REVIEW: Pioneer AVH-X5850BT and TS-A1606C

Give your ride a new lease of life with Pioneer’s latest In-Car Entertainment systems!

Date Published: 16 Mar 2016
REVIEW: Pioneer AVH-X5850BT and TS-A1606C

If you are like me, whereby the only source of entertainment while driving is listening to the radio and having a USB thumb drive-compatible head-unit is considered a luxury, we have been missing out on a lot of which the current car audio industry has to offer. At least that was what I thought when Pioneer offered to give my ageing car audio system on-board an 8-year-old Toyota MR-S a new lease of life.


True, I might not be the audiophile, but after going through several cars with varying audio setups and also driving a multitude of brand-new test-drive cars each coming with their own factory-installed sound systems; I would think I can probably at least tell the difference between good and bad staging.


That ancient headunit just had to go…

Anyway, back to the issue at hand, at the time of collection, the MR-S had some semblance of a sound system, though it was plagued by bad reception, constant static, muffled sound reproduction, zero clarity and barely any functions. There was not even a USB port. All that changed when I was approached by Pioneer to try out their latest range of AV receivers and component speakers, that the Japanese car audio giant claimed would breathe new life into my in-car entertainment experience.


While Pioneer does have a high-end range for true-blue audiophiles and those with a discerning ear, it is their mid-range series of products that would appeal most to the average driver, i.e. you and me. I was offered the double-DIN Pioneer AVH-X5850BT Multimedia AV Receiver and also the Pioneer TS-A1606C Component Speaker Package in place of my existing units – an opportunity that I simply could not miss.


Pioneer AVH-X5850BT Features

Featuring a 7-inch WVGA touchscreen display, the AVH-X5850BT headunit comes with Pioneer’s revolutionary MIXTRAX – a virtual DJ technology that transforms any music library into a non-stop DJ mix, inserting transitions and effects automatically to string together tunes from an iPhone, iPod or USB storage device. To truly recreate a club experience, users can also set the illumination and display to pulsate and change colour, according to the tempo and intensity of the music.


Installation is a breeze, the guys at Chuan Sing simply removed the old unit and reconnected the Pioneer receiver to the cables.

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