Alpine's CDA-9855 represents the next step in the evolution of the in-dash receiver.

Take a close look at CDA-9855's faceplate, and you might find yourself saying in surprise, "Hey — there are no preset buttons!" And you're right — instead, there's only a simple, white, silicon rubber strip. That's Alpine's incredibly innovative GlideTouch™ panel.

Just like the touch pad on a laptop computer, you simply slide your finger over the strip until you've found the function you want (a sound guide helps you out). When you press it, it feels like you're pressing a real button! GlideTouch offers total system control, while allowing you to keep your eyes on the road — possibly the most innovative system control on the market.

This incredible innovation is enhanced by the sharp, easy-to-read BioLite display, which offers up all system information — you'll be able to digest it all with just a glance. And your passengers won't fail to notice just how incredible it looks.

Of course, the CDA-9855 isn't just about its cutting-edge controls. It also comes with a robust internal amplifier (18 watts RMS x 4 channels) and Bass Engine® Pro sound controls for perfect-sounding music. MediaXpander has the power to restore depth and fullness to your music, especially your MP3s and WMAs, which tend to lose something in the compression process. With iPersonalize, you can even adjust your system settings online at Alpine's website, burn it onto CD-R, and use that disc to set up your system automatically.

And if you never go anywhere without your iPod, you're in luck. The CDA-9855 works with Alpine's KCA-420i iPod interface, which not only lets you play your iPod through your car stereo system, it'll let you control your iPod's functions! And if you crave even more power, add external amplifiers to the three sets of preamp outputs.

You can enjoy the satellite radio service of your choice: built-in controls let you connect a compatible XM or SIRIUS tuner (XM or SIRIUS subscription and antenna also required), and enjoy the most comprehensive entertainment packages around — over 120 channels of music, sports, news, talk, entertainment, and much more.

Product Highlights:

  • CD receiver with built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • detachable, fold-down face with GlideTouch controls and BioLite display
  • plays audio CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, plus discs burned with MP3 and WMA files
  • Bass Engine Pro sound controls with iPersonalize setup options
  • MediaXpander (restores clarity and detail to compressed or broadcast audio)
  • MaxTune SQ tuner
  • 12 FM/6 AM presets
  • satellite radio controls (SIRIUS or XM subscription, tuner, and antenna required to receive the satellite radio signal) — service is available only in the lower 48 states, not available in Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. territories
  • CD changer controls for Alpine Ai-NET changers only
  • compatible with Alpine's iPod interface adapter
  • 4-volt front, rear and subwoofer preamp outputs
  • Amplifier Link — can control up to 12 Alpine V12 external amps
  • clock
  • wireless remote
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
  • CD frequency response: 5-20,000 Hz
  • CD signal-to-noise ratio: 105 dB
  • FM sensitivity: 9.3 dBf
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • CD/MP3/WMA receiver with attached DC/DC converter on 11" pigtail
  • Wiring harness
  • Sleeve
  • Trim ring
  • Face
  • Hard plastic face case
  • Wireless remote control (RUE-4202)
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • 4 Countersunk ISO-DIN screws (M5 x 8mm)
  • Face fixing screw
  • 2 Radio removal tools
  • Owner's Manual
  • Manual correction sheet
  • Manual "Notes" sheet
  • Customer Care Registration card

Product Research

Features
CD Changer Controls

Features

CEA-2006 Compliant: The specifications given by Alpine for the built-in amplifier comply with the CEA-2006 mobile amplifier power testing and measurement standards from the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association). All manufacturers who comply with the standard can display the CEA-2006 logo on their product.

Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or Sirius Satellite Radio receiver to the CDA-9855. To receive XM Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional Terk XMD1000 Universal tuner (209XMD1000) and the Terk XM Direct Smart Digital Adapter for Alpine (209XMDALP1). To receive Sirius Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional Sirius tuner for Alpine (item # 607SIRALP1) directly to the head unit. A portable satellite radio receiver, such as the Delphi SkyFi or Sirius Sportster, can be connected to the head unit via an auxiliary input adapter. A compatible antenna and a subscription are also required to receive satellite radio programming from Sirius or XM.

SwingFace Mechanism: The CDA-9855's SwingFace mechanism provides an extra large multi-colored display area for ease of viewing. The motorized faceplate not only slides down to let you insert or eject CDs, but gives you a choice of three viewing angles or fully closed.

BioLite Display: The high-quality display uses biochemical luminescence technology that provides outstanding visibility even in daylight. In addition, it has a much wider viewing angle than conventional displays.

Motion Displays and Fonts: You can choose between three types of animation displays: Type 1 (expanding water droplets), Type 2 (speeding automobile), or Type 3 (moving line patterns). You can also turn off the animation display if desired. You can also select between two types of fonts for the text displays.

Blackout Display Mode: When the Blackout mode is activated, the display turns off to reduce power consumption. The additional power made available by turning off the display helps enhance sound quality. If a button is pressed during the Blackout mode, the display will illuminate for 5 seconds before blacking out again.

Variable Button Color: The illumination of the 4 square buttons can be adjusted to any of 512 colors. The following color presets are stored in memory: Blue, Green, Amber, and Red. In addition, you can store custom colors under the 6 User's preset. The custom color can be selected by turning the rotary encoder and cycling though all 512 colors. In addition, you can choose green or amber as the color of the remaining buttons.

GlideTouch Bar: The receiver features the easy-to-use GlideTouch interface for scanning through and selecting menu options, radio frequencies, and track/file titles. The GlideTouch bar has six positions, and the items or lists in the display change as you slide your finger up or down the bar. When the desired option is highlighted, a press of the bar makes the selection. You can also hold your finger on one end or the other for at least 3 seconds to scroll through the selections in either direction.

Dimmer: This unit is equipped with an illumination dimmer lead. When the unit's dimmer mode has been set to "Auto" and the illumination lead has been connected to your vehicle's headlight circuit, the display and button illumination will dim to a fixed, preset level whenever the headlights are turned on. If preferred, you may choose the "Manual" dimmer mode setting, so the display and button illumination is dim at all times.

