Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX Review

Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX Review

Pioneer’s flagship AVIC-W8500NEX navigation receiver which offers features few new cars can match, namely wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, along with lots of other cutting-edge technology. In addition, these include the ability to add dual cameras for rear- and front-facing views, WebLink for control of apps such as YouTube and Yelp, screen-mirroring of portable devices, and the ability to play high-resolution FLAC audio files. Let’s begin with the Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX Review.

Of course, the Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX also has all the bells and whistles you expect in a high-end head unit, such as turn-by-turn navigation with traffic info, app compatibility, HD Radio, and Siri Eyes Free, earning our Editors’ Choice.

Why The 5 Star Rating?

Well, when it first came out it was $1,200 so back then it was a 4-Star. However, in all honesty, this is one of the nicest head units I’ve ever used (it’s in my 1969 Chevrolet Camaro).


  • The touch screen is unreal. Best I’ve ever seen.
  • Wired Car play is way better and more reliable than in my GMC Yukon.
  • Wireless car play is incredible. (I have an iPhone, Android people have reported problems but I didn’t experience that)
  • Navigation is excellent
  • HD Radio is perfect
  • Navigation shows both sides of the street – a unique feature
  • Auto navigation voice is strong, timely, and clear


  • The speed limit reminder is beyond annoying
  • Startups can be a little long and seemingly problem-ridden but the system does always come up
  • Car Play outperforms the traffic service – and it’s not even close
this is a picture of the Pioneer AVIC W8500NEX radio


Pioneer’s NEX or Networked Entertainment eXperience line of receivers features a responsive and highly customizable user interface. And, the NEX models are designed especially for today’s smartphone-driven lifestyle.

The AVIC-W8500NEX supports a cable-free connection between your smartphone and the receiver using Wi-Fi® wireless connectivity. Moreover, it’s now compatible with both Android Auto Wireless (available on Google Pixel and Nexus devices)¹ and Android Auto over USB, the AVIC-W8500NEX makes it easier than ever to connect. As a result, Android Auto¹ makes it easier to access your favorite navigation, media, and communication apps on the road while minimizing distractions.

Compatibility with Apple CarPlay supports connecting to an iPhone® device using either a wireless connection or a wired USB connection. In addition, Wi-Fi Certified Miracast™ provides additional wireless connectivity, enabling a seamless display of multimedia content between compatible devices and the Pioneer receiver². Furthermore, more information is available at

Now you no longer need to worry about taking your smartphone out of your bag or your pocket before you get into your car.

Android Auto

The AVIC-W8500NEX also features Android Auto, which extends the Android platform into the car in a way that’s purpose-built for driving. In addition, Android Auto automatically brings you useful information and organizes it into simple cards that appear just when they’re needed. However, it’s designed to minimize distractions so you can stay focused on the road ahead. Moreover, Android Auto is compatible with Android phones running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later. Android Auto may not be available on all devices.

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay makes using your iPhone® in the car smarter, safer, and more entertaining. In addition, Apple CarPlay enables iPhone customers a straightforward method to make calls, utilize Maps, listen to music, and verbally send and receive messages. Apple CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later with iOS 8.

Dual Back Up Camera Input Ready*

Dual Back up Camera inputs enable you to add a reverse (rear-facing) camera and a front-facing camera that can assist with front and rear visibility, towing, or parking.

*Federal laws require rear visibility devices (backup cameras) in some new vehicles beginning May 1, 2016. Installing or using this device in a way that changes or disables a compliant rear visibility system is illegal. If you’re unsure if your car has a rear visibility system, contact the manufacturer or dealer.

Future of Navigation

the future of navigation

In addition to the Q2-18 mapping and turn-by-turn directions to a large database of Points-of-Interest, such as restaurants, gas stations, and ATMs. Pioneer’s built-in navigation models offer detailed, reliable traffic and route guidance information to get you where you want to go.

Hands-Free Calling and Audio Streaming

Stay safe and obey local hands-free laws with built-in Bluetooth (HFP). Easily pair a Bluetooth-enabled phone to the AVIC-W8500NEX without having to go through complicated settings. When a registered Bluetooth device is in proximity to the receiver, the auto connection function automatically pairs the two units.

From hands-free calling, wireless audio streaming (A2DP) with artist, album, and song search*, simple pairing, and control audio (AVRCP profile), Bluetooth®wireless technology has made life in the vehicle much more convenient.

The AVIC-W8500NEX with Bluetooth also includes superior call quality reception using Wideband Speech Handsfree Profile 1.6. Wideband Speech nearly doubles the bandwidth of frequencies of a normal Bluetooth call (when compared to calls without Wideband Speech)**.

Other features include the ability to browse music libraries on smartphones wirelessly.

A Better-Than-Ever Listening Experience

Pandora is a customizable internet radio that mixes new and old music. With the AVIC-W8500NEX, you can control Pandora from your car’s touchscreen display. You can give tunes “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” bookmark a song to purchase it later and examine complete track info and album art.

Pandora is compatible with Apple iOS, as well as Android devices that support the Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP). Simply download the free Pandora Radio app to your iPhone or Android device, connect to the AVIC-W8500NEX and take your music to the next level.

