Alpine iLX-507 Digital Multimedia Receiver Review: Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Make It a Fantastic Upgrade to Any Car Stereo System

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The Lowdown

The Alpine iLX-507’s sound quality is excellent, and the operation is fairly intuitive, although the menu system isn’t the easiest to figure out. Overall, it’s a great value for a CarPlay and Android Auto-compatible car stereo.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Sleek design with physical buttons
  • Bright, easy-to-use touchscreen
  • Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto is a HUGE plus
  • Great sound quality and ease of installation
  • Ability to add cameras

Cons

  • I’m experiencing some kinks with my phone disconnecting, which is possibly due to my installation
  • The menu system isn’t the easiest to figure out
Alpine iLX-507 Digital Multimedia Receiver Review: Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Make It a Fantastic Upgrade to Any Car Stereo System Listen to this article

What’s even more convenient than Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? WIRELESS Apple CarPlay or Android Auto! The new Alpine iLX-507 7″ Digital Multimedia Receiver allows you to turn on your car and automatically connect your iOS or Android device to two of the best auto smartphone platforms out there.

 

I’ve reviewed Alpine’s multimedia receivers in the past, so I have plenty of experience with their products, and I’m continually impressed by their improvement.

The Alpine iLX-507 is a fantastic upgrade for almost any car, whether you have an older Alpine multimedia receiver like I had or a factory unit. It features a 7″ 720p high-definition (1280×720) capacitive touchscreen that presents bright colors for ease of use. The unit itself fits in double-DIN dash openings, which is about 4″ tall. It has an HD Radio tuner built-in as well as Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, including an external wired microphone.

Check out our full video review:

 

It’s important to note that the iLX-507 does NOT play discs, so don’t bring your CD binder with you on road trips. It’ll do AM/FM (including HD Radio), Pandora (via mobile phone connection), and satellite radio (with a separate contract) on top of all of the audio perks you get with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

For this review, I will discuss Apple CarPlay a lot more than Android Auto, simply because I own an iPhone and could not test Android Auto. But please know that Android Auto is fully compatible with the iLX-507, and you should have similar experiences to any of the ones noted regarding Apple CarPlay.

Alpine iLX-507 Digital Multimedia Receiver Review: Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Make It a Fantastic Upgrade to Any Car Stereo System

The inside of my dash, pre-install of the Alpine iLX-507

Alpine iLX-507 Digital Multimedia Receiver Review: Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Make It a Fantastic Upgrade to Any Car Stereo System

Getting ready to install the 507

With CarPlay, you’ve got a ton of entertainment options available to stream from your phone. You’ve got your music, music streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, and more; then you’ve got podcasts, etc.

The Alpine iLX-507 can play MP3, WMA, AAC, APE, and FLAC music files and can also play AVC, FLV, H,264, MP4, MPEG-4, and MOV video files. Note that you’ll need to engage your emergency brake in order to access video streaming, which makes all the sense in the world to me!

You can even play lossless FLAC audio files up to 96kHz/24-bit, which is great for high-def audio.

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The Alpine iLX-507 offers inputs for both front and rear cameras, two rear USB ports, a rear HDMI input, as well as a rear auxiliary input. It’s also got a rear HDMI output and a 6-channel preamp output (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer). It does have a built-in internal amp featuring 16 watts RMS CTA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels.

The Alpine iLX-507 is also compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls with a separately purchased adapter. Finally, it’s also compatible with iDatalink Maestro, which retains factory features in many vehicles and displays engine performance data on the touchscreen.

 

Alpine was kind enough to offer me the Alpine iLX-507 as an upgrade from my previous review of the Alpine iLX-W650, which also featured a 7″ touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, but lacked wireless CarPlay functionality as well as physical buttons. To me, those are excellent reasons to upgrade.

Wireless CarPlay is far superior as it’s so convenient to turn on your car, put your phone down, and have it automatically connect. There is no more fumbling for a cable to connect to CarPlay unless you need to charge your phone.

Speaking of fumbling, physical buttons are so much easier to use than capacitive buttons, so I’m thankful for the addition of physical buttons with a full 7″ screen here; the physical buttons are backlit, so they’re easy to see as well as operate.

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Installation was fairly simple, even for someone like myself who isn’t super confident with car stereo installation. What made it easier was that I had the iLX-W650 installed previously, so I could reuse the harness and a lot of the wiring, including the wired microphone.

I’ve had some issues with the speakers making a popping sound after turning the car on, but I think that’s more to do with my inexperienced installation than the unit itself, and I’m sure I can fix it with some tinkering. That said, I was able to install the Alpine iLX-507 within an hour or so, and the stereo was fully functional, including the backup camera I had previously installed as well.

 

My experience with the Alpine iLX-507 has been overwhelmingly positive, including the luxury of wireless CarPlay, ease of use offered by the physical buttons, and the hi-def capacitive touchscreen.

My only real complaint has been semi-frequent issues with my phone disconnecting and being unable to reconnect it to CarPlay without forgetting the car stereo in my iPhone settings and attempting to reconnect several times. This issue aside, I’ve had zero complaints, and I see the Alpine iLX-507 as a huge upgrade to any car, even those with access to wired CarPlay or Android Auto.

The Alpine iLX-507’s sound quality is excellent, and the operation is fairly intuitive, although the menu system isn’t the easiest to figure out. Overall, it’s a great value for a CarPlay and Android Auto-compatible car stereo.

The Alpine iLX-507 starts at $749.95; you can learn more about it here, and it is available from Crutchfield.

Source: Manufacturer Supplied review sample

What I Like: Sleek design with physical buttons; Bright, easy-to-use touchscreen; Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto is a HUGE plus; Great sound quality and ease of installation; Ability to add cameras

What Needs Improvement: I’m experiencing some kinks with my phone disconnecting, which is possibly due to my installation; The menu system isn’t the easiest to figure out

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About the Author

Perry Brauner
I'm an architect by trade, but the overarching theme of my life has always been trying to keep up with the newest, coolest technology. Ever since I picked up an NES controller, I've been hooked on the latest and greatest gadgets, gizmos, and toys. Whether it's gaming, mobile phones, and accessories, or PCs and Apple products, I'm interested. I use many Apple products in my daily life, such as the iPhone, iPad, and my MacBook Pro. I've also built a few PCs in my day, so I'd like to say that I'm a pretty well-rounded techie.