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Our take on the Pioneer DEH-X5500HD by Crutchfield's Ken Nail
Enjoy your music, plus the best in radio
Pioneer designed their DEH-X5500HD CD receiver to be the perfect vehicle for adding great sound, expanded musical capabilities, and the best-sounding radio available to your dash. This receiver lets you control your iPod® or iPhone® playlists when you connect them via the USB input, and offers Pandora® Internet radio control with your iPhone too. But if you're a radio fan, that's not the end of the story.
HD Radio — enjoy the difference
If you listen to a lot of radio, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of the HD Radio tuner that's built into this car stereo. The free broadcasts of your local HD Radio station are like regular radio, but with improved sound quality — FM broadcasts are near CD-quality, while AM is as clear as regular FM. And many stations, particularly public radio, broadcast extra channels of programming, so you can easily switch between news, music, or other alternative programming.
MIXTRAX livens up your music
Pioneer's MIXTRAX feature complements this receiver's bright display with its variable-color illumination. Turn it on, and it adds a light show to your favorite playlists as the display pulses in time with your music, and it inserts transitions and cool effects between songs, keeping the energy high while you're cranking the tunes.
Great sound at the heart of it all
The DEH-X5500BT carries on the tradition of solid Pioneer sound with a powerful internal amp that leaves most car audio factory systems in the dust. You'll also enjoy a 5-band equalizer for tone control, plus Pioneer's Advanced Sound Retriever to perk up the sound quality of compressed music files. If you're looking to build a bigger system, hook up amps to the two pairs of preamp outputs to get things really rocking — a suite of sound controls will tailor the output of the receiver to your amps.
Want to keep your steering wheel controls?
In most vehicles, you can use an adapter (not included) to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Pioneer stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and the Pioneer, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.
Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver or its optional iPod adapter.
Great product exactly what I wanted and more.
m. f, folkston,ga
What's in the Box:
- CD receiver (with 10-amp ATM mini fuse inserted into chassis)
- Face (attached)
- Sleeve (installed)
- Trim ring (installed)
- Wiring harness
- Wireless remote control (QXE1047)
- CR2025 Lithium battery (installed)
- 2 Extraction keys
- 4 Pan head ISO-mount screws (M5 x 8mm)
- 4 Flat-head ISO-mount screws (M5 x 9mm)
- Face fixing screw
- Owner's Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
- Limited Warranty Information (USA/Canada)
- CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
- built-in MOSFET amplifier (14 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
- built-in HD Radio tuner
- MIXTRAX for a DJ-inspired audio/visual experience with compatible devices
- plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files
- Pandora control through iPhone
- variable color illumination with separate control of display and buttons
- remote control
- Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) for improved sound quality from compressed music files
- Easy EQ 5-band equalizer with seven preset tone settings
- 3-level loudness
- low-pass and high-pass filters
- subwoofer level control
- built in iPod control no adapter necessary, but adding Pioneer's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
- inputs: front panel auxiliary and USB inputs
- outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear/subwoofer)
Pioneer DEH-X5500HD Reviews
Average Customer Review(s):
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Features and Specs
|Android Control||USB MSC protocol|
|Memory Card Slot||USB memory|
|Satellite Radio Ready||No|
|RMS Power Output||14 watts|
|Peak Output||50 watts|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||20-20kHz|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||No|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||Yes|
|Preamp Voltage||2 volts|
|Key Button Color||Variable|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||Adapter required|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|FM Sensitivity||9 dBf|
|Radio Data System||Yes|
HD Radio: The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD's built-in HD Radio tuner lets you listen to the radio with the same fidelity as your digital music. HD Radio features high quality audio, FM multi-casting, and data services. With HD Radio, your FM stations offer near CD-quality sound, AM stations provide FM-like sound, and there is crystal-clear reception with no audio distortion. Best of all, HD Radio is 100% subscription free. The unit's tuner also supports analog AM/FM broadcasts.
- Multicasting: In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 3 multicast programs (HD1 to HD3, and analog). There are also data programs for each program.
- RDS: The Radio Data System (RDS) feature displays radio broadcast information such as artist, title, and album when listening to compatible analog or HD AM/FM stations.
