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Ask RiotACT: Car Stereo / Head Unit Installation Recommendation

By IKnowNothing - 23 October 2015 7

Ask RiotACT

I have a 2002 Holden Astra with a Blaupunkt 520 head unit. According to a cursory glance online, it has no option for adding on the feature to hook it up to a iPhone. I would like to purchase a new head unit that can be hooked up to my iPhone, but I have no idea if head units are a ‘universal’ size that will fit into the bay/slot that the existing head unit occupies.

But most importantly, I’m looking for recommendations of where to purchase a head unit and a place that will install the unit that isn’t too pricey. I’m not looking to rip out all the speakers and add amps and subwoofers – just to play whatever music I wish to hear from my iPhone.

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Car Stereo / Head Unit Installation Recommendation
RB78 9:08 pm 25 Oct 15

canberralyf said :

If you just want something basic go to JB hifi at DFO because they have a pretty large range of car stereo parts and also do installs. Any pioneer/sony/kenwood head unit with a USB plug on the front of it is what you should look for to plug in your iPhone in and play your music. I’m not sure what they charge for installs but the type of head unit you’re after will be less than $150.

I’ll second JB. I had them install a pretty basic bluetooth/usb head unit into my partner’s car earlier in the year. Cost about $180 installed from the Woden store, job done in about 30 minutes in their install cage in the underground carpark. From memory it’s just the Woden and DFO stores that do the installs.

switch 9:24 am 24 Oct 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Aldi have bluetooth stereos going cheap at the moment, under $100. The power output doesn’t appear very large though, at a puny 7W instead of 50W like the mainstream brands.

Maybe they just gave the RMS power instead of the wildly inflated Peak Music Power (think of a number then multiply it by ten). I saw a small box rated 1200W PMP the other day!

Every electrical thing I’ve bought at Aldi has died shortly after purchase. They’re good at returns, but I don’t bother in the first place nowadays.

wildturkeycanoe 6:34 am 24 Oct 15

Aldi have bluetooth stereos going cheap at the moment, under $100. The power output doesn’t appear very large though, at a puny 7W instead of 50W like the mainstream brands.
Installation is straight forward, though you need to know which factory wires do what, unless the stereo in there is already an aftermarket unit, in which case it will be a wire-for-wire replacement.
If you need a hand with installation I’d be happy to lend a hand, just let me know how to get in touch.

Pork Hunt 11:03 pm 23 Oct 15

I have recently, following extensive research, purchased a Kenwood head unit for my vehicle. It has Bluetooth that can pair at least 3 mobiles for hands free calling. It is defenitely IPhone and iPod compatible as well as Android (my work phone).
It also has DAB+ digital audio which is worth its weight in gold.

dungfungus 1:56 pm 23 Oct 15

I have a surplus Alpine iDA-X3055 digital media receiver (no CD player) with iPhone connect etc. with universal mounting sleeve.
If interested, where can I contact you?

canberralyf 12:37 pm 23 Oct 15

Hi, I’ve replaced many car stereos and its probably one of the most simple DIY things you can do to your car, however if you really don’t want to do it yourself there are many installers around that will do it for you.

To answer your question, yes all stereo head units are universal fit but there are 2 types, a single DIN or double DIN, double being twice the height of a single but the same width. I’ve googled your car and it appears it has a single DIN which is good because they are usually cheaper than doubles.

If you just want something basic go to JB hifi at DFO because they have a pretty large range of car stereo parts and also do installs. Any pioneer/sony/kenwood head unit with a USB plug on the front of it is what you should look for to plug in your iPhone in and play your music. I’m not sure what they charge for installs but the type of head unit you’re after will be less than $150.

Hope that helps.

Rollersk8r 12:18 pm 23 Oct 15

I’ve done this. I owned an Astra of that vintage and it is a standard size, from memory. Replacement should be straightforward.

However, many cars have an inbuilt type of system which isn’t a standard size. If this is the case you need to buy the stereo unit and a trim/mounting kit that fits your dash.

I bought a simple ipod and bluetooth stereo for my Toyota, plus a trim kit, plus a wiring kit that makes it all work with the buttons on the steering wheel. AutoPro in Belconnen ordered the bits and installed. Was around $400 all up. And would’ve be closer to $250 without the trim kit and extra wiring. I can’t speak too highly of their customer service – but they got the job done and I’ve been happy with it.

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