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Toyota Sienna Audio/Entertainment Questions



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Mine is a 2007 Sienna LE, package 3, with the base 6CD changer that comes as OE on the Sienna LE.

    Basically the factory stereo, not the JBL one.

    I did have a Jenson 12.1" DVD movie screen installed, but it is not hard-wired to the radio, and should not affect the antennae on the radio, especially since I get poor reception even when the DVD is powered off.

    Circuit City installed it, $900 total.
  • practicalpractical Posts: 53
    Just got XLE w/ DVD last month. Today, while I was listening to my radio at front, kids turned on the DVD.

    Then, I just pushed the PWR/VOL knob to shut off the radio, they shouted. It turned off the DVD as well. After reading the manual and tested a few times, the "RES DVD Lock" on/off is to respond/ignore the remote.

    Now, how can I just turn off my radio meanwhile keep the rear DVD alive? :confuse:

    I guess to turn down the vol to 0 might be a workaround. Isn't it dumb?! :blush:
  • tinyguytinyguy Posts: 44
    On the 04 LE, it came with rear audio controls. This is where I would be installing the aftermarket overhead LCD DVD player. Is this something that I can do? I haven't tried removing the screws of the existing assembly yet but do power cables come all the way to this area of the ceiling or do I really need to hand this job to the professionals?

    Also, I am toying around with the idea of buying those cheaper DVD unit that are sold on eBay. At barely over $200, these are so cheap that I am willing to risk. Some models even come with capability to play MP4 movies which is great. Does anyone here have any experience with these players?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had mine professionally installed, a Jenson unit.

    Here's the thing. You probably can get power, but if it comes with a dome light you have to wire it up to the switch all the way up in the dash, or at least the one on the driver's door.

    Depends on the unit you choose, I suppose.

    The reason you need to wire the dome light is so that it turns on when you open the door.
  • tinyguytinyguy Posts: 44
    How many hours of labor did they charge for the installation?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It was included in the $900 price.

    I got the on-line price, but the store honored in. The in-store price was $999.99.

    I figure it's a 12" screen so the price was probably $600 for the unit, the rest labor. It was there for a day.

    Mine had no hole in the roof (07 LE models don't have that rear audio setup) so they had to cut one themselves.

    They did a good job though they could have vacuumed the interior a little better. Everything works, though.
  • kpmnkpmn Posts: 1
    I have an '05 XLE that also has the rear audio controls. I went with the 12.1" Jensen unit from Circuit City. The installation was included in the $999 price. (No $900 online price for them to honor - the web site has the same price as the store now.)

    It was a gamble going into the install since the Jensen unit was just slightly smaller than the rear audio control unit. Circuit City installers said they'd see if it fit and if it didn't then I could return the unit for a full refund and try a different alternative.

    To sum it up the Jensen was slightly smaller but still covered the hole of the rear audio unit (barely). There is a slight indentation where the rear audio pressed up against the fabric of the ceiling but it was better than what I was anticipating and I'm hoping over time that will completely disappear. Even if it doesn't I'm rather particular about those things and I'm OK with the real slight fabric indentation, you basically have to look carefully to see it.

    A couple other notes regarding the Jensen installation. They did a very good job (may vary by the tech you get I guess). They do unhook your rear audio controls (I didn't need them or care so works for me). They are just secured up in the ceiling so you can get them back if you reinstall the rear audio control panel. The other note is that the dome lights built-in on the Jensen unit won't work. There isn't a separate power supply in the ceiling for them. They can add that if you want to pay an additional installation fee for them to run a separate power wire up to the ceiling (I didn't).

    If that's not your cup of tea there is a Myron & Davis monitor you can put in the flip down part of your existing rear audio unit. It's a smaller screen but that's because it replaces that flip down storage compartment. (Plus you don't lose the rear audio controls as with the Jensen approach.) Another down side there is that it is just a screen. The DVD player needs to be added separately. Here's a link to one web site that sells a combo of the screen and then a separate DVD player small enough to fit in the glove compartment:

    I can't comment on the Myron&Davis unit since I didn't go that route but I can tell you the kids think the 12.1" screen is awesome! I'd give that install a thumbs up.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree, size matters. Go with the big screen! :shades:

    Once your kids have sampled a 12" screen, a 7 or 8" screen won't do.
  • aflandersaflanders Posts: 2

    I just bought a 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited. I installed an ipod2car connection kit and it worked fine with my iPod including wheel and volume controls.

    The only problem is that the dvd player in the back stopped working. When I disconnected the iPod adapter the DVD player was OK, when I reconnected the iPod adapter the DVD player went dead.

    Is there any sort of an a/b switch that I can install so that I can switch from one to the other without having to tear my dash board apart? I like being able to play my iPod, but the grandkids love the DVD player.

