It takes quite something for a new product to take the aftermarket audio industry by storm, but that’s precisely what the Pioneer SPH-DA120 did when it was launched upon an unsuspecting public back in 2015.
Never one to rest on its technological laurels, Pioneer has wasted no time in unveiling an addition to the SPH range, the completely redesigned SPH-DA230DAB, an all-new mechafree player for 2016
The SPH-DA230DAB’s sibling, the SPH-DA120, was the first headunit to debut Apple CarPlay connectivity technology, something that’s now very much an industry staple yet was nothing short of revolutionary back in 2015.
The SPH-DA230DAB definitely has its work cut out to step out from the shadow cast by its relation then, so it’s fortunate that this all new mechafree player is perhaps one of the most complete offerings on sale today, and that it continues its maker’s commitment to connectivity and forward looking tech.
As you might expect given its predecessor, the SPH-DA230DAB majors on smartphone connectivity, and this is never more evident than when listening to music or navigating your way around.
The connection itself is made via a simple USB cable which allows access to a slew of your device’s most significant functions, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Spotify and, via AppRadio Mode, Waze.
A popular, community based navigational app, Waze is both accurate and intelligent, and its inclusion effectively turns the SPH-DA230DAB into a full blown navigation unit at no extra cost! Simply put, there has never been a Pioneer unit so adept at seamlessly synchronizing your smartphone’s features as this.
One of Pioneer’s highly regarded Bluetooth receivers is embedded within the chassis of the SPH-DA230DAB, permitting music streaming via Spotify and, in a further nod to on-the-road safety, Siri Eyes Free technology.
Said Bluetooth receiver has also been overhauled and can now handle 2 separate smartphone connections at the same time, ideal for those with business and personal phones, and it enables hands-free calling and automatic phonebook transfer.
As you might have guessed from its name, the SPH-DA230DAB comes complete with an advanced DAB/DAB+ radio receiver. This of course allows access to the staggering variety of digital stations operating in the UK today, and will also stand users in good stead when the planned FM switch-off comes into force sometime in the next decade.
Based around one of Pioneer’s signature 7in Clear Type Resistive touchscreens, the SPH-DA230DAB’s well-thought out Graphic User Interface (GUI) makes navigating your way around the various sub-menus intuitive, not least because CarPlay and Android Auto effectively mimic the interfaces of the iPhone and Android devices respectively.
There’s no frustrated fumbling or miss-clicking, no becoming buried in far-flung corners of the unit, just a clearly designed and well laid-out interface that’s a pleasure to operate.
Pioneer has been at the forefront of automotive audio technology for generations now (the firm has its roots in high-end speaker manufacture), so it’s only right that SPH-DA230DAB can call upon an array of premium sound quality features, not least its MOSFET 50W x 4 output power.
There’s an advanced sound retriever that’s configured for those streaming songs via Bluetooth, a direct subwoofer drive, 13-band graphic equalizer and a low pass/high pass filter.
There’s no denying that the SPH-DA230DAB has sizeable shoes to fill, but it’s also superbly equipped for the task at hand, not least because of Pioneer’s focus on easy connectivity.
This enables this mechafree chassis to handle a staggering variety of different applications ranging from music streaming to navigation, and all backed up by Pioneer’s legendary levels of attention to detail and build quality.
Obey local driving laws with built-in Bluetooth (HFP). Wide Band Speech hands-free calling, wireless audio streaming (A2DP) with artist, album, and song search, simple pairing, and control audio (AVRCP), Bluetooth® wireless technology has made life in the vehicle safer and more convenient.
7' Clear Type Resistive Touchscreen-
Clear Type Resistive display panels are designed for beautiful crisp and detailed reproduction with enhanced visibility.
Made for iPod / iPhone-
Directly control your iPod / iPhone, for charging, music and video via an optional interface cable (sold separately), depending on your iOS device. Song, artist, time and album information are beautifully displayed on the touchscreen.
Compatible with Android-
Connect and listen to music stored on your device without the need for an app
Plug in, charge and connect your USB connected device, to enjoy music and video playback.
Keep an eye on your backside to keep your family safe and manoeuvre more easily in tight spaces
Adjust your audio output in detail for a music experience tailored to your preferences.
Stalk/Steering wheel control ready-
Control your stereo playback from the comfort of your steering wheel without taking your eyes off the road. (addition wiring looms may be needed depending on the vehicle)
Android Auto compatible-
Extends the Android platform into the car in a way that’s purpose-built for driving and automatically brings you useful information and organises it into simple cards that appear just when they’re needed.
It’s designed to minimise distraction so you can stay focused on the road ahead. Android Auto is compatible with Android phones running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later. Android Auto may not be available on all devices and is not available in all countries or regions.
Is the smarter, safer and more fun way to use your iPhone® in the car. Apple CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music, and access messages with just a word or a touch. Apple CarPlay requires iPhone 5 or newer with the latest version of iOS.
Enjoy the convenience of listening to your favourite radio stations in crystal clear digital quality thanks to a built-in Digital Radio tuner.
Digital Radio Tick Mark Approved product-
Manufacturers must meet the minimum specification, verified by independent testing. All Pioneer products that use this Digital Radio Tick Mark have been independently tested and approved so you can buy with confidence.