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Alpine CDA-9857

CD player with MP3/WMA playback

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  • Alpine CDA-9857

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  • Alpine CDA-9857

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  • Alpine CDA-9857

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Item #: 500CDA9857
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Alpine CDA-9857

by Tim Sprinkle
Alpine

Why replace your factory radio?

Two good reasons - sound quality and cool features. A new car stereo offers power that's superior to most factory radios, along with more sophisticated tone controls. And most car stereos offer built-in or optional features that add safety and fun to life in your car, including inputs for your iPod or MP3 player, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free cell phone calls, satellite radio or HD Radio reception, and connections for building an audio system in your car.

Alpine Authorized Online Dealer

The CDA-9857 CD player brings the striking style and legibility of Alpine's BioLite display technology to your dash. The large, easy-to-read display offers stunning graphics and plenty of space for your track and system information. Best of all, the 2-line display means you'll be able to see both artist and track information from your portable player or satellite radio without having to toggle back and forth.

The high-performance show doesn't stop there. You also get a powerful, built-in amplifier to ensure crisp performance from your speakers, along with Alpine's Bass Engine for comprehensive sound shaping control. BBE processing improves high-frequency focus and low-frequency punch for better sound from your compressed music files.

Speaking of your digital music collection, the CDA-9857 can handle the MP3s and WMAs that you've burned to disc, and Alpine's QuickSearch function makes it easy to find your favorite songs quickly. Three sets of preamp outputs connect to your outboard amplifiers, and you can control your bass settings right from the driver's seat.

If you want more entertainment options, you'll find connections for a portable music player, a satellite radio, and a CD changer. If you have an iPod, Alpine's Full Speed iPod adapter lets you control playback and song selection right from the faceplate. You can upgrade your AM/FM experience with an optional HD Radio tuner. The included wireless remote gives everybody in the car access to all the fun.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • CD player with built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • flip-down, detachable face with 2-line BioLite display
  • 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
  • Source Tone Memory
  • three sets of preamp outputs
  • HD Radio-ready
  • controls for an optional XM or SIRIUS satellite radio tuner
  • compatible with an iPod using Alpine's Full Speed controls
  • CD changer controls
  • remote control
  • 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

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

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

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

Download owner's manual

  • CD/MP3/WMA receiver
  • Wireless remote control (RUE-4202)
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • Wiring harness
  • Sleeve
  • Trim ring
  • Face
  • Hard plastic face case
  • 4 Flat-head ISO-DIN screws (M5 x 8mm)
  • Face fixing screw
  • 2 Radio removal tools
  • Owner's Manual
  • Customer Care Registration card

Our Product Research Team

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

Features
CD Changer Controls

Features

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

BioLite Display: The crisp, clear, white on black BioLite display uses biochemical luminescence technology that provides outstanding visibility even in daylight. It is 40% brighter than normal displays, with higher resolution and better contrast. In addition, it has a much wider viewing angle than conventional displays.

Background Animation Displays: You can select from 4 different animated background displays: falling "Vs", glimmering water surface, gears, or pulsating shapes (hearts, diamonds, musical notes, circles, and stars). The animation displays can be turned off for a plain black background.

iPod Full Speed: The CDA-9857 has an iPod Direct Connection mounted on a 6" pigtail on the rear panel. When used with the optional KCE-422i Alpine Full Speed Connection cable (500KCE422i), your receiver can interface with any Apple iPod with a dock connector. You can quickly and easily search through all of the music contained on your iPod through Playlist, Artist, or Album searches. You can view Artist, Album, Song Information and Song Number right on the head unit's display. The unit can be used with the following iPod versions:

  • Third generation iPod: Ver.2.3
  • Fourth generation iPod: Ver.3.0.2
  • iPod photo: Ver.1.0
  • iPod mini: Ver.1.3
  • iPod nano: Ver.1.0
  • iPod video

Direct Search: When operating your iPod through the Full Speed connection, you can use the Direct Search function in Playlist, Artist, Album, or Song mode to quickly locate your music. Using the unit's preset buttons, you can quickly jump over a designated percentage of your song content:

  • Preset 1: 0% to 16% (of the song library)
  • Preset 2: 17% to 32%
  • Preset 3: 33% to 49%
  • Preset 4: 50% to 66%
  • Preset 5: 67% to 82%
  • Preset 6: 83% to 100%

MP3/WMA Playback: This unit can play CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW discs containing MP3/WMA files recorded using the ISO 9660 Level 1 or Level 2 formats. MP3 files with constant and variable bit rates from 8 kbps to 320 kbps and WMA files with constant and variable bit rates from 48 kbps to 192 kbps are supported. The unit is compatible with discs containing up to 510 files/folders, with a maximum of 255 folders. ID3 tags v1 and v2, and WMA tags are supported; track title, artist name and album name ID3 tag data can be displayed. Note: The CDA-9857 is compatible with Windows PlaysForSure.

Text/File/Folder Quick Search: When you're playing a disc with CD Text, MP3 or WMA tags, you can easily search for a track or file by its title. Once you have activated the search mode, you can use the rotary encoder to quickly scan through the titles to locate the desired track, and select it by pressing the Search button.

HD Radio Ready: The CDA-9857 can receive HD Radio signals when the TUA-T550HD HD Radio Tuner Module (500TUAT550) is connected via the Ai-NET connector. While receiving HD Radio, the unit can automatically switch between the analog and digital signals, or you can manually switch to the analog signals exclusively.

Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or Sirius Satellite Radio receiver to the CDA-9857. To receive XM Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional Terk XMD1000 Universal tuner and the Terk XM Direct Smart Digital Adapter for Alpine (700XMALPIN). To receive Sirius Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional Sirius tuner for Alpine (item # 607SIRALP1) directly to the head unit. A portable satellite radio receiver, such as the Delphi SkyFi2 or Sirius Sportster, can be connected to the head unit via an auxiliary input adapter. A compatible antenna and a subscription are also required to receive satellite radio programming from Sirius or XM.

Bluetooth Interface Ready: With the optional KCA-100BT Bluetooth adapter (item # 500KCA1BT), you can make and receive calls hands-free on your Bluetooth-capable cellular phone, and communicate through an included microphone and your vehicle's speakers.

USB Adapter Ready: With the optional KCA-620M USB adapter (item # 500KCA620M), you can connect and control MP3 players that have USB connections. In addition, if you have MP3s stored on a USB thumb drive, you can select and play those files from the head unit.

BBE Processing: BBE makes vocals or instruments sound distinct regardless of the music source. You can select the level of the BBE effect (1, 2, or 3), or turn BBE off. Note: You can set different levels of BBE for each source. BBE is not available for AM radio.

External Processor Controls: This unit can control an Alpine multi-channel sound processor, such as the PXA-H701.

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

  • Bass Control:
    • Bass Center Frequency: Select from 60Hz, 80Hz (default), 100Hz, or 120Hz
    • Bass Band Width (Q): Select from 1.25 (narrow) to 0.50 (wide)
    • Bass Level: Select from -7 to +10 (-14dB to +20dB in 2dB steps)
  • Treble Control:
    • Treble Center Frequency: Select from 7.5kHz, 10kHz (default), 12.5kHz or 15kHz
    • Treble Level: -7 to +7 (+/-14dB in 2dB steps)
  • Defeat On/Off: You can reset the unit to its factory default bass and treble settings by turning the Defeat function on.

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

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

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

Wireless Remote: The CDA-9857 can be controlled with the supplied RUE-4202 wireless remote control. The unit has a remote control sensor on the upper right corner of the faceplate.

Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The CDA-9857 has a "steering remote control" input on the back panel. When used with the optional SWI-ALP interface (item #127SWIALP), you can retain the use of your factory steering wheel and/or rear seat radio controls when replacing the factory head unit in select vehicles. The SWI-ALP is compatible with over 95% of the vehicles made from 1986 to the present. Compatible vehicles include many Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Please consult "What Fits My Car" to see if your vehicle is compatible.

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

CD Changer Controls

Ai-NET Compatible: An optional Ai-NET-compatible 6- or 12-disc CD changer (including MP3 and DVD Changers) may be connected to, and controlled by, the CDA-9857. With the KCA-410c Versatile Link Terminal (item # 500KCA410C), you can control multiple changers (up to 6) with this unit.

 
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Alpine CDA-9857 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

108 people say:

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5 out of 5

Still Working!!!

Written By Dan, fl on Saturday, June 16, 2012
 
Its June 2012 and its still working like the day I purchased my CDA-9857. I love it! Not quit as good as my last Alpine 9813 but that was stolen and needed a replacement.
Pros:
Lasts forever!
Cons:
None!
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"Coolness Factor"
Build Quality
Ease of Use
Sound Quality
Value
 
5 out of 5

I still love it.

Written By Pastime-Gamer, Fenton, MI on Friday, March 16, 2007
 
I had been looking for a new HU for about 6 months to replace the failing Kenwood unit in my 2001 Mazda MP3 and I'm glad I went with this one.

