Android-based plug-and-play, OEM-look headunit discussion - Page 4 - Chevy Impala Forums
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post #46 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2018
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All of these units support the resistive type without any special hardware - but since ours is the CANBUS type, you need special hardware to make it work.
Possible to hook up an iData Maestro to something like this?

Just finished reading the messages since my last post and man, some of those cons though.

Overall, the non unified interface across different apps isn't too big of a surprise for me, though I'm glad you noted it. At least I will be familiar with the apps I use so that shouldn't bug me too much.

Still, the issues you're having because of cheap components isn't doing much to sell me on these products, especially at roughly $400.
When I weigh my options of a $400 Pioneer or Kenwood with only Android Auto but generally higher quality components VS $400 cheap chinese radio but with full-on Android, but low quality components, it's hard not to lean toward a trusted name.
But still, love customization, and what I can do from a literal android controll stereo.
Really wish a better known brand would pick up the full-on Android idea.

Have you tried any of the launchers available from Play Store, and if so, any impressions?

Also, screen mirroring, if your phone is mirrored, can you basically work your phone from the stereo? Like, does the stereo in a sense, become your phone, through it's connection to your phone?

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Possible to hook up an iData Maestro to something like this?
Good question. I honestly don't know. The key would be if Android supports that particular CANBUS box. I'm assuming that they are not "standard" (there are lots of different options in the Android head-unit for the CANBUS protocol). Not sure if all GM CANBUS boxes are cross-compatible or not? Even if they were, you'd need to figure out how to wire it all up with the Eonon wiring harness.

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Just finished reading the messages since my last post and man, some of those cons though.
I don't want to seem like a "downer" about these radios (especially after I talked them up so much at the beginning!), but I'm just trying to be as honest as I can. At first it seemed like an awesome radio - but then just like anything else, the more and more you use something, the more and more you discover the "quirks" with something. They would be the "perfect" head-unit if they were of higher quality. OEM-look, plug-and-play and full-blown Android. The problem with the Android Auto units from the big names is that they are not OEM-look or plug-and-play - so you'd lose that, which is something that I *really* want to retain - especially the OEM-look.

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Still, the issues you're having because of cheap components isn't doing much to sell me on these products, especially at roughly $400. When I weigh my options of a $400 Pioneer or Kenwood with only Android Auto but generally higher quality components VS $400 cheap chinese radio but with full-on Android, but low quality components, it's hard not to lean toward a trusted name.
But still, love customization, and what I can do from a literal android controll stereo.
Really wish a better known brand would pick up the full-on Android idea.
During my further testing earlier today, I tried connecting a different amp (my Alpine KTP-445U) - just to make sure it wasn't some issue specific to the Kicker amp I originally tested with - and WOW - the non-DSP Alpine amp sounded like complete crap with this radio - I guess the Kicker DSP auto-tuning feature really did it's best to overcome the crappy RCA line-level signal this thing puts out! Again, this just tells me that the RCA line-level output signals are garbage on this unit. Tomorrow, I'm going to try both speaker-level out directly to my amp and powered sub as well as using a decent line-out converter to convert the speaker-level outputs to 4V line-level outputs - will be interesting to see if either of those methods produce better, noise-free sound.

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Have you tried any of the launchers available from Play Store, and if so, any impressions?
Yes, I have! To me, the launcher that these units come with it a joke. I really don't want my head-unit to look just like an Android tablet, but a bunch of icons in a grid. I personally like and use Car Launcher Pro (pics earlier in this thread) - but there are a few good launchers - Car Launcher Pro, Car Launcher AGAMA, etc. Just to give you something that somewhat resembles a car radio-like interface. That was something that I really liked - being able to setup a launcher to *my* preferences.

