Alpine iLX-507 Review

Alpine iLX-507 Review

It’s been a few months since we received our first shipment of the Alpine iLX-507. Now that we’ve sold and installed a few, I feel I’ve gotten to really know it intimately. It’s time to share my thoughts! For those not familiar, the 507 is essentially the direct replacement for the iLX-207 which we used to have in our old 2013 Wrangler.

Alpine iLX-507 Review - Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Alpine iLX-507 Review – Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Where is it made?

One of the first things I always like to look at when a new product arrives at the shop is the outside of the box. Where’s it made? It’s predecessor, the iLX-207, was made in Japan. For comparison, the wildly popular iLX-W650 and subsequent iLX-407 are both made in Korea and the previous Halo models, iLX-F409 and F411, were made in China. I was intrigued to see the Alpine iLX-507 is made in Thailand. Fun fact. I recently had a client ask me where every radio we sold was made. He based his purchase off of the country of origin. As I rattled off the names when I finally got to Indonesia (Kenwood) he stopped me and said, “I ain’t got no problem with them, that works”.

Alpine iLX-507 - Made in Thailand
Alpine iLX-507 – Made in Thailand

HD Screen Quality – But is it really?

Once I got the unit unboxed and wired up, the HD quality of the screen immediately stood out to me. The Alpine iLX-507 features a 1280 x 720 HD screen with a 2,764,800 pixel count. Not bad. Check it out against this Kenwood DMX1057XR on display right next to it. Keep in mind, the Kenwood is physically closer to the camera because it’s floating away from the display board.

Although this new style screen is much more vibrant and aesthetically pleasing than previous models, sadly, I don’t think it’s as accurate/responsive to touch. For example, just playing around with the iLX-W650 and iLX-407 on display, I find their touch screen is more accurate and responsive than the iLX-507. The Kenwood right next to it blows it out of the water in terms of touch reactivity and exactness .

Screen Sensitivity

Check out the drop down tab on the top of the screen. This is supposed to be a quick and easy short cut to get to basic audio controls – which I do appreciate! The Alpine iLX-507 features an incredible amount of audio control such as a 13 band parametric EQ (per channel), BUT there are a lot of clients out there that just want a quick easy bass/treble adjustment.

The manual says to simply tap the blue tab on the top of the screen to display this easy sound set up menu. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately it usually takes me 2-3 tries to get it to actually show up. Super frustrating. Especially when I’m trying to show a client how easy it is to use. Imagine trying to do that while you’re driving and hitting bumps and potholes.

Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto plus iDatalink Maestro compatiblity

The most attractive feature of the Alpine iLX-507 for most clients is the wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On top of that, this receiver is also iDatalink Maestro compatible which is a critical feature for a lot of different vehicles. Although not required for every car, even something like a 2012 Ford Escape will benefit from the iDatalink Maestro ADS-MRR which can retain OEM features like audio controls on the steering wheel, factory amplifier if equipped, park distance sensors and even the separate radio display that is mounted above the factory radio.

Alpine iLX-507 - Wireless Android Auto
Alpine iLX-507 – Wireless Android Auto

Two USB ports – Optional GPS Navigation

In addition to wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, there are TWO USB ports for this receiver. Bonus points – the main USB features 2.4 amp charging. That is huge. I was super surprised this wasn’t covered in an earlier product training when the question was asked, but I’m happy to report the main USB finally has a decent charging rate.

Another super attractive feature is the secondary USB port. This can be used for an additional device such as music files on a thumb drive or for future unit expansion. Eventually Alpine plans to release an optional satellite based GPS navigation add-on (release date TBD – keeps getting pushed back).

Optional GPS

I think optional GPS is a no brainer for radio manufacturers and I really don’t get why more companies don’t offer it. Although the Alpine iLX-507 includes a GPS antenna, which helps to improve accuracy on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you can still run into coverage issues in dead zones. And trust me, there are still plenty of areas especially in New England with zero cell service. That is the drawback of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. No cell service? No GPS. For many clients driving in more densely populated areas, this isn’t a concern, but for folks still out in the country, it’s nice to have satellite based GPS navigation. Keep in mind if/when you decide to add that optional GPS when it becomes available, it will occupy that secondary USB input.

