Pioneer DEH-S5000BT Review

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​Build Quality

​Not too expensive and doesn’t skimp on functionality.

Value For Money

​Installation is straightforward, as is typical use.


​Despite the low price point, Pioneer haven’t used cheap materials.

​Ease of Use

​Wide range of media playback options, including smartphones.

What I Like

  • ​Color customization options
  • ​Fairly inexpensive
  • ​Quality, recognizable brand

What I Like

  • ​Relatively weak amplifier
  • ​Lacks a touchscreen
  • ​Even with 10 settings, the screen can be hard to read in sunlight

​In this review, we’ll be looking at a reasonably popular in-car aftermarket CD receiver, the Pioneer DEH-S5000BT, a strong all-round receiver. Pioneer have enjoyed many years as a recognizable player in the audio industry, contributing toward some of the biggest advanced in entertainment, such as the CD and Blu-ray formats. We’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of this specific model, as well as the ideal person that it’d suit.

​Product ​Overview

Pioneer DEH-S5100BT in-Dash Built-in Bluetooth CD, MP3, Front USB, Auxiliary, Pandora, AM/FM, Built in iPod, iPhone and iPad Controls, Dual Phone Connection Stereo Receiver

​Priced somewhere around the high-budget to mid-range price point, this stereo comes with a detachable faceplate, with a 2-line LCD display used to show details of your music. The variable color illumination features individual control over the buttons and display, and there is a 10-setting dimmer for adjusting the screen's brightness in high or low light environments. This stereo system can handle a range of media playback options and is one of the more capable non-touchscreen systems in terms of breadth of functionality.

​Who is This Product For?

We’re all different and all have our preferred means of storing music. If you’re the type of person who’s never truly progressed beyond storing all your music on CDs, then this stereo could work for you. Compatible with a range of CD types, you’ll be able to play music from both your retail CDs and burned copies. Alternatively, if you’re the kind of person to stream music from a mobile device, this unit also has you covered. The inclusion of FLAC-streaming from a USB thumb drive is a bonus.

This CD receiver might be less suited to you if you like to thump your music out as loud as possible, as it only features a built-in 14-watt amplifier. If you’re looking for a powerful bassline, then you’re not likely to be satisfied by the power than this amplifier can put out. Still, the sound quality is reasonable in spite of this.

​What’s Included

Pioneer DEH-S5100BT in-Dash Built-in Bluetooth CD, MP3, Front USB, Auxiliary, Pandora, AM/FM, Built in iPod, iPhone and iPad Controls, Dual Phone Connection Stereo Receiver

In most cases, you're going to need a wiring harness to install an aftermarket receiver in your vehicle. Luckily, there's one included in the box right alongside the stereo itself and the necessary screws to mount it in place. You also get comprehensive installation instructions in case this is your first time fitting your own receiver, in addition to product warranty information.

What’s more, as we’re now reaching the higher end of the budget range and the beginning of the mid-range, you start to see products like this including optional extras. In this case, you get a wireless remote control that can be useful for performing first-time setup, as well as a Bluetooth microphone for your voice-controlled functionality.

​Overview of Features

The DEH-S5000BT is a CD receiver with built-in AM/FM tuner capability. It also has a 14-watt integrated MOSFET amplifier, which isn't the most powerful around, but can still produce some reasonable sound quality. There's built-in Bluetooth connections for hands-free calls and control over your mobile music collection, as well as FLAC file playback.

In terms of its basic audio features, the Pioneer DEH-S5000BT can play burned or store-bought CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs. It can also stream from USB storage, or access traditional radio stations. An Advanced Sound Retriever function improves sound quality from compressed, digital sound files, whilst a 13-band equalizer boasts seven preset tone settings. There are low-pass and high-pass filters and subwoofer controls, too.

This stereo has built-in smartphone features that allow you to legally control your phone while you're on the road. You can hook up your iPod, iPhone or iPad with custom controls, or control music streaming applications like Spotify and Pandora on these devices or Android phones. A USB port also allows you to alternate between charging your mobile device or accessing music files stored on a USB thumb drive.

The illumination customization options that come as standard in this model are worth a shout-out. You are able to match both the display and the button illuminations to your vehicle's interior lighting by choosing from a range of more than 210,000 individual colors. This is a feature we’d normally only expect to see in a more premium product, so it’s certainly a pleasant surprise.



If you’re willing to spend more than the basic budget range of aftermarket receivers on offer, then you can get something like the Pioneer S5000BT. Where this model lets itself down is in the inclusion of a relatively weak 14-watt amplifier. Fortunately, it makes up for this shortcoming with some awesome features.

The level of smartphone integration is pleasing, as is being able to control your music using nothing more than your voice. We also love the range of file formats you can use to play back your music collection. However, possibly one of the biggest signs that this isn’t a pure budget model is the level of customization that you can achieve with the illumination settings. If you’re into streaming music or prefer to use CDs, this model will be a perfect match regardless.

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