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Pioneer CD-MC20 Microphone

Works with select Pioneer receivers with Auto-EQ

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  • Pioneer CD-MC20 Microphone

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Our take on the Pioneer CD-MC20 Microphone

by Jo Greene
Pioneer

This CD-MC20 microphone connects to select 2010-up Pioneer receivers with Auto-EQ, allowing you to measure your vehicle's acoustics and create the optimum EQ settings.

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Highlights:

    General features:

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

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    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Auto-EQ microphone (with attached 6.5' cord terminated by a male 3.5mm connector)
    • Disposal note

    Our Product Research Team

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    Features

    Compatibility: The Pioneer CD-MC20 is an Auto-EQ microphone for use with select 2010-up Pioneer multimedia & navigation in-dash receivers:

    • AVIC-Z: 130BT, 930BT
    • AVH-P: 1400DVD, 2400BT, 3200DVD, 3200BT, 3400BH, 4200DVD, 4300DVD, 4400BH, 5200DVD, 5200BT, 6300BT, 8400BH
    • MVH-P: 7300, 8200, 8200BT, 8300BT

    Function: The CD-MC20 Auto-EQ microphone automatically measures your car's interior acoustic characteristics, and allows your compatible Pioneer Audio/Video receiver to create an auto-equalizer curve based on that information.

    Placement: The Pioneer CD-MC20 Auto-EQ microphone should be placed in the center of your vehicle's driver seat headrest facing forward.

    Connection: The Pioneer CD-MC20 Auto-EQ microphone features an attached 6.5' cable terminated by a male 3.5mm connector which plugs into an auxiliary input on your compatible Pioneer A/V receiver.

     
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    Pioneer CD-MC20 Microphone Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    11 people say:

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    3 out of 5

    Mic is good but Pioneer RTA system isn't

    Written By Bullitt5094, Houston, TX on Thursday, January 16, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I'm sure the microphone is fine but I have Pioneer head units in two cars that utilize their automatic RTA systems. After performing the RTA in both cars, they sounded awful. I used a test CD and did the set-up manually and it sounded MUCH better. I wouldn't waste your money on the microphone. The best car automatic RTA system I've used is Alpine's system. It works very well.
    Pros:
    Mic works
    Cons:
    The Pioneer RTA system you attach it to is stupidly bad.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    A Must-Have item

    Written By MarkAfterDark, Uxbridge, MA on Sunday, January 12, 2014
     
    Okay, first, the documentation doesn't state that the process begins with the unit "off" but with accessory power turned on. I finally found a youtube video stating that the unit needs to be off. I installed my AVH-X3500BHS in my '07 Santa Fe yesterday. The sound quality was much better going through the factory component speakers, but the bass was muddy, highs harsh and mids were nothing to get excited about. I stretched a fleece headband around the top of the headrest and dropped the mic through into place at the center of the headrest and started the process. Afterward, the unit was quite insistent that I unplug the mic before I can continue. Fortunately, I left the dashboard storage off so I could reach behind and unplug the mic. The results were amazing. even the factory speakers now sound decent. They do not sound like $500 Focals, but they sound decent. The bass is tightened up and the highs are smooth. Now I can turn the music up without ear fatigue.
    Pros:
    Creates a smooth response curve and does what only an expensive audio analyzer could normally do.
    Cons:
    The big one is the documentation. It took some time and research to get the "Auto EQ" function to light up. These are more considerations than cons: If you prefer "Boom & Sizzle" this is not the product for you. This creates tight bass and very smooth mids and highs. The response curve is not suitable for analog FM and analog stations sound flat.
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    5 out of 5

    Simply Awesome

    Written By Taylor, Morristown, NJ on Thursday, July 11, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I hve Focal KRX2 6.5 in my front doors. I am a bit of a newb when dealing with car stereo. I was having a problem tuning my system. The tweeter was overwhelming the music with harshness. I purchased the Pioneer CD-MC20 from Crutchfield, plugged the microphone into the Pioneer deh-80prs and the difference is AMAZING!!! No more tweeter harshness. The speakers sound spectacular now. Don't hesitate to purchase...especially if you are not sure about all the settings and the intricate programming of a car stereo head unit. Be sure to hang the mic midway on the driver's headrest.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Pioneer CD-MC20 Microphone

    Written By Anonymous, Mission Viejo, CA on Friday, April 19, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Easy to use, surprised how wild the EQ settings came out. Also, wonder how much they change when the vehicle is in motion rather than sitting in my quiet garage.
    Pros:
    Simple to use
    Cons:
    None that I can think of
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Setup made simple!

    Written By Onurneez, Goodyear, Az on Tuesday, March 26, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This mic is pretty awesome! Perfect for getting your stereo to sound perfect in your car. Very easy to use, just plug in and push a few buttons on the stereo and let it take it from there.
    Pros:
    Ease of use, price, and quality.
    Cons:
    Should be included with all Pioneer stereos equipped with auto EQ.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Didn't get to try it.