Optional Volume Knob

Speaking of options, would you like to add volume knob? Well luckily you can and the best part about it is you can stick it wherever you want on your dash. The Alpine RUX-H02 is an optional Volume/Subwoofer control knob that works via Bluetooth with the iLX-507. By pushing the knob in you can toggle between master volume control and subwoofer level control. How clever!

Alpine iLX-507 - Optional Volume Knob/Remote Bass Knob
Alpine iLX-507 – Optional Volume Knob/Remote Bass Knob

I do love this accessory. It is such an awesome add-on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a clients car to show them how to use their new stereo and they immediately start reaching for the volume knob that is no longer there. People like knobs, what else can I say?

HD Radio – Scrolling presets

Personally I am not a fan of FM/AM radio, but there are some clients that still like to listen to local radio for music, news, traffic and weather. If you’re in an area with a lot of coverage, you may appreciate the added benefit of HD Radio compatibility. What might peeve you however, is how you access those presets.

Alpine iLX-507 - Scrolling presets
Alpine iLX-507 – Scrolling presets

This is another design aspect I don’t understand. Scrolling presets! Fixed presets 1 thru 6 on the bottom of the screen with a clear band button (like the iLX-W650) is the way to go IMO. It’s just difficult to scroll and select while driving especially if the screen responsiveness isn’t 100%.

Hi-Res audio playback

You may have noticed that the Alpine iLX-507 features Hi-Res audio playback. It’s compatible with higher resolution audio apps like Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon HD or tracks downloaded from HD Tracks and capable of playback at 96kHz/24Bit. This may be a very important feature to a lot of you out there. You might be surprised I haven’t made a bigger deal out of this feature. Practically speaking, most of the clients that have bought this unit are not purchasing it for this reason. Hi-Res audio isn’t even on their radar.

Alpine iLX-507 - capable of Hi-Res Audio
Alpine iLX-507 – capable of Hi-Res Audio

In general, many of my clients don’t really understand that the music they are streaming from Pandora, Spotify and SiriusXM is wildly compressed. Whenever possible, I take the time to let them hear a track off their playlist from their phone using their preferred app and then I let them hear the same track from my phone using Apple lossless. They’re usually blown away by what they’ve been missing. If you are using high res audio apps, you will totally appreciate this feature. If you’re still rockin’ with a free Pandora subscription, it’s time to upgrade and try a higher quality app.

Control up the Wazoo

As nitpicky as I am, one thing I really love about this unit is all of the control it has. There are SO many settings. You can get lost in the settings for days. Telephone/Notification volume settings. Mic gain and echo cancellation/noise reduction settings. Key feedback tone settings. Camera image settings. Source volume settings. Background image/color settings. 13 Band parametric EQ adjustable per channel. In depth crossover settings.

Alpine iLX-507 - Various menu settings
Alpine iLX-507 – Various menu settings

Just look at this. Not only can you adjust Low Pass Filter and High Pass Filter separately for front, rear and subwoofer, look at the frequencies you can choose from. LPF: 4k, 5k, 6.3k, 8k, 10k, 12.5k, 16k & 20k. HPF: 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 125 Hz, 160 Hz, 200 Hz or 250 Hz. Slope: 0, 6, 12, 18 or 24 db per octave plus level adjustment from -12 to 0 dB. Holy crossover control Batman!

In addition to your standard time alignment controls, you can even select whether you want to enter that information based on milliseconds, inches or centimeters! I’m telling you, the Alpine iLX-507 has settings and options galore. They are seriously giving Kenwood a run for their money with all the audio control tools.

But don’t let all that control overwhelm you. For those that find these kinds of options and settings far too advanced, Alpine does include a basic preset EQ section shown here:

What can’t you control?

Unfortunately there are a few things you cannot control such as the blue color on the buttons. You can change the screen color, but not the button color. Go figure. The other thing that kind of drives me batty is automatic front camera control. There isn’t any. Even though the iDatalink Maestro supports automatic front camera control, Alpine does not offer this feature on any of their models right now. You want to use the front camera input, hit the camera button and tap the screen to alternate between the rear camera input and front camera input. On some higher end Kenwood models, the front camera can be automatically triggered for 10 seconds when shifting from reverse to drive. This is what clients expect when they see a stereo features front camera input.

But wait – there’s another catch!

