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Alpine CDA-9856

CD player with MP3/WMA playback

174 Reviews

Item #: 500CDA9856

This item is no longer available.

Original Price: $179.99

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Overview

Our take on the Alpine CDA-9856

Upgrade your mobile audio experience with the CDA-9856 CD player from Alpine. It'll play back all your CDs, including your MP3- and WMA-loaded discs. Hook up your iPod to the built-in Full Speed connection using Alpine's interface cable, and you'll be able to access and control your music collection with the CDA-9856's controls.

Alpine Authorized Online Dealer

Upgrade your mobile audio experience with the CDA-9856 CD player from Alpine. It'll play back all your CDs, including your MP3- and WMA-loaded discs. Hook up your iPod to the built-in Full Speed connection using Alpine's interface cable, and you'll be able to access and control your music collection with the CDA-9856's controls.

Bass Engine sound shaping gives you total control over the stereo's audio performance, and even lets you manage your subwoofer system from the driver's seat. The built-in BBE processor ensures lifelike sound from all your recordings. The CDA-9856 delivers in the style department too, with striking Alpine design, a detachable black flip-down faceplate, and blue button illumination.

If radio's your thing, you'll appreciate the sensitive AM/FM tuner, along with handy controls for an optional HD Radio or satellite radio tuner. Connect an Alpine CD changer to expand your entertainment options, or use the three sets of preamp outputs to hook up your amps and subs.

Note: Sorry, Crutchfield cannot ship Alpine products to Guam or Puerto Rico.

Lost my owners manual. Need another.

James, Dallas, Texas

What's in the Box:

  • CD/MP3/WMA receiver
  • Wiring harness
  • Sleeve
  • Trim ring
  • Face
  • Hard plastic face case
  • 4 Countersunk ISO-DIN screws (M5 x 8mm)
  • Face fixing screw
  • 2 Radio removal tools
  • Owner's Manual
  • Customer Care Registration card

Product Highlights:

  • CD player with built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • flip-down, detachable face
  • plays audio CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs (including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files)
  • Bass Engine (bass center frequency, width, and level, plus treble center frequency and level adjustments)
  • BBE processing
  • three sets of preamp outputs
  • Source Tone Memory
  • HD Radio ready (requires Alpine HD Radio Tuner)
  • controls for an optional XM or SIRIUS satellite radio tuner
  • controls for iPod with Alpine's optional Full Speed interface cable
  • CD changer controls
  • clock
  • 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
Reviews

Alpine CDA-9856 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

174 Reviews

Great!! A perfect match for my 1987 Ford Lariat F150

Written by: James from Dallas, Texas on March 17, 2015

Lost my owners manual. Need another.

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Crutchfield response on March 18, 2015 These days, many car stereos don't include an owner's manual in the box. Manufacturers either include it on a disc or send you to their website to download it. You can also find it on our website. On the stereo's web page, click on the "Details" tab. At the top of that tab, click on "What's in the box?" or just scroll down below the chart. The first item appearing in the "What's in the box?" box is a link to the owner's manual. You can view it in your browser or download it to your computer.

great sound auwfull ipod controls

Written by: boeingman from Indianapolis on February 3, 2011

The good:---- Sound is excellent. --Have had the unit for over 5 years and everthing still works like day one.---- All the knobs and buttons are still tight.--- there are no burnt out LED's.---- You can hook up an Ipod. ---The faceplate is removable and the unit looks really good in your dash. The bad: --- Ipod interface is absolutely terrible. The only way to enjoy this thing is to set up playlists before you hit the road because it just is not practical to go around your entirte menu searching for songs or artists or albums. Even after owning this thing for over 5 years, I still have a hard time using the select functions for the ipod. This is because it is so counter intuative. Forget about plug and play with the ipod. You absolutely, positively , must read the directions to work the ipod controls. FM/AM radio and cd player is easy to work but have I made my point yet--> The IPOD interface is a nightmare!!! <--- The way I have adapted to listening to my ipod is to let this thing shuffle songs for me or just play song after another for me or to select from a playlist I have created previously. I wish Alpine would come out with an update to the interface program. If this thing had a better ipod interface control i would give this thing a 4.5 out of 5 stars but because of this I rate this thing a 2. Again the sound is fantastic but the control for the ipod should be a deal breaker for most.

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Unit is great with an iPod. Install had one hitch.

Written by: Eric W. from Durham, NC on January 21, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed the Apline CDA-9856 in my Subaru Outback 2003. I was impressed with the detail of the installation instructions that Crutchfield provided, but there was one gotcha when I pulled my factory unit. My unit was a 6-CD changer/receiver as a double-DIN in-dash unit tied to a nine-speaker system (4 tweeters, 4 door mounted speakers, and one subwoofer in the back cargo area). I was provided with a Subaru wiring harness that matched up with the primary harness on the unit, but there was a second, black 6-pin plug with two wires coming out that was not documented anywhere. A call to Crutchfield confirmed at my unit was a Panasonic and not the McIntosh upgrade unit and the best guess was that these two wires went to the subwoofer. It was not clear whether these wires were line or speaker level because I was unable to locate a secondary amp anywhere in the car. I attempted fashion a wire to plug into the Alpine unit's RCA subwoofer out and crimp onto these additional wires. I was not, however, able to get the subwoofer to work.<BR><BR>Otherwise the unit works great. I ran the ipod connector (KCE-422i) to the glove compartment to plug into my 3rd gen iPod. With 8,000+ songs and over 40 playlists, I was concerned how difficult it would be to navigate the unit. While the Alpine controls are not as intuitive as the native iPod controls, they work surprisingly well. I will, however, need to start shortening the names of my playlists since these don't scroll as I dial through them. Scrolling on the artist/album/song info works nicely as the songs play. Based on the reviews I've read, Alpine has one of the better iPod interfaces.

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amazing value

Written by: will from Dallas, TX on January 17, 2007

2002 Acura RSX
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is the first Alpine that I have ever purchased, and it will be the only brand that I buy from now on. The 9856 is the third after-market deck that Ive put into my current vehicle, and the only one in the $200 or less price range. It also sounds better than the other two decks, hands down. I was blown away by the sound quality that this deck produces, I finally feel like Im getting my moneys worth out of my boston acoustic pros. Ive noticed that some other reviews have complained about a lack of an eq. The fact of the matter is that you simply do not need it with this deck; just minor adjustments to the bass and treble, and this deck sounds better than ANY pioneer deck that Ive ever owned (with incredibly complex eqs). Other people have mentioned the display as being &quot;boring,&quot; and not being able to view the artist and time and whatever else at the same time; I find the display to be refreshing. It is not distracting (very important when driving) and not gaudy looking on the dash. A common trend in the reviews for this product is a general disdain for the ipod navigation system: this is a valid complaint. The navigation for the ipod system is extremely counter-intuitive. More than anything it takes practice and patience. The only problem that I have had with this deck is that the face release button in the top left corner (which is neccesary in order to change discs) no longer works consistently. It has to be pressed in just the right way and is nearly impossible to open when needed, so I mostly use my ipod instead. This is the first deck that I installed myself, and with the crutchfield directions it was a breeze, just a couple of hours.

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As to be expected

Written by: Frank from Houston, TX on January 11, 2007

2005 Dodge Neon
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great install. Soldered up the harness and left the remote lead for later. Have yet to try out the XM but so far the ipod hookup has been running two days straight and offers such clear music it makes FM sound like AM...Navigation through the menus required me to have the manual handy a few times but it pays to just play through the menus to find all the different setting. I have read concerns about eq's on this unit. In my opinion set it flat and let it work. Boosting the bass or treble all the way is not a natural sounding system. If one of these is lacking its not this head unit....BUY IT you will not be disapointed.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Jeff D from Paoli, PA on January 10, 2007

1997 Subaru Legacy
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This unit is very good for the price and for what it does - allow you to control an iPod through the receiver. I deducted one star from my rating because the interface is not very friendly. It definitely takes a lot of practice to use it correctly and even now, almost a year later, I still occassionally mess up searches in my iPod. <BR><BR>The worst part however, is that to scroll through songs or artists, you have to spin the wheel on the head unit which then cycles through each and every entry (I've got over 3000 songs on my iPod). And unlike the iPod, it does not sense you are trying to speed through the songs so it doesn't skip any. As a result (and why I took away another star), it can take a couple minutes to find a particular song which is extremely annoying. And that's not to mention you're generally not paying close attention to the road while scrolling through songs so it's also dangerous<BR><BR>

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Great Unit; Mediocre Menu System

Written by: Eric from CA on January 5, 2007

The Good: Easy install, all connections perfect, all functions operational. The iPod interface is great and with the receiver's flexible equalization I was able to fine-tune the sound quite pleasingly. I can queue up a song off the iPod and start it up fast, and when I shut down the car and return later it will go back to that song seamlessly. The iPod happily resides in the glove box.<BR><BR>The Bad: The Alpine control system must have been designed by an IRS accountant. Way too many controls needed for each function. Very confusing to adjust the system options. Instead of just displaying the artist, album and track name on one screen, it scrolls them, one after another, slowly and slightly annoyingly.<BR><BR>The Ugly: As is typical, the default install has the unit sticking out from the dashboard bezel half an inch, with the obligatory generic trim ring. Clean, but it screams Please Steal this Aftermarket Head Unit. I'm maybe gonna try recessing it this weekend and filling in the standard aftermarket-head-unit gap around the face with some black foam weatherstripping or some such.<BR>

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Great Features but Slow iPod Controls

Written by: Brandon from Springfield, MO on January 4, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Overall, I'm very pleased with this unit. Installation was a snap and the features are all fairly straight forward. I've only had to peek at the owner's manual once so far.<BR><BR>I chose this Alpine over some other brands because of the high marks it received for its iPod controls. While I'm very pleased that all commands are immediate (no lag time), I am disappointed with one thing. When searching, whether by artist, song title or album, the unit ALWAYS goes back to the beginning of the alphabet instead of picking back up where it left off. This would be fine for Nano's or Mini's but I have a 30GB iPod with nearly 400 different artists (and still growing!). My eyes have to be off the road and on the display for far too long to find what I'm looking for.<BR><BR>I guess nothing can really replace the genius of the iPod click-wheel. At least my iPod is stored out of harm's way. <BR><BR>I also purchased the optional aux input and it works great. I simply had to navigate through the setup menu to turn the input on. I used it to patch in my XM Roady and it's a VAST improvement over the FM modulator setup I had previously!<BR><BR>This Alpine unit packs in a lot of great features and plenty of room to grow for a very reasonable price. And of course, Crutchfield got it to me quick and were very speedy in responding to the question I had for them.

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Covers All My Bases

Written by: Shane from Riverton, UT on December 31, 2006

I purchased this deck when it first came out and I have nothing bad to say about it. It is extremely universal with its iPod and ai-net connections. The internal amp drives my 4&quot;'s and 6&quot;x9&quot;'s well. Bass Engine and other sound controls give you lots of tools to tweak your sound.<BR>This is an awesome deck and I would recommend it to any one along with all of alpines other products! FIVE STARS!

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Nice Stereo; Get the 422i iPod cable and you're set!

Written by: Healymonster from Pittsburgh, PA on December 31, 2006

Great stereo for $200 range. Crisp, clean, sound. Adequate power. Nice (not luxurious) display. Decent sound tweaking ability. Adequate connections for typical system (I'm running a separate amp / sub). Switching between sources (tuner, CD, iPod)very fast!!<BR><BR>Speaking of iPod (the reason I bought it), get the KCE-422i cable and you're golden. iPod control is flawless. I have 80G iPod loaded with 300 albums (about 3600 tracks). I scroll through that as fast as I can turn the volume knob. Near instantaneous searching. Can search on album, artist, playlist, or song, (why would you ever search for a single song among thousands??? Even on a computer that's pure torture). Display instantly shows all relevant track info from iPod. Some key points most reviewers don't mention is it shuts iPod off when engine off, and resumes playback at same spot when engine turned back on. iPod sound quality is perfect (224Kbps MP3's). <BR><BR>Cons - <BR>- blue button LEDs a bit too bright (distracting).<BR>- selecting artist, album uses different button than selecting song (minor inconsistency, deal with it). <BR><BR>I read dozens of reviews on other iPod connections. They're all bad(including Alpine's 1st attempt). They either have dumb limitations on # of tracks or info displayed, buggy, iPod loses place when car shut off, or SLOOOWWW. The Alpine "full speed" solution just works.

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Great Player!!!!

Written by: Evan from Marshall, Mn on December 29, 2006

I got this cd player for x-mass and i am very impressed with it! I installed it im my 2003 Grand Prix SE and it went in allmost wihtout a hitch. The only problem was that the adapter for the new sterio was a little to big for the slot in the car so i had to take a file and file off some of the plastic so that it would fit in. Otherwise the instalation was flawless. I didn't even have to bend the tabs to secure the radio it fit in so perfect! And the sterio itself is awsome. i hook it up to my ipod nano and i have all my songs and it is so nice not having to deal with the cds. i have allmost 500 songs at my fingertips! the controls however could be a little easier but you get used to them really quick! And i wish it would allways display the clock wile cycling though the song info. Other wise this was a great sterio for someone who has a ipod! and the styling is great. it looks really sharp and clean in the car! But i don't have any real complaints with this sterio! it is a Great sterio. don't hesitate to buy it. you won't regret it!

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Good Head Unit nice Ipod Interface

Written by: Matt from Yo Philly on December 28, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed this unit into my 2004 Honda CRV. This is the first time that I installed a head unit into my car. This is part of my system which includes Polk 6500 (fronts), Polk 650 (rear), Alpine 40W amp, Sirius Sporster, and a 30 gig iPOD.<BR><BR>I got this unit so that I could use an Auxilliary input for my Sirius and the iPod interface for my iPod. Sirius sound great - CD quality Stern and the music stations sound terrific. <BR><BR>The iPOD interface is great I give this 4/5 stars just because it would be great if you could operate the iPOD directly rather than use the Alpine. Having said that though. Once you read the manual and practice it becomes simple and quick and very servicable. <BR><BR>The sound is terrific many adjustments to determine exactly what you listening preferences are. Installation was easy, I called tech support once or twice but the installation was simple and it was all done in about 1.5 hours. <BR><BR>The price is great. If you want more graphic features and multiple lines of text pay the extra $$ but I am pleased with this.

