I have bought a few car audio systems in the past, and I know a little beyond the basics of these gadgets. I bought the Alpine CDE-HD138BT with an average expectation. Contrary to what I expected, I found that the controls were excellent and intuitive. It’s easy for me to get access to it due to its well-thought design and features. I could even bookmark my favorite items, so it became a convenient gadget for me to listen to audio books and podcasts.
I got my Alpine receiver installed into my old car. I even paired it with two SPR-60 speakers, also from the Alpine brand. To my amazement, I found that this could be one of the best sound systems available in its range. Personally, this is the best one that I’ve ever had.
I studied the system a bit and learned that it is pretty flexible. It has seven-band graphic equalizers and, according to the sales department that I contacted earlier, you can also use the five-band parametric equalizer. In other words, the option lies in your hands. From my understanding, the graphic equalizers are meant for easy use and the parametric equalizers are meant for obtaining better quality audio.
Alpine CDE-HD138BT Features and Specifications
I love the fact that the Alpine CDE-HD138BT is loaded with amazing features. I am going to discuss some of the great ones that I have explored and used to obtain the highest pleasure from this gadget right below.
- It is compatible with internet radio and it works really well with both Android and iPhone. Since I have been using both Android and iPhone on different devices, I find this feature very useful.
- It has a built-in HD radio receiver, a feature that allows quick transmission. I love this one very much indeed.
- Audio streaming becomes an effortless task due to the presence of wireless technology powered by BT Plus Bluetooth technology.
- The Alpine CDE-HD138BT is compatible with SiriusXM. If you want this, simply subscribe to XM and tuner – they’re available on a separate basis.
- You’ll enjoy the passenger controls when using the USB plug to connect to your iPhones and iPods.
- The USB could store a huge array of files.
- You’ll find an aux input jack at the front.
- There are 3 4V preouts altogether.
- You’ll get a built-in amplifier (18W x 4).
- The steering wheel remote is readily available.
- There is a compact disc receiver, complete with an AM and FM tuner.
- You can call out and receive phone calls via hands-free mode.
The Things I Like Most About the Alpine CDE-HD138BT
After using the Alpine CDE-HD138BT for a while, I discovered that it does not have a standard ‘loudness’ feature. However, it has a better function called the Media Xpander Pro. Its work is to help in quality restoration as most digital compression systems are prone to lose a bit of sound quality. The best part is that I get to play around with three different levels of settings. With the preset feature, you only push a button and it will do its job automatically. You can also choose the custom level where the five-band output can be setup manually.
You might be aware that the sound quality produced by SiriusXM can be interrupted on some channels of music. With the Alpine CDE-HD138BT, you can simply choose the Media Xpander custom setting and you will get to increase your audio quality with ease.
If you cannot really be bothered to go into the actual EQ settings, you can still enjoy excellent audio quality by simply using the ‘bass and treble’ settings. These will enhance the lowest and highest EQ bands, so you don’t even need to touch the more technical side of the EQ settings.
Although the Alpine CDE-HD138BT isn’t a satellite radio head, you can easily control the loudness EQ settings.
There are various options available for this Alpine receiver, namely: HD radio (built-in), Bluetooth audio and hands-free, compact discs, phone connection via USB and, at the front, an aux input. Make sure that you have installed the SiriusXM tuner and antenna; these are additional items which you can install on a separate basis.
My favorite way of listening to music is by using a USB thumb drive. I load it with MP3 music and with AAC files. Then, I simply plug in the thumb drive straight into the unit’s front opening. I have downloaded a software from the internet called StreamWriter to streamline radio feeds from the internet and to channel it right into my MP3 or AAC files. The process does not involve any transcoding – I just put them inside my USB pen drive/thumb drive/memory stick and then just play my favorite music. The audio quality is superb all the time.
Although I drive an older car, this does not affect the way that I listen to good music. Up to now, I am happy that I have installed the Alpine CDE-HD138BT. I won’t change it out with anything else unless there is a better one around that is offered for the same price.
Alpine CDE-HD138BT Drawbacks
My disappointment lies in the absence of alert tones when I get my iPhone 6 connected through Bluetooth. Actually, the alert tones are there, but they are only available through the Bluetooth audio. Thus, since I am using another source such as SiriusXM, the tones were not audible.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a solution to this problem. If only this could be fixed and the Alpine CDE-HD138BT could disconnect the Bluetooth audio with my iPhone and maintain the applicability of the hands-free feature when I am on another audio source, I would have no other complaints.