Pioneer AVH-280BT Review

Pioneer_AVH_280BT

Pioneer AVH-280BT

Double Din Bluetooth In-Dash DVD/CD/Am/FM Car Stereo Receiver with 6.2″ WVGA Display/Sirius XM-Ready.

PIONEER AVH-280BT Review

If you have had any experience with long haul drives, you have inevitably wondered what you can do to liven up those treks along stretching, endless tarmac.

The answer is quite simple, and if you are checking out this website you probably have some idea of what the solution might be.

Double DIN stereo systems are a fantastic way of diversifying your drive, and it certainly makes a change from the sound of distant road rage, the close whir of your tires against tarmac or the even closer whine of young passengers.

A Double DIN head unit is an onboard car stereo with a whole host of industry standard multimedia capabilities, usually measuring 7″ by 4″ in screen size. With a system like this you can add your own music to your car, and often use extra tools like handsfree calling and voice or steering wheel controls to massively improve your driving experience.

So, where does the Pioneer AVH-280BT fit into this market?

Some people do not have time to read a whole article all the time. So, here is a brief summary, outlining the results of our extensive and wide-ranging investigation into the Pioneer AVH-280BT

This article found that Pioneer’s offering into the double DIN market is a superlative one. With no end to the list of dedicated smartphone features, alongside boosted Bluetooth functionality and so much more, the Pioneer AVH-280BT is an incredibly attractive option within the Double DIN market space.

Read on as we comprehensively break down everything you need to know about this on-board stereo. We will start with listing all the contents you can expect to come included with the Pioneer AVH-280BT, then move onto the extensive feature list.

Next, we will let you know what Smartphone OS’s it is compatible with (spoiler: it does well with both Android and Apple functionality). After that comes a consideration of any other positives and negatives about this mobile motorist multimedia station, run you through some Frequently Asked Questions and finally provide an overall verdict.

If you want to know all there is to know about the Pioneer AVH-280BT, Double DIN multimedia stereo, then read on!

Pioneer_AVH_280BT
Pioneer AVH-280BT

What’s in the box?

Both a quote from one of the best thrillers of all time (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in Se7en, what more can you ask for?) and a really important consideration for the keen-eyed buyer, “what’s in the box” is probably the most important practical question for any prospective consumer.

When you open your Pioneer AVH-280BT, here is what you should find:

  • One Pioneer AVH-280BT stereo, complete with screws to attach it.
  • One AVIC-U280 add-on navigation system that can help with getting you to your destination.
  • One ND-BC8 universal rear view camera (for those difficult parallel parks and the people hugging your tail on the motorway).
  • One CD-MC20 auto-EQ microphone for fielding those all-important handsfree business calls (or your partner calling to tell you you’re out of milk).
  • One CD-SR100 steering wheel remote so your hands do not have to leave the wheel, even when opening your best Spotify playlist.
  • Three different connective cables:
    • A Lightning Port to USB cable that connects newer iPhones to your device AND a thirty-pin interface to USB cable, providing support for more elderly iPhones, iPads and iPods (anyone else miss the iPod Nano? No?)
    • A connection cable from USB to USB-C – connecting Android Phones to your stereo

This is a brilliantly diverse list of extra tools and accessories, and in our opinion elevates the Pioneer above some of its competition in the industry.

The microphone in particular is much better than others offered by its competition. On top of this, it is exceptional to see support of older iPhones and iPods with the different types of connective cable. Apple seems to be committed to the planned obsolescence of its older phone products, and a lot of car hardware seems to be on that journey with Apple.

It is heartening to see a Double DIN head unit that allows users who cannot afford the latest in smartphone technology to still participate in phone-to-stereo connection.

PIONEER AVH-280BT Video Review

Key Features

Among the key features offered by the Pioneer AVH-280BT, a few in particular stand out.

We have already mentioned the flexibility with older legacy Apple products already, but it does bear repeating. Access to older hardware is a great way to ensure you are not going out of pocket to keep up with your Double DIN head unit.

Alongside this backwards compatibility, Pioneer adds some standout app integration which places it far ahead of the competition. Included in this unique suite of app integration is a dedicated Spotify functionality.

