Pioneer AVH-500EX Review – Is it worth it?

Pioneer AVH500EX 6.2 DVD Head Unit BLK review

Who else wants an easy to use entertainment device?

Let’s face it no matter if you drive short or long-distance driving becomes boring. You need something to pass the time. This is the reason why the market is flooded with car stereos.

It’s so confusing to pick something good and avoid lemons.

This is why I’ve created the Pioneer AVH-500EX review. I will share with you everything there’s to know about this car stereo. Let it be good or bad; I’m not holding back.

There are no perfect stereos, and I would be doing a disservice if I would stay quiet about the flaws.

Here’s a quick preview about this head unit. If you have owned a Pioneer car stereo before you know how it is. The sound quality is outstanding and beats any stock stereo hand down. It comes with a CD/DVD player for great entertainment.

The display is nice and colorful and is personalized to your liking. The screen size is 6.2″. Don’t forget this is a double-DIN unit. It’s not compatible with single-DIN cars.

With the built-in Bluetooth, you can do hands-free calls and audio streaming. The touch screen is responsive and easy to use.  Best of all, you can connect two phones at the same time.

Last but not least, you can install a backup camera for better parking.

Let’s get this Pioneer AVH-500EX review started.

Here’s the bird’s eye view for this double DIN multimedia digital receiver:

Pros
  • High-quality radio and great sound
  • You can connect with multiple phones
  • 13-band EQ will help you get the perfect pitch
Cons
  • The instructions are weak
  • Phone display is on while streaming video

Who is the Pioneer AVH-500EX for?

There are two types of people who choose this unit. Some love great sound and entertainment. And there are the second ones who value safety.

As for entertainment, I’m all for it. Nothing helps the miles fly by then good music. It doesn’t matter if you prefer podcasts or audiobooks the Pioneer AVH-500EX delivers.

Now I’ve mentioned safety a few times, but what do I mean by that?

Well, this car stereo is compatible with Apple Carplay. This means that Siri Eyes Free can help you read messages and send them without taking your eyes off the road.

What can the Pioneer AVH-500EX do for you?

By getting the Pioneer AVH-500EX car stereo, this is what you get.

If you have an iPhone, you’re in luck. The head unit is compatible with Apple Carplay. Do remember that this connection is through the USB cable. For a wireless connection, you have to invest more.

If you have an Android phone, the basic hands-free controls can be used. At the moment, Android Auto isn’t supported.

Besides standard AM/FM radio, it’s SiriusXM ready. All you need to do is add your account, and you can enjoy your favorite shows anywhere.

This head unit has the usual CD/DVD player. And it comes with a USB port as well. So if you have an iPod or pen drive, you can listen to music from there.

The most popular music apps are present: Spotify and Pandora.

At the same time, you can have two phones connected.

I know there are a few audiophiles out there. It comes with 13-band graphic equalizer. You can spend hours tweaking on the perfect pitch. If you don’t have the time for it, you can always choose one of the presets.

Pioneer AVH-500EX shortcomings

Sadly there’s no such thing as the perfect stereo. So no wonder the Pioneer AVH-500EX head unit has flaws. Let’s see if the shortcomings will be a deal-breaker for you.

Have you decided how are you going to install the head unit?

If you want to do it DIY, here’s a heads up. The instructions are vague. The manual is thin. Luckily there’s an extended manual online. Don’t expect much from the documentation. You are better off with YouTube. At least you can see what others have done.

Your phone screen stays on when you are streaming a movie. This is not optimized. Smartphones have many strengths, but battery power is not one of them. Don’t forget to plug your phone in, or it will quickly run out of juice.

Now many people have reported that the apps don’t work. Yes, there are some bugs and glitches. Maybe they haven’t updated to the latest firmware?

The Pandora app is super buggy on Android. I have an iPhone, so I haven’t noticed it.

As you can see, not even Pioneer can make a perfect car stereo. By reading this chapter, at least, you know what are you getting into.

How To Get The Most Out Of Pioneer AVH-500EX?

First of all, you have to get it installed. Here’s my damaging admission I’m not good with electronics. This is why I always go to a pro installer. It saves me time, and I can keep my sanity.

There an easy to install car stereos and there are complex ones. No matter how you view it, there are miles of wires to connect.

To get true hands-free controls, you need to keep your steering wheel controls. To keep them, you need an additional gadget. The iDatalink Maestro (sold separately) helps you control the Pioneer AVH-500EX car stereo with the steering wheel buttons.

Besides that handy feature, it also gives you vehicle diagnostics. I usually run through them before I hit the road. I check the temperatures, gauges, voltage, and tire pressure.

I have one more thing to add to the install. This is a parking brake bypass. You know that it is not safe to watch movies and drive. The law prohibits it. But Pioneer went overboard. For example, you can’t change the dimming settings or the EQ until you pull over. This is why I say it’s a must-have.

It’s also a good idea to put a backup camera (sold separately). It will make parking easier and faster.

Last but not least, don’t forget that you can customize your head unit. You can match the interior of your car and upload custom background images.

 

Pioneer AVH-500EX Review Conclusion

We have reached the end of my Pioneer AVH-500EX review. I hope you have found many valuable things. By now, it should be clear if this car stereo is the right fit for you.

Do you own this Pioneer digital receiver? Share your thought below.

Catch you next time.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Does the AVH-500ex double DIN multimedia DVD receiver has audio video remote control profile?

Yes, the AVH-500ex multimedia DVD receiver has the audio video remote control profile feature. Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth you can remote control audio playback streaming and video playback. Also, you can play pause songs.

What is the advanced audio distribution profile?

The advanced audio distribution profile or A2DP for short determines what’s the maximum quality of audio that can be streamed through built-in Bluetooth devices. This works with compatible iPhone Android smartphones.

Can I use Appradio mode with my phone?

Appradio mode is extremely buggy so no matter what phone you will use it will let you down. I understand Pioneer wants to control everything but AppRadio mode is a disaster.

What’s the screen size of this satellite radio?

The wvga display built-in bluetooth screen size is 6.2″

Whats’ the sound quality for this Pioneer satellite radio?

This satellite radio bolsters with excellent sound quality. It doesn’t matter which channel are you using it’s top notch. It makes no difference if you’re doing video playback or audio playback the sound quality is consistently good.

Does this head unit has camera input?

Yes it comes with a camera input (video output) where you can mount a backup camera. If you are looking for the connection point it’s input rear.

What are the less known features of this Pioneer unit?

I’m glad you asked. It’s radio ready and navigation ready. Plus audio playback and video playback.

 

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Pioneer AVH-500EX Review – Is it worth it?
Pioneer AVH-500EX Review – Is it worth it? 1

Who else wants an easy to use entertainment device? Let’s face it no matter if you drive short or long-distance driving becomes boring. You need something

Editor's Rating:
4.5