clarion radio to that, which I figured was likely the case, but again didn't find in the directions so I wanted to double check. This may be common knowledge... After that it started up.

    If this unit has the features you are looking for, I highly recommend it!

    My First DIY Install

    Written By Ben, Orlando, FL on Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this to replace the factory stereo in my '02 Hyundai Accent, because I really wanted the USB port on the front. I had never done a car stereo install before, but the help from the Crutchfield staff and the MasterSheet was instrumental in getting in done. It took me several hours, mostly due to my own inexperience combined with the ridiculous dash setup in this car (thanks Hyundai design team!) which required me to disconnect a bunch of wiring harnesses and junk. I hit a couple snags, but overall the process was very smooth and I'm extremely happy with the new unit.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By John, Cooperstown NY on Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This cd receiver is a decent unit for a decent price. The usb feature is the best part. No more cds cluttering the car. The install went really well thanks to Crutchfield's excellent instruction. All the parts (adapter plates etc., which were free I might add) fit like a glove. The install looks professional and the speakers(Pioneer TS- A1672R) and adapter fit well also.

    Nice Radio

    Written By Clemuel, Rockaway Beach NY on Thursday, November 20, 2008

    A good all around radio with nice features. Of course, like most low priced electronics, it's high on computerized features and low on ease of use and convenience.

    I would buy it again as it can't be beat for price. I just wish there was a domestic equivalent.

    The only real gripe I have is that the display dimmer simply doesn't dim the display a sufficient amount, making it a distraction when night driving.

    Best bang for the buck!

    Written By Jason, Tulsa, Ok on Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    I would give it 6 stars but since there is only 5, I give it a 5. This is the only
    deck I could find that had the usb and aux right in the front for easy access.
    Its great.

    Good Deal, Great Sound

    Written By Derek, The Colony, TX on Saturday, November 08, 2008

    I bought this unit to replace the stock one in my '03 Matrix. The install was very easy thanks to all the documentation given by Crutchfield and Clarion. I love the USB feature, that was the main reason I bought the unit, it helped to unclutter my car of cd's. The only thing I find strange is that the eq only has treble and bass controls, no mid control, and the bass has the FreQ control but not the treble, but it sounds good with a little tweaking, very clean clear sound, and LOUD.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By cyberken, CA on Tuesday, November 04, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy to use, awesome performance, very reasonable price.

    Value, Value, Value, did I say Value?

    Written By Wilzer, Florida on Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Just looking to replace the radio in 2nd car (2004 Explorer) that ate a CD and had several car stereos from Crutchfield and was happy. When I saw this Clarion bundle I was sold. Love the free remote The Flash drive feature is boss. The installation kit (free 2) makes it look like original equipment and the wiring harness converter (Free 2) makes the hookup easy (do it at workbench or kitchen table beforehand). Sounds better than OEM. Had copied all my CDs in a MP3 format that was OK for MP3 player but sound quality was so good that I need to recopy CDs to more datarich files because with this unit, you can tell the difference. Seems to me WMA hi density sounds better than MP3 Hi Density but maybe a proprietary MP3 software program will do a better job than Media Player. Called support 3 times with small details - they were awesome. Con: wish the display would dim with dash lights or software dim setting (more expensive models have this) - the factory dim is too bright for me.

    It worked!!!!!

    Written By Lester, Napa, CA on Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this unit as a replacement for another receiver that was stolen. I spent a lot of time scouring the web and local big box stores and local specialty shops. I decided on a Crutchfield product because they seem to know more about my 98 Jeep Cherokee Sport than anyone else in the business. I was dreading the idea of installing my new unit, but IT WAS EASY with all the information provided. Best of all the unit WORKED right out of the box and it sounds great.

    The only problem was trying to figure out how to remove the dash assembly, a bit more instruction here would have been very helpful. But hey the end result is I got a better receiver than what was in originally. And it was ON SALE! I am one happy camper!

    Excellent Unit

    Written By Pete, Gardner, MA on Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this unit to replace an old Blaupunkt MP3/CD player I'd had since 2001 installed in my 2001 Civic. I chose this because of it's low price and because it had a USB port. Installation with the kit and wiring harness Crutchfield includes was very straightforward. Sound quality is excellent and I was surprised to find that if you unplug the USB drive while it's in the middle of a song, then plug it back in later it remembers the track you were on and resumes playback, very nice feature. I haven't yet tried playing a CD of MP3s but CD playback sounds fine. The only thing I'd recommend with this unit is turning the screensaver feature off as soon as you install it. With screensaver on the display is very distracting. User manual is very good so turning it off is very simple. Very nice head unit, especially for the low price.

    nice system for the price

    Written By dave, pittsburgh, pa on Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit is really nice for the price, a lot of good features (usb, aux).
    My only complaint and the reason for the 4 star rating is the setup menu.
    A bit confusing to get to the basic setup features.

    Nice radio for the price

    Written By Walt, Houston, TX on Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I got this to replace the 22 year old OEM radio on my wife's 300zx. That one was on it's third re-manufacture and the tuner was going bad. Besides, we don't have cassettes anymore!

    I wanted to get the next unit up the Clarion line with the iPod controller built in, but for the price this was too good a value to pass up (90% of that radio for 66% of the money!). The auxiliary slots work fine, and the radio has a nice amount of power built in (nearly as much as my Pioneer in another car). Reads MP3 CD's no prob, too.

    (BTW- It promptly blew the 22 year old speakers right out! I had to go get a set of Pioneer TS1672 speakers for the back just to make it tolerable. Will be buying another set of those or Pioneer 1642's from Crutchfield for the doors soon.)

    Only minor gripes:

    The back lighting is not orange-red as it appears in the photo, but red. We were hoping for orange or amber to match the original look of our car, but it is close enough, and the silver buttons/ knob look right at home in the car.

    The tone/ EQ settings are not very intuitive, but once you read the manual, it is not too bad.

    The random & seek functions seems to get hung up in one folder if you have more than one folder on a CD-R you have burned. You can use the up-down functions to change folders and it will snap out of it.

    All in all- a heck of a buy if you need a radio with a lot of built in power and auxiliary inputs.

    Clarion DB285USB

    Written By Steve, Santa Fe, NM on Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    While this is a good unit for the money, the one thing I have found
    disappointing is the display; its not bright enough. During the day I can
    barely see the display. With sunglasses, forget it. I checked to make sure
    that the dimmer was not affecting this display function and it wasn't. So, if
    there is one thing that could be improved, the display needs to be A LOT
    brighter for daytime use.
    Other than that, the unit functions as advertised.