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Toyota Sienna Audio/Entertainment Questions



  • They are way overpriced. I went in and told them what I was looking to pay (lowball) and they have not called me back. It has been a week today. Meanwhile, I've had 2 local Toyota dealers fighting each other for my business. Crazy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see how Fiat ownership changes things.
  • wu8wu8 Posts: 6
    When I was growing up, FIAT stood for Fix It Again Tony. Hate to say it but dont get one build on a Monday or Friday and you'll be ok.
  • rgrorgro Posts: 3
    Anyone have experience (good or bad) with having an aftermarket DVD entertainment system installed intheir Sienna. I'm toying with the LE with EVP #2 and having the entertainment system installed by the dealer since I don't need everything in the EVP3 but want a DVD player for the kids. Any advice?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Aftermarket all the way. I replied in another thread, so let you know if you don't see my response.
  • Does anyone know the maker of the six disk standard sound system on the
    06 sienna ?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not sure...the upgrade is JBL so I bet it's a partner brand owned by the same parent company (that's usually the case).

    I have an 07, and it actually sounds decent for OE. Mine reads MP3s, too, but I think that was the first year it did.
  • Our car is a 2006 Sienna Limited. The fault we are experiencing is that the audio/DVD sound periodically switches off on it's own (no access for any mode, radio, CD, DVD, etc.); while full on-screen controls and access remain apparently intact. When this does occur, the very faintest ghost of a sound can be heard coming through the speakers, which led me to the suspicion that there was a fault in the switch that "mutes" the audio/DVD, which would properly be done when there was a telephone call through the bluetooth.

    This has occurred with no user interaction, both with bluetooth on and off, and with the navigation off. For example, we experience faulty radio silence, despite system being turned on with high volume during a trip, and on it's own, volume switches on; and under similar conditions, the volume switches off on it's own from a working level.

    I'd really appreciate any leads as to whether this is a common problem, what is the source of the problem or any recommended fixes.
  • I've got a 2005 Sienna XLE w/ DVD (no Nav) and JBL Audio system (6-disc CD). The CD player seems to be dead - ques on "wait" after pressing load forever - and I'd like to replace it.

    Ideally I'd like to replace it with an XM radio but that seems very expensive unless I go with one of the ones that sticks on the outside of the dash. Alternatively, I'd like to replace the CD w/ a new unit that also includes an AUX jack so I can plug in my iPod. My worry is that just swapping in some aftermarket CD player will mess with my DVD player and my ability to hear the DVDs over the speaker system.

    Thoughts? My main concerns are (a) AUX jack, (b) not spending tons of money, (c) maintaining status quo on DVD which works fine.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure you will have issues like with the DVD player.

    Another is the steering wheel controls. You may need an adaptor.

    These are questions you could ask the pros at Crutchfield. They may not have the lowest prices but they can offer advice, install kits, adaptors, etc.

    I got a Dual stereo for my Miata with an iPod input and they supplied the harness and good instructions. I had to crimp a dozen or so wires, but I managed, and it worked like a charm.

    Good luck.
  • "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."

    This sounds exactly like what mine is doing right now. Did you ever find out the problem? I want to get it fixed but it's random and I can't seem to reproduce it. I'm afraid it will die on me right out of warranty.
  • lfnlfn Posts: 1
    What type of place is my best bet to install an aftermarket DVD in my Sienna - a Toyota dealership, random autobody shop??
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd go to an electronics retailer.

    Your dealer will outsource it anyway, and just add their magin of profit on top of the shop's normal cost.

    I went to Circuit City, but they went out of business. I think Best Buy offers installation as well. Ask to see the shop and meet the installers. Make sure the operation is clean and well supplied.

