Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 REVIEW Nine Inch Screen of Joy

DETAILS

Revealed at CES 2018, the iLX-F309 is an impressive car stereo unit with a 9-inch touchscreen. Alpine was the first to hit the market with a 9-inch system back in 2014, but it was targeted to trucks and SUVs only. The iLX-F309 is designed for many different vehicle types without needing custom installation. It earned the name “HALO9” from its signature 9-inch screen and ability to ‘hover’ in front a vehicle’s dash.

  • KAC-001 Accessory Controller: This turns your Alpine into a command center for all your vehicle accessories. There are eight individual outputs available for relay connected accessories.
  • KCX-C2600B Multi-Camera Selector: The stereo has a rear camera input so if your car doesn’t come with a pre-installed backup camera, you can easily add one in by tying it into the Alpine.
  • Audio, video and Bluetooth® feature set
  • Works with Apple CarPlay®
  • Android Auto™ now with the Google Assistant
  • HD Radio™ tuner built-in
  • Made for iPod® and iPhone®
  • SiriusXM-Ready™ (SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required)
  • Pandora control from iPhone® and Android™ smartphones
  • FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/HE-AAC music playback via USB
  • Alpine TuneIt® App integration
  • BT Plus Bluetooth® wireless technology with audio streaming
  • My Favorites feature provides custom shortcuts to favorite audio sources, places and phone numbers
  • Touch screen control of electrical accessories via KAC-001 External Accessory Control Module (sold separately)
  • 4-way swipe action graphical interface control
  • Touch screen control of multiple camera systems via KCX-C250MC Multi-Camera Selector Interface (sold separately
  • One HDMI input or expand via KCX-630HD HDMI Selector Interface (sold separately)

USER EXPERIENCE

The iLX-F309 arrived in a fairly standard box. The box was blue and white with an image of the device posted on the front. Basic information about the product was showcased on the box as well. It’s a very large box but it houses not only the stereo, but also the manuals, cable bundles, and hardware needed for the installation. When you first open the box, you will be greeted with manuals and a small box that contains the radio’s body. Below that is a special bubble wrap that is very firm. This was included and designed to provide a protective layer for the screen, which was in another box and wrapped in a nice cloth to protect the screen from any surface scratches.

CONCLUSION

The HALO9 is quite an upgrade for me and I don’t feel that you can go wrong with it. Based on its versatility, it will fit in almost any car or truck and the screen is so responsive, you will swear that you are using an iPad. I was a bit let down that there was only on USB output port on the unit as I would have liked the flexibility to hide my Lightning cable as I did as well as be able to have a second USB connection that is flexible. I was also a little let down by the fact that the iDatalink Maestro turned out to not be compatible with my truck. I was looking forward to being able to monitor my truck’s systems from the HALO9 screen. Other than just a couple of hiccups, I’ve been absolutely amazed by this system and still find it amazing. If I ever decide to sell my truck, the HALO9 will be coming with me to the next vehicle I buy.

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