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Toyota Sienna Audio/Entertainment Questions



  • semenzatosemenzato Posts: 37
    As other folks have noticed, the volume of the Sienna DVD player through the speakers is quite low, and during quiet passages in a movie even the MAX setting may not be enough. So I am buying more headsets. There are several wireless IR headphones on the market. Does anybody know if any of them is compatible with the Sienna DVD IR transmitter? Many thanks! ---Luigi
  • semenzatosemenzato Posts: 37
    Am I the only one to be unhappy with the factory-installed Sienna DVD player? I own a 2009 Sienna with the JBL speakers (and almost everything else). The player works, but it has the following basic problems.

    1. It turns on when the car is turned on, even if it was off when the car was turned off, and even if the screen is in the closed position.

    2. There are no controls on the dashboard to pause/play the video etc. Full controls are available through the touch screen only when the parking brake is activated. (Mmm, if I could only find that wire...)

    3. The volume through the speakers is too low and often insufficient even at the MAX setting.

    4. The volume cannot be controlled from the back, so the driver (me) gets frequent requests to adjust the volume.

    For the amount of money they charge they should at least get the basic things right. I am very unhappy with this system.
  • I have just been owner of a 2010 LE for a couple of days, but I kind of agree with what you mentioned. To add to the list, the Video input can't get the sound to the in-car audio system is really inconvenient, especially for kids who don't like wear headphones.
  • semenzatosemenzato Posts: 37
    FYI, from Amazon reviews and other info, it seems that the BRAVO IH-03A Kid Friendly Infrared Wireless Headphone will work on the Sienna. Newegg has them for $20. I ordered a couple. Also the IH-01A and IH-02A should work. There are many others that will probably work, but these are the cheapest and apparently the quality is good enough.
  • gedgoudaslgedgoudasl Posts: 21
    The display goes blank and none of the controls on the dash work, cannot change whatever is playing with them or control volume, the steering controls work however. I was changing something which initiated the blank screen. Sometimes it goes through random character display before it goes blank. Radio is in a 2008 XLE. If you had this problem what was the fix? Thanks.
  • Trip to the dealer time. My JBL (07 Sienna) did that this morning on the ride to work. I'm into the dealer tomorrow.

    Randomly spit out all 5 of my cd before dying totally. Then after a few minutes I could turn it on again, but the display was blank and none of the controls excpet the wheel mounted ones worked.

    Ironically, my wife is at the dealer today getting the registration and inspection on a 2009 Rav4.
  • jsambo1jsambo1 Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2010 sienna CE and now find I miss the stering wheel audio controls. Is there any way to buy an aftermarket controller for the stock sienna radio? If not how much would it cost to get the controls added by the dealer or buy it and install it myself?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Go aftermarket instead. You can get an in-dash GPS with touch screen controls.

    You saved enough on the CE to pay for it, even.
  • jsambojsambo Posts: 5
    Why would I install a GPS when I am interested in steering wheel controlls for the radio? How hard would it be to buy a steering wheel with radio controlls and install it?
    Thank you
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm just saying, why stop there?

    If you're going to customize it, go all out and add a GPS and a backup cam as well. You can do it for 1/3rd the OE prices Toyota charges, and probably recover more than half at resale to boot.
  • I just ordered a 2010 Sienna Limited with dvd and nav and now after reading some posts I have some questions about the entertainment system.
    1. If the kids are watching a movie in back with headphones can I (driver) listen to something else on the radio.
    2 If I am driving and the kids (aged 1 and 3) need their movie started rewound or the volume turned up can I do that while driving.
    3. what does another post mean whent they say the dvd turns on every time they start the car, is that only when there is a movie in the player.
    4 Does anyone have experience using the system with young kids and how do they deal with these issues, thanks so much.
  • My 2010 Sienna Limited appears to ony have 4 cd player. Can i plug in a mp3 player to the aux jack and control it through the steering whell controls? How have people worked around the limited disc spaces and still controlled through nav or steering wheel and can music be sorted in to folders or playlists or do they just play as on elong string of music
  • skluzskluz Posts: 5
    Answers to your questions based on my 2009 Sienna XLE:

    1. If the kids are watching a movie in back with headphones can I (driver) listen to something else on the radio
    A. Yes. This works quite well, although with youngsters under 2 it's pretty tough to get them to keep the headphones on.

