Looking for an affordable upgrade to your car's audio system? Our roundup of the best car stereo under $150 is here to help.
We have researched and reviewed the top models that offer the latest features like Bluetooth, touchscreens, and app connectivity—all without stretching your wallet. These picks are perfect to prove you don't need to spend a fortune on a car stereo with quality sound and modern tech features.
Get ready to rock your car with a new stereo that hits all the right notes. For starters, let's have a quick glance at our top pick.
Table of Contents
- 8 Best Car Stereos under 150 USD Price At A Glance
- In-Depth Reviews of 8 Best Car Stereos under $150
- 1. Best Double Din: Pioneer DMH-241EX Digital Media Receiver
- 2. Best Single Din: Alpine UTE-73BT Mechless Stereo Receiver
- 3. Best for Control: BOSS Audio BV9364B Car Stereo Receiver
- 4. Best Smartphone Receiver: Pioneer SPH-10BT 1-DIN Head Unit
- 5. Best Portable: Skisea Wireless M6 9-Inch Touchscreen Stereo
- 6. Best Multi-functional: Hieha 7023B 7 Inch Double Din Stereo
- 7. Advanced Sound Retriever: Pioneer MVH-S622BS 2 DIN Receiver
- 8. Best CD Receiver: Kenwood KDC-X304 eXcelon Car Stereo
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
8 Best Car Stereos under 150 USD Price At A Glance
1. Pioneer DMH-241EX - Best Double Din
"Discover the ultimate car stereo, featuring a 6.2-inch LED resistive touchscreen and a powerful MOSFET amplifier, has built its reputation as the best budget double DIN."
2. Alpine UTE-73BT - Best Single Din
"Not so techy yet satisfying, embrace minimalist design with the best Mechless Stereo, offering a high-fidelity 24-bit DAC and 3-band parametric EQ."
3. BOSS Audio BV9364B - Best for Control
"Whether it is navigating, steering wheel control or remote control the unit aces and combines advanced control with diverse media options in a double-DIN format with 3-year warranty."
4. Pioneer SPH-10BT - Best Smartphone Receiver
"Experience a new level of in-car entertainment by using your phone for the visual pleasure. Your phone and the stereo work together to create the ultimate music ambience."
5. Skisea Wireless M6 - Best Portable
"Upgrade to a smarter driving experience with the Skisea Wireless M6, featuring a 9-inch HD touchscreen and the latest in portable CarPlay & Android Auto technology."
6. Hieha 7023B 7-Inch - Best Multi-functional
"The budget head unit offers the most amount of beneficial features, making it an all-in-one car audio system. Experience all your desires in one go."
7. Pioneer MVH-S622BS - Advanced Sound Retriever
"Elevate your audio journey with the Pioneer Receiver, without bothering about the sound quality. With the latest advanced sound technology, every lost signal will be restored creating a soothing hour."
8. Kenwood KDC-X304 eXcelon - Best CD Receiver
"Rediscover the joy of CDs with your new stereo, a premium single DIN car stereo with Bluetooth 4.2, Amazon Alexa, a 13-band EQ, and many other user-friendly features."
In-Depth Reviews of 8 Best Car Stereos under $150
1. Best Double Din: Pioneer DMH-241EX Digital Media Receiver
If you are into double DIN, then we present you with the best double DIN car stereo under $150. This head unit, with its built-in MOSFET (50W x 4) amplifier and high-quality Digital Signal Processor, offers an impressive audio experience. Convenience is key, as it comes with a remote control included in the box.
For those with heavier music preferences, the unit doesn't disappoint. It features 5-channel RCA preamp outputs, allowing for the connection of multiple external amplifiers to enhance your audio system.
Display-wise, the unit boasts a 6.2-inch WVGA touchscreen with a 16:9 aspect ratio and LED backlighting. Users can personalize the resistive display with three preset background images, and the fixed blue color theme adds a contemporary feel. It offers both automatic and manual dimmer controls, syncing with the vehicle's illumination for optimal visibility. A display-off mode is also available, allowing the screen to darken while your music plays.
The unit supports a rear-view camera connection, automatically switching to a full-screen rear view when the car is in reverse, then returning to the home screen once out of reverse gear. But the backup camera may not be moisture-resistant, which could be problematic in rainy conditions.