Bass Engine Pro: Bass Engine Pro functions provide control over your system, so you can tailor the sound to your personal tastes. Bass Engine Pro includes the following functions:

  • 6-Channel Digital Time Correction: The time correction feature allows you to create virtual speaker positions by delaying the signals being sent to the speakers closest to you. When the correct delay times have been entered for the front right, front left, rear right, rear left, subwoofer left, and subwoofer right speakers, all sounds reach your ears at the same time, providing optimized imaging and frequency response. You can set and recall up to 6 crossover settings in memory.
  • 6-Position Digital Crossover with Adjustable Slope: The digital crossover allows you to choose from the following modes:
    • 2-way Mode: A continuously variable 20-200Hz low-pass filter is available for the subwoofer outputs, and a continuously variable 20-200Hz high-pass filter is available for the front and rear preamp outputs. The slope for each filter can be set to 6, 12, 18, or 24dB/octave, or Flat. The level for each filter can be adjusted from 0 to -12dB.
    • 3-way Mode: A continuously variable 20-200Hz low-pass filter is available for the subwoofer outputs, and a continuously variable 1-20kHz high-pass filter is available for the high-range speakers. The midrange speakers have a continuously variable 20Hz-20kHz low-pass filter and a continuously variable 20-200Hz high-pass filter. The slope for each filter can be set to 6, 12, 18, or 24dB/octave, or Flat. The level for each filter can be adjusted from 0 to -12dB.
  • EQ: You can choose between a 5-band digital parametric EQ or a 7-band graphic EQ:
    • 5-band Digital Parametric EQ: The 5-band parametric EQ lets you select a center frequency, then adjust its output level and even the "width" of the boost or cut for precise system tuning. You can select a frequency for each of the following bands in 1/3-octave increments: Band 1 (20Hz-160Hz), Band 2 (50Hz-400Hz), Band 3 (125Hz-1kHz), Band 4 (315Hz-8kHz), and Band 5 (800Hz-20kHz). Once a frequency is selected, you can adjust its level from -6dB to +6dB in 1dB increments. The Q for each frequency can be set to 1, 1.5, or 3. In addition to the user-adjustable EQ (User's 1-6), tone presets are stored into memory, allowing you to recall the best setting for different types of music. You may choose from the following tone presets: Rock, Pops, Jazz, Electric/Dance, Hip Hop, or Flat.
    • 7-band Graphic EQ: You can adjust each of 7 audio bands from -6dB to +6dB. You can set up to six user memories.
  • Subwoofer Level Control: The level of the subwoofer preamp outputs can be adjusted from 00 to 15 to balance the output of your subwoofer with that of your other speakers.
  • Subwoofer Phase Selector: The phase of the subwoofer outputs may be set to normal (0 degrees) or reverse (180 degrees); this function allows you to minimize phase cancellation of bass frequencies, for stronger bass response.
  • MX (MediaXpander): The MediaXpander function makes vocals or instruments sound distinct by restoring sound quality typically lost during recording or transmission; this function helps restore audio information that becomes obscured when audio is compressed. The MX function can be applied to all sources, except AM radio. There are three expansion modes for each internal source (CD, FM, Compression sources), and each source can have its own setting. There are only one or two expansion modes available for external sources.

i-Personalize: i-Personalize is an innovative way to customize select Alpine receivers to fit your specific listening needs. You log on to Alpine's website and download user preferences (based on vehicle and system type) for time correction, crossover, Parametric or Graphic EQ, opening display profile and a calendar message. After selecting your settings, you can burn them onto a CD-R, and upload them to the head unit.

Subwoofer Output: In addition to front and rear preamp outputs, the CDA-9855 features a dedicated subwoofer preamp output. The subwoofer output has an independent volume control and phase control, and can be turned on or off.

Interrupt Feature: When a device having the interrupt feature (such as a cellular telephone) is connected to the receiver, the audio signal will be automatically muted whenever the interrupt signal is received from the device. The supplied wiring harness contains a pink Interrupt lead that needs to be connected to the device's interrupt signal connection.

MP3/WMA Playback: This unit can play CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW discs containing MP3/WMA files recorded using the ISO 9660 Level 1 or Level 2 formats. MP3 files with constant and variable bit rates from 8 kbps to 320 kbps and WMA files with constant and variable bit rates from 48 kbps to 192 kbps are supported. The unit is compatible with discs containing up to 510 files/folders, with a maximum of 255 folders. ID3 tags v1 and v2, and WMA tags are supported; track title, artist name and album name ID3 tag data can be displayed.

Disc and Station Titling: Titles of up to 8 characters in length may be entered for up to 18 radio stations and 18 CDs.

Text/File/Folder Search: When you're playing a disc with CD Text, or MP3 tags, you can easily search for a track or file by its title. Once you have activated the search mode, you can slide your finger up/down the GlideTouch bar to quickly scan through the titles to locate the desired track, and select it by pressing the GuideTouch bar.

Frequency Search: In the tuner mode, you can easily and quickly tune to a desired station by performing a frequency search. When Frequency Search is activated, you can locate the desired frequency using the GlideTouch bar.

Power IC Off: When an external amplifier is connected and the built-in amplifier is not used, removing power from the built-in amplifier will improve the sound quality.

Remote Control: The receiver comes with the RUE-4202 wireless remote control. The remote can control volume, source selection, tuner and disc functions, as well as CD changer controls.

Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The CDA-9855 has a "steering remote control" input on the back panel. When used with the optional SWI-ALP interface (item #127SWIALP), you can retain the use of your factory steering wheel and/or rear seat radio controls when replacing the factory head unit in select vehicles. The SWI-ALP is compatible with over 95% of the vehicles made from 1986 to the present. Compatible vehicles include many Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Please consult "What Fits My Car" to see if your vehicle is compatible.