Spotify is by far and away the most popular music streaming app on the market, far outstripping even Apple’s own Music subscription service on iPhones. Since 2015, users have spent over 2.3 billion hours streaming just the “Discover” playlists, which is music they have never heard before.

It is an excellent forward-thinking decision then for Pioneer to integrate Spotify with its own dedicated application alongside other, more traditional methods of listening to music on a Double DIN stereo. A lot of users would be plugging in to listen to Spotify anyway, so cutting out the middleman here is a fantastic choice.

Spotify Premium users can even use the app to access hundreds of hours of ad-free music completely offline.

Coupled with an incredible range of different ways to play the vast music collection of the modern streaming audiophile is a fantastically detailed option for EQ adjustment.

What this entails is a 13-band EQ modifier, giving you an exceptionally granular modicum of control over exactly how your music will sound. There are several presents on offer as well, but this way of adjusting every iota of tone for your music is much welcome for the discerning listener.

PIONEER AVH-280BT
PIONEER AVH-280BT

Specifications

  • 16:9 aspect ratio and screen size
  • Resolution: 800 x 600 pixels
  • Motorized Display
  • Five different Display Colors
  • One hundred and twelve key colors
  • CD and DVD slots available
  • Dimmer and brightness control settings
  • Customization of your home screen app options
  • Touchscreen: Clear Resistive
  • Full LED backlighting
  • 50W x 4 Built in Amplifier
  • 5-Band Graphics Sound Equalizer
  • French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese language options

Does the Pioneer AVH-280BT work with Apple?

It does indeed! The pioneer supports Bluetooth and USB interfacing with Apple products, even supporting old legacy iPhones, iPods and iPads that have currently unsupported 30-Pin connections.

There is full integration with the Apple “Siri Eyes Free” functionality. This allows you to connect your Apple product to the car and allow Siri to assume full control of the Pioneer AVH-280BT. After doing so, you can take complete voice control of the car’s Double DIN head unit.

No more reaching over to switch stations or apps, no more need to flit your eyes between the road and the steering wheel controller – you can now do everything with just the sound of your voice.

This also means you can give your car an Australian accent through Siri, which is always welcomed.

Does the Pioneer AVH-280BT work with Android?

It does indeed.

The Pioneer supports full USB and Bluetooth connection to Android OS mobile devices. There is also the option to use the Android Music app for another level of music interfacing with your Pioneer AVH-280BT

What are the benefits of the Pioneer AVH-280BT?

In short: The Pioneer AVH-280BT provides a holistic control of your Double DIN head unit like no other. It is feature rich and includes Spotify integration alongside Pandora and Sirius X FM ready functionalities.

The ultimate upside of this device is that you are not limited by whatever product you use to listen to music. However, you like to consume your multimedia, the Pioneer is specifically designed to let you have that unlimited access to it.

Are there any problems with the Pioneer AVH-280BT?

While most users report positive experiences with the Pioneer AVH-280BT, there are a few negative experiences that should be taken into account. Some users report no remote control coming with the product, despite one being advertised on Amazon.

Other users report the device still draining battery after the rest of the car is turned off, and others tell of some features being inexplicably locked when first plugged in.

As always it is recommended thoroughly testing the reported features yourself to make sure your stereo is working.

FAQ

What is the screen size?

7″ x 4″, 16:9 Aspect ratio.

Can it interface with a previously installed rear camera?

While there is one included, it can interface with previously installed cameras.

Is there a GPS included?

In a sense yes, if you use a phone with the device it will key off that. If not, you can purchase an extra GPS tool from Pioneer.

Pros

Large 6.2″ resistive touchscreen

Built-in Equalizer with 7 presets curves

CD/DVD player works flawless

Compatible with Android as well as iPhone devices

Dual Bluetooth connection is also available

Cons

No Apple CarPlay, Android Auto available

iPod controls are a little clumsy

PIONEER AVH-280BT -Final Verdict

If you want a double DIN stereo that is sure to cover all your bases, with some extra features putting ahead of the pack, then the Pioneer AVH-280BT is the Double DIN head unit for you.