Review: Pioneer AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) - Connected Car Life

AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) Smartphone Receiver
MSRP: $600

Pros: Apple CarPlay compatible, a 6.2″ capacitive touchscreen, included external GPS antenna for boosting the signal strength, ability to retain use of your existing factory steering wheel audio controls and backup camera.

Cons: Does not work with Android Auto and does not come with a CD/DVD player (really though, who uses CDs anymore?).

First Impression: Coming with a capacitive touchscreen the AppRadio 4 this head unit allows you to control your stereo with a similar feel as the iPhone. This head unit is perfect for the streaming generation with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay audio options to listen to your music. While it does not come with a CD/DVD player, if you’re anything like me you stream all of your music anyway. For a MSRP of $600 this is a great option for those looking to upgrade their factory stereos.

The AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) offers a wide array of features for people seeking an Apple CarPlay enabled receiver, while on a budget. The SPH-DA120 double DIN receiver is equipped with a 6.2” capacitive touchscreen display. The capacitive display relies on the electrical properties of the human body to detect when and where on a display the user touches. Because of this, capacitive displays can be controlled with very light touches of a finger and is ideal with scrolling and interaction with the CarPlay interface. The SPH-DA120 includes dual USB inputs allowing for direct control of your iPhone.

This head unit features built-in Bluetooth technology for music streaming from Bluetooth-enabled devices and making phone calls using the integrated microphone and rear 3.5mm auxiliary input, allowing plenty of ways to get your media going while driving. Additional features include a HDMI port, backup camera port, power amp ports, rear seat audio, RGB port, Sirius XM port, iDatalink port, external microphone port, car antenna input port, and an external remote port. The AppRadio 4 is literally busting at the seams with media options that many competitors’ high-end models don’t even come close to when in comparison.

Pioneer’s 5-band equalizer with 7 preset EQ curves allows users to customize the sound with preset equalizer patterns or adjust them as desired. The SPH-DA120 packs plenty of punch with a built-in high power amplifier that pushes a strong 50 watts per channel continuously. The SPH-DA120 offer integration of Siri Eyes Free with a simple touch of the NEX touchscreen to allow users to make calls and navigate their music files all via voice when the phone is paired via Bluetooth. You can then interact with Siri using your voice like you normally would through your iPhone. Topping it all off is the included external GPS antenna for boosting signal while using the GPS apps.

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