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Just what I expected from Alpine - Great sound quality

Written by: Doug from Springfield, VA on December 24, 2006

For those of you who are thinking of purchasing this headunit (H/U), look no further because this H/U will please your ears. I've owned Alpine before and the 9856 is my 4th. This H/U is connected to an after market amp and speakers/sub, so, the overall quality is excellent. I can't really comment about other reviews where this H/U is running on factory speakers, but, generally, from experience, it should improve the sound quality of your car audio system.<BR><BR>Spend some time reading the manual and it will be much easier to go thru the process of adjusting your H/U. Overall, it's fairly easy. This unit has the basic functions and can do more. The extra features will require additional component installed to this H/U, such as Bluetooth, HD Radio and few others. I purchased this product for iPod compatibility. <BR><BR>iPod usage: 2 options in hardware for connection. 1-Alpine Full Speed Connex'n Cable (KCE-422i) OR 3.5mm RA-Stereo RCA cable. I'm using the RCA version. This works just fine IF (a BIG IF) the user sets the iPod to "shuffle" play and go. This cable does NOT do the following: charge the iPod, use the H/U as a controller for navigating thru your iPod. <BR><BR>As I said before, it's my 4th Alpine. That should say enough about this H/U.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Nancy from pittsfield, ma on December 21, 2006

2003 Mazda 6
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

good deck!

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Great in 04 Honda Accord LX

Written by: bobh344 from Dover, NH on December 15, 2006

2004 Honda Accord LX
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

OK, I was somewhat nervous about putting a second radio in the car, as this installs in the pocket below the combination radio, climate control. Well, I am very impressed. The installation kit fit like a glove and don't need to bother with the $150 dollar trim/climate control unit. The stock radio/clock still has power, so all is good. <BR><BR>Now - the deck works great. It looks great, great display and the installation was very easy. The Ipod function takes some getting used too, but I am learning the ropes. The full speed cable is very functional and works great. <BR><BR>The sound is far better than the stock deck, no comparison. Excellent bang for the buck. <BR><BR>Crutchfield tech support was great and helped me through a problem that turned out to be a simple problem with the my car's interior. <BR>

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Excellent product

Written by: jaredgreenleaf from Kansas City, MO on December 15, 2006

2003 Pontiac Vibe
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is my first after market cd player and needless to say I read threw a lot of reviews before deciding on the Alpine CDA-9856 and it was a great decision. It was everything I expected and more and at a great price. I couldn't be happier!

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Travis from San Diego, CA on December 6, 2006

2001 Toyota Camry
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Crutchfield has done me well in terms of its service and offering so this is no means a slam to Crutchfield. I bought this unit expecting HD radio. It will with an additional fee to buy the additional tuner. <BR><BR>I had 9815 before I absolutely loved the unit. The 9856 is a lesser version of 9815. Alpine is going the way of Sony in terms of its quality and product. <BR><BR>I should have bought the JVC instead. Ohh well I will do better next time. Remeber if you buy this expecting HD you need the additional tuner to go with it.

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AWESOME

Written by: TOMMYD3UCE from Vancouver, WA on December 2, 2006

This deck is just great. I can't find any flaws about it. I remembered how to operate it within the first day of getting it, although ive always been able to do that. The sound quality is amazing, makes my Infinity's sound so nice its unbelievable

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Not awesome, but probably the best IPOD solution

Written by: tsombrero from Seattle, WA on November 27, 2006

1988 Volkswagen Vanagon
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I agree with most of what others have said but the user interface is really poor. To scroll forward through a menu, for example, you might have to press ">>", the "up" button, or turn the "rotary encoder" (knob). It all depends on which menu you are in.<BR><BR>To select, you might have to press the button with the funky pages button on it, "func", "mode", or ">". They could easily have cut the number of buttons on this unit in half and made it much more intuitive. <BR><BR>That said, once you learn the ins and outs, it is a nice unit. I chose it for its ipod integration and based on what else is out there I would choose it again.<BR><BR>It could use more power. I was hoping to get by without an amp.<BR>

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wow...

Written by: Jeff from Washington, NJ on November 26, 2006

Wow... That was the first word out of my mouth when i finished installing this unit and listened to it... It was totally amazing. I got this head unit along with the Full Speed iPod cable for my 2001 Nissan Altima and it works like a dream. Like others have said, the menus are somewhat tedious but just read the manual and you'll get used to it... Even with my stock speakers (which are being replaced next week), it sounded so much better than my factory setup. I couldn't wipe the silly smile off my face for like two days straight... One thing to be careful with though.. the faceplate is kind of tough to put back on the unit after taking it off to put it away. But besides that, definatley get this unit and you wont be dissapointed..

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Awesome Head Unit!

Written by: sergioc from Napa, CA on November 7, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed this head unit in a 2003 Toyo Taco, and I could not believe how easy the installation was. The wiring harness provided by Crutchfield takes all the guess work out. The physical install is extremely easy on this model vehicle, literally only seven screws and about two hours of your time unrushed. I installed this H/U with the optional IPOD cable and then used the Alpine KCA-121B cable to install a XMRADIO Roady XT, so its all hard wired for optimal sound. I must say the sound is amazing compared to original car stereo. The IPOD controls are slightly difficult to get used to but would not not recommend this deck for this reason. I currently still have stock speakers and it sounds great.

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Excellent deck

Written by: Per from Seattle, WA on November 2, 2006

2001 Subaru Legacy
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great deck for the ipod. I had been using an fm adapter with my old alpine deck and the signal was very prone to interference. The sound quality of this setup is excellent. I love the ipod controls on this deck, even if they are a little tedious. The ipod control is very fast and I was able to figure it out without the manual, so they must have done something right. This is a very well designed deck and I would highly recommend it.

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Looks very nice, menu is not bad

Written by: Oli from Washington on October 30, 2006

I got this deck for my VW corrado earlier this year. I like how it looks alot, and it is much better than my previous stereo, but there are certain fetures that I dont really like about it. The first main one that I noticed was the scrolling through the songs for the ipod. It takes a really long time to scroll down the list especially if you have tons of songs. Another thing I noticed is that when the sun is out its sometimes hard to see what the deck is showing at all.<BR>Overall I like this alot, but navigating through the menus could use some improvement.

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Great price and great item !

Written by: Eric from California on October 28, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great item, i wish that you could change the color. together with free kit and easy instruction you cannot go wrong.... dont forget the full speed ipod cable is wonderful!

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Excellent

Written by: Javier from Miami. FL on October 28, 2006

2006 Ford Mustang
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First of all I think Crutchfield did a great job helping me pick out a radio based on my needs. Delivery was fast. I only had one minor problem. I emailed tech support and they gave me an answer the next day. I asked another question based on their email and they responded within minutes. I discuss the problem in my review, it was not that big of a deal.<BR><BR>This radio was installed on my 2006 Mustang GT with the Shaker 500 system. According to Ford you could not replace the hu without changing the whole system as it would not work together with other components. Not only does it work, it sounds a lot better than the stock radio. The improvement is quite noticeable. I have read reviews were people complained that the reception for the tuner was worse than their factory radio. That is not the case with me, I have no problems with FM radio reception which was a problem with my pioneer. By the way I think the sound of this Alpine is so much better than my old pioneer from my previous car, at least with my current setup. <BR><BR>One thing to look out for if you have the Shaker 500 system, is that the factory amp comes with 5 volt turn on and the hu sends the signal at 12 volts causing a popping sound in the speakers when you turn on your car. I was told by tech support that all that is needed to fix the problem is to add a 12-5 volt regulator.<BR><BR>Overall I think this radio was a great purchase for me. It has improved the quality of my sound system without replacing the speakers. The XM signal is clear and loud, and the ipod connection is a

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Good HU

Written by: Jeremy from California, PA on October 27, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This head unit is Good for the price. Has everything you need. THe iPod controlle is great just make sure the MIX IS TURNED OFF! or u cannot access the folders or playlists. Took me awhile to figure it out because the manual doesn't tell you. The radio reception is just ok but i dont listen to it that much. Love the subwoofer controll though. I have a 92 oldsmobile Cutty ...(Thanks Crutchfield)

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great head unit until it was stolen

Written by: Alexander from huntersville, nc on October 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

i installed this head unit in my toyota pickup truck and i loved it. i installed it in less than 30 minutes. the i pod controls were great. i had the head unit for about 6 months, then when i walked out to the student parking lot at my high school after school and i had a broken window and no cd player.

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very good

Written by: chris from kansas on October 15, 2006

This is a great hu and one of the clearest sounding out there. I purchased this about a month a go and wanted something a with a little more flash so I purchased a Pioneer 680 premier. Well I got more flash and fancy but lower quality sound. Alpine sounds better than pioneer hands down- for my set-up anyway. The 9856 is so much better sounding. Don't make the same mistake I did because in this price range it can't be beat. I know some people are not happy with with the features that Alpine cut out of this years units but all I can say is--maybe they don't need all that sound shaping. Just my two cents. Buy it and don't look back. Great product. 4 stars-could use a little more power.

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Excellent Unit - Easy Install!

Written by: Mike from Milton, GA on October 10, 2006

1999 BMW 5 Series
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed this unit into a 1999 BMW 528i. It fit like a glove! Sounds wonderful, as well! The iPod controls took a bit getting used to, but now I can maneuver through the playlists and artists with ease. The display is easy to read, even in bright light. Radio sounds much better than the factory unit - I can now get stations that I was unable to get on the old unit! I highly recommend this receiver. Cruchfield's install guides are the best, and, other than a few user errors, I had everything installed in about 3 hours. Great product!

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Okay

Written by: Paul from Oakland, CA on October 7, 2006

2001 Volkswagen Passat
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this unit mainly for the ipod interface and overwhelmingly positive reviews. Even though this was my first installation, it was pretty straightforward on my 2001 Passat. The ipod controls are quick and sound fine, but are a bit awkward to use. For instance, you can't shuffle and pick a playlist. You must first turn off MIX, then select playlist, then hit MIX again. The best attribute of the unit is the BBE processing. Normally I eschew tone controls, but this made a real improvement on the sound. The CD works well, but the radio is a real disappointment. I get static on AM everytime I go under the slightest overhead obstruction, like a bridge, the sensitivity is worse than my factory radio, and the sound on the radio is a bit thin. (The CD sounds fine) Although the blue buttons match my console lights, they are really hard to read. Bright blue light with white letterings is horrible on the eyes. (You can manually dim, but then you don't get the auto adjustment feature) Overall, I would say this is an overrated product. Not bad, but there are a bunch of shortcomings.

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Very Pleased

Written by: Evan C from Santa Barbara, CA on October 6, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After sending my HDR1 JVC CD Player back to Crutchfield free of charge I came across this Alpine and decided to switch my newly purchased JVC with this. Shipping took only 3 days and I was able to put this CD player into my Honda Civic with no problems what so ever. The display on this CD player looks wonderful and I have not had any trouble reading the display during the day. The sound is also wonderful, really clean and enjoyable. Although the CD player navigation was somewhat of a mystery at first, I kept the pamphlet in my car and after learning what does what, I can easily use this CD player. With Green/Black/Blue/ and White display this CD player is really good looking, especially if your car interior happens to be black. I feel like I definitly got my money's worth with this Alpine CDA 9856 and highly recommend it. Props to crutchfield for such excellent customer service over the phone. I was never put on hold and found the customer support people to be really helpful. Overall great CD player, great company, and I'am indeed very pleased wityh my purchase.

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Unbelieveable

Written by: Henri from Charlottesville, VA on October 4, 2006

This is the greatest head unit. Ever. I am running it in a 97 F150 extended cab with infinity Kappas up front and Polk MOMOs in back, pushed by an MTX Blue Thunder 50x4 amp and 2 12" Infinity 1242s pushed by a pair of Profile HA700s. This head unit manages all of those systems, and seemlesly blends them together. The extra two preouts (for a total of 3) are well worth the 20 extra over the CDA9852, and the control for subwoofer volume is great and time saving. THe iPod controls work very well, only I am dissapointed there is no genre search (easy fix: make your own genre playlists). DO NOT drop another 150 on the next model up - the only advantage is the Dot-Matrix display and its not worth it. Buy this and you will not regret it.

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Excellent Choice...fit like a glove!

Written by: Thomas from New Britain, CT on October 3, 2006

1998 Honda Accord
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this HU based upon experience with Alpine and it definitely brings out the potential of my factory speakers in my 1998 Honda Accord. It gives multiple options to provide the best sound and navigating is a breeze. I didn't give this unit a 5 because it doesn't provided the power comparable to other HU's but still is an Excellent Choice!!<BR>Secondly, although I didn't order directly through a Crutchfield representative I have to provide feedback on the stellar service Crutchfield has provided. Shipment couldn't have been any quicker and all accessories provided made installation a snap. I am currently in the market for aftermarket speakers and when you call Crutchfield they are more than happy to assist and provide guidance.<BR>Thanks Crutchfield!

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Flawless!!!

Written by: William from Decatur, GA on September 30, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just install my Alpine CDA-9856 this afternoon and all I have to say is, Flawless!!! This head unit is exactly what I wanted. No more, no less. It is perfect so far. <BR><BR>I may sound like a broken record but, Crutchfield's service, support and install guides are top notch. No other electronics store can touch their attention to detail. I even called tech support and they were great too. I could not be happier with my experience with Crutchfield!!!<BR><BR>The unit itself is great. I just bought a new video iPod a week ago with every intention of hooking it up in my car with this deck. So far I am extremely happy with the iPod integration. Alpine's implementation of the iPod intergration is A+.

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excellent product

Written by: michael from Lander on September 29, 2006

this unit sounds great. I installed it in a 2004 Subaru Forester. I actually ended up taking it to a professional installer to resolve a wiring issue that made display lights flicker, but it was minor. Ipod controls take some getting used to but work fine. Excellent service from Crutchfield.

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Great Stereo - Great Company

Written by: Walter from Huntsville, AL on September 29, 2006

1998 Toyota Camry LE
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I recently ordered the CDA-9856 and installed it just today. So first things first. Crutchfield was wonderful. While shopping, I had a question so I sent an e-mail message to customer service on a Saturday night. They got back to me on Sunday with just the information I needed. Ordered Sunday night and got my shipment on Wednesday.<BR><BR>Instructions were easy to follow. After checking their included list to make sure I had all the tools I needed, I removed my factory head unit and cd-player and replaced it with the CDA-9856 and a pocket in about an hour. Everything fit beautifully and everything I needed came in the package.<BR><BR>The unit itself sounds wonderful. I didn't replace my factory speakers, and this unit makes them sound so much better I don't think I need to. Sound is crisp and clean and rich and it looks great in my car (a 98 Toyota Camry).<BR><BR>I bought this unit mainly because it had (for me) the best method for connecting to my iPod. I punched a hole in the pocket insert I got and threaded the cable through that. Now I can plug in my iPod through the dock connector, charge while I'm listening, and control the iPod through the unit's interface.<BR><BR>I will echo what other's have said. You do need to read through the manual, as what button to press when is not always intuitive. But after a quick read-through, it does everything I need and I got the hang of it in no time.<BR><BR>Nothing bad to report at all!

