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Clarion CX501

In-Dash CD, MP3, WMA Double-Din Receiver Car Stereo w/ Bluetooth and iPod Direct Connection via USB

Discontinued
|

Good news and a little bad...

This item has been discontinued

But you may be interested in the newest model that's available.

cx505 thumbnail

Clarion CX505

OUR PRICE: $154.99

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General Features:

  • In-dash AM/FM, CD, MP3, WMA player with Remote
  • Built-in Bluetooth technology supports hands-free calling with a compatible Bluetooth phone
  • 728 Color Variable Lighting Display and Buttons
  • 13-segment 10 x 2-line White LCD Display
  • Wireless remote control included
  • Blue button lighting
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
  • Power Output:
    • Peak: 50 watts x 4 channels
    • RMS: 21 watts x 4 channels
  • CD Text Display
  • MP3 ID3 Tag Display (Title/Artist/Album)
  • 1-year SonicElectronix.com warranty

Playback and Audio Features:

  • Playback of CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, and WMA
  • AM/FM tuner with 18FM/6AM presets
  • Low-pass filter selectable (through-60-90-120)
  • High-pass filter selectable (through-60-90-120)
  • Phase adjustment allows you to select subwoofer phase directly from source unit
  • BEAT EQ 3-band parametric equalizer with 5 selectable tone curves (4 Preset, 1 User)
  • MAGNA BASS EX boosts the 50Hz range to deliver dynamic bass performance

Expandability Options:

  • 3 Sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer)
  • SIRIUS Direct Connect Ready: SiriusXM SCC1 required and sold separately
  • HD Radio Ready: Clarion THD301 required and sold separately
  • iPod Ready: iPod USB direct connectivity via your Standard iPod-to-USB cable allows you to charge, control, and playback your iPod through the receiver and stereo system
  • Front-panel auxiliary input: 3.5mm (headphone jack) allows connection to portable media devices such as MP3 players, etc.
  • Steering wheel remote ready: PAC SWI-JACKv1 or the Axxess ASWC required and sold separately

Bluetooth Features:

  • Built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free talking and audio streaming
  • Bluetooth version 2.0 +EDR certified
  • Send/Receive Sensitivity: Class 2
  • Bluetooth profiles supported:
    • HFP: Hands Free Profile allows a hands-free car kit to connect to a compatible mobile phone
    • HSP: Headset Profile enables the a Bluetooth headset to connect to a compatible mobile phone
    • PBAP: Phone Book Access Profile allows the car stereo to display the name of the incoming caller, as well as access the contact list of the mobile phone directly from the car stereo
    • A2DP: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile allows high quality audio to be streamed from an audio device to the car stereo
    • AVRCP: Audio/Video Remote Control Profile supports basic remote control functions (play, pause, etc) via Bluetooth
    • OPP: Object Push Profile for sending basic "objects" such as pictures and other virtual material
  • Works with most Bluetooth enabled cell phones
  • Includes a built-in microphone for convenient talking




Have a Question about the Clarion CX501?

Product History:

Clarion CX505 thumbnail
(newest, current model)
Clarion CX501 thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Clarion CX505)

In-Dash Receiver Specifications

Receiver Size

Single DIN: 1 DIN dimensions will work with all single DIN installation kits we have to offer. Single DIN radios are the most common size for after-market stereos.

Single DIN slot with flip-out screen: The DIN stereo includes a retractable, flip-out screen. Before purchasing, make measurements to be sure there is no interference with dash accessories such as A/C vents or shift levers.

Single DIN slot with a larger face: Standard single DIN size, but the display is larger then the standard single DIN size. Due to the nature of the larger face, problems may arise when installing in particular vehicles. These stereos are great for single DIN slots where you want a larger screen.

1.5 DIN: This size is very uncommon in vehicles, however this size opening is most commonly found in Chrysler and Chevrolet vehicles.

Double DIN: Approximately 4-inches in height, this size is becoming more common every year. Prior to 2000, this size was typically only found in Japanese vehicles such as those made by Honda or Toyota. Now, it is becoming more popular for many vehicles to be fit with a Double DIN opening.

Double DIN
Faceplate Security

Detachable / Removable faceplate security: The most common anti-theft feature. It allows you to take the faceplate with you, thus disallowing operation, which deters theft.

Security Codes: Mainly a feature in high end video units which do not have a detachable face / screen. Once the unit is uninstalled (or stolen), a security code (or PIN) is required upon reinstallation. Though you no longer have your unit after the theft, the thief also does not have your security code, which makes the unit useless. The hope is the thief knows which units have security codes and he/she chooses not to steal your unit because of the security code.

Ghost technology: This is not commonly used, but can be found primarily in a select number of 2004-2005 head units. It creates an illusion that no unit is installed by appearing completely black when turned off. Potential thieves may steer clear because it appears as though no head unit is installed.

Anti-theft covers: Similar to ghost and hiding faces because they only create an illusion that the face/unit is not in place.

ESN: Stands for Electronic Serial Number. Allows the disabling of the radio and allows tracking if it is stolen.

Security Code
Motorized Faceplate
Some in-dash car stereos feature a motorized faceplate that moves to expose a CD or DVD slot. This is a convenient feature that allows the front display to be larger and easier to read. The positioning of the monitor gives you control over the angle you would like to view information on the stereo.
No
Remote Control
Allows control of specific features and functions from a remote control. Typically they are used to prevent button wear on your radio, or to allow easier navigation of menus.
Yes
Peak Power Output
This form of power rating refers to the maximum amount of power an electronic device can handle or output in an instant without damage occurring. Often times this maximum is achieved during a brief musical burst, such as a drum accent, or low bass hit.