Bluetooth connectivity is robust, with built-in Hand-Free Profile 1.6 and support for up to five phone registrations. Features like Simple Secure Pairing (SSP) and Serial Port Profile (SPP) enhance security.
The latest AVRCP 1.6 will allow you to control playback directly from the receiver, and the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) ensures high-quality audio streaming. An external microphone is included for clearer calls.
The head unit lacks basic features like mobile connectivity. It would be better to have an integrated Android Auto or Apple Car Play or a Screen Mirroring feature rather than solely depending on Bluetooth.
For radio enthusiasts, the DMH-241EX has a robust tuner system with Best Station Memory, Local Seek Tuning, 18 FM, and 6 AM presets, Preset Scan (PS), and Radio Data System (RDS) capabilities for enhanced station and track information.
While built-in Spotify or Pandora are not available, they can be accessed via Bluetooth. Pioneer's Vozsis app, compatible with both Android and iPhone, offers Amazon Alexa integration, but Siri Eyes Free is only available for iPhone users. WiFi tethering and hotspot connectivity are also supported.
For those who love to tweak their sound, the receiver features a customizable 13-band graphic equalizer for precise adjustments to the audio output. The inclusion of a 24-bit digital-to-analogue converter (DA Converter) further enhances the audio quality, providing a high-resolution audio experience that's as close to the original recording as possible.
Moreover, the receiver offers subwoofer control, a must-have for users who want to manage the bass levels independently for that extra thump. Some users have complained that their subwoofer controls were non-functional, and pre-amp outputs had to be used as an alternative.
The receiver includes an RCA video output, allowing additional screens for consumer who want to expand their visual entertainment. A single rear USB Type-A port with a 5V, 1.5A output provides connectivity and charging capability for connected devices.
2. Best Single Din: Alpine UTE-73BT Mechless Stereo Receiver
In the world of digital media receivers, the Alpine UTE-73BT stands out with its minimalist approach and a plethora of features. It is a device tailored for those who have embraced the digital age fully, offering a clean, mech-less design that is centered around the modern driver's mobile lifestyle.
The single DIN comes with built-in Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free phone calls, ensuring drivers stay in control without taking their hands off the wheel. The voice control feature further enhances this hands-free experience.
Alpine delivers a high-fidelity 24-bit digital-to-analogue converter (DAC), ensuring that music from various digital media sources is played back with the utmost clarity. Users can fine-tune their acoustic environment with a 3-band parametric EQ, and the Bass Engine SQ feature offers customization of the bass profile with different patterns like Standard, Punch, Rich, Mid Bass, and Low Bass. This device's advanced filters, including high pass and low pass, along with its 2-volt pre-out, which allow for further customization of your audio experience.
Alpine is more than just a music player elevating your listening experience. It effortlessly handles FLAC files via USB, offering pristine, lossless audio that will not fail to delight you. The unit's sophisticated Bluetooth technology ensures top-notch wireless audio streaming from mobile devices. However, initial Bluetooth connections may take a few minutes to stabilize, with intermittent audio during this period.
The front panel is designed for ease of use, featuring a clear, high-contrast LCD screen with customizable dual-zone RGB lighting, letting you match the display to your mood or car's interior. The screen's susceptibility to scratches warrants careful handling. Its well-known Alpine rotary knob, along with accessible USB and auxiliary inputs on the front panel, simplifies music control and device connectivity.
The UTE-73BT caters especially to smartphone users. It supports Android Open Accessory (AOA) 2.0 and is compatible with iPod and iPhone, allowing effortless integration with your mobile music library. With compatibility for MP3, WMA, AAC, and FLAC formats, your music collection is always ready to go.
Some users have reported issues with Bluetooth connectivity after extended use, such as difficulties in pairing and sporadic speaker dropouts, which can be a point of frustration.
For drivers looking to maintain the factory look and feel of their car, the stereo is steering remote control ready, allowing for the retention of steering wheel audio controls with an additional adapter. Undoubtedly, you can opt for this stereo as many consider it the best single-DIN car stereo under 150.
3. Best for Control: BOSS Audio BV9364B Car Stereo Receiver
Navigating through the modern in-car multimedia systems can often feel like a daunting task, but not with the Boss Audio BV9364B. This double-DIN DVD player with a 6.2" touchscreen monitor is the perfect fusion of advanced control features and versatile media options, providing an impeccable driving accompaniment.
