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Clarion M502

Marine digital media receiver

24 Reviews | 4 questions - 7 answers

Item # 020M502

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Our take on the Clarion M502

You won't find a CD player in Clarion's M502 marine digital media receiver, because it's built to handle most of the latest media options when you're out on the water. Built-in iPod® and iPhone® controls let you take charge of your music from the receiver's 7-way rotary knob, with song and artist information displayed on the sharp black-on-white display. If you're a Pandora® Internet radio fan, you can even pick from your favorite stations when your iPhone's connected.

A marine design for digital music lovers

You won't find a CD player in Clarion's M502 marine digital media receiver, because it's built to handle most of the latest media options when you're out on the water. Built-in iPod® and iPhone® controls let you take charge of your music from the receiver's 7-way rotary knob, with song and artist information displayed on the sharp black-on-white display. If you're a Pandora® Internet radio fan, you can even pick from your favorite stations when your iPhone's connected.

Clarion M502

Built-in Bluetooth®

Bluetooth adds an extra measure of convenience to the receiver. Not only can you answer calls hands-free, but audio streaming lets you send music wirelessly to the receiver from compatible devices. The M502 uses a built-in microphone to pick up your end of the conversation, and you can add an optional external mic, too.

Solid sound controls

The M502 gives you plenty of options for shaping the sound in your pleasure craft. The 3-band parametric equalizer adjusts the highs, mids, and lows to your liking, while the bass boost circuit kicks the lows up when you want some extra punch. You can use the built-in frequency filters and sub controls to get the best possible performance from your system.

Great radio, wherever you are

Clarion's excellent AM/FM tuner hauls in plenty of stations when you're within range. And this receiver works with the latest SiriusXM tuner (not included), so you can enjoy satellite radio channels when you're up to 200 miles offshore.

Remote control ready

You can use the included remote, or add Clarion's MW1 wired remote control — place one at the helm and you'll still be able to control the receiver that you've installed below. Or pick up Clarion's MF1 and enjoy radio frequency remote control of the receiver wherever you are on the boat.

Note: Bluetooth compatibility with this receiver may vary, depending on your phone and service provider.

iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • marine digital media receiver (no CD player)
    • built-in amplifier (19 watts RMS/45 peak x 4 channels)
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • 13-segment 2-line display
    • USB, MP3, and WMA playback
    • Pandora control with iPhone
    • remote control
    Marine-specific features:
    • conformal-coated PCB circuit board
    • marine remote ready
    Audio features:
    • 3-band parametric equalizer
    • high- and low-pass filters and sub level control
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding an optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner
    • inputs: rear USB input, auxiliary input
    • outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear/sub)
    Other features and specs:

    What's in the Box:

    • Marine digital media receiver (with fixed face)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Trim ring
    • Wiring harness (with in-line 15A fuse on constant power wire)
    • RCX003 IR wireless remote
    • CR2025 3V Lithium battery
    • 4 Machine screws
    • Rear-support stud
    • 2 Washers
    • Hex-nut
    • Rubber boot
    • Back-support strap
    • 2 Radio removal tools
    • Owner's/Installation Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Sheet (USA/Canada)

    easy installation on my boat high quality sound and other reviews claim difficult to be intuitive but I have had no problem figuring it out following the instruction book!

    Franzfisherman, Michigan


    Clarion M502 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (24 Reviews)


    Franzfisherman from Michigan on 7/18/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    easy installation on my boat high quality sound and other reviews claim difficult to be intuitive but I have had no problem figuring it out following the instruction book!



    Great Sterio

    Roxy85 from Virgilina, VA on 6/19/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product-little confusing to use at first but once you get the hang of it, it works very well and it works great with the MW1 remote also. The one control knob take some getting used to but once you get the hang of it its no problem at all.

    Pros: Everything works great!