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: erick from Middletown, DE on September 24, 2006

2005 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This HU is very nice and good looking. I've owned many HU's, and this is definitely the best bang for the buck! Radio reception isn't as good as my factory HU though...But I would still reccomend this product to anyone.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Gary from Chicago, IL on September 22, 2006

2002 Mazda Tribute
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this for the ipod control and the additional aux in for a portable sat radio. The ipod scrolling is nice because you can start to scroll in either direction quickly but the display information lags and doesn't show up until after the song is already playing. Selecting how to scroll (artist, playlist, etc.) is a little cumbersome. I also use a Harmon Kardon Drive and Play in another vehicle which I think has the best controller and display (thou the display housing could be smaller). The Alpine is sharp looking and sounds great!

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Tyler from Hawaii on September 21, 2006

Much better compared to the factory HU and I will recommend this product to all my friends. Crutchfield was very quick with shipping. I will always purchase Alpine products from crutchfield from now on.

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good unit, bad for daily commuters

Written by: tommy9un from NJ/NY on September 21, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

<BR>The fist unit that I got was Sony CDX-GT300. It had some integration issues with the iPod and the Sirius receiver, so I had to get something else. Alpine CDA-9856 is pretty slick and worked as advertised in every way with the rest of the components. However, I miss my Sony. Now, I know Alpine is better quality. But you don't get any frills. I never thought I would miss preset equalizer settings from the Sony unit, but along with DSS, the Sony unit made the sound come alive in my car with the stock speakers. The Sony comes with remote, which this unit does not. Sony's remote has more function, where as the optional remote on Alpine just has the basic volume up and down, forward backwards. No control for the channels, no way to punch in the satellite channel. Just trying scrolling from channel 11 to 148, really annoying. The display on this unit is worthless in bright sun light. I have to block the sun with my hand to see the display. Try doing that in bumper to bumper traffic or going 80 mps down the freeway and see how long it takes you to get into an accident.<BR><BR>I'm just a regular guy that spends 2-3 hours in my car every day. I swapped my stock head unit because I wanted iPod and Sirius compatibility. I don't plan to put in any more money into my car's audio after this upgrade. If you are like me, Sony or Pioneer will be plenty. The no frills functionality of the Alpine really hinders the units overall performance in my application.<BR>

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Best I-Pod Player Period

Written by: Chad from Birmingham, AL on September 21, 2006

2005 Honda Accord LX
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased the CDA-9856 for my 2005 Honda Accord. I chose this head unit primarily for its built in, full speed I-Pod controls. Without a doubt, this is the best head unit available to control your I-Pod. <BR><BR>This unit really does control the I-Pod at "full speed." It is VERY nice to be able to scroll through your song list or artist list with NO delays. You simply scroll through until you find what you are looking for, hit the button and you are in business. The ID3 tags can either scroll through artist, album, and song name, or you can have it set to not scroll (default)-- if you only wanted to show song or artist name.<BR><BR>I strongly disagree with others about the "complicated controls." First off, I sugest downlaodng the user manual from Crutchfield and read it a couple times while you wait on your shipment -- that really helped. Either way though, after reading the manual, it is very easy to control the I-Pod. You can search by playlist, album, artist, or song. You can then search for specific songs or albums under each artist, etc. <BR><BR>Here is the "complicated" part. If you are only selecting a playlist, artist, or album, you scroll to it and press play. If you search for a playlist, artist or album, THEN a specific song for that list or artist, you press mode instead of play. Big deal. What so hard about this?? <BR><BR>As for the sound, etc, no problems here. This deck stacks up against other on its sound quality alone. But if you have an I-Pod, there is no other choice out there that can come close to this.

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Exceptional value....Fabulous Sound and Features

Written by: MICHAEL from Chattanooga, TN on September 15, 2006

Taking a step into the iPod age, I purchased the Alpine CDA-9856 and an Apple 30G iPod Video from Crutchfield. I replaced last year's Sony 7715X (also purchased from Crutchfield) with this Alpine. Nothing wrong with Sony, but I could not be more pleased with the results.<BR><BR>The Alpine CDA-9856 fit like a glove in my 2005 Honda Pilot. As this was my second time in the dash, installation was easy with the supplied harness, kit and instructions from Crutchfield. I also purchased the iPod connection cable ($30 for full iPod control) and the Alpine remote ($20).<BR><BR>I disabled the internal Power IC on the Alpine, as I am using a 4-channel MTX amp and do not need the internal power (less heat and better sound according to Alpine). <BR><BR>I didn't expect better sound from the Alpine, as the Sony was pretty good. But I was surprised at how much better and less fatigueing the sound is from the Alpine. I also expected to miss the Sony's 7-band EQ....nope. <BR><BR>The Full iPod control is fabulous. Great sound from the iPod from MP3's at 192k using BBE setting '2' on the iPod. I love it! My wife even commented on how much better the sound is now than with the Sony. <BR><BR>I now have 1000's of songs at my fingertips and am not fumbliing around with my CD's while driving. The artist, album, song title all scroll across the display while playing. It is a little confusing to navigate the playlist features intially, but I seem to have the hang of it now. <BR><BR>The tuner is pretty good, but not as sensitive as the Sony. Overall, I can't believe you can get this basket of features, convenience and sound for $199. Incredible and very pleased.

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This thing is absolutely fantastic!!!

Written by: Tom from Titusville, FL on September 15, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First I want to commend Crutchfield once again on the great service and deal. I did find this unit a few bucks cheaper on other websites, but when you factor in all the extras you get with Crutchfield (install kit, harness adapter, tech advice, even stuff I didn't need) it's a no-brainer. Now, about the unit. I've owned Pioneer, Blaupunkt, Panasonic, and JVC, and hands down this is the best sounding out of the lot. It is priced like an entry level unit, but is packed with features that make it the best value in the market. The Bass Engine lets me set the EQ curve where I want it, and gives me way more flexibility with the whole dynamic range of the unit, not just the bass. Now for the BBE. For those who don't know, BBE's are used by professional sound techs to add depth and clarity to music productions, and that Alpine has added this feature to a $199 HU shows they are truly trying to give the best sound experience possible. Another plus, I went direct to the battery with the main power leads and am getting zero engine noise without a noise suppressor. As for the review that said the radio reception was terrible, I am getting 3 FM stations from Jacksonville (130 miles away) with this unit. So, all in all I am very pleased with this unit and definitely will purchase Alpine again from Crutchfield.

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Satisfied with the Alpine CDA-9856 Stero

Written by: Shy from Hanover, MD. on September 14, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is one of the most productive investment that I've made in a long time. This radio has a very clear sound in my 4Runner truck. I was thinking about investing in some aftermarket speakers but after listening to this radio I am completely satisfied. The iPod cable added an even more fantastic feature of playing my iPod while driving. This radio is the Bomb.

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AMAZING X2 !!!

Written by: xhippy from RICHMOND, VA on September 11, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

FIRST MY COMMENTS RE CRUTCHFIELD: AMAZING SERVICE. I PLACED MY ORDER AT APROX 2PM ONE DAY AND IT WAS HERE BY 1 PM THE NEXT DAY!!! <BR>RE THE ALPINE HU: PRO: GREAT SOUND! NOW I KNOW WHAT OTHER'S MEAN WHEN THEY SAY IT IS A VAST IMPROVEMENT OVER THE STOCK HU, CRYSTAL CLEAR SOUND, ETC... I SEE NO NEED TO UPGRADE MY FACTORY SPEAKERS, ADD A SUB, ETC..BUT I MIGHT DO IT ANYWAY. VERY IMPRESSIVE! CON: COMPLICATED, MULTI-STEP ADJUSTMENT MENUS. TINY, DIFFICULT TO READ BUTTONS. OVERALL A WINNER!

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: John from Eldersburg, MD on September 8, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great stero. It is simple to use and the ipod hook up is great. It sounds good and looks good to. i think this is the best stero in this price range that you can buy.

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Niiiice!!

Written by: Michael from Macomb, MI on September 7, 2006

2002 Volkswagen Beetle
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My son recently installed this head unit in our 2002 Beetle w/ Monsoon. The fidelity is awesome. There is no need to swap out factory speakers. The entire installation took less than an hour. <BR><BR>I had to give this one 4 out of 5 stars because the AM band is in fact, useless. We don't use AM stations so, it's not a big deal to us.

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Pathetic Radio Reception

Written by: James from Houston on September 4, 2006

1997 Jeep Wrangler

The FM and AM reception is horrible. I've tried this model and the 9857, in 2 different cars, both new models are bad. Everything else works as advertised, but Alpine has traded off Ipod integration for radio reception. Or is it Alpines way of making you spend another $250 on HD radio?

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Kevin from San Diego, CA on September 1, 2006

WOW!!! This Head Unit is great!!! I just had it installed on my 2005 Hyundai Elantra. It was the first modification i had done to my stereo system so the speakers were still stock but the sound was still great but it could use some improvement. So I did improve it. I added some polk speakers to go along with the head unit. It is so loud with that combination. My next project is a 4 channel amp then a woofer. Some of the pros about this system is the led lights. The Blue is sleek. There are many more but I really recommend you trying this system out for yourself in whatever kind of car you have!!!

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Really Great Deck

Written by: jimithed from Virginia on August 30, 2006

I recently purchased this - upgrading from a Pioneer and i Really Like/Recommend this Deck. First off, just the cosmetics of it are great - the sleek black face w/ blue illumination is just awesome - and the rotary nob is wayyyy better then seperate buttons. I personaly LOVE the audio features - bass, treble, subwoofer control, etc.. & so far one of the best features is the ipod connection. Also, for only $200 you really cant beat that. Alot of great features for customization but not too many bells and whistles leaving you scratching your head saying what the heck? Now, Pros of this HU are definitly design, features/options and the IPOD connection (and the cable is real inexpensive - i paid like $31 after tax) and the great thing about that is you dont have to use the ipod itself - its all controlled thru the HU. Now, the cons are basically what everyone else says - the biggest one is the scrn. In the day - when its sunny you can barely see the lcd. If the suns directly on it forget it. But @ night its cherry. The 2nd (which only applies if you have the ipod cnnctd) is trying to scroll thru everything and the diff. playlists and artists to get what you want - take everyone elses advice and just make one or two folders of like 75+ songs you like and leave it on that. The third con - whichll only last like one day - is trying to navigate thru the menus. At first youre constantly looking down from the road trying to see what your doing, but like any deck thisll go away when you memorize the buttons/pressing and youll know exactly what to press how many times without even looking down. So all in all this is a GREAT DECK! Sound quality is awesome, & its great!

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Very Impressed

Written by: Richard from Georgetown, TX on August 25, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have been using mostly Kenwood for 20+ years but was a little disappointed in my last one (granted it was not as high-end as I have bought in the past, but I have to think of college funds these days). I have used other brands also but never Alpine. This time around I just wanted a good factory replacement head unit (using stock speakers) that could play MP3's and has decent, clean reception, as well as allowing for future expansion. I was trying to decide between a Sony and this Alpine, so just to be sure I went to a chain store to listen to both through their cheapest speakers. This one sounded far better than the Sony or any of the others I tried, but I was still concerned about using stock speakers.<BR><BR>Once I had it installed in my '06 Tundra (stock 6-speaker system), I was not disappointed. Radio reception is crystal clear without any hisses or pops, much better than stock or any of my previous systems. CD's and MP3's also sound great. Basically this deck lets my stock speakers reach their full potential. It won't get real loud, but with all the pre-amp outputs my options are wide open. The display is not too flashy, easy to read, and compliments my interior well.<BR><BR>The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is the user interface, which is not very intuitive. Most systems I can figure out without digging into the manual too much, but this one takes some getting used to.<BR><BR>Great product!<BR><BR>

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Dante from Raleigh, NC on August 24, 2006

I bought this HU to replace one in a Porsche Boxster S. The Alpine is truly superior and sounds much better than the factory HU. The optional iPod connector is well worth the money and gives you instant access to 60 gigs worth of music while charging the unit. At first I was concerned about iPod song/playlist navigation, but Alpine makes it easy and effortless.<BR><BR>As for the install - I would recommend professional installation. I did the installation myself, only to find that the VW harness would only connect to 1 of the 2 factory harnesses. The speaker harness had to be cut and hardwired. The other problem that I ran into was alternator noise/whine. I grounded it every way imaginable - but could not get rid of it. After a pro stereo shop worked on it for 1.5 hours, they were able to eliminate it.<BR><BR>Crutchfield, as always was top notch with fast shipping and incredible technical support. <BR><BR>If you are looking for a great sounding HU at a great price, then this is the unit.<BR>

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Major Improvement

Written by: George from Albany, Ny on August 24, 2006

2000 Dodge Neon
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This was a replacement for a stolen JVC and being that the jvc was my first aftermarket reciever i thought the sound reproduction from it was superb. I was totally wrong the Alpine 9856 is incredible. At first the sound is rather distant but once you calibrate it, you really see where your money went. On my jvc i had no real perception of sound it felt like it was just a stereo with two speakers. ON the Alpine you hear the music coming as if it were a surround system. The highs are clear and so are the mid ranges. The bass on my system which consists of 3 way pioneers in the front and factory 6x9's in the back is definitely causing a bottleneck for this reciever. I also bought the aux output cable and the monster cable connection that makes the rca into miniplug and the sound reproduction for my mp3 player is clear unlike any of those cassette adapters or wireless transmitters. This unit is the same as the more expensive 9857 without the whole biolite display and this picture does not do it justice the display is clear and looks very sharp unlike what the picture shows. Got it from the outlet for cheaper then the retail and no regrets.

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Better than buying an Aux. Adapter!

