Pioneer today unveiled its latest lineup of NEX aftermarket head units — all of which come with CarPlay as standard.
Each features an improved touchscreen up to 7 inches in size, and Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calls and media streaming. They can access Spotify on your iPhone without using CarPlay, in addition to videos stored on a USB stick.
If you’re buying a new car today, you’ll find plenty that come with CarPlay pre-installed. But for those who are buying older models or don’t plan to upgrade at all, an aftermarket head unit is the easiest, most affordable way to get your hands on CarPlay.
Pioneer was one of the first supporters of Apple’s in-car platform, and its new NEX series offers CarPlay as standard. There are five new units in total, including two with 7-inch displays (AVH-2330NEX and AVH-2300NEX), and two with 6.2-inch displays (AVH-1330NEX and AVH-1300NEX).
The fifth unit (AVH-3300NEX) is a smaller model that’s more compatible with older vehicles that don’t have space for double-DIN devices.
All five units offer improved, resistive touchscreens with 24-bit color and increased color depth. Pioneer is introducing new software with a redesigned user interface, with the ability to control media from connected devices, Spotify compatibility, and the ability to create Pandora stations.
The system also offers a 13-band graphic equalizer, auto EQ and auto time alignment, video playback from external USB devices, support for FLAC files, and Waze navigation. But things get really interesting when your plug your iPhone into the USB port.
This activates CarPlay on all five units, giving you access to Apple’s platform and ecosystem of apps. You’ll be able to send and receive iMessages, use Apple Maps for navigation, enjoy your favorite podcasts, and stream from Apple Music.
Three of the units will also offer Android Auto for those who prefer Google. You’ll be able to get your hands on them in the U.S. starting in July, and prices will start at $400.