My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001 - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Old 08-25-2010   #1
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Thumbs up My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001



Ugly as sin, cheap and chineese.......PLAYS FLAC audio FLAWLESSLY.

KinWei Technologies Ltd.
Kinwei Technologies(Shenzhen)Co.,Ltd.


In-Dash MultiMedia Player Model# KW-CM3001


FORMATS:
--------
- audio = FLAC, APE, MP3, WMA, WAV, ACC, OGG
- Video = RMVB, AVI, RM, WMV, FLV (better with monitor connected to VID out RCA, but still plays on mini-display)

** I tested Video performance using a Divx/DVD Rip. Questionable performance, but played nonetheless. Attention required to encoded material I think to minimize CPU useage and video processing power...OR, future Firmware update ?....possibly.

NOTEWORTHY:
-----------
- USB and SD/MMC Card Slot.
- Audio IN/OUT Line Level + Front/Rear 4 Channel Speaker power.
- Video (RCA) IN/OUT + 3.0" TFT LCD 320*400 16:9 Front Display.
- 8pin CD Changer Input/Controller/Interface (Brand ?).
- Built-In BlueTooth 'Car Kit' (handsfree, call mute etc).
- Keychain-size mini remote.


**See below for HARDWARE and FORMAT testing results.

------------------------------------------------

Drive Setup/Prep:
-----------------
- File System = FAT16 or FAT32 (if choice, use FAT32)
- Logical/Primary Partition/Drive = PRIMARY
- Max Partition Size = Depends on software used to prep disk.
(I confirmed 384.0GB (yes, 384 Gigabytes) on FAT32, Partition Wizard HomE Edition)


PASSING Tested Hardware:
------------------------
- Generic/No-Name 2GB USB ThumbDrive
- Generic/No-Name 4GB USB ThumbDrive
- Generic/No-Name Self Powered 2.5" Enclosure, USB 2.0-to-IDE (IDE = highest Power requirements, but passed nonetheless).
- Generic/No-Name Self Powered 2.5" Enclosure, USB 2.0-to-SATA.
- Generic/No-Name A/C Powered 3.5" Enclosure, USB 2.0-to-IDE.
- Generic/No-Name A/C Powered 3.5" Enclosure, USB 2.0-to-SATA.


FAILING Tested Hardware:
------------------------
- iPod/iPhone (acting as passive storage only, via USB Input)


FAILING FORMATS Tested:
-----------------------
- Apple Lossless M4a (Tested using DIYMA Downloaded Focal Test CDs)


SOFTWARE REQUIRED:
------------------
Partition Wizard (Home Edition - Free)
Free Download Magic Partition Manager Software ? Partition Wizard Online
(or whatever disc utility you use to create giant FAT32 partitions)....


THOUGHTS:
-----------
- Would benefit greatly from an MS-8.
- Needs line driver.
- Embedded Linux is an amazing tool (start sending the Firmware updates/upgrades our way)

I will be running it RCA into my Excelon HU's CD Changer port using a Kenwood Changer-to-RCA adapter cable....AND HIDING IT IN THE GLOVEBOX...out of site

Questions ?

I bought this on a whim, because I wanted to play FLAC, thanks to my TERABYTE FLAC album collection on my Home Network.

I am MORE than happy with the $106.75 USD investment ($85 + shipping).

Hope some find this helpfull. Unfortunately I don't have the tools to test SQ etc, other than my ears, which tell me it NEEDS a little 'something' (atleast a line driver)....

Allan.
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Old 08-30-2010   #2
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

Allan,

Where did you purchase the unit and what functions does the remote control, control?

BTW, the AudioControl arrived today! Thanks.


Derek
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Old 11-06-2010   #3
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

Does it have an aux in port on the front?
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Old 11-06-2010   #4
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

How's the hiss factor on the thing? At lower volume settings?
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Old 11-06-2010   #5
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

interesting review!

quite neat to see a headunit that can play flac and ape files
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Old 11-06-2010   #6
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

The only other decent player that I could find that can play vorbis and flac is this: China Car MP5 Player. Huizhou Manufacturer

But it looks like it has an 8GB USB/SD card size limit.

The problem is that you just can't find any of these things outside of China. Everything in the US ignores flac and vorbis, and at the same time also wants to have obsolete (in my mind) optical media drives, which I would rather have left out because of problems with the front plate of my current USB flash drive vorbis decoding Car stereo unit not making a decent connection to the main unit.
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Old 11-06-2010   #7
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

Quote:
Originally Posted by t3sn4f2 View Post
How's the hiss factor on the thing? At lower volume settings?
It seemed fairly quiet, as far as I could tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by illumilore View Post
Does it have an aux in port on the front?
USB + Card Slot only.