Written by: Hyghgynx from Fresno, CA on August 22, 2006

2005 Scion tC
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I wanted a better HU in my Scion tC that provided me with Artist, Album, and Track Name info while playing my iPod. This HU does not disappoint! For the $$, it doesnt get any better than this! Sound is hawt! Even with my factory speakers. Be sure to pick up the Alpine KCE-422i iPod cable when you purchase this HU. Its only $30! The cable also charges your iPod so youre good to go when you take it out of your car! For some of you with issues about finding songs, may I suggest "Smart Playlists". It groups ALL the albums (and songs) by a particular artist in one grouping accordingly. Makes finding artists/songs A LOT easier! Thank God the dial on the HU goes backwards though the alphabet as well!<BR><BR>For Christmas, I received SIRIUS Satellite Radio. (SIRIUS S50) I really didnt want to spend $150 on the Alpine KCA-410C Aux. Adapter. (Eventually. I will.) Did Alpine leave us out in the cold? NO! I used the Alpine KCA-121B Auxiliary Input Adapter instead and its a STEAL at $15.99! True, my HU doesnt display Satellite Radio info but thats what the S50 is for. The sound is amazing! I didnt know Satellite Radio had such clarity! <BR><BR>In my tC, I had both of these hooked up to an Aux. Adapter and my stock HU. Let me tell you that this Alpine HU sounds 100Xs better! So if youre looking into getting an Aux, Adapter, you might just want to look at this HU. This HU has many features (just read the Overview, I dont want to bore you here) and the Bass Engine and BBE processing are very nice! Kudos to Alpine!<BR><BR>THANK YOU Crutchfield for making the install process a snap! Shipping was quick and the Master Guides were a really big help! Now thats what I call "Customer Service"

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Kevin from Racine,WI on August 22, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I would have given it 10 stars but i'm only allowed 5. I'm 99.9% satisfied with my purchase and i'm glad i changed my mind from the panasonic i was looking at. the only thing i'm disappointed in is the radio's reception. At certain times of the day since the "oh so dazzaling" HD Radio came out i have lost reception, not completely just a little staticky. i also reconnected my old subs to this deck and didn't relize how powerful they are. The music clearity has definately improved since installing the deck and i still have the stock speakers in(i wonder how much better aftermarket speakers will sound).but my next add on will have to be an IPOD because frankly i didn't buy this to listen to the radio(but there are times i don't mind radio) but i bought it for the love of music and my endless lists of cd's an ipod surely will complement this deck. <BR><BR>P.S.- CHEVY owners the Metra VT-GMRC-01 is a must but is VERY LOUD follow instructions to lower the volume before you completely mount/install. i did not and don't have the time to pull my dash apart just to adjust the volume.

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9856 + Ipod Adapter = Best Deal & Sound Hands Down

Written by: Anthony from Texas on August 22, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is my 2nd Alpine Deck... the 9856 sounds great, it really woke up my stock speakers and gave the 12" sub i added a cleaner sound. very user friendly, they got rid of that glide touch finally, the lookds and sound of this stereo is hard to beat for $199. the ipod adapter cord is fairly long, giving you room to decide where you want to route it to store your ipod. only gripe is that it doesnt come with a remote, but the remotes are only $19.99... the alpine sound is well above any other make!

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2003 Silverado Z71

Written by: Jeff from Torrance,CA on August 22, 2006

2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This head unit and Crutchfield are as good as everyone says! BUT, for anyone with a late model Silverado get the METRA VT-GMROC-01 as Crutchfield recommends. I wanted to eliminate the door chime altogether and din't buy this. I bought 3 different wiring harnesses at 20 bucks each, and none of them are able to supply the 12v switched power. I talked to a few people and this is a known issue. As for controlling the iPod, I have 15 gigs of tunes and controlling them from this Alpine is as easy as doing it directly from the iPod. And I have a 2nd generation with the old 2.0 and it still works! Trust me, you can't go wrong with this. <BR><BR>I also bought the Punch 75 and bridged it with a single 10" P2, left the stock Bose speakers up front and this thing hits hard.

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AWESOME!!!

Written by: Jeff from Ivor, VA on August 20, 2006

1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have nothing but good things to say about crutchfield and Alpine. This reciever is top of the line. I bought it to listen to my Ipod in my car and upgrade from the Factory Infiniti Stereo in my 95 Grand Cherokee. It has FAR exceeded my expectations and I am very content with it. Simple to install with all of the crutchfield instructions and kits, and pretty easy to use. <BR>Good Job Crutchfield and Alpine!

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Eddie from Chi-City, IL on August 19, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This headunit is awesome. I recently purchased this unit along with the iPod connection & all I can say is WOW!!! The display is bright & clear. Now with my iPod connected I no longer have to carry around my cd cases I just connect and go simply as that. I can't wait to get aftermarket speakers to hear this unit @ its best. Thanks Crutchfield

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Ramon from Tucson,AZ on August 17, 2006

This head unit is impressive! the bass engine lets me adjust my speaker bass seperately from my sub bass! I upgraded from a clarion. The sound coming from this head unit compared to the clarion is lots better the highs are crisp and clean and it is a good bang for your buck!!!

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Incredible!!

Written by: Rich from Maui, HI on August 17, 2006

2000 Volkswagen Jetta

The Alpine CDA-9856 is just wonderful. Best sounding car stereo I've ever had. I replaced the top of the line VW "Monsoon" system (which was very good) due to a smashed faceplate. So this was my oportunity to get something that would integreate with my iPod. I don't know how I could be happier. The sound is WAY better than the Monsoon system, and the connection with the iPod is fantastic. Full control over the iPod is via an inexpensive adapter, and the song and playlist info scrolls across the screen on the stereo. It's slick, and even better than I had hoped for. Get this one and you won't be sorry!

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Randy

Written by: Randolph from Baltimore, MD on August 16, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great stereo. Sound is fantastic, for $200 I do not think you can do better. As always, Crutchfield was wonderful to deal with. The stereo was delivered the day after I ordered it, with all required accessories. I have yet to find another mail-order store that gives the customer support that Crutchfield does.

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Alpine v. Kenwood Excelon

Written by: skocis from Centerville, OH on August 13, 2006

1994 Honda Accord DX
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice head unit, I replaced a Kenwood Excelon 969 (with CD playing problems) that has more features than the Alpine unit. The Alpine has impressive sound clarity but wish it had more than bass/treble adjustments; however the sound is much cleaner/clearer than the Kenwood unit.<BR><BR>I'm using this head unit in a 94 Accord with a Profile 4 channel amp that drives Infinity Kappas 6x9 two way in the rear deck, and Infinity Kappa 6.5" component speakers in the front door. The highs are extremely crisp and most people are surprised I'm not running a sub with the low-end the 6x9's produce!<BR><BR>I don't think the extra $ to get A-9857 for better screen resolution, remote, etc. was worth it. Alpine has my business.

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awesome

Written by: Troy from sealy, tx on August 10, 2006

2004 Ford F-250 Super Duty
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

took me two hours to install this, along with the ipod 422 cable and the terk xm adapater and antenna in a 2004 f250. crutchfield rocks.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Sz from PA on August 4, 2006

2006 Scion tC
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very good headunit for the price. At any price range more and you're just buying features that aren't necessary. If you have the money get one of those nav/dvd headunits. This though does all the things I want it to. Mp3 cds and iPod control are exactly what I need and all for only 230. Other headunits charge and addition 100 on top of their 200 dollar models for the iPod adaptor. The 9856 only charges 30 dollars. Really good deal and you get complete control over the iPod. I probably wouldn't recommend iPod headunit control if you have a large library and that pretty much goes for ANY headunit because a knob will never be faster than the scroll wheel on the iPod. I use playlists so that makes it more simple.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Evan from Boulder, CO on August 4, 2006

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this replace my venerable Rockford-Fosgate RFX8220 25W X 4 deck so I could take my iPod on the road. First let me say that Cruthfield rocks! I got this in 3 days from the east coast and it installed easily. There are a lot of signal processing features on this deck, bass/treble center frequencies, bandwidth, BBE processing, etc. Yeah all that is great but I would rather have Alpine put the extra money into an amp with 7-8 more RMS watts. My RF deck sounded better than this one. But for the 4 6.5 inch speakers I'm driving with this, and the iPod features, can't beat it for $200. I'll take it! I've got a separately amplified sub and it really makes the system. Good deck if you are upgrading your factory system and not looking to blow your doors off.

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Great Stereo

Written by: Alex from Hoover Alabama on August 1, 2006

This is a great Stereo for the Money. I got one of these mainly for the mp3 CD compatibility. Still have yet to try the Ipod yet. There are 2 Complaints i have about this, my radio static actually increased since getting this.. i have heard of problems like this with this model but i am unaware of how to fix this. Also all you 03 Civic owners out there i have a terrible glare for the way mine was mounted, the screen look really washed out. I'm trying to find some anti-glare stuff for it without decreasing the screen brightness. all in all it's a great stereo with the exception of a few minor gripes but for a cheap upgrade for your car it's the best

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Sticking with Alpine after this purchase

Written by: Jonathon from East Lansing, MI on July 28, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This Alpine is my fourth HU in 8 years. The sound quality is top notch and the display is easily legible and attractive. I've previously owned Kenwood eXcelon, Sony and Pioneer and the Alpine is far and away the best in nearly every regard.<BR><BR>I have this unit mated with the Alpine MRP-F250 4-channel amp pushing Infinity Kappas and the Alpine MRD-M1005 pushing a JL Audio 12W7. The clarity is incredible and most people are surprised to hear how good car audio can actually sound when in my 2000 Accord. After 2 months with this unit, I have only praise.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Joseph from Atlantic Highlands NJ on July 27, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installed this unit along with XM tuner pack to my 2005 Ford Escape with MACH audio system. Outstanding performance, total package teamed up with an IPOD with the interface cable. For the money its the best you could get. Sound is awesome even with factory speakers and factory subwoofer. Haven't had any problems with the display. I only wish the time was always displayed in all modes. Something that I can live with considering the outstanding sound.

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Alpine CDA 9856 / iPod

Written by: Chad from Thomasville, GA on July 26, 2006

ISSUE: Alpine HU cannot find iPod. It just says "searching" and the iPod jumps from the main menu to a screen with a check mark and the words "OK to disconnect." I called Crutchfield tech support and they told me to reset the HU - That didn't work. Told me to disconnect iPod cable from back of HU - That didn't work either. Told me to back out the latest iPod update - I didn't try that. Here is what does work for this issue - RESET your iPod. It's really easy. I have a 30g video unit. All you have to do is slide the Hold switch to the Hold position, then turn it back off. Then, Press and hold the Menu and Center (Select) buttons until the Apple logo appears onscreen (about 6 to 10 seconds). If you don't see the logo, repeat this step as necessary until the logo appears. This will take care of the error and the iPod and the Alpine will become friends again. <BR><BR>I really like the Alpine HU and all of the features it offers for the iPod. Crutchfield tech support was very friendly and helpful about this issue. However, they said they had never heard of it before. It is a known issue because I found some people in forums having the same problem. I hope tech support puts this one in the database for future help.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Mark from Omaha, NE on July 23, 2006

Very nice stereo! Installed this in my 2006 Honda Civic. No small feat, since I had to replace the dash with a custom dash setup for an after market stereo. This is my 3rd Alpine head unit in 3 years (3 different cars) and is mainly used for Ipod control. The new Ipod control built into the unit really makes a difference, its much faster moving through playlist and songs during searches and even skipping to the next song is faster. Not having a large external ipod control unit to stash somewhere is a big plus. On the minus side, the display is hard to see when the sun shines directly onto it, The new way the face removes from the unit is definately harder and I have allot of trouble at night getting the face back in without light. Last minus is that they took away the constant scroll of what's playing. On my other units we include the artist name in the song title and the alpines constantly scroll this info. The new unit will scroll the song title twice and then stops. There is an auto scroll option but it moves between artist, album and song then repeats. May be ok for some but I prefer just the song name over and over. I'm ceartainly happy with this unit and would highly recomend it to anyone looking for Ipod control.

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This Stereo Rocks

Written by: Rob from Tucson AZ on July 18, 2006

I bought this stereo locally because i dont have a credit card. - Anyways this thing rocks. I bought mine to replace the factory stereo. WOW super clean highs mids and lows through the stock speakers. The only bad thing i can say about this deck unit is: I want to spend more money!!! components.. amps and subs would make this system really Shine!

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Great!

Written by: Tim from SE, Wisconsin on July 12, 2006

2000 Dodge Stratus
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

got this because the factory radio in my 00 stratus only played cassettes, and i was sick of the low sound quality of the cassette adapter i was using for my ipod.<BR><BR>ordered it from crutchfield for the lowest price around, got everything i needed to install it for free (including instructions), and even got free three-day shipping. couldn't have been happier!<BR><BR>package arrived yesterday, and i got to installing it today. the directions were a bit boggling at first, as i have absolutely no experience with car stereo installation, but after a few hours of work, i finished installing. everything works perfectly, and after a quick read-through of the manual, i know how everything works!<BR><BR>excellent, alpine and crutchfield!

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Alpine CDA-9856 install (2001 VW Passat with iPod Mini)

Written by: Drew from Florida on July 4, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Stereo sounds great with Monsoon system. This Alpine stereo replaced the VW factory AM/FM with cassette and factory CD units in order to use an iPod (Mini). Buy this instead of an iPod adapter if you have this vehicle. Tech support was very helpful with this fairly easy install. Instruction sheet did not include some minor details (e.g., crimp size, pocket unit had to be installed upside from instructions, etc.), but was good overall. Fit looks very professional and running the iPod to the glove box, which has air conditioning, was very easy. The interface for the iPod is fine and can be "tuned" by making changes in iTunes (e.g., editing/correcting artist names, etc.); the interface also makes more sense if you read the directions.