I've had it since mid April 2006, and I am very impressed with how much better it is compared to the Kenwood it replaced. MP3 cds actually run like regular cds unlike the Kenwood that took 2-4 seconds to change songs, the display is AMAZING I can read it in almost any light condition and I love the simpleness.

One of the biggest reasons I went with the Alpine over others was because of the new iPod interface that didn't need a bulky extra piece to hide in the car and man Alpine sure did a good job, it's fast and easy to use.

If I ever need a new HU I will defiantly look at Alpine first.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Best I've ever had....

Written By Michael, Duncan, OK on Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I just installed this receiver into my new car (2003 Mustang), and it is quite simply the best HU I have ever had. My previous vehicle (1992 F-150) had a base model Sony Xplod cd player and I was impressed with it's sound quality at the time. I didn't buy this one to use strictly with ipod, like most people, but, in the few hours I have had it in, I have used the ipod feature most of all. Excellent looks, speed, and sound... This receiver puts out amazing sound... can't be beat. Menus are easy to navigate once you learn all the terms for certain features, this HU is really well made.

The crutchfield install kit and harness worked like a charm, installation was simple and fast. I will definitely be a customer for a long time to come.


In conclusion... this receiver can't be beat. Buy it and you won't regret it.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Liked it better than my Pioneer Premier

Written By Mike, Cincinnati, OH on Friday, March 02, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Ive had my 9857 for about 8 months now. Heres the deal. The 9857 is the cleanest looking, most functional head unit Ive ever owned. Its got a bright display, but not a distractingly bright display. Its got the most advanced iPod interface Ive ever seen...I actually hate using my iPod now when Im on a plane. Its so much easier to navigate the iPod with the 9857. Its got clean Alpine sound, and a multitude of great add-ons. Heck, it has PRESETS!...you know...those little radio buttons at the bottom? Pioneer doesnt understand that theyre CONVENIENT. But Alpine surely does.

I love my Alpine. Tonight, I re-installed it and sent my Pio Premier back for a refund. Im simply going to add on an equalizer from Clarion to clean up the sound and boost the preout voltage. It says a lot that I liked this HU over another one that cost more than 1.5 times more. I highly recommend this. I have 3 friends who purchased it on my recommendation and they all love it. You wont be disappointed. If you are, just go get yourself a nice little equalizer...but please, dont waste your money on things you dont need (color screen, battery voltage meter, tachometer on the head unit, automatic EQ and TA, etc). Get the 9857.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Not as Good as Past HUs but Still Great

Written By Drew, Detroit, MI on Thursday, March 01, 2007
 
I bought this to replace my factory HU (97 Lexus ES300). Main consideration was sound and ability to plug in my MP3 player - not an iPod!! The unit sounds great but it doesn't have the equalizer features of past units at the same price. You can only adjust the center and width of the Bass and center of the Treble. I could adjust the sound much more with my old Alpine and store them as user presets. The menus aren't too difficult to navigate and the display is better than my old unit. You can't change the button colors but it's not a big issue for me - so what if it doesn't match my dash lights. The display is great because it displays the ID3 tags and the clock at the same time. I'm using the factory speakers right now and they sound pretty darn good with the new HU. I might upgrade later but right now I'm enjoying the new power and clarity.

The ability to plug in my MP3 player (iAudio X5 60GB) is great and the sound is amazing. I would highly recommend this HU to anybody looking to plug in an MP3 player. I used to use an FM transmitter which sounded horrible. Now it sounds like a CD. I can't comment on the iPod control because I don't use it but everything else seems to be typical Alpine quality. Well worth the money.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

A fine HU

Written By Yevgeniy, portland, me on Sunday, February 25, 2007
 
It's a great HU as most people here mentioned already. You cannot go wrong with this HU.
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3 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By enerlevel, VA on Friday, February 16, 2007
 
The hu is good. everything on the unit is good but the only reason i am giving it a 3 is cause of the speaker controls. how can a hu of this class miss out High Pass for the speakers? even pioneer Hu thts for less $ have them built in. setting up my speakers without the high pass gave me alot of problems but then i had to High Pass it through my amp. now when sometimes i wanna listen to only my speakers switching off my sub , it becomes very weird without any bass.I think i will b shifting back to pioneer or save cash for cda-9855 which has BassEnginePro and has the high pass for speakers.....
3 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Continuous Improvement

Written By Ric, Long Beach, CA on Thursday, February 15, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I replaced a perfectly good CDA-9833 with this unit. Although I lost a few watts per channel and I cannot set the button colors to match the rest of my dash lights, this unit is a huge upgrade from the top line unit I had before. Setting Base and Treble is a breeze, I can now access ALL my iPod Artist and song without any limitation. Worth every $ spent.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By Matt, Stafford, VA on Saturday, February 10, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I got this stereo for use with my iPod and I have to say you dont lose much interface with the iPod at all which is great. The only problem i have with it, and its a minor one, is that when you want to switch artists or anything you have to start back at the beginning of the menu instead of it taking you back to where you last searched. The sound quality is amazing, far better than the previous pioneer one i had. I would reccomend this unit to anyone who is looking for iPod control in their car. Overall a great stereo and well worth the price IMO.
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5 out of 5

Great head unit. Seemless iPod control.

Written By kamone33, Lexington, KY on Thursday, February 01, 2007
 
The iPod interface is fast and works great. The percentage search makes it possible to quickly search through a large number of albums and artists. Crutchfield sent me everything needed and the installation was easier than expected. If you have a factory sub, you may have problems getting it to work. I had to search a few forums to find out how to wire my sub since it was not technically supported.
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5 out of 5

Best sounding stereo I ever heard.

Written By juanito987, Branson, MO on Tuesday, January 30, 2007
 
I put this in my mercedez with some polk audio speakers amd i've never heard anything better. It rocks
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Awesome Unit

Written By Steve, Roebuck, SC on Saturday, January 27, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
As always with Alpine, I love this unit. I bought it to replace a stolen 9847. I chose this for 2 reasons, two line song display, and full speed Ipod controls. This thing is awesome! I have over 2100 songs on my pod currently, and the control is flawless. It's really great that the display will show artist and song title, AS WELL as the clock. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that you cannot label stations or cd's, as I could with the 9847. Otherwise this HU is a 10 for me.
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5 out of 5

Great Receiver

Written By Frank, Sacramento, CA on Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This was actually the most challenging installation I've ever done, but it wasn't because of the Alpine unit. I'm really impressed with the CDA-9857. The iPod controls are quick, the sound is fanstastic, and it looks good.
Once I get my wife used to the Alpine and I put some playlists on my iPod, I'll probably get one for our other car.
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4 out of 5

I bought this for the iPod direct connect and Love it

Written By Tom, Finksburg, MD on Sunday, January 21, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
There are many excellent selections for head units out there. Most have concentrated on the display. Alpine focused on the iPod Full Speed connection. It blows away all the others if you own an iPod.

The head unit is not intuitive; but, if you read the manual (there goes my man card) suddenly you start finding all kinds of features. This is installed in my 2001 Passat that was originally a Monsoon system. The factory speakers sound great with this once I figured out the BBE and other settings.

I also purchased the CDA-9856 for my daughter. The main difference is the display. Both sound great because they have the same amp, output and inputs. I prefer the dual line display; however, both displays are tough to see in direct sunlight.

I installed this myself and it was pretty simple other than having to modify the mounting bracket in the Passat. I installed the XM Tuner and routed the cables behind the dash. I routed the iPod Full Speed connection cable from the head unit to the remote location for the iPod. The optional KCE-422i Alpine Full Speed Connection cable allows the receiver to interface with an iPod via a dock connector. You can quickly and easily search through all of the music contained on your iPod through Playlist, Artist, or Album searches. The input selector shows "iPod".

I keep finding features I didn't realize were in the unit as I only partially read the manual.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

What a disappointment

Written By Rod, Carmichael, CA on Sunday, January 21, 2007
 
This unit marked my 2nd, and my LAST, experience with Alpine! Prior to this unit, I bought an IVA-D300 DVD player which had a defective DVD drive out of the box.

My 9857 also has a suspect disc drive. Sometimes on ejecting, it sucks the disc back in rather than ejecting it all the way. When it decides to do this, I have to push eject 5-10 times before it will eject properly.

Tonal control is virtually non-existent. If you enjoy having control over your sound, stay away from Alpine, and this unit in particular. Their engineers presume to know how music sounds best, and therefore do not believe the peasants should mess with it.

iPod control is mediocre. You can select by playlists, but not by genres. Unlike on the iPod itself, when you enter the menu, it does not take you to where you were last, but to the root--every push of the button is a brand new search.

I used the Terk XM Direct with this unit and experienced some odd problems when shutting off the engine and starting it again. The XM would not come back on unless the car had been shut off for more than about 15 seconds. I don't know if this was an issue with the Terk equipment or the Alpine.

The faceplate is easy to remove, but a pain to re-installed.