Amplifier Link: The CDA-9855 has a connection for the optional Alpine Amplifier Link, which allows you to adjust settings for up to 8 compatible Alpine amplifiers from the head unit. With the KCE-511M Amplifier Link adapter, you can also display on the head unit the amplifier's voltage, operating temperature, fan status, input level, and crossover settings.

CD Changer Controls

Ai-NET Compatible: An optional Ai-NET-compatible 6- or 12-disc CD changer (including MP3 Changers) may be connected to, and controlled by, the CDA-9855. With the KCA-410c Versatile Link Terminal (item # 500KCA410C), you can control multiple changers with this unit.

iPod-Ready: An iPod or iPod Mini can be controlled from this unit when connected via the KCA-420i Alpine Interface Adapter for iPod (item # 500KCA420i). While connected to the head unit, the iPod's battery is charged, and the artist/song title information is displayed on the face of the head unit. The unit's Quick Search feature allows you to search by playlist, album name, artist name, or song title. Random and repeat play functions are also available.

Optional Auxiliary Input: With the optional KCA-121B Ai-NET/RCA interface cable or KCA-410C Versatile Link Terminal, you can input audio from an auxiliary source unit, such as a TV, VCR or portable unit.

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.

Alpine CDA-9855 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Love-Hate, hate, hate.

Written By pall, Houston, TX on Monday, June 30, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I love the sound of this unit.
I hate hate hate the slide controls and the over all user interface.
My new girlfriend hates it as well.

An expert's joy and a novice's nightmare

Written By John, Falls Church, Va on Monday, May 08, 2006

Just picked up this unit and had it installed in my Trailblazer. Looks great and I appreciate being able to match the colors to be a perfect fit with my dash. I have some understanding of how complex stereo equipment works so for me it was easy to learn how to manipulate the unit's many adjustable features. With my old head unit(kenwood) I thought i was gonna have to add an equalizer but not with this one. The unit has an effective eq built in. One can even choose whether they want parametric or graphic eq. I will be selling my non-alpine amp and purchasing an alpine 4 channel/sub amp combo and take advantage of being able to control the amp settings from the dash!

For those who don't like this unit-one must take their reviews with a grain of salt. More control over your sound is alwasy better than less. Anyone who has this unit ought to be using separate amps to get the best out of the unit. This head unit is not for the beginner-with features like time correction, adjustable crossover, 2 different types of eq's, 3 preamp outputs, and glidestrip control this unit will frustrate newbys but reward those who are comfortable with its depth(complexity?)

This is my first-but not last-alpine purchase.

Better Then You Think

Written By Nick, Sutherlin, OR on Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I picked up this head unit about a month ago through a local installer, but i wish i would have got it from these guys. Alot cheaper here.

The system itself looks cool on the internet but it is far better in person. the bio-lite screen is the best, but the glide touch strip was a little hard to get used to but now its so easy to go through the menus.

If your looking at putting in a full system this is the way to go. I'm slowly putting in a full system and this was "the best" says ALL of the stereo places i went to.

Great Unit!

Written By Jason, Milwaukee, WI on Sunday, February 05, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This CD player is phenomenal! I love the GlideTouch strip although it will take a little getting used to (trying not to press too hard while driving is difficult at first). The tilt feature is nice too during daylight sun, it really helps to make the great display even more visible. Install was easy and setup is a breeze using the iPersonalize feature and Alpine's website.

My one nitpicky thing isn't with the radio itself. Crutchfield's advisor told me there would be a depth issue with the 9855 for my 2000 Mazda 626. The radio fit perfectly with lots of spare room!

Crutchfiled kick butt aand SAVED me a ton of $$$

Written By George Poulos, Santa Monica CA on Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Crutchfield Experience
Ok you guys ROCK!!!!

I saved like 40% by ordering from Crutchfield.
Yeah the decks are expensive but what you don't know until you check out is that they give you EVERYTHING you need to install the stereo your self. With the exception of tools.
They included all the correct wiring harnesses. Which saved me at least $100 bucks or more. I also saved money on the installation too. And it was fun!!!! I took my time. I did it on a rainy Saturday in the garage.

The system is AWESOME!!!!!!!!! So much better than stock. What else can I cay??

So I bought a Alpine 9855, 2 pieces for a XM hookup to the deck and Ipod adpter and a PAC2 interface with my radio all for approx $550 including overnight shipping.
They gave me everything else, so the new Alpine would hook up right into my new car. And it works perfectly!!!!

I was quoted upwards of $1000 dollars for the SAME system by local installers.

The 9855 is a AWESOME deck it's the exact one I wanted to get from the start and locally it was going to cost a grand to do what I wanted.

Crutchfield helped me get what I wanted.

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By Jarred, Ashland, MA on Monday, January 16, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This radio is great. The sound quality is very good. It has so many options. The glide touch takes a little getting used to, buy but once you learn how to use it it is great. The Ipod interface adapter is cool. I controll the ipod through the radio. so many Sound options.

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By Adam, Overland Park, KS on Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Before you buy this head unit, make sure youve had a chance to mess with one in person. The glide bar is pretty cool, but its not for everybody, as you can see in all the other reviews. It works well for its purpose, though using it while driving is a little challenging. The controls of this HU are a bit complex, so take your time reading the manual and make sure you understand how to use its features and navigation.

The thing that really separates this HU from others, in addition to its many wonderful features, is the display. While its not color, its higher resolution than most other HUs. Its inexplicable to me why radio manufacturers try to create pictures with the whole 18 pixels they have available to them on regular head units. This one does a very nice job of display text like an LCD and not an alarm clock. If youre going to use the satellite or ipod interfaces, this is a nice perk, since both of those make heavy use of text information.

