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Best Carplay head unit + front camera

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by orgetorix, Dec 15, 2023.

  1. Dec 15, 2023 at 8:48 AM
    #1
    orgetorix

    orgetorix [OP] Member

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    Hello, now that I've had my '19 TRD Pro for almost 5 years, I figures it's no longer "new" and I will start doing some more mods.

    I'm looking for the consensus best head unit replacement that considering the fallowing criteria:
    • Installation Looks clean
    • Apple CarPlay, preferrably wireless
    • Keeps steering wheel controls and MID info
    • Allows for a front camera installation (also camera suggestions) as well as the ability for always-on camera switches
    Please consider this as "money no object." I'm not trying to buy an off brand Chinese make just to save a few bucks. I'm OK with this being a $2-3K project.
     
  2. Dec 15, 2023 at 10:50 AM
    #2
    Mont Blanc

    Mont Blanc Well-Known Member

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    "Best" is a pretty loaded term. What I think is best might not be so for others.

    I will leave the HU discussion for others. There are a number of threads where people talk about their HUs. I'm partial to my Kenwood DMX1037S, but I also know that install might not fit the "looks clean" definition, you might find the Pioneer DMH-WC6600NEX a better match.

    Given what other things you outline:
    • Apple CarPlay, preferrably wireless
      This should be pretty easy, especially the wireless part, at this point modern HUs support carplay/android auto pretty standard, spent a touch more and you get wireless without much issue.

    • Keeps steering wheel controls and MID info
      This will basically require the iDatalink Maestro, I recommend the RR2 which I think has worked out a few bugs of the RR and gives a few new features. This will retain all features

    • Allows for a front camera installation (also camera suggestions) as well as the ability for always-on camera switches
      Again most HUs will have multiple inputs for cameras, the DMX1037S has 5 (one is a dashcam). As far as camera, again best is subjective, but my wife really raved about how clear the Kenwood CMOS-740HD was as an Accord backup camera. I haven't mounted it yet, but it is going to be my front camera on my 2023 Taco.
    I will also say hit up Crutchfield and start punching in your needs/wants they will narrow it down quickly.
     
    orgetorix[OP], ZMan2k2 and soundman98 like this.
  3. Dec 17, 2023 at 5:18 PM
    #3
    TruckGuy63

    TruckGuy63 Well-Known Member

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    I have a pioneer head unit , with a couple of audio control amps and of course nice speakers and it really is a game changer . Looks clean and sounds awesome . The head unit is stellar
     
    orgetorix[OP] likes this.
  4. Dec 18, 2023 at 8:04 AM
    #4
    orgetorix

    orgetorix [OP] Member

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    Thank you. Can you share the model please?
     
  5. Dec 18, 2023 at 8:46 AM
    #5
    TruckGuy63

    TruckGuy63 Well-Known Member

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    I did A Avic-W8600 Nex
    But you can also do DMH WC6600Nex

    they are both great head units , make sure you order a maestro RR
    If your not a wiring person Cruthfield will wire it up for you plug and play . One of my buddies did that .
    Both of these radios flat out destroy the Factory unit
     
    orgetorix[OP] and Mont Blanc like this.
  6. Dec 18, 2023 at 9:08 AM
    #6
    orgetorix

    orgetorix [OP] Member

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    Thank you so much! Any recommendations for front cameras? Or are they all pretty much cross-compatible ?
     
  7. Dec 18, 2023 at 9:15 AM
    #7
    Championsumo

    Championsumo Well-Known Member

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    I just installed the Pioneer 3800 NEX on my 2nd gen, its fantastic and I'm sure the higher end models are even better. I did a cheap front camera off of Amazon and tied it in for instant access with steering wheel button using the Maestro. I'd recommend the Maestro RR2 so that you have Bluetooth capability to interact with the unit, that way you don't have to dig it out of the dash if you need to make changes. I ordered everything from Crutchfiled and I'll add that the Metra dash kit included was pretty inferior to the Scosche one so I went that route instead. Here is a link to the camera I choose, its super cheap and seems to work pretty well. First thing I did was turn it on and took it through an automatic car wash, no issues. https://www.amazon.com/RAAYOO-Unive...3&sr=8-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY
     
  8. Dec 18, 2023 at 9:15 AM
    #8
    Mont Blanc

    Mont Blanc Well-Known Member

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    Agreed - the Maestro is a must.

    I'm going to sound like a Maestro honk for this - but invest in their wiring harnesses too. It will save you the time, effort and space. Even if you can solder.

    Their T Harness (HRN-HRR-TO3) you have to get.
    But their pigtail for Harness to Radio (ACC-HU-KEN1 in my case) will result in a much shorter install, my hand wired on, nice is about 4 x longer than theirs.

    And going with off brand solutions only ended up costing me time and money.
    Sat radio adapter - wrong cable, had to order the iDatalink anyway - and it came with both the GPS and sat radio cables.
    USB adapter - also the wrong cable, I'm waiting for my iDatalink replacement soon.
     
  9. Dec 22, 2023 at 7:26 PM
    #9
    Mont Blanc

    Mont Blanc Well-Known Member

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    This did get me wondering, What is the best grill for a front mounted camera? I have an SR5 and I mounted my CMOS-740 and had to do it off center because of the big Toyota logo. There has to be a better choice, right?
     
  10. Dec 28, 2023 at 6:39 AM
    #10
    Championsumo

    Championsumo Well-Known Member

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    I've got the pro grille on my 2nd gen so its probably a little different than what you would need to do. I used 3m weatherproof double sticky tape (didn't want to drill holes). Still on there months later and you cant tell that's how its attached.
     
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