I've owned lots of car stereos by Pioneer, Sony, Kenwood, JVC, and Blau. I would recommend ANY of those brands over Alpine.
1 out of 5 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Great Sound, OK user interface, Archaeicly SLOW iPod Interface...

Written By Doc, Sayreville, NJ on Tuesday, January 16, 2007
 
I listed this a 2 because of the painful and slow iPod interface through the 420i unit. Otherwise for CD's the unit is a 4 Star Product in my opinion. I installed this as a replacement for the OEM Stereo. It was ok with factory speakers, perhaps a bit too much wattage for the factory speakers. I replaced the Factory speakers with Infinity Kappa Series speakers, that helped immensely. If you are going to run a good deck, run good speakers. Crutchfield has the Alpine KCA-420i control interface listed for an iPod adapter. I wouldn't reccommend this, just get the cable if you can run an iPod from the cable to the deck. The 420i unit takes up too much room even in its small size for what it does. The unit is SLOW, the interface leaves much to be desired, and the deck says it is a CHANGER not an iPod. There are buttons on the head unit that you never use to navigate stuff, and searching through your iPod tunes is painful. "Listing" using the "File" icon option is actually the equivalent of a folder of music, not mp3 files like you would think it is, and "Listing" using the "Folder" icon option is actually the equivalent of browsing your mp3 files in a folder. Scrolling through the files / artists / and playlist is painfully slow, enough that I wouldn't reccommend the interface to anyone. If you are going to use the deck mainly for the iPod interface, get a different deck. Other than that, the sound is great.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Installation in a 2001 Hyundai Sante Fe (6 factory spkrs)

Written By Allen Zolondek, Round Rock, TX on Sunday, January 07, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I installed the head unit along with:

Alpine KCE-422i for my iPod Nano.

XM Direct Satellite Radio Pkg.

Alpine KCA-100BT for my Blackberry.

The installation took me about 5 hours, mainly planning where to install and route all the components.

Everything works great. The iPod function is a nice-to-have. I no longer need to burn custom CDs. The bluetooth connection is really nice. It turns off the stereo when a call comes in!

I'll probably look into adding a subwoofer and amp in the near future.
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3 out of 5

Sounds great, not easy to use

Written By David, Sonora, CA on Friday, December 29, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this cd receiver for my daughter's 2001 Accord. It sounds great with the factory speakers. I could not believe how good it sounded when first turning it on without making any adjustments. The ipod cable works great, is actually fairly fast after the system has been running for 30 seconds. A little slow when you first turn it on. The ipod sounds cd quality or possibly a little better, fantastic sound. I don't feel this unit needs an equalizer or amp, it kicks on its own. The crutchfield wiring harness and instruction sheets made the installation fairly easy, although I would not believe any reviews where the person said they installed it in 30 minutes. Leave yourself 45 minutes to set up the wiring harness and 1.5 hours to install the unit. Now the bad on this receiver: The display is very hard on your eyes. Most car manufacturers have gone to amber colored lighting on dashboards to be easier on the eyes. This unit has Bright blue lighting with white lettering,blue light hard on eyes, white lettering hard to see the display at times. The second big problem is the user interface is not intuitive. Even after reading the manual twice while my daughter and I scrolled through the menus and functions, it is difficult to remember which combinations of buttons to push to get it to do what you want. There is no consistency in the order in which the buttons perform functions. The buttons are also too small for the driver to see and make quick changes while driving. My daughter is having trouble changing modes while driving, can't see the buttons well enough. The Alpine unit did not fit great in Accord dash,it is recessed about 1/3 inch.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Nice but lacks features of previous models.

Written By jclimb1, Chicago, Il on Wednesday, December 20, 2006
 
Recently purchases this head unit to replace an Alpine CDA -9831. The illumination of the 9857 is really great and the iPod compatibility is the reason I purchased it to begin with. The 9857 is lacking in some of the features of earlier and cheaper Alpine head units, specifically the tilt face and preset equilizers. I'm not sure why a $350 head unit wouldn't have these features, but feature a happy birthday setting instead. Anyway, nice unit with nice display but could use some more basic features.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Simply Great

Written By Len, Phoenix, AZ on Sunday, December 10, 2006
 
After years of experience in car audio, installation, sales and ownership, I have experience with nearly all brands of receivers. Alpine seems to have bucked the current trend with this receiver. What it does, it does well. It is simple to use and has the cleanest radio tuner I have experienced. I don't need a receiver that monitors tire pressure and stock-quotes as well as full color video traffic on my dash. My primary use for it is to control my i-pod, which it does very well while delivering good clean sound and control. My installation includes this head unit, Alpine amps, Infinity component speakers and sub. I have spent three times as much for systems in the past but this one is the most satisfying. Through experience, I have learned to appreciate functionality and quality over bells and whistles. That's what this receiver delivers at a reasonable price.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Not great for ipod

Written By jkn, Redding, Ca on Sunday, December 03, 2006
 
I bought this unit for the ipod interface, I didn't do my homework first. just fell in love with the ability to stow the ipod in the glovebox and have full access. What I failed to realize were the poorly dsigned controls to navigate the pod. Instead of using the great big volume knob to select, it does nothing but volume. then you have seperate enter buttons depending if you at "song" or "album" menu levels. Then to make it interesting, they put another microscopic button for "back" that is labeled "Func". Probably the worst thing is when you get done with an album, go back to the album menu, it starts at the top alphabeticly and you have to wheel through tons of names to get back to where you were.
1 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

A must for iPod Owners

Written By sun, Fairfax, VA on Wednesday, November 29, 2006
 
The CDA-9857 is probably the best unit in its price range for features and sound quality. The iPod interface is great, but not perfect. One bad thing about the iPod interface is that when playing a song, you can't jump back to the previous album, folder, playlist, etc. Like on the iPod, if you hit menu, then it goes back to the previous screen. With the Alpine, you have to start all over to find the next album. I would suggest Nano/Mini owners will benefit from this HU. If you're like me and like to have complete albums on your 20+ GB iPod, then searching for songs will be a pain. The radio and cd sources are excellent. The BioLite display is easy on the eyes. The only cosmetic flaw is that the buttons cannot be changed to different colors to match your dashboard. Alpine needs to up this model by having color adjustments, more intuitive iPod interface, and a motorized faceplate.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent product

Written By James, New Braunfels, TX on Sunday, November 26, 2006
 
I personally have been absolutely thrilled with this product. I have found it to be highly effect at organizing the IPOD's massive music interface especially when you need to be able to cypher through 3200 songs quickly and effectivly (such as in my case). Not only that but this head unit gives the opportunity to expand in the future with a plethora of capabilities right out of the box.
My only complaint is you spend a fair amount on the unit and it doesnt come with a case to store it in if you intend on taking it off the dash for safe keeping while away from your vehicle for long periods of time. None-the-less it has hand's down earned my 5 star's.
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5 out of 5

Love it!

Written By Remonster, San Diego, CA on Thursday, November 23, 2006
 
I just got this head unit installed today and after about 5 minutes of playing with it I've already got the iPod interface down, it's very simple if you just read your manual! The Full Speed connection works just as advertised and there is no lag when going through the menus which is nice, having an overly laggy menu and trying to use it when driving can be hazardous so I'm glad to see that's not an issue here. I also really like the BioLite display, glad I got this instead of the 9856 at the last minute.

The included remote is nearly useless, it has only a few buttons and is only really good for the most rudimentary of functions, though it's a nice thing to have if you have a bigger SUV or van.

The built in 15Wx4 amplifier sounds amazing compared to my factory BMW's head unit (1996 3 series) I had been considering upgrading my speakers but with the new head unit they sound much better.

All in all I think this thing is perfect, I've never come accross a better head unit, aftermarket or stock from any manufacturer and I haven't had any problems with it whatsoever.
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5 out of 5

Great Sounding System!

Written By Chuck, Sacramento, CA on Monday, November 20, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent overall sound and features, outstanding iPOD interface. It even charges the iPOD while the menu is shown on the receiver display screen. I was very pleased and not disappointed in the least. I like this receiver so much, I might have to upgrade all my factory speakers to keep up with it.
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3 out of 5

iPod interface- yuck!

Written By Paul, San Diego, CA on Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I must strongly disagree with the previous reviewers regarding the iPod interface. While it may be the best of any headunit, it's WAY behind the iPod itself. I got this unit (sounds great- it's a good unit) specifically for the iPod interface, and have found it's FAR from intuitive.

Personally, I'd buy a less-expensive head unit that's not "iPod ready" and use a AUX input. Coupled with a charger/line out device like Blitzsafe's, I'd maintain the iPod's interface, but have the sound and functionality I want.

I do think this is a good headunit, but NOT for iPod.

