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Clarion FZ501

Digital media receiver

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  • Clarion FZ501

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  • Clarion FZ501

  • Clarion FZ501

  • Clarion FZ501

  • Clarion FZ501

  • Clarion FZ501

Item #: 020FZ501
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Clarion FZ501

by Zak Billmeier
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.

Your iPod® is brimming with tunes, and you just don't need a CD player in your car any more. Clarion's FZ501 digital media receiver lets you play all your digital music, talk hands-free on a compatible phone, and dial in great sound.

Built-in Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and more
OK, admit it, you're not going to ignore a phone call just because you're flying down the road in an automobile. With Bluetooth in your dash, you can keep your eyes on the road while you hear your caller over your speakers. The microphone is embedded in the stereo, so you won't have to install anything extra. And if your phone or another device supports it, you can even stream music straight into the receiver.

Read more

It's like an extension of your iPod
Clarion's 7-way rotary control works a lot like an iPod's wheel. Slide the built-in protective cover, connect your player to the front-panel USB input, and you can push, tilt, and turn the FZ501's control wheel to navigate your music library. You'll see song info on the two-line display. When you disconnect your player and head inside, you can slide the built-in protective cover back over the USB slot to keep dust out.

Want to keep your steering wheel controls?
In most vehicles, you can use an adapter to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Clarion stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and the Clarion, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.

iPod note:
If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver or its optional iPod adapter.

Bluetooth note: Use of this receiver's Bluetooth features will depend upon your phone's Bluetooth capabilities. Learn more in our article explaining Bluetooth profiles.

Highlights:

    General features:
    • digital media receiver with AM/FM tuner (does not play CDs)
    • built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and music streaming
    • wireless remote
    Audio features:
    • BeatEQ (3-band parametric EQ and three preset tone settings)
    • Magna Bass EX bass boost
    • high- and low-pass filters
    • subwoofer level control
    Expandability:
    • built-in iPod and iPhone control — no adapter necessary
    • compatible with optional Clarion HD Radio tuner, satellite radio
    • inputs: front USB input (for USB thumb drives, iPhone, and iPod), front-panel auxiliary input
    • outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear/sub)
    Other features and specs:

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

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant Yes
    RMS Power Output 18 watts
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 4-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs Yes
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2 volts
    Display Color White
    Key Button Color Blue
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Yes
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Expandability
    AUX Input Front
    USB Input Front
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready Sirius
    HD Radio Optional
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/
    Touch Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/Touch1
    Mini No
    iPhone Phone/Phone3G/Phone3GS/Phone4
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity 8 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Digital media receiver (with fixed face)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Trim ring
    • Wiring harness (with in-line 15A fuse on constant power wire)
    • RCX003 IR wireless remote
    • CR2025 3V Lithium battery
    • 2 Radio removal tools
    • 4 Machine screws
    • Owner's/Installation Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty Sheet (USA/Canada)
    • Revision Notice

    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.

    Overview: The Clarion FZ501 digital media receiver is equipped with a front-panel USB port and front-panel auxiliary (3.5mm) input. The front-panel USB port can be used to connect a USB flash-memory device or your iPod/iPhone. The Clarion FZ501 is also equipped with built-in Bluetooth for hands-free communication and audio streaming. In addition, the FZ501 features a built-in AM/FM tuner. You can also add a Sirius Satellite Radio or HD Radio tuner (both sold separately). A wireless remote control is included for added convenience, and the unit is OEM steering wheel remote ready (optional adapter sold separately). The Clarion FZ501 features a 50 watt (Peak) x 4-channel MOSFET amplifier.

    Note: This unit is not equipped with a built-in CD player.

    Display Features
    Audio Section
    Radio Functions
    USB/Aux Connectivity
    iPod/iPhone Control
    Built-in Bluetooth
    Remote Control

    Display Features

    High Visibility LCD: The two-line, high visibility LCD (with black background and white characters) on the FZ501 allows numbers and characters to be displayed clearly in almost any lighting condition.

