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Digital media receiver
Our take on the Clarion FZ150 by Crutchfield's Jon Paulette
Digital made simple
Going all-digital in your car doesn't have to be complicated. With Clarion's FZ150, you can enjoy your digital music library without spending a bundle on features you don't plan to use. This no-nonsense AM/FM digital media receiver has everything you need to ditch the discs, and you'll find it all right there on the front panel: a USB port for thumb drives, a minijack auxiliary input for MP3 players, and a handy SD card slot.
Think about this -- you can fill up a 32GB SD card with up to 2000 WMA or MP3 files. The average pop song averages around three minutes, so if you have a 30-minute round-trip commute, you could go most of a year without hearing the same song twice. If you're up for the challenge, an SD card is also an excellent opportunity to create a truly epic mix.
The overall theme of simplicity continues with the controls. A large display, big dials, and an ergonomic layout make the FZ150 very easy to use.
The FZ150 proves that a simple receiver can also produce great sound. With a built-in amp that delivers 16 watts RMS per channel, you'll get the volume you want. You can also get the sound you want with 4 preset EQ modes and a graphic equalizer. Just push the EQ button to select the type of equalization that best matches your style of music. If you want to upgrade your speakers and add an amp, you'll find a set of RCA preamp outputs on the back of the receiver.
Since there wasn't a CD player to worry about, Clarion's designers were able to fit the FZ150's features into a surprisingly shallow chassis. That means this single-DIN (2" tall) receiver can fit into a wide variety of cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
This digital media receiver will not play CDs. If you want to play CDs in your vehicle, we offer a wide selection of CD receivers.
This is a good solid radio. Works just like you'd expect for a digital head unit. Some minor issues, but you get what you pay for. For a cheap, budget digital deck, it fits the bill!
What's in the Box:
- Digital media receiver (10A fuse installed))
- Sleeve (installed)
- Power/ground harness
- Speaker harness
- Antenna adapter
- Front-panel cover
- 2 Washers
- Self-tapping screw
- 2 Radio removal tools
- Owner's/Installation Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
- Warranty Sheet (US/CA)
- digital media receiver with AM/FM tuner (does not play CDs)
- plays MP3 and WMA music files
- built-in amplifier (16 watts RMS/40 peak x 4 channels)
- single-line display in high-visibility white
- 4 preset EQ modes
- graphic equalizer
- inputs: front USB port (no iPod control), front auxiliary input, SD card slot
- outputs: 2-channel RCA preamp outputs
Other features and specs:
Clarion FZ150 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Memory Card Slot||USB, SD Memory Card,|
|Satellite Radio Ready||No|
|RMS Power Output||16 watts|
|Peak Output||40 watts|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||20-20kHz|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||No|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||No|
|Preamp Voltage||1.5 volts|
|Key Button Color||Blue|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||No|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|Radio Data System||No|
USB Port: The unit's front-panel USB (type-A) port allows you to connect a USB Mass Storage Class (MSC); such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives (up to 32GB). The USB port enables audio playback and control of MP3/WMA music files stored on your portable USB MSC device through the Clarion FZ150. USB devices that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the receiver's USB port (0.5A) and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.
SD Card Slot: There is an SD card slot on the front-panel for playback and control of MP3/WMA music files stored on a SD or SDHC memory card of up to 32GB capacity.
MP3/WMA Playback: The Clarion FZ150 supports the following types of MP3/WMA music files recorded onto a USB mass storage class device or SD/SDHC memory card.
|Media Type||USB (mass storage class device) and SD/SDHC memory cards (up to 32GB)|
|File System||FAT 16/32|
|Playable File Types||MP3, WMA|
|Maximum # of Folders/Files||2,000 total files|
|Tags||ID3 tags, WMA tags|
Playback & Search Functions: The FZ150 provides a variety of playback & search functions.
- Folder/File Select: This function allows you to select a folder containing MP3/WMA files and select which music file to play back.
- Scan Play: This function allows you to locate and play the first 10 seconds of the first music file of all the folders on an MP3/WMA disc.
- Repeat Play: This function allows you to play the current music file in a MP3/WMA folder repeatedly.
- Random Play: This function allows you to play all music files in a folder in a random order.
