Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX Review – Is it Just Hype?

Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX In-Dash Navigation AV Receiver with 6.2" WVGA Touchscreen Display

How to give a luxurious feel to your car?

With the right car stereo, you can upgrade the looks and feel of your car. The market is saturated with stereos. There’s such a huge selection of double din head units that it’s easy to get lost.

This is the reason why I’ve created the Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX review.

When you are shopping around for a car stereo, you need to consider one important factor. This would be personalizing the colors of the head unit. Let’s face it the era is gone when you plug in a unit that screams aftermarket. These digital receivers stick out like a sore thumb.

Everything is different with the Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX. I’ve found that this is one of the best-balanced car stereos on the market. When you compare the cost with the features, it’s a real bargain.

Once you nail the right color customization, the car becomes slick and modern.

This unit is not without flaws. And for some reason, that is the most popular chapter of my posts. I wonder why?

Let’s get this Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX review started.

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

Pros
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible
  • Best price and quality
  • Has built in navigation GPS
Cons
  • Screen seems cluttered
  • Maps can only be updated on Windows PCs

Who is the Pioneer AVIC-5201NEXfor?

The Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX attracts those customers who want great features. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s a well-balanced double din car stereo. Plus, what I’ve noticed that over the years, Pioneer units have gotten cheaper. But they are getting packed with amazing features.

The music is great and the sound quality is amazing. It’s compatible with Android, and Apple CarPlay works like a charm.

Siri Eyes Free is of great service when it comes to voice to text. I value safe driving over anything else. This feature is the best one to have.

There’s a huge source of music to play. And I almost forgot to mention this Pioneer head unit has a built-in GPS.

What can the Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX do for you?

The sound quality is excellent. And you can customize the colors. Do take the time to personalize the head unit, so it blends with the interior. Once that’s done, it looks like stock.

The biggest selling point of the Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX is the navigation.  The GPS works great, and it’s easy to use, although the screen looks a bit cluttered.

Since we’re talking about the display, here’s what you need to know. The touch screen is 6.2″ wide. It’s fast and responsive. I haven’t noticed any lag.

This car stereo comes with a standard radio. From my experience, it seems a bit weak. You can find out more when you read the shortcomings section.

The Pioneer head unit comes with built-in Bluetooth. You can connect both Apple and Android phones. Carplay works by default. The Bluetooth connection is strong. I had no complaints.

Thanks to the wireless connection, I can make hands-free calling easy. Another great feature is that you can mount a rear view camera. This gadget will make parking easier and safer.

The car stereo has a CD/DVD player. You can only watch movies if you are standing still. Or you can use a clever hack. With the USB port, you can listen to high-quality FLAC files.

Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX shortcomings

As you have probably guessed, the Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX isn’t perfect.

One of the biggest issues that I’ve found is that Mac updates are not supported. I mean, I love to keep my GPS up to date. There’s nothing worse than trying to go down on a one-way street. This has happened to me a few times, and I was in the wrong way.

The only way to update GPS maps is by getting an old Windows computer. They are not going to change it in the future. I feel frustrated.

Another issue regarding navigation is the lack of traffic info. Other units have this as default. No, with this Pioneer, you need to get the app, which is $5 a month. Maybe then a better solution would be Waze.

The touch screen looks cluttered. I like simple, clean looks better.

As you know Pioneer it comes with small buttons. It’s not that safe to drive and trying to find the right button. There’s no fast mute or on/off button.

I had issues with the radio. You would’ve guessed that it’s not rocket science to install a good radio receiver. Well, it seemed that the sensitivity is weaker. I mean, I could pick up fewer stations than with my old head unit.

My final annoyance would be the “miles” of wire you need to handle. I mean, if you are doing your install, those wires add up. Having a backup camera, GPS, and steering controls come with this issue (one camera input).

How To Get The Most Out Of Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX?

I always recommend getting these head units professionally installed. If you want all the bells and whistles with the Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX, then there will be miles of wires.

I prefer the simple life. I value my time, so I go for the pros with the install.

Now to get that luxurious modern feel, you need to tweak your head unit. The more you can match the interior of your car, the better it will blend.

To be able to watch videos while driving, there’s an easy hack. This is called bypassing the emergency brake. I assume everybody is driving responsibly, and only passengers are watching movies.

When I get a new car stereo, I go all in. I can’t imagine life without a backup camera. It makes my life simple. The Bluetooth connection is fast, and I haven’t experienced stuttering or issues.

This double din head unit comes with a boring manual. I recommend going on YouTube and get the features explained there. It’s faster and more entertaining.

Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX Review Conclusion

As you can see, the Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX is a good stereo. It has some quirks, but for most, it’s not a deal-breaker.

Built-in GPS and fast Bluetooth is all I need. Also, if you want to keep your stock steering wheel controls do get the iDatalink Maestro. This stereo made hands-free calling easy.

We have reached the end of my Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX review. I hope you have a better feel for this car stereo.

Hit me up if you want me to do a custom car stereo review. If there’s enough interest, I will get it done.

Catch you next time.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

 

Does the AVIC-5201NEX satellite radio have audio video remote control profile?

Yes, the AVIC-5201NEX satellite radio has the audio video remote control profile feature. Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth you can remote control audio 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 playback that can be streamed through built-in Bluetooth devices. This works with compatible Android smartphones and iPod iPhone.

Does this Pioneer satellite radio has secure simple paring?

Yes, this Pioneer double DIN stereo comes with a secure simple pairing. Once that happens you can play pause the music. You can utilize Android music to do audio streaming

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.

Does this Pioneer unit comes with built-in navigation / GPS navigation?

Yes with this Pioneer satellite radio you are getting a built-in navigation. You will have all the navigation features that you will ever need. It includes speed limit info as well.

Does this Pioneer head unit has Apple Carplay and what can it do for me?

Yes there’s Apple Carplay. Well you can enjoy hands-free calling and Siri Eyes Free. Besides these you can do audio streaming and audio playback. Either of the channels deliver excellent sound quality.

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Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX Review – Is it Just Hype?
Pioneer AVIC-5201NEX Review – Is it Just Hype? 1

How to give a luxurious feel to your car? With the right car stereo, you can upgrade the looks and feel of your car. The market is saturated with stereos.

Editor's Rating:
4