The Dual XRM405BT is a digital media car stereo, which means it's designed to play MP3s from your phone or music player via Bluetooth, a USB connection or an AUX cord. It doesn't have a CD player or the long list of audio features found in more expensive stereos, but it's a decent upgrade at an affordable price.
In our performance tests, the XRM405BT received a B- for audio quality. And while this is one of the lowest grades, it's not unexpected considering the stereo’s price. It only has four EQ bands and lacks time alignment, which means you don't have a lot of control over how the stereo sounds in your car. In addition, its audio doesn’t sound as full as that of other stereos. Still, it doesn’t sound bad. When you consider the XRM405BT’s audio quality next to its price tag, it’s a good budget upgrade.
The Dual XRM405BT’s best feature is its maximum power handling, which is rated at 60 watts per channel. By comparison, the best stereos we reviewed, the Pioneer AVH501EX and the JVC KW-R935BTS, have ratings of 50 watts per channel. This means the Dual XRM405BT can push speakers a bit harder. Unfortunately, this rating is the peak output. The continuous power output is 18 watts per channel, which is less than the 22 watts per channel of the two best stereos. So, while the Dual XRM can reach higher peaks, its continuous power output (how much power it can sustain continuously) is slightly below average.
This Dual stereo also has an underwhelming interface. It received a B- for ease of use, which was the lowest grade I gave out. While the important buttons are on the driver's side, they aren't clearly labeled. Some buttons have two functions, and it's not clear which one is the primary function. The buttons also aren’t well illuminated – at night, it may be difficult to identify which button does what without leaning in. Overall, the XRM405BT’s interface isn’t difficult to master, but it's not as well designed as others.
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The display also earned a B- for quality. Much of this is due to its digital clock face design, which is outdated, lacks style and isn’t easy to read. In addition, the display features tiny icons that run along the bottom. They are meant to identify activated features, such as Bluetooth and other settings, but they are so small, they’re impractical to view while driving.
The Dual XRM405BT doesn’t have many features. For example, it’s missing a CD player and isn’t compatible with lossless file formats. The stereo’s audio performance also doesn’t compare well against that of more expensive models. However, when you consider its performance and its price, it's a great value.