Showing 8 reviews for Clarion NX501 (NX-501)

Customer Review Summary for Clarion NX501 (NX-501)
Average Customer Rating is 3.9 out of 5 stars:
3.9
based on 25 Reviews
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Average Attributes Rating:
Durability
4.1
Value
4.2
Features
4.4
Design
4.6
Usability
3.8
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Most Helpful 4 star Customer Reviews:
January 25, 2012 Excellent product
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Review by
Paul from Chicago, IL
Overall
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Value
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I bought 2 of these units - one for a 2000 Camry, the other for a 2007 Honda CRV. The installation of both went without a hitch (one with an optional steering wheel mounted volume and mode control) and the supplied modified trim kits fit exactly. However within a month one of the units experienced a corrupted SD card which made the Navigation system inoperable. Clarion replaced the card and it now works fine. Otherwise, both units perform very well and I am delighted with both the price and quality.
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June 12, 2011 Not a bad unit at all
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Review by
Kevin from Austin, TX
Overall
Durability
Value
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I wasn't too thrilled at switching from Pioneer F90BT to this unit, but since I sold that unit and couldn't get a good one used I decided to give Clarion another shot. (Don't get me wrong, I loved my old single DIN Clarion). I was pretty set on Pioneer due to the touch screens and other functions.

Installation was pretty easy and no major complaints lots of hook ups and the ability not to plug in a wire if you are not using it. One thing I was not thrilled about is there no VSS wire. But the built in microphone makes things go smoother. I was worried about not having the VSS wire for GPS use; some how this unit is unfazed by not having one. It locates me quickly, calculates the arrival times well and never misses telling when to exit. You honestly wouldn't be able to tell that the unit wasn't using it if unless you look at the vehicle speed on the unit than you would see it is a few mph off.

The GPS antenna is a little thicker than I would like and I suppose some cases this might be a down side but it did effect my install at all.

Touch screen is really good for an in dash head unit. My expectations were low dealing with version 2.0 on the F90BT and this was way better. Don't get me wrong, this is no HTC or iPhone, it is a radio company that is doing a touch screen. Response to touches is right on and quick; the swipe feature on the main screen is great, on the sirius screen for browsing though stations by category and trying to go back a level can be tricky. The lay out of screens is great, it is logical and all things are only about 3 clicks away at anytime. The unit boots up fast I can have music in 30 seconds after the key is on (this is an estimate). The slowest feature would be the GPS boot up which is still under 2 minutes from key on to ready to take an address.

Issues I have had. Once, the unit freaked out and the touch buttons didn't work, menu and source buttons and I had to use the reset button. Three times in the last six months randomly it reset my Sirius presets... Not sure why. Sometimes (about 4 times I have had this issue) when booting up the Sirius doesn't seem to load and required me to power down the unit and power it back on and it works flawlessly.

Down Sides: I am being really picky here, I wish it had a mute button for navigation. I do not like the new parking brake wire hook up, with it looking for a switch, it took me a bit to get this part correct.
The equalizer is pretty confusing, I normally set them up myself but I just use the preset function which are solid in typical Clarion fashion.
If you are an iPod user, the no iPod cable would be an issue, but from what I can see an ebay iPod cable would work for this unit and is a heck of a lot cheaper.

Overall, Buy it. It has a solid feel and I love the reaction time/responsiveness. If you are tired of Pioneer giving you push buttons for volume (big issue for me, I like the volume knob) and are worried about switching brands give this guy a shot. I am sure it will impress you and make you smile.
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October 9, 2012 Clarion NX501 review
Review by
greengo from Ottawa, Canada
Overall
Durability
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Features
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I purchased this unit from Sonic Electronix over a year ago. There were no issues with shipping, Sonic took care of all the customs, duties, etc., for shipping to Canada, as promised. The installation of the unit itself was straightforward, and it fit nicely into the double-DIN space of my 2007 Honda Pilot. I also installed a Sirius SCC1 satellite radio tuner at the same time, and re-purposed my old iPhone 3G as an iPod dedicated to the Clarion, stashed in the glove box. The main things I use the NX501 for are iPod, navigation, Bluetooth cell phone interface, satellite radio, and AM/FM radio, in that order. The iPod playback is fine, and whatever album art is present on the iPod gets displayed on the screen during playback. The skip button is a bit sensitive, and you need to press directly and deliberately on the arrow, or else the track won't skip as expected (although you may still hear a 'beep'). Sometimes you'll hear a double-beep, indicating that two tracks were actually skipped. The other main issue is that when starting the vehicle, the iPod isn't always detected right away, and you have to power-cycle the HU to get it to be detected. I just updated to the latest firmware version (July 2012) from Clarion's website this past weekend, and I haven't noticed this problem since the update, so hopefully this issue is fixed. I normally just select one of my playlists and hit shuffle, so I don't do a lot of manual searching for individual songs or artists. This is do-able, but when scrolling down a long list of songs or artists, the touchscreen is a bit sensitive, and will sometimes select an item you touched, when really you just meant to scroll down with a swipe gesture.

Navigation is excellent, the only gripe I have is that the voice instructions will almost always use a 'highway' name, rather than the actual commonly-used street name. The street name is displayed at the top of the nav screen at the same time, so I'm not sure why the audio instructions always describe a highway. I've looked through the various nav options, but can't find any way to change this. I particularly like the 'quick search' feature. If I'm looking for a Thai restaurant, I can just enter 'Thai' in the quick search, and it will start listing various locations with 'Thai' in the name, by order of proximity.
I don't use the satellite radio that often, not because of any problem with the unit itself, but more because I find the audio quality of Sirius XM satellite radio quite poor. Much of the time the audio sounds like an old cassette tape recording, on a tape that's been played too often (old timers will remember the 'warble' sound of a poor quality audio cassette). The only issue I had with the NX501's satellite interface was that the button to store a preset station didn't work. However, I'm happy to report that this has been fixed in the recent firmware update. It would be nice to have a 'mute' button in the main nav screen, so that you could easily mute any iPod or music playback. When voice instructions from the nav unit are happening, any music playing back will automatically lower in volume, but sometimes as you're getting close to the final destination, you want to turn the music right off, but to do this, I need to switch to the iPod screen, hit 'pause', then switch back to the nav screen.

The Bluetooth hands-free interface works well, but the only feature I really wish it had was a way to trigger the dial-by-voice feature of my Blackberry. Without this, if I want to dial a number, I have to access my phone's directory via the NX501's interface, then scroll around to find the number I want. Not easy to do while driving, and a definite distraction. It keeps a record of recently received and recently dialed numbers, which makes searching for commonly used numbers a bit easier, but it would be nice if it tied this list to the phone's directory. For example, I have three numbers stored in my Blackberry's contact list for my wife; her work number, her cell number, and our home number. If I access her directory entry via the NX501, it shows all three numbers. However, if I select her name from a list of recently received calls, it only shows me the number she called from, not all three numbers. If she called me yesterday from work, and I want to call her today, but I know she's not at work, and I want to call her cell, I can't do it via the 'received calls' menu, and must call up the full directory, then search. My other issue is that when talking on the cell phone via bluetooth, the caller's voice only comes from the left or right channel, but not both (you can choose which channel, but why not a mono audio feed from both channels?)

Aside from my gripe about the audio quality of Sirius radio, the unit's overall audio quality is excellent. I replaced my stock Pilot speakers with Infinity speakers (2 way speakers in the rear door, and two-way component speakers up front, with the tweeters mounted on the sail panels), and it sounds fantastic, especially for iPod audio playback. You can push it nice and loud, with no audible distortion, and there are various EQ settings for tweaking the sound to your heart's content. I had originally planned on driving the four door speakers with an external power amp, but after hearing the sound from the HU driving the Infinity speakers, I was quite happy with that. I do still plan to install a subwoofer, but that's part of phase II. :-)

I only recently started using the AM/FM radio, since I found when I was installing the unit that I needed a special adapter for the Honda radio antenna. I ordered the adapter, but then never got around to installing it until recently. I've programmed in my presets, and it sounds just fine. The 'analog' radio dial representation on the display is a bit wonky; it scrolls vertically, whereas most radio dials operate horizontally, and the 'up' and 'down' buttons on the top and bottom of this dial are non-intuitive. It would also be nice to be able to edit the station names of the presets, rather than just displaying their frequency.