6 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By Toby, Prairieville, LA on Saturday, October 28, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This unit is a great balance between price and features. The main reason I purchased it was iPod control, and it does not disappoint in this regard. I get full control of my iPod and great sound quality. The percentage search (when browsing through your list the 6 preset buttons skip through a certain percentage of the titles to make scrolling quicker) feature is a great time saver. Highly recommended.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Unit

Written By Michael, Baltimore, MD on Saturday, October 28, 2006
 
This is a good Head Unit that si perfect for people looking to upgrade from the wireless FM transmitters out there. This is on the only way to go if you want good quality. It has great connection to the IPOD with the alpine cable, sub and preamp outputs. Display is good but could be a little bigger. I have to look into shuffle options with Ipod if there are any. Great receiver-all friends are amazed by it.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By AMM, Delaware on Friday, October 27, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This unit replaced a 2005 model head unit (another popular aftermarket brand) to get the ipod controls. I chose this one because it also had a BBE processor. I was not disappointed by either.

Pros

ipod controls fast and easy
excellent sound quality from cds and ipod

Cons

the clock is too small
no tone adjustments via remote

I have read the same reviews you may read about this unit and there are two things that need to be clarified. First, every car stereo I have ever owned took time to get the settings/ adjustments down. I would not consider the multiple adjustments difficult, it just takes a little patience and time to learn them, this is normal. Second, radio reception does not have good sound quality and never will. I would rate the reception as standard, the same stations are available as with previous head units.

Overall I got what I wanted, ipod controls and great sound quality.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Have an Ipod? You need this radio!

Written By Double D, Hinckley, MN on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This has to be the best head unit to use with the Ipod. You can search by playlist, artist, album, or song in the same way you would with an Ipod. You can shuffle song or album too. I like that it shows the artist name and song so there is no guess work of who is playing. I installed this in my 1998 Buick Regal. I had to do some customizing to make it fit, but it was worth it. I wanted to keep my steering wheel controls, so I also purchased the SWI-ALP steering wheel interface. It just plugs into the back of the alpine and then you connect a power, ground, and relay to the wire harness. Pretty much just that easy and you have the same controls you are accustomed to. OVERALL GREAT SOUND, STYLE, CONTROLS, AND ITS MADE TO USE WITH THE IPOD. What more could anybody ask for for $350? I highly recommend!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

An iPod Lover's Dream

Written By Craig, League City, TX on Saturday, October 07, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've had this unit for several months now, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.

Installation into my 2004 PT Cruiser took less than 30 minutes from opening the box to firing the unit up. This was my first install and it really was that simple - Crutchfield's kits rock!

I got this mainly for the iPod interface, and I have been VERY pleased. I just ran the interface cable into the glove box, which keeps my iPod locked & out of sight of prying eyes. Navigation is easy to learn after spending a few minutes with the manual. I have a LARGE library in my iPod, and getting around it is as quick as you could reasonably expect in a car unit. The 2-line display is awesome. Sound quality is great - a noticeable upgrade over my factory unit (I left the factory speakers in place).

In short, if you're looking for the best way to use your iPod in the car, I don't think you can do any better than this unit in this price range.
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5 out of 5

Alpine Outdid Themselves On This One!!!

Written By mrtemptation5, Punxsutawney, Pa on Tuesday, October 03, 2006
 
i bought this cd player back in may for my 01 pt cruiser cause i really wanted a cd player that had ipod compatability and after reading reviews about alpines new full speed controlls i just new this was the system for me, the installation did take around 3 hours only because instead of using the head unints internal amp i ran connections for a external amp using the 3 sets of preamp outputs built in and plugged them in to a full boston acousics speaker system and wow was that the best install idea ever. it made my car so loud, people tell me all the time they can hear the words to my songs from a good city block away! not only is it loud but it is one of the sleekest and brightest displays out of any of my friends cd players, they tell me all the time how jealous they are of my cars sound and i owe it all to this amazing cd player, the only bad complaint i have about it is that when serching for a certain song, artist, or albumb when using the radio to controll your ipod, it does take a little wile to do using the radio knobs, so what i do is either make a bunch of playists or just shuffle the music. but if your looking for a cd player to last you many years of good quality bumpin'. this is the cd player for you!
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Head unit for Ipod? Look no further!

Written By Matt, Long Island, NY on Monday, October 02, 2006
 
I had originally purchased the Kenwood x689 (see review) because I was overly concerned about the depth issues in my BMW 740i. Because I was looking specifically for a deck to use with my Ipod it turned out to be a big dissapoinment. BUT, after speaking with my Crutchfield rep we decided this unit would be a much better choice for my app. As I stated above, if you are looking for Ipod intregration look no further. I could not be more pleased. Browse by folder, playlist, artist and more. You can even skip ahead by 25, 50, 100 etc by using the buttons on the front of the deck (1-6). This is a very helpful feature! And it does all this practically instantly. I know they talk about the display like it the next best thing to sliced toast, and it is nice, but it is very suseptable to glare. I also found the radio (AM/FM) to have great reception. Couldn't be happier.
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2 out of 5

Sorry Sirius interface

Written By Frank, Charlotte, NC on Sunday, October 01, 2006
 
It's a great head unit except for these following things which is why my rating is so low. When listening to SIRIUS the head unit only displays 16 character (using the SIR-ALP1) which is lousy. My old JVC add on unit would show me all the characters, why can't Alpine? Secondly, the display will not dim enough. The tech support from Alpine can only be reached by phone during "normal business hours" and that is when I am working so I don't have have to call Alpine. There is no option to connect with tech support via e-mail. The sound is great, the controls are very versatile, the iPod interface is one of the best, but I expect near perfection from Alpine and they did not achive it with this head unit. Spend the extra money and find a head unit that displays all the characters that Sirius puts out.
4 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Nice....but

Written By James, Bayside, NY on Friday, September 29, 2006
 
Great unit. The sound is excellent. I had it professionally installed, so I can't comment on the installation. But it only took about an hour. My only one complaint is that the AM/FM is not that great. The AM can almost not be heard at all, and the FM seems to drift. I might just bring it back in for a check.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

If you own an iPod... This is the stereo for you.

Written By templeaz, Phoenix, AZ on Friday, September 22, 2006
 
I just installed a 9857 in my 1995 Camaro convertible. It took just about two hours. Not only does it look great, but it sounds fantastic!!! I still need to learn how to shape the sound with the controls, but that shouldn't take too long. I am using Infinity Reference series speakers. Wow! The reason I bought this stereo was for the iPod controls. I am not disappointed. It works with the new 80GB iPod. I am still getting used to the controls but like with anything new, I just need to learn them. Thanks Crutchfield!!! Once again you have blown away my expectations and I installed it myself!!!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By Evan, Los Angeles on Sunday, September 17, 2006
 
Having just installed the Alpine CDA - 9857 in my 2006 Toyota Matrix, I could not be more happy with its performance. I'm running Infinity Reference speakers in the front and rear and this deck truly makes them sing without the addition of an external amplifier. Furthermore, I must say that the iPod integration features are amazing. The performance and versatility of this deck was worth every penny. Though the interface takes a bit of time to become second nature, 20 minutes of practice is a small price to pay for sound system perfection. As for concerns regarding poor radio reception, I now have outstanding reception with this new head unit. However, this could be due in large part to living in Larger radio market.
2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Awesome radio!

Written By tkelly1250, Schaumburg, IL on Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I never thought a radio could sound this good and have as many features as well. The controls are logical, the sound is awesome, and the reception seems excellent. The iPod interface and controls are outstanding. I am so glad that I purchased this unit. And, installation was simple in my Jeep Wrangler. You won't go wrong buying this radio!
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Best Radio I've ever had

Written By Xtrmist, Camp Pendleton, CA on Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Yes the radio Kicks! Obviously! As for poor radio reception, I don't know. I have the Ipod and Sirius connected. So terristerial radio is not even a concern. I skip straight to a thing i like. I have convertible trans am, no with my older pioneer the power antenna would stay up if i put a cd in. Not with this alpine. It only goes up when i select tuner. For a covertible owner that is just bad! The screen shows 2 lines of display for info and that info can be changed based on what u want. You know what don't take my words or anyone elses. Just buy it, if you hate it crutchfield will give your money back, how can you lose!

I bet you won't be sending back though!
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2 out of 5

Horrible Radio Reception

Written By James, Houston, TX on Monday, September 04, 2006
 
Horrendous radio reception on this 9857 model. Can't pick up local stations my other older Alpine models can. I've also tried the 9856, I've tried in 2 different cars, same story. The Alpine new models must have made a compromise with the Ipod integration that left no room for a decent radio reception. FM and AM are poor. Other than that, this model is nice and easy to use. But $350 should get you a radio.
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Thought I had it good...This is the best!

Written By cmantelope, West Coast on Sunday, September 03, 2006
 
Had a Sony es cd player for 10 years. Husband surprised me with Kenwood X590 w/ Sirius - thought it was great until the antenna didnt work anymore (after only 2 weeks) ...so I got this Alpine...this deck is on a completely different level.