Ive got it up and running with the iPod box and XM, and both work great. No more goofy things hanging off the dash. You lose a lot of XM functionality that the PnP units have, but the tight integration is nice. if youre curious about the interface, its basically like a radio. You set your favorite stations and navigate through them and thats about it. No artist alerts or memory or anything like that. Its a shame the advanced XM features arent available in this HU, but thats the price we pay for elegance I suppose.

iPod navigation is disappointing, but thats to be expected. Its a slow serial interface on the iPod, which is no fault of Alpine. Future iPods will make this easier. Get it, it works

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By Brendan, Bellevue, WA on Monday, January 09, 2006

Excellent receiver. immediately after i installed it i noticed a huge difference in my radio quality and the quality of my speakers. everything is much more crisp and clear. i have 6 x 9 infinity kappas, and 6 1/2" infinity referance speakers and it sounds really good. i also hooked up the ipod interface which is easy to install and works great. the only downside of that is trying to scroll through artists on the receiver if you have a lot because the glidetouch isn't that sensative. it can be hard to use while driving but overall it is an amazing receiver. highly reccommended.

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By dp1234, St. Paul, Mn on Wednesday, January 04, 2006

This is an unbelievable deck with great customizing options I have had this deck for about a week now and i am amazed by the clarity of the sound! I had a JVC before and this completely blows it away! I have my xm tuner hooked up to it and the reception and display are wonderful. The glide strip takes some time to get used to, but it works okay could be more sensitive though.

Pros: 1st and foremost Sound quality, customizing options.

Cons: glide strip, b/w display-? This deck is not for people who have no knowledge of basic audio principles

great for tuners, not for the weak of heart

Written By loserjeff, memphis, tn on Thursday, December 29, 2005

i just recently bought myself the cda-9855. if you are seriously considering buying this deck and want to see some really helpful reviews, then the negative reviews on this deck are misleading. i read all these reviews and seriously reconsidered buying this deck, but he good reviews kept me stuck on buying this deck and i am happy i stuck with them. some helpful hints on why i say this:

1. "MX being crappy or hogwash". wrong. media xpander is best left to songs that dont have enough bass or high tones, or lost good bass or high tones somewhere in the recording process. you honestly do not need to leave mx on for every song because for one it can make the mid range sounds weak. even if you leave mx on for every song, maybe cause you like its lows, then you are seriously compromising you speakers life because pretty much exponentiates every bass signal it reads.

2. "the controls lock up" or "mp3 wont come out". this wont happen if you read the manual. keep your deck in the carrying case provided and carry it with you, and do make sure your mp3s are of good quality and none of this will occur.

3. "glidetouch is garbage". wrong. while annoying at first you really can get use to it. i like its 6 point quick touch for when im in my eq menu. simply put your finger roughly where your desired eq is and press. done and no rotary command knob needed to carefully twist into place.

for the sound quality and tuning capability, the positive lengthy reviews nail it. its truly is an amazing deck. word of warning, do not buy this deck if you are not into tuning cause this deck will simply stump you and drive you nuts.

Getting used to it...

Written By Dennis, San Diego, CA on Saturday, December 03, 2005

You'll get used to it, and possibly even fall in love with it!

First of all this baby sounds killer! I use the CDA-9855 to control my iPod, and it does that easily enough. I use it for Sirius-radio, too, and the cool animated display-screen shows me all of the info I need. I also like being able to customize the button color to match my vehicle's dash lights exactly. It has a seven-band graphic equalizer with six presets, and several factory preset sound-fields, too. There are crossover-controls for front/rear speakers,(& subwoofer, too). The tilt feature is perfect for my truck; because it puts the faceplate at the exact angle of my dash console. I have read a few negative reviews about the glide-strip, but I love the way it works. I have very little trouble navigating through the many menus in this stereo.

But...

This deck is really designed for audiophiles & folks who want to spend lots of time fine tuning the CDA-9855's sound. It has so many ways to customize the sound that I can spend hours tweeking the crossovers & equalizer. This unit does not have simple bass/treble controls. The user must get into a sub-menu to adjust the different frequencies, and It may be a bit complex for the average car-stereo-listener. My buddy has an Alpine deck two steps down from this one, and it's much simpler to operate...then again, I think my stereo sounds a lot better. Remember: sound is subjective to the listener, and the CDA-9855 puts you in total control of that sound.

Good luck, and have fun!

Great HU, no problems here

Written By Chase, Holdrege, NE on Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I'm not sure what all these other guys are complaining about, this head unit is great.

First of, I have no problems with the Glide Strip. Others have complained that it's too hard to use while your driving, and it may be, but there's not much need to use it when driving other than fine tuning the audio settings which I had no troubles doing. You can use the remote and buttons on the unit to navigate the folder & songs on a cd, so ignore the complaints about using the glide strip to find songs. If you can remotely put together a decently organized mp3/wma cd, you'll be fine. A few other people also said that there were no bass & treble controls, and that just shows how little they know about car audio, so ignore those complaints.

I've had no problems with the unit, and it has phenomenal control of xovers, equalizer boost & frequencies, and time correction. The only issue I have is that it doesn't seem to store what you set the tilt at, but the default setting should be fine for most people. I give it an A.

With iPod interface...probably the worst useability I've seen...

Written By Chris, San Francisco, CA on Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Ive had this unit for a couple weeks now, and I can say that it has the worst navigation ever. GlideTouch was obviously developed in a lab and never tested by a driver, let alone a passenger. Alpine... two words for you... Cognitive Engineering.

I went with this unit is because of Alpines iPod interface, so this review is from that perspective. The GlideTouch is probably fine with a single CD, but with the number tracks on an MP3 CD or iPod, it completely falls apart. Scrolling with the GlideTouch never gives you the same results...sometimes you move 1, sometimes you jump 2, sometimes 10. You have to keep eyes on the display to know where you are, which while driving is a feat. Find an artist you want to listen to and click, it starts playing the first album. Clicked into the wrong artist? You start back at the beginning of artists...each time. Want to play something else? It doesnt remember that you navigated by artist previously.

The easy way to fix all of this would be to allow the user to use the knob, to quickly and easily scroll through items. You spin it one click, it moves one item, you spin it fast, it jumps through the list. Push down selects an item. The GlideTouch is much better suited for a soft-button application, rather than scrolling.

