Review of the Pioneer DEH-P8400BH
By Eron Cohen
Part 2: Pioneer Car Radio Review
|Pioneer P8400 Pros
||Lots of features, Good Value, Versatile, Accepts Many
different kinds of inputs, excellent sound quality
|Pioneer P8400 Cons
||Small Clock, Hard to understand instruction book
If you didn't read part 1 of this review, the quick story is that I decided to
get myself a new radio for my Jeep Liberty. The factory installed radio was
missing features that I really wanted including:
- Bluetooth Streaming Audio
- Bluetooth connection to my Android phone for making phone
- HD Radio
The Pioneer P8400 had these features and more. I feel I got a good price
for the radio. I ordered it from Amazon.com for $169. It came with a
microphone, remote control, USB extention cable, wiring connector and instruction
The instructions are pretty bad to say the least. Maybe I am slow, but
I think its them. They need more illustrations and more clear writing. I
am still working on figuring out some of the features.
There are 5 source modes:
- USB Port 1
- USB Port 2
- Blue Tooth Audio Streaming
Optionally, you can add a Satelite Radio receiver so that you can listen
to Sirius or XM Radio.
Sound quality of this unit is very nice. I am not much of an audiophile,
but I am very pleased. I kept the factory speakers in my Jeep, so I wasn't
expecting much, but there was a noticeable quality improvement. There are
several preset equalizer settings, so if you have speakers worthy of EQ,
you'll be glad to know that those are available, although you can also
tweak them for your particular setup.
The faceplate of the radio is removable for security. When you shut of
the car, the radio beeps 5 times to remind you to remove it. There are
faceplate cases available for purchase. Obviously, suffice it to say--don't
loose it. I have no idea what the replacement would cost, but you don't
want to need one.
I didn't even know that
I would really care about having a USB port, but that has turned out to
be one of the best features. I can put music or audio books on any USB
Flash Drive (aka Memory Key) and just connect it to the radio. It very
quickly starts to play whatever is on there and will pick up
where you left off when you shut off the radio or switch to
a different audio source and then switch back. Navigating through your
files on the flash drive is probably about as good as it could be based
on the size of the screen they had to work with. If you have lots of files
in one directory, it could take you a little while to get to the one you
This head unit has two rear
USB ports. The idea is to take USB male to female wires out of the back
of the radio and put them someplace where they can be conveniently connected
to. When I first installed this radio, I was thinking that one USB port
would be enough, so I only ran a wire from one of them. Now I realize this
was a mistake. If I had a second one, I could connect TWO memory keys. One
could have audio books, the other one could have music, so I can easily
switch between the two. Unfortunately, if you switch keys back and forth you will have to refind your place as far as song and position in the song. If you just turn the radio off, it picks up where it left off.
When a phone call comes in, the audiobook is automatically
paused and then resumes when you hang up. This seems to work
well whether you're listening to something on your USB drive
or on the phone through Bluetooth Streaming.
When calls do come in, the stereo displays the incoming caller's number
and name (It connects itself to your phonebook--at least on my android
phone it does). The call quality is very good. People have told me that
I sound crystal clear on the other end of the call.
One strange thing about the radio is the fact that the clock
on it is so small. It is so small that you have to take your
eyes off of the road to look at it. I didn't see any way to
adjust this...I am not sure what they're thinking but that
is definitely one minus for this radio.
Oddly, there is a button on the radio to turn the clock OFF...I should say that if you turn the radio off, the clock is a pretty normal, decent size...but I don't ever plan to turn mine off, so... (BTW, if you DO want to turn off this radio, you need to press and hold the SRC button. There is no dedicated OFF button, so I guess they also never thought you'd want to turn it off either)
Another issue that I have had a couple of times is problems connecting
my phone (Android platform, Samsung Infuse) after I already
start the car. Basically I cannot figure out how to connect
the phone once its started so the only solution is to shut
off the car and it will connect as expected when it comes back on. I am
not 100% sure that the problem is the car radio--it could be with the phone,
but Samsung Infuse is a relatively respectable Android phone and it is
When everything is working properly, the phone will link up to the radio
and display your battery status and the number of bars you
have. If you get into your car while already on a phone call, it will notice
the phone when you start the call and change it up so that
the call continues on the car's pioneer radio. It also normally syncs up
your address book, so that you can use the phone to trigger calls to a
certain person and so that you can get the caller's name up on the screen
when they call.
In spite of a few issues, I am very happy with this car stereo unit. Since I have installed
it, I am much more excited to get in my car in the morning.
I definitely recommend it. For a more information about how
I purchased and installed this radio, please
read part 1.
5/5The DEH-P8400BH is Great!
Great Features, Great Sound Quality! I am glad that I chose this head unit