Some manufacturers display peak power ratings on the face of their products to increase the appeal to consumers. The RMS power rating is more accurate, and we recommend using it for product comparison.

50 watts x 4 channels
RMS Power Output
The amount of continuous power, measured in watts, that an amplifier produces is called RMS power. The higher the RMS rating, the louder and cleaner your music sounds. The RMS output figure is much more accurate than the peak rating when comparing products.
21 watts x 4 channels
Preamp RCA Outputs
RCA outputs, commonly known as preamp outputs, allow you to connect one or sometimes multiple external amplifiers. An in-dash receiver will commonly have one, two or three sets of RCA outputs that can be used to connect external amplifiers and other components. One pair of RCA outputs will typically provide a full range signal that can be used for most subwoofer or speaker amplifiers. Two pairs of RCA outputs can typically be configured as four full range signals, or also as two full range and two subwoofer signals. Three sets of RCA outputs will almost always produce four speaker signals and two subwoofer signals for use with multiple amplifiers.
3 Pairs (Front, Rear, and Subwoofer)
Dedicated Subwoofer Preamp RCA Output
A dedicated output that has a built-in low-pass crossover for specific connection to a subwoofer amplifier that powers a low frequency driver, typically a subwoofer.
Yes
Preamp Voltage
The preamp output rating is measured in volts (V). The higher the rating, the stronger the signal. This results in less unwanted noise being picked up.
4 volts
Built-In Equalizer
The number of graphic or parametric equalizer bands the stereo receiver is equipped with. The more EQ options, the more you will be able to adjust your music to your liking.
BEAT EQ 3-band parametric equalizer with 5 selectable tone curves (4 Preset, 1 User)
Display Type
The type of display on your receiver refers to the monitor that is used to display the source information such as song names, radio stations, or track times.

Dot-Matrix Text Display: A simple display which uses dots in specific illuminated color(s) to light up and form letters or numbers that are displayed on the receiver.

Graphic or Motion Display: Typically found in mid to high-end receivers and give your text information and receiver more life by adding motion, backgrounds, or multiple colors to your display. There are types of graphic displays such as 3D Graphic, Motion, and OEL (Organic Electroluminescent) displays. They can range from one color to full color displays and typically allow you to select from one of many built-in animations, background images, screensavers or other graphics to enhance your experience and add an extra bit of personality to your system. Some units also come with software that allow you to load your own customizable pictures or animations.

LCD Monitor Display: Can be as small as 2" or as large as 10". Some LCD displays are motorized for angle adjustment. LCD monitors display full motion video playback as well as your standard text such as track status, radio station information and more depending on the receiver's features.

LCD Text Display
Display Color
The display color refers to the color of the text and or graphics on the receiver.

Multi-Color: When more than one color is on the display, for example one part of the text is white, while the other part is blue.

Variable-Color: The display colors can be changed by the user. If the default color of text/display is blue for example, the user can change the settings to where the color turns to red. Variable color displays are typically described in detail in the item's description.

TFT-LCD Display: In-dash receivers with a video screen that display multiple colors and often times video such as DVD, navigation or other video sources.

728 Variable Colors
Button Color
Refers to the color of the physical buttons on the unit.
728 Color Variable Lighting Display and Buttons
CD Signal-to-Noise
CD Signal-to-Noise Ratio is a key specification that is often overlooked by newbies. The CD S/N Ratio measures how well the CD player silences background noise. Higher ratings in decibels (dB) indicates less noise, and generally a cleaner signal.
92 dB
CEA-2006 Compliant
Amplifiers that have been tested to meet specific standards. When a car amplifier meets these standards, you can be sure that it will be able to produce the amount of power specified by the official CEA-2006 rating. Usually, these rating consist of the following items:
  • RMS Power
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio

This rating applies to both external car amplifiers, as well as the amplifiers inside of in-dash stereos.

Yes

Playback Features

AM/FM Tuner
Most in-dash CD players have AM/FM playback allowing you listen to your favorite local radio stations.
Yes
FM Presets
The number of FM radio stations that can be stored as presets.
18
AM Presets
The number of AM radio stations that can be stored as presets.
6
CD-R/RW Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play finalized CD-R discs and/or CD-RW discs.
Yes
MP3 Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play discs encoded with MP3 files. To burn a MP3 encoded disc, use the "data" mode on your CD Recorder and finalize the session and/or CD.
Yes
WMA Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play discs encoded with WMA files. To burn a WMA encoded disc, use the "data" mode on your CD Recorder and finalize the session and/or CD.
Yes
DVD / Video Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver will play DVD (or other listed) video disc formats. Unless otherwise noted, the unit is not guaranteed to play recorded DVDs.
No
Dual Zone
Dual zone means the stereo is capable of playing multiple audio or video sources between two separate locations.

Please refer to the item description for more details on how dual zone works specifically to the unit you are viewing.

No

Audio / Video Inputs

USB Input
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver features an input to connect a USB device via standard USB or mini-USB. The USB input may be a connection on the front or rear of the unit with an extension cable for connecting devices to the receiver. Some units have an optional input that allows for a USB adapter to be purchased separately and used with the unit.
Front
Additional Audio/Video Inputs
These inputs enable the unit to receive an audio or video signal from a separate source. There are many different types of connections and ways to accomplish this. Most common are RCA Composite cables and 3.5mm mini-jack plugs.