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Overall great head unit

Written by: Josh from Clarks Summit PA on July 4, 2006

1996 Audi A4

Overall the CDA 9856 is a great headunit. I cant see why anyone would pay more just for a better display because the display on the 9856 moves fairly quickly and is easy to follow. The only setback to this is on the interface for the IPOD. I have thousands of albums and artists and when searching through them all it takes a long time to keep spinning the knob around and around to get the the artist or album. I think there should have been some touchglide technology on this headunit or something to make that work better. Other than that it is a great headunit and I would recommend it to those who want IPOD in the car.<BR>

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THANK YOU CRUTCHFIELD

Written by: KP915 from TEXAS!! on July 3, 2006

I bought this HD CD player from Crutchfield a week ago and it works phenomenally!! I almost bought this product from a local car audio store and man am I glad I didn't!!! They were going to charge me $200 for the deck, $35 for the harness, $30 for the I-Pod connector, and $100 for labor. $365 total and it would have been a huge mistake because Crutchfield has fast FREE (2-day) shipping and gives you the harness and instructions for installation in turn saving the consumer money. From Crutchfield, I got everything the local shop was offering.....for $136 cheaper.<BR><BR>Installation wasn't exactly a breeze but it wasn't rocket science either. <BR><BR>I'm an avid I-Pod fan and this deck works excellent with it. Anyone who complains about the I-Pod interface being too hard and complicated to use is just plain LAZY. After reading the user manual, no one should have a problem searching his I-Pod through the deck. Furthermore, if after reading the instructions, one still finds himself lost and confused trying to control the I-Pod...there may be a problem; I regret to tell you that it's NOT Alpine's!<BR>

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: 86 Blazer from Clarion, IA on June 28, 2006

I bought my cd player elsewhere but i wish i would have gotten it on here for the meer fact that i could have gotten install gear for free, my only problem was that i could not figure out the clock and the install took maybe an hour and 15 min. i even hooked up my pedals with the dimmer. It is a very easy stereo to use and explorer. I really like the button lay out and the retractable knob

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: somamoons from Mpls, MN on June 24, 2006

1992 Toyota Tercel
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Overall this stereo is great, but there were a few key issues that I had with it. The first is, that upon first glance it's not very "user intuitive," meaning that I had to pull out the manual to figure out how to set certain functions on the display (like scrolling text). Even with the manual some of it wasn't very understandable and I had to poke around to figure it out.<BR><BR>The second concern that I have is the longevity of the radio. I noticed that the connector between the detachable faceplate and the stereo body is a pin-type connector, rather than flat electro-plates that pass current between them. My concern comes from a previous radio I had that used a similar type of pin connector - after a few years of use, a couple of the pins popped loose and the stereo refused to work after that. While this stereo has a slightly different design of pin-connector than my previous one, and one that fortunately appears a bit more stable, I'm still slightly concerned that a few years down the road it will develop the same problem of loose pins and stop working. <BR><BR>But in all other aspects, I like the radio. It does have great sound, and I like how the volume level gradually increases when you turn it on, rather than blaring into existence. :)

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Great buy, great service!

Written by: AJ from Las Vegas, NV on June 23, 2006

1999 Honda CRV
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This head unit is phemoninal. I installed this myself in a 99 Honda CRV. Installation only took 2 hours (wiring, removal of panels, beer break!) thanks to everything supplied FREE from crutchfield. The HU started up perfect the first time, FM quality is as good as factory, CDs have a new crisp sound, and the IPOD interface is flawless. Alot of people have complaied about it being to complicated but anyone with common sense and basic knowledge of computers/ipods can figure it out. People said the carrying case wont close, but mine is perfect, maybe alpine updated it? <BR><BR>Cliffs notes:<BR>A+ Headunit<BR>A+++ service from crutchfield!

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I love this thing

Written by: Andre from Longview, WA on June 16, 2006

I purchased this headunit along with the Alpine HD Radio Tuner (TUA-T500HD). It was easy to install myself and the sound quality instantaneously superb. And once I got the Tuner installed it made an even better difference. I will never go back to regular radio.

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Wow

Written by: John from Houston TX on June 15, 2006

2001 Toyota Tundra
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

What a great deck! Nice first class look as always with Alpine. Very easy to use and install. Looks like it belongs in my truck, very clean. It sounds great, better then my stock unit which had a seprate stock amp. Ipod hook up is cool, works great. I couldn't be happier.<BR><BR>Thanks crutchfield for the super fast shipping, I even got it a day early.:)<BR><BR>John

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Great addition to an above average factory system

Written by: Douglas from El Paso, TX on June 12, 2006

2003 Hyundai Tiburon
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this unit for it's MP3 capability and compatibility with the rest of the Infinity system that came in my 03 Tiburon. Now an already impressive factory system has been unleashed to reveal previously unheard sound quality. It was pretty much a steal at the price I paid versus the premium sound I now enjoy. Thanks goes out to my tech advisor Rusty for steering me in this direction.

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The sound rocks!

Written by: Rommel from Granada Hills, CA on June 12, 2006

2003 Toyota Matrix
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installation on my '03 Toyota Matrix took a little figuring out, more than what the instruction manual suggested, nonetheless, I was able to hook everything up successfully! And yes, the controls took a little getting used to, but it all works smoothly.<BR><BR>I was most impressed with how my stock speakers sounded with this headunit: louder, clearer, it's an upgrade to my ears! And the iPod controls are quick and intuitive. Kudos to Crutchfield as well as this Alpine headunit. The only thing I missed was my cassette player that I used with my cellphone cassette adaptor. Oh well, I guess that's what the bluetooth adaptor is for...<BR><BR>Highly recommended!

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Nice Head Unit for Price and Features

Written by: Bill from Wisc Rapids, WI on June 12, 2006

1996 Dodge Ram 2500
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'll begin by saying that Crutchfield made installing this unit a snap. I own a '96 Dodge 2500. They included the wiring harness adapter and faceplate plus the installation master sheet at no charge. It took relatively no time at all to remove the factory unit and put the new unit in. I soldered all the wires so it took me a little longer than if I had crimped the wires. After installing, I turned the unit on and everything worked flawlessly. I bought this unit for its expandability. The unit supports iPod, HD Radio, and SAT Radio. I am still the "old school" type and do not own an iPod. I have read a lot of reviews that slam a head unit for not having the features of an iPod. I guess when Apple begins making head units, then you can complain. Until then, these units are developed to produce better sound and music. The sound on this unit is fantastic even with my factory speakers. I can only imagine what it would sound like with aftermarket speakers. The radio stations were fairly easy to set. Not as easy as the factory model, but pretty straightforward. Adjusting some of the other sound levels were a little more challenging, but still pretty workable. I agree with others that the clock was a little tricky in setting, but it was done by only having to look back at the manual one time. The CD player was easy to operate and setup. The display is easy to read even in bright sunlight. My overall satisfaction with this unit is very high.

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Great Budget Head Unit

Written by: Jojo from Muskegon, MI on June 12, 2006

For $200 dollars with the free car kit and harnesses this head unit is worth every penny. The sound quality compared to the OEM unit is outstanding. The feature I wanted most (and found most difficult to please) was the mix disc feature. I found out that head units almost twice as expensive were lacking in this rudimentary feature. The Alpine loads and plays MP3 disc quite rapidly, looks great, and with Crutchfields instructions, was easy to install.<BR>My only negatives at this moment is that the display gets washed out easily in sunlight (great at night), and you can't display the track name, artist along with the time. You have to press the title button a few times to display the time. It's annoying how you can't display the time along with the artist you are listening to. You can see the folder number and track number with the time though. <BR>Overall I am very happy with the Alpine head unit. <BR>I will be a 100% Crutchfield customer and would definitely look at Alpine again for my car audio needs. <BR>

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Good sound, but interface and iPod adapter nearly unusable

Written by: Doug from Centreville, VA on June 11, 2006

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this unit because I heard a lot about its compatibility with the iPod. While it does sound very good, the interface is awful and difficult to figure out. Certain buttons are inoperable in certain modes with no logical way to determine what works when. In some modes, the Mode button selects while in others the "box" button selects. Some menus are cycled by repeatedly pressing the menu button, while others use the seek buttons. I cant make any logical sense of this. To top it off, its biggest selling point - iPod integration - is terrible. Searching any sizeable list (greater than 100 items) is SLOW. It seems the scroll speed is constant, despite how fast you turn the dial. It take about 5 mins of constant scrolling to get to the middle of the library to listen to Led Zeppelin. Even then, if you hit the wrong button for that mode, you are back to the beginning. There is also no browsing by Genre (playlists can be used as a work-around; pretty shoddy tho). Mix mode (random) also seems to prefer artists at the top of the alphabet.<BR><BR>I am considering returning this unit, but I dont know if there are any radios with an intuitive interface. This cant be hard; doesnt Alpine, etc do usuability testing?

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Excellent Headunit for the price

Written by: Danny from Chicago, IL on June 7, 2006

2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder

When I first turned on the headunit, I noticed a big difference in sound quality compared to the stock unit. Before I would here road noise more than the music. Now it's the complete opposite. The midrange sound came out much more filled than the stock unit. My other car has an 05 Alpine unit with the older IPod interface and it works pretty good. The 06 Alpines with the new IPod interface works so much faster than the older one. The only thing I notice about the headunit is that the highs sometimes come in a little too sharp, but turning down the treble a bit eliminated that problem.

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Awesome!

Written by: Chuck from St. Pete, FL on June 2, 2006

1999 Chrysler Sebring JX
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is an awesome unit! I can't believe the sound quality this unit produces. I bought an amp to go along with it and ended up returning the amp because I simply did not need the additonal power. I'm very pleased and impressed with the Ipod interface this unit has and for just $30 it's a great bargain. If you're looking for a unit to play your Ipod through then this is the unit for you. Get it - you won't be sorry.

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sounds great

Written by: Mike from Louisville, KY on June 1, 2006

2005 Chevrolet Express
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sounds! I matched this hu with Alpine 6.5's in the doors and Alpine 6x9's in boxes behind the seat. I have to say this is the best sounding stereo I ever owned. I think there is something to be said for using same brand components.

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Great HU!

Written by: Tim from Annapolis, MD on May 29, 2006

I recently ordered this headunit off of the Crutchfield website and they sent me the wiring harness and install kit for free. I had previously had no experience installing anything in my car and with all their instructions, guidelines, and tech support even I was able to install this HU within an hour or two. After installing it, I played around with it for a little while and found it quite easy to get used to. Playing with the bass engine makes it easy to customize what kind of sound you're looking for in you're car.<BR><BR> I then went out and bought the interface adaptor especially made for Alpines and hooked up my MP3 player. Everything looks to see clean now that i don't have to run any wires in the middle of my cabin. Overall, I love this HU and would recommend it to anybody who is looking to get one.<BR><BR> By the way... I have had no trouble with not being able to see the HU during the day but that may just be because of the angle I have it.

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Alpine 9856 Perfect

Written by: Gregory from Canby,OR on May 29, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Alpine CDA-9856 is perfect for me. One simple cable hookup to ipod. I just create playlists of my favorite songs and hit shuffle and away I go. I too have a lot of music on my ipod and I don't see the problem with scrolling through artists as others have complained takes to long. But again I prefer making playlists. Other than the ipod scenario the 9856 makes my stock speakers sound so much better than my factory radio(GM)could. MP3 player works great blah blah blah. In other words I love the Alpine 9856 and have no complaints. Crutchfield supplied all the necessary installation components/instructions and my first ever stereo installation was a breeze.<BR><BR>

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Best HU I've had to date.

Written by: Ryan from Springvale, ME on May 27, 2006

2005 Ford F-150

This is the 6th aftermarket HU I've had, and I'll have to say it's by far the best. The options seem endless from Alpine, and the quality, while some will say has gone down, is still the highest of all aftermarket manufacturers.<BR><BR>My setup includes this HU, matched with Pioneer 4-way 6x8's both front and rear and a Kenwood KSC-SW1 powered sub mounted under the rear bench seat in my 05' F-150 Ext. cab.<BR><BR>As some people have said, the interface takes some getting used to, but I'll have to admit the options seem near endless. I haven't had issues with the display in the sunlight, but that may be due to the layout of the dash in the truck. I plan to get the usb controller for non-iPod mp3 players, and possibly XM sat radio in the near future.<BR><BR>As for Crutchfield, well this is the 4th system I've purchased from them, and their instructions are as simple as ever, and tech support is second to non. I highly recommend this HU to anyone looking to upgrade.

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The interface is BAAAAAD

Written by: Anonymous from Huntington Beach California on May 17, 2006

OK, so as many people have said, this thing is OK as aftermarket decks go. <BR><BR>Being able to charge my iPod is cool, and leaving your ipod in the glovebox is cool too.<BR><BR>BUT. Alpine didn't use the same menu structure as iPod (Why?) Navigating through a big Ipod library is a pain in the butt with this thing. I am going to return it, and get a deck with a plain old AUX in, and then mount my ipod somewhere where it's easy to control.<BR><BR>Trust me, they still haven't figured out this ipod control stuff... it's not as good as your ipod's menu.<BR><BR>

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Harry from San Antonio, TX on May 17, 2006

1998 Plymouth Voyager
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am extremely impressed with this product - and with Crutchfield's installation package as well. I purchased the Alpine unit primarily because of the Ipod interface, and I have certainly not been disappointed. The speed and comprehensiveness of the Ipod controls is vastly superior to competitive products, especially in this price range. Installation was a snap, and the sound quality is superb. I have enthusiastically recommended this product to several of my friends.

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Dont underestimate the 9856.

Written by: Blammo300 from Los Angeles, CA on May 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For the last year I was using a Sony 7710 reciever until it was recently stolen. After alot of research I decided to buy the Alpine 9856 to use with my Infinity Reference speakers. After installing the unit I was very surprised by the quality of the sound. It was so crisp and responsive compared to my Sony, I heard sounds I had never heard before. My speakers no longer distort when I raise the volume up, my old reciever never had this much power and it cost the same price. I could not ask for more except a BioLite screen would have been nice but it is $150 more for the 9857. I plan to upgrade from mp3 disks to a ipod soon also. Would highly recommend.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Terry from Edison, NJ on May 13, 2006

Bought this to replace my 9851 hooked up to all alpine Type R speakrers and sub. Definately a huge step up. Instead of spending 150 to get the interface for the old, slow unit, I bought this with the Ipod cable because my subwoofer made the CD changer I had skip. Couldn't possibly be happier

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Perfect Intergration with your IPod

Written by: Shawn from North Haven, CT on May 13, 2006

1996 Nissan Maxima
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Simply an outstanding product. I had replaced my factory stereo with an Alpine CDA-9811 a few years ago and had always played my ipod through an FM modulator and most recently an adapter that used the AI port for a direct line in, but it was a mess of wires. When Alpine came out with their new full speed interface I knew I would be upgrading. Installation was a snap and now a single cable runs unseen to my center console where my ipod stays hidden and protected. Controlling it from the Alpine is almost as easy as using th ipod interface itself. Simply choose playlist, artist or song select and then hit the mix button to shuffle everything. I also love the display of Artist, Album and song continually scrolling across the face of the Alpine. Lastly I would have to say sound quality is amazing, detail is great and it seems like sound check, keeping all the songs at the same volume level, is more effective throuhg this interface, in the past I was constantly adjusting the volume and now I hardly ever touch it except to turn up another great song. Excellent work Alpine!

