Pioneer MVH X560BT

It seems like the most important thing in car audio at the moment isn’t so much what you’ve got in your dash but more how it connects to what’s in your pocket, and I’m not talking about your love spuds either.

Remember the old days? We had cassettes and CDs – if you were doing alright for yourself you might have had a multi-disc changer, but that was about it. Nowadays we carry our whole music library around on our mobiles and expect instant access to all our tunes at the touch of a button. And that’s something that’s not gone unnoticed by Pioneer.

In 2014 and beyond, convenience will be king, and we’ll be wanting that convenience at a decent price too. Luckily the Japanese audio daddies have just launched a range of cost effective headunits designed specifically for smartphone users looking for the ultimate in sonic laziness…

The MVH-X560BT is the flagship single-DIN in Pioneer’s range of digital media receivers and, considering it’s the top model, we can’t believe that it comes in at under 130-smackers. Being from Pioneer it’s no surprise the construction and finish is right up there with the more expensive multimedia units further up the range too.

Interestingly too, because of the lack of a traditional CD slot, this is the biggest, and probably most user-friendly, display ever fitted to a Pioneer single-DIN deck – something we like very much. The hardware also incorporates plenty of tech from their higher-end arsenal – an award-winning 4x50Watt MOSFET amp, high and low-pass filters and three separate pre-amp outputs, to name but a few.

Pioneer MVH X560BT

One of the things audiophiles tend to bang on about is that compressed music files don’t have the same quality as those recorded on the original CD and, while that may be true, Pioneer have remedied this by incorporating the Advanced Sound Retriever technology they usually reserve for seriously high-end units.

The ASR system is designed to instantly restore any musical detail lost in the compression process, giving a superior sound comparable to that on a CD recording. There’s also a handy 5-band graphic EQ, making the sound customisable to suit different listeners, and Pioneer’s MIXTRAX EZ virtual DJ technology which is just like having Pete Tong in your boot… withoutthe kidnapping charges.

As I just said, the ‘c-word’ is exactly what this baby is all about. Catering for smartphones in both the Apple and Android stables, it’ll also support playback from many other iPods, tablets and other portable MP3 players through the built-in, high-speed USB port. Where this particular technological marvel really comes into its own though, is the refreshingly awesome Bluetooth system.

Designed by connectivity gods, Parrot, you get all the usual hands-free telephony goodness – but with the added bonus of automatic connection and audio streaming for your smartphone all in one super-easy-to-pair package. Considering the money (or lack of) that this puppy will set you back, that’s pretty special.

Pioneer MVH X560BT

Ditching the CD has also come with one important advantage – the chassis can be made much smaller. In fact, this probably has the smallest back of any single-DIN on the market, making it ideal for installation on vehicles where space behind the headunit is at a distinct premium. There’s nothing more annoying than wiring everything in, then not being able to slide your spanky new stereo back in the dash – you won’t get that here, which is nice!

Price £129.99

For more info see Pioneer