Forum Thread

Best cheap car stereo for less than $80 (driving in silence 75% of the time sucks)

kyle618 99 10 July 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
hi guys,

im looking for a good deal for a cheap car stereo for less than $80 (less than $60 would be great but i wouldnt mine stretching for something more decent).

im not too familiar with car stereos though.

i have a 2000 honda accord and my cousin changed the stereo to a sony stereo back in 2000 as soon as she bought it but right now the sound is crapping out like the volume goes really down almost muted for no reason. im thinking the stereo is crapping out because its been 12 yrs...

i just need an aux-in on the front and maybe a usb. i dont really need a cd slot.

Any good deals i should know? any brands would be fine like sony, jvc, pioneer, kenwood, clarion ??

Is the installation going to be hard? would the harness be compatible with what i have now with the aftermarket sony i have?

thanks!

8 Comments

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#2
Driving in silence is awesome. Don't be afraid of your own thoughts.
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#3
I suggest either: buying a headunit from Crutchfield and dash kit, and the give you a wiring harness and installation instructions free; or buy a headunit somewhere else and buy those things from crutchfield anyway.
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#4
Could you find out if your cousin used an aftermarket harness to link the head unit into the OEM wires? That could potentially save you a LOT of headache.

Also, how do you feel about this sort of installation as DIY:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYUD3fCrBms
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#5
You can't go wrong with Sony, JVC, Clarion, Kenwood, Pioneer, or Alpine. Installing a stereo in a car is pretty easy. Follow the instructions on InstallDR.com to see how to take apart your dashboard. I have a 1998 Accord, which is the exact same interior setup as you, and I went through this a month ago without any issues.You just have to work with a #2 screwdriver, but I recommend using an 8mm socket as well for the actual cage bolts to the car (they are 8mm bolts with a screwdriver slot on the head).

Overall, are you sure that it's your stereo that's failing? If your cousin did the wiring, he could have not done it well enough that it has held up over the years. You could just open up your dash and make sure that the wiring is still good, hasn't been corroded, but since it's already open you might as well replace the stereo anyway to something newer (it won't sound any better, but as you mentioned it will have AUX and USB).

$60 is a little unrealistic for a stereo, unless you buy a used one on Craigslist. However, thanks to Amazon, you can stay under $80 and get yourself something decent. The way car stereos work is they all have the same basic layout overall, and the more expensive units just have more preouts for amplifiers, plus more tuning options. For example, Pioneer's cheapest stereo is $80, but their best non-audiophile headunit with every feature is $175. The DEH-P9400BH has two USB ports, folding face, Bluetooth for both phone and streaming music, HD radio, satellite ready, good tuning options, that cool screen instead of a single line display, and 6 preouts. So, you can get a lot more for your money if you're willing to pay a little more. But, that means that you have to pay relatively a lot for the most basic units (but on the bright side, you get the same overall sound quality!)
http://www.amazon.com/JVC-KDR530-...95&sr=1-29
http://www.amazon.com/JVC-KDHDR44...95&sr=1-39
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-DEH...95&sr=1-33
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-CDXGT4...95&sr=1-27
http://www.amazon.com/Clarion-Mob...61&sr=1-24


There's a chance that if you buy a Sony, that you won't have to rewire the harness up, but they may have changed it sometime in the last 10 years. Just to be safe, with whichever stereo you buy, get this harness adapter, plus a crimp tool and about 20 butt connectors (to be safe, if you mess some up and have to redo them:
http://www.amazon.com/Metra-70-17...ness+radio
http://www.amazon.com/Irwin-Indus...pd_cp_hi_0
http://www.amazon.com/GB-10-121-E...wire+crimp


As DlickSeals says, you need to check back behind the stereo and hope that your cousin used a wiring harness adapter like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Metra-70-17...ness+radio
That would be plugged into your car's harness, and the free wires should be crimped or soldered to the harness that came with the Sony receiver. You could reuse that one, but for $3 you might as well replace it, plus you don't know if it's your cousin's wiring that's failing.

Quote from heavylee View Post :
I suggest either: buying a headunit from Crutchfield and dash kit, and the give you a wiring harness and installation instructions free; or buy a headunit somewhere else and buy those things from crutchfield anyway.
He already has an aftermarket stereo in his car, so this is bunk advice. He already has a dash kit in his car that's holding his current Sony, and hopefully a wiring harness (but if not, and his cousin jury rigged the "failing" Sony stereo by splicing it straight into the car's wiring harness, then a new wiring harness won't help him.
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#6
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#7
I'd stay away from these. Rampant reports of poor build quality and durability, poor reception, clunky operation, sound issues, crappy amplifier IC's, etc. If you need to go that cheap, get something used off of Craigslist.
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#8
Quote from shnitz View Post :
I'd stay away from these. Rampant reports of poor build quality and durability, poor reception, clunky operation, sound issues, crappy amplifier IC's, etc. If you need to go that cheap, get something used off of Craigslist.

reviews are good.
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#9
thanks for your help guys.

i think ill just settle for this one if they still honor the $20 off $100 order.

http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/75610/crutchfield-jvc-kdx50bt-blueooth-car-media-player-w-2-usb-android-blackberry-support

i think ill spring $80 for the bluetooth thing because i need it to answer calls while im driving. ill also get the harness just in case.

wish me luck on the installation!
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