$4,000 for a new stereo or get the Alpine iLX-207?
This was the choice a good friend had to make. He has a 2014 Camry where the stereo called it quits. The dealership offered to get him a new unit for $4k. Weren’t they kind?
He asked for my advice and suggested the Alpine iLX-207. This stereo has way more features than the stock. Not to mention the huge price gap.
Anyways the decision was a no-brainer. Plus, there weren’t any guarantees that the stock system wouldn’t die in a few years.
This is the reason why I have created this Alpine iLX-207 Review. You can save a lot of money by getting an aftermarket digital receiver. Make sure you have a double DIN slot. If you don’t have one, you need to find a single DIN alternative.
Let’s get this Alpine iLX-207 Review started.
What Will I Learn?
- Who is the Alpine iLX-207 for?
- What can the Alpine iLX-207 do for you?
- Alpine iLX-207 shortcomings
- How To Get The Most Out Of the Alpine iLX-207?
- Alpine iLX-207 Review Conclusion
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
- Do I need iDatalink Maestro with Alpine car stereo?
- With this ILX-207 car stereo can I access Apple Carplay and Android Auto?
- What about camera-input how many does this double din car stereo has?
- How does the preamp outputs look like for this head unit?
- How long is this Alpine digital media receiver warranty?
- Can I use the Alpine Tuneit App with this stereo?
- Is the Alpine ILX-W650 a good alternative for the iLX-207?
- Where can I find the USB port?
- What kind of radio can I expect?
- How to best describe the user interface?
- How big is the capacitive touch screen?
- Does this unit have audio video input/output?
Who is the Alpine iLX-207 for?
Who wants to enjoy great quality audio and apps in their car?
Many people said that installing this stereo transformed their car into a modern one. I couldn’t have said it better.
Actually, it would be easier to say who’s this head unit is not for. If you happen to drive short distances and only listen to FM/AM radio, then this is not for you. If it died on you, a cheaper radio which has basic features would suit you better.
In the previous model, the iLX-107 only supported Apple phones. I was disappointed. Finally, this new model came out, and it works with Android and Apple phones.
From the built-in HD radio tuner to apps it has it all. Plus, the built-in Bluetooth connection will help you drive safe.
What I love about this stereo is that GPS is nice and big. No more squinting on a small phone screens.
The Alpine iLX-207 is one of the best double din head unit, it’s a well-finished product with a richly colored look. And you can change the button backlight color. So you can customize the unit’s color to the interior. Sorry to burst your bubble. It only has ten options. Maybe in a future update, more options will be available.
I have no idea what Alpine did, but Siri works way better in the car than on my phone.
All in all, it is a great unit for those who want a modern feel to the car.
What can the Alpine iLX-207 do for you?
As I’ve hinted earlier, there is a lot of cool stuff that comes with this stereo. It is SiriusXM ready. You can enjoy your satellite radio ready (sirius xm) anywhere you drive.
The capacitive touch screen is large (7 inch wide) so that you won’t suffer from butterfingers. I had a few problems with different units where the icons were small that I pressed two at once. The GPS it’s much easier to use. The capacitive touchscreen is responsive and it’s not lagging.
Have I mentioned the auto-dim feature?
I have fallen in love with it. As the sun goes down, the screen brightness gets lowered. You don’t even notice it during the night. That’s an extra plus from me.
Here’s something you need to know. It doesn’t matter if you have Android or Apple you need to plug it in. This is the only way the car recognizes your phone.
You can choose between Google Maps and Waze. I prefer Waze because it delivers more info.
Pandora, Spotify, and Audible work perfectly. You can listen to books and podcasts during your drive. Not to mention with all these apps you can do music streaming.
If you want extra info about the car like tire pressure and voltage, you can display that as well. Do remember to see these features you need to wire it properly.
Hot tip: you need to connect to the safety brake wire if you want to change the settings. If for some reason, you can’t change anything, this is the issue.
This head unit works with both main phone manufacturers iPhone and Android. This means that you have access to Apple Carplay and Android Auto. With the built-in Bluetooth, you can use hands-free calls. This means you can take phone calls and answer texts without looking at your phone. Since it’s Android Auto compatible voice control became a lot easier.
Check out the outputs of this digital media receiver: 6-channel preamp outputs (4V front, rear subwoofer). It also plays the usual file formats like mp3 WMA.
It comes with a remote control so you can quickly surf the radio stations.
- Digital media receiver with AM/FM tuner (does not play CDs)
- Built-in HD Radio tuner for better AM/FM stations
- Built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
- 7″ capacitive touchscreen VGA display
- 9-band parametric EQ
Alpine iLX-207 shortcomings
The Alpine iLX-207 has improved a lot from the ILX-107. Even with this new stereo, there are issues.
It only has one USB port. This is located in the back. So many users are putting their phones in the glove compartment. For some, this isn’t an issue for me. It is.
