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Alpine iLX-W650 Detailed Review

Are you looking for a way to upgrade your car stereo system and add some extra entertainment features? Do you want something reliable, intuitive to operate, and affordable?

Then the Alpine iLX-W650 could be just what you’re looking for. It is an excellent in-dash radio that offers many features and customization options for the audio experience.

One of the standout features of the iLX-W650 is its shallow design, which makes it easy to fit into various vehicles. It also has a built-in amplifier, Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to play high-quality audio files from devices and thumb drives.

As an Amazon Associate, ImproveCarAudio will receive a small commission from qualifying purchases made through the links in this article.

In this review, I will take a closer look at the design, functionality, features, and ease of use of the iLX-W650 to help you decide if it’s the right choice.

Alpine iLX-W650 Review

Alpine iLX-W650 (link to Amazon) is a digital media receiver with many great features for your car’s audio system.

It’s a solid choice for anyone who upgrades their car’s audio system with the latest smartphone compatibility, high-quality audio playback, and expandability options.

Design

One of the standout features of the iLX-W650 is its shallow-mount chassis design.

With a depth of only 2-13/16″, it’s designed to fit easily into a double din size in many vehicles, and it’s even designed to work seamlessly with Alpine’s KTA-450 power pack amplifier if you need to increase the power to 45W RMS per channel.

Alpine ILX-W650 7" Digital Multimedia Receiver (Does Not Play CDs) with License Plate Camera and SiriusXM Tuner

When secured together using Alpine’s Power Stack installation gear, the iLX-W650 and amp are still less than 5″ deep, making it a great candidate for a smooth installation even in “problematic vehicles.”

In addition to its compact size, the iLX-W650 also has a 7″ capacitive touchscreen that works just like a tablet, allowing you to easily access all of the receiver’s functions with a swipe or a tap.

The touchscreen is also enhanced with swipe control over volume, track-skipping, and more, making it even more user-friendly.

And if you need to make hands-free calls or access your phone’s voice assistant, the iLX-W650 comes with an external microphone that allows you to do just that.

Functionality

One of the main selling points of the iLX-W650 is its compatibility with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

This allows you to easily access your smartphone’s apps and functions through the receiver’s 7″ touchscreen, using either voice commands or the touch screen itself.

Alpine iLX-W650 7" Mech-Less Receiver Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

You can make calls, compose texts, or start navigation without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road, making it an excellent choice for staying connected and safe on the road.

In addition to its smartphone compatibility, the iLX-W650 is Bluetooth compatible, allowing you to stream music wirelessly and make hands-free calls.

And if you’re a fan of high-quality audio, the iLX-W650 is FLAC compatible, meaning it can play high-quality audio files from your device or thumb drive.

For safety, it has a rear USB port and two camera inputs, allowing you to add independent front and rearview cameras.

The iLX-W650 also has a powerful built-in amplifier, delivering 16 watts RMS to four channels (40W peak).

It has three sets of 4-volt preamp outputs, so if you want to add additional amps for even more power, you can easily do so. And with the receiver’s 9-band parametric equalizer and 6-channel time-correction tools, you can fine-tune the audio to your liking.

In terms of audio quality, the iLX-W650 delivers impressive results. There are plenty of EQ customization options, crossover settings, timing delays, and subwoofer controls, all of which are better than you would expect at this price point.

I could play anything I threw at the radio without any issues, and the wiring was simple, thanks to the clear instructions in the manual.

The only time I noticed any playback distortion was when my amps or speakers caused it and not by the radio itself.

Features

Here is a detailed list of the features that the Alpine iLX-W650 has to offer:

#1. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility: Allows you to easily access your smartphone’s apps and functions through the receiver’s 7″ touchscreen.

#2. Bluetooth connectivity: Allows you to wirelessly stream music and make hands-free calls.

#3. FLAC compatibility: Allows you to play high-quality audio files from your device or thumb drive.

#4. Rear USB port and two camera inputs: Allows you to connect a variety of devices and add front and rearview cameras.

Alpine iLX-W650 Digital Multimedia 7-Inch Screen Mechless Bluetooth Car Receiver

#5. SiriusXM compatibility: Allows you to add a satellite radio tuner and enjoy your favorite music, sports, or entertainment anywhere you go.

#6. 9-band parametric equalizer, thanks to which you can fine-tune the audio to your liking.

#7. 6-channel time-correction tools: Allows you to maximize the audio signal sent to the built-in amplifier.

#8. Three sets of 4-volt preamp outputs help to deliver an ultra-clean signal for adding additional amps for more power.