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Amazing

Written by: Cameron from Omaha, NE on May 12, 2006

Okay, first off, i want to say, Crutchfield is amazing. Like all of you who have bought a head unit from them before know, the send u free stuff!. Second, their tech support is top-conch. I called them twice, and i couldn't ask them to be more helpful or friendly. Ill be honest, im an idiot when it comes to installing electronics, but the instructions and help Crutchfield gave me made it possible. <BR> I bought this unit for my Xterra and it is phenomenal. It is everything i asked for plus more. I planned my system around my iPod, and this is by far the best product for it. The full speed cable and this unit is the best combination on the market. Like you have probably read in previous reviews, the controls take some getting used to, but with 15 minuets sitting in my driveway, i got it mastered.<BR> There are only a few complaints i have. First is nothing against the unit, but the hole filler-in thing. It didn't line up perfectly with the unit, and leaves a ugly gap. The only other complaint i have is the display. Its dim and not very wowing like the rest on the unit<BR> Despite those two things, this is by far, the best purchase i have made over the internet. And I will go nowhere else, but Crutchfield.<BR>

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: DJ from Portage, MI on May 11, 2006

2004 Honda Civic SI
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I received my order much faster than I could have expected - two days after putting in my order online (standard shipping)! The instructions and photos were accurate for my car. I connected the supplied harness adapter to the stereo harness easily while it rained outside, then did the install in less than an hour. The hardest part was removing a couple screws and deciding how to route the (optional) iPod connecting cable in my car. The stereo sounds great, is not difficult to set up and configure, and is fantastic for controlling my iPod. I just wish the illumination color was adjustable to match the gauge illumination of my car. Not a big deal (it looks great anyway), but it would have been real trick if it looked like the rest of the car's dash lights. The sound is rich, highly adjustable, and there's plenty of power. Alpine makes a great head unit and this one is brilliant for the money!

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No More Skipping CD's

Written by: DannyJ from Malta, NY on May 10, 2006

2000 Toyota 4Runner
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is my first Alpine and let me say, I am so glad I now own this sick HU. I have previously owned several Kenwood decks and the 9856 blows them all away. I'm no install pro and I had this completely hooked up in my 4 Runner in less than 2 hrs. Crutchfield makes it so easy. Ran into a little problem with the wiring harness. Put in a quick call to support and they talked me right through. He had me bypass the OEM amp and sure enough, I found the connectors that plugged right into the Crutchfield harness. Can't beat that kind of service. <BR><BR>The Ipod controls are amazing. I've read reviews that claim the interface is a little tricky but I found it to be very easy to use. I drilled a hole in the DIN pocket Crutchfield sent and ran the KCE-422i cable through so the ipod sits in the pocket. I can't tell you how nice it is to hear CD quality tunes without a skip. Ever!!. <BR><BR>The clarity of the Alpine is incredible and I would highly recommend. If you want to run your ipod through your car for around $200, this is the setup. GET IT! You won't be disappointed.

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This stereo is amazing!!!

Written by: Kyle from Hilton Head, SC on May 9, 2006

I just purchased this stereo, and installed it in my 1995 Honda Civic. It has awesome sound quality and clarity. I bought it for the ipod integration, which couldn't have been easier to hook up, and plus its a great by at $30. The sound with the ipod is amazing!!! If you are considering many different stereos to hook up your ipod to, definitly choose this one. It is by far the best!!!

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2 stage EQ only??? no high or low pass filters???

Written by: frank from NYC on May 7, 2006

i never need a crazy EQ before i got a whole system so i didnt know any better. once i had 2 sets of components, a sub, and 2 powerful amps, i noticed the lack of control u have in the 9856 compared to others. i could have spent 50 bucks more and gotten ten times more. also, ipod control is terrible compared to other brands (pioneer mostly). for the money, its a 3 out of 5. if u have a good system, do it justice and get a receiver that will allow you to have some degree of control

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Almost There

Written by: RockNRollTeg from Glendale, CA on May 3, 2006

Sound 5/5 - The sound coming out of this thing is amazing. Never knew a headunit can sound so good for under 200. Totally destroyed my Kenwood the minute I turned it on.<BR><BR>Display 3/5 - Glares in the light, but not too bad because I have dark interior. I wish it would display the whole song title!!!<BR><BR>Controls 4/5 - Takes getting used to, but pretty logical. The only downfall really is the weird eq control setup.<BR><BR>I love this thing. It completely blows my Kenwood KDC5025 out of the water in terms of... well everything. If the display showed the whole song title, I would have given it a perfect score.

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PERFECTION

Written by: CAPTAIN D from DEERFIELD BEACH,FL on April 29, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

NEVER HAD AN ALPINE HEAD UNIT. I'M SO HAPPY I GOT IT. MATCHED IT WITH MY ALPINE 1242D SUB AND IT REALLY MAKES ALL MY SPEAKERS SOUND VERY CLEAR. THE KIT THAT IT CAME WITH FITS PERFECT IN MY DASH. EVERYTHING STILL LOOKS ORIGINAL(MAKES MY WIFE HAPPY) CRUTCHFIELD IS GREAT. CUSTOMER SERVICE WAS GREAT. I RECOMMEND CRUTCHFIELD. IF YOUR NOT HAPPY THEY WILL FIX IT. ALL AROUND THE ALPINE IS GREAT AND MY BUYING EXPERIENCE WAS GREAT.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Stephen from Las Vegas, NV on April 27, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great HU for the price and easy to install. Bought for the IPOD connectivity, and couldn't be happier.

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Great headunit for the money

Written by: Terry from Bozeman, Montana on April 25, 2006

2001 Nissan Pathfinder
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This deck has great sound quality. Alpine's full speed ipod connection is flawless and is by far the best option for connecting an ipod that I have seen. The only problem I have with this unit is the small display and strange layout of buttons. When searching the ipod for something specific it takes quite a while to thumb through everything. It took some training to learn how to go about this. Overall is a great deal but I will opt for the cda-9857 for the better display and searching functionaltiy.

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Great head unit

Written by: Will from Albuqueque, NM on April 20, 2006

2005 Honda S2000
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great stereo. My two favorite features are the ability to play MP3s on disk, and the Ipod full speed interface. It's awesome!! However, the flip down face is inconvenient but not too noticable... the menus, especially searching through Ipod songs/artists/playlists, are arranged counter-intuitively.. and the preamp outputs are only 2v. Not a big problem if you own a car not prone to alternator whine, but why the step down, Alpine? Used to be almost all your head units were 4v.

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Satisfied

Written by: Rob from Hudson Valley, NY on April 20, 2006

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Platform: 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/ Infinity Amp.<BR><BR>Got this mainly for Ipod and Satellite interfaces, TOGETHER. Very Nice overall. Sacrificed 10-CD changer (who cares?) and steering wheel controls (Ouch!) of the original system. Able to keep amp (this amp accepts hi-level signal, not RCA's).<BR><BR>Sound 5/5: First impression was negative, as the mid-range seemed too high for my taste, and unchangeable - then realized the 9856 does have equalizer capabilities, just extremely over-compicated. Why not simple EQ sliders? Was able to get the sound I like through BBE and Bass/Treble Engine tweaks, and it's very nice that each input (AM/FM/Sat/Ipod) saves its own EQ settings.<BR><BR>Display 3/5: Difficult in sunlight. Number of characters displayed is limited, and symbology difficult to see from drivers distance. Every car stereo should always display time of day! Why don't they? Sirius scrolling is too slow (maybe adjustable?)<BR><BR>Controls (4/5): Basic control easy, but EQ is fascinatingly perplexing. Ipod control is EXCELLENT. Just wire to inside of glovebox, plug in Ipod, and forget it, you don't need to ever see it. Sirius control is nice, but delayed response (no fault of Apline) is annoying. Haven't used CD yet, why would I?<BR><BR>Radio 2/5: Reception of AM and FM is poor, but I think that was a sacrifice for the Ipod, Satellite, and HD integration.

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Great buy

Written by: Chad from Atlanta, GA on April 19, 2006

2002 Volkswagen Golf
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This reciever is great. I've installed my i-pod, an aux jack, and there is still an option to install my satellite radio. All this for under 200 bucks.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Lawrence from US on April 19, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Got this after returning the 9846 for the RCA outs to plug into my factory amplifier.<BR><BR>Sound 5/5: RCA output to factory amp produces cleaner sound than OEM unit. The Bass engine is a nice feature to customize bass boost. 5/5 for what I need.<BR><BR>Display 3/5: Highly reflective display surface due to the dark background. Light-colored interior or high HU mounting position causes ambient light/objects to be mirrored on the display surface...making the white display characters hard to read. Direct sunlight actually doesn't do this for some reason. Wondering if I can buy any polarized tint strips or something? Dimmer function dims both button and display, looks very nice at night. # of characters displayed is limited, there's enough space for a 2-line display.<BR><BR>Controls (4/5): 9846 actually easier to control. Because of the flip-down, 9856 loses functionality of volume knob as a push button. Lots of adjustments require pressing the tiny "mode" button. Deeper menus not as easy to navigate as I'd like, Alpine should use one of the many idle buttons as an "escape" button so it's faster to jump back out of function menus.<BR><BR>Radio 4/5: Reception seems to be more prone to static than OEM unit. But my car has embedded antenna that has 2 antenna plugs into the OEM unit. So I don't know if the fact the Alpine only used the main antenna plug affected its perfomance. It would be nice if they added RDS though...<BR><BR>CD/MP3 5/5: Flawless so far. Easy to navigate through MP3 folders. Very fast loading time between songs, random play works very well. No skipping with road bumps.

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Remarkable yet very user friendly

Written by: Dominic from Morrisville, PA on April 18, 2006

This is a remarkable head unit. I've just installed this in my C-Class and it sounds phenomenal even with the factory speakers. Sound is very clean and crisp. The user controls are very easy to use which made it very simple to operate. I strongly agree on what was mentioned in previous reviews that this unit probably has one of the best if not the best value on the market today. This is an Alpine head unit that is so reasonably priced, you can't beat it. Products like this is what makes Alpine a leader in car audio. I highly recommend this head unit.<BR><BR>I'm in the process of replacing the factory speakers with MB Quart Reference Series and hooking up 2 Alpine MRP-F450 that will drive the componenents and 2 12" Type R's.<BR><BR>Can't wait to hear it when it's all done!

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: bruce from kenosha,wi on April 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

well worth the time effort and money.I had no problems with this product with installation or operation in my 98 beetle.

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Excellent All-Around Unit

Written by: Anthony from Dedham, MA on April 16, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Just installed this baby in my 05 F150 Screw. This has got to be one of the best "values" in HU's on the market. The sound is clean, relatively powerful, and almost infinitely adjustable with the bass engine technology. I think the controls are the most intuitive of most HU's out there. Simple button navigation to get where you want, but you really should read the manual. I bought it mainly for the direct XM Satellite hookup, although I have yet to install the adapter. As all others have said, install was an absolute sinch with Crutchfield's awesome instructions and shipping was way quicker than I expected. I'm running it through Infiniti Kappa's up front and Polk Db570's rear. Will add powered 'zooka this summer.<BR><BR>Downsides? Could use a little more oooomph and the reception is too good, causing a lot of problems with my current XM unit's FM modulator. I will be installing the adapter for direct XM play in the very near future. I disagree with the comments about the display being hard to read in direct sunlight, as I have no problems seeing the text with my moonroof open on the brightest day. All in all, I highly recommend this unit!!

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Great unit with basics

Written by: xwing777 from north carolina on April 16, 2006

1998 Ford Mustang
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This head unit had everything i wanted such as easy to use buttons, sirus compatable connection, mp3 and other things.<BR><BR>After checking to new higher priced alpines, i decided the buttons were much more useful on this one for pressing without taking eyes off the road. Lots of features were a nice bonus such as turning off the built in amp for better sound when running through the RCA outs only.

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GREAT stereo!

Written by: R from Amherst, MA on April 15, 2006

PROS: The sound quality is excellent (even with the factory speakers in my Civic). The best feature is that I had a wire run into my glove compartent so my iPod hooks directly to the stereo...much better than the awkward fm transmitter dock I was using. I was worried about the speed of the iPod controls on the deck. I had read several bad reviews of the Alpine and Pioneer iPod interface adapters. The common complaint was that controlling the iPod from the cd deck was painfully slow. Since I have 45 GB of music in my iPod, I didn't want scrolling through music to be a problem. The sales associate at the store assured me that scrolling through tunes would be fast and easy. I am sooo glad I listened to him. I found navigation to be easy. I didn't have the manual and was able to figure it out on my own....and I'm not good at technical things. Easy to use, great sound, happy customer!<BR><BR>CON: The blue lights are too bright at night, even when I "dimmed" them. Kind of distracting when I'm driving.

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The Good and the Bad

Written by: Jamie from Grapevine, Texas on April 14, 2006

1998 Toyota 4Runner

Since I am a huge i-Pod user, I had to have something with auxiliary input. When Alpine came out with their i-Pod interface last year, I thought it was cool, but to add 100 to the price of any of their head units seemed a bit high to me. When they came out with this direct input, just buying a cable for 30 bucks. I was sold. I went down to the local stereo shop with my i-pod in hand to test it out. The goober there and I spent like 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get this working. I have been around aftermarket stereos all my life. I couldn't believe that it was not more intuitive. But, did finally get it to work. I figured if I had the book it would be a no brainer. So I order the deck from here on Crutchfield. Which I must say, was a great experience. After getting it all installed, I took the book and read. Started navigating around my ipod, displaying the song names. cool. This is just want I wanted. so then I started trying to get to a certain song or album. Man. what a choir. As others have said on here, it takes forever to get to a song. What I end up doing is unplugging the ipod, find the song and then plug back in. As the Alpine will basically just start where you left off. If Alpine reads these. here is your take away. The deck is great. The price point is great, the look is great, the features are all great, with the following exceptions. The iPod interface needs to be looked at. Having to click one button one time to play and another for playing a song, is strange. If the mix is on, you can't navigate. Still not sure about that one. Also, you need to let people control the ipod from both the head unit and the ipod. I know it's possable.