The interface could be a bit better too: no track# for iPod albums/playlists, elapsed time instead of remaining time, the only way to see the track name is w/o the artist/album...etc.

This unit is great in a lot of ways...audio quality & appearance are good. Im sure its great as a stand-alone unit playing audio CDs. If youre wanting to use this with the iPod interface...consider yourself warned.

Think before you buy

Written By sean, Greenbay, Wis on Monday, October 31, 2005

i am giving this unit 2 stars because of its poor design and lack of GUI. The guid strip is useless while driving, thats when the remote comes handly plus I-personal option is also a waste of time. like others said, this unit break down too easy. i bought the unit from bestbuy and a month later, it fails me because it wont eject my cd and the tilt function doesnt work. Luckly i brought a 4-year extended warrenty on it and went back to exchange for a new one.

i now have the 2nd unit for about 3 monthy now and its still fail me. When i turn on my car, the unit start playing my song on cd for about 3 sec then suddenly stop for 4 sec until it start playing again. I now thinking about bringing it back for a new one.

another thing that i should mention, the MX is also useless and the sound is not as loud as i thought it should be. The MX only incress the bass and not the volume. Once you pass 20, the volume stay the same all the way to 35. i wish it has the loud option like most other decks (pioneer).

If you are a fan of Apline then this the unit for u otherwise choose a different brand.

Fantastic Sound

Written By Keith, Ithaca, Michigan on Saturday, September 17, 2005

I've got a 2005 Colorado Xtreme that I put my 9855 w/XM in and I can't believe the sound I'm getting out of the stock speakers, I can't wait to hear how it sounds when I finally get the speakers all changed out.

The glidebar takes a little time to get used to but most of the things I need to do I can do with the remote and I don't need to lean forward and look at the display.

I've had a few times when the sun was just right that I had a glare on the display, I wish Alpine had kept the tilt function on the remote like last years models.

My only real complaint with the 9855 is the lack of an Auxiliary In. I had to purchase a KCA-410c box for $150 to add 2 Auxiliary In's & 2 AI-Net's in order to plug in my Zen Xtra mp3 player. $450 head units should have front and rear Auxiliary In.

For true audiophiles

Written By Joe, Tucson, AZ on Sunday, July 24, 2005

I have owned this deck for about 3 weeks now and this thing just continues to amaze me. I was in the market for a new head unit after my older Kenwood Excelon died from an electrical problem (my own fault). After 3 months of researching different units, this one won out.

This is my first Alpine purchase, and I couldnt be more pleased. (I had been a loyal Kenwood user for over 10 years!) The sound shaping features are amazing, and the menus are easy to use. And the D/A converters on this are flat out superior. If youre a true audiophile then you will love this unit. But if you dont understand audio principles, I wont say dont buy this deck - just dont use the Pro Menu. It has many preset EQs and other easy options for the average consumer.

Someone earlier was complaining about the display not having color. Honestly, I watch the road - not my stereo. Even though it is a b/w display, it is very clear, accurate and well..."cool" (for lack of a better word). The background animations are a bit much, but you can turn them off. The bottom line is the sound quality and features on this thing are what sold me. Cosmetics are secondary.

Glidetouch is not a problem. Its just different. Once you get used to it, its excellent. As with any other unit out there, dont go surfing through menus while driving.

The one and only downfall Ive discovered is that the Volume knob and Track Forward/Backward buttons are unavailable if you are in any sort of menu screen. This is disappointing because when setting the EQ, I like to be able to switch to different CD tracks while I adjust the settings. But other than that, I have no problems with this unit.

Great Sound... faulty design

Written By Mike, West Tennessee on Sunday, July 24, 2005

High Points:
Great Sound Quality - The 7-band graphic eq/5-band parametric and crossover make this a great headunit and give it plenty of flexibility. I actually like the MX feature after proper EQ adjustment. With my 2-way Polk db speakers this unit is amazing even w/o an amp.

MP3 CDs - I can fit 8 albums on one disk with great sound quality, and display album/song/artist info.

Display is clear and the 3-way tilt allows for maximum visibility.

Low Points:
Design - my headunit sometimes wont eject, so Ill probably have to replace the unit. The Glidestrip seems to be less sensitive after a month of use. Buy an extended warranty!

Satellite radio - They should design this so you can see whats playing on many stations at once, also they should include a Song Seek option. I wish I had bought a portable unit instead.

Moot Points
Menus - I personally think the menus are intuitive, unlike other reviewers.

Glidestrip - I dont mind it, as long as it doesnt fail me!

Parametric EQ - Theres only a few Q-settings, that could be improved I think.

I-Personalize - This online feature is a waste of effort imo. They should allow you to download background movies for the unit.

User Manual - This manual only gets you started, it's well written, but there's lots of other features on the unit that aren't covered. They're easy to find in the menus though.

MX (Media Expander) - You can have different settings for each type of media, that's a nice touch. Seems like they could allow for more adjustment on the settings though, something like the rack units offered by BBE.

If You Like To Loose Your CD's...read on....

Written By Kevo, Lincoln, RI on Sunday, July 10, 2005

This deck is great in every way accept, you dont get to change the CD's in the deck due to the faceplate not opening anymore. I have read that lot's of people are having this same problem. Cant open the faceplate to change the CD and cant tilt the faceplate anymore either. Alpine needs to step up to the plate and recall these units to fix this problem. This deck costs too much to be giving problems like this. My CD has been in the deck for 3 weeks now. I try to open it every day and no luck. I even tried cooling off the faceplate in the refrigerator because I read that it worked for some people, not me. I will not go with Alpine again, unless I see that they make right on this issue.

Great deck

Written By George, Santa Clarita, CA on Wednesday, June 29, 2005

This deck is great. I have owned three Alpine decks so far and this one is the best. My previous CDA-9833 was a great deck but had some minor problems. When I upgraded to the CDA-9855, I noticed a definite increase in sound quality...even with stock speakers. I cannot wait to see how great it sounds with a 4 channel amp and upgraded speakers. This deck along with XM defintitely makes my 1 hour commute more enjoyable.

