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Clarion FZ150

Digital media receiver

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  • Clarion FZ150

    Clarion FZ150 digital media receiver

  • Clarion FZ150

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  • Clarion FZ150

  • Clarion FZ150

  • Clarion FZ150

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Our take on the Clarion FZ150

by Jon Paulette
Clarion

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.

Digital made simple

Going all-digital in your car doesn't have to be complicated. With Clarion's FZ150, you can enjoy your digital music library without spending a bundle on features you don't plan to use. This no-nonsense AM/FM digital media receiver has everything you need to ditch the discs, and you'll find it all right there on the front panel: a USB port for thumb drives, a minijack auxiliary input for MP3 players, and a handy SD card slot.

Think about this -- you can fill up a 32GB SD card with up to 2000 WMA or MP3 files. The average pop song averages around three minutes, so if you have a 30-minute round-trip commute, you could go most of a year without hearing the same song twice. If you're up for the challenge, an SD card is also an excellent opportunity to create a truly epic mix.

The overall theme of simplicity continues with the controls. A large display, big dials, and an ergonomic layout make the FZ150 very easy to use.

Surprising sound

The FZ150 proves that a simple receiver can also produce great sound. With a built-in amp that delivers 16 watts RMS per channel, you'll get the volume you want. You can also get the sound you want with 4 preset EQ modes and a graphic equalizer. Just push the EQ button to select the type of equalization that best matches your style of music. If you want to upgrade your speakers and add an amp, you'll find a set of RCA preamp outputs on the back of the receiver.

Since there wasn't a CD player to worry about, Clarion's designers were able to fit the FZ150's features into a surprisingly shallow chassis. That means this single-DIN (2" tall) receiver can fit into a wide variety of cars, trucks, and other vehicles.

This digital media receiver will not play CDs. If you want to play CDs in your vehicle, we offer a wide selection of CD receivers.

iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.

Highlights:

    General features:
    • digital media receiver with AM/FM tuner (does not play CDs)
    • plays MP3 and WMA music files
    • built-in amplifier (16 watts RMS/40 peak x 4 channels)
    • single-line display in high-visibility white
    Audio features:
    • 4 preset EQ modes
    • graphic equalizer
    Expandability:
    • inputs: front USB port (no iPod control), front auxiliary input, SD card slot
    • outputs: 2-channel RCA preamp outputs
    Other features and specs:
     

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant
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    Yes
    RMS Power Output
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    16 watts
    Peak Output
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    40 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
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    20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs
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    2-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
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    No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
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    No
    Preamp Voltage
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    1.5 volts
    Display Color
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    White
    Key Button Color
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    Blue
    EQ Bands
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    None
    Wireless Remote
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    No
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
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    No
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Expandability
    AUX Input
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    Front
    USB Input
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    Front
    Memory Card Slot
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    USB, SD Memory Card,
    Bluetooth Compatible
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    No
    Satellite Radio Ready
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    No
    HD Radio
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    No
    Navigation
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    No
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
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    N/A
    Nano
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    N/A
    Touch
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    N/A
    Mini
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    ---
    iPhone
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    N/A
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
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    ---
    European Tuning
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    No
    Seek/Scan
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    Seek/Scan
    Radio Data System
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    No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Digital media receiver (10A fuse installed))
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Power/ground harness
    • Speaker harness
    • Antenna adapter
    • Front-panel cover
    • 2 Washers
    • Hex-nut
    • Self-tapping screw
    • 2 Radio removal tools
    • Owner's/Installation Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Sheet (US/CA)

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Digital Media
    Audio & Tuner Section
    Display Features

    Digital Media

    USB Port: The unit's front-panel USB (type-A) port allows you to connect a USB Mass Storage Class (MSC); such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives (up to 32GB). The USB port enables audio playback and control of MP3/WMA music files stored on your portable USB MSC device through the Clarion FZ150. USB devices that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the receiver's USB port (0.5A) and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

    SD Card Slot: There is an SD card slot on the front-panel for playback and control of  MP3/WMA music files stored on a SD or SDHC memory card of up to 32GB capacity.

    MP3/WMA Playback: The Clarion FZ150 supports the following types of MP3/WMA music files recorded onto a USB mass storage class device or SD/SDHC memory card.

    Media Type USB (mass storage class device) and SD/SDHC memory cards (up to 32GB)
    File System FAT 16/32
    Playable File Types MP3, WMA
    Maximum # of Folders/Files 2,000 total files
    Tags ID3 tags, WMA tags

    Playback & Search Functions: The FZ150 provides a variety of playback & search functions.

    • Folder/File Select: This function allows you to select a folder containing MP3/WMA files and select which music file to play back.
    • Scan Play: This function allows you to locate and play the first 10 seconds of the first music file of all the folders on an MP3/WMA disc.
    • Repeat Play: This function allows you to play the current music file in a MP3/WMA folder repeatedly.
    • Random Play: This function allows you to play all music files in a folder in a random order.

    Auxiliary Input: The FZ150 features a front-panel stereo Auxiliary input, so you connect your iPod/iPhone or portable satellite radio receiver to this head unit.

    Audio & Tuner Section

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Clarion FZ150 employs a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) power amplifier capable of delivering 45W (Peak) x 4ch of high quality sound with superior linearity & less distortion than conventional power amps, even with the volume cranked up. The power specifications for the FZ150 are compliant with the CEA2006 Mobile Amplifier Power Testing and Measurement standards from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These standards were developed as a way to equitably compare power specs from model to model and between manufacturers. The power output specs for the FZ150 are as follows:

    • CEA2006 Specs: 16 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
    • Maximum Power Output: 40 watts x 4 channels (160 watts total)

    2Ch/1.5V Line-Level Outputs: The Clarion FZ150 features 2ch/1.5V RCA line level outputs to connect an external two-channel amplifier.