Ease of Use

In terms of installation and convenience, the iLX-W650 has a lot to offer. 

It’s designed to work with most factory steering wheel audio controls, though you may need an adapter. And the external microphone that comes with the receiver allows you to easily make hands-free calls and access your phone’s voice assistant.

ALPINE iLX-W650 7" Digital Media Bluetooth Car Receiver CarPlay/Android+Camera

The radio is easy to install if you have both the wiring diagrams for your vehicle and the radio. It looks good inside the car and functions well.

However, I did have some issues with Android Auto when I first installed the radio, but these were fixed by getting a new USB cable.

It’s important to note that a bad USB cable or phone charging port can cause issues with the iLX-W650.

Remember that if you’re installing the iLX-W650 in a vehicle that doesn’t already have an aftermarket radio installed, you’ll need a source of ignition and always-on battery power. If your car does not have a module like this, you’ll need to follow the instructions in the manual for the proper installation.

The iLX-W650 also has a user-friendly interface and touchscreen controls, making it easy to use and navigate.

Its compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto means you can use familiar app icons and large, easy-to-read text on a clean, clutter-free background, making it easy to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily.

Pros:

  • Shallow-mount chassis design makes it easy to install in a variety of vehicles.
  • Compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allows you to easily access your smartphone’s apps and functions.
  • Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream music wirelessly and make hands-free calls.
  • SiriusXM compatibility allows you to add a satellite radio tuner and enjoy your favorite stations on the go.
  • Powerful built-in amplifier and expandability options allow you to upgrade your car’s audio system.

Cons:

  • It may require an adapter for compatibility with factory steering wheel audio controls.
  • It does not play CDs

Conclusion

The Alpine iLX-W650 is a great in-dash radio that offers many features and customization options for the audio experience.

One of the standout features of the iLX-W650 is its shallow design, which makes it easy to fit into various vehicles.

The touch controls are responsive and easy to use, and plenty of EQ controls and sound settings help find the perfect balance for your ears and driving experience.

The build quality of the iLX-W650 is top-notch. The screen feels rock-solid and sturdy, and the entire radio feels like it’s built to last.

The shallow design of the radio makes it easy to fit into small locations, and the overall look and feel of the radio is very high quality.

The Alpine iLX-W650 is a great radio that offers a lot of customization options for the audio experience, as well as a convenient mic for hands-free calls and voice assistant use.

While the UX could be improved, and some features are lacking, the audio quality and build quality of the radio makes it a solid choice for those looking to upgrade their in-dash radio.

FAQ

Is the iLX-W650 compatible with my phone?

The iLX-W650 is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so as long as you have a smartphone compatible with either of these platforms, you should be able to use it with the iLX-W650.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to easily access your phone’s apps and functions through the iLX-W650’s touchscreen, using either voice commands or the touch screen itself.

Can I play music from a thumb drive or device?

Alpine iLX-W650 has a rear USB port and is FLAC compatible so that you can play music from a thumb drive or device. This gives you a lot of flexibility when listening to your favorite music on the go.

Can I add a rearview camera to the iLX-W650?

Alpine iLX-W650 has two camera inputs so that you can add both a front and rearview camera.

This can be especially useful if you’re backing up or parking in a tight spot, as it allows you to see what’s behind you on the iLX-W650’s screen.

Is the iLX-W650 easy to install?

The iLX-W650 is designed to be easy to install, thanks to its shallow-mount chassis design. 

With only 2-13/16″ deep, it’s designed to fit easily into many different vehicles, and it’s even designed to work seamlessly with Alpine’s KTA-450 power pack amplifier. 

When secured together using Alpine’s Power Stack installation gear, the iLX-W650 and amp are still less than 5″ deep, making it excellent for easy installation even in many “problem vehicles.”

Can I control the iLX-W650 with my voice?

Alpine iLX-W650 is equipped with an external microphone that allows you to use voice commands to access your phone’s voice assistant (such as Siri or Google Assistant).

You can use this feature when you need to make a call, send a text, or start navigation while you’re on the road, as it allows you to do so without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.

Can I add more power to the iLX-W650?

While the iLX-W650 is equipped with a powerful built-in amplifier, delivering 16 watts RMS and a peak of 40 watts by 4 channels, it also has three sets of 4-volt preamp outputs, allowing you to add an external amplifier for even more power.

And with the receiver’s 9-band parametric equalizer and 6-channel time-correction tools, you can fine-tune the audio to your liking. This gives you a lot of flexibility when upgrading your car’s audio system.