I bought the Pioneer KEH-P9700R head unit for £600 around 5 years ago and I doubt I'll ever replace it. It works as well as when I first bought it, I have had no problems at all and, in my opinion, there is still nothing out there to beat it. The unit itself is so feature packed it's untrue but none of them are extraneous by any means. The steering wheel remote is a god send, the titanium finish still looks sexy, the sound is awesome and the functionality is top drawer. I have mine connected to multi CD and multi MD players, which it controls with ease. In short, this unit looks, sounds and performs wonderfully and anybody who bought one would be extremely happy with their choice.
My KEH-P9700R is a purchase that I’m really, really pleased with. I bought it two years ago because I was using my car a lot for business and wanted something that would provide first class entertainment on those long motorway journeys. I’d decided that I had to have something that would control both a DAB unit and a CD player. The head unit and a DAB tuner were on offer for £900 the pair fitted and that was a good price for DAB at the time (still is actually – I’d have expected prices to fall much further by now!). The Pioneer is a lovely looking piece of equipment – finished in a metallic grey that suited the dash of the car that I had at the time. The display is large and clear with only a handful of buttons on the facia to control the source, tuning and volume. Many of the basic features can be accessed via these buttons, but it’s usually easier to use one of the two supplied remote controls. The first remote is fitted to the steering wheel where it can be accessed without removing your hands from the wheel. The second is the size of a small TV remote and this has even more buttons. Thankfully it’s very easy to remember where every button is, so you can alter volume, tune the radio, change source etc without taking your eyes, or your mind, off your driving providing you’ve made yourself thoroughly familiar with the functions whilst stationary. The Pioneer has every feature you can imagine. My favourite is the ability to have it learn about the acoustics of your car and tune its sound accordingly. This operation is very easy to perform and I really believe that setting it up this way gives a superior sound quality. Also near the top of my list is the function that allows you to easily amend the sound field according to the number of people in the car. Unlike a home sound system, you can’t sit in the optimum position for sound when driving a car; simply select the
driver only option and the sound from the four channels is adjusted to put the centre of the sound field where you are sitting. The improvement in sound quality really is noticeable. The unit does all the basics well too. Good, easy to use tuner, cassette deck with Dolby B. Sound quality really is nice thanks to 4 x 40W channels accessed via gold contacts. Like most new Pioneers it has a ‘Digital Network’ connection for easy connection to a CD player, DAB unit and Mini Disk player. I’ll review all these in a later Op. For security, the Facia presents itself for easy removal every time you switch off the ignition. It’s hard to ignore it, but if you do choose to leave it in the car it flips itself back into place where it at least looks as if it would be hard to steal. For full security you should really place both remotes out of sight in the boot too, but I must admit I often forget about these. What more can I say – easy to use, looks good and sounds great; and it has more features than I’ll ever need. As I said, I’m very pleased with this car stereo, and although it cost a lot I’ve had a lot of enjoyment from it, and don’t expect to have to upgrade it for many a year.