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Old 11-06-2010   #8
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

Quote:
Originally Posted by s4turn View Post
interesting review!

quite neat to see a headunit that can play flac and ape files
Thanks !

The plan for this was essentially to run it as a secondary unit, hidden in the glovebox (as it's ugly as sin) and connect it to my main HU through the AUX inputs, although this may be a perfect candidate as a primary HU for those that have 'Clean-up' processing with an MS-8 or similar.

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Old 11-12-2010   #9
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

Looks like it's compatible with Sanyo CD changers.
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Old 11-14-2010   #10
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

You know, with the abuse we consumers take from corporate focus groups that really don't have our best interests in mind, I wonder how hard it would be for us to commission a lil Chinese company to manufacture a design that if we put our heads together could be revolutionary. Ok, maybe not revolutionary, but Christ, if you can get something like this for ~$100, what could we build? If this thing came from alpine, it would easily be a $400 unit, and wouldn't have FLAC or APE capability. Something to think about.
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Old 11-14-2010   #11
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoonDoggie View Post
I wonder how hard it would be for us to commission a lil Chinese company to manufacture a design that if we put our heads together could be revolutionary. Ok, maybe not revolutionary, but Christ, if you can get something like this for ~$100, what could we build?
Good question. Do you have any specific ideas on what you would want to build? For me, I can't really thing of anything that I would want to add to this, other than maybe a stereo input and output jack in the front. Maybe something crazy like it having wifi and being able to wirelessly sync itself to your home collection when you pull into the driveway?
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Old 11-14-2010   #12
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

Quote:
Originally Posted by illumilore View Post
Good question. Do you have any specific ideas on what you would want to build? For me, I can't really thing of anything that I would want to add to this, other than maybe a stereo input and output jack in the front. Maybe something crazy like it having wifi and being able to wirelessly sync itself to your home collection when you pull into the driveway?
You didnt just ask em that, lol! I have TONS of great ideas for the future of Car audio I WISH I had the clout to even mention to somebody, anybody! You wouldn't happen to know anyone in China would you?
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Old 11-18-2010   #13
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

It might play FLAC now and you might enjoy that, but these cheaply made head units will wear on you. Things like the GUI, controls, sound quality, etc. I made my mistake once buying an XO Vision head unit that had all these new features no other head unit had at the time.
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Old 11-19-2010   #14
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

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Originally Posted by BoonDoggie View Post
You know, with the abuse we consumers take from corporate focus groups that really don't have our best interests in mind, I wonder how hard it would be for us to commission a lil Chinese company to manufacture a design that if we put our heads together could be revolutionary. Ok, maybe not revolutionary, but Christ, if you can get something like this for ~$100, what could we build? If this thing came from alpine, it would easily be a $400 unit, and wouldn't have FLAC or APE capability. Something to think about.
that's a GREAT idea. you should start another thread about this so people can throw ideas around. i can imagine a simple am/fm/hd radio with card slot and optical/coaxial outputs.

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Old 11-19-2010   #15
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

If u are in for SQ....U wont last a month using this cheaply HU....the SQ would be terrible....
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Old 11-19-2010   #16
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

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Originally Posted by ashman5 View Post
that's a GREAT idea. you should start another thread about this so people can throw ideas around. i can imagine a simple am/fm/hd radio with card slot and optical/coaxial outputs.
What we want: A simple yet powerful unit to give us plenty of room for advancement (new tech happens!) and expandability. High quality design for even the most gold of golden ear to agree with.

What we don't want: Bullshit focusgroup derived designs with plenty of corporate cockyank and little to no expansion options. A price structure that even at the top represents the finest of 5 year ago technology.

What we need: A simple plan for a design that will make at least 80% of the members here happy and will put a smile on our own faces due to our personal involvement with the project.

Ok, I'm talking about building our own entries into Car audio infotainment. Here's the reasoning:

I just can't fathom buying another top of the line head unit that is still 5 years back, full of nonsense limitations and ridiculous addons meant to keep brand meme in my subconscious. Features like wide codec support and user configurable interface have been mainstays in the computer audio for a decade. OBD is the standard in vehicle diagnostics, where can you find it for an integrated Car media center? Let's face it, the Car Audio mainstays don't have their finger on the pulse.
I want an integrated setup that includes the abilities of now and tomorrow. I wont get these products from Pioneer or Alpine, not anytime soon, and not for a decent price. Look at Alpines IVA-900BT unit. I was really interested in it until I found out it not only doesn't play FLAC or APE files, it doesn't even play (16 bit)wave files, let alone have any way to interface wit the OBD unit in my car. WiFi? Nope. Their biggest claim to fame is "iPod interface". Fucking yaaaayy.And I'm supposed to pay $1000 for that. Which my phone does better. Which I paid $200 for. Navigations mutiple file support, engine diagnostics, WiFi, Bluetooth. But Pioneer and Alpine want you to pay out the nose for. Really?
So why commission China? An $85 dollar FLAC unit, thats why. China can do this all day. Therealdeal74 posted above about the quality of the item. Really, at $85 bucks, who gives a shit. The fact is digital electronics aint as amazing as our brains that live in 1994 still think they are. Its relatively new but they've got building these things to a science. Why do you think there are millions of DAP, MP3 players, cellphones, tablets floating around? Think about the last recall Apple made on their iPods. Yeah, I cant remember either. And just where do you think those iPods are built?
I think this is a really good idea. China will Build anything presented to them, literally! Just a few good ideas are needed, and I think we have that in spades in this forum.

