Those in the market for a quality (but still affordable) touchscreen receiver for their vehicle will want to check out one of the latest offerings from the folks at Pioneer.
The Pioneer AVH 1550NEX has been designed from the ground up around its 6.2 inch touchscreen (clear resistive touchscreen, at that), giving you a much more intuitive to use experience than a lot of other receivers with touchscreens that feel sort of “tacked on”.
The interface on this unit is dramatically improved versus previous versions of touchscreen receivers, and the amount of connectivity options shoehorned under the hood of this Pioneer is also almost staggering.
Combine that with the legendary reputation for quality that Pioneer has, as well as the reputation for offering some of the best in car audio experiences when their receivers have been installed in a vehicle, and it’s not hard to see why so many choose to move forward with this as their upgrade.
Let’s dig a little deeper into everything that the Pioneer AVH 1550NEX has to offer in this review!
Right out of the gate, the fact that Pioneer has put such a heavy emphasis on touchscreen capabilities is really the apparent the second that you fire this receiver up for the first time.
Everything (and we mean everything) about this unit is driven through that 6.2 inch clear resistive touchscreen. The whole user interface is displayed on the screen, with a handful of physical buttons to the left of the screen itself so that the driver can make changes without having to take their eyes off of the road.
While the UI isn’t quite as polished as something from Apple or Google, it’s really not that far behind. Add in the complete compatibility with Apple and Android devices (almost all modern smart phones and tablets running these operating systems) and it really becomes a bit of a no-brainer.
Of course, the audio experience with this Pioneer receiver is fantastic, too.
It doesn’t matter are listening to music over a standard terrestrial AM/FM radio, if you are listening to music from a CD, streaming it from your favorite apps off of your phone or tablet, or have a flash drive plugged into the open USB port.
The sound quality is always going to be fantastic, with a number of different presets and 13 band EQ settings to fiddle around with as well. The sound theater created by this receiver across your stock speakers set up is top-notch.
Add into all of that the ability to play your favorite DVDs, streaming video content from YouTube (and a lot of other sources), or throw up your favorite shows and movies from a flash drive and you’ve really got something special.
No one is surprised that this is one of the best-selling receivers from the folks at Pioneer.
Let’s start with that touchscreen, shall we?
Pioneer has been playing around with touchscreen powered car audio receivers for more than a few years now, and every time they rollout a new model they learned from what they’ve done in the past while continuing to innovate going forward.
This 6.2 inch Clear Resistive touchscreen is not only dropdead gorgeous (with great color and great contracts, as well as top-notch visibility in all lighting conditions) but it’s also very responsive, too.
Your gestures and taps are going to be registered effortlessly, and there’s even a little bit of haptic feedback beneath the screen to let you know that your commands have been input into the device.
The user interface that Pioneer has built for the AVH 1550NEX is exceptional as well.
It isn’t quite as polished as modern mobile interfaces are (but that’s not all that surprising), but it’s light years beyond pretty much everything else that you would find on the market today.
Icons are beautifully designed, spaced perfectly, and just the right size to manipulate your receiver while on the go – all without having to take your eyes off of the road for an extended amount of time.
Everything just sort of works the way you’d expect it to, and if you are comfortable working with a smart phone or a tablet the odds are pretty good you’ll be comfortable manipulating the AVH 1550NEX, too.
Of course, we can’t overlook the fact that you can use both Apple Carplay and Android Auto when you hook your phone or tablet up to this receiver – changing the user interface and creating what is essentially a larger extension of your mobile device. The whole experience is really slick and really polished, basically what you would expect from Apple and Google at this point in the game.
We’ll talk more about those integrations in just a minute, though.
DVD playback with the Pioneer AVH 1550NEX is really well implemented, too.
There may not be a lot of people running around with DVDs these days, but if you have a couple that you going to keep your vehicle for some road trip entertainment you’ll have the opportunity to watch and listen to your favorite movies and shows on the go.
Of course, if you pair this receiver to your wireless data plan you can also stream content from YouTube and other online sources – or connect any other shows and movies you want to your touchscreen through the flash drive USB port built right in.
As far as overall sound quality goes, the ability to play lossless FLAC audio from your flash storage is always going to be a big bonus for serious audiophiles. You can play any other music from flash storage or stream your favorite apps, too.
The 13 band graphic EQ allows you to have a lot more granular control over how your audio system sounds, and the built-in sound theaters that you can play around with are going to maximize the potential of your onboard stock sound equipment for sure.
High and low pass filters, an advanced sound retriever, automatic EQ capabilities, the ability to use HD radio signals and to add satellite radio with a third-party tuner all help to improve the media experience that the Pioneer AVH 1550NEX provides.
At the end of the day, this is a fantastic upgrade at a price point that isn’t going to break your bank account.
As mentioned a little earlier, you’ll be able to use both Apple and Android devices paired with your receiver with zero headache or hassle whatsoever.
The Pioneer AVH 1550NEX supports both Apple Carplay and Android Auto when you have connected your devices over USB. This is super simple, straightforward, and easy to take advantage of and basically turns your audio receiver into a bigger version of your phone or tablet.
Not only that, but you immediately have access to all of your favorite navigation tools, full access to your phone and your message capabilities, all of your music and media libraries – including your favorite streaming apps – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You’ll be able to stream music from Spotify, movies from YouTube, and dictate texts or emails with your voice – all without having to take your eyes off of the road.
This is a feature-rich automotive entertainment receiver for sure, and the tight integration with both Apple and Android operating systems just takes it to the next level (particularly from a usability standpoint).
Another neat little feature that the Pioneer AVH 1550NEX has that not a lot of other options have yet is the inclusion of Amazon Alexa voice control capabilities, too.
Competition in the automotive entertainment space is super fierce right now, but Pioneer continues to deliver time and time again with innovative solutions like the AVH 1550NEX.
Though there are other (slightly) more premium options that you could get your hands on, there aren’t too many receivers out there that can combine power, performance, and this price tag the way that the Pioneer AVH 1550NEX does.
We have no problem giving this Pioneer unit our two thumbs up recommendation!