RCA Composite Inputs
These are your typical red, white, and yellow RCA composite cables that are common among devices with audio and video inputs. The red and white cables are dedicated for audio. The red cable is for the right channel and the white is for the left channel. The yellow cable is specifically for the video signal. Because this type of auxiliary cable contains 2 channels of audio, it will support stereo sound.

3.5mm
This is commonly referred to as a mini-jack or a headphone jack. It is a 3.5mm plug that transfers audio only. There is a right and left audio channel on the plug which allows for stereo sound playback.

3.5mm AV Input
These plugs look similar to the common 3.5mm mini-jack, however they carry a third channel dedicated for video.

Optional
This means that an auxiliary input is possible, but only with the use of an optional accessory. These optional adapters will sometimes use the CD Changer port or other port on the back of a unit that might restrict the use of other expandability features. These accessories are typically sold separately.

Front 3.5mm

Monitor Screen Features

Device Mirroring
This is the ability to "mirror" a device's screen (i.e SmartPhone or Tablet) onto the headunit's display. Please check with the manufacture's website for updated information regarding compatibility and cables required for proper performance.

Expandability Features

Navigation
Built-in navigation is a convenient feature that allows the driver to receive driving directions and guidance.

Some in-dash head units are built-in with the navigation features, while others require an add on navigation box. Other navigation options include portable navigation units that you can take with you or attach to the dash of your vehicle.

No
Audio/Video Outputs
Audio/Video outputs are typically used to connect an overhead monitor to an aftermarket stereo. This is the number of A/V outputs that the item has. These outputs are usually RCA Composite cables.

RCA Composite Outputs
These are your typical red, white, and yellow RCA composite cables that are common among devices with audio and video inputs. The red and white cables are dedicated for audio. The red cable is for the right channel and the white is for the left channel. The yellow cable is specifically for the video signal. Because this type of auxiliary cable contains 2 channels of audio, it will support stereo sound.

No
Satellite Radio
This feature signifies whether or not the receiver is compatible with XM or Sirius Satellite Radio. "Optional" means while the receiver is capable of SIRIUS/XM playback and connectivity, you will still need to purchase an additional satellite tuner, adapter, and/or antenna.
Optional - SIRIUS (Accessory required and sold separately)
HD Radio
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver is capable of receiving high-definition digital HD Radio broadcasts by either a built-in HD Radio tuner, or more commonly with the purchase of an optional HD Radio tuner box. Receivers which are HD Radio Ready generally require an additional purchase of a separate tuner.
Optional
Bluetooth Connectivity
This feature refers to whether or not the head unit is able to connect to a hands-free Bluetooth device. Head units that are Bluetooth ready typically require the purchase of an optional adapter or accessory that connects to the rear of the head unit. This optional accessory allows you to accept phone calls through your head unit and speakers. Some head units have built-in Bluetooth hands free capabilities with an included remote-mount microphone or built-in microphone.
Yes (Built-in/Included Bluetooth Controls, Adapter and Microphone Included)
Steering Wheel Control Compatible
In order to retain a vehicle's factory steering wheel remote controls, a wired-remote input is needed on the aftermarket stereo.

If "Yes", then the aftermarket stereo is compatible with steering wheel remote controls. If an additional accessory is required for the steering wheel controls to work properly, a compatible piece will be listed.

Yes (Accessory required and sold separately)
CD Changer Controls
This feature signifies whether or not the receiver has the ability to control a CD Changer. If a receiver supports this function, it is usually compatible with a same-brand CD changer without the need for an extra adapter.
No
Rear View Camera Input
Indicates if an in-dash multimedia unit has a dedicated video input for rear view cameras. These inputs allow you to plug the camera to the back of the unit to receive the cameras video signal. Usually the camera signal is transferred through an RCA cable connection.
No
Memory Card Reader
Whether or not the receiver has a built-in input for removable memory cards such as SD (Secure Digital) cards or MMC (Multimedia) cards.
No

Smartphone Integration

iPod Audio Integration
This refers to whether or not the receiver can connect to an iPod and allow for audio control and playback of the iPod through the head unit. Head units that have iPod connectivity allow your iPod to be connected and controlled via the head unit, and they will typically connect through the USB input combined with your standard iPod-to-USB charging/connection cable. We encourage you to read the description of the head unit to see if an adapter is required or included, or if you can simply use your own iPod-to-USB cable.
Yes (via iPod USB Cable or Accessory Cable Below)
iPod Video Connection
This refers to whether or not the receiver can connect to an iPod and allow for video control and playback of the iPod through the head unit. Head units that have iPod connectivity allow your iPod to be connected and controlled via the head unit, and they will typically connect through the USB input combined with your standard iPod-to-USB charging/connection cable. We encourage you to read the description of the head unit to see if an adapter is required or included, or if you can simply use your own iPod-to-USB cable.
No
iPod Charging Adapter Required
Some Apple iPods require a charging adapter be used for the unit to fully function with the iPod.
No
Compatible Apple Devices
This list refers to the Apple devices that the product is compatible with.

Some Car stereos are compatible with iPods and/or iPhones. If the headunit can connect to an iPod or iPhone via USB or iPod connection cable, these listed iPods are compatible. This list does not apply if the iPod is being connected through the 3.5mm mini-jack plug. Newer iPods are usually compatible if the appropriate adapters are purchased and used.