Auxiliary Input: The FZ150 features a front-panel stereo Auxiliary input, so you connect your iPod/iPhone or portable satellite radio receiver to this head unit.
MOSFET Amplifier: The Clarion FZ150 employs a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) power amplifier capable of delivering 45W (Peak) x 4ch of high quality sound with superior linearity & less distortion than conventional power amps, even with the volume cranked up. The power specifications for the FZ150 are compliant with the CEA2006 Mobile Amplifier Power Testing and Measurement standards from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These standards were developed as a way to equitably compare power specs from model to model and between manufacturers. The power output specs for the FZ150 are as follows:
- CEA2006 Specs: 16 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
- Maximum Power Output: 40 watts x 4 channels (160 watts total)
2Ch/1.5V Line-Level Outputs: The Clarion FZ150 features 2ch/1.5V RCA line level outputs to connect an external two-channel amplifier.
EQ Presets + Tone Control: The FZ150 is equipped with four preset equalization settings (FLAT/POP/ROCK/CLASSIC) which can be accessed simply by pressing the head unit's EQ button. Each EQ preset provides optimum equalization for the type of music selected. You can also independently adjust the head unit's Bass & Treble.
Loudness: The Loudness function compensates for deficiencies in the low- and high-frequency ranges at low volume.
Beep: The head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.
AM/FM Tuner: The Clarion FZ150 is equipped with a built-in AM/FM tuner offering manual, seek, & preset tuning. Up to 18 FM station presets and 6 AM station presets can stored manually or automatically. The radio also allows you to scan through all the head unit's available stations (5 seconds each) to easily search what's playing on the radio. When "Local" seeking is turned on, only those radio stations with strong radio signal can be received.
Single-Line LCD: The single-line, high visibility LCD (with black background and white characters) on the FZ150 allows numbers and characters to be displayed clearly in almost any lighting condition.
Display Information: The head unit's display can be switched to indicate information such as radio frequency, track number w/ elapsed playing time, song/artist name, or clock. The clock is only displayed when the head unit is powered on.
Cover Panel: The digital media receiver's front-panel is not detachable. However, it does come with a plastic cover to hide the unit's front-panel when you exit your vehicle. The plastic cover simply snaps on and off the head unit's front-panel.
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 verify what’s in the box, 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.
14 questions already asked
yes to all [ MIKE R Dec 13, 2014 ]
Yes to all. The money was well spent. Spend some time learning your unit. [ ROBERT Dec 11, 2014 ]
Ted, thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. [ Reed Dec 11, 2014 ]
Thanks for your answer Robert [ Reed Dec 11, 2014 ]
Yes as long as it was recorded as an individual file. [ ROBERT Dec 10, 2014 ]
In MP3 format the album name does NOT show, the name of the track does show. I make a big ol playlist and use that with no album, just loose cuts. Nice radio for the $, little if any noise, clean. So, it seems that it does not recognize albums, only the tracks, at least in my experience. [ TED Dec 10, 2014 ]
Nope. [ RUTHIE Dec 10, 2014 ]
3 answers Does this charge the phone while it's playing through either the USB or AUX? Can I play ANYTHING (stored music/streaming apps like spotify) over either the USB or AUX? And through either input, do I still get to control via the phone, or do I have to control song selection from the unit? [ Matt Nov 27, 2014 ]
Sorry but I bought it for my dad's bike as a gift, so I can't answer your question because he's got the bike put up. It didn't work and sound great for the price, I plan on buying one for mine soon enough. Hopefully this was helpful and good luck. [ Anthony Dec 01, 2014 ]
Exactly what I needed to know. Thanks Kevin [ Matt Nov 30, 2014 ]
