Pioneer + Pandora + iPhone + Automobile = Audio Bliss?

by Damian on August 24, 2010 · 8 comments

in News

Just going through my emails I noticed I received an email from Pioneer Electronics advertising integration of Pandora (a free internet based radio station of sorts) into their latest in-dash receivers. This is all done from an iPhone running the Pandora app, connecting to the Pioneer receiver via USB. I recently discovered Pandora (actually I am listening to it right now at work) and must say it is a great site, especially when having people over our house (everyone gets a kick out of the Vanilla Ice station!). Having the ability to add Pandora to the car would definitely turn my boring drives to/from work into something more enjoyable!!! Now granted maybe having web services integrated into cars is nothing new, I haven’t purchased a car in over seven years so maybe I am behind the times! If you already have some sort of web integration in your car (whether Pandora or other) I would definitely be very interested to hear.

Of course this is not my typical type of post, both thought it would be a prelude to my upcoming Sonos S5 and Logitech Squeezebox Radio reviews (of which I use Pandora with both products), so be on the lookout!

Details On The New Pioneer Service:

Starting with the right connection

Select in-dash receivers from Pioneer feature a built-in USB connection for your iPhone, giving instant touch-screen access to your favorite music and videos. You will find that this USB connection offers superior sound quality compared to traditional auxiliary cables and FM modulators. What’s more, your iPhone will be charged when connected to a compatible in-dash receiver.

Getting in touch with your music

With your iPhone safely tucked away in a center console or glove box, you can enjoy touch-screen access to all of your favorite Pandora stations. Song information and detailed album art will be displayed on the large, high-resolution display of the in-dash receiver. You can even give songs “thumbs-up/thumbs-down”, using the same rating system that Pandora listeners have grown to know and love.

More than meets the eye (and ear)

On top of delivering the ultimate Pandora experience in your car, Pioneer’s latest in-dash receivers offer full-featured navigation with turn-by-turn directions, built-in Bluetooth for handsfree calling, exceptional iPod/iPhone playback, advanced voice recognition, and superior sound quality. Learn more here.

The choice is yours

Using your iPhone with the Pandora app from the App Store, you can bring Pandora into your car with the following Pioneer models: AVIC-X920BT  and AVIC-Z120BT

Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter


Kevin August 25, 2010 at 6:27 am

I currently have a Ford with Microsoft Sync in my car which does this same thing. Ford implimented the sync system a couple years back and my iPhone streams pandora religously through my car stereo. It even pauses when a call comes in so I can take the call. When the call ends it simply starts it back up. Pretty slick stuff.

Damian August 25, 2010 at 6:36 am

Thanks for sharing. As I mentioned I have been out of the car market for a while so who knows what is going on! What would be neat is if we could access our local media as well in the car, so we could stream all our music to the car radio from our home/server. Right now I have a Phatnoise system installed in my car (I think it is 32GB) which has served me well, but I have to bring the drive back into the house t o sync up whenever I add new music

Nick August 25, 2010 at 9:38 am

Pandora rocks, but lately, I have been using Subsonic on my WHS to stream to my Subsonic app on my Moto Droid (Iphone app available to).

This setup gives me immediate access to all of MY music and access to all of my server stored playlists… I have found this to be MUCH better than Pandora. However, when I am in the mood for new music, or just something fresh/different, my Pandora app gets the nod…

Great write-up Damian!

Damian August 25, 2010 at 10:36 am

Thanks for reminding me, I have been meaning to test out the Subsonic App for my iPod Touch. I use subsonic a lot at work but been getting tired of my music collection which is why I have been tuning in to Pandora. I actually just brought my logitech squeezebox radio to work and can get all my internet stations (including Pandora). Pretty neat, if only subsonic would work through the logitech this would be the ultimate portable jukebox for work!!!

Nick August 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

The Subsonic app of the droid is the first app I have purchased…. now that I have transfered all of my Media Center playlists to a M3U format compatible with Subsonic, I am happy. I create the playlist from my couch and listen to the music in my car through my app… I love it!!

martmeister August 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Same here with Microsoft Sync. It’s an amazing system which we currently have on our 2008 Edge. There is also bluetooth streaming available which is much better than any other wireless connection options to your iPhone if you don’t feel like plugging it in each time. You can stream Pandora or iPod music from your iPhone. Streaming iPhone music is more automatic however because that’s the default audio streaming option for bluetooth from your iPhone, or at least it is for me. The one thing that does bug me is the advertisements on Pandora. There used to be no adverts but maybe in the last few months they have been more apparent. My next car will unquestionably have MS Sync or something similar in it. You simply can’t live without it once you have experienced it.

Adam August 29, 2010 at 9:02 pm

I installed a cd\tape\radio with Aux-In jack a few years ago (Crutchfield purchase – great tech support for someone who never installed a car radio before). I used Pandora on my old BB Curve and now I use Pandora on my HTC Evo, with just a plain RCA jack connection into the Aux-In jack. The Pioneer system you reviewed looks very nice and, of course, seems quite pricey. I assume it would only work with an IPhone and not an Android, but I am wondering if the manufacturers will soon be making these items Android Compatible.

One note about the recent Android Froyo update to 2.2. It broke the Pandora / Navigation cooperation that worked quite well in Android 2.1. In 2.1 you could Navigate and listen to Pandora at the same time. When driving instructions came on, Pandora would pause and resume. Now, in 2.2, Pandora just pauses and never resumes…unless you go back to the Pandora screen and hit play again. A recent Pandora update did not fix this. Big bummer there.

Pluckyhd August 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Rhapsody is so much better IMHO. I am talking their pay monthly service but you get no advertisements and can search for any song your heart desires even make your own playlist or transfer the music to older iPod just like you own it (have to resynch monthly to verify account is still active) pandora free is okay but rhapsody and sonos and iPhones equal great.

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