Any iPods/iPhones released after the release date of this product have not been checked by the manufacturer and/or Sonic Electronix for compatibility. We therefore cannot guarantee their compatibilities or incompatibilities, including, but not limited to: playback, video, charging, and response time.

5G iPod Video (30, 60, & 80GB)
iPod Classic (120GB)
iPod Classic (80 &160GB)
iPod Nano 1st Generation (1, 2, & 4GB)
iPod Nano 2nd Generation (4 & 8GB)
iPod Nano 3rd Generation (4 & 8GB)
iPod Nano 4th Generation (8 & 16GB)
iPod Nano 5th Generation (8 & 16GB)
iPod Nano 6th Generation (8 & 16GB)
iPod Touch 2nd Generation (8, 16 & 32GB)
iPod Touch 3nd Generation (8, 32 & 64GB)
iPod Touch 4th Generation (8, 32 & 64GB)
iPhone 3G
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 4

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
1 year
Labor Warranty Duration
1 year
Warranty Provider
Sonic Electronix

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
56%
4 Star
39%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Average Attribution Rating

Durability
4.6
Value
4.7
Features
4.6
Design
4.6
Usability
4.2
Christopher

LA, CA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Excellent

September 7, 2011

Great headunit for the price. The iPod/iPhone USB support is great. Charges my iPhone 4 properly and plays great quality audio. Bluetooth Phone and Audio connect are also superb. I've had the unit a week now and all my calls incoming and outgoing are clear and of great quality. I've been streaming Pandora and the MLB at Bat App and the audio is just great.

I have installed a Sirius SCC1 with this as well. Also very easy to hook up (just a single wire to the headunit from the SCC1. Sound quality is okay, but that is the SCC1's fault, NOT THE CX501's.

My only gripe is, the USB port is in the front. Would've loved for it to be in the back for easy routing of the iPhone cable to my glove box, but I can live with it.

I have a 2009 Toyota Corolla and the install was easy with wiring harness. Did the wiring harness at my kitchen table night before the install. Install took me total of about 25 min to get in the car, take out old radio and install the new one.

If you're looking for a headunit without the GPS/DVD(besides who needs that stuff when you have iPhone and iPads and Droid's and such) then get this headunit. I can't rave enough about it. The only thing i dislike so far is the front USB, just wish it was in the back! 4.5/5 Stars from me!

23 of 36 found this helpful

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Kelley

Athens, GA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Good choice for a Nissan

December 16, 2012

I bought this unit about a week ago and recieved it on Friday. I installed it Saturday in an 05 Xterra because the factory unit quit working. So far I am very pleased with it. I had a couple of fears after reading other reviews but went ahead with the purchase. I have heard a lot about the screen being too dim but if you turn the contrast all the way up to 16 it might take care of the problem. It worked for me. I wanted something that would be iPhone compatible, match my dash lights, and have pre-amp outputs for front, rear, and sub. this also has the bonus of being 4v outputs too. The menu is easy to navigate but it is not as easy to set once you find what you are trying to adjust. If you set it and leave it this wont be an issue but if you are a tweaker it could be very frustrating till you get the hang of it. They other thing I really like is that the style was similar to my factory look. It has round preset buttons and I like the Center volume knob. The transaction with Sonic Electronix was great. I saved about $35 or $40 over C********* price. The only strange things were I got a free Metra dash kit that wasn't required for the install and I payed an extra $4 for an antenna adapter that was also not required. The 05 Xterra is the first year of the second generation so I think that maybe a few things are different between them and the newer models or something. Anyway, I have a couple of things left after the install that were not required. Other than that everything was perfect. Thanks Sonic for making my Christmas.

20 of 35 found this helpful

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james

Dansville, NY

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Jasman

July 15, 2012

This unit rocks pretty darn good. For the money you can't go wrong. Only thing I've seen is the color on the screen malfunctioned after a month of use, but still effective. Very easy to navigate thru and set up.

15 of 25 found this helpful

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Vix

Streator, IL

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
attractive unit

October 22, 2013

all in all...I am fairly pleased with the unit. My only knock would be that it does not have a true channel scan on the radio. When you push the forward arrow it will only advance to he next channel. So while you are driving you have to continually push the button a million times to locate a station.

18 of 32 found this helpful

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Diana

Uzbekistan

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Super kind

March 15, 2012

Hello! In our country, banned car radios to monitor that plays video. So I bought a Clarion CX501. Clarion CX501 has the best appearance in its class, very cool looks and day and night! But the sound quality is average, very faint sound settings. Bottom line: if you're a family man, do not listen to loud music, and you need a radio without a video monitor and probably the best view in its class, then the Clarion CX501 for you!

14 of 24 found this helpful

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Frank

Nyack, NY

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Good electronics, Lousy interface

September 6, 2012

Got this primarily so I could use my bluetooth phone in a hands-free mode in the car. Works like a charm. It auto connects when I start up, calls come through very well, the car speaker transmits the sound at good volume, and the built-in mic picks up my voice without problems. AM and FM reception is good (have trouble with some fringe FM stations, but I know they have lousy signals). The USB and CD functions work well - don't have Satellite radio, so have no idea how that works.

The problem is the interface is so complicated, I have to roll out the manual every time I want to do something new (or something I haven't used in a long time) - and some things (like some BT setups) are hard to figure out even with the manual.

