Pioneer AVH 500EX Review – Get an Amazing Sounding Ride Without Breaking The Bank

UPDATE: The last time I’ve checked this head unit was out of stock. The best alternative would be the Pioneer MVH-300EX. If you want a stereo that has a fresher look, better sound quality and an awesome display this is the winner you’ve been looking for.

Pioneer MVH-300EX
Pioneer MVH-300EX head unit



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 (DVD DVD-r compatibility).

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 built-in Bluetooth, you can do hands-free calls and audio streaming. The touchscreen display 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:

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

Does it fit in my car? Click Here to Check
Click Here to Check

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 AVH500EX 6.2 DVD Head Unit BLK review

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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.
Pioneer AVH500EX 6.2 DVD Head Unit BLK review

Does it fit in my car? Click Here to Check
Click Here to Check

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. All you have to do is connect via USB device.

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. Skip it all together and enjoy HD radio instead.

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 AVH-500ex in-dash media receiver?

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

What can the iDatalink Maestro do for this Pioneer in-dash media receiver?

If you connect the iDatalink Maestro to this AVH-500ex in-dash media receiver you will get back your steering wheel controls. Not only that but you can get vehicle information as well. For example, this digital media receiver will display the tire pressure, temperatures, gauges voltages etc. This is why it’s a good idea to get an iDatalink Maestro installed. This unit doesn’t come in the package and it’s sold separately.

Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Danny Reid

Hey, I'm Danny, and I know how hard it can be to find the perfect audio gear. Need a new stereo, amp, speakers, or subs? Don't worry – my blog is here to help you cut through the noise! My mission is to give you the best reviews, so you can make the right decision for your audio needs. And if you ever get stuck thinking, "Where does this blue wire go?" don't worry – I've got tons of cool tips to help you out of any jam. So come along with me on this fun, sound-filled adventure, and let's find the perfect audio setup to make your tunes really sing!