Need your help: Is it foolish to install a $700 Sony CarPlay unit in a TJ without a hardtop?

Neil Sears

TJ Enthusiast
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Joined
Oct 21, 2018
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253
Location
Big Bear, CA
I have gone back-and-forth with Bluetooth amps without a head unit to 1.5 DIN in factory location to 1 DIN w/ adapter and finally 2 DIN w/ new bezel but also thought about utilizing a McIntosh head unit I had and I’ve spent way way way too much time going back-and-forth so I finally said f-it and was just about to order the head unit I really want which is a Sony KAV-AX6000* when my buddy text me and I told him I was about to order it and he’s like are you f-ing crazy it’s gonna be stolen in a week!

So am I f-ing crazy?

*Of note I just installed 4 - 5.25 Focal 130ac speakers. They are low efficiency so want 50 watts. The Sony AX6000 peaks at 55 but is rated at only 20 so even if I go this route there still may be an amp in my future.


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I personally wouldn't, but it's your Jeep, and the odds of being stolen have more to do with the types of places and times of day its left unattended.

If it has the options you want, that's one thing. I'd have a hard time doing it for sound quality though.
 
I wouldn't.

1. A modern $100 name brand head unit w/Bluetooth + decent speakers can sound surprisingly good for what the TJ is, but after a point, I don't think the Jeep will let an expensive unit/setup sound as good as it's meant to and would in a fully enclosed, better insulated vehicle. Law of diminishing returns...

2. I'm more concerned about the TJ being stolen than I am anything in it, but I still don't leave anything in it that I care about getting stolen. Something like that would have me wondering every time I parked the Jeep in a public place.
 
I notice your profile says Los Angeles
Is this a serious question or are you new to big city living??😂

Im from Chicago, and hell no you dont put a fancy headunit into a Jeep without some kind of security if its parked unsecured when certain urban denizens are frequenting

I put a cheap $200 BOSS headunit in the TJ
Never used BOSS before but it does what I need it to

Ive had stereo gear stolen out of my Isuzu Amigo many years ago in a theater parking lot in a halfway decent suburb that was installed with security screws
 
As someone who daily drives in downtown Seattle, I haven't noticed folks stealing radios. Most modern cars come with fancy Carplay radios these days, not to mention the giant iPads that Teslas come with, and we don't see those getting stolen much either.
 
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I have gone back-and-forth with Bluetooth amps without a head unit to 1.5 DIN in factory location to 1 DIN w/ adapter and finally 2 DIN w/ new bezel but also thought about utilizing a McIntosh head unit I had and I’ve spent way way way too much time going back-and-forth so I finally said f-it and was just about to order the head unit I really want which is a Sony KAV-AX6000* when my buddy text me and I told him I was about to order it and he’s like are you f-ing crazy it’s gonna be stolen in a week!

So am I f-ing crazy?

*Of note I just installed 4 - 5.25 Focal 130ac speakers. They are low efficiency so want 50 watts. The Sony AX6000 peaks at 55 but is rated at only 20 so even if I go this route there still may be an amp in my future.


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Put a Mopar/Uconnect sticker on it and nobody will steal it.
 
As someone who daily drives in downtown Seattle, I haven't noticed folks stealing radios.
I havent noticed anyone smokin crack or stealing stereos in Chicago. However I think its safe to say it happens in your city and mine without our direct supervision 🤣

You have an insane growth of homeless junkies since I was stationed at PSNS

There is no market for OEM dash tablets
 
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"Is it foolish to install a $700 Sony CarPlay unit in a TJ without a hardtop?"​

It's foolish to install a $700 Sony CarPlay unit or a hard top. I can get into a hard top faster than unzipping a soft top side window.
 
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I wouldn't spend 10 cents on a new unit, it's so loud in my TJ that the stereo is largely irrelevant, in order to crank it up loud enough to drown that out & enjoy the music aggravates my tinnitus making it miserable so it's a no-go.

I get that most don't have this issue so my post is mostly irrelevant and non-responsive to your actual question, I'll show myself out.
 
I wouldn't spend 10 cents on a new unit, it's so loud in my TJ that the stereo is largely irrelevant, in order to crank it up loud enough to drown that out & enjoy the music aggravates my tinnitus making it miserable so it's a no-go.

I get that most don't have this issue so my post is mostly irrelevant and non-responsive to your actual question, I'll show myself out.

Tinnitus is the damn devil. I'm currently in a flare-up from fluid behind my eardrums due to allergies. Its been a rough go trying to sleep for a few days.

I wear ear plugs when I drive the Jeep, and crank the stereo enough to hear the music, but there's zero point in trying to get any sound quality through 29NRR.
 
I wear ear plugs when I drive the Jeep, and crank the stereo enough to hear the music, but there's zero point in trying to get any sound quality through 29NRR.

