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I was just speaking with someone who has had both the NAV and non-NAV (albeit on an 11-12 car) head units and said that the sound quality for him was terrible with the NAV unit. It was the same car, same speakers... only change was the head unit.

Has anyone else experienced this?

My 2013 EX non-NAV was totaled and I'm shopping for a new one. I'd been trying to get one with NAV so that I had BT audio streaming since that was literally my only issue with my previous car. But I don't think I want to trade sound quality for that. If that's that case I'm not sure what direction is best - both stock units would have big downsides and I'm not a fan of the aftermarket units avaialble.
 

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Can you stream Bluetooth over one of those wireless adapters that plug into the Auxiliary jack on the front of the radio? I have never liked the cost of the Factory Navigation compared to a good stand alone GPS unit. Good luck finding what you want.

I have a 2013 EX no navigation.

I was just speaking with someone who has had both the NAV and non-NAV (albeit on an 11-12 car) head units and said that the sound quality for him was terrible with the NAV unit. It was the same car, same speakers... only change was the head unit.

Has anyone else experienced this?

My 2013 EX non-NAV was totaled and I'm shopping for a new one. I'd been trying to get one with NAV so that I had BT audio streaming since that was literally my only issue with my previous car. But I don't think I want to trade sound quality for that. If that's that case I'm not sure what direction is best - both stock units would have big downsides and I'm not a fan of the aftermarket units available.
 

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I've had both.. and they sound pretty similar. Though I do think the non-nav was a bit better. But, I just tweaked some of the sound settings and its hard to tell honestly. Both are very close. I kinda liked the non-nav unit better. Was quicker to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Can you stream Bluetooth over one of those wireless adapters that plug into the Auxiliary jack on the front of the radio? I have never liked the cost of the Factory Navigation compared to a good stand alone GPS unit. Good luck finding what you want.

I have a 2013 EX no navigation.
Yes, there are adapters and add-on devices but in my searching I found nothing that seemed decent. Either bad reviews and/or they just seemed like an afterthought. I don't want some dumb FM transmitter sticking out of the cig lighter or a device/cable that has to be plugged into the aux or USB port. And I would want it to work with the steering wheel controls...etc. I would only want something hardwired, hidden and works as good as an OEM BT unit and is fully integrated.

I have NO interest in using factory NAV, that's what Google Maps on my phone is for. But, I'd definitely be willing to buy a car with the NAV upgrade if that's what it takes to get BT streaming. I know there was a cost difference when new but in shopping for used CR-Z's I haven't seen a price difference between the NAV and non-NAV models. I have seen a small difference in price between Base and EX though.

I've had both.. and they sound pretty similar. Though I do think the non-nav was a bit better. But, I just tweaked some of the sound settings and its hard to tell honestly. Both are very close. I kinda liked the non-nav unit better. Was quicker to use.
Hmm, more info too make it hard to make a decision, lol. Yeah, my preference would be non-nav if is just had BT streaming! I don't want NAV and I would prefer not to have a touch screen either. Just trying to find the best way to get a reliable BT streaming setup.
 

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Yes, there are adapters and add-on devices but in my searching I found nothing that seemed decent. Either bad reviews and/or they just seemed like an afterthought. I don't want some dumb FM transmitter sticking out of the cig lighter or a device/cable that has to be plugged into the aux or USB port. And I would want it to work with the steering wheel controls...etc. I would only want something hardwired, hidden and works as good as an OEM BT unit and is fully integrated.
This little usb device might help you:
61135


It works with any device that has an option to play mp3 music from USB thumbdrive. It even works with steering wheel controls - basically it's like an USB flash drive with 3 mp3 tracks in it. The radio will start playing the first track, like a normal MP3, then you connect your phone via bluetooth and it starts sending music like to any other bluetooth speaker. If you change track on your player the device detects that your player wants to play next or previous track and it sends a signal to your phone to also change track.

I did not really test it, because I have ordered an android head unit before it arrived, so I no longer needed it, but I just connected it to a PC and it shows 3 tracks on the device, so I think it should work as expected.

Here's the link: US $1.83 39% OFF|Mini Portable USB Wireless Bluetooth V2.1Stereo Music Audio Receiver Adapter Handsfree For TV Car Home Speaker|USB Bluetooth Adapters/Dongles| | - AliExpress
 

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basically it's like an USB flash drive with 3 mp3 tracks in it. The radio will start playing the first track, like a normal MP3, then you connect your phone via bluetooth and it starts sending music like to any other bluetooth speaker. If you change track on your player the device detects that your player wants to play next or previous track and it sends a signal to your phone to also change track.
That's super neat. I didn't know they existed.

