JVC KW-AV61BTE Review

JVC KW-AV61BTE Review

Posted by Glenn Rowswell on 7th April 2014

JVC KW-AV61BTE

With this new release from JVC, it’s easier to tell you about the things this item CAN’T do, than what it can. It is not a digital radio (no DAB) but if you have a smart phone, you can make it play Internet radio, so that’s that sorted. It has everything else though, including Bluetooth.

The most important thing though is it’s a big sexy ‘Double DIN’. Over half the cars on the road have 2-DIN spaces even if their dashes do not look like it. And the 6.1-in WVGA (means small but crisp-vision) screen is a touchy-feely job. It’ll play DVDs and handle MP3, WMA and WAV files of digital music as well as the AAC stuff outta your iPod and has the vital-to-porn DivX ability with video too. Nice!

CONNECTIVITY AND OPTIONAL EXTRAS
For the money, this bristles with extras. You get a Bluetooth adaptor and microphone on a long wire included in the basic kit. There’s also a special plughole around the back that’s just gagging for an optional rear-view camera. You can also hook up another adaptor if the volume controls on your steering wheel are important to you and there are front and rear RCA outs plus one for subs that has its own set of crossover and ‘setting-up’ gubbins. These are seriously high quality 4.0V outputs ready and willing to slap any amps right manfully up their inputs if you fancy more than the 4x50w onboard MOSFET power. There’s a tiny dark Infra-Red window on the front to play submissive to a wireless remote too.

JVC KW-AV61BTE

APPLINK MODE
There is a ding dong of a format war going on at the moment, as manufacturers all get on with fighting over using the processor of your phone (way more power than you will pay for in a head unit) to do cool stuff on your car radio’s screen bringing your apps into your audio gear. However, while there are a few systems around, like MirrorLink, AppRadio, Clarion’s Smart Access and even Google and Apple getting in the game by the time you read this, AppLink is the JVC system. Trouble is, while it is possible to ‘hack’ a phone on say, the Pioneer AppRadio system and simply get ALL the deep detail and tiny graphical widgety bits to show, this is like watching TV and driving. So, each maker sorts out a ‘view while driving’ safer lower fiddlyness app selection to use while you are the pilot. This is a costly and slow process to get such apps approved, so they are not numerous yet. It is a brilliant concept though, and definitely the future.

FEATURES
It plays CD, DVD and iPods and also hook up to your phone and make Bluetooth calls and can do ALL the other ‘toothy stuff like stream tunes or boss the phone as an online data streamed Internet radio. It has a rare thing called Drive Change Mode just for Blackberries too. There’s a USB socket on the back that can charge at one ampere and there is an auxiliary socket for plugging in any device with a headphone hole, into the system. Inside it benefits from a three band equaliser and high/low pass crossover systems as well as a subwoofer filter. That lovely screen (which is on a removable panel) can also dim automatically and you can add a wallpaper.

Price £219.99

For more info see JVC