There are tons of features and adjustments on this deck that take some time getting to know. Once set-up correctly, you will not be disappointed. Granted, the slide bar is wierd and takes some time getting use to...but is a cool gadget to play with (pull over though when trying to make adjustments). I do wish that Alpine kept the tilt option a button and not a function hidden deep in the many menus that you must navigate to set up the radio.

The display is ok...color would be nice...but it's a radio, not a DLP tv. If you want to watch your radio...I would suggest not buying this one. If you want to listen to it...this is the deck for you.

please bring back the quality of the old alpines:(

Written By Roger, richmond, in. usa on Tuesday, June 28, 2005

i have owned numerous alpines since 1984. i usually upgrade every year or so. my last being the iva-d900. i sold the iva-d900, because i was paranoid with having such an expensive unit in my car, plus i hardly ever used the dvd. soooo, i bought a new cda-9855 last month (5/18). for the last week or so the display just locks up. usually after it has been on for 15 minutes or longer. you try to adjust the volume, etc. nothing happens. this to say the least is very annoying.
the glide touch needs to be thrown away. it is impossible to drive and use it. i usually just use the up and down buttons to find my xm station. i do like the ability to change the buttons, wish it was for ALL the buttons not just the 4 big ones. the biolite screen is better than i thought. very nice at night, but not in the day time. my last few have had this problem as well (9833,7894,9815).
i call alpine to see what can be done. after being on hold for 45 minutes i am told that i would have to send it out to one of the repair places. now it looks like i will not have any tunes for at least 3 weeks or so. they should just replace it with a new one, since it under warranty.
the sound quality on the 9855 is not as great as i thought it would be. seems like each alpine i buy has worse sound quality (except the iva-d900), more gizmos (glide touch, biolite, etc.) poorer quality. i noticed this unit is made in china:( bring back the made in japan head units.
why cant they make a preamp head unit that is am/fm/cd/mp3/xm that is awesome on sound quality. skip the geewhiz stuff!

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By Jay, Melbourne, FL on Saturday, June 25, 2005

The only reason I didn't give the CDA-9855 a 5 is because it could use a few improvments. But this is not to say It's not a completely awsome head-unit. I absolutly love it. The bio-lite display is very cool and easy to read. The sound quality is absolutely amazing, and I haven't even figured out all of the features yet. As long as you know a decent amount about how to tune an audio system, it's not very hard to learn at all, it just takes time. The glide-touch panel is a very cool function and I had no trouble using it. It could be improved upon by making it more sensitive though. All in all it is a great unit and I would highly recommend it.

Great Sound, Poor Functionality

Written By David, Long Island, NY on Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Well, Alpine has always been my first choice when it comes to mobile audio. This unit continues the Alpine legacy of great sound and amazing customization. However, there are a few complaints.

I was wary about the GlideTouch, but I figured Id give it shot. I should have stuck with my instincts. It took a while to get used to the GlideTouch, and trying to find something on my iPod while on the highway is near impossible. Not to mention, once in a playlist, I cant go back into it to browse, I have to go back through the whole process again. God forbid I push too hard on the bar and select the wrong playlist (happens all too often). To make matters worse, the left side and the right side of the bar somehow fused together internally, so I can no longer select the number 1 setting on the radio. Not such a big deal, until you want to set something. The knob and prev/next buttons go to sleep when the GlideTouch menus are activated. Alpines tech supports great words of wisdom: "Try to swap it with your retailer or order a new face for 180 bucks." After spending as much as I did on the radio, the last thing I want to do is put more money into something stupid.

The screen is nice at night. Amazingly clear and sharp. However, in direct sunlight, the screen disappears. The animations could use work, but, thats minimal. A brighter screen would be helpful.

Overall this unit sounds amazing with a pretty good screen (at night). But, without work on the GlideTouch and menu options, I cant rate it a 5. Until the GlideTouch is made better or Alpine goes back to buttons, I think its time to pick a new brand.

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By Kashif, Chicago , IL on Monday, June 06, 2005

First of all, this receiver needs an amp to sound its best. Second, you really need to go through the manual to understand this receiver. It can sound amazing or it can sound like crap. It took me a whole month to understand all the possible settings and to fine tune the sound . After I had it fine tuned , it just blew everything else away.
The glide touch is a great idea but not for a car receiver . Eventhough I think I am use to it, its still a drag sometimes.
I was debating b/w a Kenwood Excelon because of its 24bit D/A and this but since I have had trouble with Excelon in the past so I picked this. The Alpine inhouse D/A needs a little time to burn in. After a few hours of burn in time, the sound really opens up. Much more detail and depth.

Ok Receiver..Bad Technology

Written By xiong vang, Eau Claire, WI on Friday, May 27, 2005

$450.00 for a Apline Receiver with B/W display!! That is a rip off. I agree with many other people that this reciever is too hard to operate while driving because of the Glide Touch technology.

I didn't really like this receiver however, I only bought it(from bestbuy) because i have a 4-years service plan which cover my broken JVC reciver, that i bought in 2004 for $450.00.

For a $450 receiver, i expect the screen to have colors, more power (like 60x4 or more with a 5V preout puts, and better RMS power outputs "more than 18 watts".

If i would to buy another deck, I Probably go with other brands like the pioneers premier or kendwood exlecon at the same price with better options.

However to all of you there wondering, every deck has its pro and cons so choose wisely.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENTS

Written By Rodney, Minneapolis, MN on Thursday, May 26, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I like that this unit has 512 different colors to choose from for the buttons. It helps match the other dash lights. It has great sound and lots of features that alpine is known for. It has been improved from previous models MP3 playing abilities. Faster file searching and folder switching. I know they were trying to come up with something unique with the glide touch feature but they need some serious improvements or the glide touch is going to cause accidents. I hope they improve on this soon. I like the bio light display at night but I dont know what it looks like during the day (cause I cant see it) but my dash also is slanted up slightly. As much as I used to like Alpine, I am considering other brands now.