For more information and to sign up for a free account, visit

Power of Siri® Eyes Free

Users of an iPhone® with Siri can take advantage of Siri Eyes Free functionality. With a simple touch of the NEX touchscreen, Siri starts listening through the NEX unit’s external microphone and answers your questions and requests over the vehicle’s speakers, helping you keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

Navigate with Confidence

The AVIC-W8500NEX offers a comprehensive map database from HERE® covering the entire United States (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, and Puerto Rico, enabling users to route to millions of destinations.

As a component of the Naviextras feature, the AVIC-W8500NEX ensures that you have the most recent map database available for this receiver at the time of purchase.

Customers who purchase Pioneer NEX products from authorized Pioneer dealers are eligible to update to the latest available map database free of charge during the first 45 days of operation (from the unit’s first receipt of an active GPS signal). To update the map database, visit Naviextras’ website to download the Naviextras Toolbox.

The built-in traffic tuner provides real-time traffic data for over 90 major cities in North America, including Canada. In addition, check your commute route in advance or re-route to your destination to avoid traffic congestion.
There is no subscription cost and no annoying on-screen advertisements. With our traffic tuner, now you are ready to navigate stress-free!

Your Favorite Stations Wherever You Go, Wherever You Are

The AVIC-W8500NEX is SiriusXM- Ready® so you can get over 140 channels, including commercial-free music, plus the best sports and live events, comedy, news, exclusive talk, and entertainment. SiriusXM programming is received through the SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner (sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required).

Simply connect a SiriusXM SXV300 tuner to the Pioneer receiver and receive additional features like TuneMix™, SportsFlash™, and Traffic and Weather Now™. Furthermore, to learn more or to purchase the tuner, visit SiriusXM.

More Music, Stations, and Features. Digital Sounds. No Subscriptions.

The Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX features a built-in HD Radio™ tuner, which allows you to enjoy your radio in an all-new way. Besides broadcasting in clear digital quality, many stations offer extra local FM channels so you can enjoy more music, news, and sports – all 100% subscription FREE! Your FM stations now with near CD-quality sound (on single-channel stations), AM stations are now in stereo and sounding like FM stations, and crystal-clear reception with no audio distortion.

With HD Radio, you’ll also see song titles, album art, and station information and be able to tag new discoveries.

For a complete list of HD Radio stations currently broadcasting in the United States: Click Here

Dual Zone Entertainment

The AVIC-W8500NEX allows rear-seat passengers to enjoy audio or video content on additional rear seat monitors and headphones, even while the front passenger and driver listen to audio from other sources or operate navigation functions simultaneously.

Pioneer NEX and iDatalink Maestro RR keep factory features and add in-car connectivity. When installed in a compatible vehicle using the iDatalink Maestro RR interface (sold separately), you’ll have touchscreen control over key factory audio features.

The Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX supports factory functions via the iDatalink Maestro RR interface including Steering Wheel Controls, Media Player (including the factory AUX-in and USB ports), Hands-Free Telephone, Voice Commands, Satellite Radio, and Secondary Display Support. For more information about iDatalink Maestro Click Here.

USB Direct Control for iPhone

Pioneer’s AVIC-W8500NEX is ready to roll with direct connectivity to your iPhone* for music and video via USB. Song, artist, time, and album information are beautifully displayed on the touchscreen. And, the system’s wired USB connection provides direct digital signal transfer from the device for clean, clear sound while providing 1.5 amp of current to keep your iPod/iPhone charged.

* Requires iPhone 5 or newer. Compatibility with unit and operations may vary depending on the iOS version

Stay Connected

Connect your iOS or AndroidTM smartphone to NEX for a totally connected experience, bringing many of your favorite apps to the dashboard and letting you converse through high-quality Bluetooth. In addition, all NEX models have Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming. NEX includes the newest Hands-Free Profile (HFP 1.6) with Wideband Speech for better call quality. Moreover, NEX lets you stream music from your phone via AVRCP 1.6.

Sound Quality for All

Your car and your music are as unique as you are. With a Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX in-dash receiver, sound quality features like built-in Auto EQ and Time Alignment, 13-Band Graphic Equalizer with touch panel swipe settings, and built-in high/low pass crossover with adjustable points and slopes provide you with the controls to tailor the listening experience to your vehicle and listening preferences. The CD-MC20 microphone is required for Auto EQ features and is sold separately.

Your love of high-res audio does not need to stop at the front door. For example, enjoy FLAC files in your vehicle without the need to convert. In addition, Pioneer’s NEX in-dash receivers were the first in the industry to offer playback of files encoded as high-res FLAC up to 192kHz/24 bit and provide playback output at CD quality. With Pioneer, your high-res FLAC is no longer confined to your home hi-fi system – put your music on the move.

Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX Specifications





Smartphone Integration

Digital Media Smartpack




Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX Video

Quick Access to Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX Manuals

Brook Walsh

For nearly 30 years, I've had a fascination with restomods. I've learned from real-world experience what restomod gear works and what doesn't. This is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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