    No problems with mine in 2 years of abuse in our Sienna.
  • I have a 2006 Sienna XLE w/ NAV & JBL audio system. All my music is MP3. With the in-dash d disc changer, I can play several hundred songs per disc in each of the 4 slots & also able to display the name of the artist & title in the proper lines in the display. Being retired & just the two of us, I really did not need the overhead DVD player. However, I am presently using it as a fifth CD changer & can thus play the same CDs on it as I do, in the dash changer. But, I would like to go a step further & be able to play MP3's on a DVD. I am wondering if there is by chance any software available that would convert the MP3 audio to play on DVD that would work in that overhead video player? I play DVD MP3 all the time on computers, which allow me to have several K of songs on a DVD. It would be neat to have that quantity on a car system as well. I am presently running a Kenwood music keg, in the van, but the tiny display leave a lot to be desired. I use the Aux audio jack on the dash to handle the sound, but hate having a cord hanging from it.
    If anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate hearing from you . Thanks much.....
  • jkamjkam Posts: 6
    Hi- I want to install a 12-15 inch overhead DVD system in my 2011 Sienna. Does anyone have recommendations for both an installer and a type of unit? Thanks in advance.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I went with Circuit City, but they went out of business.

    Check out the local Best Buy, ask to see the shop itself, talk to an installer.

    That should give you a pretty good idea of how good it'll turn out.
  • auto99auto99 Posts: 1
    Try out the trial verison before you buy. Audio DVD's worked on my 2005 sienna.
  • flynk9flynk9 Posts: 1
    I have an 06 Sienna XLE. I use both satellite radio and an iphone. You need something called a ground loop noise filter. About $15 at Crutchfield. I had a very loud and annoying hum/interference before; with the addition of this filter the aux inputs work very well.
    HTH. Here's the link at Crutchfield:
    Noise Filter
  • eddieraseddieras Posts: 49
    thanks- i did pick up a filter - works good. but toyota should take care of this - they had a recall on a fewl other models and put a filter in, but wouldn't do it on the sienna.
  • ygloveryglover Posts: 1
    Hi Joe.

    Did you find an aftermarket DVD? I am looking for one with wireless headphones for my 2011 XLE. Any suggestions?

  • rjeokrjeok Posts: 7
    I have an 2011 LTD FWD that I will be picking up monday. The car has the toyota entertainment package. My question is: Can I play DVR dvd discs, that I have recorded myself, on the Toyota entertainment system.

    Thanks for the help
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW they do play on my aftermarket one, a Jensen.
  • @ateixeira, do you install aftermarket dvd on your sienna 2011? what model is your jensen? did you installed it by your self? can you post a picture please. how was it so far, any problems? thanks...
  • kriskatekriskate Posts: 1
    My 2008 Sienna with factory installed entertainment system has malfunctioned, and I'm looking for some help. I tried to eject the disc, and it made an odd whirring sound, and only partially ejected the disc. Enough that I could pull it out, but there was resistance, it didnt come out easily. I turned off the car, then turned it back on, put the disc in, got a loud whirring sound, like it was trying to spin, but no movie playing. When I tried to eject it, it did the same thing, a partial ejection.

    The unit has malfunctioned once before. The dealer couldnt' find anything wrong with it, but said they were able to "reboot" it and it started to work again. That was ~4 months ago, and it's been working fine since. I don't know what they did to reboot it, but would like to try it and see if it helps - can anybody give me any clues as to how to do that?

    Thanks for the help, I'm in a bit of a pinch - we're leaving in 4 days on a 2000 mile care trip with 2 small kids and I REALLY don't want to attempt it without a DVD player to occupy them. Thanks!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Circuit City installed it a little before they went bankrupt.

    Not sure about the model but it's a 12.1" LCD screen. I bet it's been replaced, 3+ years later, with widescreen models.
  • I think the stock speakers sound terrific
  • Here's a link to an article on this issue and a TSB from Toyota:
  • eddieraseddieras Posts: 49
    thanks but that's the same thing i posted earlier in the thread. i had the same issue, i went to toyota armed with the TSB but they wouldn't honor it becuase it's a different vehicle - i thought you had a new TSB on these current cars - darn! thanks tho...
  • In a nut shell, the 2011 or 2012 Toyota Sienna's MP3 player and menu system just aren't good enough for a $30k+ vehicle. It’s not use friendly. It’s slow. It’s frustrating. Simply put, it’s not a functional or safe MP3 system when you’re driving down the highway. I’ve not seen any detailed reviews of the mp3 system, so below is a lengthy commentary of my experience with the Sienna stereo.

