Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 Review – Is it worth it?

Alpine iLX-F309 HALO9 9" AM/FM/audio/video Receiver w/ 9-inch Touch Screen and Mech-less Design - Single-DIN Mounting

What’s that? – My passenger asked

The Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 car stereo is a conversational starter. The stereo has a 9-inch screen that floats above the dash. The best way to describe it is by saying pretty.

And we haven’t gotten to the nitty-gritty either. It has all the bells and whistles you will ever need. All this comes at a luxury price. I believe it’s the most expensive unit I have ever reviewed.

Wait, I’m not done yet.

The Alpine stereo fits in most cars because it’s a single DIN. As you know, there are double and single DIN slots. You can’t fit a double-DIN unit into a single one.

Too bad I’m not on the dating scene anymore I see some possibilities.

This luxury stereo is the one that you choose if you want anything. This is why I’ve decided to create this Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 review.

As you probably guessed, it’s not a perfect stereo. It has a few flaws, which I will detail in the shortcomings section.

Let’s get this Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 review started. First comes the bird’s eye view.

Pros
  • Big 9 inch responsive touch screen
  • Sound can be customized to the smallest bits
  • Single DIN unit works in most cars
Cons
  • The resolution is only 480p
  • During daylight, street lines are hard to see on Google maps

Who is the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 car stereo for?

Before you get started to set aside a budget for the purchase, by budget, I mean in the four-figure range. Actually, the price depends on the accessories that you are getting. If you want to add a rearview camera and other additional stuff that will beef up your costs.

From my point of view, it’s all worth it.

This head unit is for those who want it to work from the get go. Has the installer set it up? If you have an Android or Apple phone, it will work for you. You can stream music from any of the apps (Pandora, Spotify).

It has a good Bluetooth unit so you can talk and text hands-free. This feature keeps young drivers safe. Since both major phone manufacturers are supported you can use Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

The audio is outstandingly crisp and clean. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Alpine.

Best of all, you can customize it to your liking.

What can the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 do for you?

I went a bit overboard in the previous chapter. Now I will detail the features.

Let’s talk about the music first. It’s first class. You can waste a good week configuring everything to the max. Why a week? Because it took me that much time to get it done.

Let’s talk about personalization, you can customize the output by each source. If you want a better radio, you can customize it separately from streaming apps. You can listen to satellite radio it’s SiriusXM ready.

The customization doesn’t stop there. You can change the startup logo. This is one of my favorite features. Instead of some boring company logo, you can add your own car’s make or model.

There’s an app for this stereo. With the help of the app, you can adjust sound depth and location for the best sound quality. Let’s say you want the sound to be louder for you but quieter for others? With a few taps on the phone, it’s done.

Do you want to see real-time car info?

You can have it displayed on this head unit. Anything from voltage to tire pressure is available within a few taps.

The floating effect is out of this world. Also, having a 9-inch screen make sure it doesn’t cover important parts of your dash like the AC vent. I would prefer cold air over music anytime during the summer heat.

 

Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 shortcomings

As you probably guessed, there are flaws with this model. Brace yourself here they come.

The 9-inch screen is all great, but the resolution hasn’t been updated. It’s still 480p. To make things worse on a smaller screen, you can’t see the pixels, but on this one, you can. I hope they will fix it in the next iteration. I would prefer 720p minimum.

After you have installed the screen, it can’t be tilted. This is a huge bummer. To move it, you need some specialized tools and, hopefully, not to drop the smallest screw. If it falls, say goodbye to it.

In daylight, it’s hard to use Google maps. The color contrast is so bad that you can’t see street lines. This is why I use the Waze alternative. Waze default settings are just as horrible, so I had to customize the colors.

There’s no true wireless connection. I mean, it has it, but you still have to plug the phone in. It doesn’t matter if you have an Android or Apple you need to connect.

Every time you want to tinker with the settings, you need to be stationary with the emergency brake on. This is a safety feature built in. Luckily there’s a feature I call brake bypass, which is a cheap fix for this issue.

My final grief is the buttons are all too small. Trying to feel them out in the dark is dangerous. And I miss the volume knob. I don’t have to think about it, and I find it even in the dark. It would’ve been a nice feature to have.

How To Get The Most Out Of It Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309?

My main recommendation, as always, is to get it professionally installed. Also, be around during the installation. Only you know the best angle of the screen.

As you have read, you can’t tilt it after it has been installed. With this Alpine, you can change the depth height and angle of the screen. But once it’s fixed, it stays there.

Also, make sure you are not covering the AC or anything essential. I believe somebody installed this stereo in an 84 Toyota. I wasn’t around back then so I wonder how the car is in the future.

If you are a music connoisseur, then it will take you some time to optimize the EQ. If you just want to listen to it, then the default settings are perfect as they are.

You probably want to keep your steering wheel controls I would suggest to get the iDatalink Maestro. With the iDatalink Maestro you now only keep your steering wheel controls but get vehicle diagnostic info. It’s cool to see info about tire pressure, voltage, gauges, etc.

Don’t forget to mount a rear view camera (backup camera) to make parking easier and safer.

Alpine Halo9 Review Conclusion

I have to confess something. I have fallen in love with this Alpine stereo. Even with its flaws and luxury pricing, I love it. With the Alpine head unit there’s an app. It’s called Alpine TuneIt app. With its help you can customize the sound from your smartphone. By tinkering with it you can get extra sound quality.

This is the end of my Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 review. I hope you have found it valuable. If you want me to review other stereos, hit me up. If the interest is high enough, I will do it.

Catch you next time.

Frequently Asked Questions about Alpine ILX-F309 Review:

Is the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 radio tuner can I access Apple Carplay and Android Auto?

Yes, the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 car stereo allows you to use Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Both of the apps give great audio video.

Does this Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 car stereo have an HDMI input?

The car stereo has a read HDMI input. You can use it to connect with any screen you like.

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Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 Review – Is it worth it?
Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 Review – Is it worth it? 1

What’s that? - My passenger asked The Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 car stereo is a conversational starter. The stereo has a 9-inch screen that floats above the da

Editor's Rating:
4