The USB port is not powered, it only reads MP3 files from a flash drive. All other external audio input uses the 1/8" stereo AUX jack. The unit does not control phones or MP3 players. But anything you can play on a phone, iPod or other MP3 player, or any other audio source, can be played through the unit by connecting it using a cable with an 1/8" stereo plug. You need to be careful when connecting a device to the AUX input to initially set the volume levels low on the unit and the device so you don't overload the amplifier. [ Kevin P. Nov 30, 2014 ]
I didn't install it in a VW, however Crutchfield usually offers the wiring and antenna adapters for the cheaper head units at a discounted price. I wouldn't recommend this unit though. After having it approx 6 months the volume knob started acting up. It turns the volume down when trying to adjust it up. Crutchfield won't allow exchanges after 90 days. Good luck. [ Alyssa Nov 24, 2014 ]
Instructions provided and connectors provided made install very simple. match colors and wala [ Jonathan Nov 24, 2014 ]
2 answers Does anyone have an idea of the recommended fuse size to be used with this radio? I'm installing it in a vehicle that would need to use an in-line fuse holder. I imagine I would need to fuse both the main and ignition power sources separately but I'm not sure of the rating to use. [ 79 MG Midget Nov 18, 2014 ]
Looking at the back of the head unit pictures, it looks like there is a 10 amp fuse. If I remember, there was also a 10 amp fuse when I install mine. So that would be a solid guess as to what would be a good fuse rating to start with. Suggest double checking the installed fuse rating on your deck. Locate your inline fuse where it is convenient to replace a fuse. [ erik Nov 21, 2014 ]
I installed this on an amp that had a fuse built into it so i didnt add an inline one. Sorry. [ CHAD Nov 19, 2014 ]
You will have to ask the techies at Crutchfield or Clarion. I don't have a need for a remote. It may require a steering wheel adapter kit. [ Michael Nov 05, 2014 ]
no idea. this product went into a vehicle that was sold [ DAVE Nov 05, 2014 ]
I would invest in a better stereo [ RUTHIE Nov 05, 2014 ]
i don't believe there is one for it. i have gotten rid of my clarion fz150. due to issues with the volume control knob. seems that when you use the knob to search your media the volume stops working making it hard to use the unit. i would not buy another one [ SCOTT LYN Nov 04, 2014 ]
no youcan not turn off display [ SCOTT LYN Aug 28, 2014 ]
Yes, it has the two aux outputs on the back for a sub's amp. As do almost all aftermarket car radios... [ Alain Jul 21, 2014 ]
... sorry, I meant OUTPUT! haha! [ Alyssa Jul 21, 2014 ]
It has one RCA input so it should. [ Alyssa Jul 21, 2014 ]
Yes, it has a pin on connector A, pin 5, blue with white stripe for remote, and two RCA outputs. I don't have mine connected to an amp, but I wanted the functionality for the future. [ Digi Sport Jul 20, 2014 ]
It worked fine for me. [ ARTHUR Jul 19, 2014 ]
Yes and pretty good for the price [ David Jul 19, 2014 ]
just a cover not a removable face [ david Jul 23, 2014 ]
Just the cover,NO removable face. [ Mike Jul 17, 2014 ]
Just a cover, I think. [ James Jul 17, 2014 ]
It just has a cover that goes over it. The face is not removable. [ ERIK Jul 17, 2014 ]
...simple cover....NOTE...although this unit has a usb port, it will not charge phones,etc....this is only for memory sticks. [ JEFFERY T Jul 17, 2014 ]
Just a removable cover. [ Randy Jul 17, 2014 ]
Just a cover. The face does not come off. [ NATHAN Jul 17, 2014 ]
This unit has a cover that keeps it simple. [ TED Jul 17, 2014 ]
It just has a cover that goes over it. [ erik Jul 17, 2014 ]
Just a cover that goes over it. The face plate is not removable. [ Aaron Jul 17, 2014 ]
The face does not remove [ NATHAN Jul 17, 2014 ]
The Clarion FZ150 ships in the box with a protective black cover over the stereo's face hiding the interface. This protective cover, at least in my car (it may work for all vehicles though), can be placed over the face of the stereo while stereo is installed. Other than that, the stereo does not have a removable face plate. [ EDWARD Jul 17, 2014 ]
Just a cover that goes over it. [ PETER JAMES Jul 17, 2014 ]
It is in my daughter's car so I'm not sure, but I believe it just has a cover that goes over it. [ TIMOTHY Jul 17, 2014 ]
Honestly, I have not been home to install it yet. I have done my homework and it should fill my needs. That's why I chose that model. Sorry I couldn't give more feedback but once installed I will. [ ROBERT Jul 21, 2014 ]
