Alpine iLX-W650 Review

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Are you looking for a 7” touchscreen head unit with an excellent set of features that will not overstretch your pocket? If so, you are in the middle of a challenging task, particularly with so many options on the market.

Most head units take a long period to set up and are hard to use. You may end up frustrated whenever you want to listen to music as quickly as possible, but you have trouble setting up the stereo system. 

Fortunately, Alpine iLX-W650 come into play. It is an excellent choice if you seek a middle-of-the-road priced touchscreen head unit with enticing features and value. It also helps improve your in-car experience and the look of your dash.

This article will unbox out the Alpine iLX-W650, review it, and give you helpful ideas about its key features and specifications. We will also have a pros and cons section. Hopefully, by the end of this review, you have enough information and understanding about the unit to decide if it best suits your needs or not.

So, let’s get started!

Quick Review About Alpine iLX-W650 

Alpine iLX-W650 is a perfect choice for those who want an easy-to-use head unit with an intuitive interface. You do not have to worry about confusing menus or ugly buttons. This simple yet powerful car stereo offers amazing sound.

This 7” touchscreen head unit has all the necessary features to make your driving experience a lot better, particularly that it comes in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. So, it works well with Google Assistant or Siri, and you do not need to type anything on the go or take your eyes off the road. Plus, that compatibility enables you to access different navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps via voice commands. 

The ILX-W650 screen is easy to customize with various apps, including Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, and XM Radio. Once you turn off the lights, it automatically dims to help you focus on the road. This unit is also easy to install. The wiring runs for a pre-out system and a camera harness. So, you will have sufficient room for extras and accessories. 

The interface of this unit is easy to connect and use. It allows you to sync multiple phones and pick which one to switch or connect to in real-time. In addition, the Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream music on your preferred app, perform hands-free text messaging and phone calls, and do voice commands. 

This Alpine head unit is excellent for a high-performing externally amplified system and standard powered stereo. It puts out 16W RMS x channels, which is standard output. If you wish to amplify your system with an external amplifier, it features 4V pre-outs. 

What’s in the Box

The Alpine ILX-W650 offers all the essential features you wish on a 7” two-finger touchscreen head unit that guarantees an enhanced in-car experience. Inside the box, expect the following:

  • Alpine iLX-W650 unit 
  • Owner’s manual with operating instructions
  • Registration cards 
  • Quick reference guide 
  • 4 ISO-screws 
  • Bracket (for microphone)
  • Microphone (attached directly to a 13” cable)
  • 42” USB extension cable 
  • Preout/Camera harness 
  • Wiring hardness (15A fuse)
  • Digital media receiver 

Note: A double-din clip is not included in the box. This clip is usually used for mounting the head unit in the dash with no required vehicle-specific dash kit. It is also worth noting that not all vehicles have the exact specification for the install kit. So, ensure to get the one that best suits your car’s particular needs. 

Alpine iLX-W650 Key Features 

Another factor when deciding on a touchscreen head unit is the key features. 

When pulling this double din head unit out of the box, the first thing that will catch your attention is its depth. It comes in a 2-13/16” shallow-mount chassis design. The unit is also more compact than models years ago, resulting in a more straightforward installation process. 

Check out the iLX-W650 complete key features list:

Simple and Responsive Swipe Screen 

With the Alpine iLX-W650, controlling your music while focusing on the road is possible. On the 7” touchscreen, you can use the two-finger swipe motions to skip forward or back and control volume up or down. You can also pause music by swiping left, right, or down.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Compatibility

This head unit includes Android Auto so that you can use your Android phone with no trouble. It also works well with Google Assistant. Beware that you will need a Bluetooth connection and a USB cable. It also requires an Android phone that runs 5.0 or higher. Do not forget to install the Android Auto app. 

When accessing Google Assistant via Android Auto, you have to select the mic button or say “OK Google.” After that, you can play your favorite songs, interact with your smart home devices, get driving directions – all those things hands-free. 

iPhone users will also rejoice with iLX-W650 because it also works with Apple CarPlay. The app lets you play music, access text messages, get directions, and make and receive calls while keeping your eyes on the road.

You can access Apple CarPlay via a mic button or capacitive touchscreen to activate Siri voice control. The app is also compatible with iPhone 5 and previous models. Ensure to connect the phone through an Apple lightning cable. 

Below are the similar feature between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto:

Voice Commands.

You can use the voice command to open apps or the audio within the apps. You can use it to ask Siri or Google Assistant to play the latest news, respond to or write texts, and dial numbers. You can also use it to play music.

Directions. 

You can use your voice to ask for navigational purposes, like asking for directions to the point of interest or a specific location. 

Read Text Messages and Voicemails. 

You can use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to read text messages and listen to voicemails. You can also use it to respond to text messages hands-free.

Calls. 

Whether there is an incoming call or you want to make a call, you can use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to make and receive phone calls. The contact list appears on the screen so that you can click on a contact to make a call or interact with the caller directly. 

Streaming Music. 

No matter what audio streaming apps you want to use, streaming music while enjoying the road is easy. While the features are not the same as those on the phone, they are still easy to use and highly functional when using streaming apps like Audible, Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify, etc. 