- Supertuner IIID: The Supertuner IIID features Feed Forward Control, which avoids multi-path interference. This pre-detection of interference enables quick filter control and results in less distortion. In addition, the Supertuner IIID creates enhanced stereo during multi-path interference, unlike conventional tuners that collapse to mono. Digital processing reduces distortion, and improves Signal-to-Noise Ratio and stereo separation. Advanced analog technology improves signal processing sensitivity.
- Reception Blending: If a digital broadcast reception condition gets poor, this unit automatically switches to the analog broadcast of the same frequency level. If this function is set to "On", the tuner switches between digital broadcast and analog broadcast automatically. If this function is 'Off', reception will be conducted within an analog broadcast.
- BSM (Best Stations Memory): The BSM (Best Stations Memory) function lets you automatically store the six strongest analog or HD stations under preset buttons 1-6 of the currently tuned band. The tuner has 3 FM banks and 1 AM bank. You can store 6 presets for each bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets.
- Local Tuning: Local seek tuning lets you tune in only those radio stations with sufficiently strong signals for good reception. There are 4 level of sensitivity for FM and two levels for AM. The higher settings allow reception of only the strongest stations, while lower settings let you receive progressively weaker stations.
Note: HD Radio is the system for digital AM and FM broadcasting in the U.S. More than 2,000 radio stations are broadcasting their primary signals in digital HD Radio technology, as a free service. Go to HDRadio.com to check for HD Radio stations in your area.
Pandora App: The free Pandora App lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Pioneer DEH-X5500HD using your connected Apple iPhone, via the Pioneer CD-IU51 iPod connector cable (sold separately) or the USB/iPod dock cable that came with your iPhone. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone 2G/3G/3GS (iOS 3.0+), iPhone 4 (iOS 4.0+), iPhone 4S (iOS 5.0+), or iPhone 4 (iOS 6.0+) with the latest version of the Pandora Radio 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. The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD will provide control over the Pandora music service and display Artist/Album/Song information.
- Station List: You can select Pandora stations from your Station List by date or alphabetically (A-Z).
- QuickMix: QuickMix allows you to listen to songs played on one or more Pandora stations in your Station List randomly. You will need to edit your QuickMix station selections on the iPhone before connection.
- Skip Songs: You can skip song tracks within a station. You cannot skip back to a previous song. Pandora limits the number of skips allowed.
- Thumbs Up/Down: You can give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down to help Pandora personalize stations to suit your preferences.
- Bookmarking: The song/artist currently being played can be bookmarked & stored in your Pandora 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 & only available in the United States.
iPod Direct Connection w/ DAC Bypass: The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD's front-panel USB port can be used to connect your iPod/iPhone to the head unit, via Pioneer's dock connector-to-USB cable (130CDIU51, sold separately) or the dock connector-to-USB cable which comes with your iPod/iPhone. The DEH-X5500HD supports audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of your compatible iPod/iPhone. 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 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 94dB. The Pioneer head unit supports audio playback of music, podcasts, audiobooks, and music apps stored on your iPod or iPhone. The head unit will display your iPod/iPhone's stored music file information, including - Track number, Folder number, Elapsed playing time, Song title, Artist name, and Album title. The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position (if your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it). You can choose to operate your iPod/iPhone through the head unit's front-panel controls, from its clickwheel/touchscreen, or via a streamed app from your iPhone.
- Head Unit: From the head unit, you can browse your iPod/iPhone's music library by Artist, Album, Song, Genre, Playlist, Composer, Podcast, or Audiobook (your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen will be locked). Once you have selected a category, you can search each category alphabetically. In addition, the head unit offers Link Search, which allows you to play songs related to the currently playing song. Link Search lets the head unit create an album list of the currently playing artist, a song list of the currently playing album, or an album list of the currently playing genre. You can also select Random & Repeat functions for a certain song or specific folder.
- iPod: In iPod mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen, while still being able to view song/artist information on the head unit's LCD.
- App Mode: App mode lets you listen to your favorite music apps, such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Pioneer head unit and your vehicle's speakers. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode and App Mode will provide only limited (basic), if any, control over the app. Available controls may include; Play/Pause & Skip Previous/Next. There is no music information displayed when this unit is set to 'App Mode'. Instead, all music information will be displayed on your iPod/iPhone's LCD screen. The head unit's LCD will only display the text - 'App Mode'.