Of course it sounds great. I am using it with an alpine amp and alpine component speakers, and 10" kicker sub - (this is in a 96 aerostar "mom" van)

Price is relative to your personal situation, however, if this unit is in your price range - dont hesitate. It works seamlessly with my ipod - very fast -

Best feature? - for me it is the display, not all the gimmicky parts, which there are a few, but the winning point for me is that it will display 2 lines of text AND the clock!! this = artist and song for my ipod, and Sirius - HUGE step up from the Kenwood I had for a brief time.

If you are looking for the "loud" feature, it is called BBE in the menu, you have 3 choices, and you can set it differently for each source - very versatile

I prefer the hard buttons compared to the flimsy joystick of the Kenwood - they are much easier to deal with when you are driving...I like having the display for text (channel vs. song etc.) as a hard button on the right side...again convenient for driving

The number buttons do light up at night - which is great for all of my Sirius banks (you get 3 with 6 presets each) -

This is top of the line, unless you require a dvd player, there again, I would look at Alpine - common sense features - lots of versatility = a complete winner

2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Terrific Buy!

Written By James, Sellersville Pa. on Saturday, September 02, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This Alpine receiver was a great choice for me! I installed with no problems in my wife's 2005 Dodge Stratus SLT. I did'nt want to go crazy with an amp and new speakers, so I needed an receiver that would deliver in power and sound quality through my factory speakers. The Alpine CDA-9857 far exceeded my expections. The receiver is the most user-friendly receiver I've encountered. To play your I-pod on this with the I-pod/Alpine attachment cord is a breeze, and the sound quality is terrific coming out of my factory speakers, plus the installation kit that cruthfield gives to you makes your install look like a professional one. Don't let the RMS/PEAK Power fool you. This is true,quality sound! I highly recommend this receiver to anyone looking to increase thier car system with out spending a lot of money.
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5 out of 5

First Timer's Experience!

Written By Classical, Riverside, CA on Thursday, August 31, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Oh boy, this was the first time Ive ever done anything involving car audio, and it sure was fun. Crutchfield was wonderful and calling technical support was extremely easy and extremely helpful.
It was definately a large sound quality improvement over my 2000 Honda CRVs stock equipment, but I can sort of tell that the Alpine might be too powerful for my stock speakers. The illumination of the screen is nice and bright, but I can tell that the illuminated blue buttons might be a little too bright at night, even when dimmed. The display has many different ways to display song information, and it has a dedicated button to switch between display modes, which is nice.
The iPod connectivity is the main reason why I purchased this Alpine, and I love the Direct Search option. I can tell that without it (I.E. the CDA-9856), searching through my large playlists would be very annoying. That doesnt mean that this deck doesnt have some annoyances... One thing is that while searching through your Artists, Albums, or Playlists, there is no way to go back like you would by pressing the "Menu" button on your iPod. Just make sure you have a specific goal in mind when you search through your library. One thing that some people have been complaining about is the MIX mode. While in MIX mode, you cannot search for music, you have to turn it off, which I found was fairly easy; Its right there on your number "5" preset button. It seemed easy... untill I pressed it. Pressing it once turns on the MIX mode, pressing it again turns on the MIX All mode, which automatically shuffles all of your music, and you have to go past MIX All to turn off MIX!
Overall, Its great! Thanks Crutchfield!!!!!
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By steve, easley sc. on Monday, August 28, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
alpine at its best.works great with ipod
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

What a Deck!

Written By MGoBlue, Lehi, UT on Monday, August 28, 2006
 
I have had this deck 2 weeks now, and have had the chance to play around with it to see what it can do. Lets start with the pro's since there are few cons. First, I have my IPOD hooked up to it, and that thing has totally taken car audio to the next level. Your whole library at the touch of your finger. The display is crisp, and you can scroll all of your track names and artists while they play. Power is great, and is ample for running after market speakers. Subwoofer pre-out is also nice to only control your sub without sending extra power to componet speakers.
Cons, like I said only a couple. clock is very small and hard to read in lower left corner of display. I have a watch so no big deal. I also have read that others mentioned that radio reception was not the greatest. I have also experienced this, but can live with it because I am an IPOD freak now. Overall,...gotta have it!
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By brendan, Wichita, Kansas on Wednesday, August 23, 2006
 
This reciever is a great upgrade for both sound quality and convenience. The iPod interface is easy to install and use, and makes listening to your music anywhere really simple. The BBE sound processing sounds amazing, even in conjunction with the factory Infinity system. I really love the subwoofer level controls... they make tailoring the sound very easy.
One thing I do not really like about this unit, however, is that if you leave your iPod connected and turn the ignition off, you lose the ability to use the MediaExpander to go up or down to the next album when you restart the head unit. Really a small gripe, however, considering how much it has improved the system in my truck. It should really come alive with the new sub I'm considering.
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4 out of 5

Great Sound, Great Potential for Versatility

Written By Ray, Philadelphia, PA on Tuesday, August 22, 2006
 
Let me just say that this Alpine really blew away the stock Pioneer HU in my Scion. The thing really kicks as advertised with 50W peak really slamming my speakers. Unfortunately (for my wallet) I need to upgrade the rear speakers because they cant handle the power this thing is putting out.

Why I bought it:
-Alpines reputation
-Versatility, mp3 CDs, iPOD, USB adapter, other expansion capabilities (Sat. radio, etc)
-Display...very bright and readable, goes well with my cars interior, does a very nice job displaying and scrolling file tags.

What surpised me when I installed it:
-Sounds more pheonmenal than I expected
-iPOD adapter is extremely easy to use and very natural. quick search makes sorting through storage much easier.
-EQ has some amazing features (treble/bass gain, Q factor, center frequency)..as an engineer I loved the ability to adjust these.

Things I wish would change:
-controls are somewhat unintuitive and inconsistent for accessing certain features. high learning curve.
-I would like to see a fully customizable (at least) 5 band EQ. BBE/Bass engine is good, but want more.
-I was excited to get the USB adapter and have great versatility (with different mp3 players) and unlimited storage. Unfortunately Alpine has delayed this unit (KCA-620) multiple times (original ETA was April 06, not Oct. 06) As a result, Im stuck with just the iPOD
-No stock USB port (this would have eliminated the previous issue).
Overall:
Best investment I could have made. Thought about getting their double-din touch model, but I have basically the same sounding system $700 cheaper. This HU really helped me realize the limit
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great package of features

Written By Mark, Urbandale, IA on Sunday, August 20, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a great receiver. It seamlessly coordinates the tuner, xm radio, cd, and ipod. I particularly like the search functions for the xm radio and iPod. It makes the large amount of music that I have on my iPod seem fairly accessible.

Only one minor complaint is that it must go through the disk source even if there is not a disk in the player.

Also you can put the brightness of the display on manual control but then cannot move it off of the lower setting. With the brighter setting it is very visible even in the brightest lighting conditions.

One other minor complaint is that when it is off the on button is not illuminated and is hard to find.

Other than that I love the display, navigation, and sound.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By Jose, Dallas, TX on Monday, August 14, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sound, great display, and very easy installation with the Crutchfield-supplied bezel for our car. I have two gripes with Alpine, though.

First, the BBE feature in this HU greatly improves the sound quality, and should've been ON by default. At first I thought that BBE was just a gimmicky loudness feature and didn't bother with it. (The manual doesn't really explain what it does). That was a mistake. Initially, the sound from my unamplified Boston Acoustic SX60s component speakers was very dull. I kept raising the volume and adjusting the bass and treble, but quickly ran into distortion issues. One week later, shortly before buying an amp to cure the distortion, I finally activated BBE, and BAM! The speakers finally came alive with crisp highs and wonderful lows. I'm happy now and (temporarily) scrapped the amplification plans.

The second gripe is minor: the blue buttons are way too bright at night, even when dimmed. Some sort of dark coating after the warranty expires should cure that.

Other than that, I'm very happy with the unit. Yes, the controls aren't intuitive, but I can live with that.
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5 out of 5

Much better than stock

Written By Stanley, Campbellsville, Ky. on Wednesday, August 02, 2006
 
I have a 2005 Mustang and had the Shaker 500. There were no hook ups for an ipod or satellite radio. The Alpine solved all those problems and sounds better than stock even with the factory speakers.
I wish car manufacturers would provide such high quality equipment and at comparable prices. If you have checked dealer's prices for stereos, you know what I mean.
The Alpine is fantastic. My only complaint is that I have a double din opening.
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4 out of 5

Great Sound, Difficult Fit

Written By pmnick, Hilliard, OH on Sunday, July 30, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I'm 100% satisfied with the performance of this unit. I installed it in a 1996 Subaru Legacy L Sedan. As others have noted here, there is a learning curve involved with using all the features, but with some time and practice, it becomes more intuitive. I love being able to control my iPod with the included remote!

