For all the use a smartphone provides, it still can’t compare with the convenience a car’s A/V system can provide. But what if the car doesn’t come with anything cool built in — FM radio can take you just so far — or what if you’re not interested in services requiring monthly subscription charges? Then you choose an after-market option, because then you can go as simple or as complicated as you want. So for those looking for a complete car stereo solution that won’t break the bank, Power Acoustik’s PD-1032B can be a great choice.
Being “after-market,” the PD-1032B is installed by you or a professional — it may not be complex but it does have to be done right. For the less informed, this means physically removing the existing A/V system from the dashboard and then installing the PD-1032B into what is now a gaping hole, with the needed wiring connections being made to power, the audio system and other related matters. To grind it down to basics, you’re inserting and securing a universal mounting sleeve in the dashboard and then sliding in this 2-DIN unit. The last act is to place the bezel on, followed by the face plate that holds with tabs — the PD-1032B’s LCD display isn’t motorized but can be removed for storing, thanks to the inclusion of a padded case.
Of course the most obvious issue will be that the space now occupied is large enough to contain it, once the existing system has been removed. So this is dictated by the dimensions of the dashboard console that is first removed — it’s not so much an issue of whether it overlaps because the screen is so big, but that the unit fits inside properly and is held in position correctly. So obviously this isn’t an impulse purchase.
Now the reason we started with the “how” of installing the PD-1032B, instead of what it can do, is to get the hard part out of the way. Once installed, it’s now ready to perform, and perform it will because it’s chock full of options. Start with it having Bluetooth 4.0, meaning you can “throw” music at it from your phone, or an audiobook being another example or (very useful) the voice coming out of a mapping/direction app (A2DP insuring a quality sound). That also means using it as a speakerphone for calls coming in/going out, since it has an embedded microphone. An external microphone is also included as well. And for sure you can import your contacts.
By itself, the PD-1032B becomes a full featured audio-visual showcase. There’s a USB input to allow for up to 64GBs of data to be sent its way (or an SD card can be used). This can be audio files (MP3) or video files (MP4 etc.). Accompanying onscreen menus and interfaces are there for viewing details and controlling playback. Which means that there must be a screen to look at — in this case it’s a 16:9 widescreen format with 800 x 480 pixel resolution going off on a 10.3” color LCD. Which is a touchscreen also. Plus those going a bit more “old school” can pull out a DVD or CD and watch/listen as the disc spins its merry way.
Now perhaps the most important part of the PD-1032B is how it handles the amplification of sound. The amplifier supplies 300 watts (4-channel MOSFET speaker outputs) which should do quite nicely, be it jazz, rock, rap or Broadway musical soundtracks. Same goes if good old FM radio is your thing. There’s also front and rear preamp outputs as well as one for a subwoofer (the trunk being the best place for this).
Built-in “extras” include a fast-charge socket to use with mobile devices, rear A/V inputs to use with personal media devices, a video output and a rear view camera input (something all cars should have but many don’t and there’s plenty of aftermarket cameras now available to hook up to the rear license plate). And just in case you’re still in love with that iPod Nano, there’s an AUX input for audio. A remote control is also included but there’s front mounted buttons as well. And even more useful is that it accepts OEM steering wheel control interfaces so that the driver can be the one in command.