Alpine iLX-107 Review – Everything You Need To Know
Last year, Alpine released the iLX-107 – the first ever infotainment system to come with wireless CarPlay compatibility. This will allow users to listen to music, navigate and interact with Siri without the use of a lightning cable. Here’s a full in depth Alpine ilx-107 review. We felt almost obligated to jump knee deep into a brake-down of this revolutionary receiver.
First, get familiar with the specs.
The following features and specifications come with the Alpine iLX-107:
- 50 Watts x 4.
- 3 Pre-Outs (2V).
- Works with Apple CarPlay® over Wireless.
- 7″ VGA display with capacitive touchscreen.
- Compatible with Alpine TuneIt App for iPhone®.
- 9-band parametric EQ.
- 6-channel time correction set by Alpine TuneIt App.
- Accessory Control Ready (KAC-001 Required).
- Keep factory controls with iDatalink® Maestro® Module.
- Steering wheel remote control ready.
- 1 camera (composite) input.
- CEA-2006 Power Rating: 18W x 4.
- Max Power Output: 50W x 4.
Alpine iLX-107 Design
The Alpine iLX-107 design is pretty basic and it comprises of only two buttons – with the rest being the screen. These buttons are to bring up Siri and to exit into Alpine’s main menu. I would’ve liked if Alpine opted for the regular volume knob as I prefer it to capacitive controls. The reason is that it’s easier to adjust a knob volume than a capacitive control when driving.
The 7″ VGA is particularly brilliant and the screen is still visible even when direct sunlight is hitting it. A lot of car stereos have problems with touch input and you’ll come across a noticeable lag when using them. However, on the Alpine iLX-107, there’s a little lag but it isn’t as noticeable.
For audio, its four-channel amplifier is rated at 50 watts/channel. It comes with various wiring looms – one of them provides line outputs for the four channels and two subwoofers. Another wiring loom is for connecting a reverse camera and the audio/video device. A third covers the steering wheel controls and the microphone. Also, a recessed socket is meant for the USB extension cable.
To use CarPlay, you will need a quick setup with both your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on. All that is needed is to find the iLX-107 in your Bluetooth settings and connect. After tapping “Enable wireless CarPlay”, your phone will pair with your head unit. After this is done, your phone will connect any time you start your car and the unit boots up. This normally takes 5-10 seconds.
As a platform, CarPlay doesn’t really offer an addition to your in-car iOS experience, it just improves it. There’s a seamless nature to CarPlay and apps are front and center. Some of them are even better. The best appropriate example is the IOS Maps app which now has a brighter and bolder sense to it. The interface is slightly tweaked and makes use of regular plus and minus arrows. Directional arrows are suitable when scrolling through the map while driving.
There are also some changes in the way you discover artists or albums in your library, and have made the music option nicer. To navigate, you can scroll through a list with the help of directional arrows. You can also use a keyboard to type the first letter of an artist or album name to quickly advance to the exact spot on the list.
CarPlay navigation on Alpine iLX-107 is actually very good. Your three most recent apps is a constant on the left of the screen – ensuring that the use of these apps is sleek and smooth.
Using Siri with The Alpine iLX-107
Siri’s performance levels have been average, though. She still has a lot to learn. While on the road, messaging is voice-only. Siri will offer to read out any message sent to you. This is pretty understandable, but it doesn’t go well with the rest of your iOS or macOS experience. Siri doesn’t quite understand colloquialisms and emoji’s – something that people use all the time. This is something that Apple needs to work on.
Touch and Tuning
The touch screens on a lot of head units are tricky and sometimes frustrating. On a number of occasions, I have spent an awkward amount of time repeatedly stabbing a virtual button on the screen while gaining little or no response. Like I’ve mentioned before, that nagging, irritating feeling isn’t present here. The screen is very responsive – both during scrolling and selections – and it is almost as responsive as that of an iPhone or iPad.
Various basic audio controls are available, including the ability to put on the subwoofer and use the audio set-up menu on the head unit itself. However, it is advisable to install the Alpine TuneIt App on your iPhone if you want to embark on any serious tuning. Instead of the basic bass controls, you get a nine-band parametric equalizer with three bands each in treble, mid-range and bass. A combined balanced and fader control is also available. Here, you can adjust this control just by dragging a dot around a map of the car.
The TuneIt app allows for proper adjustments for a subwoofer – unlike the car’s interface. There are both separate low-pass filters and high-pass filters for the subwoofer channels and front/rear speakers respectively. You have the option to choose the crossover frequency with the slope in 6dB increments starting from zero to 24dB for each octave. The filters can also be increased to as high as 200 Hertz.
The head unit’s own interface should not be entirely ignored, however. When you scroll down to its audio menu, you’ll come across a nifty feature that lets you adjust the CarPlay’s relative volume levels, the radio and the A/V inputs. Touch button volume controls might be sleek and fun, but they are not as responsive as regular knobs. To this effect, putting everything in an almost equal level is the best option.
With all we’ve said, we’ve covered performance in most of the other sections but we’ll summarize it briefly here. Alpine iLX-107 display is one of the best you’ll ever see. The viewing angles are excellent and you can actually see the screen any time – even in direct sunlight.
The performance of the touch screen is really good, although there is a slight – but not too noticeable – lag when you scroll or swipe.
All in all, the Alpine iLX-107 ticks all expected boxes and it is preferable if you leave its installation to a professional. This will ensure that you can enjoy all its benefits in the long run. If you would like to tackle this installation yourself youll probably want to take a look at our Stereo Installation guide, If you still have any questions send us a message on Facebook.com.
Notes from Professional Installer
- You can use an aftermarket backup camera or alpines own option (purchased separately).
- Utilize a parking brake bypass module in order to use all Alpine ilx-107 features while driving.
- There is no CD slot for this stereo.
- If you would like to use your factory steering wheel controls you must buy an additional module.
- To use all of the advanced sound editing settings you need to download the TuneIt app from the app store.
- This stereo does not have on-board GPS, it uses your iphones GPS app. The GPS antenna is just to help your phones GPS reception.
- The included USB cable is just for software updates and CarPlay if you would like to use it with the wire.