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Sound=Great, Interface=Terrible

Written by: schemar1 from Chicago, Il on April 11, 2006

2005 Saab 9-2X
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm an alpine fan, and when I bought a new car that lacked any way to hook up my iPod, a new head unit was required. Without playing around with any of the units out there, I read up on this Alpine and ordered it.<BR><BR>Other reviews here hint at the iPod user interface being "non-intuitive." Well, I'm here to agree, and add more. The user interface has forced me to fundamentally change the way my music is organized. <BR><BR>You basically have four options- sort by artist, album, song, or playlist. Pick one and turn the volume knob to scroll thru your list.<BR><BR>If you've got an iPod because you like to store a huge variety of music, and lots of it, you likely have a very long list of artists, albums, and thousands of songs. The alpine "high speed" interface involves turning the volume knob to scroll through any of these lists, and each entry on your iPod will be displayed in excruciating detail. On the iPod itself, if you scroll the wheel really fast it'll jump to the middle then end of your lists. Not with the alpine interface- plan on turning the volume knob for 5 minutes (literally!) to get to the middle of the alphabet if searching by artist. The rate you spin it makes no difference. You risk settling for Abba and ZZ Top songs just because they're easy to find!<BR><BR>I've got fewer playlists than anything else, so I started organizing my music I'm likely to want to hear into playlists so I can get to my music more easily.<BR><BR>If I had another chance, I'd play with the more expensive units 1st to see if the iPod interfaces suck any less- this beats a tape deck interface in sound by far, but the iPod user interface blows this away.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Brendan from San Diego, CA on April 11, 2006

2003 Honda Civic
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Preface: This is my first install therefore I have nothing else to compare with.<BR><BR>Crutchfield: Like most here I am quite impressed with the service. Install was relatively simple given all the additional components.<BR><BR>The Review<BR>I purchased this unit mostly because I wanted a way to connect my ipod in my car and after reading countless reviews on the kca-420i I decided against this. I ended up purchasing this until because of the new single wire connection (kca-422i) without ever seeing it in action. The sound quality is fine but I've found the tuner isn't quite as good as my stock civic. It is possible that my antenna connection isn't good but I actually soldered the wires. My major complaints about the HU is that I can't read a thing during the day. There is too much glare and not enough contrast. Maybe it is just the orientation in a civc. I agree with everybody who says the controls are unintuitive but I can't see another better way of dealing with it. Learn the controls and move on I guess. I ran the kca-422i into my glove compartment and I have probably 3 feet of cable just wrapped up. I'm not sure why it needs to be so long since you can't control from the ipod itself. That would be the one single thing to make this a near perfect solution. Everybody can control an ipod but if a friend is in my car they can't do a thing as a passenger because they won't be able to use the HU. I also found that my 3rd gen ipod worked but a friend's nano didn't, though I haven't really looked into this.<BR><BR>Overall: The design is sleek and simple. Ipod charges and plays. I believe it will suit all my future upgrade needs.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: mcsckckc from pittsburgh. PA on April 10, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The 9856 is a great head unit.I have seen the reviews,I believe some have been slightly missleeding,The face plate installs very easily,just follow the directions.The display is bright and clear in any lighting condition.The user controls are very easy to use.Thank you crutchfield for your service,from the free instalition kit,free harness adaptor,free antenna adaptor,free shipping(arrived in two days) and the value of the 9856 you could not ask for more.

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iPod compatible , lots of features

Written by: Rick from Big O , Mn on April 5, 2006

2001 Mercury Cougar
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought the 9856 expressly for the iPod . Really loving the full speed control and scrolling text . The features on the HU itself are a little daunting , at first . Before you go driving off after the install ,take some time and familiarize yourself with the button context . After only an hour in the driveway , "button push counting " has replaced visual comprehension . A lot of features packed into a small affordable performance package . Installation savings through Crutchfield (the harness/antenna connectors and HU adapter ) only add to the value .

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Outstanding - but UI Needs Work

Written by: JRoss424 from Central PA on April 4, 2006

2003 Honda CRV EX
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Got this mainly for the Full-Speed Ipod interface - outstanding! Easy install in my 2003 CRV, great feature set, tremendous sound for the $. The UI is non-intuitive, Alpine should invest a little more in interface design. I still don't know what the "func" and up/down arrows are supposed to do. Outside of that quibble, I love this unit - taking the long way to work just to listen a little longer.<BR>Crutchfield customer service is outstanding; had a broken fit kit on arrival, replacement shipped same day.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Toby from Sacramento, CA on April 4, 2006

2005 Toyota Tacoma
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The only thing lacking in this unit is the distant radio reception. I didn't think there could be a tuner worse than that of the fairly expensive Sony that I replaced with this Alpine. That said, the rest of the unit is outstanding. For the price (I bought from the Outlet for $179 - but even at $199) it's hard to beat all the features and sound quality of this unit! I have a Pioneer DEH-P7700MP in my other car, and favor the Alpine except for the radio - you just cannot beat a Pioneer SuperTuner! Still I would highly recommend the CDA-9856 for use with Sat. radio and iPOD connections.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Tbake from Winter Haven, Fl on April 3, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this HU for the fast connect to use with my Ipod. This is the only way to get great sound! The alpine processor expands the compressed format to create a much more full sounding recording. I also like the titles being displayed on the HU screen. It supports cd/mp3 playback flawlessly. FM/AM tuning is better than my stock system.<BR> The only drawback: the navigation controlls. You can't use the ipod for playback, you must use the HU controls which are a bit confusing/non-intuitive at first. They become second nature after awhile and some reading but should have been designed better. This is a small annoyance for an overall great unit with plenty of power and all the extras. I would give it 4 1/2 stars if it was an option and am planning to buy a second to install in my wife's Altima. <BR> Much thanks to crutchfield for including absolutely everything for the install which took about an hour and a half to complete in my Suburban for a absolute novice.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: icyhotahs from sacramento, ca on March 31, 2006

1996 Nissan Maxima
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product. Can't really understand why everyone complains about the controls. Mode selects everything, menu is for opening the menu options. Christ... anyways the sound is absurd- Alpine has the greatest processors. The 3 preamps are great- and Alpine even gives you the option the decide whether or not you want to run the amps by themselves, allowing you to send more power to the no-amped speakers. My second Alpine HU, and even a long time Pioneer buyer was jealous. The display is simple, but do you really need graphics on your HU? Get a DVD player!

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Excellent but will require some reading

Written by: James from Lubbock, TX on March 31, 2006

2000 Ford Explorer
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This receiver is awesome. I got it in the mail a couple of weeks but, just finally got it put in. The install was easy, Ive got a 2001 Ford Explorer, and Crutchfield included everything and I mean everything I needed. It definately saved me some money, I like to put stereos in, this is probably my sixth or seventh nut, this was the easiest and I had everything I needed.<BR> Lets get to the fun part, I bought this unit for the Ipod interface and with all of the 2006 Alpine models, there is no more box(control unit), just the cable. It does take some time getting used to the controls and if you have a pretty large Ipod, it can take some time to get to a certain song. The receiver will pick up right where you left off on your Ipod, so if youre listening to a song, itll continue with that song once it is hooked up. I have mostly used the MIX function, its just like shuffle playback. I still need to do some reading but, I havent found any high-pass crossovers, something I would have liked. Radio reception, both AM and FM, is excellent, so much better than the stock radio. CD playback is also superb. I dont know if Ill get the HD tuner but, it is a nice option to have as well as the satellite radio option.<BR> The finish on the receiver is classy and does not try to stand out from you cars interior like so many other radios try to do. I like that Alpine throws in the carrying case, and mine fits perfectly, I remember reading a review about one that didnt fit in the case.<BR>Sound quality is much improved over the stock radio. I havent upgraded the factory speakers yet but, it still made a difference. If you playing you Ipod in the car is a priority, choose the 9856.

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Pretty! But not good enough!

Written by: dougami from Nashville,TN on March 30, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This may sound crazy, but since I'm old school Alpine(this is my 6th Alpine since 1982!) I feel they have LOST IT! <BR><BR>I decided to celebrate paying off my truck by replacing the factory unit with a CDA-9856. I have arranged to send it back today.<BR><BR>It is an awesome value and a very beautiful unit, BUT the radio tuner is beyond pathetic(don't laugh, you have to have your basic early morning traffic reports as you commute to the big city,and listen to some hoops now and then,) and the controls, the controls, and the menu interface, are just ridiculous.

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Great head unit

Written by: Marshall from Central California on March 29, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great addition to Infinity components and 6.5 two ways already installed in my 03 Xterra. Easy install with/without master sheets. Looks great. Sounds even better. User interface takes a little getting used to, but after a quick glance of the owners manual, piece of cake.<BR>Sound features are exceptional, added Infinty BassLink shortly after installing and don't even use the remote level control because of the superior bass control features of this head unit. Allows for easy bass tuning no matter what kind of music you enjoy.<BR>Ipod interface will be the next addition.<BR>Well worth sacrificing the factory in-dash 6 disc changer.

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GREAT unit, but un-intuitive menuing

Written by: alex from Phoeniz, AZ on March 27, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This piece replaces a 1997 Alpine head unit - not bad - 9 years before it went to head unit heaven!<BR><BR>STRENGTHS - Gorgeous faceplate & display, clean power, very configurable subwoofer crossover, sub outs, MP3 et all support, integrated iPod control, (relatively) cheap iPod cable.<BR><BR>WEAKNESSES - The menuing system is competely un-intuitive. Every time I'll have to make a change beyond bass/treble, I'll need to crack the manual. Could they make setting the clock any more convoluted? Also, hate the multi-language manual, what a waste of trees. HOT tip - download the .pdf, print the pages you need (about 8) and keep 'em in the glove.

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GREAT HEAD UNIT

Written by: k50chevy from Coeur d' Alene Id on March 26, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installed very nicely in the 50 Chevy P/U Street Rod. Installed with 2 amps,one stereo,one running 2 subs-bridged, so the three pre-outs were awsome. Good bass controls, and the Ipod controls are fast and easy to use. This is my second Alpine and would not hesitate to buy another. The only thing about this deck I didn't care for was reattaching the face plate. Other than that it ROCKS!

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I like it - It was easy to install

Written by: Mark Joppru from Cincinnati OH on March 25, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I like it. It was an easy install in my new Ford 500. It's a lease car, so I wanted it to be easy to put in and take out later.<BR><BR>The sound is very good. I also installed the XM Radio Direct receiver with Alpine kit. It has an easy interface and crystal clear sound. No more XM Skyfi cluttering my dash.<BR><BR>Thanks Crutchfield.<BR><BR>Mark

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Kyle from Battle Ground, WA on March 25, 2006

I just bought this deck and two 12" Rockford stage 3 subs and a subzero box with a 500/2 rockford amp and I am more than happy with this deck! It is absolutely amazing. It is easy to read, easy to use (in my opinion) and I love how I can control my subs and BBE and every. I would recommend this stereo to anyone, even people without an iPod. I have an iPod video and it works pretty well. The only flaw I can find of this deck is that it only shows one line of text when the iPod is plugged in, but that is immediately made up for when it allows you to scroll with the volume control and very clearly, so it's not really a big deal anyways. I would give it 4.5 stars just because of that but I can't choose that and this deck certainly deserves a 5 easier than it deserves a 4. If you're debating on whether or not to buy this deck, GO BUY IT!!! You will never regret it. I am now a proud lifetime buyer of Alpine decks.

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Very nice!

Written by: Tim from Des Moines, IA on March 24, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have been using this deck for a few weeks now. Still getting used to the controls for controlling the iPod. It is a little confusing at first, as the others have mentioned, but it works great and it's fast!<BR><BR>Sound quality is amazing as all Alpines are. The reason for only 4 stars is the lack of being able to go into a blackout mode and not being able to change the button colors. Other than that, I love the deck. I would definately recommend this deck.<BR><BR>Thanks Crutchfield!

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Almost Perfect (Almost)

Written by: Derrick from Virginia Beach,VA on March 24, 2006

1995 Saturn SL2
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well after having this headset for over a month I really enjoy. This is the best Ipod solution out. I have over 25 gigabytes of music so I used to get frustrated because of all the artists I have scroll through, but I found that if you just keep your finger on the dial and keep rotating it real fast without stopping then you can get through all your artist fairly quick.<BR><BR>My main gripes is that the remote does not work fully with the Ipod. You can go from track to track and if you have an artist with more than one album you can change to the next album, but thats it. You can also adjust the volume. <BR><BR>I really hope Alpine make a fully integrated remote were you can control everything that the Ipod does.<BR><BR>Also the Radio is real weak, but I don't listen to the radio that often so it's not that much of an issue for me.

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Nice unit

Written by: Scott from Aurora, CO on March 24, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a nice unit for car audio. I bought it primarially because it has a simple cable for Ipod integration. Installation was a breeze, went into the dash of the truck in about 30 minutes.<BR><BR>2 basic issues. There is no way to display song title and time on the display at the same time. Seems like a big miss on the part of alpine as those are the two most useful functions. I agree with other users in that the seaching modes are not nearly as intuitive as the Ipod itself, but being able to leave the Ipod hidden away in the glove box while listening to it over the stereo is a great feature.<BR><BR>My second issue is with the crutchfield fit kit. The frame doesn't fit quite as well as I would have liked and it's not up to par with previous kits I've bought from them. There is a small gap around the hole that is left by the factory radio that isn't noticable, but it is there. Secondly the mounting is pretty flimsy. I modified the bracket to firm up the mounting system.<BR><BR>All in all this is a very nice unit with just the right features for my needs

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Great value for ipod integration

Written by: satya from San Jose, CA on March 22, 2006

2001 Nissan Xterra
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Listening to my ipod through my factory stereo has been a pain, especially using the monster icar play plus. the icar play plus works perfectly in my Nissan Murano, however static and poor sound quality are very obvious in the xterra '01. <BR>following the instruction provided by crutchfield made installation relatively easy. for a first timer, it took me about 2 hours to get everything installed. <BR>i gave it 4 out of 5, mainly because of the ipod controls. for some reason, with the alpine 9856, i wasn't able to change playlist with my 5th gen ipod with video. however, everthing works fine with the ipod nano. but as far as i'm concern, sound quality is what matters, and listening to my ipod without static is priceless. As for playlist, i set a few playlist that i can switch manually by disconnecting the ipod. <BR>if you want an ipod integration for $230, this is the right choice. <BR><BR>easy installation, good sound (not great). controls are not hard to comprehend, just need to get used to it. display is somewhat acceptable, considering the price. (CDA-9857 would be a better option - if you don't mind spending $150 more) <BR>

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Outstanding Head Unit

Written by: Matthew from Philadelphia, PA on March 21, 2006

2000 Acura Integra

I just installed this unit today. All in all, it only took about 90 minutes, and that includes unpacking it and wiring the harnesses. So far, I really like this unit alot. It sounds great, looks great, and the IPOD controls work really well. There is a slight learning curve with the controls, but once you have a look at the manual, it's easy to remember. There is alot of tweaking you can do, so I will need to play with the settings bit more but it does sound amazing even out of the box. As always, Crutchfield provides so much extra value withe the inluded install kit. This was my first head unit install and it went smoothly.