PowerStack Capable 

Since iLx-W650 only measures 2.” deep, fitting it into your vehicle is never a problem, even if the back of the dashboard does not have a lot of space. With the optimized shallow chassis, mounting it to the KTA-200M and KTA-450 Power Pack Amplifier is a lot easier.

Alpine is famous for its award-winning and top-notch quality PowerStack design. So, expect an added power to your sound system. Plus, it occupies a similar depth as your traditional 2-DIN radio.

SiriusXM Compatibility 

Once you add SiriusXM satellite radio to Alpine iLX-W650, you can expand the entertainment choices and sound experience. This head unit is SiriusXM Ready. You can also connect it to the SiriusXM SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit. 

Hi-Res Audio FLAC Files Compatibility 

Another exciting feature of iLX-W650 is its ability to playback 24/96 FLAC files using USB. It also supports other formats, such as HE-AAC, AAC, WMA, and MP3 music playback via USB.

iPod and iPhone Compatibility 

Controlling your iPod or iPhone in the vehicle is easy with Alpine iLX-W650. In other words, you can enjoy a seamless iPod or iPhone operation in addition to complete control over all-time favorite media sources.

You can control the search options of your iPod or iPhone directly from this head unit via Playlist, Composer, Podcast, Genre, Song, Album, and Artists. With the USB connection, you can get a high-quality iPod or iPhone playback. It also provides a faster access speed so that you can quickly find songs.

Audio Features 

The 9-band parametric equalizer helps you get the most from music. Then, the 6-channel time correction tool enables you to control the built-in amplifier. You can also control the bass in the music by adjusting the built-in subwoofer level control.

If you wish for more power, use the three sets of 4V pre-amp outputs and the subwoofer level control to add extra amplifiers.

Dual Camera Inputs 

The anti-glare screen comes in dual camera inputs. So, you can add a rear-view or front camera to your car. You can even adjust or control the angles from the screen. Since this head unit features a built-in rear-view camera distance guide display, making blind spots a distant memory is straightforward.

Media Xpander 

Alpine designed Media Xpander to combat the differences between compressed media files. This proprietary feature will help you level out the varying file formats and the way they sound. That way, any highly compressed MP3 songs will not sound different from other compressed or non-compressed media files formats. In return, you get a more consistent and higher-quality sound from songs.

Time Correction 

Within the advanced settings, you will find Time Correction that helps you control the possible sound delays from each speaker to a specific area in the car. For instance, you wish the sound has a focal point you can hear at the driver’s seat. Then, the rear right speaker ensures that there is no delay once the sound reaches that area.

Time Correction is a helpful feature if you want to get the sound system tuned up as it gives you a very deep control level. While not everyone may not use this feature, it is still an advantage if you want to build a competitive system.

X-Over Features 

The X-Over or crossover tab is one of the powerful interfaces on this head unit. While you are on the advanced settings, this feature enables you to adjust the outputs, broken down by channel. 

Suppose you have a 6.5” component speaker set hooked up to your amplifier with the front RCA outfit from the unit. In that case, you can use the crossover settings to perform a direct signal output configuration from the head unit for a specific channel. The feature also allows you to choose the frequencies’ lower and upper thresholds, and you can even set up the channels as either high pass, low pass, or full pass output.

Alpine iLX-W650 Specifications

Below are the specifications of iLX-W650. Check them out and see if it matches your needs or not:

  • 7” capacitive touchscreen 
  • Full CTA 2006 compliance 
  • Pairing with Alpine KTA 450 amplifier units 
  • 16W RMS amplifier 
  • Compatibility with factory steering wheel controls 
  • FLAC media playback compatibility 
  • External microphone for phone calls or voice commands 
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration 
  • Digital media receiver capabilities 
  • Compatibility with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner 
  • Two camera inputs and a rear USB port 
  • Works with Siri Eyes Free Control and Google Assistant 
  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Hands-free control and touchscreen swipe control 
  • Shallow-mount chassis design 
  • One year warranty

Alpine iLX-W650 Pros and Cons 

We want to help you further decide whether iLX-W650 is suitable for you or not, so we prepared the pros and cons section below:

Pros

  • Great sound quality 
  • Space-saver while offering sufficient room accessories and extras 
  • Perfect for families who have Android and iOS devices 
  • Clean and responsive screen
  • The installation process is a breeze 
  • Top-tier technology in a shallow chassis system 
  • Extends the new digital media receiver capabilities 

Cons

  • The colors and sounds are not customizable 
  • Slow boot up to 15-20s
Sale
Alpine iLX-W650 7" Mech-Less Receiver Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • digital media receiver with AM/FM tuner (does not play CDs)
  • shallow-mount chassis design (2-7/16" deep)
  • touchscreen swipe controls
  • designed to work with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • hands-free control lets you access apps using your voice

Final Verdict 

The Alpine iLX-W650 is an excellent choice due to its great value and exciting set of features. With the granular and intricate audio output control, this head unit proves that it is ideal for building a high-performance system. You can get all the essentials, such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, USB, and Bluetooth when it comes to expandability perspective.

Wireless phone calls and streaming music are very straightforward. The user interface is also easy to use and helps limit any distractions.

Plus, the installation is easy. 

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