Double-DIN head unit recommendations

  1. My model of MX-5 is: NC1 PRHT Sport
  2. I’m based near: Daventry, Northants
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: A suitable double-DIN Android head unit with a good, clearly visible display screen.

I have already replaced the OE stereo with a standard Pioneer Bluetooth/CD/DAB Radio unit. I’m happy with it, although I find the monochrome (but coloured) LCD pretty much unreadable in sunlight with the top down (which is pretty much all the time unless it’s actually raining, snowing or several degrees below zero…).

I’m looking to replace this with a double-DIN Android head unit in order to use Satnav and possibly Amazon Music etc on the move. Looking for recommendations really - screen display has to be readable in sunlight, unit should ideally receive DAB radio and/or be able to stream online audio content via my mobile phone using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi “hotspot” facility.

Just one to thread to mull over below. Mine has the JVC unit installed shown there. The Pioneer unit from Halfords looks a decent and reasonably price unit.
If you search NC head unit or similar in the search function it gives you an idea of what’s what, obviously models prices will have changed somewhat, especially the older posts.

I can’t actually make a recommendation as I don’t have it yet, but I have ordered this Pioneer unit. It is by far the cheapest I have found with Wireless Android Auto.

It was available to pre-order with stock arriving at the end of the month and is the cheapest I have found it anywhere, but the %^$£"^&&s have dispatched it today and have 5 more in stock::wink:

Prices have obviously changed, but well pleased with mine.
I believe the DMX8020DABS is the current model, (upgrades for easier install with Android I believe).
I use Apple Play. All Wi-Fi connection with the phone and couldn’t be bothered with faffing about with plugging in etc.
Each to their own of course with choices and good luck.

  1. KENWOOD DMX8019DABS. (CAR AUDIO CENTRE)
  2. CONNECTS 2 FACIA CT24MZ20 (DYNAMIC SOUNDS)
  3. CONNECTS 2 WIRING LOOM- CTSMZ002.2 (CONNECTS THE STEERING WHEEL FUNCTIONS ETC). CAR AUDIO CENTRE
  4. KENWOOD PATCH LEAD- (THAT PLUGS INTO THE BRAIN BOX OF 3).
  5. CONNECTS 2 ANTENNA ADAPTER- CT27AA36. FROM DYNAMIC SOUNDS (eBay FORGOT IT ON THE FIRST ORDER).
  6. DAB ANTENNA -WENT WITH THE KENWOOD DAB-A1 DYNAMIC SOUNDS
  7. KENWOOD CMOS-230 REVERSING CAMERA. CAR AUDIO CENTRE

I’ve read your original post about this. Was the Sanyo unit the car’s original? I am just wondering if I need all of your parts list to swap out the factory Alpine double DIN for the Pioneer.

First question, yes.
I really didn’t like it and it was a final edition chuck in job by Mazda.
The TomTom SD card actually became quite a pain to try and update and additional cost too.
The wiring was all a bit of a bodge/splice job too, as a few on here helped me identify what was what (Robbie).
However, I guess the facia for the Sanyo is the same, (size structure wise) as the Alpine one (from 2014 till the end)?
So didn’t fit.
I take it yours is a 2014 model, in which case I wouldn’t know what the loom/wiring is like behind. But as a best guess probably the same as the Sanyo system…
Someone on here made it fit with a file etc and personally that would not be ideal for me.
The one I bought is pretty much perfect and OEM looking anyway.

As a best guess, you will need the unit (obviously), facia, wiring loom, patch lead if applicable for the Panasonic and the antenna adapter. A choice for your good self what DAB antenna you go for and any other gizmos?
I had a chat with both the sellers above and most helpful.
Any other help (if I can ) you need come back. :+1:

Many thanks. So much for standards! With a 2014 car, it really should be a simple job to remove one head unit and bung in another with all cables and DIN opening fully compatible.

As posted in other threads re the Mazda fitted Alpine unit, you need to trace back down the wiring loom from the plug that goes into Alpine unit. It gets tucked away and maybe covered with a foam sleeve (if my memory is correct) once traced back you’ll find another plug on the end, take that out and your replacement loom purchased will plug into that connection block.

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Thanks for the responses to my enquiry. I can see that More Research will be needed to identify the functions etc that I actually want/need. Perhaps my original post was not clearly worded, but what I am actually wanting is some real-world idea of how readable some of these colour LCD displays are under bright-ish sunlight. I believe there are different technologies in use and (presumably) the cheaper units tend not to be equipped with the top-performing screen displays?

Because of the position of the unit, I don’t believe you will ever get a perfect view with direct sunlight on it. However, I can assure you that my Kenwood Unit is “far better” than the original Sanyo system.
Good luck on your search.
Just my opinion. :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

Try and buy one with a capacitive screen,
apparently they have less reflections and offer a better contrast and clarity than resistive screens so the experts say.
Mine has one but I still went into the menu and adjusted the colour and contrast settings, looks great and I’ve never trouble seeing it in bright sunlight.

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That will be why the screens are very good then. :+1:
Monitor features.
https://www.kenwood.eu/car/navigation_multimedia/multimedia/DMX8019DABS/?view=details

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I installed this unit in my 2002 MK2.5 yesterday - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0B27LR3XP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I used this adapter which worked perfectly - Mazda MX-5 2001 onwards ISO Radio / Stereo harness / adapter / wiring connector | eBay
Had to get a bit creative with the fixing but am very happy with the result.
I was a bit wary of the cheaper units but this had good reviews on Amazon and first impressions are very positive. The radio is decent and Apple Carplay is great.

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I’m tempted by one of these for my NC. Did the CarPlay functionality come ready to go?

Does the unit have pre-outs etc, as I’d be looking to feed it at line level into my Bose amp.

Yes just plugged my iPhone into the USB port and Carplay worked.

Yes it does have some pre-outs. Here’s the page out of the (very slim) manual showing connectivity:

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Ah front pre out only. So would lose front / rear fader control. Thanks for the info though

Ended up getting this one:

Bluetooth Car Stereo Double Din,DEKNEI OXd8 Pro 7 inch Touch Screen Car Radio with Apple CarPlay&Android Auto, Backup Camera,Car Audio Receiver Support Steering Wheel Control,FM/AM/RDS Radio https://amzn.eu/d/34ihTwg

It has four pre-outs and wireless car play.

Look forward to trying to wire it up. I haven’t quite worked out if it’ll work with Mazda steering controls out the box yet.

Looks very smart. Nice choice.

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