I installed it myself in my Subaru (in place of the Subaru multl-CD unit) - took a little time, but found good instructions on the web.

I'm not a big fan of its appearance (sort of cyclops like look), but that's not important to me.

16 of 29 found this helpful

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Mike

Moorpark, CA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Awesome stereo for the money

August 23, 2012

Great stereo for the money. Close to stock but with many more options. Sound is even better than the stock head unit. Glad I bought it.

19 of 35 found this helpful

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Peter

satellite Beach, FL

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Outstanding product

May 15, 2012

I replaced the unit in my wife's expedition with this new radio. My largest concern was installing the unit and purchased the closes replacement as possible for ease of installation. The unit works perfectly, The wife is very , very happy with the upgraded unit and I couldn't believe how simple it was to install. I think the whole swap out of the radios took 8 minutes!
Outstanding! Thank you very much

15 of 28 found this helpful

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Clarion reviewer

Canada

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Great unit, easy install

November 29, 2011

This unit is my favorite of all the 2 din systems I have had so far. It was easy to install in my 98 F150 lariat. Sound is beauty for my purposes.

10 of 18 found this helpful

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Jarrod

Lancaster, CA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Great Receiver!

November 16, 2011

The Clarion CX501 is a great receiver. I have had no problems with it.

Pros: A lot of features: Bluetooth, front usb port, front aux port. Great for hooking up your Ipod or smart phone.

Cons: Can be a little tough to figure out how to use all the features. Menus can be somewhat confusing to navigate.

Once you figure it out it is well worth it.

10 of 18 found this helpful

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scott

mt airy nc

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
AWESOME head unit

January 19, 2013

Picked this out as a gift from my wife for my bday. They had the BEST price compared to amazon and crutch field plus included free install kit and wiring kit. Shipped quickly. Everything was as described and works perfect in my 04 f150 lariat. Looks OEM in my truck. Bluetooth is awesome. Wife could not tell she was talking to me on it. It connects every time to my phone. Auto connect works great too. The color choices are limitless. I love this head unit

12 of 23 found this helpful

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Karen

Canada

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
The Clarion CX501 met my expectations!

August 3, 2012

I've had this unit for about 2 months now and I've been extremely happy with it. It's installed in a 2002 Toyota Sienna van (no JBL system) if that helps any drivers of that vehicle out.

The bluetooth connectivity is great and it automatically connects to my iPhone4 and my husbands Android cell without issue. The built in mic (i.e. no wire and microphone to run!) works very well and the sounds coming from phone calls is perfect.

We were originally going to use it for music playback as well, but bluetooth quality is meh (this is not the units problem they all suffer from quality loss!) for music and found just throwing all our music on to a mini usb stick and plugging it in the front was the better option. The nice thing about the USB is it has very easy to use navigation between folders and songs. When you shut off the car, it picks right up from where you left which is great if you are listening to an audio book or anything where you don't' want to lose your position.

The controls are fairly intuitive but we did need to consult the manual a couple of times at first (and the manual is great!!). I do wish the "auto connect bluetooth" was enabled by default so if you don't think your phone, ipod, etc are not automatically connecting, make sure you set the "bluetooth connection" to "auto" in the bluetooth settings. The big volume now is great as it's easy to reach for and the ability to change the color to match the rest of your vehicles interior lighting is great. It has a anti theft blinking red light that you have to enable which hopefully acts as a deterrent. The song names scrolling across the front is nice although it does have a semi VCR like appearance but I'm not complaining given the price!

AM/FM tuning was great with no issues at all. I don't have a Sirius satellite account so can't comment on that, although I may be tempted now that I have this head unit.

EQ controls were good and the unit really brought the Polk Audio DB651s we purchased previously to life when compared to the stock head unit.

So if you need a reasonably priced double din blue tooth head unit, I would recommend this one in a heart beat. Well done Clarion on this product and thanks Sonic for a great purchase experience.

11 of 21 found this helpful

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Sebastien

Canada

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Good car deck

February 3, 2012

Good car deck overall but display should be brighter in day time. The deck is conneted to a 4 channel amp and the sound is very good. Another bad thing is that you have to choose time display or track name, you can't see both at the same time.

9 of 17 found this helpful

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che

Canada

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Cheap for a reason

January 23, 2012

Installed in a Honda Ridgeline. Not a bad unit, sounds ok but has a low rent feel and look.
Pro: Lots of options, plays usb, bluetooth very easy install.
Con: Display looks like 80s VCR, Bluetooth sync problems, Does not play Mp4 files.

18 of 35 found this helpful

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james

middletown, NJ

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
perfect radio

January 5, 2012

This is a great product, it has everything you need.

12 of 23 found this helpful

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Henry

Philadelphia, PA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Did not dissapoint

October 15, 2011

Just got this for my 2005 Chevy Equinox. Even with the stock speaker set there is an incredible and very noticeable change in the quality of audio, no matter what the source. I purchased this unit primarily for the bluetooth capability to stream Pandora from my Droid, and it works flawlessly. The phone and HU pair up every time I enter the car without a problem. All in all not a thing I do not like about it.

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TW

Robins, IA

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Value
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Good Upgrade for Toyota Rav4

January 30, 2014

Installed this unit in my daughter Rav4 (2004). Sound quality is much better and with more bass than stock radio. Handsfree phone pair works well. Best is streaming music from her iphone 5 to play over the stereo, and the next button on radio changes iphone to the next song.

