Advice – What car stereo to buy?

I am in the market for a car stereo (a.k.a head unit). I have been looking around, and I have a  alternatives. But I am always looking for the best choice, so I decided to ask for help.

Here are my requirements/wish list:

  • Play MP3 from CD (other formats a bonus), support for ID3
  • AUX in to connect my (non iPod) MP3-player (Cowon A2)
  • Bonus: USB input for Flash drive/portable harddisk
  • BlueTooth so I can use it as speaker phone
  • Bonus: BT syncronisation of address book, to facilitate caller ID and outgoing calls from stereo
  • Good sound (just using stock speakers for now, may get better speakers later)
  • Easy to use interface, nice/easy to read display
  • Bonus: support for text (some radio stations display artist and title of song)
  • Bonus: ready for HD radio

I been looking at the following:

Sony MEX-BT2600 ($138 at Amazon, $169 at Best Buy), no USB.

Pioneer Car DEHP7000BT ($220 at Amazon, $289 at Best Buy, $325 at CarToys and Fry’s), has USB.


Listening to the two in the store, the Sony sounded like it had a little bit clearer/better sound, but it is hard to tell in a busy store, when you don’t know how the signal is being received.


Any other suggestions? They must be available on the US market… The vehicle I will put it in is a 2007 Ford Taurus SEL. The budget is somewhat limited, I been getting quoted between 60 and 120 dollar for the mounting kit, and 50-70 dollar for installation. So I am hoping to not go too far over 250 dollar for the head unit.


UPDATE: Since only YellowBleeders can comment here, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to mail them to me at


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