The only problem I've had is that the unit doesn't really fit in my car. In order to access the CD tray, you have to open the face of the unit; however, the fit is too tight, and you have to lift up the top of the dash panel surrounding the unit to enable the face to flip open. I tried trimming the dash with a razor, but it still blocks the unit. It's a minor annoyance, but enough for me to not give an otherwise perfect head unit a perfect score, at least as it fits in my car.
1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Install was a snap

Written By Donnie, Cumberland,RI on Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very nice unit, not sure why I didn't give it 5 stars but I guess nothing is perfect. Install of the receiver would have been under 1 hour but we put in an amp/dual-sub system also which took quite a bit longer. Crutchfield supplied everything needed and the enclosed instruction were very easy to follow. A first-timer would have no problems. Crutcchfield makes it very easy to get it right the first time. Thanks
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Best unit I've had so far - for a 2001 Dodge Ram

Written By Daddy'Z, Marysville, WA on Saturday, July 15, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Always been an Alpine fan. Got the unit after reading a lot of the reviews and such...was going to get this or the -9856, but wanted to have the multi-line display. My stock unit was a tape unit, but sounded pretty good really (not the Infinity system).

I first replaced the stock speakers with Infinity Kappas. Ive only replaced the front 6x9s so far, but also have the matching rears. This made a big difference too.

After matching up all the wires from the provided adapters, I plugged it in and all was good - VERY big improvement in overall sound quality. One problem I had that still doesnt make total sense (as Ive installed a few stereos) was that the LH front speaker had a lot of "feedback" and then the whole sound would go out (no fuses blown). I isolated the problem to be something of a grounding problem in that if the screws touched the metal of the speaker, some sort of ground was created. Yes, I have everything else grounded properly. After installing some electrical tape between the screw heads and the speaker, it all worked properly.

Like I said...HUGE improvement in overall sound quality. I like CLEAN music, and this is it. 18 watts RMS doesnt sound like much, but it rocks pretty darn hard.

I also got this for the iPod hookup, which works slick. As some have said, its hard to improve on the iPods touch wheel interface, but Alpine has done a pretty decent job, but it does feel a bit clumsy and is not nearly as good as the real iPod...I wish it retained what your last selection was like the iPod instead of reverting back to zero. Lots of adjustability too...great
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5 out of 5

Awesome Unit

Written By Bruce, Eagle, ID on Saturday, July 15, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have had the Alpine CDA-9857 unit for week now and it far exceeded my expectations. I purchased this unit primarily for the direct connect and control to my IPOD and it works great. It took a little playing around to get use to the interface, but once you figure that out it is easy to use. The only quirk I found was that in random song mode you cannot select a different song or playlist. You have to go out of random mode to navigate to another song. The documentation did not mention that, at least I could find. Plenty of power and the stock speakers to my Corolla sound better. All-in-all, I am very happy with this unit.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Lasik and sunglasses?

Written By Paul, Nashua, NH on Friday, July 14, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Just installed it in a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500. Only problem was the harness adapter did not completley work. The truck harness has no switched power wire so you will have to pull power from the fuse block. Not that easy in a new Ram. So I tapped into the switched power outlet in the dash as the Crutchfield tech suggested. Fused the lead to the radio of course. As all the other reviews say it is pretty much a great unit. Alpine at it's best. One thing I really like is the clarity of display. I just had Lasik and now my close up sight is a bit blurry. This display is awsome. I can see everything, even close up. Also, when wearing polorized sunglasses I can see the display very well.
My 2006 Rav4 has a tinted cover over the display. I can't see anything on it when wearing sunglasses. Not something you think of when buying a head unit. But after Lasik I sure do now! Hope that helps someone out.
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By schuss, Seattle, WA on Wednesday, July 12, 2006
 
The 9857 is just what my 2001 Infinity QX4 needed, and Crutchfield was just the place to find it. The install kit was seamless, hookups were a breeze, and a quick call to a Tech Advisor for the wiring diagram even had my factory steering wheel buttons controlling the deck. Alpine has really outdone themselves with the flawless iPod integration provided by their "Full-Speed" system; it's elegant and boasts truly ZERO sound quality loss. The controls are simple, the interface is sharp, and the sound and build quality of the 9857 give me even more reasons to continue to purchase Alpine products.
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3 out of 5

Nice, but clumsy iPod control

Written By Andrew, Bloomington, MN on Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I'm 32 years old and I was 24 when I installed my last car stereo system. Things have changed! The amount of features that you can get for this price is crazy, considering that I paid over 900 dollars for a Sony S900 that wasn't half as cool!

The good:

The display is pretty. The sound is excellent. I bought an amp, but try out the built-in ones if you're just trying to upgrade your factory unit. If you want to bump, then get amps and the subwoofer control on this unit is sweet.

iPod installation is slick; just a cable that can be dumped into your glove box. Also, iPod control is very fast. No noticeable lag.

Cons:

Alpine used to be known as a high end unit for those with high end tastes, right along with Clarion. But, alas, now we can enter our birthday into the unit and we're greeted with amateurish displays of flying cursers. Remember: I'm 32. If you're 17, you'll think this is "tasty".

Read my next review for more on the cons of this unit...
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5 out of 5

Rubi' lovin' Alpine...

Written By jeepin, Fairfax, VA on Saturday, July 08, 2006
 
Well, this is the fourth head unit that I have had in any of my Wranglers. This one went into a 2003 Rubicon that I got in 2004. I got it basically because everyone suggested that I get it to connect to my iPod. Well, apparently, "Everyone" was right. This thing rocks! As long as you remember to connect the "blue/white to the blue" you are good, if you have the 7 speaker system. I connected everything correctly, attached the iPod and took off. Wow....the headunit is great! I have 6.5" Alpines in the soundbar and 5.5" Boston's in the front (where the 4x6"'s go)and this thing ROCKS! My system friggin' screams!! Hope you all have the same experience!!!
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4 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By Brian, Devon, PA on Friday, July 07, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
As usual crutchfield service was excellent. I had a few questions on installing in my VW Passat and they answered them all!

As far as the radio goes, this was replacing an Alpine 9831. Not sure if I was upgrading or downgrading though. The display is great and far better than the 9831. The sound controls are MUCH easier to use than the 9831. IMHO the alpine Ipersonalize stuff was a gimmick. Time shifting and parametric EQs on the 9831 were great but not easy to use when switching between sources that had varying audio quality and range. The time correction stuff was more advanced, but I felt like I needed to be an engineer to use them.

Some older Alpine users will feel that this radio is a step down because of the lack of control. However, to me the ease of use makes it a better model especially since I switch sources all the time... one EQ setting isnt always the best for all music and to change it was a PITA.

Overall, the radio sounds as good if not better than the 9831. The big pros for me were:
1. Subwoofer output variable control.
2. Display, Display, Display --- cant say enough especially if you listen to XM or Sirius.
3. Ease of use.
4. Ipod connection

The only complaint I have is the lack of a tilting faceplate. I REALLY miss this. A little tilt up makes the display even easier to read and prevents wash out from polarized glasses and the sun. And it was cool.

So if you are like me and didnt like the complexity of the older alpine units and the cramped display. This is worth the upgrade. FWIW i couldnt find/hear any discernable difference in the 2vs4 volt preamp output in the 9831 when connected to an Alpine MRP-F450.
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4 out of 5

Looks sharp, sounds great!

Written By Wayland, Alexandria, VA on Thursday, June 29, 2006
 
2006 Subaru Impreza WRX LTD

Installed with ease and looks great with a trim matching din pocket from a 2003 Subaru forester. The CDA-9857 sounds great and is a must for in-car iPod users.

I would give it the full 5 stars if it wasn't for the 16 character text limit of both Sirius and XM add-on kits. Although, this may not be a limitation of the alpine, but a limitation of the manufactures directed electronics and terk who make these kits. Also I wish when searching the iPod though the head unit it scrolled the artist, album or playlist names as well. The display seems to be a pale green rather then a white on black as described. The display does seem to work as advertised in direct sunlight though.

With all the negatives aside you can't find a better expandable solution. Crutchfield comes through with great support, documentation and quick shipping.
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4 out of 5

Sweet Sounds!

Written By jp, ideal corners, MN on Tuesday, June 27, 2006
 
Just received my new 9857 yesterday after work. Took about 2 hours to get it installed & working with my ipod. Thanks to Crutchfield for getting everything needed so all arrived together.
Install went smooth - no surprises...until when I had it all back together, I realized that the trim piece for our '01 Nissan Sentra interfered with the hu faceplate hinge. I couldn't open face to insert CDs or remove faceplate.
After a while of fiddling, I sanded down the lower edge of the opening to give it a little bevel so the faceplate had more room to open. I'd sand a little bit, then put it all together to check it. It would work with just the hu trim in place, but as soon as I'd put all the other trim for the console in place, it wouldn't open. I put it all together & took it apart about 10 times, sanding a little more each time, until finally it worked.

So there I was, at 2 am, in the garage finally just listening to the great sound and getting to know the controls...having a great time. Happy as a pig in mud!

I'm really happy with the Alpine. Sound is great, even with the factory speakers. The controls are pretty easy to master (with a little reading & practice). And it has some nice features that make using it a pleasure. Looking forward to my next long trip so I can really enjoy it.