    7-Way Rotary Control Dial: The FZ501 employs a centered 7-way rotary control dial which provides full control of the digital media receiver and your connected devices.

    Illumination Dimmer: The receiver's display automatically dims to a preset brightness when the vehicle's headlights are turned on. The wiring harness includes an orange/white lead that should be connected to the vehicle's parking light circuit in order for the dimmer feature to operate.

    Screen Saver: This unit is provided with a Screen Saver function which allows you to show various kinds of patterns and characters in the operation status indication area of the display in a random order. You can turn this function on or off. If the button operation is performed with the screen saver function "On", the operation display corresponding to the button operation is shown for about 30 seconds and then the display returns to the screen saver display.

    Mounting: You can install the unit within 30-degrees of horizontal.

    Audio Section

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Clarion FZ501 is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit.

    CEA2006 Compliant: The power specifications for the FZ501 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 FZ501 are as follows:

    • CEA2006 Specs: 18 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
    • Maximum Power Output: 50 watts x 4 channels (200 watts total)

    BeatEQ: In addition to providing 3 preset equalization patterns (Bass Boost, Impact, and Excite), Clarion's BeatEQ lets you freely customize the level and range of the bass, midrange and treble portions of each pattern. You can tune the sound to your liking, depending on the category of music, for a more fulfilling listening experience.

    • Bass Boost: Bass is emphasized +/-3.
    • Impact: Bass and treble are emphasized +/-3.
    • Excite: Bass, midrange, and treble are emphasized +/-3.
    • Custom: Adjusts the bass, midrange, and treble independently +/-7.
      • Bass: You can set the effected bass frequency to 50Hz, 100Hz, or 200Hz and the Q-factor to 0.7, 1, 1.4, or 2
      • Midrange: You can set the effected midrange frequency to 500Hz, 1.0kHz, or 2.0kHz and the Q-factor to 0.7, 1, 1.4, or 2
      • Treble: The effected treble frequency can be set to 5kHz, 10kHz, or 15kHz, and the Q-factor to 0.7, 1, 1.4, or 2
    • Off (Flat): Bass, midrange, and treble are set to 0.

    Magna Bass EX (Extend): The Magna Bass Extend feature does not adjust the low frequencies like the normal sound adjustment function, but emphasizes the deep bass frequencies to provide you with a dynamic sound. This circuit boosts bass at an ultra-low frequency of about 50Hz, creating a rich, deep, defined bass rather than the muddy, booming bass of a standard loudness control. What is more, boost levels are dependent on the system volume, resulting in balanced system response and dynamic bass reproduction.

    4ch/2V Preamp Output: The Clarion FZ501 features 4ch/2V RCA line level outputs (Front/Rear). The unit's rear preamp outputs can be configured as a dedicated non-fading RCA subwoofer output with a low-pass filter, phase adjustment (normal/reverse), and level control (+/-6).

    Built-in Crossovers: The Clarion FZ501 is equipped with built-in low-pass and high-pass crossovers.

    • Low-Pass Subwoofer Filter: The Low-Pass Filter (LPF) for the subwoofer preamp output will send only the low frequency range through the preamp outputs to ensure superb performance with a connected subwoofer. The low-pass filter can be set to 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, or Through (full-range).
    • High-Pass Filter: The FZ501 features a High-Pass Filter (HPF) for the unit's front & rear channels, via speaker-output or preamp-output. You can adjust the high-pass filter from 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, or Through (full-range). The HPF prevents low bass notes from distorting your front & rear speakers. The high-pass filter setting effects both the front & rear channels of the head unit.

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

    Radio Functions

    AM/FM Tuner: The Clarion FZ501 is equipped with a built-in AM/FM tuner with manual, seek, and preset tuning.

    Preset Tuning: You can store 18 FM station presets and 6 AM station presets. Stations can be stored manually or automatically.

    Note: This unit does not offer front-panel preset buttons. You will need to access your presets through the unit's menu system.

    Preset Scan: Preset scan receives the stations stored in the unit's preset memory in order. This function is useful when searching for a desired preset station.