I was just speaking with someone who has had both the NAV and non-NAV (albeit on an 11-12 car) head units and said that the sound quality for him was terrible with the NAV unit. It was the same car, same speakers... only change was the head unit.

Has anyone else experienced this?

My 2013 EX non-NAV was totaled and I'm shopping for a new one. I'd been trying to get one with NAV so that I had BT audio streaming since that was literally my only issue with my previous car. But I don't think I want to trade sound quality for that. If that's that case I'm not sure what direction is best - both stock units would have big downsides and I'm not a fan of the aftermarket units avaialble.
Sorry about the car. Hope you can find one soon!

I know you said you're not interestein aftermarket units, but that's really the way to go if you want a seamless install and good audio quality.
I have a base model, and the stock head unit sounded OK. Not sure what difference the factory subwoofer makes, but I've heard that it's ok, neither bad nor good.
Any aftermarket head unit nowadays supports BT audio streaming, even cheap $20 units from Walmart. In my 2005 Civic, I installed the Sony MEX N5100BT. Sound improvement was massive, and the unit supports USB, front aux and BT audio. It can also be hooked up to the steering wheel buttons with a PAC SWI adapter. On my CR-Z I have a Dual XDCPA9BT, and a Rockvile SS8P 400w subwoofer. This head unit also supports the PAC SWI interface, and it works well. It also supports BT audio and Android Auto (Apple Car Play too). Both the Dual and Sony blow the stock head unit away in audio quality, both support BT audio and both support he steering wheel buttons with the adapter.
 

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That's super neat. I didn't know they existed.


Sorry about the car. Hope you can find one soon!

I know you said you're not interestein aftermarket units, but that's really the way to go if you want a seamless install and good audio quality.
I have a base model, and the stock head unit sounded OK. Not sure what difference the factory subwoofer makes, but I've heard that it's ok, neither bad nor good.
Any aftermarket head unit nowadays supports BT audio streaming, even cheap $20 units from Walmart. In my 2005 Civic, I installed the Sony MEX N5100BT. Sound improvement was massive, and the unit supports USB, front aux and BT audio. It can also be hooked up to the steering wheel buttons with a PAC SWI adapter. On my CR-Z I have a Dual XDCPA9BT, and a Rockvile SS8P 400w subwoofer. This head unit also supports the PAC SWI interface, and it works well. It also supports BT audio and Android Auto (Apple Car Play too). Both the Dual and Sony blow the stock head unit away in audio quality, both support BT audio and both support he steering wheel buttons with the adapter.
And way more than that.
  • Instant spotify whenever I turn the key, without taking out the phone
  • Google navi
1587539836686.png
- Parking camera
1587539884160.png
- TPMS
1587539940051.png
  • Handsfree voice calls (you can even answer calls on messenger)
  • Steering wheel controls (bonus fact - you can answer phone calls with previous track button if you don't have dedicated handsfree buttons on your steering wheel)
  • Advanced equalizer with tons of settings (usually in better units only)
  • 3G connection if you insert the SIM card or wifi from your phone's hotspot
  • There are also dash cams that connects to the head unit with USB (I'm gonna get one soon) which you can control from your touch screen, browse records and they even have lane assist system with various settings
 

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My 13 nav sounds amazing but I believe they changed the head unit model on later years in my market and those had quality issues and firmware quirks, if my unit sounded shit id've replaced it long ago. (There's only up to 2014 in my market anyway)

I wouldn't bother replacing the rear speakers tho cos I've seen on here how much of a bastard they are to get to.
 

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I've owned both the Nav and non-nav. Sound quality is similar but there is more bass with the non-nav.
This is EXACTLY what I noticed when I first went from non-nav to the nav system!! You can just turn the bass up tho and it becomes the same. I am soon going to fill my sub with a bit of pillow filling too just to see how much difference it makes. Should be fun!

Also, those who complain about the stock nav system... It makes no sense to me. I live in a state where Google maps has problems and the factory nav from 2010 is actually VERY good in my opinion. This year I'm going to upgrade my maps to the 2020 ones as well just for fun. It's especially nice when I get in underground tunnels where how normally loses connection. It works great!
 

