Looking to update your old car stereo with something with a little more oomph and features?
If that’s the case, it hard to go wrong with a 2-Din multimedia receiver. Many modern receivers ditch the built-in CD player in favor of other options like USB ports, SD card slots, AUX inputs, or dedicated connections. There are other units that support other peripherals like satellite radio tuners.
With these options, it won’t be necessary to bring CDs to your car.
However, the multimedia receiver market is very saturated with many different brands and models. Shopping for a good replacement for your car stereo can be rather daunting.
This is why we have decided to review a receiver that might just be worth your time and money, the Pioneer AVH-200BT. Let’s get to it!
Pioneer AVH-200BT Review
Pioneer is one of the leaders when it comes to aftermarket car stereos and receivers. So it’s fair to expect that we are dealing with a quality product here.
First, let’s take a look at the specs of the AVH-200BT:
- Screen Size/Aspect Ratio: 6.1"/16:9
- Resolution: WVGA (800x480)
- LED Backlight
- Background Picture: 4 BGP, 2 BGV
- Spectrum Analyzer
- Anti-Glare Coated LCD Screen
- Touch Panel Operation
- Disc Capacity: 1
- CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW Compatible
- DVD Video Playback
- CD Music Playback
- CD Video Playback
- MP3/WMA/iTunes® AAC Audio Playback: CD/DVD/USB
- JPEG Image File Playback: CD/DVD/USB
- DivX® Video Playback: CD/DVD/USB
- Linear PCM Decoder
- Dolby® Digital Decoder
- MPEG-1/-2/-4 Decoder
- DVD Chapter/Time/Title Direct Search
- DVD Chapter/Title Repeat
- DVD Auto Play
- VCD Playback Control
- Repeat (Disc/Track)
- Built-In Amplifier: MOSFET 50 W x 4
- RCA Preouts: 2 (2V)
- D/A Converter: 96 kHz/24-bit
- Auto EQ (CD-MC20 required)
- Sonic Center Control
- EEQ (Easy EQ) Preset Equalizer
- Equalizer: 5-Band Graphic
- Crossover Network: HPF/LPF
- Advanced Sound Retriever
- Subwoofer Control
- Rear-View Camera Input
- Composite A/V Input: AUX (Minijack)
- Composite Video Output: 1
- Navigation Ready: No
- Color Customization: Single - Blue
- Display Off Mode
- Photo Viewer
- Multi-Language Display: Menu/ID3 Tag
- Volume Control: Push-Button
- Wired Remote Input
- Remote Control: Optional
Right out of the box, one main thing that you’ll notice about the Pioneer AVH-200BT is just how basic and plain it looks. It’s your basic touchscreen double din AV receiver and it probably won’t win any awards for design and aesthetics. However, it does look good but nothing too crazy. This is a great receiver if you prefer a no-fuss face plate that will go with car’s interior.
The screen is a 6.1" WVGA touchscreen display so it’s not as large as other high-end receivers in the market but I think the size is just right. On the left side of the screen, you have your volume buttons, home button, and other functions. The CD/DVD slot is located just above the touchscreen which is convenient.
This is a very straightforward placement which I appreciate, makes it easy to learn the unit. As for the screen’s responsiveness, I am happy to report that working with the GUI feels snappy and fast. There were some occasional slowdowns and lags but they’re more of an exception than a rule.
Upon booting up the receiver, you’ll be greeted with a customizable wallpaper which is a neat feature. In my experience, you will need a USB drive in order to access the images that you need. I’m not really sure about the image resolution since it’s not in the manual (or I haven’t found it) but I was able to find one that works.
Anyway, the main GUI is solid and should be very easy to navigate even for the non-tech savvy. The icons are large which makes it easy to operate the unit even while driving.
Overall, my first impression of the AVH-200BT is good. Let’s talk about some features.
Like most head units, the AVH-200BT comes with a built-in Bluetooth.
The Secure Simple Pairing of the unit will allow you to pair your smartphone to the receiver without the need to enter pin codes or manage any complicated settings. It’s basically an on-the-fly pairing and once it syncs with your phone, the music will automatically resume or play.
I have been using the Bluetooth for a while now and it’s working great so far. There are times that the signal was cut off but it’s not really a common occurrence.
What’s a Bluetooth connection if you can’t make phone calls with it?
The AVH-200BT Bluetooth technology can make use of the voice recognition engine that’s native to the smartphone. So if you have an iPhone, you can use the Siri Eyes Free functionality with just a simple touch of a button.
Once activated, Siri’s prompts and responses can now be heard via the vehicle’s speaker. The unit comes with an external microphone so you can actually issue commands and ask questions to Siri. Via the Siri Eyes Free functionality, you can access basic iPhone functions like playing songs, making phone calls, sending text messages, calendar information, and more.
If you have an iPhone, you will love the Bluetooth connectivity of this head unit.
Pandora is a very popular internet radio that you can personalize. The AVH-200BT supports the Pandora app so you can have the full experience of the application through your receiver’s touchscreen. You will have access to features like giving a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" to a track, bookmarking a song so you can get it later, switching between stations, and more.
However, in-dash control for the Pandora is only available for iPhone users. You just have to install the Pandora app and hook your iPhone to the receiver. However, you do need to purchase the CD-IU201V cable which is kind of a letdown.
Pandora works great with the AVH-200BT but I kind of wish that it supports Spotify but that’s just me.
Connecting Your Smartphone
The AVH-200BT receiver offers direct control for iPhone and iPod users. But as mentioned, you will have to buy the CD-IU201V cable which is sold separately.
Once you have your iPhone connected to the said cable, you will be able to view information about the songs like song name, artist, album information, and more on the beautiful 6.1" touchscreen. The unit also comes with convenient tools like Link Search and Alphabet Search to help you find that song that you like.
Since the phone is directly connected to the receiver, you will get a clean and clear sound with your favorite tracks.
For Android users, you can still directly connect your smartphone to play tracks that are stored in your phone. However, that would require a compatible Pioneer CD receiver which is a severely outdated method. I just have to say that Android users are really left out on this one.
Back in the day, head units like the AVH-200BT will easily cost you $500.
The AVH-200BT retails at $280-$350, depending on where you buy it. Pioneer designed this head unit to be an entry-level product and it shows. There’s a serious lack of connectivity options and features with this model. It doesn’t even have a navigation feature. In comparison, the Corehan Android 7 Car Stereo supports navigation and is much less expensive.
However, what you get for the slightly higher price is the excellent sound quality (a trademark of Pioneer receivers) and reliability of the unit. The AVH-200BT is mindfully constructed and it should last you a long time even with frequent use. So you can say that you are paying for quality here.
The AVH-200BT is not the cheapest head unit out there but it’s a great buy for anyone who’s looking for a quality and reliable receiver that just works.
What Other Customers Think
The Pioneer AVH-200BT In-dash DVD/CD/MP3 Receiver currently stands at a 3.4 star rating out of 5, with 17 customer reviews.
One aspect that many people like is the durability and reliability of the unit. Some reviewers commented that the unit is well-constructed and feels solid. Other reviewers praised the beautiful touchscreen along with the user interface. Many customers enjoyed using the unit because it’s just a breeze to operate.
This Pioneer receiver is also easy to install, according to some users. Sound quality is another department where the receiver gained a lot of praise. A user commented:
"For such an inexpensive piece of kit, it has some real audiophile features, lowcut and highcut filters, sub out in back(instead of full range speakers), five band graphic EQ with several presets, including two custom, several levels of bass boost, loudness, etc. 5% distortion but you hardly notice."
Many reviewers also enjoyed the Bluetooth connectivity since they can’t just connect their phone for things like making phone calls and streaming music.
On the other hand, many users think that the AVH-200BT is a very bare-bones receiver considering the price. Although it’s lower-end product, it pales in comparison to similar products in the same price range. This is especially true when it comes to features.
According to some users, the lack of important features such as navigation is yet another glaring drawback. A few reviewers also mentioned that the connectivity of the unit is seriously lacking.
Looking for other products that are similar to the Pioneer AVH-200BT Receiver? Below are some alternatives that you should check out:
Pioneer AVH-290BT Multimedia DVD Receiver
Looking for a cheaper unit? The Pioneer AVH-290BT Multimedia DVD Receiver is a solid option to consider.
For just $200, you get awesome features like Bluetooth, back-up camera input, USB direct control for iPod/iPhone, 6.2" WVGA touch panel display with LED backlight, and more.
The 6.2" WVGA Touch Panel Display is a thing of beauty and it works great with little to no slowdowns. You also get a built-in Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming and hands-free phone calls. It also works as a rear-view camera but you will have to buy the camera separately.
Corehan Android 7 Car Stereo
Android 7 Car Stereo CD DVD Player - Corehan in Dash Car Radio...
- LASTEST ANDROID 7 OS + POWERFUL HARDWARE: Build-in A9 Quad Core 1.6 GHz CPU, Mali400Mp2 GPU,and Wifi,Bluetooth,GPS...
- MULTIPURPOSE MULTIMEDIA CENTER:The stereo supports CD/DVD playing, USB drive with dual usb ports, SD card with dual SD...
- YOUR BEST ASSISTANT for DRIVING:The stereo supports OBD II(purchase seperately) scaner,reversing camera input, steering...
For many Android users, the AVH-200BT has very limited integration with their preferred operating system.
The Corehan Android 7 Car Stereo is a multi-media receiver that’s specifically designed for Android devices. It has a massive 6.95-inch widescreen and supports a wide range of music and video formats.
Best of all, it includes a native GPS and AGPS navigation. It comes preloaded with maps but you can always download more maps for offline reference.
For the low price of $234, this is an easy recommendation for Android users.
Pioneer AVH-X490BS Double Din Receiver
The Pioneer AVH-X490BS Double Din Receiver is another product worth checking out from the same company.
What makes the AVH-X490BS stand out is the audio features. Audiophiles will have a lot to love with this unit with features like EQ and Time Alignment, 13-Band Graphic Equalizer, built-in high/low pass crossover, and more. It supports most audio formats including high-quality FLAC files.
It’s also compatible with the excellent SiriusXM satellite radio if you’re willing to spend more on a tuner.
Overall, the AVH-X490BS looks to be better than the AVH-200BT and for a cheaper price.
The Pioneer AVH-200BT is a very capable receiver with really good strengths and some really bad drawbacks.
The sound quality of the AVH-200BT is great, especially when it only has 5 EQ settings. Pioneer is known for their quality products in terms of sound, so I have to say my expectations were met.
However, the head unit does feel like very bare-bones especially with regards to the features and connectivity. Most modern receivers will have more features and connectivity options for more comparable prices.
This is why I’m having a hard time recommending the AVH-200BT. If you do decide to buy this Pioneer receiver, know that you’re getting a quality product that performs well.
Have you used the Pioneer AVH-200BT before? How did you like it? Please do share your experiences in the comments section!