    2. If I am driving and the kids ( aged 1 and 3 ) need their movie started rewound or the volume turned up can I do hat while driving.
    A. There is a remote control that allows you to control everything like you would on your DVD player at home. It doesn't work great as the driver as it seems to need to be pointed at the front of the DVD player. We've had varying success while using it as without seeing the DVD screen it's hard to know what the current options are.
    The DVD player volume when played over the car speakers is quite soft. You'll have to crank the volume up to double the volume that you'll use when listening to the radio. ( setting 22 verses 11 ) This does cause issues when you eject a movie to put in another the entertainment system switches to the radio when no DVDs are present in the DVD player. Maybe I shouldn't mention that I've switched out the DVDs while being the only adult in the car and while driving on the highway, but it is do-able. You'll learn where the eject button is on the front of the player and be able to press it catch the DVD and replace it with a new one while driving.
    If your kids have the headphones on you will not be able to change the volume for them. Each headphone has it's own volume control on the unit itself. The fact that they are wireless makes them much more toddler friendly.

    3. What does another post mean when they say the DVD turns on every time they start the car, is that only when there is a movie in the player.
    A. The DVD player will always be on while the car is on. If there isn't a movie present it just will just show a static screen on the player if the screen is down ( I believe, I didn't double check this ). If the screen is closed it will be as if the unit was turned off.
    If there is a movie in the player it will resume playing from the position it was in when the vehicle was turned of. This works great for us. The movie "Cars" is this month's favorite. Each time we get into the Sienna it's right were we left off and thus we're not stuck listening to only the beginning of the movie every time we get in for a while trip across town.

    4. Does anyone have experience using the system with young kids and how do they deal with these issues.
    Well, my oldest son was about 20 months old when we bought our Sienna and we also had a 1 month old at the time. Our oldest had previously dealt with our poor man's solution of using an iPod Touch as a video player so jumping up to the larger screen was a major bonus for him. He loves getting in to the Sienna for any trip short or long. Our infant still isn't able to watch the video's yet although he'd love to. He's now 10 month old and still has to ride in a rear facing car seat which makes seeing the screen impossible. We're only about 2 months away from being able to turn him around and then we'll have to worry about finding a movie that they both want to watch.

    The only problems we've run into with the entertainment system is:
    1. The audio video jacks in the rear of the vehicle are not hooked up to the main entertainment system in the front of the car. The audio from these inputs will only be audible through the headphones and will not play over the vehicle's speakers.
    2. The remote is a little flaky. At times it just will not work.
    3. Audio playing over the speakers for the DVDs is very quite and causes radio blasts when DVDs are ejected.

    These are fairly minor problems and wouldn't steer me away from going this route again. We did look seriously at buying a lower level Sienna and having screens put into the headrests but opted to go the full Toyota route and we're still happy with our decision. Next time we take the Sienna in for maintenance I'll mention the audio/video jack issue and see if they're able to do anything about it. I've heard a few different solutions such as running a cable from the DVD player to the auxillary jack in the main console ( which seems like something that a toddler would love to pull on) or attaching small speakers to the DVD player that hang from the ceiling. I guess if we were desperate I would just run a long cable from the rear of the Sienna where the jacks are to the front running it under the carpet and then up to the auxillary jack in front. Then you just wouldn't use the audio portion of the jack in back and would use the cable to hook it directly to the port on the front console.

    In your other post you mentioned being able to control an iPod or other MP3 player from the steering wheel. In our XLE this isn't doable but I'll let someone else answer for the Limited. The MP3 player uses the Auxillary jack which is only a headphone jack basically. It isn't able to control the device through it.