    Written By Anonymous, Indianapolis, IN on Saturday, March 09, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this speaker to "optimize" the sound of the new Pioneer TS-A1675R speakers and Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS head unit, but I still haven't figured out how to get the Auto-equalize function on my head unit to work... So I'm just going to give 3-stars.
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    2 out of 5

    Used for Auto EQ on Pioneer AVH P8400BH

    Written By wudbuchr, West Tennessee on Sunday, February 24, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I guess that it did what it was designed to do but did not improve the sound to my ear. After using this to set up the Auto EQ, I was not happy with the audio curve. I prefer to manually adjust the audio to suit my ear. I hadn't considered using the Auto EQ setting as a baseline, but will try it again and see if that improves the audio.
    Pros:
    Small May save some manual adjustment time
    Cons:
    muffled the rear speakers too much attenuated higher frequencies
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Used for Auto Eq of AVH-P3400BH

    Written By GaryV, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Works as advertised. Didn't sound like I thought it would. A little hollow and tinny. I will work on Custom equalization for my own ears. I do like having a "correct" baseline to work from.
    Pros:
    Does it's job, still worth the money.
    Cons:
    You must hook up wire from head unit to parking brake or system thinks it's moving and will not proceed. Grounding wire also works.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Nice idea - simple to do

    Written By ChuckE, Saratoga, CA on Thursday, November 22, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Wasn't sure if this would make a difference in my truck but I am thrilled that I bought it and used it to improve the sound quality. A "must do"!
    Pros:
    Works very well, very easy to use.
    Cons:
    Should be standard equipment with the receiver - it makes such an improvement.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Wonderful

    Written By Aaron, Vacherie, LA on Saturday, January 21, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This takes the guess work out of adjusting the EQ manually. Simply connect the microphone and let the head unit do the work. Made a drastic improvement in the quality of the music versus the preset EQ. Makes your listening position feel like center stage. I have factory speakers and now I cannot wait to get my aftermarket speakers and sub to complete my system. Bottom line; the best $30 I ever spent.
    Pros:
    Fool proof.
    9 out of 10 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Worth every Penny

    Written By Z, VA on Sunday, March 13, 2011
     
    If you want a noticalby better sound with more body and depth get this. It takes
    just minutes to get the optimal sound vs fiddling with the manual eq. Bottom
    Line: Get it!
    25 out of 30 people found this helpful
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    1 question already asked

    So, I have this thing on the way but am a major audiophile that is seldom pleased by anything but the best sound. Should I use it or just manually adjust the system until it sounds perfect? I am worried that it may not be worth the hassle. Also, what about installation? It says it should be installed into the headrest but I am not really wanting to bang my head against this thing or cut up my seats if it doesn't work much better than advertised. Any help is appreciated!!! :) [ ANTHONY R  Jul 18, 2014 ]
    4 answers
    • Yes you should definitely use it. Our ears can't hear the frequencies like a mic does. You don't leave it installed, you plug it in, place around where you usually sit in car, and let the auto eq run through the frequencies. You will hear a series of tones. That's it listening to the acoustics of your car, and about 5 mins later it's done. Unplug it and put it up until you change speakers, radio loses memory, etc. in other words once it runs the auto eq you are done. Don't have to leave the mic installed. Enjoy! I know you'll see the difference. [ JOSEPH   Jul 19, 2014 ]
    • My system requires it to be plugged in to the front of the unit so I can't say much about installation. It does a great job as long as you have a full range of speakers. If you're say missing a sub it doesn't do any good. If you know how, tuning it by hand is a much better option IMO. [ BRONSON   Jul 19, 2014 ]
    • In my opinion it gets a fair result but I always have to tweak from there. Apparently it is programmed to get a perfect flat curve or something that does not correspond with my hearing perception ( or my son who has a fairly talented ear). If you have a good ear you will likely end up tuning without it. After trying several times my son and I both have our own custom EQs which are slightly different from each other likely due to my older ears and slight mid-upper range loss. Also it is not permanently installed in the head rest, at least not when used with my headunit. In my headunit, the autoEQ is initiated, then the face plate is motorized down and the microphone is plugged into a plug exposed during the above. The microphone rests on the headrest while the program runs. The faceplate cannot be returned to the normal operating position until the microphone is unplugged at the completion of the Auto-EQ operation. Therefore even if you do like the results of the auto EQ there is no reason to permanently mount the microphone. [ RAYALND K   Jul 20, 2014 ]
    • I've used this twice and really enjoy it. Not only does it adjust the 8 band eq, it also time delays the speakers and subs. The eq is set perfectly for a flat response to a microphone and computer but obviously it won't be completely flat to your ear and a audiophile will probably use the eq that the mic comes up with as a baseline and make small adjustments from there like I did. As for installation you just put it in the headrest to run the test. Once it's complete you unplug the microphone and store it in your glove box. The instructions have you run a AUX extention out the back on the unit and tuck it away somewhere so you have an easier time making future measurements without having to take the stereo out and plugging in the mic again. I feel like the time delay function alone was worth the 30 bucks. Plus if you don't get the mic to will probably always wonder if you music would sound better if you had. Christian [ CHRISTIAN   Jul 19, 2014 ]

    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Pioneer CD-MC20 Microphone, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_130CDMC20/Pioneer-CD-MC20-Microphone.html ).

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