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Also, screen mirroring, if your phone is mirrored, can you basically work your phone from the stereo? Like, does the stereo in a sense, become your phone, through it's connection to your phone?
It depends. If you have an Android phone, you get bi-directional control on the head-unit screen (via both wifi or USB), but with an iPhone, I think the head-unit screen only acts as a display - you can't control the iPhone from the radio screen. Personally, this feature seems kind of useless to me - if you have a full Android head-unit, why would you want to mirror your Android phone to the head-unit screen? And since iPhone is only "one way" control, that is kind of useless too. In fact, the custom ROMs tend to remove this functionality completely since it's not very useful. This was a more useful feature on the Dynavin, since in ran WinCE - it allowed you to get an Android-like interface on the WinCE head-unit, but honestly, i thought it was kind of silly too and never used it on the Dynavin either
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post #48 of (permalink) Old 12-01-2018
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Good question. I honestly don't know. The key would be if Android supports that particular CANBUS box. I'm assuming that they are not "standard" (there are lots of different options in the Android head-unit for the CANBUS protocol). Not sure if all GM CANBUS boxes are cross-compatible or not? Even if they were, you'd need to figure out how to wire it all up with the Eonon wiring harness.
I did go on the XRROSS website the other day and found out they offered some CANBUS programmer accessory for Steering Wheel controls that require a CANBUS, but then again, there's still nothing like plug & play.

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I don't want to seem like a "downer" about these radios (especially after I talked them up so much at the beginning!), but I'm just trying to be as honest as I can. At first it seemed like an awesome radio - but then just like anything else, the more and more you use something, the more and more you discover the "quirks" with something. They would be the "perfect" head-unit if they were of higher quality. OEM-look, plug-and-play and full-blown Android. The problem with the Android Auto units from the big names is that they are not OEM-look or plug-and-play - so you'd lose that, which is something that I *really* want to retain - especially the OEM-look.
I appreciate the honest feedback on it. You're ups and down are mine as well because looking at features and specs, when thinking about buying, I thought, "this is amazing. it's perfect."
It helps to keep it all in perspective for me. There have been things before that looked amazing on paper and like you said, when you get them, and use them, you start to notice annoying quirks.

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Personally, this feature seems kind of useless to me - if you have a full Android head-unit, why would you want to mirror your Android phone to the head-unit screen?
I have a Pixel XL, but that's mostly why I ask. On one hand, since the UNIT is so capable, why would anyone want to use screen mirroring?
Without going into too much detail, sometimes, that's all i really want. Not to have to mount my phone where I normally do to play whatever songs I want or run google maps. Just to be able to leave my phone in my pocket, yet control every function from the stereo's screen.
Also, since I use an MVNO, setting my phone up to be a wifi hot spot for the stereo to use navigation, spotify, or other internet requiring apps, is a little tricky. Let's just say I haven't desired it enough to do the research on how to bypass my MVNO's restriction on that, and I'm not likely to buy another plan just for my car's radio, although I like that it supports that.
So that's why screen mirroring looks good to me.
I can basically just have a 10" (or 7" depending on what unit i get) interface to my phone and run everything off my phone anyway.
That's partly why I still consider an Android Auto capable unit from say Pioneer or Kenwood, an option. I could get at least what I"m looking for by having decent quality sound components from a name brand, but still a 7" interface to my phone, and my phone's service.
I'd no longer have to mount my phone on my vent just to have it somewhere I can see what's going on, who's calling, texting, or what's playin, or even it keeping it's screen on, burning up battery.
A bit of a long answer.

Anyway, I appreciate you for getting the Eanon and posting your findings on here. It's been super informative for me.
I've not put off one of these chinese units yet.

Still wonder if you'd have some of the same issues with one that contained a DSP chip. Granted, I know a DSP chip has nothing to do with the other audio components, but there's some hope that if they put up the money to put a DSP chip in there, that it may require them to use a few better components elsewhere in order to allow the DSP chip to do it's job.

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Just FYI - the versions with the DSP chip are *exactly* the same as the non-DSP versions - they literally just add a small DSP chip onto the board. In fact, you can even buy the same DSP chip yourself (off Aliexpress) and if you are handy, you can solder it in yourself and get the exact same result. The "Amplifier" app that these come with (which is what you use to contol balance and EQ) is actually programmed to detect if the DSP chip is installed - and if so, show the DSP controls instead of the regular controls. It's literally the same application used for DSP and non-DSP units.