    Instant Station Recall (ISR): You can store one radio station in Instant Station Recall (ISR) memory and recall it from any mode (except Power Off). Once the ISR station has been recalled, you cannot tune to another station without first disengaging the ISR function. You can, however, switch to another source. This function is only available on the unit's IR remote control.

    Local Seeking: When Local seeking is turned "On", only those radio stations with strong radio signal can be received.

    HD Radio Ready: With an optional Clarion THD301 HD Radio tuner (020THD301, sold separately), you will be able to receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. This new technology will significantly improve audio quality and reception, as well as include information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display. The add-on HD Radio tuner includes iTunes Tagging capability, so if you hear a song on the radio that you like, you can tag it to download later from the iTunes Store.

    Note: Right now there are about 2,000 radio stations broadcasting using digital HD Radio technology in the U.S. To find HD Radio stations in your area, visit the HD Radio website (HDRadio.com).

    Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio tuner to this receiver:

    • Sirius Satellite Radio: To receive Sirius Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SC-C1 Sirius Connect Universal Vehicle Tuner (607SCC1, sold separately) directly to the head unit's Sirius direct connection (no proprietary interface required). You can also connect the Sirius dock-and-play adapter (607SCVDOC1) along with a compatible portable Sirius radio (all sold separately).
    • Auxiliary Input: A portable XM or Sirius Satellite Radio receiver can also be connected to the head unit via the front-panel auxiliary input.

    Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from Sirius or XM.

    USB/Aux Connectivity

    USB Port: The Clarion FZ501 digital media receiver's front-panel USB (type-A) port is hidden behind a sliding-cover. The unit's front-panel port allows you to connect and play USB (1.1/2.0) Mass Storage devices loaded with MP3 and WMA files. MP3 and WMA files with a bit rate from 8-320 kbps and formatted with FAT are supported. The head unit can recognize up to 999 files per folder and 3,000 total files. Titles up to 64 characters can be displayed while in USB mode. This unit will also charge you connected USB device when the receiver is turned on.

    Note: The Clarion USB extension cable (020CCA755, sold separately) can be used to connected your USB flash-memory device. Copy-protected WMA files cannot be played on this unit.

    Folder Select: This function allows you to select a folder containing MP3/WMA files and start playing from the first track in the folder.

    Top Function: The Top Function resets the digital media receiver to the first track of the connected USB device.

    Playback Functions: The FZ501 provides Repeat, Random, & Scan playback functions.

    • Scan Play: This function allows you to locate and play the first 10 seconds of all the tracks recorded on a connected USB device.
    • Repeat Play: This function lets you play the current track repeatedly or play a track currently being played in a MP3/WMA folder repeatedly.
    • Random Play: This function allows you to play all tracks recorded on a USB device in a random order.

    Last Position Memory: If you turn off the unit or switch sources while a track is playing, it will resume playback at the stopping point when it is turned on again (as long as you do not disconnect the USB device).

    Auxiliary Input: The FZ501 feature a front-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input (hidden behind a sliding-cover) so you connect your external portable audio player or portable satellite radio receiver to this head unit. You can set the Auxiliary input sensitivity level to Low, Mid, or High to match the volume output of your connected external audio device.

    iPod/iPhone Control

    iPod/iPhone Direct: The Clarion FZ501 allows you to connect your iPod/iPhone to the head unit's front-panel USB port using your iPod's USB/Dock cable for audio playback, control, and charging of your iPod/iPhone. This head unit also supports the display of title information transmitted from your iPod/iPhone.

    iPod/iPhone DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's stored music to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 1-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 79dB.

    Audio Playback: The Clarion head unit supports audio playback of music files stored on your iPod or iPhone. iPod Video can also be viewed by connecting the FZ501 to an external universal monitor with RCA video input and connecting a compatible iPod/iPhone via the optional Clarion CCA748 cable (020CCA748, sold separately).

    Music Navigation: You can choose to control your iPod/iPhone's music from the Clarion digital media receiver or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.

