The difference is that the Planet Audio system has CarPlay built in. This means that I can plug in my iPhone and have several apps from my iPhone show up on the screen and I can use Siri directly on the unit. For my typical needs, this is just a more useful feature that makes it worth leaving some seldom used features behind.
The backup camera is mounted in the spokes of my Wrangler’s 5th tire and it works like a charm. When you put the vehicle in reverse it comes on automatically. Then it automatically switches to the normal screen when you are back in drive. This unit gives you access to that camera at any time, so you can see what is happening back there while driving, if you desire. If you use it with a Jeep for off road excursions, it could help keep up with what is going on with the Jeep behind you.
The unit has some steering wheel controls, as well. I was able to use 5 of my steering wheel buttons. The unit allows you to set which control works with each button. I have volume up, volume down, Siri, skip forward, skip back setup on my steering wheel. I can change these later, but I am happy with having these specific controls available without taking my hands off the wheel.
I tested Siri with the top off and the front doors off and it still picked up my voice without any problems. Since I have an Apple Music subscription, I can just tell Siri what I want to hear and it will play on the head unit. CarPlay also works with Pandora, Google Music, Messages, Phone calls, and several more applications, but you lose most of Siri’s great features with third party apps. Personally, I would recommend an Apple Music subscription for CarPlay users that subscribe to streaming. I also tested using Siri to send a message and it worked like a charm,. The audio was great (on my end) during phone calls….it should be mentioned that the sound quality on my end is better in every way over the stock system.
Below are a few of the Apple Music pages:
Bluetooth and the iPod
Below is the Bluetooth Screen from Apple Music:
Below is a screen that shows up when you are plugged into CarPlay and manually choose SiriusXM from the iPhone (since it is not in the CarPlay Menu:
Below is a 24/96 FLAC file playing over the second USB:
The Wrap Up
I would recommend this unit for those that want CarPlay and are on a budget. For a Jeep Wrangler driver, being able to put in a backup camera helps with visibility especially when you have an oversized tire blocking most of the back window. All in all, I am very happy with the Planet Audio PCP9800!