It’s that time again where we get to dig into another 2 DIN stereo and see what it’s got to offer us. This time around we’re going to be having a look at the Pioneer AVH-X4800BS.
It’s another Pioneer coming to take the center of the stage, so right off the bat we already have a pretty good idea of what we’re going to be dealing with. Generally speaking, it’s pretty safe to say that when you buy Pioneer you’re getting a guarantee of reliability and quality, and that standard holds up here.
Without any further ado, let’s get stuck into the box and see what we’re dealing with.
The first thing you’ll be greeted by upon unboxing this little beauty is the usual gamut of cables and accessories, as well as some screws. Among the cables, you’ll have a male to female USB cable, and a power cable.
As for the accessories, a handy remote control and a Bluetooth microphone accompany the main device. There’s also a fairly beefy manual in there too, fully complete with detailed instructions on the installation and features.
After that, we come to the meat of the unboxing meal, the device itself, which should be cocooned in two protective pieces of styrofoam. All in all, it’s what you’d expect – no surprises here, just the bare essentials.
Oh boy, this is where this thing shines. For a 2016 model that’s at a decent price point, it is boasting a pretty hefty features list. That’s to be expected, since this model was a mid-range item upon release, so most of its capabilities even stack up well against more recent double-dins.
We’ll go through some of the most important features, which Pioneer rightly advertises prominently on any promotional material or sales pages for the device. Among the laundry list of multimedia features, there are also a few other extras that you might not know about.
The adjustable motorized screen, multi-phone capability, and some fantastic extra customization options are just a few of the areas we’ll cover.
Starting off with the part of it you’ll be interacting with most, the display, and it’s a strong start at that. It’s showing off a 7” display with an 800×480 resolution.
It’s a touch-screen, and it holds up well to scrutiny, performing very well no matter what task it’s currently performing. It’s easy to use, easy to navigate and holds up brilliantly to more demanding jobs like video playback.
There’s definitely no complaints about the quality, for the price and the age it holds its own against any other screens, whether they be Pioneer or another brand. This is in large part thanks to the clear resistive screen, which offers sharp images and vivid color representation.
If you’re used to a device that doesn’t have that clear resistive screen technology, you’ll be blown away by the difference. Seeing comparisons in photo or video really doesn’t fully portray how significant those differences actually are, it’s the kind of thing you’ll have to see in person.
The screen is also motorized. Primarily this is for allowing the user to customize the screen’s tilt to their liking, but it also serves as the front panel for the CD and DVD player.
USB connectors are unfortunately a little limited, with a single USB connection on the back of the unit. The USB has enough power to charge your phone at least.
Before we talk about the usual features that utilize a connection between the unit and the phone, we need to cover one important point. The unit can actually be connected to more than one phone at a time.
This means that if you are in the car with a friend or a family member, you’ll be able to receive calls from one phone while playing music from another. It’s a small quality of life improvement, but a significant one nonetheless.
Just be careful not to get into any arguments over whose music gets to play!
Sadly, you’ll be missing out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. At least they aren’t playing favorites between Android and Apple.
Of course, since we’ve mentioned the multiple phone connections, you can probably already imagine that there’s fantastic Bluetooth support on the unit.
Your phone and the unit will work together in perfect synchronization through Bluetooth, offering you the kind of features you’d reasonably expect: Things like hands-free calling, and even speech recognition.
Speech recognition works by harnessing any speech recognition capabilities that your phone’s operating system already possesses. Whether it’s an Android device or an iOS device, this capability should be available to users of both phones.
Speaking of music, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of the unit’s main purpose: Playing music and video.
As it should be, this is where the device truly shines. Let’s carefully go through each point one by one, because there’s a lot on offer here.
For music streaming, we’ve got a few of the Pioneer’s usual offerings up for your auditory delight. Pioneer makes an appearance, as does SiriusXM radio, but the star of the streaming show will definitely be the addition of Spotify.
Since it’s probably one of the most commonly used services, Spotify fans are likely rejoicing that they’ll have access to their music libraries there. That’s not all for the audiophiles out there, though.
Coming hand-in-hand with Spotify is also the support for FLAC playback. The high-quality, flawless audio that FLAC offers is pretty much the only way to listen to music if you’ve got a sound system that’ll make the most of it.
If all of this wasn’t enough, you also have an equalizer that allows you to tweak the audio settings of the device. It’s incredibly easy to use, offering presets and a user-friendly set of adjustable level bars.
With the new screen that we mentioned earlier, and the DVD and video-playing capabilities, you’ve got quite the selection of multimedia playback options available to you. In addition to watching videos on the main screen, there are also connectors on the unit for headrest screens.
If you’ve got any unruly passengers in the back, like your children, then at least you’ll be able to keep them busy with some in-flight entertainment for a while.
If you like adding a personal touch, then you’ll be able to customize to your heart’s content with the AVH-X4800BS.
There are multiple themes for the unit’s operating system, choices of different wallpapers, and a customizable clock. While that’s a ton of fun on its own, hold onto your seat, because you can also change the colors.
That includes the on-screen color scheme to the color of the LEDs around the buttons.
There’s no built-in navigation, but there is a connector on the device for an add-on module. The recommended add-on module by Pioneer is their AVIC-U260, which is a fairly decent (if expensive) navigation solution.
If you do opt to go for the navigation add-on that Pioneer suggests, you’ll be treated to a device that provides you with a NAVTEQ map database. Among standard navigation features, you’ll have some great options for viewing traffic in real time.
As usual with Pioneer’s offerings in the double-din department, you’ve got another safe bet on your hand. In this case, the age of the unit doesn’t detract in any way from the quality of features that it’s got on offer.
If anything, with the product being so tried and tested, you know exactly what you are going to get, and what you’re getting is a reliable and efficient entertainment system for a low price. With a myriad of multimedia options to choose from, covering all types of both music and video file formats, you and your passengers will never be bored with the AVH-X4800BS.
It’s easy to install and there’s plenty of guides out there all ready to help you, so you won’t need to worry about going off and getting an engineering degree or hiring an electrical engineer to help you fit it.
If it’s compatible with your vehicle and you’re on a tight budget, and the lack of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto doesn’t bother you, then there’s really no reason not to pick up this gem. Besides, there’s plenty of other playback options to make up for it.
With its sleek design and highly customizable visuals, it’s sure to fit in perfectly with whatever lucky vehicle you introduce her to.