Double DIN Review – Pioneer AVH-P3100DVD

I got myself the Pioneer AVH-P3100DVD to get rid of my old Jensen VM8023HD that I was very dissatisfied with. Let me first tell you about the Jensen VM8023HD. Its GUI is so bad, slow, buggy, and always crashes. It’s also aimless when it comes to what button to press in all provided function. Occasionally, it is the volume knob, and sometimes it is the up and down, and sometimes it is another button. It totally violates the principal of least surprise. It seems like it was created and applied by some poor intern in two weeks. Good set of features, but totally wrecked by its user interface. Because of that scenario, I immediately purchased the Pioneer to replace the Jensen.

In general, the Pioneer AVH-P3100DVD is extremely good!

  • The orders of magnitude are much better than my old Jensen when it comes to user interface and stability.
  • Quality of sound is a lot better (in my own point of view).
  • The menus are extremely user-friendly and simple to manipulate.
  • It functions properly with MP3 files on a USB drive. Selection between the folders, including the nested folders is straightforward. You are able to touch-drag to browse quickly a long list or even move the present playback placed in a song. You will see four track titles per screen, that is enough.
  • Touching a song begins playing yet doesn’t exit the menu so that you can touch other songs in the event you change your mind. This really is good if you’re looking for one particular track that you cannot recall the title.

The entire experience surpasses the Jensen in every aspect. On the other hand, there are a few things that could be improved:

  • The buttons demand a lot of pressure to push. I’d favor a softer touch. You truly need to push the button like you mean it. I would also choose a rotary knob for the volume control instead of touching.
  • The position of the USB and Aux ports is very poor because the USB coming out from the slot is easily hit by my arms while driving. This would be best to the lower right rather than in the lower left corner. With regards to the setup inside your car that might not be an issue for you.
  • It prompts you an alert screen that you need to recognize once you change to a video source, even if you are already parked with the parking brake on. I find this action extremely irritating. If you are already parked it shouldn’t show the warning.
  • I am having a SWI-PS steering wheel interface and the ‘mute’ setting of the interface will cause the Pioneer to start the “Attenuation” function where it reduces the volume but doesn’t mute it fully. I would like it mute. I believe that is a Pioneer problem, not really a SWI-PS one because the SWI-PS muted the Jensen properly. I need to get in touch with the PAC people and find out if there are measures done on the SWI-PS for this problem.

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