I liked this unit as it has one large round volume control and 6 preset buttons much like an OEM stereo would have. So it looks good in the dash.

I set the illumination to red/orange to match the OEM dash colors. It also has a setting to change colors on the radio every 5 seconds. My daughter likes this.

Great expandability with subwoofer out, and frequency tuning of the lows, mids, and hi's.

Adjusting simple bass and treble controls is a bit cumbersome and slow advancing through the menus...

Overall, I'd buy this again and again. Streaming radio and songs via iphone is soooooooooo cooooooooooool.

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FX4MAN

Charlotte, NC

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Nice Unit...

February 5, 2013

I just installed this unit into my f150 and it looks great. I like that the layout is simple and easy to use. The Bluetooth works great and because the mic is inside the unit you do not have to go crazy trying to wire the mic. I have a simple set of speakers that are not expensive and the unit sounds nice.

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Stephen

Mooresville, NC

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Value
Features
Design
Usability
Factory look

December 22, 2011

This unit is great for many reasons. I like how it manages to look somewhat factory, but with so many more features. The amplifier in this thing is one of the cleanest I've heard with plenty of power to even power component speakers with decent volume. I agree with many of the others on the placement of the USB, but for me it's easy to make use of with flash drives (using a Staple's 16 GB drive.) I haven't used the Bluetooth yet so I can't really say much; as far as that feature goes. The only issue I have is it's somewhat slow response when changing radio stations or selecting songs to listen to.

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James

Odessa, TX

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Value
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Design
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Good Head Unit

November 7, 2011

Reasonably priced with all the features I wanted. iPhone/iPod interface functions as advertised. The USB flash drive interface works just as I expected, with decent sound quality. The bluetooth hands-free interface works very well thus far. Note that if I connect my iPhone and start playing music before the blue-tooth connection is established, the audio disappears but the display still indicates that the song is playing once the blue-tooth connection is complete. This is easily remedied by either waiting until the blue-tooth connection is complete to plug in the iPhone or disconnecting and reconnecting the usb/dock connector. Please note that this head unit is primarily being used with and iPhone 3GS, firmware version 4.3.5. The display color adjustment is a nice touch as I was able to tweak the settings to match my dashboard illumination.

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builderbond

Apex, NC

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Value
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Really Like It!

September 14, 2011

I just put this in my daughters 2001 Pathfinder that had a defective Bose factory system. I got this one because it has an extra set of preamps out for a future sub-woofer.

Anyway, wired it with a Metra 70-7551 harness and just color code matched the wires. Connected the RCA plugs in the harness to the preamp outputs on the back (White - Left front, Grey - Right front, Green - Left rear, Violet - Right.... is the harness configuration....they didn't send directions but I found some on the internet!) Plugged it in and it worked like a charm. I was worried because I had read that it was hard to integrate with the Bose factory power amp but it sounds great. Line out output is 4 volts which is supposedly correct for the Bose power amp.

The thing has 12 different lighting colors to match your dash or you can make it scroll through them continuously like disco lights. (didn't expect that) It has a nice classy factory look installed. The ipod controls work great.
Another plus is that it used the factory mounting brackets in the Pathfinder and fit perfect. Lastly...Sounds Good! So far so good. Very pleased.

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DEVEN

Minneapolis, MN

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Value
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Usability
Great product, good sound and design for the price.

June 13, 2011

First of all, the guys at Sonic are awesome. I had to return a Sony HU in exchange for this Clarion CX501. With the Sony HU, the fluorescent screen was difficult to see during daylight but at nights ok.

I've always driven a Nissan Maxima and they either comes with Clarion HU or Bose from the factory. This is how I know about Clarion. They are not the most popular brand out there, but they made good replacement HU that looks just like factory. I love everything about this unit except the Bluetooth range is not too far. I also added the HD radio adapter and plan to add XM Sirius soon too.

Pros: The Clarion CX501 is a beautiful and awesome product. Streaming Bluetooth audio, phone calls, 21RMS per channel, HD radio and much more…..I couldn’t ask for better for less than $250. Unit sounds great with JBL’s 6.5 and Polk Audio 6.5 speakers. Sound is great without a need for additional amplifier.

Cons: I was streaming music from my iPhone and went to my car trunk with the phone in my hands and was losing sound quality. This is only a minor issue because the phone supposes to be in the car any ways.

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Brad

Canada

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Value
Features
Design
Usability
Great buy for an almost factory look.

February 2, 2013

I am really pleased with the features, capabilities and reasonable price.

I installed mine in a leased 2010 Corolla and it looks great, matches the factory illumination colour well and is a good size for the space.

Some of the menus are not intuitive for me so I had to keep the manual handy for the initial learning period and I would have preferred the USB connection was at the rear but I'll get over it.

I was also really happy with the experience buying from Sonic Electrnix, keep up the great work guys!

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Andrew

Canada

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Value
Features
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Usability
Good Unit

January 25, 2013

Got this unit for my 01 Pathfinder. Did a complete speaker install with 12" sub. Paired it with an alpine 50w x 4 amp for the four speakers and a 600w alpine amp for my sub. Sounds great even using the factory tweeters with the aftermarket crossovers. Now to the Deck. Does exactly what it needs to, and does that well. Only down sides are these: Sub volume control doesn't go to "off" only from -6 - +6. Setting up my blackberry was a bit of a pain but works good once it's paired. Because it comes with sirius, cd, aux, and all the rest the source menu is a bit to scroll through. It has been a rock solid deck so far. I would recommend it if you're looking for a cheaper double din with cd, without the giant screen.

