What’s New For 2012? – Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH & AVIC-X940BT

posted in: Blog Post | 36

These two series of units have always been top sellers in our car audio shop in Wake Forest.  They always include sought after features and a price to match.  These two units have a lot of similarities and a few differences with a price difference to match.

First, they both come with AM, FM,CD, USB, AUX, DVD and built in Navigation, Bluetooth hands free and Bluetooth audio streaming.  They both can add satellite radio, back up camera and iPod.  They each have the ability to fully control both Pandora Radio and Aha Radio with an iPhone attached with a specific cable or with an Android or Blackberry through Bluetooth audio streaming.  That’s right; the Android is not the ignored step-child anymore.

Not only can you control Pandora and Aha Radio from Android using Bluetooth audio streaming, you get all information including album art right there on the screen.  And in case you are wondering, Bluetooth audio streaming has excellent quality.  Much better than playing audio through the headphone jack.

This year they each boast Advanced App Mode.  With your iPhone plugged into the specific iPod adapter, you can enter into App Mode giving you an entirely different menu screen.  It is the same as Pioneer’s App Radio.  From there all your sources are apps that are downloaded on your iPhone, as of now 21 are useable while in Advanced App Mode.  You can use iTunes, photos, calendar, Google Maps, Inrix Traffic, Pandora, Aha, MotionX and more.

For most customers, the AVIC-X940BT is the best choice.  Economically speaking it does all they want and need and then some.  The AVIC-Z140BH has all the above features plus several more which explains the difference in price.

It has 3D graphics on its navigation software and a full 7” touchscreen.  It uses a SD memory card for media files and updating instead of a micro SD card as with the 940BT.  It includes HD Radio, live Nav-Traffic updates, 3 preouts, 4 volts and voice control for iPod and Bluetooth controls.

It also has Dual Zone for rear seat entertainment.  If you play a DVD in the Z140BH to play in the rear but you don’t feel like watching or listening to the latest Elmo DVD for the 20th time, feel free to hook up your iPod and listen to your own music.

One oddity that caused a few hairs to be pulled and some calls to Pioneer technical support; while using your iPhone or iTouch as the audio/video source with either receiver you need to make sure your Inrix App is turned off on your iPhone/iTouch/iPad.  You’ll know what I’m talking about if you experience your receiver’s screen going mostly dark but still playing audio, which is the receiver turning to App Mode.  Not to confuse you with Advanced App Mode but just App mode.  Inrix, if it is an app on your iPhone and is turned on, will send you traffic updates.  When it does this it forces your receiver into App Mode, losing visual.  There’s a quirk once in a while but it’s not a biggie.  Just remember if you choose Advanced App Mode you’ll have to turn Inrix back on with your iPhone.

Both units are high quality and full of features; many most people don’t even think about.  Come see us in Wake Forest for all your car audio needs and to check out these units on display.

36 Responses

  1. I have factory rear DVD that shows video my 940bt plays via: APP mode, DVDs, but it when I try to play a video from my SD source, it does not show the video on both, only on my avic screen.
    Any suggestions? Also I can’t get Facebook or apps other than radio to work on my unit. The online manual doesn’t address thus. Is it a setting?

    Is it even possiable?

    • crhoades

      Things I need to know to guide you better.
      1. Are you using an iPhone or an Android? iPhone must be plugged in, facebook is accessed by using AHA radio app icon on the headunit. You only get the status updates read out to you though. It’s not fully functional. With an iPhone and in Advaced App Mode you should be able to access up to 21 apps on the head unit. Maybe more than that. With an Android, you can only use Pandora and Aha.
      2. The SD card I’ll check on but I’m pretty sure it’s not considered the same thing as real video. Although the unit can display video files from the SD card there is probably no device sending it as video out. The DVD player definitely has that and so does APP mode because it is part of the unit. Honestly I haven’t been asked about it. I’m simply thinking about how video outputs themselves work on that unit.

  2. I just bought one of these units and was shocked to see that the GPS does not have any current speed shown on the display. I have owned many units and have never seen a GPS that will not show your travelling speed on the display. I looked for the setting to display it but did not find anything that will allow me to do so. I like to use it when traveling into different States and to warn me when I am speeding in unfamiliar areas. Is this something I just missed or can it be it just doesn’t show the indicated speed??

    Thanks for any help.

    • The AVIC units from Pioneer do not have a speedometer or a speed warning setting. They used to, but not currently. That is one of the features they removed to keep the price down.

  3. I purchased the new AIC Z140BH and the Voice control does not work at all with the phone it keeps saying it does not understand or if it does which is rare it gets the wrong name. I have tired everything even replacing the unit. When i called Pioneer they had no answers for me. I have to think this is an issue that has happened to others but yet i can find no info on the net. Please help i am desperate to resolve this issue or i will get a dif unit….

    • The voice is heard through your bluetooth mic. Do you have any problems with people hearing you when you are on a bluetooth call? It is possible the mic has to be replaced. I personally rarely mention that particular feature because so many little things can affects it’s success. I hope the voice control isn’t a deal breaker regardless of the unit because the success of the feature is determined by so many factors that it isn’t completely reliable in any unit. I personally haven’t had anyone complain about it in years for this or any other voice controlled module but I don’t know if it’s become so much better or if the majority of people choose not to use it.

