Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX

Double Din Head Unit With Android Auto, Apple Carplay & DVD/CD Player.

Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX Review


Thinking about upgrading the audio and entertainment system in your vehicle, but want to make sure that your investing in a quality digital media receiver that is close to “future proof” while offering the features and connectivity options you need in today’s modern world?

If so, the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX is worth a closer examination.

Pioneer has pulled out all of the stops and added quite a few fancy bells and whistles to this very affordable touchscreen digital media receiver. You’ll get all kinds of connectivity options, a dramatic improvement to sound quality, media streaming capabilities, and more – complete with a beautiful touchscreen monitor that looks great installed in any vehicle.

Let’s dig a little deeper into all that the new Pioneer AVH W4500NEX has to offer.

What’s in the Box

The Pioneer AVH W4500NEX is built around the same digital media receiver technology that this company has been working on for more than a decade. The media receiver components itself inside of a Double DIN format, offering plenty of room for advanced hardware and special features while still remaining compact enough to be installed in practically any dashboard.

On the front of this digital media receiver is a 6.2 inch touchscreen, a resistive touchscreen using clear active matrix technology. This means the screen is going to look great in almost every lighting condition imaginable (though bright sunlight will wash it out a little bit) while remaining very responsive to your taps and swipes.

The integrated wiring harness set up makes the complicated process of hardwiring a new digital media receiver simple and straightforward. The harness is set up to support practically every make and model vehicle out there right now, allowing you to essentially drag and drop the Pioneer directly into your dashboard inside of an hour or two (even if you don’t have a lot of experience with these kinds of projects).

Accessory components for the wiring harness are included in the box as well. These components let you extend the functionality of the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX later down the line if that is something that you’re interested in.

A dedicated external microphone designed to pick up voice controls and phone commands throughout your vehicle cabin is included, too. The microphone is small and discrete, can be tucked nicely away while still picking up high-quality audio signals, and is attached to both a 13 foot cable and a mounting bracket so that you have a lot of freedom as far as where you place the microphone in your vehicle is concerned.

The rest of the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX box is fleshed out with double-sided tape, 12 mounting screws, a quick start manual, and installation manual, and details regarding the 12 month warranty you’ll get with your purchase.

Key Features

Pioneer engineers wanted to make sure that this entry-level option offered digital media solutions at a discount price point and they’ve been able to walk the fine line between slimming things down and keeping prices low pretty perfectly.

While you won’t find all the fancy bells and whistles with the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX the way you would with some of their much more expensive units, you still are going to get a full-blown digital media receiver that can play audio and video from your smartphone, your tablet, USB flash drives, as well as DVD and CD sources.

The support for legacy media in particular (DVDs and CDs) is a big bonus. We are starting to see this get phased out more and more in the automotive entertainment industry in favor of digital only options, but there are plenty of people out there that want to be able to play DVDs and CDs (including burned discs) while on the go.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is a big focal point of the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX as well. You’ll be able to quickly pair your mobile devices with this digital media receiver to stream music and videos with no trouble at all. The Bluetooth protocol used here is rock solid and stable throughout the cabin, without the fear of dropping a connection the way you might have had with older Bluetooth set ups.

On top of that, you’ll also gain control over your smartphone when it has been connected with Bluetooth via the voice control and command capabilities. You’ll be able to use hands-free calling, audio control, media search, and voice to text capabilities over the Bluetooth connection with almost every Android and Apple device on the market right now.

USB support also gives you the chance to stream media from a mobile or flash media device while charging your smart phones and your tablets at the same time. When connected via this hardwired set up you’ll be able to control your mobile device via the touchscreen or voice commands, too.

The Pioneer AVH W4500NEX does come with backup camera ready inputs, though you’ll have to add the actual backup camera hardware and wiring separately if this is something you want to take advantage of. If your vehicle already comes with a backup camera the installation process is effortless. If not, you’ll have to pick up a third-party accessory (inexpensively) in the process will go rather quickly as well.


Apple / Android Compatibility

Because of the entry-level price point of the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX you shouldn’t expect full Android Auto or Apple Car Play capabilities with this particular digital media receiver.

This means that connecting a new Android or Apple device to your digital media receiver will not bring about either of those two software solutions or mobile interfaces. At the same time, you will be able to control your mobile phone or tablet through the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX over USB or wireless protocols.

This means that you get a lot of the same control and media streaming capabilities you would have had with Android Auto and Apple Carplay but without the fancy interface, streamlined user controls, or familiar application icons that you are already used two.

It is a bit of a letdown that the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX does not include this total support for Android Auto and Apple Carplay. But at the end of the day the Pioneer interface is clean, easy to use, and quick to navigate so you may not be missing out all that much.


You don’t need anything extra to install the AVH W4500NEX unit in your vehicle. Not only do you get all of the installation and mounting hardware with your purchase you also get a dedicated wiring harness that will allow you to hook up your new digital media receiver right away.

You’ll be happy to hear that the USB port on the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX is a two-way port, charging your phone (with quick charging capabilities if applicable) while also allowing you to playback media through your digital media receiver at the same time.

The Pioneer AVH W4500NEX is designed to support legacy media playback of CDs and DVDs through the disc slot at the top of the receiver itself. You won’t be able to play Blu-ray discs on this platform, though.

Final Verdict

When you get right down to it, there may be a lot of choices out there in the digital media receiver space, but Pioneer makes some of the best options money can buy.


This unit, the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX, is built from the ground up to be an affordable high-tech alternative to units that cost three or four times as much as this one (and sometimes even more than that). While it does not include all of the fancy bells and whistles that some of those much more expensive options include it is still a rock solid, well-built, and technology packed system that will upgrade your automotive entertainment set up almost instantly.

If you’re looking to upgrade your entertainment options on the go the Pioneer AVH W4500NEX deserves your attention.


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