Note: If 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.
iPod Compatibility Chart: The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model functions (as of 9/25/2012):
|Apple Device||Generation||Tested Version||Media Type||Control Type||Display Type||Pandora app||Charge|
|Audio||Video||Head Unit||iPod/iPhone||App mode||Artist/Song Text||Track Info|
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.
MIXTRAX: Drawing from Pioneer's rich DJ heritage and passion for music, MIXTRAX delivers a unique DJ infused listening experience to listeners in the car. MIXTRAX is an innovative Pioneer technology that creates a non-stop mix of your music library complete with a range of DJ-inspired effects. MIXTRAX takes your typical music listening experience and creates a non-stop mix of your music with 9 random DJ effects and transitions, by removing the breaks and pauses normally introduced between tracks and replacing them with various beats. MIXTRAX is compatible with USB-connected iPhone, iPod, USB MSC device, and select Android devices. There is also a Short Playback option which limits the amount of time each track plays; select from 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, or 3 minutes.
Note: The MIXTRAX function does not work in App mode or with the Pandora App for iPod/iPhone/iPad.
Auxiliary Input: The DEH-X5500HD is equipped with a front-panel 3.5mm stereo minijack auxiliary input for connecting external components, such as a portable MP3 player.
Compatible Discs: The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD supports playback of CD-Audio, CD-Text, CD-R, and CD-RW discs.This unit can play MP3 and WMA files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs
Front-Panel USB Input: The unit's front-panel USB (type-A) port allows you to connect a USB Mass Storage Class (MSC) compliant device; such as your Android smartphone, portable digital audio player, or USB thumbdrive. The USB ports enable audio playback & control of MP3, WMA, and WAV audio files stored on portable USB mass-storage class devices. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (1A) and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.
MP3/WMA Playback: The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD supports the following types of MP3/WMA files recorded onto CD-R/RW disc or loaded onto a USB mass storage class device.
|Media Type||CD-R/RW||USB Storage Device|
|File System||ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, Long file name||FAT 12/16/32|
|Playable File Types|| MP3:
bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 32, 44.1, 48 kHz
WMA: bit rate of 48-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 32, 44.1, 48 kHz
WAV: bit rate of 8- or 16-bit w/ sampling rate of 16-48kHz or 22.05-44.1kHz
|Maximum # of Folders/Files||99 folders/999 files||500 folders/15,000 files|
|Tags||ID3 tags (ver.1.0/1.1/2.2/2.3/2.4), WMA tags|
File/Track Name List: The Name List feature displays a list of MP3/WMA folders and tracks on a loaded CD or connected USB device, so you can easily access your music. The Name List will also display the list of track titles on a CD Text disc.
Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will automatically power up and begin playback.
Auto Off Eject: When you eject a disc, the unit will automatically power off (unless you switch sources before ejecting the disc).
Installation Angle: Optimum CD playback performance is obtained when the unit is installed at an angle of less than 60-degrees.
24 Bit D/A Converter: The Pioneer in-dash head unit utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.
MOSFET Amplifier: The DEH-X5500HD is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power specifications for the DEH-X5500HD 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.
- CEA2006 Specs: 14 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
- Continuous Power Output: 22 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 50Hz-15kHz, 5% THD)
- Maximum Power Output: 50 watts x 4 channels
Advanced Sound Retriever: The Advanced Sound Retriever automatically enhances compressed audio and restores the original richness of the recording. Hear the detail, warmth, and clarity, the way the artist intended it, from all of your highly compressed MP3 and WMA files stored on your USB device, iPod/iPhone, and portable media players. By restoring data (especially higher frequencies) that tends to get lost in the digital compression process, Pioneer's Advanced Sound Retriever technology enhances audio reproduction nearly all the way up to 20 kHz frequencies
Equalizer: The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD features a Preset & Custom EQ. The built-in equalizer offers 7 preset sound modes (Powerful, Dynamic, Vocal, Natural, Custom 1, Custom 2, and Flat) suitable for the music genre of your choice. The two Custom modes allow you to manually adjust the head unit's 5-band EQ (80Hz, 250Hz, 800Hz, 2.5kHz, 8kHz) from +/-6dB. Custom 1 can be set separately for each source (except for USB/iPod/Pandora); while Custom 2 and the other 5 presets are shared settings used for all sources.