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The simple BT in the auxiliary jack is what I would use. It Is simple and uses the radio as designed. When I wanted to stream I used a simple auxiliary cable. But as you have stated in the past you are picky. I personally don't mind a small device plugged into a jack. I have also buried my old iPod Nano Video in the compartment under the radio but that does not do the streaming. Since you need both your phone and want to use the radio, I like the simple cable either in the front of the radio or the USB port. It has to connect somehow, wired ( if you have a head phone hack) seems best to me, second choice something Bluetooth. I never said FM. I have had many of those over the years and they suck.

But let us know what you find.
I no longer have a smart phone as that was owned by my last company so I am back to radio and my iPod and not driving.

Yes, there are adapters and add-on devices but in my searching I found nothing that seemed decent. Either bad reviews and/or they just seemed like an afterthought. I don't want some dumb FM transmitter sticking out of the cig lighter or a device/cable that has to be plugged into the aux or USB port. And I would want it to work with the steering wheel controls...etc. I would only want something hardwired, hidden and works as good as an OEM BT unit and is fully integrated.

I have NO interest in using factory NAV, that's what Google Maps on my phone is for. But, I'd definitely be willing to buy a car with the NAV upgrade if that's what it takes to get BT streaming. I know there was a cost difference when new but in shopping for used CR-Z's I haven't seen a price difference between the NAV and non-NAV models. I have seen a small difference in price between Base and EX though.


Hmm, more info too make it hard to make a decision, lol. Yeah, my preference would be non-nav if is just had BT streaming! I don't want NAV and I would prefer not to have a touch screen either. Just trying to find the best way to get a reliable BT streaming setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This little usb device might help you:
View attachment 61135

It works with any device that has an option to play mp3 music from USB thumbdrive. It even works with steering wheel controls - basically it's like an USB flash drive with 3 mp3 tracks in it. The radio will start playing the first track, like a normal MP3, then you connect your phone via bluetooth and it starts sending music like to any other bluetooth speaker. If you change track on your player the device detects that your player wants to play next or previous track and it sends a signal to your phone to also change track.

I did not really test it, because I have ordered an android head unit before it arrived, so I no longer needed it, but I just connected it to a PC and it shows 3 tracks on the device, so I think it should work as expected.

Here's the link: US $1.83 39% OFF|Mini Portable USB Wireless Bluetooth V2.1Stereo Music Audio Receiver Adapter Handsfree For TV Car Home Speaker|USB Bluetooth Adapters/Dongles| | - AliExpress
Interesting product, but it's an add-on type that doesn't really fit what I'm trying to accomplish. Perhaps it would work if I was able to hardwire it behind the dash.

I've owned both the Nav and non-nav. Sound quality is similar but there is more bass with the non-nav.
Thanks for confirming your experience. Definitely looks like the consensus is that there is a difference.

That's super neat. I didn't know they existed.


Sorry about the car. Hope you can find one soon!

I know you said you're not interestein aftermarket units, but that's really the way to go if you want a seamless install and good audio quality.
I have a base model, and the stock head unit sounded OK. Not sure what difference the factory subwoofer makes, but I've heard that it's ok, neither bad nor good.
Any aftermarket head unit nowadays supports BT audio streaming, even cheap $20 units from Walmart. In my 2005 Civic, I installed the Sony MEX N5100BT. Sound improvement was massive, and the unit supports USB, front aux and BT audio. It can also be hooked up to the steering wheel buttons with a PAC SWI adapter. On my CR-Z I have a Dual XDCPA9BT, and a Rockvile SS8P 400w subwoofer. This head unit also supports the PAC SWI interface, and it works well. It also supports BT audio and Android Auto (Apple Car Play too). Both the Dual and Sony blow the stock head unit away in audio quality, both support BT audio and both support he steering wheel buttons with the adapter.
And way more than that.
  • Instant spotify whenever I turn the key, without taking out the phone
  • Google navi
View attachment 61138
- Parking camera
View attachment 61139
- TPMS
View attachment 61140
  • Handsfree voice calls (you can even answer calls on messenger)
  • Steering wheel controls (bonus fact - you can answer phone calls with previous track button if you don't have dedicated handsfree buttons on your steering wheel)
  • Advanced equalizer with tons of settings (usually in better units only)
  • 3G connection if you insert the SIM card or wifi from your phone's hotspot
  • There are also dash cams that connects to the head unit with USB (I'm gonna get one soon) which you can control from your touch screen, browse records and they even have lane assist system with various settings
Well, for me it's just not ideal. I'm well aware of all the fancy features available in the aftermarket. I don't like the UI on any modern double-DIN head unit I've used. The screens also leave a lot to be desired. And most overuse the touch screen rather than physical buttons. And I don't like how they look. I want my car to have an OEM feel, not a modified feel. I know aftermarket is an option but for me it's a last resort.