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Excellent head unit!

Written by: Jim from Massachusetts on March 20, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

<BR>Installed this unit Sunday in my 2003 Honda Civic (replaced an older 7833 Alpine). Had it installed in under 60mins with Crutchfield's excellent (and free!) installation kit. Sounds great, looks great, plays everything I throw at it without a hiccup. <BR><BR>Some have expressed frustration with the controls, but being a previous Alpine owner I had no trouble getting used to everything and it's pretty logical. Can't wait to try out the Ipod interface. <BR>

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Nice Unit

Written by: dgm from Indiana on March 20, 2006

2004 Dodge Ram 2500
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy install...easiest I've done. Perfect fit into my 2004 cummins turbo diesel quad cab with no customizing or messing around with additional parts. Took about 2hrs to install from start to finish, but I also soldered the connections, which took some time. <BR><BR>The look in my dash is sleek. It looks good! The sound is great and the iPod interface couldn't be too much easier. Sound quality is much improved over the stock head unit, even with the stock speakers. <BR><BR>The menu system on the faceplate is a little confusing and just takes some time to get used to using. This could definitely be improved along with the way that the faceplace re-attaches. ...not big issues though. <BR><BR>All in all, for a $200 head unit with iPod interface, I don't think this alpine unit can be beat.

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: tom from minnesota on March 18, 2006

this is by far the worst car stereo I have ever owned<BR>the controls are so bad and un intuitive I am wondering if it is broken. the controls for the ipod are extremly slow<BR>forget trying to find a song through the head unit. the remote control will only volume control and skip song. when using the mp3 cd or ipod the unit displays track number and song number until it starts playing the song then it reads the track tag and displays it. these numbers are worthless it should never show the numbers- who cares if its song number 4692 on your ipod. the only thing I care to see is the name of the song.

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Great unit hindered by a mediocre display.

Written by: Seane from SW AZ on March 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this system to replace the factory head unit in my Toyota Tundra. By far, thanks to Crutchfield's instructions, it was very easy to install. I had it installed and running in about 90 minutes time. <BR><BR>The iPod integration, one of the main reasons I bought this unit, works pretty good but is hindered only by the display's one-line of text. <BR><BR>The display is honestly the weakest thing about this unit. It easily washes out in direct sunlight making it impossible to read the display. Also, the iPod control isn't as natural or near as intuitive as the iPod itself. To change track information you have to push the small Title button on the right side of the receiver.

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IT ROCKS!

Written by: Mark from San Antonio, TX on March 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is the best car stereo product I've ever owned. Period. If you're looking for a mobile iPod solution, look no further. Yes, the user interface is a little confusing at first. Spend about 20 minutes in your drive way with the manual, and you won't have a problem. Love the display, no problems reading it. The sound is pure Alpine, which is to say amazing. I upgraded from a Sony (also purchased from Crutchfield) and the difference is night and day. I haven't tried the CD player yet. Quite frankly, I probably never will. <BR>If I had to nit pick about something, it's this. The iPod cable (KCE-422i) should come with it. I only complain because it was out of stock when I ordered it, so I had to wait 2 weeks. <BR>If you need a reason to buy from Crutchfield, here it is. You won't get better service from any other retailer. The detailed instructions are great. They give you the proper wiring harness. Their tech support is amazing. The wiring in my car didn't match what was on the master sheet. One call to tech support, on Sunday no less, and in 5 minutes they diagnosed the problem and offered the right solution. Toyota tried to throw a monkey wrench at me; but Crutchfield's techs weren't fooled. I always shop here first, and rarely buy anywhere else.<BR>

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Great sound

Written by: greg9 from northern ca on March 16, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It took a few days to figure out all of the controls, but once I did, I am very pleased with the quality of this unit. Even though I hear the bass engine pro was a much more robust tuning system, I think I've achieved what I wanted out of this head unit as far as tweaking goes. Display is clear and bright - although I have yet to try it with my ipod (cable wasnt avail. at the time of the purchase). My biggest gripe is with the fitment in my mk4 gti, I had to cut the back of the cars console so the deck could slide all the way back (harness on the deck was hitting the back of the cars console). And I also had to use brackets to mount the deck, as the tabs on the radio cage wouldn't catch onto anything. The dash pocket was delivered cracked - crutchfield immediately appologized and rushed out another one promptly! very cool. Still overall very pleased with this unit's sound. To sum it up - sound = good, fitment in my car = a little more work.

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Nice but there are issues..

Written by: Jason from South Dakota on March 16, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The stereo is great. I have no problems with readability, face plate removal/install. The sound is great. My issues are with the remote and ipod navigation. The remote control does not work with ipod navigation, other than previous/next while playing. It works with mp3/radio/cd, but not ipod. It would be nice to use while scrolling through songs/albums/artists/playlists. The ipod navigation can get tedious with alot of music on it. Other than that I do like this head unit. I'm still glad I installed it. It's the best solution I've seen yet for ipod integration in the car.

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Great Sound, OK Ipod Controls

Written by: Justin from Seattle, Wa on March 16, 2006

2004 Subaru Impreza WRX
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well to start, I really was trying to wait for the 9857 to come out. However, I got to antsy and ordered the 9856. The superior sound quality over the stock deck in my WRX goes without saying. There are plenty of adjustments to tune the sound with the new deck. iPod adapter is easy to install as you just have to plug it into the back of the new deck and you're done.<BR><BR>As far as the iPod controls go they are fast. iPod fast no, but way faster then I had expected. Obviously if I try and traverse to F in my artist list with 45gigs of music it is a pain. But scrolling through playlists, songs, etc is plenty fast.<BR><BR>The two things I could see making this better are;<BR>1. Percentage Search: If I had this obviously I could get to F quicker by pressing the preset buttons. Thus the reason I was trying to wait for the 9857. (If you have more patience then I do wait for the 9857)<BR>2. Genre Searching: I looked over the alpine site before I bought this headunit and I just assumed this would be part of the interface (I guess that's what I get for assuming &#61514; ) However this would greatly reduce the number of artist you would display if you had the option of starting with genre.<BR><BR>Controls are not intuitive; however I was able to figure them out within a few minutes. One annoying thing is if you are on an artist and you want to search for another artist you have to start at the top again (another thing that would less annoying if you had the percentage search)<BR><BR> I also purchased an aux input adapter so I could plug in the laptop on long trips (or if for some reason I become fed up with the iPod adapter). It's nice that they don't plug into the

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Great Alpine unit - ipod interface top-notch

Written by: Luther from Houston on March 16, 2006

1996 Nissan Quest
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installed in a 96 Nissan Quest - crutchfield supplied everything needed - first time car stereo install for me. Also installed Infiniti 6810cs component speakers in the front doors, powered by Rockford Fosgate P2002 amp, with Infinity 6812s in the rear powered by the Alpine. Ran all my own speaker wires - a pain, but confident equipment is being used to maximum now.<BR><BR>Sound is primo - system provides great customization of sound, between the amp settings, head unit settings, and BBE. Plenty of bass, can really dial in the focus, punch, and deep presence (using the bass engine), and highs are excellent with the tweeters in both Infiniti sets - detail everywhere. Ipod is super fast in MIX ALL mode, and the system makes EVERYTHING sound great - old recordings, modern recordings, classical, fusion, jazz, pop, rock, funk (sorry, I don't do rap...)<BR><BR>Quest trim plate had to be notched out 1/8" on each side to fit over Alpine unit, but no big deal. Everything else fit perfect. Most difficult install items were finding/routing thru firewall for amp power, and running door speaker wires thru tight gaskets - a 1.5 ft long splicing rod was essential and made it easier.<BR><BR>Total cost of system was 740.00 - a bit much, but it makes driving fun again, and listening to music a passion again. It's an amazing difference. I could have saved 70.00 buying speakers elsewhere, but crutchfield extras and support easily make up for any price saved. You can't go wrong with Crutchfield, Alpine, Infiniti, and Rockford Fosgate. Thanks for a great system...my wife wants to ride in the mini-van now!

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Ryan from San Jose, CA on March 16, 2006

2004 Subaru Impreza WRX
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this unit because I liked the idea that if I get an ipod in the future, it will be easy and cheap to hook up. <BR><BR>The asthetics of the unit are good, although I could do without the blue buttons. The blue just stands out from the rest of the buttons, and makes an otherwise elegant unit look a little tacky. Plus, the white text printed on the blue buttons is hard to read, the blue just overpowers it. It would be much better if these buttons were green and matched the rest of the illumination.<BR><BR>I think the display is good and simple, but I believe a 2 two line display would have made this unit much more appealing, especially since several competitors offer this at the same price. Even if Alpine offers another unit with a slightly upgraded display for another $30, that would be OK. As it stands right now, the only option is to upgrade to the 9857 for the better biolite display. Unfortunatley, it is another $150, too large of a gap in my opinion.<BR><BR>I opted to get the Sirius tuner, and there is a lot of button pressing to find out what both the artist and song title are. Also, like others have said, I don't like the 16 character text limit with Sirius. Nearly every other manufacturer displays 36 characters. I dont know if this is the fault of the tuner, or the fault of Alpine. <BR><BR>The sound quality is very good. Upgrading from the stock head unit to this is a huge difference. 3 preamps is nice.<BR><BR>Overall, if Alpine could cut down on the blue button bling, and add another small line of text, this unit for me would go from good to great.

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Great Head Unit

Written by: El Dominicano from Miami, Florida on March 13, 2006

Installed last saturday in my 1991 Camaro, with a 1800 watt system. Preforms great loving the controls. Alot been sayin you need the manuel. But if you know how to deal with computers well you'll be able to handle this head unit with ease. I personally love it even though this is my first Alpine Head Unit. I recommended for anyone who wants something that works great. Haven't used the iPod control thing but will buy it in the months to come.

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Small annoyances hinder an otherwise great stereo

Written by: computerguy from Reading, PA on March 13, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installed on 1999 Accord EX<BR>I bought this headunit because the stock headunit would not play any burned CD's and I wanted a headunit with the ability to play my 3rd gen iPod. I've had this headunit for a month or two, and I think I have a pretty accurate idea of the good and bad of it. I was told that Alpine was the way to go if I needed a headunit, and I am very pleased with it.<BR><BR>Good<BR>This was my first time working with Crutchfield, and I must say they are amazing with how quick they ship and with the instructions on how to install it. It was easy to install with the right tools. The headunit sounds amazing on my stock speakers, even though it's only playing out of 4 of the 6 speakers in the car. It has many different EQ settings to choose from, and easy to set when you get used to it. The iPod adapter is very fast and everyone that comes into my car is amazed that it can plays directly from the iPod. The CD player is very good also. It's been able to play all my mp3 and regular cd's that I have had without a problem. It's only skipped once. The screen does get somewhat hard to read in direct sunlight, but normally I am driving in the early morning or late night, so it's not a big deal to me.<BR><BR>Bad<BR>The iPod selector on the headunit is very hard to get to the right artist when you have more then 500+ to choose from. Another thing, I think it's my iPod, but when I disconnect from the headunit, the backlight on my 3rd gen will not work, I have to do a soft reset to get it to work again. The radio isn't as clear with this headunit over my stock one. Some of the stations that I was able to get crystal clear, I cannot even listen to due to the static.

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AWSOME!!!

Written by: corvettecoop from Woodbury, MN on March 12, 2006

I installed this deck last Friday and I couldn't be happier. This thing looks cool and performs awesome. Compared to my last deck (Dual XDMR7700) the difference in sound quality is night and day. In my Blazer I have Infinity speakers all around with a 400W 10" Sub and my truck has never sounded better. I also had the iPod cable installed although it is not perfect; it's the best thing available at this time. The only thing I don't like about the iPod interface is how it's hard to search for songs fast. Overall best deck for the buck by far!!

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Alpine CDA-9856

Written by: Sonny from San Francisco Bay Area on March 11, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sound quality is soo much better than the clarion head unit it replaced. Installation was a breeze thanks to the detailed instructions provided by Crutchfield. IPOD interface works as advertised. This is my first alpine head unit but won't be my last.

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Solid Performer

Written by: sdavis from Irvine, CA on March 7, 2006

1999 Ford F-150
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed this head unit with an existing high-end audio system strictly for the iPOD Full Speed connection and I can tell you all that the unit is solid. Above average SQ for only having 2V pre-outs. I personally think the piece has a fabulous look to it and really looks great in my F150.<BR><BR>Some of the issues I have read are quite minor. The issue stated one thread earlier about "snapping" the faceplate in is not accurate. You do not have to put the detachable face on while in the open position. Next time, try putting it on while in the closed position from a right-to-left motion. Takes about .9 of a second!<BR><BR>I also think the display is pretty good. I can clearly see everything during even the brightest, sunny day. Properly using the dimmer function works well at night.<BR><BR>Overall, a GREAT value for 200 bucks--can't beat it. Simple, classic Alpine = clean, non-flashy quality.

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Good, but not great

Written by: Jim from Denver CO on March 4, 2006

I would have given this 3.5 stars, but ya cant. I didnt think it deserved 4 though, so I went to 3.<BR> <BR>Although I overall do like this head unit, I do have come I do have several problems with it. None major, most are just annoying. And most of them have been stated by others. <BR><BR>My first, and probably biggest issue is that the faceplate can be a pain to get on. With my old head unit, it was so simple to snap on the face plate. But with this, basically you need to attach the face plate in the "open position", meaning you connect the bottom half only, then close it to fully attach. It normally takes me about 30 seconds each time I attach it. It just gets annoying. I havent seen anyone else complain about that, so maybe its just mine? Who knows? <BR><BR>As others have mentioned, the plastic case for the face plate dosent actually close. At first it did, and I was happy to see someone finally made a case that worked, but now i realize that alpine is as cheap on this part as every other company. I dont understand why they wont put a few bucks into making a real case. <BR><BR>The poor screen display is an issue during the day. I like it at night, but its too hard to read in the daytime. <BR><BR>Also, I definitely have some issues with the user interface. Yes, the book helps, but I still think it should be a bit more straight forward. If you ever sell your car with this unit in there, make sure you give them the manual or theyll be lost!<BR><BR>Aside from that though, the ipod integration is pretty great. Definitely better than everything else thats out there. <BR>Also, Crutchfield was great with delivering the unit fast.