    EQ Presets + Tone Control: The FZ150 is equipped with four preset equalization settings (FLAT/POP/ROCK/CLASSIC) which can be accessed simply by pressing the head unit's EQ button. Each EQ preset provides optimum equalization for the type of music selected. You can also independently adjust the head unit's Bass & Treble.

    Loudness: The Loudness function compensates for deficiencies in the low- and high-frequency ranges at low volume.

    Beep: The head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    AM/FM Tuner: The Clarion FZ150 is equipped with a built-in AM/FM tuner offering manual, seek, & preset tuning. Up to 18 FM station presets and 6 AM station presets can stored manually or automatically. The radio also allows you to scan through all the head unit's available stations (5 seconds each) to easily search what's playing on the radio. When "Local" seeking is turned on, only those radio stations with strong radio signal can be received.

    Display  Features

    Single-Line LCD: The single-line, high visibility LCD (with black background and white characters) on the FZ150 allows numbers and characters to be displayed clearly in almost any lighting condition.

    Display Information: The head unit's display can be switched to indicate information such as radio frequency, track number w/ elapsed playing time, song/artist name, or clock. The clock is only displayed when the head unit is powered on. 

    Cover Panel: The digital media receiver's front-panel is not detachable. However, it does come with a plastic cover to hide the unit's front-panel when you exit your vehicle. The plastic cover simply snaps on and off the head unit's front-panel.

     
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    Clarion FZ150 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    5 people say:

    Review this product:

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    4 out of 5

    Clarion FZ150

    Written By Carl, White Hall, Ar. on Saturday, April 12, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Will not be installed until finish replacing interior of car. Radio console is 1/8 " thick where radio inserts. My only complaint so far. Could not get bracket that slides on from rear to lock on. Had to file side latches back 1/8 " to make them fasten to hold radio in place. No clearance built in. Improperly engineered. I hope this is only problem I encounter. Will be about one month before I hook it up to play it.
    Pros:
    Looks good and hope it will play good.
    Cons:
    I had to modify mounting bracket.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
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    4 out of 5

    Works as advertised

    Written By Bill, bernardsville, nj on Tuesday, April 08, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a workable, non-mechanical car radio. It does what it is supposed to do, and the price is right.
    Pros:
    Good price, looks okay, has the features I wanted. Handled the power antenna on my 1996 Miata just fine. Like the volume dial. The Crutchfield support guy quickly helped me out when mounting was unobvious: I hadn't done one before, and the instructions did not mention that the mounting case had tabs that need to be bent out behind the mounting surface.
    Cons:
    The radio has to be on, and a button pressed, to see the current time. The button-pressing procedures for setting defaults, stations, etc., are not obvious, and I am usually quite good at that sort of thing. I still haven't figured out how to switch back and forth between AM and FM. Yes, I have the manual and haven't checked it for how to do this, but I am a little disappointed that I would need to. It would be nice to have a tuning knob as well: one has to fiddle with the buttons.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Clarion

    Written By Mike Ski, Mason MI. on Friday, April 04, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great stereo, only complaint is that you have to hit display button to see time.
    Pros:
    No CD capability USB Capability Easy Install
    Cons:
    You have to hit display button to see time
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Clarion FZ150

    Written By Josh, Houston, TX on Thursday, April 03, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    simple radio. perfect for my golf cart.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
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    5 out of 5

    Great little stereo

    Written By Larry, Fort Worth, TX on Tuesday, March 04, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I was looking for a car radio to replace the stock one that didn't have a cd player but gave me the ability to use memory cards this one is perfect for me. When purchasing it keep in mind it DOES NOT have a cd player. I only wish it had a way to make the time stay as the display, to gwt the time ti display you have to press disp button to get the time to display. This can be inconvenient when driving. As far as I can see that is the only downside to this stereo.
    Pros:
    Sound quality, ease of install, not too bright display.
    Cons:
    Time doesn't show while stereo is playing or when it is off. Sd card plays song by date not by artist / title / filename
    12 out of 13 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
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    2 questions already asked

    Is this receiver compatible with steering wheel controls? Does it have a wired remote input to hook up to a SWC adapter? [ Craig  Mar 23, 2014 ]
    1 answer
    • This receiver is not compatible with Steering Wheel Control adapters. You can check to see if a receiver is compatible by clicking on the "Details" tab. You will find "Steering Wheel Control Compatible" listed in the General section of Features and Specs. [ Jeff Staff  Mar 27, 2014 ]
    Can I play music straight from my phone with this radio? [ Jimmy  Mar 20, 2014 ]
    5 answers
    • You will need a wired connection, from your phone to the AUX input.. [ Michael   Mar 21, 2014 ]
    • Of course, through AUX you can, but I have not seen any way to play music straight from the phone without hooking it up. The USB and SD card works great! [ dale   Mar 21, 2014 ]
    • Yes - just need a single audio plug from phone to audio input on the stereo front - worked perfectly for me. [ Francis   Mar 21, 2014 ]
    • Yes you can play music straight from your phone with this radio. Its actually the only music i listen to. You will need an aux cord ofcourse. [ LILLIE M   Mar 21, 2014 ]
    • Yes, but you will need to buy an aux. cable. Personally it plays Songs better on a jump drive ( USB stick ) [ RUTHIE   Mar 21, 2014 ]

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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Clarion FZ150, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_020FZ150/Clarion-FZ150.html ).

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