    Cons: None


    Ron D from Thousand Oaks on 2/16/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I like the fact that one can stream music via blue tooth. The sound quality is very good. I have two issues. The interface is not very intuitive. The blue tooth too often takes time to connect with the iPhone. I seem to have to delete the M502 from my blue tooth list, and then go and again pair. If those issues were resolved I would give it a 5 star rating,



    Great concept, poorly executed

    JohnD from Virginia Beach, VA on 11/22/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought the Clarion M502 to install in my 2003 Jeep Wrangler when the factory head unit died. I chose the Clarion because it was iPhone 5s compatible, the simplicity of the interface, and the presumed durability in a rough environment (the Jeep). The unit installed just fine and looked great in the Jeep, but I could not get the unit to recognize the iPhone when connected via USB cable (iPhone 5s, iOS 7.0.4). It would "read file, read file, read file..." and then display "error 3." Neither the manufacturer nor Crutchfield could tell me what "error 3" meant and/or how to fix it. I updated the firmware successfully as instructed on the Clarion website, with no improvement. FWIW, the bluetooth audio streaming worked VERY well, I was surprised at how good it sounded. But I needed to be able to connect the phone with a cable and charge it, and this unit simply would not do that. I have to agree with others that the user interface, while a cool concept, has a VERY steep learning curve. It is almost impossible to use out of the box without instruction, and the documentation is some of the worst I've seen (abbreviations never explained/defined, cryptic menus, etc.). The friendly folks at Crutchfield sent a replacement unit for me to try, but it behaved the same way. So unfortunately they are both going back and I'm trying a different head unit.

    Pros: Great concept Presumably weather-resistant, sturdy Good bluetooth music streaming quality

    Cons: Never worked with my iPhone 5s Unusable interface Poor documentation

    Good Value Proposition

    Chuck C from Texas on 10/18/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The features of this stereo were spot on to what I was looking for to retrofit in my boat. Iphone / Pandora compadibility and wireless bluetooth streaming of music and handsfree bluetooth phone capability. These features work great. I did a lot of research and this stereo with these (and other) capabilities are at a current price point that makes it a really good value. I am really pleased with this product and recommend it. The only reason I didnt give it 5 stars was because of the poor human factors design criteria that went into the menu system. Its a bad news / good news scenario. Bad news is that it is really complicated to navigate the menus without the manual in your hand. The good news is that once you have invested the time to get it set up, its really easy to use. Its just the initial set up steps that are frustrating. But I stand behind my endorsement of this product. My only regret is that I didn't purchase an amp and better speakers which has nothing to do with the stereo. But there is always Christmas to look forward to!!

    Pros: Capabilities and price point. Easy to use once the setup is complete.

    Cons: Poor human factors design associated with the menu system.

    Streaming Music and Install

    Michael from Stuart, FL on 9/13/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Clarion M502 is great! I installed it with my 12year old doing most of the work in about 2hrs. the wire harness matched up with my Jeep 2000 wrangler perfectly and the Antenna Cable was correct and easy. the Metra 30-6229 in Dash receiver trim piece fit perfectly and the screws provided where better that what I originally had. Thanks it plays and works awesome.

    Pros: Streams music, USB hook up, Xm hook up

    Cons: Could have offered me an XM antenna maybe I would have put it in. I didn't think of it. No real cons.

    clarion 502 Play with it first, then love it

    MikeJ from Boynton Beach FL on 9/10/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The unit was a breeze to install. It is tricky to learn the commands associated with one button, but once you figure it out its awesome! The streaming music and optional connections are great. I was very very disappointed with the remote. it is VERY Line of sight, and I mean "straight" line of sight. ie if you are off to the side and not DIRECTLY in front of the unit, the remote will not work. even 20Degress to the left and only 4 feet away and it will not work

    Pros: ease to install, sounds great,

    Cons: Remote control range: I was very very disappointed with the IR remote. it is VERY Line of sight, and I mean "straight" line of sight. ie if you are off to the side and not DIRECTLY in front of the unit, the remote will not work. even 20Degress to the left and only 4 feet away and the remote will not work Manual does not discuss how to get to "balance" "Fader" etc and that will take forever to find and then learn. i and others, found it once and have not beeen able to relocate since

    Clarion M502

    JEVidal from PR on 9/2/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great head unit. Single control knob use gets simpler within a day or two of using the unit. Blue Tooth connectivity is flawless and has a decent range.

    Pros: Great blue tooth connectivity. Ease of instalation. Ease of use once you get used to single knob. Even easyer to use with wired remote control.