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Ohad

Great Britain

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Value
Features
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Usability
Great device

August 6, 2012

I think and experienced only good things about this product, it connected very well to my iphone and my wifes iphone and all the features are working smoothly.

What can i say, very quality product.

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Phillip

Dallas, TX

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Value
Features
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Great Experience

July 28, 2012

Ordered this head unit on Saturday and it was delivered the next Wednesday (free shipping). I can't ask for a better start than that.

The install did require that I use a side bracket off of my factory radio but that was because the kit that I got from the auto shop had a design flaw.

I previously had a 6 year old half-din Sony X-Plod deck but needed something with a third pre-out and iphone compatibility but I got a whole lot more. The Clarion sounds better, has many more options to customize my sound and allows for custom color settings to match your interior. The audio is a lot richer than my Sony which I felt did not produce a "warm" enough full sound. Maybe it is partially due to the 4V output but this thing sounds a heck of a lot better already. Many previous reviewers noted that Clarion was known for great sound.

The iphone setup was pretty easy but I had to search the web to find the pin (1234) to pair my phone to the Clarion. To this point I have streamed music over bluetooth (which was easy and sounds good enough for me) and made a test call to my wife while sitting in the drive way. She could hear me fine but I think that we'll have problems when I'm on the highway and leaning back in my seat - my vehicle produces quite a bit of road noise - we'll see. I still need to test out the sound quality and controls using the iphone cable but I expect it to only be better. Finally, I also think my FM radio quality is improved.

That's it. If you are looking for a double-din car stereo with a lot of features built in for a low price then this is the way to go. You can pay a lot more and get less. My only concern is the lack of an external bluetooth mic but not having it keeps the purchase and install cost down for me so I was ok with this from the start.

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GATruck

Atlanta GA

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Durability
Value
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Design
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Good Unit

July 7, 2012

Installed this 6 months ago. Works good, have the HD and sat radio installed as well. A few times the unit has locked up, but corrects when key is turned off.

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Jeffrey

Council Bluffs, IA

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Usability
Just what I wanted!

March 29, 2012

This stereo fits and sounds great, and with Bluetooth I can stream radio from my phone and get calls as well. The USB makes it easy to play all my music. I didn't need a super fancy unit so it fits my needs perfectly.

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cat

Cyprus

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Value
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Usability
great value!

March 25, 2012

Excellent, very good, works perfect!!! I love it
and it has great value.

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ismael

east elmhurst, NY

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Value
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Usability
works great. easy to use

July 17, 2011

works great, easy to install. sounds great.looks good with the color changing screen. only problem is not been able to tranfer my phone book to the data in the radio, trying to fix that issue
n by the way fix perfect in a mitsubishi 2004 autlander, even the page says it wont fit

10 of 21 found this helpful

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w.l. larry

aubrey, TX

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Value
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Usability
Great product

June 27, 2013

Great radio. Installed in 2001 Ford F-250. Also got the speakers. Clarion products are a major difference in the sound in the truck. The only negative thing to say is the volume control is very easy to turn. Sonic was great in all dealings getting this setup. Absolutely the best.

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metalcowboy

sheridan, CA

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Value
Features
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Usability
great deck

April 27, 2013

this deck is awesome has lots of features, clean design, and fits pretty good into the stock double din location in my 06 chevy truck. front usb and aux are awesome. i would recommend getting a small usb stick if you plan on leaving the stick in there, i found a 16gb stick thats not much bigger then the dongle for my laptops mouse.

all in all the if you are not looking for a touch screen double din then i highly recommend this deck, it has a good amount of sound tuning options and a wide array of media options

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Ed

Aurora, CO

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Value
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Usability
Clarion CX501 - Sounds excellent!

November 19, 2012

The CX501 has a long list of nice features. It looks and sounds great. I gave up my Mercury Monterey van Ford in dash 6 disc to get the USB and input jack and was rewarded with a significant upgrade in sound and features overall. This unit (plus two new front speakers) changed the sound of the stock unit to a much fuller sound, VERY similar in depth to the great sounding Ford "Premium Sound System." The wide range of colors it displays is handy as you can match it to any car instrument light colors. The one button that overrides everything and takes you to your favorite radio station has proven useful when I get the thought, "Hey, the Rockies are playing tonight!". The display showing complete data about your CD is something I've never had before and it is great. Only odd thing was the error message I started to get the second day saying "AMP GRD." It stands for "amp guard." The unit worked fine for a day then this error code started coming up off and on. When it comes up, the amplifiers in the CX501 are completely disabled. After checking and rechecking, adding additional ground wires, etc., three tries later I discovered I had the polarity of the right front speaker reversed. That finally cured it and I am as now very happy with the CX501. While I was frustrated sorting it out, I presume that AMP GRD feature protects my investment in the Clarion radio so I can't be too upset about it. This is an excellent value in a great sounding double DIN car stereo.

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Jemandari

Wheeling Wv

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Clarion Cx501

April 26, 2012

This has been a great headunit over the past six months and I would recommend it to anyone. This headunit has all of the adjustment to make your speakers sound great and also to make your sub bump! Plenty of RCAs for external amps and even one for your sub. Another big selling point I loved was Sirius satellite ready. I also enjoy the ability to change the colors of the headunit to match the color of the dashboard lights. Have no complaints here...