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By Charley, Chicago, Illinois on Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What can I say about Alpine? I am a hardcore Alpine fan who only goes with Alpine in all products and I must say that this receiver is awesome. I can see why and understand how some people might be frustrated with the Bass Engine Pro and other settings, but if you really focus and learn on what this receiver is capable of doing, you will definitely appreciate it. The BioLite display is incredible and the GlideTouch function is so simple after getting used to, which isn't very long. I love top of the line Alpine receivers simply because of the wide range of adjustable settings rather than having just four to five presets. Let me also add that I just installed the Alpine iPod Interface Adaptor to my iPod-Mini and I am so happy to not carry a handful of CD's around. Overall, if you're looking for something simple then this receiver, nor pretty much any Alpine receivers isn't for you. But if you love to sound shape the quality of your system and expand your media with future peripherals, then this is the receiver you want. Alpine does it again for me.

Alpine - Awesome radio, but can't see the display

Written By Brian, Charleston, SC on Sunday, May 15, 2005

I installed it into my 03 civic, and I couldn't see the display in sunlight, it was even overcast and not direct. The problem came from my dash being slightly angled upward toward the windshield. In a straight on or lower console setting, you could probably see it. I had to turn it in and go with the 9853.

The stereo is awesome however, all the power you need and the control to tweek. I do agree that the deck is a little hard to control with the current menu setup. I think glidepoint is an amazing idea, but they need to do something to make the menu selections easier to get in and out of. I am hoping they improve on this technology and make a more user friendly menu set up to accompany the good invention.

I'm also very happy with my 9853, same power, about the same controls, but without the frills of a fancy screen. As I'm an audiophile and not a videophile so I don't mind. I love the great sound :D.

Unfortunately for this deck, I have to give it a 3 cause I can't use it in my car and had to return it to the store.

absolutely LOVE this unit!

Written By renato, Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, May 12, 2005

Purchased 4/28/05:
I've owned 3 hi end Alpine decks in the past and this one has to be the best sounding yet! Is it complex? Yes, but anyone buying a deck this expensive should already be aware/familiar with functions like X-overs, parametric EQ's, etc. (If all you use is bass and treble, then maybe this too upscale.) Locating and finding the right menus can be tedious at first, but a little practice goes a long way. Media Xpander is kinda useless as I agree that it sounds much cleaner bypassing it. I too was a bit frustrated w/ the glide strip but it has gotten much easier to use with time. I don't use an ipod so I can't comment on ipod use, but my mp3 cd's work great with the glide strip. Also,for an 18W/channel deck, sound comes out pretty clean even at volume on stock speakers. Internal Amp disable is another great feature. I can't wait to reinstall my JL 300/4 and Boston Pro's!

Bottom Line: Excellent unit if you're patient to learn the glide strip and menu functions. I'm so glad I didn't go with Eclipse!

This and that

Written By Christopher, Duluth, MN on Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The EQ and Crossover stuff: AWESOME. Usually you have to buy these seperately. I like that you can hop sources rather than cycle through all of them if you want. iPersonalize is neat. (My passengers get a "WARNING: Turbo!!" when I turn the car on.) Sounds fantastic.

It is very complex at first, especially if you dont know what the EQ/Xover/Time Delay stuff is all about. The MX is a little gimicky because radios usually sound better than they do on a deck that doesnt have MX. MX still sounds great regardless. Heartwrenchingly, the iPod connector module is very limited. It can only handle 512 artists/albums/playlists and scrolling through them all is near impossible. This deck forgets if you had shuffle (M.I.X.) on when you turn the car off. No way to get back to the playlist/artist/album you were already on to see the list of songs. (Yea, "glide" all that way AGAIN!)

I HATE GLIDETOUCH. Maybe Im still getting used to it, but they couldve had the courtesy to let you use the forward/back buttons or the remote as an alternative scrolling method. The first faceplate I had was defective and I brought it back because the glidetouch panel was acting up. I suggest getting a service plan because I could see this happening again with more use.

So in a nutshell, the Pros: great sound control, awesome display, great user interface (after you get used to it), iPod connection. The Cons: Glidetouch, too complex for new users, iPod connection.

For all practical purposes, it gets 4 stars. For the iPod limitations and no GLIDETOUCH alternative navigation (ugh) it loses a star.

Much Better Integration with iPod than previous Head Units

Written By Brian, Austin, TX on Sunday, May 08, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I used to have the Alpine 7894 and 9813 tuners and this particular head unit (HU) is a nice upgrade. First, I still see complaining reviewers that say the HU only allows you to scroll through songs/artists one by one and is very slow when controlling your iPod. This used to be the case for the older Alpines. But with the new Glide touch, you can scroll through about 17 artists/songs at a time by quickly gliding your finger from one end of the glide touch bar to the other.

I also believe that the glide touch bar is very intuitive and easy to use. If you spend about an hour reading the manual and trying out the functionality of this Head Unit, you'll see that its easy to learn and use.

Overall, this is a great tuner, it sounds great, and does everything except walk your dog. I highly recommend it!

Decent, not spectacular

Written By Matt, Lexington, KY on Monday, May 02, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This unit looks great however I agree that it is overly complicated. A simple bass/treble button would have been nice. The crossover and equalizer controls I still have no idea how to use. The glide touch bar is very tedious to use at first although it gets a little easier with time. The mutilcolor illumination is nice. I've had Kenwood in the past and this unit is quite a bit smaller than the bulkier Kenwoods. Also the display is not what I would expect for a $450 receiver. My Kenwood I had 4 years ago was better than this one. Black and white and silly animations. If I could do it over, I would probably go with a Kenwood.

I also have the adapter that connects your ipod and I must say that the interface is pretty bad. Searching with the glide touch bar is almost impossible. While switching the songs is very quick, displaying the text is pretty slow (~5 seconds or so once you track up or down). It's nice that it connects to the radio and all but I would almost rather just control it with the ipod itself. Perhaps most frustrating is that when the ipod is connected, Artist and Song on the display at the same time is not possible! (It will show Artist/Album and Song/Album) However in MP3 mode this is possible.