    Cons: None so far.

    Great choice

    TR from Walker, Ia on 8/16/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love this unit, made a great improvement to my boat over my old head unit.

    Pros: Good power, great features for sound control and inputs

    Cons: Not very intuitive, book only helps so much

    Clarion M502

    Mike from Flaming Gorge,Ut on 8/8/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    good clear sound, easy to install. The knob can be confusing at first. But if you take your time and read about how it works. its fairly simple.

    Pros: good clear sound. good looking when lights up.

    Cons: none

    Clarion M502

    Anonymous from Aiken SC on 4/26/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love it



    Clarion m502

    Ron from Keene nh on 3/2/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Don't buy untill clarion fixes its shortcomings

    Pros: Nice sound , good power , lots of options

    Cons: 1 knob to control everything , it's a nightmare , I've had this for 2 weeks and have not gotten the menu right for balance, fader, Bluetooth, phone, nothing , I've gotten the radio to work using the manual , but played with it for 20 minutes to get it out of am radio ,, I wish I did not throw the box away or I'd return it , it's so frustrating to use ill probably get mad a smash it ,,, lol


    Sal V from The Woodlands, TX on 1/10/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I used 2 head different head units in my 24' Baja islander before this Clarion. I feel the best features on this unit are the ability to stream music via bluetooth and the RF remote option that floats in the water which i bought separately. Yes, the single dial can be a bit tricky but once you understand how to use it then it is not a problem. My friends can pair their iphones/ipods and stream their music via bluetooth while choosing songs on their iphone/ipods. There is a setting that allows you to control the music from your iphone/ipod as opposed to using the controls on the head unit. We can be relaxing on the rear sun pad while controlling music from our iphones or be in the water and use the RF remote. This unit is great and for the price you cannot beat it!

    Pros: Bluetooth streaming, great sound, RF remote option (comes with an infrared remote)

    Cons: NONE!

    Perfect Fit for Crossfire, Love this unit!

    Jack from North Mississippi on 1/2/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Absolutely awesome head unit. Takes a couple of uses to learn the menu structure but easy after that. Bluetooth is instantly connected and flawless sound. This unit is installed in my 2005 Crossfire Roadster. The display is easy to see in bright sun with the top down. The silver finish matches the dash perfectly and the center of the radio even has a ridge to match the one in the dash of the car. Looks like it was made for this vehicle.

    Pros: easy to see display, great sound, easy install

    Cons: one knob to do everything, have to go through multiple menus for some functions

    Great unit

    Ryan h from Abilene Tx on 12/20/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Yes the screen is small, and yes the single knob is a bit confusing. But buy the floating RF remote and this unit is perfect. Sound quality and adjustability is awesome. Sealed unit will last much longer unlike a automotive unit. CDs are a thing of the past now, this unit works perfect with an iPod.

    Pros: Bluetooth built in. Sound quality,iPod connectivity, optional floating remote w/ RF works ten times better than inferred, rear USB and aux,

    Cons: Smaller screen, single knob controls it all.

    LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reefdawn from Texas on 9/8/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Instantly pairs wirelessly with my or my friends' iPhones through Bluetooth! While others have to plug their iPhone in to their stereo, I'm already listening to music! The remote works great from a pretty good distance on my sailboat, while my iphone is just tossed back into my purse! The price is fantastic for a superior product! So Glad I Made This Choice! It was exactly what I was waiting for.

    Pros: Stylish, Price, Easy to Use, Technologically Advanced!!

    Cons: Absolutely No Cons!

    Very good - not great.

    MP from Alameda, CA on 8/15/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Agree with the comments that the one dial knob is a lot of work - and I am very tech savvy. For example, I often "fade" music from inside to outside to inside the boat and you can't believe how many steps this takes with the one knob. I understand why they did it - more buttons and knobs in a marine environment is just more to break, but i wonder how long this one knob will last given how much use it gets. I too had some issues (not horrible) with the bluetooth connection dropping my iphone but it took about 10 seconds to reconnect. I had an earlier model clarion marine unit (cmd4) that stopped working due to malfunctioning buttons so i was interested in a new clarion unit that could easily replace the old one. I was very happy that the old speaker and power wiring harness simply plugged into the M502. I was told by crutchfield that the old clarion wired remote i have installed on my boat would also work with the new unit. In fact it does not. The connector at least is different. I find the wireless remote to work fine and is a bit more intuitive than the single knob.