The installation gears are free. i installed it on my own, very easy process. [ Hai Heng Jul 16, 2014 ]
Yikes! What kind of adapter costs $250?. If you were to spend that kind of dough, buy a unit that Crutchfield supplies free adapters with. To answer your question one needs to know in what car you intend to install it. It comes with a DIN box, so if your car has a DIN hole, just plug it in. No adapter required. If you are talking about wiring, consider a unit with Crutchfield's adaptive wire harness. I installed this unit in a 1968 Mustang. Had to make my own harness. I cut the wire loom off of the old unit and soldered the Clarion wires to the old Molex loom to make a simple P&P. I was able to bench solder the loom, so no hanging upside down with a hot iron. I connected the Molex to the car's wiring with the Clarion plugs hanging out of the DIN hole. Plug them into the back of the Clarion, push it into the DIN box, done. Great sound for the bucks. [ Burt Jul 13, 2014 ]
What $250 adapter? The adapters to install it come free or cheaply from Crutchfield. [ GREG Jul 12, 2014 ]
I don't understand what $250 adapter you make mention of. Had I not been Red-Green color blind, not had a physical disability, I could have installed this unit myself. There are very few parts, very good documentation, a relativvely easy install. [ Michael Jul 12, 2014 ]
This will depend largely on your vehicle. For details on installation please contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to pull up your vehicle and give you the details on what you will need for an installation. [ Greg Jul 12, 2014 ] Staff
For details on installation please contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to pull up your vehicle and give you the details on what you will need for an installation. [ Krissy Jul 11, 2014 ] Staff
I don't think so. First, the Clarion FZ150 has no bluetooth. Second, when you connect your phone, at least in my experience (I own a Galaxy S2), the stereo will only connect to your phone's internal SD card. This will prevent the ability to steam apps via USB that utilize a cell provider's network connectivity. You'll only be able to play music saved to your internal SD card. However, the Clarion does have an AUX port on the front that would permit you to play Spotify on your vehicle's speakers. [ EDWARD Jul 13, 2014 ]
I think it would since the USB is an input source. You may have to call technical support though. [ Randy Jul 02, 2014 ]
Have not tried the USB port yet,but love this product.The SD slot has fit my needs so far.Good luck. [ Mike Jun 17, 2014 ]
I couldn't get my phone of mp3 to play through the USB only the AUX input [ david Jun 16, 2014 ]
It has 1 set of preamp outputs for an Amp and a remote turn on wire. [ DAVID Jun 02, 2014 ]
Honestly, I have been away from home since January and have not installed it yet, but I have bought radios from Crutchfield before and was always very satisfied. I did notice a price drop on that radio. I am sure as always that this radio will get the job done as always. [ ROBERT Jun 02, 2014 ]
Yes. Look at pictures of the back of the unit. RCA Jack line out, red (right) and white (left). The antenna connector has an adapter for the remote control output. [ Burt Jun 01, 2014 ]
.... RCA output in back...remote wire not included [ JEFFERY T May 31, 2014 ]
The only outputs are left and right "Line Out" on the back of the case. [ EDWARD May 31, 2014 ]
Yes it does. Hooked mine up last weekend [ NATHAN May 31, 2014 ]
This receiver is not compatible with Steering Wheel Control adapters. You can check to see if a receiver is compatible by clicking on the "Details" tab. You will find "Steering Wheel Control Compatible" listed in the General section of Features and Specs. [ Jeff Mar 27, 2014 ] Staff
You will need a wired connection, from your phone to the AUX input.. [ Michael Mar 21, 2014 ]
Of course, through AUX you can, but I have not seen any way to play music straight from the phone without hooking it up. The USB and SD card works great! [ dale Mar 21, 2014 ]
Yes - just need a single audio plug from phone to audio input on the stereo front - worked perfectly for me. [ Francis Mar 21, 2014 ]
Yes you can play music straight from your phone with this radio. Its actually the only music i listen to. You will need an aux cord ofcourse. [ LILLIE M Mar 21, 2014 ]
Yes, but you will need to buy an aux. cable. Personally it plays Songs better on a jump drive ( USB stick ) [ RUTHIE Mar 21, 2014 ]