INSANE AUDIO JK2001
I always felt hobbled by the electronics in my JK. The list of things it didn’t do well included a poor navigation system that couldn’t be altered while driving. I guess FCA didn’t think anyone would have a passenger. There was also no easy way to connect a back-up camera, and no way to use the thousands of apps available to our mobile devices, which enhance our everyday lives.
I ordered a JK2001 from Insane Audio to bring the infotainment system of my 2015 JK into the 21st century. For you TJ or FJ Cruiser guys out there, Insane Audio also makes perfect fit products for you too. In no particular order, are my top eleven things that ‘turn my crank’.
• 11. Back-up camera and forward facing front camera. With a couple of optional cameras from Insane Audio I now have a back-up cam and a front facing rock cam.
• 10. Massive storage options. This head unit supports up to 400 GB on a MicroSD card. You can store an entire movie collection in high-def right on board and tens of thousands of songs all with no moving parts and no skipping. You can even customize the onboard music player for some slick playback options. If you want more storage, it comes with a USB cable designed to run to your glove box, where you can plug in a USB thumb drive or even a multi-terabyte external hard drive. While the music portion of this is great for driving, the video is great if you are overlanding and sleeping (or just waiting) in your Jeep.
• 9. Live engine data with the Torque App. You can view live engine data, customize gauge displays, view or even clear engine codes all in the dash of your Jeep. It comes with an OBDII Bluetooth dongle that plugs into your OBDII port and connects to the app via Bluetooth.
• 8. Onboard satellite imagery. Tired of looking at navigation screens that don’t tell you what you need to know when you’re off-road? Get a birds eye view of the terrain.
• 7. Customization. One of the great features of a Wrangler is the ability to easily make modifications for looks and/ or performance. Why should the electronics be any different? Almost everything in this unit is customizable, from changing the LED backlighting, to installing live wallpapers.
• 6. Sound. The company is called Insane Audio for a reason and the sound quality is terrific. Insane Audio’s JK2001 comes with a built-in amp that will power all OEM sound systems (including Alpine and Infinity OEM upgrades) but also contains preamp outputs and a dedicated sub out with separate
sub volume control for your custom aftermarket system. Swipe down from the top of the screen and access InsaneEQ with a nine-band graphic equalizer to dial in your favourite tunes.
• 5. Built tough. It’s entirely solid-state technology with no moving parts and is rated IP66 waterproof and dustproof. It also has strong electronic shock protection so it is designed to take a beating on the trail - after all it is designed to go in a Wrangler.
• 4. Perfect fit. This is not a universal product. It’s built from an OEM mold and designed to fit perfectly in the JK. No dash kits, trim kits or wiring harnesses needed. No need to cut up your dash. It works with steering wheel controls right out of the box, and even their backup and front facing rock cameras look OEM when installed.
• 3. Intelligent Bluetooth. This unit can do all the things one would expect like stream music from your phone or make hands-free calls. It can also do a lot more like wirelessly control all your accessories by connecting to Switch-Pros SP9100 ($780 http://amzn.to/2FFgt77). You can even wirelessly view and control your GoPro. You can control multiple Bluetooth accessories simply by downloading the appropriate app.
• 2. Insane NavEngine is Insane Audio’s navigation software and it is designed to work entirely offline and well out of cell range. It comes preloaded with street maps for the US and Canada, trail maps and full 3D topography.
• 1. Apps, apps and more apps. With built-in WiFi and the Google Play store preinstalled you can download any of the 3.5 million apps available. This isn’t just Apple CarPlay or Android Auto where you are basically mirroring a small subset of approved apps running on your phone through a physical cable.
It isn’t a complete love affair though. Two things I would change are the high gloss screen front. There are days where the highly reflective screen makes it challenging to see. So I will install an anti-glare screen protector that will correct this something like the Tech Armor for iPad mini ($9 for three - http://amzn.to/2FFLXtO).
And I wish it were plug and play with my Sirius XM from the factory. There are work arounds - I can download the app and then tether my phone, or I can buy an external receiver, connect it to the aux-in, and mount it or drop it in the glove box - something like the Onyx EZ (around $70 on amazon - http://amzn.to/2FIwIjR).
Install time was about three hours (not including cameras). The instructions were pretty solid using photographs to detail the steps. As with most under dash work, large hands hinder your install time, so there’s no point in trying to set a speed record. Set aside an afternoon and take your time.
As spring turns to summer, I’ll have more time to experiment with the JK2001 on the trails and keep you updated as it fails, lives up to, or exceeds expectations. We have smartphones. For many of the same reasons, we should also have a smart 4x4.