    Pros: looks good, power/speaker wiring harness compatible with older clarion unit, lots of features like bluetooth, good sound.

    Cons: wired remote not compatible with older clarion units, single knob a bit of work to get where you want

    All that was advertised

    Matt from Rosemount, MN on 7/9/2012

    This was all that it was advertised. I cut the old wiring harness from the old JBL marine unit I had and wired it to the M502 wiring harness. I had an issue with the old JBL harness having an additional fuse breaker along with the Clarion fuse line (yellow wire if someone else runs into the same issue). I called Crutchfield support and got it figured out in less than 5 minutes (just cut the old one out). After that, it powered up and I was EASILY able to follow the instructions and sync my iPhone and start jamming iTunes and Pandora. I read a review before I purchased that stated the functuionality was difficult to operate...sure it is....if your still using rotary dial phones and listening to music on 8-tracks. The functionalilty and logic is EASY to follow and anyone with newer electronic technology will not have a problem. Push the main middle button, read the text on the screen, and push left, right, up, or down on the dial - simple as that!!! The remote work well and is was able to control my iTunes and Pandora songs (forwarding from one to the next). I am super happy with the product and would recommend it to anyone that asked. In fact, I just emailed a local Marina and told then they should look at stocking this product as an option because they said most steroes WERE NOT blue tooth ready...just capable. They told me additional components need to be ordered...but not in this case. BOOYAH!!! Love it!!!

    Pros: Sleek looking, powerful enough for my 4 JBL marine speakers as loud as I need them, quick connecvtivity to remove devices (allows up to 3 connections), 1/8" min plug and USB rear connection make additional component (MP3 players of non-bluetooth Apple devices and phones) easy connect.

    Cons: Cannot honestly give one.

    Not Recommended

    DavidE from Canyon Lake, TX on 7/9/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The single knob is not user friendly at all!!! I got it for the blue tooth and it constantly drops the connection and does not connect back each time you start your engine. You have to go in and reset. Display is not that large. Remote is not IR as stated.

    Pros: Connect good if you plug the unit it using your iphone via the USB connection

    Cons: The single tuner controller is not user friendly at all and it drops blue tooth connection many times. Also it states that the remote us IR and it certainly is not. you need to be about very close to the radio and aim it directly at it to make any changes.

    Good headunit

    didja from Phoenix, az on 6/19/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent design and easy use. Very versatile component! The controls are quite simple and the bluetooth feature makes for an excellent multimedia device with your smartphone! I was able to connect my memory stick to the USB port with ease and connect to my Iphone with no problems what so ever.

    Pros: simple controls. great connectivity.

    Cons: instructions should demonstrate how to navigate the controls a little more clearer. Once the controls are understood, it is quite simple to navigate, its simply a bit of a learning curve.

    Only Marine with USB in Back

    Dan O. from Newtown, CT on 6/5/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I selected this head unit because it was the only marine-rated head unit with a rear USB connection. I think that's it's biggest plus. The one dial control is time-consuming and non-intuitive. The connection to Iphone is also problematic and always requires me to reconnect it a few times before I got it working. I have been much happier with the Sony in my other boat - just wish it had a rear USB connection.

    Pros: Rear USB marine-rated.

    Cons: Iphone connectivity problematic, One knob control not intuitive.

    looks like a winner Clarion m502

    Mike Wakefield from Bay City, TX on 6/3/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit rocks. Just plug and play.. put songs on my USB drive pluged it in and started to play no problems.. linked the phone blue tooth.. easy.. Bought the floating remote and blew people away with the range 100ft no problems unit looks great no more skipping CD,s ..looks like the right choice for a marine player..i think this is your radio for the price..

    Pros: Easy hook up, not a lot of buttons, came with separate bass control pleny of power..

    Cons: Takes a while to figure out the one big knob but you can do it..