Thanks to Alpine & Crutchfield for great equipment and great service.
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5 out of 5

Thanks crutchfield

Written By Churchfields, East Meadow NY on Friday, June 23, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The CDA-9857 was easy to install, especially with the instruction and assistance from crutchfields. I installed a steering wheel module at the sametime. It works and sounds great. I have a 2004 Dodge Ram Quad Cab with infinity 7 speaker system already in the truck. The Apline just made it sound better. The ipod interface cable sound quality compaired with the FM tune type conection increases the sound quality so much it's the only thing I like to lesson too now.

Thank Crutchfield
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5 out of 5

Absolutely Mind Blowing!!

Written By Glenn, Crossett, AR on Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is the first Alpine product that I have owned. Let me correct that by saying the first of more to come. It is beautiful! The faceplate looks black in the pictures but it is actually black chrome. Very impressive!

I connected it to a GM harness in a 2004 Chevy Colorado with an additional XM Direct package. It was very easy to hook up, no problems whatsoever. The Crutchfield directions on hooking up the XM Direct should be a lot more detailed to make it a little easier. It was still easy to accomplish.

I did not get it for the iPod connection. I was very interested in the XM Direct hookup and double line display of the unit. It is extremely nice and works very well. It shows the artist and song titles just like an aftermarket XM modulation unit. If you enjoy XM and want something better than your stock head unit, this is the ticket!

The controls of the bass and treble are insane! There are so many ways to adjust the sound, I am constantly experimenting. There are separate sound settings for each input (tuner, XM, iPod, CD). The onboard amp does a great job of pumping up the volume. I wanted an increase in volume from stock but not ear-shattering. This is perfect. The volume is increased and it is very clear. This unit accomplished everything that I wanted.
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5 out of 5

Wow!

Written By Noah, Newton, MA on Thursday, June 15, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I ordered this on Tuesday and was very excited to see it arrive today. After a few hours of off and on work i had everything in and working. This was my first time doing anything to my car and the provided instructions were very straight forward, and the only time i had to call for some help, i was put straight through and had my question answered promptly.
I got this radio for one reason, using it with my iPod. I'm sick of using fm transmitters, and tape adapters to listen to my music. With the free high speed cable it is so easy to just plug it in and listen, And it sounds much better!
I highly recommend this radio for people who want to hard wire their iPods for better music quality!
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4 out of 5

Great Stereo, Excellent Sound! (not Quite High Speed iPod Adaptor)

Written By Scott, Portsmouth, NH on Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
First off, Crutchfield has exceeded my expectations with their service and value. They included the wiring harness and dash kit for free, where others charge for this. Also the instructions were very easy to follow. I'll never pay someone to put in stereo again!

The Alpine CDA-9857 was a VAST improvement in sound quality over my previous aftermarket head unit. A little background-I recently purchased a Pioneer DEH-P6800MP from a major chain and had them install it with the iPod adaptor. I also had four Polk dB 5x7 speakers installed in my 2004 Ford Ranger. The Pioneer just didnt sound good to me with the Polk speakers, and I was struggling to hear an improvement over my factory system! It just sounded plain bad with the exception of one of the preset EQ settings which was passable. I went back to the store and talked to folks who put the system in and they said that I must need an amp...what! How could I have just spent close to $700 on a new system and need an amp to make it better than the factory system!

Now back to the Alpine. All I can say is wow! What a difference in clarity, apparent volume, and sound. I guess it depends on what you like, because a lot of people said nice things about the pioneer sound. I just think the Alpine has a much clearer sound - not that scooped mid bass heavy muffled sound that a lot of other systems have. I dont need an amp anymore! The only thing is that the "high speed" iPod is still kind of lacking when it comes to scrolling through your playlists or songs - it is actually only slightly faster than the Pioneer interface (which was actually very nice overall). But on sound, no contest!
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5 out of 5

Scion TC Install

Written By Greg, Phoenix, AZ on Saturday, June 10, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Overall, this is an EXCELLENT replacement for the factory unit. I was worried that I needed to replace the speakers & wiring as well to get the quality I was looking for, but the Alpine CDA-9857 was enough in itself to improve quality dramatically. Dont expect miracles, but the improvement well exceeded expectations.

Scion TC specific stuff:

1. I was happy to see that the stereo cover will still work just as it did with the factory unit, without even removing the face plate. I cant tell that it touches anything when flipped down, even with the volume knob out (it locks in when pushed).
2. The best settings I found, at least for my taste, in the TC was Bass +3, Treble +1, BBE mode 3. This is enough to give the bass a small kick without killing the factory speakers, & preserve sound quality. Im not out to win competitions or disturb the neighbors.
3. The install kit provided worked perfectly, but you must break off the tabs on each side which are not used in the TC. It wont go in otherwise.
4. Running the iPod cable into the glove box is very easy. No tools...just run it through. Probably enough cable to reach the center console too, if you wanted.

Minor room for improvement:

1. The title and artist does not show up immediately when switching songs on the iPod. Playback does start immediately, but theres about a 3 second delay for the info.
2. When its off, its off. Power button is not even illuminated, which would be nice.
3. Other posts regarding the iPod controls are correct; theyre not quite intuitive, but 10 minutes playing around with it is all it takes.

Great product & service all around...very pleased...5 stars.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

the best out there

Written By Mitch, Texas on Friday, June 09, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
this head unit is without question the best available for anyone with an ipod. the controls are easy to use. you can navigate through playlists, artists, albums, etc. also, the display is the best i have seen. it is perfectly visible during the day. anyone who is considering buying this will not be disappointed. alpine is second to none!!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Nice....got what I wanted!

Written By maximaman, Crownsville, MD on Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I love this head unit! It allows me to adjust all my settings so I could calibrate everything to my car. The only thing is glare on the screen when My moon roof is open, that is why it did not receive 5 stars. The screen lights up and is easy to read at any other time! Great addition to my RSX.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine is the way to go!

Written By Shawn C, San Francisco, CA on Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I set out to put a system in my new car that had Sirius radio and Ipod control. I did research and decided to go with Sony. Big mistake, but I'll save that for my Sony review. After returning all the Sony stuff (including 3 external boxes to make the Sirius and Ipod work), I exchanged for Alpine. WOW!! What a difference! If you plan on using your Ipod through your car stereo, don't go with anything but Alpine. It is by far the best. This thing sounds great, has the fastest Ipod control around, has a nice interface to the satellite radio, and has a display that can be read in direct sunlight. I am 100% happy with my Alpine setup. The funny thing is that, even though the head unit is more expensive than the Sony I ordered, when you add up the cost of all the controller boxes needed for the Sony, the cost comes out the same as the Alpine because the Ipod just needs a small direct connect cable and there is only one box to control the Sirius. The only thing I wish the Alpine had is more sound settings like custom EQ curves, etc. rather than just the bass and treble sliders, but there are crossover settings which I haven't really played around with yet. So yeah, this thing rocks! You won't be disappointed!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

really four-and-a-half stars

Written By hugh, Stanhope, NJ on Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The product rocks! My oem was rated at 15wpc,with speakers to match. You should hear them with the 9857. Depth and clarity like you wouldn't believe. If I do replace them, I can't decide between mid-priced speakers or going all out with high-ends and an amplifer. Either way, the 9857 was the right first step.

My iPod with the 422i now puts out cd quality.

Minus half a star for the less than adequate am and fm reception. The weak signals and noise from overhead wires and overpasses are annoying. But I was warned not to expect great earth radio from any of today's receivers so...no suprise.

This is my first Alpine. I chose them (and Crutchfield) for their high reputation and I wasn't dissapointed.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

CDA-9857 Review

Written By Jeff, Warrenville, IL on Saturday, June 03, 2006
 
I bought a 2006 Pontiac Vibe with the Monsoon Audio system. Of course, it had a crappy head unit, but I planned on upgrading that anyway. I have purchased many head units from Crutchfield over the years. I am pleased with their master sheets and prompt service. I ordered mine the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day. A popup said it would be delayed because of the holiday, but, they still managed to get it out the same day. I had the product on Wednesday and installed it into the car in under an hour.

The CDA9857 sounds great with the Monsoon sound system. The display is awesome and bright. I utilize the iPod connector and can't complain. It is much nicer than the Kenwood adapter I had in my previous car. I also got the RCA plugs to put into the CD changer port for my XM2Go radio. That sounds great too.

The only complaint I have, and maybe I just can't figure it out, but I have read the manual over and over, is I can't find a standby mode. Sometimes I prefer to not listen to anything, but it would be nice if the head unit would go to a standby mode and just display the clock and leave the buttons lit. Otherwise, in the dark, it is harder to find the little power button.

I recommend Crutchfield and this product. I have no complaints and though I have never called customer service for help, I am sure they will help you if you need it.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By wjsiii, East Texas on Sunday, May 28, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Crutchfields service was very good, from the phone help to the prompt shipment Im very pleased. I managed to find a little bit better price online elsewhere but when I figured in all of the freebees and service this was the best deal going on a great new Alpine model. I had the unit in and playing in a snap!