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game pro dad

douglasville, GA

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Usability
awesome product for the money

June 10, 2013

It was what my daughter was looking for, for features. It turned out to be a great product with a lot of extras! I especially like the blue tooth for her phone using the car speakers, this way she can pay attention to the road.

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Pablo

Dover, DE

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Value
Features
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Usability
Great head unit. Simple and still has all features.

July 7, 2012

I have had this head unit for a few months now and I have nothing but good things to say about it. The display is simple to hopefully prevent any unwanted thieves. Yet it retains all features. Colors can be adjusted to match the rest of the interior.

It contains Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, extra inputs out back, etc. Great sound quality for all features.

About the only thing that is sort of weak is the mic on the front of the head unit. I have to almost shout for someone to hear me, but that is not the head units fault, just simple physics of the mic being away from your seat.

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Johnny

CT

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Clarion cx501

July 6, 2012

Great replacement for my stock Subaru radio. Nice fit and finish, able to change the color to match the rest of the gauges (red). Made my stock speakers come to life. Bass boost really works. Integrated Bluetooth works well. Excellent bang for the buck. I recommend this unit.

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Wharfe

Canada

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Value
Features
Design
Usability
Not great

May 29, 2012

Wanted a basic good sounding unit with a volume knob so I bought this based on the reviews, wondering if something is wrong with my unit, because I'm somewhat disappointed.. Maybe its just mine but there are some annoying quirks.

1) No separate function buttons, only one, so you have to press it a number of times to go between Radio, USB, etc. I'd rather them be separate for quick access. 2) Bluetooth is terrible. I'd like to use BT for audio so then when I get a phone call it automatically comes through, but the track change over bluetooth is so slow I can't use it, and noticed bad audio quality too. So I've been using USB for my iPhone, which causes a couple of problems. If I leave BT enabled on the phone the audio goes out there by default so I have to change it everytime or I hear silence. And then when I do get a phone call, I need to change the stereo to BT mode to talk. Also even on USB pressing the next track button usually forwards 2-3 tracks on the iPhone instead of just 1.

Looking to replace this one. It sounds good but it's getting on my nerves. Might as well own something I'm happy with

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William

Winchester, VA

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Value
Features
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Usability
Excellent Headunit, but not without a few issues.

April 24, 2012

The headunit is excellently functional and almost everything works great. My only plight with it is the extremely difficult to use and frustrating bluetooth connectivity. It refuses to connect to my phone to this day. (however has worked with several others) (HTC Inspire 4g). Other than that excellent headunit and I would highly reccomend it to a friend.

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Franky

Milford, MA

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Installed to 2008 Nissan Altima

February 20, 2012

I really like this radio! My 1st Clarion!! Clear, loud sound better than factory radio. One of the main reasons of purchasing this head unit because it looks so much like the factory radio. Big volume knob in the middle!! The aftermarket kit the Sonic Electronics provided was all perfect! Scosche wire harness, power antenna and dash kit....It totally looks factory!! Still using the factory speaker which plan to upgrade soon. Also purchased and installed the Axxess ASWC and it works better than factory controls! I can now shut off the radio from the steering wheel just by holding down the source button. Can REW/FF songs from my phone via Bluetooth also from the steering wheel controls!
Reading the many reviews before purchasing this and the most complain is display not bright enough and ease use. Which I can agree to a very little degree. Night time illumination is perfect, daytime I just adjusted the contrast to highest brightness.... and with direct sunlight on the unit it's very readable!
Now, navigation of menu and options is some getting used too but it will become familiar very soon. Moderate learning curve but not hard at all! I definitely recommend this product if using double din size because all of it's great features and price value! I believe that speaks in volumes on how much this product is very well liked in the radio aftermarket community!!

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Kelly

Canada

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Features
Design
Usability
Great at this price point

December 11, 2012

I wanted a deck that had Bluetooth, USB, and was double DIN. This has worked great for me. Being able to adjust the colour is a handy feature.

Only downside is the Bluetooth is not perfect. At times it cuts in and out, not all the time though.

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Accessory Tools and Products

Accessories added

Sonic Electronix USB Flash Drive

Add an 8GB USB Flash Drive for all your MP3's

Your Price $5.99

SanDisk Cruzer Fit USB Flash Drive

8gb Low Profile Usb Flash Drive

Your Price $11.99

Scosche TK12 Car Stereo Installation Kit

Includes panel removal tool, wire cutter/stripper, test light, RCA cable runner, screwdriver, and more!

Your Price $16.99

9-Piece Durable Nylon Plastic Pry & Chisel Tool Set

Helps with car stereo installation for use with dash and trim.

Your Price $14.99

18 Butt Connectors, 2 Ring Terminals, and Zip Ties

Great for connecting your car stereo wires to the harness.

Your Price $4.99

Scosche SPL Meter

Monitor the noise level of your new car audio system with this SPL meter measuring from 60-135 dB.

Your Price $21.99

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Product Summary

Manufacturer

Model Number

CX501

UPC

729218019016

Weight

4.85lbs

Internal SKU

cx501

Internal Product ID

33721

Sonic Electronix Wiring Guide

Wiring Diagram Legend

Warning: The image depicted shows the resistance change when wiring multiple subwoofer terminals. Please refer to your subwoofer's owner's manual for the proper wiring of its terminals. Sonic Electronix, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused to your audio system or vehicle due to improper installation. Please call tech support at 1-877-289-7664 if you require additional assistance.

Product Name: Clarion CX501