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Hi Everyone,

I have a 2006 RTL. Had the truck since day one. Just within the past year, the back light of the stereo went out. After doing the research, I just decided it would be best to get a new one. I was going to get something that would allow me to upgrade to bluetooth, usb, and aux capabilities. However, my wife just got a 2015 Toyota Camry and it came with a nice unit (Toyota Entune). It has several apps and recognizes particular phones to corresponding controllers. I love this feature. Plus, there is something that is just pretty about having a huge screen with cover art showing while you are playing pandora, xm, iheartradio, usb...etc

My question is, without breaking the bank so much, what do you recommend is a good touch screen unit to purchase and install. I will have to purchase and have someone install it.

Oh, and my wife has the rear camera...thats pretty cool. LOL

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

John
 

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You'll need to install a rear view camera if you want that feature...the HU is only the monitor. Not hard to do, I retrofit one in my 2010 RT a while back. My 2013 RTS has its monitor built into the mirror and I really like that! My wife also has a Camry with touch screen but when I drive it, I use the SWCs more than reaching over for multiple touches.
Built in apps on aftermarket HUs are in thier infancy and are glitchy. Better to look for HUs that will mirror your phone, they seem to work better. I'm ditching my touch screen after just a few months and going back to a digital display unit with more powerful features
 

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I purchased my head unit from Crutchfield. They supplied me with everything including instruction sheet on how to remove the factory deck. As far as aftermarket camera I am more then willing to bet that they can help with that also. They have a live chat which is useful in telling them what you want etc. good luck!
 

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You have many options. My personal preference is Pioneer. They have many fine head units out there that are around $300 with a touch screen and all the features you could ever want. Buying from Crutchfield, as was said, is a really good move since they provide you with all of the installation gear you'll need. I HIGHLY recommend you attempt the install yourself. It's extremely easy with Crutchfield's instructions. You don't have to be handy to install one - just follow directions. As far as the backup cam, it's extremely handy, but more of a pain to install. I bought a $22 Pyle license plate cam from Amazon that has worked wonderfully for me. The pain is tapping into the reverse wire in the taillight and then routing the signal wire all the way up to the head unit.

Two things you need to take into consideration when you do this: 1. you will lose functionality of your steering wheel controls unless you install and adapter such as the Metra Axxess unit that can also be found on Crutchfield or Amazon. 2. you will lose functionality of your OEM subwoofer as it is driven off of a fifth amplified channel on the OEM head unit. There are many options ranging from using the rear speaker leads to power the factory sub (lose rear door speakers) to ditching the factory sub altogether and doing a separate subwoofer/amplifier combination.

These may seem like frightening things to do on your own, but it's all been done before on this site. There are hundreds of threads, pictures and how-to's on here to guide you. If you have someone install for you, you can just assume to double the cost of the equipment (maybe even 2.5 to 3x) to get a final all-in cost.
 

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Depending on the model Crutchfield is not always the cheapest. But when you add in the freebies, good instructions, customer support, and reliable shipping and ordering, you can't go wrong.

As Ian states, there is a huge bank of knowledge on this forum. It will take some time to research, but even if you order from a reliable source there are tips specific to the Ridgeline you will not find elsewhere.
 

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There are several units I'm looking at. The Pioneer HU just looked a little out of place in the dash, although I'm sure it's a great unit. I'm considering one of several Jensen units for that reason. This is one--which Crutchfield has: Jensen VX4025 http://www.crutchfield.com/S-t66fyEkHZ6i/p_110VX4025/Jensen-VX4025.html?tp=20217 It would be interesting to hear their take on it and if there are other Jensen units they'd recommend instead.
 

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There are several units I'm looking at. The Pioneer HU just looked a little out of place in the dash, although I'm sure it's a great unit. I'm considering one of several Jensen units for that reason. This is one--which Crutchfield has: Jensen VX4025 http://www.crutchfield.com/S-t66fyEkHZ6i/p_110VX4025/Jensen-VX4025.html?tp=20217 It would be interesting to hear their take on it and if there are other Jensen units they'd recommend instead.
You have to be careful with the "knock-off brand" head units. Some will use inferior amp chips, screens with lower resolution and will just be much more cheaply-built than name brands. The head unit is the heart of your audio system. That is where you want to spend your money. You can get away with cheaper amps, speakers and subwoofers, but a good head unit driving the audio system is key. For just a few more dollars, you can have a Pioneer, Kenwood, JVC, Alpine or similar unit. They all pretty much look the same, but their quality differences vary greatly from the cheapo head units.
 

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You have to be careful with the "knock-off brand" head units. Some will use inferior amp chips, screens with lower resolution and will just be much more cheaply-built than name brands. The head unit is the heart of your audio system. That is where you want to spend your money. You can get away with cheaper amps, speakers and subwoofers, but a good head unit driving the audio system is key. For just a few more dollars, you can have a Pioneer, Kenwood, JVC, Alpine or similar unit. They all pretty much look the same, but their quality differences vary greatly from the cheapo head units.
I agree with Ian's comments. Jensen was once a proud U.S. made brand offering raw speaker components on par with benchmark names such as JBL & Altec Lansing pro audio. Brand names like Jensen, ADS and too many others have been purchased by venture capitalists seeking to cash in on established consumer loyalty. Jensen today might offer products appearing in line with larger players in the consumer space but they are just shells of their former selves - design and innovation are not their goal.

Stay with the companies seeking to protect their brand loyalty. They are easy to identify by looking at the top end of their product line up. If they play in the high end like the Kenwood Exceleron line and Pioneer's Stage 4 you can be confident design and quality spills into their mid level products.
 

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Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

I agree with Ian's comments. Jensen was once a proud U.S. made brand offering raw speaker components on par with benchmark names such as JBL & Altec Lansing pro audio. Brand names like Jensen, ADS and too many others have been purchased by venture capitalists seeking to cash in on established consumer loyalty. Jensen today might offer products appearing in line with larger players in the consumer space but they are just shells of their former selves - design and innovation are not their goal.

Stay with the companies seeking to protect their brand loyalty. They are easy to identify by looking at the top end of their product line up. If they play in the high end like the Kenwood Exceleron line and Pioneer's Stage 4 you can be confident design and quality spills into their mid level products.
 

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aceshigh73 , let us know how things turn out with install , want to do the same replace tired ridgeline unit .
Will do. Some delays (kids life work) this week. Plus I'm still reading like a mental patient since I'm really not a 12-volt guy. All the stereos I've installed I've always had a "yoda" with me. Now I am the Jedi master (try not. Do or do not) and my 11 yr old son is my Padawan. It's gonna be interesting. Not like lifting an xwing out of a swamp but still not a natural thing for me. Ok. Enough with the Star Wars references. :act043:
 
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