The unit is sweet, I got this for the iPod interface, it being an Alpine was a plus not to mention the bazillion other features. I went to Crutchfield to purchase a HK Drive + Play not knowing about these new Alpines, after a few hours of research I went with the Alpine. It sounds amazing, even with stock speakers! Remember this thing needs no added "$100 iPod box", only the iPod cable that hooks directly to the head unit! The cable is free from Alpine with purchase of the 9857.

At first I could not get it off of "Quick Search" and into a Playlist, after resetting the iPods settings to default it works fine.

The Biolite display is outstanding. I can see the readout in full sunlight; I cant imagine that the standard Alpine display being 40% dimmer would be legible. The curved face does give off some glare but I can read right through it.

Ive read some complaints about the unit not allowing the iPod to be searched by Genre, while this is true it is a moot point. I simply made extra play lists by Genre (I named them Rock - All, Jazz - All, Country - All, etc). So now when I want a specific Genre I go to the Playlist I made for it. The lack of native Genre searching is a not an issue.

Lag in searching the iPod? - it plays the selected file as fast as the iPod itself can. My 30 Gig iPod is full & I can find songs fast!
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

BEST IPOD SOLUTION OUT THERE

Written By Bill, Freehold, NJ on Saturday, May 27, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this unit based on all the reviews listed here and I must say I am so glad I listened.

First let me say Crutchfield is great and their instructions and installation kit are top notch. Took less than 2 hours to install. It was so easy to install and looks like a professional did it!

I cant believe the improvement in sound quality over my factory unit, and that is with retaining the original speakers in the car. I am hearing things in the music I never heard before. The BBE function is great and really gives the sound good placement and imagin.

The iPOD controls are a little tricky to learn but once you get the hang of it they work pretty well. I only wish that the scroll wheel would speed thru the list when you turn it faster. But the "% jump ahead" buttons are a big help.

My only complaint, and it is a small one, is the dimmer control. On Auto it dims the display when you have your headlights on. I often drive with my headlights on and on a sunny day the dimmed display is difficult to read especially with sunglasses on. There is no way to make the display bright when the headlights are on. Setting the control to manual doesnt really give you manual control as it suggests. It simply makes the display dim all the time. The only solution is to disconnect the dimmer control wire. Then set to auto and it will be bright all the time. If you want to dim it at night you can simply set the dimmer to manual. Like I said no big deal.

Anyway this is definitley THE unit for anyone that has an iPOD and wants to replace their original factory radio with a great sound and easy to use head unit!

THANKS CRUTCHFIELD AND ALPINE
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Lives up to expectations and more

Written By mddolfan, Silver Spring, MD on Thursday, May 25, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought the CDA-9857 based on all the great reviews, and it sure hasn't disappointed! iPod functionality is fantastic---best I've seen in any head unit. XM display is great, too. I'm a little disappointed in the lack of EQ, but the sound is still awesome, even with stock speakers, and the fact it will store different bass/treble settings depending on source is a great feature, too. Also a little disappointed that it doesn't have a "song memory" function for satellite radio. But overall, a fantastic head unit.

Crutchfield was terrific; clear instructions, super-fast shipping. It took me about an hour and a half to install radio and XMDirect in a Civic, not including wiring connections from head unit to harness kit.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By Helder, East Coast on Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I got this head unit in three days and I'm very happy with the results. I have my iPod hooked up to the FAST cable and it works well; no need to look at the iPod anymore...it just sits in my glovebox now. The cable is great and the controls are good for the most part, but it still can't beat using the iPod itself. I also got the aux input cable so I can use the iPod when I want to jump around my music quickly.

The screen is great, although I do get glare during the day which is really annoying sometimes. The unit is in a '99 Civic which may be part of the problem because it's high on the dash and points up slightly, picking up a lot of that glare.

Sound quality is awesome. I especially love the fact that you can turn off the internal amp since I'm using a 4-channel amp to power 2 door speakers and a sub.



Overall I'm super happy with the head unit and would recommend Alpine to anyone.
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2 out of 5

Disappointed

Written By xtreme, Providence RI on Wednesday, May 24, 2006
 
This is actually a great product. The only reason i bought this was for ipod. I paid someone to install it for me and he did. Now everything works fine except ipod. When i plug in ipod the display says "SEARCHING" and it keeps searching forever for ipod. My ipod is 3G and software is up to date.
I am guessing this is because i have never bought a song from Apple (Itune store) to put on my ipod becuase i never use itune
2 out of 27 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine's Best yet. Great Product

Written By jay, LaGrange, KY on Thursday, May 18, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
First of all, let me just tell everyone how great Crutchfield is. You all are amazing. I recieved my product in less than three days, got everything and more for a do it yourself install, and the technical support was outstanding. I give Crutchfield an A+++.

Back to the product; the Alpine CDA 9857 is in a class all its own. This thing is a monster, the reciever definately has more RMS power than 18x4. The controls were difficult at firs but once you go through it a couple of times, you've got them down. The ipod controls are the best i have seen yet. It is so seamless and that's the reason i would recommend alpine. They are on top of the Car audio electronic industry, and to me, it looks like they are going to stay on top for a long time. Great product, easy to install, amazing playback and controls, not to mention the looks are also nice. I am 100% happy with my purchase and would def recommend throwing down the few extra bucks to upgrade from the CDA 9856 or any other unit.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine CDA-9857

Written By Jason, Chicago (in the burbs...) on Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I gotta say, this is by far one of the best head units that I have ever had. I was a little turned off by alpines' older products. But after reading some of the reviews here and doing some research elsewhere, I decided to go ahead and get this unit over a few other choices.

Very happy with all functions. The display is awesome in all light conditions! The iPod interface isn't the greatest, but it's by far the best thing out there right now. It's kind of hard to find a song quickly like you can by scrolling the actual iPod. But, what are you going to do? Until Apple starts building head units, this is your best bet.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Head Unit!

Written By phrint, Galloway, Ohio on Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this unit for the iPod capability. This was my first time ordering from Crutchfield and I must say, they are amazing! From ordering to technical help, they are top notch.

First let's start with the installation. This was my first attempt at installing a head unit. Crutchfield provided everything that I needed. I was a little uneasy when I saw the wiring instructions, but after reviewing both guides (Crutchfield's and Alpine's), I was able to make sense of what I was doing. The wires were pretty much the same color, so it just took a little time and patience. Other than that, the removal of the factory unit and install of the Alpine was a breeze thanks to detailed instructions.

The instruction manual is a little cumbersome, so I overlooked it and just played with the Alpine for about 30 minutes. I was able to understand features and functions very rapidly. I agree with others that have posted reviews that I will need to upgrade my speakers soon because this unit is so powerful!

The iPod integration works seemlessly. The sound quality is amazing, sounding as though you just popped a CD in. The controls took a few minutes to learn but after some practice, it became second nature. I have a 60GB iPod with about 3,000 songs on it. The direct search function built into the presets (1-6) allow me to find what I am looking for a lot easier than doing it by hand.

Other than the cheesy remote control and sometimes hard to read display, this headunit is the best for iPod integration on the market!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great stereo, great sound, great value

Written By Brian, Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday, May 13, 2006
 
I did a lot of looking around when it came to replacing my car stereo. When I bought the car, it came with a no-name (I say no-name because I can't remember it) CD player that was breaking apart at the screen.

When first looking, a friend referred me to Alpine head units, and had me go take a look at them. Upon first looking at the Alpine 9857, I was blown away. The display was so clear, so bright, and the entire face was so clean and easy to navigate through.

Pros:
x BioLite display is amazing in the sunlight, easy to see
x Great sound, works great with Bluetooth and XM Satellite Radio
x FAST, and I mean FAST connection with the iPod (see con below for exception)
x Easy to set up, install, and program

Cons:
x Menus are a little hard to navigate sometimes
x Slight 3-second delay when connection iPod
x Remote does only basic functionality

Overall, this is a great head unit with an awesome display and amazing sound -- worth the price, hands down.
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5 out of 5

excellent head unit

Written By David, canton, oh on Friday, May 12, 2006
 
i was skeptical about the display for this unit, since, in my opinion, all head unit displays look cheap. however, i think alpine pulled it off with bio-lite. crisp, clear display viewable from all angles - it doesn't fade out whether you sit in the driver seat or the passenger seat.

much easier to search for tracks and read mp3 discs than other players. excellent sound control, especially bass. all i have at the moment is my 4 cheap ac delco speakers that came with my dodge ram and they sound incredible after installing this unit. easily change the treble/bass crossover frequency and strength in the options.

pros:
× best 'dot' display i've ever seen
× amazing difference in sound
× fast reading, and searching
× high quality, durable unit, solid buttons and design
× can disable internal amp if using external amp
× subwoofer controls

cons:
× was hoping for more display options - fonts, etc..
× add-ons are expensive.
×× hd radio $250
×× cell phone kit $200
×× xm / sirius $100
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Alpine Makes Wonderful Improvments

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