Pioneer AVH 601EX Review – Is This Your Dream Head Unit?

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



It will give you more entertainment than you can imagine…

Driving gets boring fast. This is why we need some entertainment. I’ve recently done a 10h drive and didn’t feel it. I was listening to a good audiobook. If you are looking for a great stereo to pass the time you have found it.

This is the reason why I have created the Pioneer AVH-601EX review.

It has a big screen where you can see everything you need.

Here comes the preview for the Pioneer AVH-601EX DVD receiver. The video playback is great, no issues what so ever.

There are the traditional sources for passing the time like radio and CD/DVD player. Upon this comes the built-in HD radio tuner and apps like Spotify, Pandora. We shouldn’t forget about the SiriusXM capabilities. As bonus you will be getting a remote control.

Car manufacturers are at a big disadvantage when it comes to aftermarket double din stereos. I have no idea what Pioneer does, but the sound quality is way better than the stock. Probably audio is not high on the manufacturer’s list of priorities.

Also, it comes with AppRadio mode, only use it at your own risk. It’s buggy and lost my patience with it. I will not use it ever again.

So let’s get this Pioneer AVH-601EX review started.

Here’s the bird’s eye view for this head unit.

  • The sound quality is awesome better than before
  • The big screen is cool and easy to read
  • Full touch screen at an amazing price
  • No voice commands for Android
  • No SD card

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

Who is the Pioneer AVH-601EX for?

As you will see, the Pioneer AVH-601EX DVD receiver will make any trip fun. The built in amp makes any old speaker sound like new.

I was in the process of changing my speakers when I’ve installed the new car stereo. It’s safe to say I’m not changing my speakers anytime soon.

Spotify and Pandora work great. This head unit is compatible with both iPod iPhone and Android devices. But you won’t be able to use voice command with Android smarthpone.

I’m a sucker for high-quality audio. Ever since I got used to HD radio, I can’t go back. I love to listen to CD-quality radio shows.

If you are driving with kids on a long road, they will need to be occupied or else. The audio video playback is flawless, and the graphics are sharp.

This car stereo is for people who want to enjoy music for many different sources. I do not doubt that your favorite channel is present.

The best multimedia receiver article can help you out if you want to read about other double din car stereos.

What can the Pioneer AVH-601EX do for you?

For radio fans, the Pioneer AVH-601EX is a real treat. Besides standard radio, there’s the HD version. Make sure there are stations providing it. If there aren’t, you might want to choose a different head unit.

This car stereo comes with SiriusXM ready. You can enjoy your favorite shows anywhere.

It doesn’t matter if you are listening to music, podcast, or audiobook; the sound quality is awesome.

Thanks to the sound quality, if you are looking for the best double din car stereo this unit could be the right one.

I can’t get enough of the touchscreen display. It’s 7” wide. The resolution is good 800X400 pixels. Best of all, you can add your custom background via USB.

Hot tip: make sure you resize your image, so it doesn’t end up skewed.

The display built-in Bluetooth is good. Although a few people reported lag. I will detail this in the shortcomings chapter.

This radio receiver favors iPod iPhone devices. It supports Siri Eyes Free. On the other hand, you can use Google Assistant. This is a heads-up for people with Android phones.

Thanks to the Bluetooth connection, you can use hands-free control. I’m taking calls during driving since I have this unit I feel much safer. With Siri’s help, I can get messages read, and not only that I can dictate responses. I feel like a high-tech executive in my car.

Pioneer AVH-601EX 7 Inch DVD Receiver with HD Radio, SiriusXM Ready and Bluetooth

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Pioneer AVH-601EX shortcomings

There’s no such thing as the perfect car stereo. Sadly the Pioneer AVH-601EX has its flaws as well. I openly discuss them. If I wouldn’t, then I would do a disservice to my readers.

It has two major issues. One is Android phones don’t have voice command options. If it’s a deal-breaker for you, then pick a different unit that offers this feature.

The second big issue is the AppRadio. It doesn’t work. Don’t waste your time with it. I got frustrated. Why isn’t there a delete button for it?

A few people have reported that the Bluetooth lags 2-3s. I haven’t experienced it. Those who have reported said that after hitting the pause button, it took 2-3s to acknowledge. You can live with that when it comes to audio video. On the other hand, watching a video with a 2-3s lag is impossible.

The manual is thin, and it’s almost useless. You are better off going on YouTube. You can find your car makes and model and how it got installed.

Here’s a bug that bothers me. Every time I get a message, Bluetooth overrides my current music source. I mean, I have to select the radio again after I’ve read the message. Why doesn’t it auto reconnect?

I miss the SD-card option. I love to keep my phone free and keep music on the flashcard.

How To Get The Most Out Of Pioneer AVH-601EX?

After you have installed the unit, here are two things you should consider.

One would be hacking the e-brake. This is not just for watching movies while driving. I assume you’re a responsible driver, and only passengers are watching. If you bypass the e-brake, you can do settings changes while driving. Otherwise, you would have to pull over and change the EQ.

I highly recommend the iDatalink Maestro device. This unit will help you to keep the stock steering wheel controls. By installing this gizmo, you can utilize hands-free control.

Not only that, you will be getting additional vehicle information. I usually cycle through the diagnosis info before I go on the road.

Don’t forget you can customize your Pioneer AVH-601EX car stereo. Besides matching the interior, you can use your favorite background image.

Another decent alternative is the Pioneer AVH-2500NEX. You can read the Pioneer AVH-2500NEX review too.

Pioneer AVH-601EX Review Conclusion

As you have seen, the Pioneer AVH-601EX head unit does a great job. It has all the features you need. And it has a few bugs as well.

We have reached the end of my Pioneer AVH-601EX review. By now it’s clear if this car stereo is the right fit for you.

Do you have this stereo installed? Share your experience below. I have more head unit reviews coming down the pipeline.

If you have ideas, do share. Hit me up and see what we can cook up.

Catch you next time.
Pioneer AVH-601EX 7 Inch DVD Receiver with HD Radio, SiriusXM Ready and Bluetooth

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Does this Pioneer DVD receiver unit has time alignment?

Yes the AVH-601EX multimedia DVD receiver comes with the time alignment feature. If you don’t know what time alignment is, the setup of speakers so the sound hits you at different times.

Is there a remote control for the Pioneer AVH-601EX DVD receiver?

Yes, matter of fact the AVH-601EX DVD receiver has a remote control in the package. If for some reason this remote control is not for your liking you can buy your own separately.

What kind of camera inputs does this DVD receiver have?

This DVD receiver comes with dual camera inputs. It also has video output and video input.

Does this Pioneer DVD receiver comes with advanced sound retriever tech?

Yes the Pioneer AVH-601EX DVD receiver has advanced sound retriever enabled.

Can I use Appradio mode with compatible Android devices?

Appradio mode is extremely buggy so no matter what phone you will use it will let you down.

Is the DMH-1500NEX a good alternative for the Pioneer AVH-601EX?

Yes, the Pioneer DMH-1500NEX review can help you understand why.

What can iDatalink Maestro do for this DVD receiver?

As you probably know you will be loosing steering wheel controls with your DVD receiver once it’s installed. The iDatalink Maestro gives it back and much more. For example you are getting vehicle diagnosis info as well. The iDatalink Maestro is not included in  the package 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!