      I apologize for not giving any helpful information for this other than it may never work well for you in this kind of environment but that is a possibility never the less regardless of unit.

  4. Just installed the x940bt in my mazda rx-8 but can’t seem to get video to play from my sd card… Is there a special way tthat i should load the videos on there??? Getting a “file resolution” error… All are music videos in mp4 format on the root of the sd card… Any help would be appreciated… Thanx

  5. If you don’t have a specific address to navigate to but you know the major cross roads to the place you want to go, how do you enter that? I can’t seem to figure that out on AVIC-X940BT…

    • The closest you to that function you can do on the 940BT is to enter the city and one of the major roads you know. Enter when you are finished and then “SCROLL” will appear on the left side of the map. You can choose SCROLL and then press a point on the map and drag your finger across the screen to move ahead or behind your place to find what direction you want to go in so you will know for sure the map is sending you in the correct direction. That’s the best I know of. It is possible you can do something different if you have an iPhone 4 or 4S. With that phone plugged in you can enter APP Mode and choose one of the many Navigation apps the unit can control and one of those may have the search criteria you are looking for.

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  7. i have the 940bt, and i can not get it to play video files from either the sd or usb, it just says tracks that can not be played will be skipped. what are the accepted video formats for this unit????

    • crhoades

      I believe you have to use mp4 or mpeg4 and only windows version. Mac is different from windows. It also has to be in it’s own folder and not the root. And make sure it is not a high resolution file.

  8. i just installed the avic-z140bh and i cant get into the bluetooth settings, when i go into the settings menu the only options i have to choose from are av setting and audio settings. what am i doing wrong ?

    • crhoades

      Have you paired your phone yet? That is the only way to enter the bluetooth settings. From the main menu, choose settings, then choose bluetooth settings (make take 30-40 seconds to appear, choose connection, connect or register from phone; and from your phone’s bluetooth setting menu make sure you are set to discover other bluetooth devices. From there, you should be good.

  9. Does the AVIC-X940bt have voice operating capibilities. I have not been able to find the icon however on page 190 in the users manual it said it should have voice operation. I called Pioneer and I was told this unit does not have that capability. Also, I have been told by others that when I speak to them using the system on a phone call they hear an echo sound. Is there something I can do to avoid the echoing?

    • The 940bt does not have voice control..only the Z140 has it. If you are having issues with echo it could be a few factors. First, you need to have someone you can call while testing it. Have a conversation with them while you are changing things around. Try adjusting the volume on your phone, the volume bluetooth controls and if neither of those help my only suggestion would be to relocate the microphone. We usually install it with great success between the rear view mirror and the driver’s visor. Another spot would be either on top of the dash or on top of the steering column. This would have to do also with the acoustics of your vehicle.

  10. I have the pioneer 940bt and had a question. I have my music in folders on a micro sd card. Now I have a file with folders of artist then I have the albums in the artists names. Then I have a single folder with various songs. I how does the deck read the files cause I have a lot more on the sd card and the deck is showing them all. Is there a limit on how any files the deck can read?
    Then I have the tracks in order like track 1 track 2 track 3 so on so on… On the sd card. But the deck displays them in random order in some of the folders? Is there a way to fix that?
    Then the last question is some of the files are doubled on the display. And if you click on the doubled track it will say that this file cannot be read by the deck and all unreadable files will be skipped. But then if you find the track in another place which is usually right with the one will be able to be played. So for one of my albums that has 12 tracks. The folder shows there are 24 tracks cause it doubles every track which the doubled shows unreadable?! Is there way to fix this or what is happening.
    Thanks.

  11. the Bluetooth settings menu cant be accessed on my z140bh also its not illuminated is it hooked up wrong?

    • 1. Make sure emergency brake is pushed in.
      2. While powered up, wait 2-3 minutes the first time. It needs a little while to recognize a phone is there the first time.

  12. Deborah Sheik

    I have the 940 bt and everyone is having difficulty hearing my phone calls. It seems to be related to when I accelerate. While stopped at a traffic light the sound on the other end is fine. As soon as we’re moving, the other end hears a humming with background noise. I drive a 2012 Mini Cooper S and have an iphone 4s. The windows are closed up tight…radio sound down.
    It has become so bad that I shut off bluetooth yesterday…bummer.
    The sound from call is awesome inside the car. The problem is at the other end.
    When a call comes in, I have also noticed that the radio volume does not go completely off…I can still hear it in the background. The volume control will not function while actively on a call.