    Great unit with easy installation

    PilotMike from Philadelphia, PA on 5/24/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this to replace an older M5675 Clarion receiver which was in my boat. In doing so my hope was that the connectors would be the same, and lucky enoough, they were! This made installation quick and easy. I'm happy with the overall look of the unit - its sleek on the outside without all sorts of buttons and clutter. The USB connection is long enough that I could route it to a convenient place. Note that this unit is silver in color - I thought it would be white. It does come with an IR remote as well.

    Pros: Fits with older Clarion connectors, easy install, clean look.

    Cons: Programming is a little tricky. Its not horrendous, but the menus are not that simple to navigate, particularly when just using the multifunction control wheel/knob.

    works as advertised

    MARK from Atlanta on 5/20/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Just installed this yesterday and it works great. I have been looking for a head unit that would work with my iPhone and this is it. Once I powered on the unit and connected the phone using bluetooth I had complete control from my iPhone. I could play from iTunes or Pandora and the system had no problems. You can also control the music from the wired remote control if you want to skip a song. I am glad I waited for this product to come out.

    Pros: The bluetooth works great with iphone

    Cons: The set up menus are a little hard to understand. There are a lot of good features in this radio, but you have to have the manual out to figure out how to get to them. I am not sure how to use the main controls on the unit. I had to use the wireless and wired remotes to access the set up menus. Once you get the system set up it is easy to switch between the radio, iTunes and Pandora.


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    AUX Input Rear
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input Rear
    CarPlay No
    Android Auto No
    Siri Control No
    Android Control Yes
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready SiriusXM
    HD Radio No
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano 7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch 5/4/3/2/1
    iPhone 5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    RMS Power (CTA-2006) 19 watts
    RMS Power (Manufacturer) ---
    Peak Output 45 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 4-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs Yes
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2 volts
    Display Color Black/White
    Key Button Color Blue
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible No
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    FM Sensitivity 8 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Marine Rated
    USB/Aux Connectivity
    iPod/iPhone Control
    Built-in Bluetooth
    AM/FM Tuner + SiriusXM Ready
    Audio Section
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Marine Rated

    Marine Tested: The Clarion M502 marine digital media receiver has been engineered and tested for use in the harsh marine environment. The M502 meets ASTM B117 and ASTM D4329 guidelines ensuring the receiver's resistant to salt, fog and UV exposure. The receiver features a drip shield chassis to keep water from dripping onto the unit's internal circuits. In addition, the head unit's PCB and microprocessor are conformal coated to protect them from corrosion.

    Water Resistant Covers (optional): Even though the conformal coating makes the receiver water-resistant, it is still recommended that it be used with a universal marine cover such as the Metra (120999005B, sold separately) or Scosche (142ACM1, sold separately).

    USB/Aux Connectivity

    USB Port: The Clarion M502 digital media receiver's rear-panel USB (type-A) port is connected by a 41" cable. The unit's USB port allows you to connect and play a USB (1.1/2.0) mass storage device loaded with MP3 and WMA files. MP3 and WMA files with a bit rate from 8-320 kbps and formatted with FAT are supported. The head unit can recognize up to 999 files per folder and 3,000 total files. Titles up to 64 characters can be displayed while in USB mode. This unit will also charge (max. 0.5A) your connected USB device when the receiver is turned on.

    Note: The Clarion USB extension cable (020CCA755, sold separately) can be used to connected your USB flash-memory device. Copy-protected WMA files cannot be played on this unit.

    Folder Select: This function allows you to select a folder containing MP3/WMA files and start playing from the first track in the folder.

    Top Function: The Top Function resets the digital media receiver to the first track of the connected USB device.

    Playback Functions: The M502 provides Repeat, Random, & Scan playback functions.

    • Scan Play: This function allows you to locate and play the first 10 seconds of all the tracks recorded on a connected USB device.
    • Repeat Play: This function lets you play the current track repeatedly or play a track currently being played in a MP3/WMA folder repeatedly.
    • Random Play: This function allows you to play all tracks recorded on a USB device in a random order.

    Last Position Memory: If you turn off the unit or switch sources while a track is playing, it will resume playback at the stopping point when it is turned on again (as long as you do not disconnect the USB device).

