Replacing Hummer 2 Stereo

The issues I have with the factory stereo in the 2005 H2 really bothers me enough that the the first thing I would do with the truck (assuming I get one) will be replace the factory stereo.

I did a little research, and so far, the best option I can find is an Alpine based system, but it has some “issues” of it’s own.

IVA-300 Deck

For starters, I like the IVA-D300 DVD receiver with 7″ monitor. In some ways, the IVA-D901 is a better one (it has higher resolution on the screen and has 2 independent video out options instead of just one), but it also has some things that are nicer (specifically the PulseTouch and DVD direct-touch features). If a Hummer 2 actually had room to mount an Xbox, the IVA-D901 might be a better option if you had 2 LCDs in the back (one person could watch a movie and one could play a video game independently).

The system has an input for a backup camera if you want (the monitor automatically switches to it when you put the vehicle in reverse). Might not be a bad idea with such a large truck. It also has a generic A/V input which you could use for an Xbox (if there was room) or to playback video on a camcorder or something.

KCA-420i iPod Interface

I don’t really care for CD changers in the car, because I’m too lazy to actually change the discs, so I just end up with 6 CDs that I listen to forever. The KCA-420i is a nifty Alpine module that is a true iPod bridge (you can control everything from the touch-screen). This is much better than the iPod <-> BMW bridge since you are limited because it simply tricks the factory stereo into thinking the iPod is a CD changer. The Alpine option actually lets you browse by Artist, playlist, genre, etc. just like the normal iPod interface. This isn’t out yet, but is supposed to be out next month.

Metra VT-GMOS-02 Bus Interface

An interface bus to hook up the Hummer 2 electronics to the after market system. This allows the door chime, ONSTAR and audible safety warnings to continue functioning. It also allows you to utilize the Bose amplified speaker system that is already in the vehicle.

PAC SWI-X Steering Wheel Interface

This nifty little interface allows you to retain the steering wheel functions for the stereo for an after market stereo. One nice thing is that since it really just turns the steering wheel controls into an infrared remote, you could reprogram any of the steering wheel buttons to do other things if you want.

Vizualogic Video Headrests

This makes it easy. The screens are built into the headrests (the factory headrests and simply replaced with ones to match). The only problem with this is black leather is new for 2005 in the Hummer, and Vizualogic doesn’t yet have a replacement for the black interior (that I could find at least). But I’m sure they will be coming out with it shortly.

NVE-N852A Navigation

Now this is where things go terribly wrong with this setup. The in-dash monitor has nice touch-screen controls, but the navigation system is not touch-screen compatible. That means you can see the navigation on the monitor, but you actually have to control the navigation from a separate hand-held remote. This part makes the navigation system useless in my opinion (the nav system came out before the touch-screen systems). I’m *hoping* Alpine updates their navigation offering and comes out with one that is touch-screen compatible (I can only assume they would). So for me, the whole system is on hold until that happens.

The other problem is trying to “hide” all this equipment within the Hummer somewhere. I looked under the seat of a Hummer 2 at the dealer, and it didn’t look like the equipment would fit under the seat. The above setup would have 3 boxes that would need to hide away (one each for the deck, navigation and iPod bridge). Maybe some will fit behind the dashboard or something.

15 thoughts on “Replacing Hummer 2 Stereo”

  1. Dear Shawn:
    I created an accout just to simply email you!
    I am buying an 05 H2 on Wednesday and want to know what you think about the following scenario:
    I am interested in the Alpine IVA-D901 aftermarket receiver and am concerned that the screen will not open all the way due to the ‘Aztec’ style HVAC vents on the dash. I am considering mouting it in the upper or lower part of the double din space that the factory radio now occupies with the remaining space reserved for the Alpine Nav system. If the top space of the double din opening won’t work, then I’ll mount it in the lower space providing that the nav unit can be controlled by the D901 as the nav unit will be unaccessible when the screen from the D901 is open.
    Will this fit/work? Yes or no???
    Please email me back!? I’m not familiar with this post, reply system, [email protected]
    Thank you very much for your reply!!!!
    If you are ever in Milwaukee, I’ll buy you lunch!!!
    Promise! Thanks,