My 13 nav sounds amazing but I believe they changed the head unit model on later years in my market and those had quality issues and firmware quirks, if my unit sounded shit id've replaced it long ago. (There's only up to 2014 in my market anyway)

I wouldn't bother replacing the rear speakers tho cos I've seen on here how much of a bastard they are to get to.
That's very interesting. My old one was a 2013 and I was very happy with the audio. Sure, not super high end but still very good overall and if I wanted an improvement I could have upgraded the drivers and maybe boosted the power a bit with a new amp.


This is EXACTLY what I noticed when I first went from non-nav to the nav system!! You can just turn the bass up tho and it becomes the same. I am soon going to fill my sub with a bit of pillow filling too just to see how much difference it makes. Should be fun!

Also, those who complain about the stock nav system... It makes no sense to me. I live in a state where Google maps has problems and the factory nav from 2010 is actually VERY good in my opinion. This year I'm going to upgrade my maps to the 2020 ones as well just for fun. It's especially nice when I get in underground tunnels where how normally loses connection. It works great!
Thanks for your feedback. Definitely looking like there's truth to this rumor!

The simple BT in the auxiliary jack is what I would use. It Is simple and uses the radio as designed. When I wanted to stream I used a simple auxiliary cable. But as you have stated in the past you are picky. I personally don't mind a small device plugged into a jack. I have also buried my old iPod Nano Video in the compartment under the radio but that does not do the streaming. Since you need both your phone and want to use the radio, I like the simple cable either in the front of the radio or the USB port. It has to connect somehow, wired ( if you have a head phone hack) seems best to me, second choice something Bluetooth. I never said FM. I have had many of those over the years and they suck.

But let us know what you find.
I no longer have a smart phone as that was owned by my last company so I am back to radio and my iPod and not driving.
For me a wired connection is just a temporary option. In this modern age I absolutely refuse to have my phone tethered to a device with a cable. I was doing this with my previous Z but only until I had time to figure out a wireless option. And I never listen to music files anymore, just streaming.

I researched the aux add-on BT devices months ago and it didn't seem like there were good options out there that performed at a high level. Perhaps I need to do some more searching.
 

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61171

I have a really decent BT-to-3.5mm adapter in mine. The unit itself is just a little puck looking thing that I keep stashed in the compartment below the stereo, along with the extra length of wire. I wasn't happy about this solution at first, but from the drivers seat you really don't see anything but the plug in the aux port with a bit of the wire going down. And anyway, the sound is great.

Here is the unit I purchased:


If anything, the BT adapter is just a smidge bass-heavy, but I imagine most people will be happy with that.

Eta: I have my phone set to only use this adapter for audio, not for calls. I keep my phone paired to the car for calls, which works fine. The car will switch from AUX to its BT when a call comes in, and I don't have to fiddle with any of the buttons on the puck adapter. It never comes out of the compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
View attachment 61171
I have a really decent BT-to-3.5mm adapter in mine. The unit itself is just a little puck looking thing that I keep stashed in the compartment below the stereo, along with the extra length of wire. I wasn't happy about this solution at first, but from the drivers seat you really don't see anything but the plug in the aux port with a bit of the wire going down. And anyway, the sound is great.

Here is the unit I purchased:


If anything, the BT adapter is just a smidge bass-heavy, but I imagine most people will be happy with that.

Eta: I have my phone set to only use this adapter for audio, not for calls. I keep my phone paired to the car for calls, which works fine. The car will switch from AUX to its BT when a call comes in, and I don't have to fiddle with any of the buttons on the puck adapter. It never comes out of the compartment.
Thanks for sharing your experience, sounds like you have something setup well for you. Unfortunately, that setup doesn't meet my requirements :(
 

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Here's my final recomendation, which is what I'm using.
Its a Dual XDCPA9BT.
61172


Yeah, its aftermarket, but it definitely has an OEM look. It doesn't look like some other aftermarket units with tons of buttons, sharp angles and more lights than a christmas tree. It looks even cleaner than the OEM navi unit.
61173


The UI isnt the best, but it's not bad at all. My biggest complaint is the lack of a volume knob, and even then I barely use the radio to adjust the volume. I have a PAC-SWI RC1 which allows me to use the steering wheel buttons, so I use those 95% of the time.