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By Earl, Chicago, IL on Sunday, May 01, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sounds great. I never use the internal amps on headunits so I cannot comment on the internal amp. However, sound quality is phenominal. The built in crossover has a 24db/octave slope which is really nice. I also have it linked with my ipod and that works great as long as your playlists are not too huge. The only thing I dislike it the glide touch. A scroll wheel would have been better, and it takes a while to find out where all the settings are hiding.

Great head unit

Written By orthomack, Naples, Italy on Saturday, April 30, 2005

This is a great head unit with a lot of power. The only problem with this head unit is the glide stick. It is not as easy as it should be. I am glad I made this purchase and it is a perfect match for my IPOD.

CDA-9855 - A lot of hype

Written By habakak, Morristown, NJ on Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The same can be said for the CDA-9855 and all AM radio's - the display and buttons are too small and the interface to adjust settings is atrocious. This just takes it to a new level. It's mostly for kids who like matching lights and a lot of flashing colors. SQ is not nearly as good as my factory Subaru radio. Bass is too muffled and treble's are too high pitched. The unit is to complicated to be practically operated while driving. How about 2 simple BASS/TREBLE buttons? The engineers should remember the KISS principle. Technology does not solve all problems - sometimes things work fine the way they are. The unit has too much unnecessary functionality. Who cares about sound from your right rear speaker that reaches your ears .0005 seconds later than from the left front speaker? What if you move your seat 3 inches back/forward? Do you have to recalibrate? MX is hogwash - when MX is switched off, the radio sound horrible. Did radio's without MX sound like this? No!! MX in off mode just garbles the sound quality so you have to turn it on and say 'Wow, MX works!'. Hogwash. The glidetouch is also overrated - what's the point really?
I bought this because it sounded like the best unit available that you can connect an iPod to. As soon as Subaru comes out with a factory unit for the iPod, I'm trashing the CDA-9855.

Alpine CDA-9855

Written By deltadango, Queens Village, NY on Sunday, April 24, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've had the Alpine CDA-9855 in my car for about 4 days now, all i can say is wow. Looks and sounds great. I especially liked the ability to change the button color, now it matches my all red illuminated interior. The bio-lite display is clear and extremly legible, even though its black & white, the contrast between it and the color of the buttons is awesome. I have both xm (using the terk xm tuner with the alpine adapter) and the iPod (using the kca-420i). Both sound amazing. The iPod functions work espesially nice with the glidetouch bar. Incase you were wondering, the adapter that connects the xm tuner to the alpine head unit comes with a pass thru, so that an additional ai-net component like the kca-420i could be installed. Overall im very happy with this, the only draw back is that its all a tad confusing to operate and adjust, but i think i have it down.

Best Unit I have ever used

Written By Kevin, Sacramento, CA on Thursday, April 21, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased a 9853 locally as all the 9855 (few available) had been sold. My install was set for friday and I thought to try ordering from crutchfield on Wednesday. My order came the very next morning a day ahead of install. Impressive in itself.

This unit is driving a combination of 2 alpine amps, 2 alpine R type subs and some fosgate and fraiser speakers. Sound rocks, unit looks and performs great!!!

Granted I used to own an alpine but have been running stock equipment for about 6 years now; This is obviously a big step up. I also have my Ipod hooked up thru the adapter for indeck control!

I love everything about this deck so far. Including the glidetouch which always makes new people go WOW!!

True sound quality deck

Written By spudracer326, Oregon on Tuesday, April 19, 2005

In a short answer this deck is truley great, in a long answer it is a very complicated, hard to tune deck that can take weeks to get sounding good. I like the fact that it is so customizable but, if you dont know how to use crossovers and parametric EQ's then dont bother. THe glide touch is fantastic, but is also hard to get used to. The display is incredible but not color, but your buying this deck for its sound quality so that doesent matter anyways. In short buy this deck if you or someone you know is very good at acoustic sound imaging.

great unit

Written By Scott, Arlington, TX on Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Great Head Unit. I bought this baby about a week ago and the glide touch has taken a while to get used to, but once you get it, you will like it. Sq is excellent. Sounds fuller than the 9813 i had in my car before this. People are complaining about the 18w per channel issue, but if your spending this kinda money for a headunit, why are you not using a seperate amp?!?!?!

Tremendous Unit

Written By Stephen, Columbia, SC on Tuesday, April 12, 2005

For the past two years I've been running an Alpine CDA 9815, which, I thought, performed wonderfully. I was quite dismayed when it was stolen last month. My replacement, the 9855, arrived today and was installed immediately. I've been driving around listening and looking in amazement since. The sound quality is crisp and clean, close to what you'd get with an amp hooked up to the speakers. The controls, with the Glidetouch mechanism, take some getting used to, but are innovative and thoughtful. It is very easy to navigate your way through the myriad of setup functions the 9855 allows you to control. The biolite screen is phenomenal (though not color) and is very crisp. There have definitely been a lot of improvements in this areas since the 9815. Finally I also have hooked up my Ipod with the KCA 410, and it really works like a dream. There seem to be some complaints about using the Ipod with previous 98xx models, but this one works like a charm and allows you to scroll through artists, playlists, etc. quickly. However I must note that the song information problem with playlists longer than a 150 or so songs remains (not the fault of 9855, but rather then interface). All in all, a great unit if you can find one!

Super

Written By JD, Boston on Friday, April 01, 2005

Great unit, Loud and Clean! Beautiful looking too!

Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Alpine CDA-9855

Plug your favorite portable device directly to your receiver's aux input.
These adapters will give you an auxiliary input. Make sure you get one that keeps the CD-changer jack if you think you might use it.
Control your new radio without taking your eyes off the road.
You can operate your new radio with your factory-installed steering wheel controls by adding an adapter.
Get more info about having your new receiver put in by a qualified professional in your area.
Save money by doing the installation yourself. The right tools will help.
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