    • Category Search: The head unit lets you search your connected iPod/iPhone's music by category (Playlist, Artist, Album, Song, Genre, or Composer).
    • ABC Search: Once you have select a music category, you can search that particular music category alphabetically (A-Z).
    • Basic Playback: You can also control the following basic playback functions of your iPod/iPhone - Play/Pause, Fast-forward/backward, and Skip tracks (previous/next).
    • Repeat/Random:  In addition, the digital media receiver offers Repeat (track/all) and Random (all) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.

    Information Display: The head unit will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information, including - Track number, Elapsed playing time, Song Title, Artist Name, and Album Label.

    Charging: While connected and the ignition switch is set to ACC or ON, the head unit's USB connection will power and charge your iPod/iPhone.

    Note: If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Clarion FZ501 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of March 2011):

    iPod/iPhone Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
    Audio Video head unit iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Text Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N
    clickwheel
    color
    4th N/A N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N
    2nd N/A N N N N N N N
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N Y Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    6th 1.0 PC Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    4th 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 3.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 3.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    4 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y

    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until a newer software update is available.

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology: Bluetooth wireless technology enables voice and data to be sent via a short-distant digital radio link up to approximately 33 feet. As such, it extends the wireless communication possibilities for mobile phones and hundreds of electronic devices and ensures crisp, static-free audio performance. Built-in Bluetooth technology allows you to utilize your vehicle's built-in audio system for wireless mobile phone or music hands-free operation.

    Bluetooth Profiles: The Clarion FZ501 features built-in Bluetooth technology for wireless connection with Bluetooth enabled mobile phones, PDAs and MP3 Players. The FZ501 supports Bluetooth Ver.2.0+EDR profiles A2DP/AVRCP for audio streaming and HFP/PBAP for hands-free operation, so you can easily communicate and transfer digital music to your vehicle's audio system.

    • HFP/PBAP: Wireless hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone with phone book transfer. 
    • A2DP/AVRCP: Wireless stereo music streaming and remote control functions (start/play/stop/pause/volume/track search) from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone.

    Pairing: Before using your Bluetooth enabled device, it must be paired to the FZ501. You can register up to five Bluetooth enabled cell-phones with the Clarion in-dash head unit (only one paired phone can be used at a time). The Clarion FZ501 is compatible with most Bluetooth enabled mobile phones, including the Apple iPhone.

    Note: The Clarion FZ501 is not compatible with all Bluetooth enabled phones or audio players. Check Clarion.com for complete list of compatible phones and players.

    Hands-Free Communication (HFP/PBAP): The FZ501 supports Bluetooth hands-free communication from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The FZ501 can be set to automatically answer your incoming calls and mute any music audio to your vehicle's speakers so you can instantly carry on a phone conversation hands-free. An integrated front-panel microphone carries on your side of the conversation while your car's speakers are used to hear the other person. You can make a call by entering the phone number, selecting a contact from your Phonebook list, or using the Call History Log of received/dialed/missed calls.

    • Answering A Call: During an incoming call, the caller's phone number will be seen on the unit's LCD and a ring-tone will be heard through your car stereo speakers. You can then manually answer the incoming call from the head unit's front-panel controls. You can also set the unit to automatically answer an incoming call within 5 seconds.
    • Making A Call: There are 3 ways to make an outgoing call from the Clarion in-dash head unit.
      • Direct Dial: Outgoing calls can be made be entering telephone numbers (0-9, *, #, +) directly via the car stereo's rotary control knob.
      • Phonebook: You can search for contact names in your mobile phone's phonebook from the Clarion FZ501 and then make your call. The head unit can store up to 500 contact numbers.
      • Call Log: You can also make a call by searching your mobile phone's call history (Received/Dialed/Missed) from the Clarion FZ501.

    Integrated Microphone: The Clarion FZ501 features an integrated front-panel microphone to carry on your side of a conversation during a Bluetooth phone call. You can adjust the microphone gain (1-5) for each paired mobile phone device.