  2. Just a heads up on the Alpine Navigation System –
    By ALL MEANS – avoid the NVE-N852A like you would a bad virus, I had one installed in a 2004 Suzuki XL-7 and Im regretting it every day,
    First – The system in my opinnion is useless, it’s controlled by a hand held remote and most of the functions are disabled while in motion …. must be that liability thing..
    Most of all – Its extremely INACCURATE by 300 feet, the processor takes forever to “correct itself” and it’s always locking up and “freezing” example.. Im parked in my driveway, the display shows im still 800 feet away and not moving.

    This by far, has to be the worst piece of crap Alpine ever put on the market and at $1700 a unit .. Gross inaccuracy is not an option.
    I’ve been fighting with the dealer to remove this useless system and give me what I paid for … a system thats dead accurate and WORKS.

    So, do yourself a favor – DONT BUY THIS SYSTEM…
    if you decide to do it anyway, better stock up on tylenol and headache pills too because thats all you will get from the NVE-N852A

  3. No way am I going to buy it… that’s why I was saying how stupid it is that you have to control it from a remote. We’ll see what manufacturers come out with for 2005, and see if anything is worth it.

  4. Stay away from Alpine Period, they know jack about navigation systems. I have a Garmin GPS 5, it cost $250 and it out performs this Alpine crap which cost 9x that much 6 ways to Sunday.
    2004 or 2005 – Alpine in my opinnion just sucks, its unreliable measurement system uses magnets strapped to the drive shaft to generate “speed pulses” …. I can see one of these flying off one day rendering the system useless…. Not to mention GROSS INACCURACY.

    Still fighting with the dealer to remove it…. sooner or later I will do it, then just smash the friggin thing, I cant stand it.
    Garmin’s seem to be dead accurate … when your ready, concider one of those.

  5. I bought a 2005 H2 few days back i found this link while i was looking for the best custom audio/video system that i could install . i wanted to ask you guys about the AudioVox headrest monitors with built-in DVD player .

    What im mainly looking for is a main indash unit thats a touch screen and plays all DVDs and VCDs and all the rest . i want to be able to play the same video on the read headset screens as i beleive this requires an FM A/V transmitter additonal to the one that comes along with the AudioVox system .

    i was quite impressed that i totally forgot that after installing any stereo my steering wheel buttons will be disabled i was glad to find the product that fixes/adjusts that on this page .

    Whats the best that you suggest.


    Ali Zainuddin

  6. Just a quick question, combining the IVA-300 & KCA-420I allows you to control your iPod via the touch screen, eg. select songs, albums and artists similar to using the iPod directly?

    Have you set this up yet? Do you reccommend it?


  7. Hey anonymous, you have to cold reboot the N852A and reload the firmware, then let the system recalibrate itself (the 15 minutes for GPS initialization and then the 3-6 weeks to calibrate the VSS, as well as locking 4 satellites to recalibrate the internal clock). The system will freeze because it’s confused if the procedures arent done.

  8. Yes for over 2 grand. I should have been clearer. Does anyone know where to get one a bit cheaper than from the dealer?

  9. hi . i have some cuestions, i want to change mi original stereo of mi hummer h2 05 , to put a car pc , i been looking the infill g4 . but i dont know if it is compatible with the bose sound sistem and if this car pc works well

    i´m gonna be grateful to you

  10. Hi Shawn, I am looking for a CD player with touchscreen equalizer with 2 outputs for 2 backup cameras. One camers backup for my 06 Hummer H2 and the other backup camers will be for my business pull behind enclosed trailer. Of course whatever stereo you recommend , it will have to have video for backup cameras

  11. Help! Does anyone know what device I can use to connect the Hummer H2 headrest in a 2004 to an aftermarket deck?

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