I remember being really excited about this model when I found out it would support a front and rear camera. It’s about time. It always blew my mind that the more basic iLX-W650 supported 2 cameras, but yet the higher end models did not. Unless of course you dropped bank spent more than the cost of the receiver on their HD cameras: HCE-C2100RD, HCE-C2600FD and don’t forget the fancy camera switcher control module KCX-C2600B.

Alpine iLX-507 Review - Camera connections
Alpine iLX-507 Review – Camera connections

Alright, so the Alpine iLX-507 supports a front and rear camera and it doesn’t have to be a proprietary Alpine direct camera. You can use a composite camera using the included adapter in the box. Great! Except they only supply you one adapter. So let’s say you are like my client here the other day with your daughter’s 2017 Subaru Forester that has a factory reverse camera and you want to add wireless Apple CarPlay, retain the steering wheel controls, factory reverse camera and add a basic front camera. Guess what – you will need to buy another part! Available from – 82076-85781C78. I must say that kind of shit drives me crazy. Clients don’t want to be nickel and dimed or surprised to find out they need another part mid install.

Chassis Design

It’s also important to note the chassis design. Unlike Alpine’s other mechless models iLX-W650 and iLX-407, the iLX-507 does not have a shallow chassis. Full single DIN on bottom with a double DIN screen. For most installs that will still leave you some extra space for wire management. All things being equal, I prefer the chassis design of the iLX-W650 and iLX-407 because quite honestly they will fit a larger variety of vehicles. There are some Ford’s on the market (2014 Ford Explorer, I’m looking at you) that simply will not accommodate a full depth chassis like this unfortunately. So just be aware of any depth limitations, if any, in your particular application.

Alpine iLX-507 Review - Single DIN chassis
Alpine iLX-507 Review – Single DIN chassis

Overall – Amazing value and feature packed

I know I can be real nit picky on certain features and aspects, but it’s largely because of feedback from clients. I’ve learned what they like, what they don’t like and what they absolutely can’t stand because let’s face it. If I sold it and they don’t like it, I’m the one that’s going to hear about it.

Alpine iLX-507 Review -  Home screen
Alpine iLX-507 Review – Home screen

At the end of the day, the Alpine iLX-507 has a ton of fantastic features and very few drawbacks which is why it’s such a popular choice amongst our clients. Alpine, let me count the ways I appreciate you:

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • iDatalink Maestro compatible
  • TWO USB ports
  • Main USB 2.4 amp charge
  • Secondary USB 1.5 amp charge
  • Optional GPS navigation (connects to USB 2)
  • Included GPS antenna
  • Bluetooth settings galore – regarding notification volume, GPS volume, echo cancellation, noise reductions, mic gain, etc.
  • An extravaganza of audio control – 13 band parametric EQ per channel, digital time alignment and a plethora of crossover adjustments
  • Simple preset EQ option along with basic bass/treble, balance/fader controls
  • Hi-Res audio compatible – playback up to 96kHz/24Bit
  • 4 Volt pre-amp
  • HDMI input
  • HDMI output (great for rear seat entertainment systems that accept HDMI input)
  • AUX input
  • SiriusXM compatible
  • HD Radio
  • Front and Rear camera input – includes one composite adapter – a second one can be purchased from
  • Compatible with optional Alpine dash cameras
  • Direct connection for optional HD Cameras – HCE-C2100RD & HCE-C2600FD – no switcher required – on screen control for various views – top down, panoramic, corner, etc.
  • Optional Volume Knob RUX-H02

Did you install the Alpine iLX-507 in your vehicle? What has your experience with this stereo been like? Let me know in the comments below. And as always – thank you for visiting and reading!

Alpine iLX-507 Review
Alpine iLX-507 Review

Alpine i509-WRA-JL and i509-WRA-JK

Alpine i509-WRA-JL
New Alpine Jeep Stereo Models for 2022

Alpine recently announced two new Jeep Wrangler specific models for 2022: the i509-WRA-JL and the i509-WRA-JK. These two models are very similar to their predecessors, the X409-WRA-JL and X409-WRA-JK, but with some key differences.

Alpine i509-WRA-JL revealed – includes pretty much everything that was missing from the X409-WRA-JL

Although I’ve always been a fan of the X409-WRA-JL, there were several features missing and others that could have been executed better. Thankfully, Alpine appears to have listened to the community and addressed a lot of the pet peeves many users and dealers had with their X409 series. I’m eagerly awaiting arrival of these two new models. Once received, an i509-WRA-JL will promptly be installed in our 2019 Wrangler (currently has a Stinger HEIGH10 which I’ve discovered through testing is not truly 4 volt as advertised – see here).