    External Microphone (optional): The Clarion RCB-199 (020RCB199, sold separately) is an external microphone which can be connected to Clarion FZ501. The RCB-199 external microphone provides better performance in noisy environments than the integrated microphone found on the front-panel of the head unit. The microphone features an attached 13.25' cord terminated by a right-angle male 3.5mm connector which plugs into the microphone input on the rear-chassis of your compatible Clarion head unit. The microphone also features an integrated sun-visor clip for mounting the external microphone in your vehicle. The integrated bracket allows the microphone to swivel left-to-right and rotate up-or-down.

    Audio Streaming (A2DP/AVRCP): The Clarion FZ501 supports Bluetooth wireless music streaming for transferring stereo music audio data that is processed as a steady and continuous audible stream from your Bluetooth enabled phone to the Clarion head unit and your car's audio system. You can listen to and control music stored on your Bluetooth enabled phone or MP3 player. The FZ501 will also be able to control basic playback features such a Pause, Track Selection, Fast Forward, and Reverse.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote: The FZ501 comes supplied with a 20-key infrared wireless remote control (RCX003) for wireless operation of the digital media receiver and your connected devices. The remote operates off of a single CR2025 Lithium Cell 3-volt battery.

    OEM Remote Ready: The unit also features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit to allow you to keep your vehicle's radio steering wheel remote controls when used with the optional PAC SWI-JACK Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (127SWIJACK, sold separately); or the optional Metra ASWC Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (120ASWC, sold separately).

    Note: Please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.

     
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    Clarion FZ501 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    16 people say:

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    1 out of 5

    Horrible control interface

    Written By Kevin W, Ocean Park, WA on Saturday, November 19, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    All-in-all, a horrible product. I can't recommend it.
    Pros:
    It's pretty cool looking, and it's DC-ready for satellite radio. So, you don't have to purchase a separate adapter in addition to the satellite receiver.
    Cons:
    The single knob used for the control interface is horrible. I still can't even figure out how to turn it on. The only intuitive method of controlling the unit is with the remote control. But, the remote control requires several button-pushes before it responds. FRUSTRATING!
    2 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Good Value for the Money

    Written By SRT6VA, VA on Thursday, November 17, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Overall, this headunit is a bargain for the price (although I did pay $129.99 and it has since gone up to $159.99). Just know what you are getting into.

    The lower price for both a Auxiliary and USB input and Bluetooth built-in you sacrifice a nicer (and BIGGER) screen. For the sake of style, you also sacrifice the functionality of multiple easy access buttons. The remote control works fine but if you are like me and tend to just use the headunit buttons most of the time, the control knob can become tedious to utilize.

    What I would suggest to anyone thinking about installing - read the manual before you install. Make sure you will be okay with the various button inputs (i.e. "clicks") required to do what would normally be reserved with its own button on a "standard" headunit (e.g. for "Favorites" on your radio station, you push up or down on the button to shuffle through, and hold up on the button to get from FM1 to FM2 presets).

    Lastly, once you have installed, don't forget that this headunit offers a very good amount of Sound options for a lower end unit. Make use of them! From the factory the unit doesn't have very good settings - but each car/sound system is different. Adjust your Sound settings to really get the best sound out of the unit.

    Again, buy this headunit if you want the features and like the look but can live with the inconvenience that goes with the streamlined design.
    Pros:
    -Bluetooth, USB, and Aux input combined in one good looking head unit for a value price -Streamlined/minimalist style -Numerous options for Sound settings once you delve down into the user manual -Hidden USB and Aux inputs
    Cons:
    -Small screen (you get what you pay for - made up for by better features for lower price) -Single knob for all functions (Remote control included which expands ease of utilizing capabilities) -Unless you have a great memory, sometimes difficult to remember how to access various features -Factory Sound settings not set for optimal performance
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    3 out of 5

