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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Question: Can You Use An SD Card To Update Your Pioneer NEX Firmware?

Pioneer released a firmware update for its NEX head units and AppRadio 4 last week. As always, they have included update instructions with each firmware file. All files are available on Pioneer's website.

This time, however, Pioneer's instructions indicate you should update using the USB 1 port on the back of your head unit via a USB flash drive with a capacity of 2GB or higher. There's no mention on whether you can alternatively use an SD card like in previous updates.

So, can you use an SD card to update the firmware?

The answer is YES.

Many of you have asked me this question in the last couple of days. Hope this post answers your queries regarding the latest firmware update.

If you don't have a USB flash drive handy, you can use an SD Card to update the firmware on your compatible Pioneer NEX head unit like the AVH-4100NEX. Only those head units which have an SD card slot support this method of updating.

Using an SD card may be more convenient if you don't have easy access to the USB 1 port on the back of your head unit. If you have to pull out your head unit to reach the USB 1 port, consider connecting a USB extension cable to that port which will come in handy for future updates.


Other things to keep in mind when updating:

1. Follow the step-by-step instructions closely.

2. Make sure you download the firmware file corresponding to your head unit model number.

3. Update applies to head units sold in the US and Canada only.

4. Do not interrupt the update process at any time. Make sure your car is turned on and the handbrake has been engaged before starting.

5. Whether using a USB flash drive or SD card, the device has to be formatted to FAT32 for this process to work. No other files or folders must be present on the drive.

6. If using a Mac to download, unzip the firmware file and formatting your drive you may want to read this: How To Install Pioneer NEX Head Unit Firmware Update Using A Mac.

Early Issues

Some users have complained about audio issues arising after the firmware update. I personally haven't had this issue. I have also surfed forum threads to see if this is a widespread occurrence but it doesn't seem like being the case.

From my personal experience, I would say it is safe to update your head unit firmware.

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