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Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       06-24-2014, 4:04 PM Reply   
My head unit seems to have given up the ghost. It's a Kenwood that was in the boat when I got it a few years ago. Never had a Kenwood (usually Alpine for me) but overall I liked how this one worked, it had a USB port to play MP3 off a thumb drive and an IR remote which I never had before but has grown on me when lounging in the boat or hanging out in the water around the boat.

So I'm looking for a head unit that has a USB port to play MP3 from a thumb drive and will work with an IR remote. Would be nice if USB port would charge a phone but not really critical as I've been meaning to add USB charge ports in a more convenient location anyhow. Prefer a marine head unit as I have a feeling from how the current one is acting up it's likely from moisture and occasional wetness/rain/etc. Don't have any amps or subs, nothing fancy just 4 speakers that were in the boat when I got it and sound fine to me. Budget $150-ish, will spend more for quality and good features/layout/controls but generally want something that simply plays MP3 from a USB drive, supports an IR remote, and won't crap out in a year or two if it gets a few drops of water from time to time.

I have a feeling this may be a bit basic compared to most guys here audio needs, but it seems difficult to determine whether a head unit supports a remote and if so what the actual remote model it works with is. Thanks for any recommendations!
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-24-2014, 4:11 PM Reply   
I just bought one for my mom's pontoon boat... cheapest one walmart had with bluetooth and its awesome.

USB, AUX, CD, etc etc ... but the bluetooth feature has an app that allows you to stream all music/media to the head unit as well as control the head unit.
I'm quite tempted to throw one in my winter car, it seriously works fantastic

* Can't speak on how long it will last in the water environment.... but our Supersport nautique's head unit was a $40 "PYLE" headunit, on year 4 and going strong.
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       06-25-2014, 6:33 AM Reply

This is what i have. It comes with an ir remote and i also have the transom remote.

The usb cable is acutally inside the headunit. This keeps ur ipod or phone from ever being out and getting wet. Only problem is that u get 0 signal for 3g when ur phone is inside the HU. So i added an extension that comes out of the HU. but for a thumb drive this would be perfect.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       06-25-2014, 9:37 AM Reply   
I have the Alpine iDA-X100M.

Alpine no longer makes marine head units but they can still be found easily new and used. One of the nicest transom remotes out there. I also have the RF floating remote. iPOD control, USB thumb drive control, will charge your phone, etc.

It will be a bit above budget but is a nice unit.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-25-2014, 9:53 AM Reply   
Hands down best deck I've ever owned. I had the previous version before that didn't do A2DP and then got this when I got a different vehicle.
I got mine new for $95, now it looks like they have a refurbished unit for $89 and a new one for $139.
Even as a refurbished it's a much higher quality deck than the Scosche posted and is fully loaded with features for a better price.

Bluetooth w/ A2DP, USB and AUX in front, iPod control, IR remote, cd player if you still use that. They also make a version of this for the same price without the CD portion for the same price if you wanted a pure solid state unit. It has Front and Rear/sub RCAs in case you needed them at some point. 50w x 4 channels. Sound quality is awesome, interface is very intuitive, and it even comes with the bluetooth microphone for making phone calls through the deck. This works well even in noisy conditions such as my loud truck cab, so it should work well for the boat as well.

That sony listed is pretty slick if the transom remote is rf or wired. Too bad you don't get signal inside the unit for things like Pandora and iHeartRadio. You just added a USB extension so you can plug it in from outside the deck right?
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       06-30-2014, 8:34 PM Reply   
Some of the ones mentioned didn't have an IR remote. Got a response from Kenwood that said they don't make any marine head units with IR remoted, hardwired only. Seen several otehrs that would only work with hardwired remotes. That might have worked but would be more time and money and maybe cutting my hull to transom mount it. Ended up goign with an Alpine CDE-151 and RUE-4202 remote for about $110 total. Cheap and I am comfortable with even Alpine's cheapest units as I've used various of their lower and midrange stuff before and been happy. If it the non-marine unit lasts a few years I'll have felt I got my moneys worth, and it does everything I want.

What I don't understand though is no IR remotes on most marine head units but a newer trend seems to be bluetooth control from iPhone or Android phones. I'm totally not comfortable using my phone in or around the water ever since I got a smartphone. Using in the boat it gets used them immediately placed back in the glovebox/dry compartment/bag/whatever. I'd rahter have a $20 remote for using where it could potentially get wet or be dropped in the water, would be an inconvenience rather than a loss of a bunch of money or irreplaceable data.

Anyhow, should have the head unit this week. I'll report how I like after it's installed. It's a cheapie that has the features I value and a brand I trust so I expect it'll be fine.
Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-30-2014, 10:01 PM Reply   
Alpine? Im sure they have osmething rad for ya
Old     (bwake)      Join Date: Sep 2009       07-01-2014, 3:34 AM Reply   
Have a look at the Fusion range. I have one in my boat and it negates the need for an equilizer in part.



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