    • crhoades

      There are possible a few things going on here. First, the Mini does have a lot of road noise. The people you are talking to are probably hearing some of that. Second, the mic may need to be moved to a better location. Third, if you started experiencing these issues around December and updated your 4S to the iOS 6.0 and after firmware updates that could be causing this issue if it is new to you. The 6.0 updates came out sometime in December and a few different radio manufacturers have had different issues. You can first try to follow the instructions from Pioneer at this web address: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/GPS-Navigation/AVIC-X940BT?tab=firmware
      That lists some things to try in regards specifically to iPhones with the 6.0 update. If that doesn’t help then try moving the mic if this is a new or old issue. If it’s an old issue from before December then your Mini could probably use some Dynamat on the floor and possibly in the doors. I have a Golf TDI 2 door and I’ve got it covered in Dynamat because of that and it’s not nearly as loud as my mother’s 2010 Mini Cooper S.

      As far as the radio volume not going mute: did it ever before? I have the Z140, same year and software and my doesn’t mute completely. If you are having a hard time hearing the call then volume up. If at one time it was completely muting then it must be the iOS updates causing it.

  13. jonathan dube

    Ive bought a avic-X940BT and had it installed at future shop. Everything work fine except the bluetooth. Ican pair my Samsung S4 with it, makes call and everything but I dont hear the other person in the car speakers at all (wich is the whole point of having the bluetooth). Have sit with the guys at futureshop for an hour, called Pioneer tech but no answer for that (tried with iphones 4-4s-5, tried a reset, nothing works). Ive got a dodge challenger 2010.

    • crhoades

      Make sure you have bluetooth audio coming out front and rear. It’s a setting in the bluetooth audio setting in the AVIC. If you have the same problem listening to bluetooth audio then it may just be the setting. If you can hear bluetooth audio streaming through all the speakers then it’s likely the radio is bad.

  14. Michael A

    I am thinking about buying the avic-z140bh or the Sony xav-701hd there is one deciding factor for me. Does the voice control for the avic-z140bh only work with iPhones?

    • Personally I prefer Pioneer over Sony..however, I would never choose either for Voice control. Most factory radios with voice control are better than the voice control of Pioneer and Sony. Kenwood is much better but even theirs isn’t great. Not sure why but perhaps they don’t invest much money into that technology. Kenwood’s newest flagship nav unit is the DNN990HD. It uses Nuance technology which is the nation’s leading voice command developer. They make it for lots of products. It’s voice recognition is definitely superior but it’s a pricey unit at $1400. However, to answer your original question, other than voice command, the Pioneer unit is a great unit, the voice command is for any bluetooth phone that you pair with it as long as the phone allows it’s contacts to be uploaded…most phones that are 2 years or newer allow that.

  15. I have a pioneer avic z7140BH I changed the battery in my car and can’t get sound from any part of the navi. I am pretty sure I went through all the options and just can’t figure it out. any suggestions?

    • When you say you can’t get sound from the navi do you mean only when in navigation or you don’t get any audio whatsoever? Did anything else reset on the radio or change after the battery swap?

  16. Allison Lee

    I have the same thing after a battery issue — no sound at all. (but mine is a avic-x940bt). I see the stereo signal is received etc. buy no audio at all.

    • It’s possible there is a fuse blown somewhere. Either on the back of the radio or one of the factory radio fuses. We’ve seen this a lot with radios in general after a jump or a battery replacement. Basically wrong wires touching is the possibility. Without seeing it though, cannot confirm.

  17. I have the avic-x940bt and every since it’s been installed the sound will drop out for 2-3 at random. I’ve brought it back to the installer and he says he’s rechecked all the wires and everything is connected properly. He also said he wasn’t able to replicate the error, but I hear it way too much that it’s annoying. It will happen wheter I’m listening to the radio, my SD card, pandora, even a movie. Total sound drops, even when it happens the chime you get when hitting the pause button is silent. Is this the unit or the install? Has any one else had this problem?

    • Thanks for contacting us, Matthew. If you had a professional install it and they have checked everything then I would have to say then it is the unit itself. If it were the install I would assume EVERYTHING would fade out not just the audio but that’s an odd symptom to have. I assume you did not buy the product from the installer? I would try to return it for warranty if that is possible.

  18. I bought it from one store who was supposed to install it, but took forever to do so, so I pulled the radio and had another shop install it. I’m not sure what the warranty is, but I’m sure it’s over because I was overseas for about 2 years. Any other suggestions?

  19. I’ve had the 940bt for a year now and just decided to plug in my phone to try out the pandora and aha features. It does not play any sound when it’s connected. Why? Please help. I thought it was a simple plug into my phone as shown on the video tutorials.

    It only plays when I click the Bluetooth to play off my phone which I shouldn’t have to if it has built in pandora n aha features that I should be able to use if I plug my phone in. Thnx

    • crhoades

      First, what cable are you using? What phone do you have?
      If you are using an iPhone you need to use a Pioneer CDiU51V. If it’s Android you can only use it with bluetooth. Without knowing what you have I cannot help you any further. You should also be able to get assistance from 1-800-pioneer.

  20. can i not play my music from my samsung 5s thru bluetooth on my z140bh?

    • Randy,
      Wow, that’s an oldie but goody. I cannot honestly remember if it has Bluetooth audio, it might only be for phone calls. If it is capable of bluetooth audio then it most likely is a failure of that feature or not compatible for a newer phone.

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