    Any help will be most appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    aflanders :confuse:
  • rickervbrickervb Posts: 2

    I was wondering if anyone could help me out. I currenly have a 2004 Sienna that has the rear audio controls on the roof. I know that the DVD system will fit up there.
    However, does any one know if the cord would be the same? I assume it is using a 12 pin din or something like that>

    I guess the question is can I swap out the rear audio for the DVD and use the existing wire or will I need to run a new wire to the head unit.

    Thanks a lot.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    I have LE package 3 and it has mast antenna. Maybe it missing that's why the reception is poor.

    2nd, LE does not have dome light. How big of whole they're going to cut to install DVD player :cry:

    I saw two screen dvd player for under $600. Also, 15"... are these too big? or 12.1 is good enough.

    Wireless headsets... are these FM transmitters? How do you get more headsets... I might need 5 when friends are accompanying us... That's I liked the old plugged-in option where you can use y-cables to connect as many wired head-phones you like. Can you piggy-back on a wireless head set using regular wired headset?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's a lot of questions! :D

    Let me try to answer them one by one, at least the ones I think I know...

    Yes, LE3 has a mast antennae. Mine was missing, delivered without one. Dealer ordered one and replaced it with no fuss.

    My overhead DVD player came with a dome light. That solves your problem, 2 birds with one stone.

    15" is enormous. My 12" screen block the top half of the rear view mirror, so a 15" screen would probably block the entire view. The huge side mirrors compensate somewhat.

    Extra headsets were $40 at Circuit City. The 2 that came with it were enough for me, at least for now. I do not think they use FM transmitters, because they work no matter what FM frequency I choose on the DVD player. Not sure how they work, come to think of it, but they do.

    The headphones only work inside the car. Range is not that great (shouldn't matter), but the sound quality for my kids is fine.

    I need to look to see if there are sockets for wired headsets on my player, not sure. I don't think the headsets have any outputs.

    Basically, for the 2 of them, we use headphones. If there are more people in the car, we just pick a movie with a nice soundtrack. I don't mind listening to The Sound of Music or High School Musical while I drive, just as examples of what we've played for a bigger audience.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    ateixeira, thanks so much...
    "If there are more people in the car, we just pick a movie with a nice soundtrack. I don't mind listening to The Sound of Music or High School Musical while I drive, just as examples of what we've played for a bigger audience."

    Here I assume that you play the sound on car radio? or DVD player is connected to your aux port of the stereo?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, you pick one of 4 FM frequencies, then it plays over the radio. For me I found a good one that has almost no static at all, and I just made it one of my FM presets.

    Cool thing is I have audio controls on the steering wheel, so I can turn the sound track on and adjust the volume without taking either hand off the wheel.

    The DVD player is just set to that FM frequency all the time, so if it's on, I control all the sound at my finger tips.

    I do have an aux port, but it's not used in this case. All FM frequency.

    My installer told me there was indeed a power source in the ceiling for him to use, but I didn't see it personally. I do think they can draw power from the ceiling where your audio controls are without splicing, but don't quote me on that.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    Thanks very much!

    How big of a whole they make on the roof? I'm a little nervous having them cut the ceiling. If the light was already there, they would just replace the current light fixture and install the DVD player.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Depends on what DVD player you get, I suppose.

    The Jensen came with a template, he used that to cut out the hole.

    I can't see any trace of it not being factory. We're happy.
  • philtsphilts Posts: 3
    I have a '07 LTD AWD. Whenever I play a DVD, the volume needs to be turn up very high as opposed to nomal radio or CD volume.

    Does anyone have the same experience?

  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    What is difference between JBL and regular audio system that's installed on LEs? If I get hold of JBL, would I be able to swap it or both have different connectors in the back? I have Thundra JBL which looks same as LE except small letters stating JBL. Is is easy to take the current system out?

    Is there any different speaker system for JBL?