    Clarion FZ501

    Written By Anonymous, Sandy Hook, CT on Saturday, October 22, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this because of the built in Bluetooth. The BT works great! The rest of the radio does not work so great. I got 100's of station's on my old stock radio and only get 4-5 on the Clarion, and I had to set them manually (auto scan pick up nothing). Plus the one knob control is hard to navigate while driving especially if you are on a bumpy road. And because one knob it has so many functions, you need to remember which way to push it for each function. This is a huge pain. I would not recommend this radio.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Clarion FZ501

    Written By Roy, on Wednesday, October 19, 2011
     
    It was an easy set up ...It has a Simple design...im looking forwad to purchasing an external microphone and an HD Tuner ...
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    3 out of 5

    Clarion FZ501

    Written By RobertB, Houston on Thursday, October 13, 2011
     
    Most of the other reviews are spot on. The single button design is handy until you want to drill into the menu system, then it is pain. The unit sits too deep into the dash of my Chrysler 300. The sound is good with adequate power for stock speakers. The Bluetooth pairing is the easiest I've ever experienced, however, the sound quality for hands-free phone is poor. I am adding a wired mic to improve how I sound to others. Music works and sounds great.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Really cool... but stick to the remote.

    Written By Chris, Central Arkansas on Tuesday, October 04, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Love this unit. Slick, sleek, whatever. Works well in European interiors. Bluetooth flawless, USB MP3 reading flawless, Sirius flawless. The only issue I have might be with me... I'm not digging the jog dial. Just not intuitive for me. However, the included remote control covers most, if not all, of those same functions.

    While I'm here... Needed Crutchfield for an issue I had with the Sirius connect unit I bought with this. Absolutely the best customer experience in the industry. I've spent today coaching my employees using Crutchfield as a case study in customer service. Price was comparable (or less) than others... but I'd pay a premium for that level of customer service.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    WILL NOT FIT C5 CORVETTE

    Written By JeffD, Central NJ on Monday, September 26, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I selected this because of the clean styling, hands-free Bluetooth and USB adapter. Wiring it to the Corvette-unique adapter was a challenge but I eventually got it set up. When I went to install it I discovered that it is approximately 1/2 - 5/8 of an inch too deep.

    Do NOT assume that all single-DIN radios are the same dimensions and will fit your ride just because the Crutchfield website says it will fit. The Clarion FZ501 is about 1/2" too deep.

    One final note - when I had it partially in the dash and I was testing it I found it pretty difficult to control with the single common knob. Other reviewers mentioned that and I still bought it and I read the user manual. You will spend days learning how to use it. I found the remote pretty handy though.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Better sound and utility through elimination of out-dated technology..

    Written By Robert S., Pensacola FL on Saturday, September 10, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I've been searching for a new head unit for my 2003 S2000 - one that would not only improve the quality of sound in my car, but would provide connectivity with my iPhone and other digital media (allowing me to play the endless volumes of digital audio I've accumulated) - all while eliminating the CD drive. Why eliminate a CD drive? CDs have long been out-dated, and the inclusion of a CD drive takes up valuable space that can be much better utilized (better amplification or more internal memory), or eliminated to reduce weight. The Clarion FZ501 accomplishes all of these criterion very well, while accommodating the OEM remote control functions through the use of an inexpensive aftermarket interface. The other features that drew me to this head unit are: Bluetooth connectivity (phone and iPhone streaming media), front USB and headphone interface, clean and simple faceplate design, Sirius SCC1 direct connect, power output rating (50WX4), Direct HD Radio interface, NO CD drive - and of course, the sale price made it an easy decision.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Nice design, poor interface.

    Written By Rick B, Galt, CA on Sunday, August 07, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Like others have stated, the design is nice, but having one button to control everything is ridiculous. I'm more interested in having the clock showing than seeing what the song or station is. I usually know what station or song I'm listening too. You can't have the clock as the default display. So every time you change the volume, station or source you have to grab the remote & press display to bring the clock back. UGH!

    I consider the sound from this unit acceptable.

    Pros: Streaming audio. I like to stream iHeart radio.

    Ability to charge Ipod/Iphone while listening or streaming bluetooth audio.

