2011 Honda Odyssey: Rear Entertainment Review
July 10, 2011
"You traded the Bluesmobile for this?"
"No, a microphone."
"A microphone? ... OK, I can see that."
Well, it seems I'm in the minority when it comes to thinking that the act of trading a rear-entertainment system for a couple of iPads would be a good idea. But I do have a quick review on the Ody's RES operation and its video and audio performance.
The Odyssey has a fairly standard setup. The 9-inch display screen flips down and is viewable from both the second and third row.
The single CD/DVD player is in the center stack and can be controlled from the front (using the knob controller and the navigation display), the rear (using the remote control) or voice command.
That rear remote can be used either in its docked position next to the display screen or can be pulled out and used like a regular remote.
The system also comes with two wireless headphones. They have adjustable volume and an auto-off feature. As with most other systems, the front passengers can listen to an alternate audio source while those seated in the rear can use the headphones. There's also a third-row port for two additional (plug-in) headphones plus RCA inputs. This plus the household-style outlet means you can conceivably run a game console.
Overall screen quality is decent, even from the widest positions. (Incidentally, the Odyssey Touring Elite comes with a 16-inch HD screen as well as surround-sound audio (you can read an audio review of it here)). Audio quality from the speakers also seems solid, even from the third row. I also compared the wireless headphones to a pair of Audio-Technica over-the-ear headphones I own and was impressed with the wireless headphones' sound.
If you're looking at an 2011 Honda Odyssey and thinking about ordering the base rear-entertainment system, I think you'll be pleased.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor