Pioneer DMH-1500NEX Review – Is it for you?

Pioneer DMH-1500NEX Digital Media Receiver with 7" WVGA Display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Built in Bluetooth

It feels like a brand new car…

Why would you invest thousands in speakers, subs, and amps when a stereo does the job even better?

If you want to bring your car into the modern era, you can do it with a single fix. Best of all, it doesn’t break the bank.

This is the reason why I’ve created the Pioneer DMH-1500NEX review.  I know how the market is flooded with so many stereos. Another reason why I’ve written is to show you the good and bad — thus helping you decide if it’s a good fit for you.

I don’t know back 20 years ago how people lived without Android Auto or Apple Carplay. That’s right. There weren’t many phones around. Nowadays, it’s not just convenience to have apps, but they are safety features as well.

Here’s the quick preview of this double din head unit. It supports both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The sound is way better than what the stock stereo can deliver. The display is touch screen is fast and easy to use. The screen size is 7″ wide.

Speaking of the display, the dimming is adjustable, so it’s easy to see during the day. Also, you can tone it down, so it doesn’t bother you at night.

Let’s get this Pioneer DMH-1500NEX review started.

Here’s the bird’s eye view for double DIN in-dash receiver.

  • It can bring older cars into the modern era
  • The screen is big and can be dimmed to your liking
  • Beats the stock stereo every time.
  • You can’t shut the screen off
  • No HD radio stations

Does it fit in my car? Click Here to Check
Who can help me install it? Click Here to Check

Who is the Pioneer DMH-1500NEX for?

The Pioneer DMH-1500NEX car stereo is for anybody with a smartphone.

If you want to be entertained while you’re driving, this is a good head unit to have. From the many music apps through audiobooks and podcasts, you will find something to pass the time.

No matter what’s your favorite music app (Spotify, Pandora control), it will work on this unit.

If you’re a conscientious driver, then this digital receiver will help you be safe. Hands-free calling is standard. Plus, you can get text messages to read to you and reply to them. All this without touching your phone.

What can the Pioneer DMH-1500NEX do for you?

The Pioneer brand is synonymous with high-quality audio. By installing this stereo, you will instantly have a better sound quality. You don’t need to invest in additional equipment.

What’s the secret?

It’s not a secret. It delivers more power to the speakers. With more power, they sound better and sharper.

The Pioneer DMH-1500NEX supports both Apple Carplay Android Auto. All you have to do is plug it in. This unit is not wireless friendly. It’s a small sacrifice to pay to get all those great apps. If wireless Carplay is an absolute must, you need to have a bigger budget for it.

There’s no CD/DVD player, but there’s a standard FM/AM radio. Plus, the head unit comes with SiriusXM ready. Add your account, and you can enjoy your favorite shows.

I love that you can personalize your receiver. Besides this, you can move around icons on the screen.

Last but not least, I want to mention the 13-band graphic equalizer. This option will help you get the most out of any music.

This Pioneer head unit has physical buttons. It’s such a satisfaction touching them. Plus, it’s much safer than digital ones because you are keeping your eyes on the road.

This head unit might be the best double din head unit for the money on the market.

Key Features:

  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Built-in internal amp (14 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • 7″ LCD touchscreen
  • 13-band graphic equalizer and time alignment


Pioneer DMH-1500NEX shortcomings

No matter who makes the stereo, there are bound to be flawed. Let’s see if these are so severe that they will make you take a pass.

I’ve have reviewed a dozen or more Pioneer stereos, and by far, this is the quirkiest.

The first thing which surprised me was the menu being adaptive. It changes depending on what you do. I don’t mean this in a good way. For some reason, there are different displays for the same operation. Did I hack the Matrix?

This is what happens when you let engineers design something that they will never use.

I wonder who had the bright idea to show the text as it gets read by one of the assistants. As you know, both Siri Eyes Free and Google Assistant will read you the text messages. They are doing that so you can keep your eyes on the road. By showing the text message while it gets read to you, it defeats its purpose.

For the price you have to pay; they should’ve included an HD radio.

Here’s a biggie. It takes around 30s to load up the head unit. Are you patient enough to wait for it every time you want to backup? Until the stereo doesn’t boots up, the backup camera won’t activate.

Speaking of the rear view camera, it doesn’t activate automatically. After your stereo booted up, you need to find it in the menu and click it.

