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Published:May 20th, 2007 08:27 EST
Pioneer DEH-P5900IB Review

Pioneer DEH-P5900IB Review

By George Gildersleeve

                Recently, I was shopping around for a new CD player for my car that I could use to plug my iPod into and play my MP3 files through the unit and display various song information. I knew  a little bit about the differences in brands and features, such as what brands are good, what features I need, and what price to pay. Armed with this knowledge, I set out on my quest to find the perfect CD deck for my car.

Comparing and contrasting differences in CD decks with price and brand in mind, I decided I would go with Pioneer. I knew Pioneer was one of the top brands for CD players and car audio. Looking at the prices and features of their decks and current promotions at the local electronics store, I set my mind on the Pioneer DEHP5900IB CD deck. This deck has capabilities to play regular audio CDs as well as CDs with MP3, AAC, and WMA files. Also, if you get the optional iPod direct cable (34.99), you can directly control your iPod with either the faceplate or the remote control. With the faceplate and remote, the iPod is controlled in the same manner as the iPod itself.

With the features gained in this deck, I went on to contrast other decks on the market. I looked at a few decks by other big name companies such as Alpine, Kenwood, and Jensen. Some of these decks had attributes similar to the Pioneer deck, but either didn`t look as sleek, didn`t have all of the features, or didn`t have enough power for my speakers. The DEHP5900IB has plenty of driving power, a very sleek look, an easy to use interface, a very useful remote control, and some pretty amazing features.

The Pioneer deck`s display is a bright blue OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) which is easy to read and provides plenty of contrast when picking a song or reading the output on the display. The brightness and contrast make it much easier to pick a song in the car than other decks. It also features a detachable faceplate, which can prevent theft by allowing you to either lock up your CD player or take it with you when you leave your car. The faceplate is easy to use and has a whole arsenal of features.

The Pioneer CD deck also supports additional add-ons for many purposes. For example, if you purchase the optional Bluetooth adapter, it would be installed out of sight and would allow you to use a Bluetooth enabled phone to place and receive calls through your CD player. When you make a call or receive one, the sound system automatically mutes and the microphone built into the faceplate will pick up your voice. The incoming transmission will be output through your car`s sound system. Also, the Pioneer deck allows you to purchase an optional XM or Sirius satellite radio adapter which, with a subscription to the service, allows you to listen to your satellite radio through the deck without an additional player.

If you have an amplifier in your car, then the 5900IB is a deck you might be interested in, as well. With 6 preamp outputs and a 4V power output, this deck is definitely ready to be hooked up to a car audio amplifier. The 4V output produces a very clean sound even at high volume. The 6 outputs also make this deck very amplifier friendly. If you want to put out some power and volume, then this deck would be perfect for you. On the other hand, for those who don`t want an amplifier, this deck produces enough power for decent volume at 22W of continuous power and 50W peak power handling.

Since some display types have some problems with having a static image burned in on them, very similar to some high definition televisions, the Pioneer 5900IB has many different screen savers that will display your song information and more. It also includes some screen savers just for entertainment without displaying any of your information. The main screen saver purely for entertainment is one that features space ships flying around in what appears to be some futuristic race.

The radio tuner that is built into the CD deck is very good by current standards. With the standard radio frequency range and a total of 24 station presets, you won`t be running out of space to place your favorite stations on a preset shortcut. The 24 presets allow 18 FM stations and 6 AM presets. Another great feature about this player`s radio is that it has the ability to temporarily store the stations with the strongest signal in your player`s memory. For example, if you were on a road trip and went to an area with different stations than your town, you could scan for the stations with the strongest signal and have them put in your radio presets until you get back to your town.

This deck`s CD player also has a number of useful features. When you input a CD you can name it on your player`s display so that when you input that CD, it will display the name of the CD which you programmed in. It can hold information for up to 48 CDs. The Pioneer deck also features BMX " technology. Standing for Bit Media eXpander " this technology helps make compressed audio files (i.e. MP3, AAC, WMA) sound better by filling in the parts of the file that were lost during compression.

Another useful feature in this deck is the support for multiple languages. If you don`t speak English as your first language, you can change the deck`s language to either French or Spanish in addition to the default English selection. This could be helpful if you or someone you`re riding with can`t read English and wants to control the CD deck.

               With the radio tuner features, the iPod direct control, screen savers, and optional upgrades, this deck is a great choice for anyone in the market for a CD player for your car. The features of this deck are amazing and are ones you would expect in a deck that`s even more expensive than this one. If you need a CD player, want to hook up your iPod, or want the freedom to upgrade your car in many ways, this CD deck is definitely one you should consider. With an MSRP of $220 (but electronics stores have sales frequently) this is a great deck. The price may seem high at first, but once you start using it and realize how valuable the features are, you`ll know it is worth the price. I definitely recommend the Pioneer DEH-P5900IB for anyone in the market for a new CD deck.