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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks, this is my first post so please be gentle ;)

I've used the search function on the forums and found some excellent advice but all of it is a few years out of date now and I would like to seek a "2021" opinion on the following if I may. I'm looking to build a custom Android-based in-car infotainment system. The details of this so far are behind this spoiler, I've put that in to help those skim-reading this post;

This will start with a Seeed Studio Odyssey X86 board (specifically part number X86J4105864 for Googling - I don't wanna hotlink on my first post and risk being banned) referred to henceforth as "the computer" and a suitable DC-DC converter. Running on that computer will be either Android-x86 or Bliss OS Android (undecided) but I have experience compiling both of those from scratch so I can always make amendments to the OS and Kernel under the hood.

The computer has a 4 pole 3.5mm audio output jack, potential to deliver audio-over-HDMI or an optional USB DAC. It may also support I2S at a later date, however this is currently blocked by Intel.

The install will be inside a Mitsubishi Legnum wagon / estate, I plan on fabricating an entire center console similar to the following, although it will be more "portrait" as I plan on integrating the HVAC (AC controls) into the computer and controlled via software;


The wagon has your typical 4x door speakers of 6.5" / 165mm, with an additional pair of JBL GTO804's (200 watts RMS / 800 watts peak into 4Ω) already stealth mounted in the wagons trunk / boot. I don't have to keep the GTO804's but they were free :D. I am considering purchasing Focal ES 165K's (100 watts RMS / 200 peak into 4Ω) to replace the door speakers.

I don't immediately require suggestions for amplifiers for the above however if there is an all-in-one solution that meets all my needs I'll be happy to go with that :)

The issue I will have is getting the stereo audio output from the Android OS to either the speakers (or through suitable amplifiers to said speakers). Sure I can just pipe the stereo output into amplifiers but I'll have no control over balance / fade / eq / etc. I want full control over this like most modern head units, ideally using a USB interface.

I've taken a look at some of the recommendations and found the following;
  • Rainbow 1.8 - It has a beautiful Android app to control it which I love, however it seems this requires a WiFi link to an external module for Android to be able to control it - I plan on using the computers WiFi for Internet connectivity / hotspot
  • Mosconi Gladen One 120.4 DSP - Seemingly all-in-one solution 4 channel amp with DSP, but the Android app is an eyesore and possibly no longer supported
  • Kicker IQ series - Android "TweEQ" app seems acceptable quality with good reviews but seemingly requires Bluetooth connectivity, I'd like to not rely on that
  • Rockford Fosgate 360.3 - Android app is abandonware with multiple complaints of unreliability on the Google Play reviews
My questions to the masses is this; What do people recommend these days to suit the above? Is there a magic bullet to solve all of this? I'd prefer a USB DAC with DSP and a 4ch amplifier with controllable line out for a secondary subwoofer amp (or just one that can drive the subs too ie. 6 channel).
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