As you have seen, this unit has a few flaws. Now it’s up to you if they are deal-breakers.


How To Get The Most Out Of Pioneer DMH-1500NEX?

My fans are probably chuckling right now. Whenever I talk about installing it, I always prefer getting it done by a pro. I’m not handy with wires and electronics. This is a real time saver for me.

Besides the head unit, I usually suggest two more additional items to purchase. The first one is the iDatalink Maestro. This device will help you keep your stock steering wheel controls. Plus, you will be able to get additional vehicle diagnostics data. As you can see the iDatalink Maestro is a valuable device to have.

Since we’re talking about Pioneer, we have to mention the parking brake bypass option. If you don’t do it, then you will be locked out of many functions while driving. The only solution is to pull over and park. It’s not so easy while on the highway. The parking brake bypass is sold separately.

I normally suggest getting a backup camera for easy parking. Only do it if it’s not a hassle. If you skipped the shortcomings chapter, go back and read this section.

If you are interested in the outputs here they are: video output, 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, subwoofer). Other info: built-in internal amp (14 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels).


Pioneer DMH-1500NEX Review Conclusion

If you have added every bell and whistle and customized the lighting, then it’s probably looking like stock. It’s not a bad stereo. Many of the issues I’ve listed can be easily fixed with a firmware update. Hopefully, Pioneer does it soon.

We have reached the end of the Pioneer DMH-1500NEX review. I hope you gained clarity in reading this review.

Share your thoughts and feelings below. If you want me to do some custom reviews, reach out to me.

Catch you next time.
Pioneer DMH-1500NEX Digital Media Receiver with 7" WVGA Display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Built in Bluetooth

Does it fit in my car? Click Here to Check
Who can help me install it? Click Here to Check

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What can the iDatalink Maestro do for this double DIN digital multimedia receiver?

If you connect the iDatalink Maestro to this double DIN digital 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. For bypassing the parking brake you will need a separate module.

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 double DIN digital media receiver comes with advanced sound retriever tech?

Yes this Pioneer double DIN unit has advanced sound retriever enabled. These are the main features Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Both iPhone and Android phones work perfectly.

Should I consider the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX an alternative for Pioneer MVH-2400NEX?

Yes, it’s one of the best alternatives. Take a look at the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX review to learn more.

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 Android Auto compatible Android smartphones and iPod iPhone.

Does this double DIN unit have audio video remote control profile?

Yes, the DMH-1500NEX digital media receiver 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 both Apple and Android devices.

How good is the built-in Bluetooth connection?

The built-in Bluetooth connection is strong. You can connect to any android device and apple device. Thanks to this connection you can do audio playback and video playback. When you are doing audio playback or audio streaming you can see the artist album info.

What kind of camera input does this head unit have?

It comes with a single camera input and you can mount a backup camera to it. Sadly since it’s a single camera input you can’t have a dash cam.

Where is the USB input located?

The USB input is in the back (rear USB). To make the USB connection as easy as possible you will need to run an USB cable to the front. You  can hook up to the USB connection any android devices.

Can I do hands-free calling and audio streaming with the DMH-1500NEX digital receiver?

Yes with the DMH-1500NEX digital receiver you will be able to do hands-free calling and audio streaming.  Also you can use Siri Eyes Free you do Spotify control and listen to music with easy EQ. The sound quality is crisp.

What is the best quality audio that I can play?

Lossless FLAC audio files up to 192kHz/24-bit

How good is the video playback?

The video playback is good there were no complaints. The touch screen for this multimedia receiver is responsive and clean. The sound quality is amazing.

Can I use Apple Carplay Android Auto?

Yes both Apple Carplay and Android Auto can be used.

What are the preamp outputs?

The multimedia receiver has a 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, subwoofer).

Does it come with time alignment?

Yes this multimedia receiver has time alignment. You can adjust the time difference between the speakers. It’s also Weblink compatible with Apple Carplay compatible Android Auto compatible android devices. Maybe customer service told you already about it.

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About Danny Reid
About Danny Reid

Danny here, no matter in which market you’re in it’s flooded with products. Maybe you want a new stereo, amps, speakers or subs? This is why the blog exists to cut through the clutter.
My goal with the reviews is to inform you of the best possible to make the right decision.
Plus if you’re stuck with “the blue wire is connected to???” I have many hot tips to get you out of a jam.