Pioneer AVH-3500NEX 7″ Display Single-Din In-Dash NEX DVD Receiver
Pioneer AVH 3500NEX Review
To say that the marketplace is overloaded with car stereo units and auto entertainment receivers would be the understatement of the century.
There are more options to pick and choose from than ever before today, many of them worthy of serious consideration when you are spending your hard-earned money to upgrade your in-car entertainment set up.
In order separate from the rest of the pack, a receiver has to be pretty special – and it should come as no surprise to anyone that a company like Pioneer would be able to do exactly that with their AVH 3500NEX.
A Single DIN set up as opposed to the more traditional Double DIN units you see on the market today, there are lots of people using this Pioneer AVH 3500NEX to upgrade older vehicles that did not use the Double DIN standard – especially cars 20 or 30 years old now.
If you have a classic you’d like to upgrade yourself, packed with all the power, performance, and features top Double DIN units include as well – like a DVD receiver and gorgeous touchscreen – then the AVH 3500NEX is where you’ll want to focus your attention.
The heartbeat of the Pioneer AVH 3500NEX is certainly the 7 inch motorized VGA touchscreen that takes advantage of Clear Resistive haptic feedback and touch enabled navigation.
This screen slides right out of a hidden cubby at the top of the Single DIN unit, providing a clean, minimalist kind of aesthetic when not in use without sacrificing screen size or performance at the same time.
Not only is the screen itself gorgeous to look at (with fantastic color and contrast), but it’s also very responsive to your input and your gestures. If you can use a smart phone the odds are pretty good you’re going to be able to use this Pioneer unit.
Of course, you won’t just be using this screen to navigate the options. You’ll also be able to use it to watch your favorite movies, TV shows, and other video content on the go!
This Pioneer 3500NEX has a DVD/CD receiver unit built right in that lets you playback physical media. A lot of more expensive options do away with physical media altogether, but Pioneer recognized that there are plenty of folks that don’t want to eat into their mobile data just to stream video content on the move.
You’ll be able stream movies, TV shows, and other video content from your mobile devices or play it off of flash drives if you choose to go in that direction, too.
Integrations with both Apple and Android operating system are very slick and well put together. We are going to dig a little deeper into these integrations in just a little bit, but to say that the Pioneer AVH 3500NEX feels like a larger iPad or Android tablet when you have your phone connected wouldn’t be a stretch.
All in all, this is a very impressive piece of technology that allows you to dramatically overhaul the entertainment experience in vehicles with Single DIN dashboard openings.
If you’re looking to make a change with those kinds of cards, this is the way to go!
What’s in the Box?
- Full 7 inch motorized Clear Resistive touchscreen monitor
- Built-in CD/DVD receiver (CD/CD-R/CD-RW and DVD/DVD-R/DVD-RW playback available)
- Trim ring for a clean install
- Dedicated wiring harness for plug and play connectivity
- Remote control for passenger operation (lithium Ion battery installed)
- A 58 inch extension cord for your USB devices
- A 13 inch microphone cable and microphone or voice commands and using your phone hands-free
- Installation hardware (including screws and double-sided tape)
- Installation instructions
- Quick start manual
- Warranty information
Right out of the gate, it’s important to understand that this Pioneer AVH 3500NEX receiver isn’t going to be for everyone – but it’s perfect for folks with older vehicles that have Single DIN dashboard openings for this kind of upgrade.
Most cars today (and most made within the last 15 years or so) use Double DIN dashboard openings for their audio receiver equipment. Older cars, though – especially classics that people love driving on the road still today – used Single DIN footprints, and this unit is going to slide right in.
Installation is really easy thanks to the dedicated wiring harness that this unit comes with, too.
Wiring up audio receiver equipment (especially when you start to talk about adding satellite radio capabilities, GPS navigation capabilities, etc.) used to be a real nightmare with older vehicles with those same Single DIN openings we mentioned a moment ago.
With this wiring harness, though, the installation process is almost unbelievably straightforward. That’s a big bonus for people that don’t want to have to pay someone to go through the install for them.
Now let’s talk about that gorgeous touchscreen, shall we?
First of all, the fact that it slides away for easy and secure storage is a game changer – particularly with this already compact receiver footprint.