So my point is that, unfortunatly, the units with the DSP are exactly the same otherwise - same audio components. The DSP chip is just a simple add-on board (it's a small ~1" x ~1" board you solder on top of the motherboard).

I've spend a LOT of time on XDA researching these things. :-)

Some furhter bad news. I did some more testing with the stock built-in amp today and sure enough, the same noise issues are present with the stock amp - they are just quieter. :-) They are quiet enough with the stock amp that they are not problematic (for the most part) - although accessing USB thumb drives (especially if they have LEDs) still creates obvious interference noises while reading/writing to the thumb drive, even with the stock amp.

So I have a feeling that regardless of whether I connect my external amp via line-level or speaker-level inputs, I'm still going to have the exact same noise-related issues - which is a real bummer. I'll still test it to be 100% sure (waiting for parts to be delivered today), but I have a strong feeling that I'll be re-installing my Dynavin WinCE head-unit. Sound quality (and power) is just too important to me...

While none of the "cons" are big enough on their own to stop using the unit, when you add them all together, I think they are going to be a showstopper for me. Everyone is different though - some poeple may find the audio quality perfectly acceptable. But after using the unit for a while, even with Viper4Android and all of the other cool stuff I've done to it, sound quality is just too important to me and overrules the cool features of the unit. In the end, I use the head-unit mainly for listening to music - and I need that to sound great above all else. The unit is definitely still a step up from stock, but not sure I'd replace a Rosen or Dynavin with it. Yes, the Rosen and Dynavin have their quirks, but their sound quality is really good - and I'm not sure the Chinese units can compete in that aspect.

With the GM1010, I always found a way around the quirks. I used my iPod for most music and never used bluetooth for music streaming (I did use my phone with it's headphone jack for some music streaming from my phone instead because it's better sound quality and works around some of the other bluetooth-related issues like the volume control thing) - and the GPS app was great on the GM1010. For me, it did what I needed it to do. Same with the Dynavin - it has it's quirks, but I can deal with them and work around them in order to keep the great sound quality.

Another "for example" of the crappy Chinese R&D. People found that they keep losing their wifi and bluetooth functionality. Here, the USB hub (which wifi and bluetooth connect through) would quit working when the temperature got below freezing! They would have to wait until the unit got warm enough and then reboot it to make it work again (sometimes took multiple reboots). Eventually, when they found it was the USB chip, the Chinese were offering to send them a replacement chip for them to replace themselves (which involved de-soldering and re-soldering a surface-mount IC chip!) - something that the vast majority of people could never do! There is definitely a large price to pay when going with these Chinese units..

Buyer beware is all that I can say...
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I'm with you, those GM1010 quirks, especially the bluetooth one, irk me, but when it comes down to it, it has amazing sound quality.

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Yep. Looks like I'll be sticking with my Rosen 1210 too. Excellent build quality, sounds great, and provides me with enough functionality and media sources to keep me satisfied.

Thanks for all the insight, JT.

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I spent way too much time trying to connect the Eonon via speaker-level outputs, which *did* seem to resolve some of the noise-related issues. However, I had issues getting my amplified sub working correctly with the speaker-level outputs (wasn't producing enough sound) - so I'm giving up on it for now (tired of having my car torn apart). The other "con" of using the speaker-level outputs is that the sound quality can only be as good as the Eonon amplifier (since I'm getting the sound from the Eonon amplifier instead of directly from the DACs), so I wasn't real keen on using the speaker-level outputs.

So I'm now going to pull it all out and re-install my Dynavin unit. Then maybe I'll do some more troubleshooting of the Eonon on the bench or something. Either that or I'll just sell it.

If I want to use Spotify or Pandora, I'll just stream it via blueooth for now. :-) Or - the Dynavin does have EasyConnect, so I can display and control my phone from the head-unit screen if I really wanted to...