There’s no CD DVD player. This means you need to convert your CDs to a USB pen drive. Since there’s only one USB slot, either the phone will work or your memory stick. If you do need a DVD player then look around for one of Alpine’s single din DVD player.
I miss the volume knob. And it takes a while to turn the sound volume down.
Hotfix: press and hold the volume down button, and it will mute the stereo.
My final issue with this unit comes from the touchscreen. Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice and fast. For me, the 800X400 pixel screen seems ugly. Tech is advancing fast, and it seems that this stereo stayed in place.
You can’t change any settings while driving. You have to have the parking brake set. I understand the safety part of it, but it’s overkill.
How To Get The Most Out Of the Alpine iLX-207?
You need to do two things to enjoy your Alpine. First, install it. I highly recommend getting a pro to do it. If you want it, DIY, then make sure you get a wiring harness. That will make the job simple.
Now there’s a thick manual to help you out with the wiring. If you are stuck with the install, do contact support. You shouldn’t forget YouTube. Either it’s a great source for info.
The installation is around 5-6 hours long. Wow, that’s a lot of time.
The next important thing to remember is updating the firmware. Some users complained that the touchscreen lags. With the latest updates, it will get faster.
Don’t forget to connect to the parking brake otherwise, you won’t be able to change the settings.
With the right configuration, you can use the steering wheel controls. I just love having phone functions in the car without actually looking at the phone.
Would you love to keep your steering wheel controls?
There’s a solution for that as well. All you need is an iDatalink Maestro unit. Besides using the steering wheel control you will get extra info about the car. With this unit installed you can instantly check the tire pressure and voltages, etc. Installing the iDatalink Maestro takes some time, so I highly suggest to give it to a pro.
This Alpine double DIN car stereo has two camera inputs. You can connect a dash cam and a backup camera input for safer driving.
To get the best GPS position possible the package comes with a GPS antenna. Since it works with most mobiles you can use Google Maps and Apple maps as well. The GPS antenna comes with an 8-inch cable. Position this GPS antenna so there isn’t any interference.
Alpine iLX-207 Review Conclusion
We have arrived at the end of my review. As you have read it, the Alpine iLX-207 is a good unit to have.
Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth, you can take calls, read messages, and reply to them. All this is possible without touching your phone. The stereo delivers excellent sound. With the help of apps, navigation is a breeze. I almost forgot to mention it has an HDMI input. With the HDMI input, you can connect another screen to the head unit. We’re living in modern times so one screen might be not enough. On these occasions, you need to extend the HDMI input with a switcher. The car audio sound quality is excellent. Thanks to Alpine’s top engineering you can enjoy the best car audio possible.
I’m about to end this article. If you have any thoughts and suggestions, do contact me. Don’t forget that I’m doing reviews as a hobby, so if you have a stereo for me to review, let me know. If the interest is big enough, I will write about it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
It depends on how much you want to customize your DVD receiver. If you want to display all the car information then you will need to use the idatalink maestro with the Kenwood DVD receiver. To access all the features that your steering wheel controls can provide you will need it. This device doesn’t come with the unit it is sold separately. The head unit is steering wheel control ready. You will be able to make hands-free calling super easy.
With this ILX-207 car stereo can I access Apple Carplay and Android Auto?
Yes, the Alpine car stereo allows you to use Apple Carplay or Android Auto. Both apps have great audio-video playback. Audio streaming will be painless plus the sound quality of hands-free calling is crisp.
What about camera-input how many does this double din car stereo has?
It has two camera inputs. You can connect two different cameras to one of these head units. You can connect a backup camera and a dash cam to have a safer driving experience. Usually, these cameras are sold separately. There are bundle offers and maybe they aren’t the best cameras to buy. So pick the best ones which are sold separately.
How does the preamp outputs look like for this head unit?
Power output: 6-channel preamp outputs 4V front, rear subwoofer. Built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 watts peak x 4 channels). This is more than enough for excellent audio quality.
How long is this Alpine digital media receiver warranty?
Compared to other digital media receivers the Alpine head unit has a 1-year warranty.
Can I use the Alpine Tuneit App with this stereo?
Yes, the Alpine Tuneit App works great. You set the time alignment with ease. Plus you can use the 9-band parametric EQ.
Is the Alpine ILX-W650 a good alternative for the iLX-207?
Yes, the Alpine ILX-W650 is a good alternative, for more details, take a look at the Alpine ILX-W650 review.
Where can I find the USB port?
As input there’s the rear USB input. Now to get the best connection you will need to use a high quality USB cable for USB connection. Thanks for this connection Apple Car play will help you in streaming music.
What kind of radio can I expect?
Well, the ILX-207 is HD radio-ready and satellite radio-ready.
How to best describe the user interface?
The user interface is easy to use and it’s fast.
How big is the capacitive touch screen?
Does this unit have audio video input/output?
Yes it comes with audio video input/output. You will be able to stream music and also use apps for audio streaming. Apple Carplay Android Auto is there to serve you.
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