  • wats00437wats00437 Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 Sienna XLE with the JBL Audio System. I recently bought a Double Din DVD Player (Clarion MAX675) along with headrest monitors, reverse camera and sub. I already have gotten hold of a wiring harness that will allow me to tap into the stock system however, I am looking for a DOUBLE DIN MOUNTING KIT for the van. I have searched and searched and have not found anything yet. My friend installed a DOUBLE DIN KIT for the Sienna Previously but claims that it came from Japan. Does anyone out there know of any Double DIN kits for this van? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!
  • wats00437wats00437 Posts: 2
    I have the JBL Synthesis System with the DVD and the Sub in the back. If you were planning on paying extra to get it... don't. It isn't worth it. I thought that it would be better and having an OEM system would be just easier and good enough, No way! My friend has an older Sienna and put in an Alpine CD Deck, replaced all of the speakers with simple Infinity replacements and put in a small 6" powered sub... and it sounds better than mine! He got almost everything at Best buy, everything is hidden except for the deck and it really sounds clean and good for the few hundred he paid for the equipment (about $700). Trust me, that is the way to go. I am replacing my JBL system with a Clarion MAX675 DVD (if I can find the mounting kit) or a flip out DVD with head rest monitors, rear view camera (a must! Don't use a mirror monitor because it is too dark, I have one on now) and a replacement powered sub and tapping into the factory speakers for now (only because of the center channel). The problem with the factory sub is there is no adjustment for frequency and it just doesn't sound good. Getting a smaller powered sub and tuning it to how you enjoy listening is a better option. Spend a little slowly and make it sound really clean and good for a lot less money (if you are not a die hard audio guy). Good luck!
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    Thanks.... now I know what JBL is... it is basically an amplifier... I did not get JBL... to get JBL, I had to get DVD system... the cost was $2K more ....

    I agree with you other systems are better than OEM. Only reason I was looking at JBL because I was looking at Solara Navigation systems.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm not sure about the source, but what might help is to know that the 04-05 models had a standard double-DIN opening as stock.

    The 06 redesign went to a non-standard size, like yours. 07 is the same way.

    So you may want to go to your dealer, or a Toyota wholesaler, and get the surround from a 2004 model. You could also try a junk yard, but good luck finding a Sienna that new.

    Call these guys up, maybe they sell it (though it's not listed):

    Their e-mail is:

    You're going to have to do a little homework on this project, but good luck, and please share your progress with us.
  • I have an '05 LTD AWD with the same problem. I need to turn the volume all the way up when playing most DVD's to hear it.

    Does anyone know of a solution to this?

  • seats8seats8 Posts: 12
    Can anyone provide a reference for a good audio/stereo/entertainment system installer in the Bethesda, MD area?

    I'd like to add an in-dash DVD/GPS/Stereo with a couple of drop down LCD's and a back-up camera.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Circuit City installed my aftermarket DVD, the store in Rockville.

    I'd rate them only about Average, though.

    Why? They were a little messy - I found some wire fragments so they didn't vacuum the interior as well as they should have.

    Also, they hooked up the dome light to the driver's door rather than to the switch on the dash.

    It has worked perfectly and the fit is good, so I still rate them OK.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    I guess it depends on installer to installer. I just had mine installed by circuit city same Jensen 12.1 and did great job. Dome light is connected to sliding doors. I just noticed that when driver side door is opened, rear interior lights are not turned on. Rear interior lights including dome lightare on when sliding doors are opened :) You should go back and ask them to change yours. They have life time warranty on the installation.

    I do have couple of issues, one I spotted while I was driving out of there and they fixed that.

    I still have one issue. One of the outputs are connected to AUX on the radio. I was told that I can turn it off from DVD so that I can use AUX for Ipod while DVD is being played. I have not figured out how to do that. Does anyone knows how to do that?

    I also have them installed two output jacks on the sides of third row so that wired headphones can be connected. With those two, I can have splitters and can use multiple head phones if needed.

    This unit is capable of transmitting FM but the sound was little statically on the Car Radio... I have not tried different frequencies. It might be better if you're sitting on the back seat with radio. I might use MP3 player's radio if extra head sets are needed. But there are head sets available on Ebay for less than $40.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, they told me that, I just haven't gone back.

    To be honest it's not a big deal to me, there was no center dome light before, and everything works, so I don't want to risk them splicing more wires and messing up the interior again.

    So that was simply by choice.

    They did not wire to the Aux on mine, so I can't answer your question.

    Changing FM frequency is easy - just hit the FM button, it goes up 0.4 Mhz on the FM dial each time you press. I think there are 4-5 frequencies it can use, I'm always able to find a clear one. Though on a long trip, you may have to change it once or twice.

    There is one headphone plug on the front of the Jenson, so with a splitter you could add 2 headphones easily.
  • Minor irritation with the DVD player - but here goes -

    I have a factory DVD player, and folks listen to the audio through the sound system. When at destination, we stop the DVD, close the screen and switch off the ignition. Now, whenever the ignition is switched back on, the DVD starts playing, and I have to reach back with the remote to stop it. Is there a way to stop the player (or not start it) every time I start the car?

    Dealer says the only way is to eject the DVD. This is not a good solution, since when I would like to restart the DVD, I want it to start from its current location. This is lost with the DVD eject. Thanks for your help, - M.S.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I can see why that would be inconvenient - at every rest stop. And it may take a while for everyone to get settled back in.
  • Well, not just the rest stops - I have to drive that van to work, too, and in the morning, when I am in a hurry it is no fun looking around for the remote.
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