It's a shame - a *high-quality*, full Andorid head-unit has so much potential.... Just not "there" yet though it terms of audio quality though...
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@metaltexan - I'm curious how things have been going for you with the Eonon head-unit. I have the disadvantage of coming from some WinCE units that were of very high quality (but were also pretty expensive compared to the Eonon) - along with aftermarket speakers, an external amp and an add-on powered subwoofer - so I was used to a certain level of sound-quality and power.

If you are coming from a stock head-unit with stock speakers, the Android unit may very well be a considerable upgrade. So I'm kind of curious as to what you think of the unit after you use it more and more. Who knows, the sound quality may very well be a worthwhile upgrade for those coming from stock radios - so your experienced would be appreciated. If coming from stock, I would have probably been happy with the Eonon.

Everything is relative. :-)
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Am very happy!
Have been using Bluetooth for calls and some music.
Currently am using usb port and watching music videos instead of listing to just the songs. Also works for pip while I make or get calls. Audio is Awesome as I did come from stock head unit with Bose speakers.
I am very happy as i needed bluetooth, video, pip, maps, calls and Bose compatibility. All the extra stuff is bonus.

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Awesome - glad to hear that it's working out for you. If you are happy with the sound quality now, you definitely need to install Viper4Android - without that, I would have never even considered keeping the Eonon installed *at all* - it makes a BIG difference.
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It's a shame - a *high-quality*, full Andorid head-unit has so much potential.... Just not "there" yet though it terms of audio quality though...
It's a real shame about the audio quality. I guess it's not surprising considering the source, but in a way it it still kinda is considering the price of some of the chinese units.

The full Android units give everything you could want as far as interface and customization because of them being full Android units. But then, you lose the level of sound quality you become use to because they cheaped out on sound components.

I am no audio-snob either, but I do expect good sounding music.
That's one thing my Rosen 1010 does very well. I just dislike it's interface and quirks.

If I HAD to choose a $400 system right now, I'd probably go with a 4200nex or something along those lines. Mostly because Pioneer makes good enough equipment, and the interface is modern enough to still handle the things I want, and well as having pre-outs for a sub, which my rosen does not (unless you count the one for the 5.1 audio for DVD playback, but I want a full-time sub with a pre-out).

I'll just stick with what I got for now, but i'll be keeping an eye on this thread, and possible Dynavin updates.
I think a system being designed with Jtrosky's input would be one worthy trying out since I like alot of what he likes in an audio system.

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Did a little thread clean-up to keep things "on-topic" (sorry, I started the off-topic Dynavin stuff!). Moved all of the Dynavin stuff over to the Dynavin N7 thread:

https://www.impalaforums.com/audio-video-and-electronics/1841107-dynavin-n7-plug-and-play-oem-look-dvd-navigation-head-unit-status-discussion.html
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So far so very good. Only con I can report is the screen is dim during daytime even with max lighting turned all the way up.
Pros are still blue tooth for me and passenger's, no loss of connection ever. The USB ports are cool, I have two 32gb sticks with 200 music videos, 10 movies and about 1000 songs. Also have maps offline downloaded for most of USA.
Am also using a separate business phone for mobile hotspotting. My family streams Netflix is on road trips and I'll use it for spotify, maps or waze everyday. The sound is great for me coming from stock, I do meds with the EQ here and there but typically use the provided settings, have not used Viper.
I have multiple launchers but mostly keep the launcher pro active, it's the best one so far.
I have played 1 CD and 1 DVD since i got the unit, meh. I'll keep the USB.
GPS works Awesome, I have it and the Google Mic sitting on the front top of the unit. The overall look is great for me, I've had two people of it is stock on the Impala.
At night the unit is very bright so full dim is a must, but also have dim set to auto, full dim at 5pm till 8am.
Love the Android set up and freedom. I have changed a few settings and made some tasks for auto running programs, just like a computer at start up.
Over all I and my family are happy, best of luck gentlemen.

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