    Cons: 1 button for every function. Next to impossible to remember which way to move for every function. I always wind up hanging up on people when a call comes in.

    Can't set clock as default display.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Yuck

    Written By MM, Paducah Ky on Wednesday, June 29, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    It is the hardest radio I have ever used. And that's saying a lot. I bought this unit because I didn't care for a CD player( So 1980 ish) And the price is awesome. But good lord. One button does it all, but remembering what way to push is a pain.

    I am glad Crutchfield has a great return policy. I was able to exchange for a different Radio with no questions asked. This is why I will always return here for all my audio needs.
    5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Complicated Interface

    Written By CF, Boston, MA on Thursday, June 16, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have gained a lot from reading reviews from others and, in this case, feel strongly that I have to warn people about the user interface of this radio that is very different than any other players that I have ever owned. The look seems very clean and cool at the beginning until one actually tries to use it. You have to remember whether to press leftside, or right side or up, or right side short press, or rightside long press....get the idea? Yesterday, I was pressing down to change stations, and due to normal driving jitters in the car, I was off by a little bit, and it ended up changing functions. I agree with the other reviewer in that it is heavily remote control dominated. I want to note that this is absolutely not a kncok on Crutchfield. They are absolutely great on their part from service to delivery. But, if I had not installed it, I would have sent it back and purchased a more user- friendly radio.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Cool product, with some glitches

    Written By BrianE, Baltimore, MD on Wednesday, May 25, 2011
     
    I purchased this product for the sole reason that had a front USB input and the ability to control the unit via the iphone rather than the other way around. I received the shipment super fast from Crutchfield and with the Master Sheet was able to remove my old alpine and install the Clarion. It fired up no problem and then I turned it off and was unable to turn it back on. Eventually, I had a new unit sent and it also wouldn't turn on. Finally, after speaking with the always helpful customer service, they said that that was a glitch in every one, requiring a 'double tap' to turn it on rather than the single long press mentioned in the instructions. Unit works great now, though I am still working out some stuff with the iphone.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    nice deck

    Written By Taylor, San Diego on Saturday, May 14, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This deck is great for bluetooth and ipod integration. I had it installed and the guy
    was done in 45 minutes! The look and feel match the interior/dash lights on my car
    which is a bonus.

    The only drawback is a poor signal from the tuner. Stations where I had no
    interference before come in with major interference. Small price to pay for a great
    hands free phone option!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Clarion FZ501

    Written By mikeyo, carol stream IL on Thursday, May 12, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    display stinks always scrolls can't keep it on clock sound is okay you have to use the remote for to many things if it breaks or gets lost your out of luck
    3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Clarion FZ501

    Written By rick, tucson, Az on Monday, May 02, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great deck, replaced my stock stereo on my 01 Sierra crew cab. Easy to install
    thanks to crutchfields supurb install guides and equipment. The Main thing I
    like about this reciever was the lack of button clutter, it had a sleek clean look to
    it. The sound was great, and easy to function through all the settings. All I
    wanted this unit for was for using my Ipod. The only turn off was that the face
    didn't dettach, with all the researching I did it completly slipped my mind, but
    that was the only down fall, all-in-all it is a great product and would
    recommend buying it.
    2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Great but lacking

    Written By IanO, Vermont on Wednesday, April 27, 2011
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I would have been much more satisfied with this radio if not for it lacking some pretty basic features. First of all the screen saver is just all the things it can do scrolling across the screen. Secondly, you have to use the remote to get the clock to display, EVERY TIME you turn it on.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    Add accessories for the Clarion FZ501

    Keep one of these in your car, so you can leave your other cable at home. See all categories & accessories

    Clarion CCA750 iPod® Cable For iPod and iPhone® video playback on select Clarion DVD receivers
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    Axxess RFASWC Universal Steering Wheel Control Adapter Add steering wheel audio controls to your vehicle — works with an aftermarket car stereo's steering wheel control input
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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Clarion FZ501, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_020FZ501/Clarion-FZ501.html ).