Bass Boost The DEH-X5500HD features a bass boost function which can be used to enhance low-frequency bass sound. The bass boost function can be set between 0-6.
Loudness: The Loudness feature compensates for deficiencies in the low and high sound ranges at low volume. You can set the Loudness feature to Low, Mid, High, or Off.
Source Level Adjustment (SLA): This function lets you adjust the volume level of each source to prevent radical changes in volume when switching between sources. Settings are based on the volume level of the FM tuner, which remains unchanged. Each source can be independently adjusted from -4dB to +4dB.
4ch/2V Preamp Outputs: The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD features two pair of 2.0-volt preamp outputs. The unit's rear preamp outputs can be configured as fading rear-channel outputs or a non-fading subwoofer outputs with a low-pass filter, phase adjustment, and output level control.
Subwoofer Control: When the head unit's preamp output is configured as a subwoofer output, you can select the frequency of the low pass filter (50Hz, 63Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, or 125 Hz), select the filter slope (-6/-12dB), select the subwoofer phase (normal/reverse), and the subwoofer gain (+6 to -24).
High-Pass Crossover: When you don't want low-frequency sound to be heard through your front or rear speakers, you can simply active the head unit's HPF (high pass filter). By activating the HPF, only frequencies higher than those in the selected range are output from the front or rear speakers. The high pass filter crossover can be set to 50Hz, 63Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 125Hz, 160hz, 200Hz or Off. The slope level of the HPF can also be adjusted to -6dB or 12dB.
Switchable Rear Channel/Subwoofer Speaker Output: The rear speaker outputs can be set to provide full range output with full fading capability, or they can be set to provide non-fading subwoofer (low-pass) output. When the rear speaker outputs are set to subwoofer mode, the rear preamp outputs also switch from full range to subwoofer outputs. When set for subwoofer operation, you can connect the rear speaker leads directly to two small 4-ohm passive subwoofers or a dual voice coil sub with 4-ohm voice coils. If you prefer to use a single 2-ohm subwoofer, you can connect the woofer to one set of speaker leads, leaving the other set of rear leads disconnected. The maximum output provided when a 2-ohm load is connected to one set of leads is 70 watts.
Detachable Face Security: The Pioneer DEH-X5500HD in-dash CD receiver features Detachable Face Security. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired. No face case is included with this unit. An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can be purchased for this unit.
Color Customization: Color Customization lets the user match their receiver illumination to their vehicle's interior lighting. Over 210,000 colors are available to match the illumination of almost any car. The button illumination and display illumination colors can be customized separately for an endless number of color combinations. You can select from 27 preset colors (White to Rose), customize an illumination color (by adjusting Red, Blue, and Green brightness levels), or scan through various color settings (All/Warm/Ambient/Calm/Custom).
MIXTRAX Illumination: MIXTRAX features a club-style illumination that enhances the mood with a dynamic dance club-like lighting effect. As MIXTRAX begins, lights start pulsing to the beat of the music, adding an extra level of entertainment. You can choose among twelve patterns of lighting variations from sound pressure level or low-pass synchronization modes. The lighting effects work like a spectrum analyzer, reaching peak colors based on the intensity of the music. You can also choose which area's of the head unit's face illuminates; select Display, Keys, Both or Off.
Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the Clock Display has been turned on, pressing and holding the "SRC" button turns off audio output, but the clock display and button illumination remains on (you can press the "DISP" button to turn off). When the Clock Display has been turned off, pressing and holding the "SRC" button turns the unit off completely. Even if you have turned the radio completely off you can view the clock display by pressing the "DISP" button. The clock will then remain On until you turn it back Off. When the unit is On, you can select between the clock display or the audio track/tuner display.
Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned On/Off within the menu.
Wireless Remote Control: The DEH-X5500HD comes with an IR wireless remote control. The remote allows you to control the volume, switch between sources, pause the CD, change the display, and adjust the audio. You can also mute the volume (function that cannot be performed from the front panel).
Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.
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