I do the same but only when the top is down and/or windows and doors are out. Forget about the stereo, the road noise alone is more than enough to aggravate my situation. Earplugs are the perfect solution, cuts all that out & also allows me to crank the stereo up loud enough that kind of sounds like I'm in a regular car with the stereo on low. But yea, sound quality is not the highlight, which is ok with me, I've had more than a lifetime's worth of music enjoyment which I'm pretty sure is how I got myself into this jam :ROFLMAO:
 
I do the same but only when the top is down and/or windows and doors are out. Forget about the stereo, the road noise alone is more than enough to aggravate my situation. Earplugs are the perfect solution, cuts all that out & also allows me to crank the stereo up loud enough that kind of sounds like I'm in a regular car with the stereo on low. But yea, sound quality is not the highlight, which is ok with me, I've had more than a lifetime's worth of music enjoyment which I'm pretty sure is how I got myself into this jam :ROFLMAO:

I'm windows-out for about 10 months of the year. But even with windows on (half doors with soft uppers), I still do the ear plugs if I'm going far enough to hit a highway.

These are my personal favorites, because they are fairly slippery and just push on without having to roll them down and then try to thread the needle before they expand again. (Also, they're 26 NRR, not the 29 I referenced earlier)

Howard Leight by Honeywell by Quiet Reusable Earplugs, 100 Pairs (QD1), Orange https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0008GHAC2?tag=wranglerorg-20

I also use them any time I touch a power tool of any kind. I'm only 40, so I've got a long way to go and can't afford to let it get any worse.
 
I havent noticed anyone smokin crack or stealing stereos in Chicago. However I think its safe to say it happens in your city and mine without our direct supervision 🤣

I’m sure it happens here and there. My point is that it’s not nearly as commonplace as 20 years ago.

I’m willing to bet you’re more likely to get your wheels/tires stolen than your radio.
 
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Tinnitus is the damn devil. I'm currently in a flare-up from fluid behind my eardrums due to allergies. Its been a rough go trying to sleep for a few days.

I wear ear plugs when I drive the Jeep, and crank the stereo enough to hear the music, but there's zero point in trying to get any sound quality through 29NRR.

So between having a CJ5 from 19 to 24 years old and no top most of the time, and box speakers with my Metallica, AC/DC Tool and Nirvana loves, and all the shooting without proper ear plugs like a moron, my ears Tinitus is off the charts like yalls. Sucks but oh well.

I will say, there are musicians ear plugs that limit the over loud, and let you still listen. Now I don’t pull a firearm without major plugs ha.

On the radio, if you can afford to replace no biggie, then go for it.

I got my son a lower cost double din Wireless Apple play with his 08 Jk soft top. It’s worth it.

I’m going to get one in my TJ, probably a $300 ish, not 700. That’s just me

I live in a Texas suburb, and someone left their garage open and someone jacked up and stole their rims and tires off the Tahoe, so yeah, people steal all kinds of stuff still.
 
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I have gone back-and-forth with Bluetooth amps without a head unit to 1.5 DIN in factory location to 1 DIN w/ adapter and finally 2 DIN w/ new bezel but also thought about utilizing a McIntosh head unit I had and I’ve spent way way way too much time going back-and-forth so I finally said f-it and was just about to order the head unit I really want which is a Sony KAV-AX6000* when my buddy text me and I told him I was about to order it and he’s like are you f-ing crazy it’s gonna be stolen in a week!

So am I f-ing crazy?

*Of note I just installed 4 - 5.25 Focal 130ac speakers. They are low efficiency so want 50 watts. The Sony AX6000 peaks at 55 but is rated at only 20 so even if I go this route there still may be an amp in my future.


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That’s a beautiful looking head unit. I’ve gone back and forth on this issue too. IMHO, it really depends on where you live, where you park your Jeep, and where it is kept overnight. If you’re willing to live with the resulting risk- reward then go for it. I’d really like to swap to a head unit like that and I probably will. Mine lives in the garage and I only park it downtown when eating at a restaurant, and always while it’s still light out.
 
Tinnitus is the damn devil. I'm currently in a flare-up from fluid behind my eardrums due to allergies. Its been a rough go trying to sleep for a few days.

I wear ear plugs when I drive the Jeep, and crank the stereo enough to hear the music, but there's zero point in trying to get any sound quality through 29NRR.

I hear you (pun intended! 😃). I've got what I consider a bad tinnitus
Even went to an ear nose and throat doctor in hope of having a solution such as a noise canceling hearing aid. After a thorough examination his final verdict? Live with it!😲
 
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I have personally had nice stereos ripped out of vehicles. My Father-in-law also had a factory touch-screen unit ripped out of his then-new Tacoma - smash and grab in a nice part of San Diego.

That's a big reason I went with the Grom Audio bluetooth adapter setup that I did, to maintain a low profile and see how much juice I could squeeze out of the factory unit. I didn't want to change the appearance, nor did i want to give anyone a tantalizing target.

It still might get swiped, but i kinda doubt it and I also run a steering wheel club to keep the Jeep from growing legs in the middle of the night. :D
 
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