I know there are other threads on this, but some of the information is a little confusing and in some cases out of date. I have an 06 Limited (Hemi) Commander that has the in-dash 6-disc changer (pn: P05091176AA; under the barcode is says issue 1 - RAQ CD). My first goal was to buy a replacement factory unit since the CD player doesn't work and there is no aux or bluetooth (hands-free is required by law in IL). The options for upgrading to a newer year radio are confusing to say the least and ridiculously expensive. Since I don't seem to be able to find a factory unit that doesn't cost a kidney, then I may have to bite the bullet and go aftermarket. Just so we are clear on my goals, I'm not adding/changing speakers; I just want a head unit that works and I would really like to add hands-free. I'm very grateful for any advice I can get on the following:
1. Are there any reliable head units out there that don't require me to install an external mic that will look hideous no matter what I do?
2. Can anyone recommend an install kit that will allow me to keep my wires and mounts factory so I can go back to a factory unit if I get lucky and find one cheap?
3. Will I have to kiss my steering wheel controls goodbye, or is there a harness that will make them work?
Thanks everyone! :-)
It seems like you keep asking the same - or very similar questions over & over again in different threads; For the most part, we all have different model years with different trim packages & options and have bought our Commanders at different points in their vehicle lives, which means some Commanders have had upgrades done by the time we've taken ownership of them - and then others are bone stock, like mine was when I bought it in 2014.
Sounds like you are looking for someone to tell you verbatim, exactly what you need to do your project - and that's a tough ask, because only YOU know exactly what you have & exactly what you want the end result to be and while guys like myself, can give you advice based on our experiences - it may not be the route that you want to take, due to price, complexity or what have you.
Therefore, sometimes you have to make the effort to do your own research - even if that means driving to a car audio shop, presenting them with your scenario and asking them some questions. You can even go as far as getting a written estimate/quote from the shop, where they'll actually list all the part numbers, manufacturers & prices for you; Most reputable car audio businesses will provide a written estimate or quote, free of charge.
Now all that being said there are a couple of key questions that you haven't provided an answer for:
1) First off, are you doing the work yourself? Or are you going to take it to a car audio shop that specializes in this kind of work?
2) Secondly, are you on a budget? And if so, what's the most you are looking to spend?
From my experience, I can tell you that the factory head units are generally not very reliable; (I'm sure there are some here who will disagree & say they've had the original factory head unit since they bought their XK new and have had no issues with it) However, based on my experience with them (I went through 3 of them in a 2 year time-span, before I switched over to my Pioneer) they simply do not last - due to old, outdated/poor technology and/or because they have been sitting around on a shelf somewhere, for a number of years not in use. You will not find a "new" factory head unit for the XK that's not at least 8 years old - and that's a best case scenario. I think this is why, in general, they don't last very long.
My 2008 XK is a Sport Model; (It has no steering wheel controls for the head unit) it came with the MyGIG Media Center 430 CD/DVD/MP3/HDD with a single disc player - it did not have U-Connect from the factory, meaning it was not Bluetooth/hands-free capable.
I wound up installing a Pioneer AVH-X490BS CD/DVD RDS AV head unit with Sirius XM Receiver but I'll tell you up front, I had mine installed at a car audio shop & it was not cheap. the entire job - Pioneer head unit, Sirius XM Receiver, wiring adapter for the factory back-up camera & labor was about $750.00 but that's still cheaper than the price of one factory MyGIG head unit from FCA by about $150.00
As far as your external mic question, I really don't know what you're referring to - I have no external mic on mine, so, maybe that's a feature that the Limited's have that my Sport doesn't.
You asked about steering wheel controls - I don't have steering wheel controls, but the techs at the shop I went to asked me if I had them because they were going to order an additional wiring adapter to wire the head unit into the steering wheel controls - so it can be done. That's what's nice about going to a professional car audio place, they have the resources at their fingertips to look up whatever wiring adapters you will need - as opposed to coming here and just trying to ask somebody who may not know exactly what it is that you're looking for.
I love the Pioneer, I had it installed this past February. Although it probably took me 2 months to really master all the different menus and find where all of the different audio features & sub-menus are (and there are quite a few of them) it is a very capable, reliable head unit. I have full use of my factory back-up camera as well as Bluetooth/hands-free capability with my smart-phone. It also has the ability to use different Android apps like Spotify, Pandora and a couple of other Smart-phone type music apps (something related to the Apple I-Phone comes to mind) although I opted not to have those features configured, because I'm not an online/smart-phone music guy; I still like to buy CD's and listen to Sirius XM and the regular FM radio but the Pioneer I have, does have that software installed & available to be configured for use.
So, I hope this was helpful for you; here are some pics of the Pioneer AVH-X490BS CD/DVD RDS AV head unit installed: