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How To Car Stereo + Droid jvc kd-r900

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by believejason, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. believejason

    believejason Lurker
    Thread Starter
    Mar 19, 2010

    Mar 19, 2010
    First day here, first post, thought I would open up with something useful..

    My factory head unit sucked and died and I decided to get a new one that would work with my Droid and hopefully any other future phone I might wind up with. I spent some time looking around and really didnt find much as far as specifics about any given head unit and how well it works with the Droid. So Im gonna go ahead and make the thread I was looking for before I went out and bought the thing.

    JVC kd-r900, 2001 honda civic. Paid $200 for the stereo + $50 for the cables and kit to wire the thing in.

    the jvc

    • has 2 usb ports (front and back) that do supply power to things, also comes with a usb bluetooth adapter

    • the back side usb is in the form of a long usb extension cable so you can run it into your glovebox or wherever else you want

    • if you want to use the bluetooth you can have it on the face of the stereo or on the cable that comes out the back

    • this means you can hide an ipod /thumb drive or something somewhere in the glove box or behind the dash and never have to deal with it and still have bluetooth in the front
    • does support the bluetooth A2DP streaming stereo music

    • also has aux in the front

    • has a wired microphone that you can put (or not put) wherever you want

    • a bunch of other stuff that i dont care about but you might

    bluetooth functionality

    • pairs up pretty well
    • start the car, hit the bluetooth thing on the power widget and it usually connects in 3 to 5 seconds
    • will stream everything I've tried that makes sound : last.fm, pandora, mixzing, local mp3s, youtube app, youmail, maps navigation, phone calls, slacker etc
    • with local music app you can pause, play, skip tracks foreward and backwards from stereo without dealing with the phone
    • with pandora, last and slacker you can pause and skip tracks from the stereo without looking at the phone (cant do the love / hate that im aware of)
    • for some apps pause will actually pause then resume from the same place in the track, but others it works more as a stop then play again (restarts with different song)
    • music app does not have to be running. just pair and hit play on the stereo and the Droid opens whatever app you were using last and starts from wherever you were listening
    • does NOT show song info while streaming via bt. just says "connected" or "playing" or something
    • various volume levels are respected
      • turn the media volume up on the phone and the navigation volume down and the voice nav wont scream at you at 1000 decibles even if the music is loud

    navigation (bluetooth)

    • perfect
    • when the voice talks: it mutes the music, says "turn somewhere" and the music comes right back
    • in a phone call it just talks over the person im talking to (love my Droid)

    phone calls (bluetooth)

    • mediocre
    • when the phone rings the music stops, it rings in the stereo the thing blinks various colors and the number shows up on the stereo face
    • dont miss calls anymore on account of loud music
    • conversation comes through the speakers just fine, but people cant really hear me so great. its functional but if a window is open it sucks.
    • if you care alot about a handsfree bluetooth conversation this might or might not be the thing for you
    • very easy to turn off the bluetooth when someone calls. just hit the bt button on the call screen
      • this doesnt turn off bluetooth on the Droid, just for the call. when you hang up the bt stereo comes right back on automatically
    • recent calls list is available via the stereo without touching the phone
    • theres some kind of way to transfer your whole contact list into the thing, but i dont really care that much and havent bothered to try yet
      • the box had "iphone" written all over it so im not sure if the droid contact database is compatible or not


    • no idea. bluetooth works just fine and id rather not buy a cable and lose my ability to control the Droid from the head unit.


    • you NEED task killer or some similar app. music + nav + phone calls + sms + 200 backgroud processes makes the thing choppy sometimes. all works great without the extra background apps
      • why does Droid insist on running all that crap all the time anyway?
    • mix zing music app is different. the bt controls for mixzing will only work if you enable them in the mixzing app settings but if you do that then mixzing takes over everything all the time.
      • meaning if you enable mixzing bt controls then play any other music app (via the phone) then hit pause or skip on the stereo mixzing launches, takes over, the other music app doesnt get the command and now you are playing 2 songs at once.
      • annoying as all hell at high volume and rate of speed
    • finally got rid of the ipod + crappy fm re-broadcaster garbage:)
    • this whole thing looked much better before the forum destroyed all my formatting
    • everything works the same when plugged into the cigarette car charger
    • remember that the apps can change whenever they want (last, pandora etc) so functionality may change with them
      • also, in a few years we might finally see that 2.1 update so anything could possibly change then as well
    • blackberry storm is a complete POS
    • install as seen here was a pain in the ass. ask me if you want details
      • nevermind, the forum doesnt like the pictures i took with my droid
    • i dont care about JVC. im sure there are lots of head units that work just as well or maybe even better ..just sharing my experience with this one
    • i dont have any fancy speakers or amps or anything, its all stock civic stuff. sound quality sounds good to me but im not one of those people that notices or cares about super high end whatevers.

    I wanted a way to stream music from my phone through my stereo without having to screw around with the phone too much while driving. Im quite happy with this thing. It does more stuff but Im done with writing for now. If your thinking about getting a head unit and you want to know if this one does something i didnt mention hit up the comments and ill check it out and let you know when i get back in town later this week.




    johnlgalt likes this.
  2. schpoink

    schpoink Newbie
    Mar 20, 2010

    Mar 20, 2010
    Thanks for taking the time to post this Jason. It is VERY hard to find any Droid-specific reviews of car stereos.

    Do you know if the JVC KD-R900 will play the Droid's music and display the song info via the USB?

    Also, where did you buy yours? I haven't been able to find a KD-R900 anywhere locally (Washington DC) and not on Crutchfield or Best Buy either.

    Anyone else who has a positive or negative experience with any other car stereos and the Droid are encouraged to post.

    Thanks again.
  3. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian
    Oct 28, 2009

    Oct 28, 2009
    Graduate Research Assitant | That part time IT guy
    3rd Rock
    I thanked you, Jason, b/c you did a great in-depth analysis of this puppy.

    My head unit is the original in my '99 Altima, and if I don't get rid of he car in 3 months (or even if I do, considering I can always yank it back out) I may look into this option.

    Thanks again for the review.

    now to take it to my bud from HS who runs a local Audio store and see if he has any alternatives (and hopefully hooked up so I can play with them live and see how well they work).

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