- Same MOSFET amplifier found in higher-priced Pioneer models.
- Convenient auxiliary input located on the front face of the unit.
- Plays both WMA and MP3 files.
- Preamp outputs.
- No HD Radio tuner.
- Button labels difficult to read.
- Faceplate difficult to remove in some applications.
A Budget Priced Head Unit with Extras
With a sticker price of around $70, the Pioneer DEH-1300mp is a nice entry-level head unit replacement that boasts some big sound, but the attractive price tag comes with a few drawbacks. This unit can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, from WMA files to MP3s, and it includes a handy auxiliary input on the front. The unit also has preamp outputs, which will come in handy if you ever feel like upgrading your sound system.
The biggest drawback of the DEH-1300mp is that it lacks an HD radio tuner. That's a forgivable omission for some people, but you'll have to step up to a different unit if you've been hoping to jump on the HD Radio bandwagon.
Pioneer is a brand that has carved out an excellent reputation for itself, and the DEH-1300mp is no exception. If you're looking for an inexpensive head unit replacement that doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, this is just the type of stereo you should be looking at.
The biggest thing that the DEH-1300mp has going for it is the MOSFET amp. This is the same amp you'll find in Pioneer stereos that carry much larger price tags, so you can expect to get some pretty big sound out of this little head unit. Your exact results will depend on factors like your speaker choices and placements, but it's hard to fault the DEH-1300mp where sound quality is concerned.
You'll also find a pair of preamp outputs on the back of the head unit, which is a feature that you won't find on many other budget-priced models. These outputs can be ignored if you just want to perform a standard installation, but you'll always have the option of going back in and making use of them.
The DEH-1300mp is also compatible with WMA and MP3 files, which means you can burn data CDs on your computer and play them in this head unit. Of course, you can also plug your iPod into the front-facing auxiliary input. The unit doesn't have built-in iPod controls, but omissions like those are reflected in the price tag.
Since the DEH-1300mp is a budget model, you shouldn't expect to see any of the fancier options that you'll find in more expensive units. However, there are some omissions that are hard to overlook. The biggest issue is the lack of an HD Radio tuner, which is an option that can be found in similarly priced units.
Usability also suffers a bit due to poor button labeling. Unless you have Chuck Yeager's eyesight, you'll probably find yourself squinting at the tiny print. That's not a unique failing, but it is an issue that leads to a somewhat steeper learning curve.
If you're planning on a DIY installation, you'll also have to pay close attention to the way you mount it. The faceplate detaches very easily before the unit has been installed, but it can get bound on other dash components in some applications.
The Bottom Line
If you don't care about HD Radio, then the DEH-1300mp is a great replacement for an older OEM head unit. It's an even better choice if you own an iPod or have a bunch of WMA or MP3 files burned to CDs. You can also plug a satellite radio receiver into the auxiliary input. Since the unit is capable of putting out great sound, you might not even miss the HD tuner.
However, you'll want to step up to a different unit if you want an HD Radio tuner, built-in satellite receiver, iPod controls, or other options that aren't traditionally associated with the budget segment.