61174


61175


If anything I'd say the blue interface matches the rest of the car nicely.

I also have Android Auto and Apple Carplay (I use android) and that's what I use all of the time. It has a very nice UI, and has maps. It also makes it so that you barely have to touch your phone since everything is now done through the head unit. Just plug in your phone and set it on the passenger seat or something.

61176


This is as OEM-feeling as it gets, I think. radio looks similar to OEM with no crazy, aggressive, "look at me I'm super loud and flashy" design. Steering wheel controls work fine, there's nothing dangling from the front or your cigarette port, you don't need to plug anything into your phone if you use Bluetooth, and the audio quality is far superior to OEM.

I understand how you feel. Generally, whenever I do a mod, I want it to feel like it would be reasonable for the car to come like that from the factory. This, to me, absolutely meets that requirement.

If you dont like a setup like this, then I guess your only option is to go with OEM navi unit, but you should look into aftermarket. There are some very nice units that don't give the car that modified feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for your input - I do like the no-frills look of that head unit. I do have to say, though, I'd be a bit wary of that brand. Maybe they make good stuff now? But when I was into car audio years ago Dual was just a super cheap brand that pushed quantity over quality and was something to be avoided. But, I haven't been current with audio trends for well over a decade.

At this point I think I'll not worry about NAV vs non. I'll focus on getting a clean, well priced car and go from there. If it has NAV and BT works then great - if the sound sucks then I'll address it. If I end up with the regular setup I may do another quick look for add-on BT but likely will have to go aftermarket 😰😰😰
 

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I won't deny it, this Dual unit is cheap, and it does have its downsides. No volume knob, takes like 10 seconds to boot, audio quality when compared to my cheaper $100 Sony unit is mediocre, and it sometimes factory resets itself if I plug in my phone while its booting. But even this cheapo unit is far better than the stock unit in terms of functionality and audio quality.

For a better unit, look at the Sony XAV-AV1000. It looks great and has Apple Carplay. If you also want Android Auto, look at the Sony XAV-AX3000.
 

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At this point I think I'll not worry about NAV vs non. I'll focus on getting a clean, well priced car and go from there. If it has NAV and BT works then great - if the sound sucks then I'll address it.
That's the best thing to do, I think. There's much more to a car than just the audio system, plus if its not up to your standards, it can usually be upgraded. Best to buy a clean car that was well taken care of, even if it doesn't necessarily have the radio you want.
 

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Indeed, replacing the audio system is usually something i do the same week I get a new car home. But the factory system in the CRZ sounds pretty great even compared to some cars I've done a complete audio rebuild on.

Plus replacing the factory head unit means you will lose some minor features built into the car, such as the factory Bluetooth mic between the map lights. You could also run into problems getting the factory subwoofer integrated properly, or problems with the backup camera (if it has one).

I was about to pull the trigger on the Sony unit with Android auto before I even gave the factory system a chance, but when I realized how many downfalls there were to replacing the HU I decided to give the factory system an honest try. Glad I did.

If you don't like having a BT adapter plugged into the aux port, you could re-wire the aux port to the compartment below the stereo with much less effort than it would take to do a full system replacement. Hell, I may do just that since there is zero chance I will be using the aux port for anything other than that adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Indeed, replacing the audio system is usually something i do the same week I get a new car home. But the factory system in the CRZ sounds pretty great even compared to some cars I've done a complete audio rebuild on.

Plus replacing the factory head unit means you will lose some minor features built into the car, such as the factory Bluetooth mic between the map lights. You could also run into problems getting the factory subwoofer integrated properly, or problems with the backup camera (if it has one).

I was about to pull the trigger on the Sony unit with Android auto before I even gave the factory system a chance, but when I realized how many downfalls there were to replacing the HU I decided to give the factory system an honest try. Glad I did.

If you don't like having a BT adapter plugged into the aux port, you could re-wire the aux port to the compartment below the stereo with much less effort than it would take to do a full system replacement. Hell, I may do just that since there is zero chance I will be using the aux port for anything other than that adapter.
Yeah, those are definitely in line with my concerns. I'd prefer not to open up the can of worms that would be installing a new head unit. If I can find a reliable BT add-on which could be hard wired it may be the best compromise.
 
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