One of the current big dogs of touch screen in car stereos, the Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS aims to be one of the top choices for those who want all the functionality of a touch screen device in their car, but none of the bulk of a larger, tablet sized device as a stereo. Whether or not it hits its mark is for you to decide.
What the Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS Offers
There are several good things that the Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS, none of which you have not seen before. This version of the Pioneer AVH has a 7 inch screen, which is a slight improvement over some of the other models, many of which top out at a 6.1 inch screen. Being wide screen, you are getting most of that screen size diagonally, which is important to keep in mind.
The Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS has a full touch screen with a crystal clear LCD display. For its size, you get a lot of bang for your buck from the screen on this device. It is much better than the screens on most portable DVD players, which are one of the key competitions this stereo takes on.
Pandora is very easy to connect to, and you can control it via the touch screen. This is an improvement; many older touch screen stereos force you to control the Pandora settings from your phone, which can not only be a pain, but can see you winding up with a pretty good sized fine.
The Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS is XM ready. You can integrate your previous subscription to your new radio rather easily, or start a new one. Controlling XM is actually remarkably more easy for most with a touch screen, as it allows better navigation.
The screen has a 16 to 9 aspect ratio. It is good, but you run in to the problem all of the previous AVH devices have had; passengers sitting in the back seat of the car either have to squint to see, or can not see the screen at all. This becomes an issue that you are probably going to have to correct by buying more monitors for the back seat, which can cost more than simply installing a DVD player in the first place.
This device also connects right to AppRadio. AppRadio is hit or miss; you may find its basicness a bit underwhelming, or just what you need.
Price and Final Thoughts
The Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS is going to run you just under $390. For a stereo, that is quite a lot. You can get a comparatively better quality stereo for just as much, and you can install one or two DVD screens in your back seat for about the same cost. However, doing so, you most likely will not get the touch screen features, which are the big selling point of the Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS. As it stands, the Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS is a fairly good looking device that is a bit costly.