Optional GPS navigation

I’m always the first to tell clients not to pay for features they won’t use or need. Put that money towards better quality speakers, amps, subs, sound dampening, etc. That’s why I’m super stoked about is the OPTIONAL GPS navigation with off road maps. This helps to cut down on costs for features that may be of no benefit to some and allow those that see the value in sat based GPS to go ahead and pay for it.

Two USB ports because two is better than one

Both the i509-WRA-JL and i509-WRA-JK feature dual USB ports. When you’re spending over $2k on a head unit you kind of expect more than one USB. This was a major complaint of ours with the X409-WRA-JL. Some of us like to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but some of us are in areas without consistent or reliable cell service and we don’t always store music on our phone.

Alpine i509-WRA-JL Review – uploaded 11/26/22

We have a USB stick loaded up with music for those times that we’re out of range. With two USB ports you can have both devices connected and easily switch sources on the radio rather than fumbling around while driving as you attempt to disconnect one device and connect another. Having said, that there is one important thing to note – if you do go for the optional GPS (KTX-NS01) it will occupy that secondary USB port. But that might be resolved with the next feature.

Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto – finally

The other expectation many of our clients had with their X409-WRA-JK and X409-WRA-JL is that these models should have been equipped with a wireless option for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Most were shocked it wasn’t a standard feature, again, when considering the price – and that shock was before the inflation and shrinkflation of 2021 descended upon our nation. We’re happy to see this sought after feature is included with the i509-WRA-JL and i509-WRA-JK.

High-res Display

The 9″ capacitive screen found on the X409-WRA-JL and the X409-WRA-JK was definitely a great screen. We had no complaints. We never had any trouble seeing it in bright glare and we drive exclusively with the top off as long as it’s not raining from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Yet, there is always room for improvement, right? The i509-WRA-JL and i509-WRA-JK are equipped with a higher resolution touch screen with 4x the resolution of the previous models. The new models feature a WXGA High-Resolution, Anti-Glare Display (1280 x 720).

Improved DAC and a LOT more audio control features

The i509-WRA-JL and i509-WRA-JK are loaded up with two types of EQ control. Users can select from a basic 5-band EQ – similar to what we see in the iLX-407 – OR you can really sink your teeth into the details using the glorious 13-band parametric EQ – and check this out, that’s per channel!!!

No need for a separate DSP with that kind of control. In addition to the 13 band parametric EQ, there are also all the standard audio features one would expect such as digital time alignment and built in crossovers for front, rear and subwoofer. Plus with the improved DAC, these new Alpine Jeep models for 2022 are capable of high resolution audio playback at 96 kHz/24 bit.

What’s not to love?

Edited – 4-9-22

My only complaint based on features/specs thus far is the camera situation. The i509-WRA-JL and i509-WRA-JK still only have two composite camera inputs. One of these inputs is going to be used to retain the OEM camera in the JL or to add a reverse camera in the JK. If you’re looking to add a front camera as well, you’re good, but if you want side cameras too, then you’ll need some type of external video switcher. This could be either something that is turn signal activated or something with a separate activation button kind of like the what you see with Alpine’s HDR cameras in the video below.

If you’re considering adding cameras to this kit, it’s a good idea to consider HDR cameras due to the screen size and resolution. When you take a basic reverse camera and connect it to a large, high resolution screen, the reverse camera image can get kind of washed out. This product design kind of forces you to go big or go home which I can appreciate, but sometimes it’s difficult explaining that to clients. I find seeing it in action, makes it easier to understand why. Just look at this comparison between a Kenwood HD camera and the OEM reverse camera in this 2018 CRV. It’s easy to see why the HD cameras are most costly, they’re much higher quality.

How much and when?

Pricing is always subject to change lately, but as of publishing time, the i509-WRA-JL will set you back $2,399.95 and the i509-WRA-JK set you back $2,199.95 – plus installation of course. Both models are considered a March 2022 release. When will they actually begin to ship? Only time will tell. I’ve got mine on order and once installed, I will make a follow up post and video. What do you Wrangler owners think of these new Alpine Jeep models for 2022? Are they worth the splurge?