    Auxiliary Input: The M502 features a rear-panel stereo Auxiliary input, so you connect your external portable audio player or portable satellite radio receiver to this head unit. You can set the Auxiliary input sensitivity level to Low, Mid, or High to match the volume output of your connected external audio device.

    iPod/iPhone Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The Clarion' M502's rear-panel USB port also acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the USB/iPod cable that came with your iPod/iPhone. An additional iPod cable is available (469USBPOD, sold separately) so you can leave one at home and one in the car. f you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5; use the Lighting-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the Clarion marine head unit. iPod Video can be viewed by connecting the M502 to an external universal monitor with RCA video input and connecting a compatible iPod/iPhone via the optional Clarion CCA748 cable (020CCA748, sold separately).

    iPod DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's stored music to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 1-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 83dB.

    iPod Control: You can choose to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.

    • Head Unit: The Clarion head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically (A-Z). The head unit also supports Repeat (file/all) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
    • Simple Control: In Simple Control mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Rhapsody, & Slacker) from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Clarion head unit and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode.

      Note: Access to your iPhone's downloaded applications will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet.

    Information Display: The head unit will display your iPod/iPhone's stored music file information; including Track number, Elapsed playing time, Song title, and Artist/Artist name. The head unit will also display song/artist information from the Pandora App. It will not display metadata from other streamed apps or when in Simple Control mode.

    iPod Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 0.5A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position. This unit does not charge the iPad. If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Clarion M502 using your connected Apple iPhone, via the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. The Clarion M502 provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). Or, you can create a new station from the current playing artist or song. You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.

    Note: Access to the Pandora service will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Clarion M502 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/25/2012):

    iPod Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Pandora app Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod App mode Artist/Song Text Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N N N
    4th N/A N N N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N N N
    2nd N/A N N N N N N N N N
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    7th 1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    4th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    5th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology (powered by Parrot): The Clarion M502 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth ver. 2.0+EDR (powered by Parrot), allowing you to make and receive phone calls wirelessly through the receiver; as well as stream music wirelessly from your smartphone to the head unit.

    Bluetooth Profiles: In order to use Bluetooth wireless technology, your phone must also be Bluetooth compatible and be able to interpret certain profiles. This unit is compatible with the following Bluetooth Profiles:

    • Hands-Free Communication: HFP (Hands Free Profile), PBAB (Phone Book Access Profile).
    • Audio Streaming: A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).

    Pairing: Before using your Bluetooth enabled device, it must be paired to the M502. You can register up to five Bluetooth enabled cell-phones with the Clarion marine head unit (only one paired phone can be used at a time). The Clarion M502 is compatible with most Bluetooth enabled mobile phones, including the Apple iPhone.

    Note: The Clarion M502 is not compatible with all Bluetooth enabled phones or audio players. Visit Clarion Bluetooth Support for complete list of compatible phones and players.

    Hands-Free Communication: The M502 supports Bluetooth hands-free communication from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The M502 can be set to automatically answer your incoming calls and mute any music audio to your vehicle's speakers so you can instantly carry on a phone conversation hands-free. An integrated front-panel microphone carries on your side of the conversation while your car's speakers are used to hear the other person. You can make a call by entering the phone number, selecting a contact from your Phonebook list, or using the Call History Log of received/dialed/missed calls.

    • Answering A Call: During an incoming call, the caller's phone number will be seen on the unit's LCD and a ring-tone will be heard through your car stereo speakers. You can then manually answer the incoming call from the head unit's front-panel controls. You can also set the unit to automatically answer an incoming call within 5 seconds.
    • Making A Call: You can make a call using the Clarion marine head unit's front-panel controls.
      • Direct Dial: Outgoing calls can be made be entering telephone numbers (0-9, *, #, +) directly via the car stereo's rotary control knob.
      • Phonebook: You can search for contact names in your mobile phone's phonebook from the Clarion M502 and then make your call. The head unit can store up to 500 contact numbers.
      • Call Log: You can also make a call by searching your mobile phone's call history (Received/Dialed/Missed) from the Clarion M502.
      • Redial: You can simply redial the last number dialed with a press of a single button on the marine head unit.

    Integrated Microphone: The Clarion M502 features an integrated front-panel microphone to carry on your side of a conversation during a Bluetooth phone call. You can adjust the microphone gain (+/-5) for each paired mobile phone device.