    I hope this helps and I'm sure you'll love your Sienna. We're still in very happy with ours.
  • Thank you so much for your detailed answer, it has really helped me understand the logistics of using the system. I appreciate your time.
  • tanker5tanker5 Posts: 36
    Answers to your questions based on my 2006 XLE Limited system
    1.Yes, no problem
    2.No, unless you are stopped and emergency break on. Then you have control over the DVD. Some have found ways to work around this issue. They bypass the emergency brake.
    3.Yes. Eject the DVD or take off the emergency brake.
    4. Mom,dad or grandparents intercede when kids scream. I find the 5 year old can handle the remote better than I.
    You'll love the entertainment unit and the kids will not keep asking "Are we there yet?" The 2 and 5 year old can not take their eyes off the screen.
  • how do you bypass the emergency brake. are ther ways other than purchasing the somewhat complicated accessories that unlock all the dvd and nav features while driving. it wuld be a lot easier it would seam to bypass the emergency brake if that is possible. i had heard that the unit must receive some signal to let it know the car is braked and that you cant just disconnect some wire, anyone have any opinions. I would also love to hear from anyone tht has used the lockpick or prestigious society products. I have some questions about usnig them,
  • duke88duke88 Posts: 3
    To add what to skluz said, you can't ff or rw while a dvd is playing from your steering wheel. But the up/down buttons on the left side will let you advance or go back in the DVD chapters. If you have your NAV sceen activated to view the DVD chapters while the movie is playing, you can see what chapters you are changing to on the screen.
  • duke88duke88 Posts: 3
    I just purchased a 2010 XLE with package #4 and the stereo is XM Radio capable. I have a hard time paying the dealer $500 to put a receiver in the vehicle for XM Radio. Is there a less expensive alternative out there?
  • Hi, Duke88: Like you, I just bought a 2010 Toyota XLE Sienna with Pkg #4 (Satellite ready). We've had it 6 days and love it. However, I, too, would like to put an XM Radio in it but don't want to pay hundreds and hundreds of $$. Have you had any response to your posting? :
  • I just bought a 2010 ienna CE and forgot to order the steering wheel audio controls. DOes anyone have any knowledge about getting a steering wheel with the controls or adding a aftermarket controller? What make is the radio in the sienna?
    Thank you
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The high end stuff is JBL, but I'm not sure about the CE and base LE models.
  • laval1laval1 Posts: 1
    You can have an ipod interface installed in your 2010 sienna. Works great just have one installed yesterday. This is a Toyota part. You can control all functions of you ipod from the Nav screen, Playlist, Album, Artist...
  • Is it easier to change out the whole radio if one wants to install xm/sirrus on a 2010 new from dealer, or Does anyone know how the dealer does it,I would like it to look like one unit not have various units wired in all over. thanks
  • Hi, Did you find how to work out the option to play the Audio in the speakers if we connect iphone or other device to VGA inputs instead of running the Auxiliary cable all the way to the Auxiliary port. We have a 9 month old baby and she is all over the cables when we were testing this feature & so I would need some other alternative way to have this feature.
  • skluzskluz Posts: 5
    I'm sorry to say that we haven't found a better way. The Sienna is my wife's vehicle, so she's been doing the communicating with the dealership and hasn't felt the need to ask about it.

    Someone else mentioned an upgrade to the 2010 Sienna that allows iphone/ipod controls from the navigation screen. I'm not sure if this would allow the iphone content to be displayed on the DVD screen or not, but my guess is that it would not. Even if the auxiliary jack in the back of the vehicle worked as we would have expected it to, I think you're still going to need another system tweak. How do you expect to control the iPhone from the front of the vehicle? It might be easiest just to have a cable run from the back inputs to the front of the vehicle...just cover it with mats.

    By the age of two, my son could control our iTouch better than some adults... So it could be as easy as running the cable from the back to the second row seats so that the youngster can control the iphone video once she is old enough to control it herself. My son who is now 3 actually really likes the headphones and doesn't mind us listening to the radio while he's watching the Backyardigans. Now I just have to wait until my 1 year old, that can now face forward and watch the DVD player as well, can wear the headphones without wanting to toss them.

    Good luck with your Sienna and solving your video watching problems. I'll watch to see what you come up with.
  • Is it possible to hook up an Xbox 360 to the dvd screen in a 2010 Sienna?
  • skluzskluz Posts: 5
    Yes. There is a component video connection with an AC plug in the rear seat of the Sienna. You'll be able to plug the XBox 360 in there... You will need an adapter as the plug in does not have the ground portion of the plug. You also will only be able to hear the audio via the headphones. There current setup does not allow the audio from the rear composite jack to play over the Sienna's speaker system.
  • Cool. Thanks. We test drove a Town & Country as well and that was one of the features I liked on it.
  • skluzskluz Posts: 5
    We seriously looked at the Town & Country as well. At the time they were knocking rediculous amounts off the vehicle's price, but I still couldn't bring myself to buying it.

    Take yesterday for example. My folks drove our Sienna to the airport to pick my family up after a week long trip. We were able to get all of our luggage in the back, sit 4 adults comfortably and still had the 2 car seats for my 1 and 3 year olds.

    Try sitting in the Fold and Go seats in the Town & Country and convince yourself that you could sit in those for a 30 minute car trip across a major city.

    I can't tell you how tired I was of hearing it from salesman, but the second major point was the cost of ownership... We've had our Sienna for almost a year now without any problems. Two of our friends have Town & Countries and have not had as good of experiences.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Six Flags is sponsored by Dodge/Chrysler so that had a loaded T&C at the park. It was open and you could crawl all around it.

    I didn't like the stow-n-go seats either, but I've sampled Swivel-n-go and those seats are much better.

    This one also had twin screens, but it retailed for $41k. :surprise:

    At that price the small amount of leather they put in the center of the seat only just doesn't cut it. That van was at least $10 grand overpriced. Chrysler has built-in enormous rebates in the price to begin with. Crazy.
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