I haven't yet used any of the following features:
-DVD playback
-Rear seat DVD displays/audio zones
-USB audio (i.e. USB memory sticks or other devices besides iPod)
-rear view camera

I do have a license plate camera unit, which will get installed as part of phase II, with the subwoofer upgrade. I already have a portable DVD player (two screens, one master, one slave) for the kids when we go on trips, but eventually I'll get some headrest DVD units, and start utilizing the DVD playback capability of the Clarion.

In short, I highly recommend this unit. The price is right, it's packed full of features (way more than I can use), it sounds excellent, and has a great user interface. Many of the minor complaints I had have now been resolved by the firmware update, and hopefully Clarion keeps refining and adding new features in future updates.
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July 1, 2012 Impressed
Review by
Lance from Prince George, BC, Canada
Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Install was a snap, but not for the inexperienced. approx 3hrs.
Installed in a 2011 Nissan Versa and was already familiar with dash.
The features we wanted meet all expectations. Features we were unaware of ... long trips - have to play ... we make use of.
The audible (Dave) warning has saved us the price of unit.
Large intelligent navigation display excellent.
Will avoid smaller units when I can.
Only negative - load up time excessive.
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May 11, 2012 NX 501 in 04 Honda CRV
Review by
Fixit4U from Bath, PA
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First unit I received had major issues with touchscreen and would not respond to my touch...was told by ( tech support ) to just box up the head unit & send it back for a replacement.

Now for the good...installed the replacement and I love it....FLAWLESS and works perfect....at least for a week + now.....Navigation is a key feature...Ipod/bluetooth works great also...and for some reason this unit responds twice as fast as the first unit I received....Compared to my 2 Pioneer FB90BT's with firmware updates...this unit holds it own...for the price...a super value for what you get.

Note: all second generation Honda CRV owners...the free dash install kit that was supplied...does not fit the CRV...had to use the factory CRV radio mounts and carefully remove material from the (included) Clarion face plate....great finished look....free wiring harness was fine and fit my factory plug.
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April 24, 2012 Good with a few gotchas
Review by
PhoenixWeasel from Phoenix AZ
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Value
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Has great features. The onboard mic works really well. Great selection of inputs/outputs.

My first unit had a bad internal ground, so the points below I know aren't related to my unit as the replacement does the same things.

Things I wish I'd known before I bought:
1: the "custom" EQ mode doesn't affect the sub preouts

2: Sirius ALWAYS starts in "all channel" mode, not preset mode (Clarion says this is due to the scc1, but my Pioneer starts on presets...) Whoever's fault it is - REALLY? if you've defined presets why would you want to always start in all channel mode...

3: I fill my USB stick in artist folder, then album folder. 2 issues: USB input starts in first artist folder, showing album folders. Inconvenient. Secondly, if you swipe back, its sorted in oldest to newest "folder modified" order (should be either alpha, or rev modified - I usually want to listen to artists I've most recently loaded). It does start where you left off in a track between car starts (my pioneer starts the track over), so thats good.

4: It boots somewhat slow - this is really only a problem when you put it into reverse. I'm usually long gone by the time the backup camera comes on. Additionally, I get "no signal" for a few seconds when I do wait long enough. I have the same Boyo camera on my Pioneer unit and have never had that issue. Could be connection diffs between vehicles, but its still noteworthy.

Overall, this is a vast improvement over the Pioneer in my other vehicle, but it does have a few quirks as I've mentioned. Oh, and since its now a discontinued unit from Clarion, they've said they won't fix any of those issues because they're cosmetic, not critical to operations.
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February 27, 2012 None too bad
Review by
patrick from Lenexalenexa, KS
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First of all I do really like this product. There are lots of features, and connectability options galore, but there are a few minor problems. The first problem is that the unit does take a while to get started. The second problem I have is that the unit is not to intuitive, it has taken me a bit of time to figure it out, and not to mention updating the unit. Overall though I like it and once used to it it works very nice. Sounds good and tons of expandability.
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January 20, 2012 great deck
Review by
Scott from Ontario, Canada
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I have had this deck for about 6 months now and it works great, a lot of great features.
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