    External Microphone (optional): The Clarion RCB-199 (020RCB199, sold separately) is an external microphone which can be connected to Clarion M502. The RCB-199 external microphone provides better performance in noisy environments than the integrated microphone found on the front-panel of the head unit. The microphone features an attached 13.25' cord terminated by a right-angle male 3.5mm connector which plugs into the microphone input on the rear-chassis of your compatible Clarion head unit. The microphone also features an integrated sun-visor clip for mounting the external microphone in your vehicle. The integrated bracket allows the microphone to swivel left-to-right and rotate up-or-down.

    Wireless Audio Streaming: The Clarion M502 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The M502 will be able to control your stored music's basic playback functions; such as Play/Pause, Previous/Next Track, and Fast-Forward/Reverse. The M502 also supports audio streaming of music apps from your smartphone, but without control or metadata. You will continue to use your Bluetooth enabled smartphone to view & control streaming music apps. When an incoming call or outgoing call is in progress from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, audio streaming will be paused so you can take your call. Once the call is finished, your streaming music will resume.

    Note: The iPhone 5 only offers Bluetooth audio streaming without control or metadata display.

    AM/FM Tuner + SiriusXM Ready

    AM/FM Tuner: The Clarion M502 is equipped with a built-in AM/FM tuner offering manual, seek, & preset tuning.

    Instant Station Recall (ISR): You can store one radio station in Instant Station Recall (ISR) memory and recall it from any mode (except Power Off). Once the ISR station has been recalled, you cannot tune to another station without first disengaging the ISR function. You can, however, switch to another source.

    Preset Stations: 18 FM station presets and 6 AM station presets can stored. Stations can be stored manually or automatically.

    Preset Scan: Preset scan receives the stations stored in the unit's preset memory in order. This function is useful when searching for a desired preset station.

    Local Seeking: When Local seeking is turned "On", only those radio stations with strong radio signal can be received.

    SiriusXM Ready: The Clarion M502 comes ready for SiriusXM programming with access to XM & Sirius Satellite Radio stations. Thanks to its proprietary SiriusXM Connect port, you can add the optional SXV200V1 SiriusXM Connect tuner and receive more than 150 channels of exclusive programming directly from SiriusXM, via the "SiriusXM All Access" package (subscription required). Visit for a complete list of subscription options & channel guide. Additional features of the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect tuner include:

    • Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's display
    • Category Search feature lets you search for channels within a certain genre or category
    • Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets
    • Artist/Song Alert notifies you when your favorite artist or song is playing
    • Replay feature lets you pause, fast-forward, or rewind up to 30 minutes of live content
    • iTunes Tagging for your connected iPod or iPhone
    • Channels containing content unsuitable for children can be blocked

    Note: SiriusXM Satellite Radio operates on the XM Network. However, you can easily add this SiriusXM tuner to an existing Sirius or XM account for a Multi-Radio Discount Plan.

    Audio Section

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Clarion M502 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.

    CEA2006 Compliant: The power specifications for the M502 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 M502 are as follows:

    • CEA2006 Specs: 19 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
    • Maximum Power Output: 45 watts x 4 channels (180 watts total)

    BeatEQ: BeatEQ lets you tune the sound to your liking, depending on the category of music, for a more fulfilling listening experience. The Clarion CD receiver provides 4 preset EQ curves (Bass Boost, Impact, Excite, Off) and 1 custom EQ curve. Bass Boost emphasizes the bass portion of your music; Impact emphasizes the bass & treble portions of your music; Excite emphasizes bass, midrange & treble portions of your music; while Flat sets the bass, midrange, & treble to 0. The Custom EQ lets you freely customize the frequency, Q-factor, and level of the bass, midrange, & treble.

    BeatEQ (Custom Mode) Frequency Q-Factor Level
    Bass 50Hz, 100Hz, 200Hz 0.7, 1, 1.4, 2.0 -7 to + 7 dB
    Midrange 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz
    Treble 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz

    Note: BeatEQ settings are applied to all sources.