Last edited by BoonDoggie; 11-19-2010 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 11-19-2010   #17
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

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Originally Posted by Lars Ulriched View Post
If u are in for SQ....U wont last a month using this cheaply HU....the SQ would be terrible....
If you're using digital outs Sq wouldn't suffer too much. Not only that, but even if you are using analogue, D/A conversion aint exactly rocket science these days. I've bought many a cheapo sound card and measured >90 db noisefloor and >100db S/N. I'm sure this would be comparable.
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Old 11-19-2010   #18
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

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Originally Posted by Allan74 View Post
Ugly as sin, cheap and chineese
Definitely quote worthy!

Nice review though - looks like a pretty neat head unit.

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Old 11-19-2010   #19
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

I would just use Goldwave Pro(which converts Blu-Ray audio as well) and convert the FLAC files you have to 1411kbps WAV files and be able to play them on any CD player that plays burnt disks.

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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

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I would just use Goldwave Pro(which converts Blu-Ray audio as well) and convert the FLAC files you have to 1411kbps WAV files and be able to play them on any CD player that plays burnt disks.
Go back to 1994 much?
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Old 11-19-2010   #21
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

I would rather have a better quality source unit than have to play a FLAC file through that unit is all I am saying. Ask anyone that has heard any of my disks and see what they have to say.

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Old 11-19-2010   #22
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

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I would rather have a better quality source unit than have to play a FLAC file through that unit is all I am saying. Ask anyone that has heard any of my disks and see what they have to say.
Why bother ? Come on, jump on the bandwagon before it's all full, there should be room still, as my fat ass has not got on it yet. Get a BitOne or MS-8.......they seem to be the magical fix for everything these days. Isn't THIS type of situation what they were created for to begin with ?

Regardless, I still find it funny that guys will go out and spend hundreds of dollars on the top of the line Denon or something similar, head units known for their supperior ANALOG OUTPUT, only to feed it into a processor, re-sum/re-mix/up-mix/down-mix/fucking DANCE MIX... the signal.
How fucking retarded......

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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Edwards View Post
I would rather have a better quality source unit than have to play a FLAC file through that unit is all I am saying. Ask anyone that has heard any of my disks and see what they have to say.
Understandable, but the burning of discs is what the world is trying to get away from (note: the world as in regular consumers not professionals such as yourself that don't mind giving a lil extra effort for sound quality!). We all have mp3 players or DAPs or DMPs or whatever else acronym that means digital music storage, and most of these players have FLAC capability built in. FLAC aint hard. But for some reason the quality and known companies seem to eschew FLAC's (and other codecs) position. I too would love 24 bit wav files all over the place (which some DAPS play, try that on a regular 1411kbps CD) But find that on a source that has quality known. I find it a shame we have to go to China to get extended format capabilities, but hey I'm not competing, I have one amp, one sub, and a shitload of FLACS, APE's, OGG's and my own 24bit(k!) dj mixes and music productions. Its asinine for me to just burn em on discs and away I go.

Last edited by BoonDoggie; 11-19-2010 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 11-19-2010   #24
 
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

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Why bother ? Come on, jump on the bandwagon before it's all full, there should be room still, as my fat ass has not got on it yet. Get a BitOne or MS-8.......they seem to be the magical fix for everything these days. Isn't THIS type of situation what they were created for to begin with ?

Regardless, I still find it funny that guys will go out and spend hundreds of dollars on the top of the line Denon or something similar, head units known for their supperior ANALOG OUTPUT, only to feed it into a processor, re-sum/re-mix/up-mix/down-mix/fucking DANCE MIX... the signal.
How fucking retarded......
You strike me as a guy over 45, such anger! lol.
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Old 11-20-2010   #25
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Default Re: My $85 FLAC Car Head Unit - KW-CM3001

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You strike me as a guy over 45, such anger! lol.
ROFLMAO

I think most of us over 45 are pretty pissed in any case.

Back on topic:

I convert my FLAC stuff to Apple Lossless then play it off of my iPod. It's a few years old, but you can get one from eBay for about $90 (Gen5 Video). If it goes tits up, I can get parts locally... good luck trying to get the head unit fixed locally.
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