    For me, as for many drivers, music is an essential part of driving. So when I purchased a 2012 Toyota Sienna XLE a few weeks ago, I was very excited about the MP3 player capabilities with on screen menus (no nav screen, just standard radio). My wife recently got a 2011 Ford Taurus with a USB port, and it's been awesome for playing tunes from my iPhone - not as easy to navigate as an iPhone screen, but safer and affective. Better yet, I learned that I could load my music (m4a, mp3, wav) onto a jump drive or USB flash drive and have the same functionality (search by playlists, artist, or song list). And it did this very smoothly, efficiently, and quickly. So naturally I was excited to gain the same capabilities in the van that I usually tote the kids around in. My excitement turned to disappointment as I became more familiar with the system.

    When connecting the iPhone via USB, the stereo allows you to search by playlist, artist, and song (though the iPhone will display a message that the connected devise is not optimized for the iPhone???). So say you choose to sort by artist, the stereo displays a scrolling list of artists to choose from. Sounds great unless you've got a lot of music that you want to have at your fingertips, because the stereo does not buffer the lists quickly. If you've got 100 artists, you'll be able to scroll through only a few before the screen goes blank and you must wait for it to buffer. So going to from A to S can take 20 to 30 seconds easy. So now you want to go from Sting to Alanis Morissette - guess what - it does the same thing, even though it should have already loaded these artists the first time. It appears to only remember so much. Now, once you've found the artist you're looking for, you go to the song list, it will do the same thing - take time to buffer. To make this system more annoying, while you're fumbling looking for the artist you want (buffer, buffer) to find the song you want (buffer, buffer), the player is constantly changing song you hear as you scroll through the different artists and different songs – it doesn’t wait for me to select the song. Keep in mind, all this fumbling and frustration is going on while I've got my 3 kids in the car and I'm driving down the road - I'm putting a lot of faith in that 5-star safety rating.

    As far as using flash drives or jump drives with the MP3 player - forget about it. I thought that this would be a great feature... I could keep a copy of my music on a jump drive always plugged in so I didn't have to connect my phone. Alas, I was disappointed again. It's far less functional than dealing with the iPhone. First it must be in the MP3 or WAVE format. It doesn't support the m4a (AAC) format that you usually get for iPhone/iTunes music - you have to transfer them into MP3. So you plug in your flash drive into the USB port, but the Sienna does not read playlists from the flash drive, and doesn’t allow you sort them by artist or song. To navigate a flash drive you push the folder up/down button. It will show the name of the folder that the song is playing from (usually the album title - not the artist). And it will take way too long to load this info making it impossible to quickly find what you want (while driving a car). If you wish to use a flash drive, the only way to make this remotely functional is to go to your PC and pull each artist's music out of the album file folder and drop it in the artists file folder, then delete the album folders. Then maybe your flash drive won’t drive you too crazy. Doing this for all of my music wasn't an option.
    The next two options are to connect your phone via Bluetooth connection or the auxiliary port cord connection (looks like headphone jacks on both ends). These offer no on-board stereo menu options except to choose the next song or previous song. This effectively turns the phone into your car stereo. Sadly, this is the method that I prefer, making me wonder why I had to pay for these other features – my Jaba Cruizer connected me via Bluetooth to my 2000 Mountaineer stereo wirelessly for 75 bucks. And my Jaba Cruizer was better in that I never lost my Bluetooth connection. I can’t say the same for my Bluetooth connection with the Sienna, which is aggravating for music and for using the car phone capabilities. So now I’m back to picking up my iPhone to change my tunes, despite the capabilities that the 2012 Toyota Sienna claims offer. Music is such a daily and integral part of my driving experience, that these frustrations have me wishing that I would have continued my search for a new van.

    Share your experience. Any input on the Honda or Nissan minivans?
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