    Magna Bass EX (Extend): The Magna Bass Extend feature does not adjust the low frequencies like the normal sound adjustment function, but emphasizes the deep bass frequencies to provide you with a dynamic sound. This circuit boosts bass at an ultra-low frequency of about 50Hz, creating a rich, deep, defined bass rather than the muddy, booming bass of a standard loudness control. What is more, boost levels are dependent on the system volume, resulting in balanced system response and dynamic bass reproduction.

    4ch/2V Preamp Output: The Clarion M502 features 4ch/2V RCA line level outputs (Front/Rear). The unit's rear preamp outputs can be configured as a dedicated non-fading RCA subwoofer output with a low-pass filter and level control (+/-6).

    Built-in Crossovers: The Clarion M502 is equipped with built-in low-pass and high-pass crossovers.

    • Low-Pass Subwoofer Filter: The Low-Pass Filter (LPF) for the subwoofer preamp output will send only the low frequency range through the preamp outputs to ensure superb performance with a connected subwoofer. The low-pass filter can be set to 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, or Through (full-range).
    • High-Pass Filter: The M502 features a High-Pass Filter (HPF) for the unit's front & rear channels, via speaker-output or preamp-output. You can adjust the high-pass filter from 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, or Through (full-range). The HPF prevents low bass notes from distorting your front & rear speakers. The high-pass filter setting effects both the front & rear channels of the head unit.

    Beep: The marine head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    Display Features

    High Visibility LCD: The two-line, high visibility LCD (with black background and white characters) on the M502 allows numbers and characters to be displayed clearly in almost any lighting condition.

    7-Way Rotary Control Dial: The M502 employs a centered 7-way rotary control dial which provides full control of the digital media receiver and your connected devices.

    Illumination Dimmer: The receiver's display automatically dims to a preset brightness when the vehicle's headlights are turned on. The wiring harness includes an orange/white lead that should be connected to the vehicle's parking light circuit in order for the dimmer feature to operate.

    Screen Saver: This unit is provided with a Screen Saver function which allows you to show various kinds of patterns and characters in the operation status indication area of the display in a random order. You can turn this function on or off. If the button operation is performed with the screen saver function "On", the operation display corresponding to the button operation is shown for about 30 seconds and then the display returns to the screen saver display.

    Mounting: You can install the unit within 30-degrees of horizontal.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote: The M502 comes supplied with a 20-key infrared wireless remote control (RCX003) for wireless operation of the digital media receiver and your connected devices. The remote operates off of a single CR2025 Lithium Cell 3-volt battery.

    Optional Wired & RF Remote Controls: The unit is equipped with a rear mounted DIN connector to accommodate an optional Clarion wired marine remote control (020MW1; sold separately). You can also choose to add on the Clarion MF marine RF remote control (020MF1, sold separately). When the wired remote and RF remote are used in combination with one another, a Y-adapter is required (020MWRYC, sold separately).

    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.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    4 questions already asked

    Sure. We've never installed one in a boat, but we purchase these because the marine application gives better water resistance in open cars where the radio might get rained on. I did find they were pretty deep, so make sure you have enough room behind the faceplate before you order. Good Luck. [ JIM  Sep 08, 2014 ]
    Of course - it is a standard size. FYI - the fader controls are krrtqting but probably not as much of a problem for car use ... [ BRYAN G  Sep 04, 2014 ]
    Yes, marine use only indicates the circuit board and controls have been sealed to prevent moisture from penetrating. Wiring is the same as non marine radios. I have this unit mounted in my Harley and it works great. Nice sound and the pandora works great. [ TREVOR  Sep 04, 2014 ]
    Yes I used mine in a jeep wrangler , I picked this 1 to help with moisture with the top off [ RONALD  Sep 04, 2014 ]
    If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer. You can also post your question in our forums: Or try our online support center: [ Krissy  May 28, 2014 ]  Staff
    I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: The radio only has one input for a wired remote. We do not currently have any sort of splitters or adapters for adding additional remotes. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy  Apr 15, 2014 ]  Staff
    You will want to contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat to discuss compatibility with your factory system. They will be able to pull up your vehicle and see if this will integrate. If it does not, then they will also be able to discuss other options with you. [ Krissy  Mar 02, 2014 ]  Staff