You’ll be amazed at how the 7 inch touchscreen lights up the cabin of your vehicle when you slide it out and use it for the first time. You’ll also be impressed by how quickly it comes out of its storage space thanks to that powerful (and reliable) little motor.
When it is fully folded out and locked into place is strong, stable, and secure (even while you are cruising down the highway or bumping along on a dirt road). There’s not a lot of flex or a lot of give when you are using the touchscreen to control the unit, either.
As far as navigating the user interface is concerned, Pioneer has (no surprise here) spent a lot of time and a lot of effort designing something really usable and really pleasant.
This user interface feels like something the folks at Apple or Google would have cooktop, it’s just that clean and just that usable.
DVD playback is crisp and really well done, as is video playback from other storage devices or streamed right off-road your phone or tablet. Obviously, when it comes to streaming, your mobile data signal is going to have an impact on overall video quality – but the Pioneer AVH 3500NEX really shines when your connection is solid.
Audio playback is also fantastic, which is again no surprise when you’re talking about a piece of hardware from the folks at Pioneer.
This NEX receiver provides full support for terrestrial radio, HD radio, music streaming from apps like Pandora and Spotify, as well satellite radio and direct streaming from your mobile devices or flash media.
A 13 band graphic EQ (with seven built-in presets) allows you to tinker with your audio experience, playing around with the soundstage and your stock or aftermarket speakers to squeeze even better performance out of them.
Hi and low-pass filters, advanced sound retrievers, and an automatic EQ system helps to really optimize the sound coming out of your speakers without you having to fiddle around with a lot of settings manually (if you’re looking for an almost pushbutton option, anyway).
The Pioneer AVH 3500NEX has dedicated support for a satellite radio tuner, AVIC-U280 navigation units, and can work with almost all aftermarket and OEM reverse camera setups.
Six channel preamplifier outputs, video output, and USB ports around out the connectivity options you’ll be able to play around with. Bluetooth is built right in, too!
- 7 inch VGA Clear Resistive touchscreen
- Single DIN installation footprint
- Completely customizable Pioneer user interface
- Apple and Android compatibility
- Steering wheel controls
- CD/DVD/USB media playback capabilities
- 13 Band equalizer with seven EQ presets
- Satellite radio ready
- Reverse camera ready
- GPS navigation ready
Click here to view the full specifications
Apple and Android Compatibility
One of the coolest things about the Pioneer AVH 3500NEX is that you can add Apple Carplay and Android Auto capabilities to vehicles that first rolled off of the assembly line 20, 30, and 40+ years or more before smart phones were ever made!
Integration with both Apple and Android operating system is very well done, highly polished, and about as slick as it gets.
The second that you plug your mobile phone into this receiver (via USB) it’s going to come alive, essentially transforming the receiver itself into an extension of your device.
Apple devices turn the AVH 3500NEX into an oversized iPad (complete with all the capabilities you expect Apple devices to have) while Android devices turn the receiver into high-end Android tablets, too.
Application compatibility and integrations, navigation tools and solutions, better access to your contacts and your phone/messages and so much more is opened up thanks to these features.
You’ll wonder how cars were ever made without these kinds of capabilities built right in the first time you try them out yourself!
- Dramatically upgrades automotive entertainment experience in older vehicles with Single DIN print
- Total support for Apple and Android devices
- Bluetooth is strong, stable, and consistent
- Voice control and command options are accurate
- Touchscreen is highly responsive and snappy, not slow and sluggish like other options
- Detachable faceplate provides a bit of extra anonymity and security for your new hardware
- The motorized in/out process for your 7 inch touchscreen is slower during the initial break-in period
- Onboard navigation isn’t as slick as using the navigation tools available in Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
Those that drive and own older vehicles that want to bring them up-to-date from an in-car technology standpoint are going to be blown away by everything that the Pioneer AVH 3500NEX has to offer.
The touchscreen is gorgeous and responsive, the user interface is slick and premium, the audio experience is dramatically improved (even with stock speakers) and the ability to play physical and digital media (video and audio content) is next level.
Throw in the fact that Pioneer has one of the most legendary reputations in the aftermarket receiver world – not to mention some of the best customer service in the business and a rock solid warranty – and you’d have to be at least a little crazy not to seriously consider this unit moving forward.
Have a closer look at the Pioneer AVH 3500NEX.
The odds are pretty good you’ll love what you find!