The standout feature of the unit is its seamless integration with your vehicle’s steering wheel controls. While the interface module is sold separately, the investment is trivial compared to the convenience offered. With controls literally at your fingertips, you minimize distractions, enabling you to focus on the road while toggling through music, answering calls, or adjusting the volume. It offers a wireless remote so that even the back-seaters who are far from the dash can enjoy the musical ride without interrupting the driver.
The 6.2-inch touchscreen is not only about control but also about bringing a world of media to your dashboard. From the DVD/CD capabilities to playing MP3s via the USB and SD card slots, your entertainment options are nearly limitless. Bluetooth audio streaming allows for the wireless enjoyment of music and podcast apps like Spotify and Pandora, while hands-free calling ensures you stay connected safely.
With auxiliary input compatibility, the device welcomes audio output from smartphones and MP3 players. USB charging is facilitated through a built-in 1A charger, and while this may not support quick charging for all devices, it ensures that your smartphone stays powered up for the journey ahead.
The stereo is designed with the latest weatherproofing techniques to protect against the elements, an essential feature for convertible enthusiasts or those in inclement weather areas. Night drives are made effortless with the backlit panel that ensures visibility for your system's controls, a small but thoughtful detail that enhances user experience.
Outfitted with front, rear, and subwoofer pre-amp outputs, the system is ready to deliver 80 watts x 4 max power to your speakers. However, those seeking to push their audio experience to the limit may find that an additional amplifier is necessary to fully exploit the potential of their car's acoustics.
Professional installation is recommended for the set-up as many users found it difficult to set it up by themselves for lack of clear instruction manuals. Some users may face challenges such as integrating the steering wheel controls or may desire faster USB charging capabilities, but these are minor compared to the overall functionality and quality provided.
Boss Audio Systems stands behind the BV9364B with a 3-year platinum dealer warranty, provided the purchase is made through an authorized dealer. This level of support adds an extra layer of confidence in the product's reliability.
4. Best Smartphone Receiver: Pioneer SPH-10BT 1-DIN Head Unit
The Pioneer SPH-10BT expertly fuses mobile phone functionality with the innovative Pioneer Smart Sync App, setting it apart from typical budget head units.
This single DIN radio mimics the visual appeal and touchscreen capabilities of a double DIN. Its unique design includes a pre-installed cradle, transforming your smartphone into an extension of the stereo display, positioned right above the unit.
Now comes the best part. Pioneer Smart Sync App effortlessly connects your smartphone to the head unit, allowing you to access music, navigation, and other apps directly from the car stereo's interface. It is compatible with popular navigation apps like Google Maps, WAZE, and Apple Maps to provide easy access to directions and traffic information.
It will allow you to browse and select your music with Spotify and Pandora to smoothen your musical journey. The car radio also has built-in Amazon Alexa and voice control features, which can only be used via the Pioneer App.
By default, you will get 12 preset display colour optimization options, but with the app, you will get a combination of 210,000 colour options to match the head unit's illumination to your personal style or car's interior. Also, the main body has a sleek design featuring a single-line VA LCD display along with LED backlighting, brightness control, and automatic dimming.
You also get a bunch of music customization tools with the integration of the app. It offers advanced sound retriever settings and listening position selections, which can tailor the audio output to the acoustics of your car and your preferred listening positions.
The built-in tuner features 18 FM and 6 AM presets, RDS support, and Best Station Memory, ensuring that your favorite stations are easy to access and clearly identified. Initially, some users faced issues with their favorite radio stations not being available on iOS, and the Best Station Memory (BSM) feature behaving erratically. Later on, an update improved the situation by allowing users to save stations to presets.
Features like the Dynamic Bass Enhancer, Time Alignment, and Auto EQ (with additional microphone) can be controlled through the app for a personalized listening experience. It gives you access to a 31-band graphic equalizer besides the standard 13-band, giving you granular control over your audio settings.
The built-in MOSFET amplifier ensures clean and powerful audio delivery. For digital media enthusiasts, this head unit supports a plethora of audio formats through its USB port, including MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, and WAV files. Some users have noted problems with the mp3 playback system, such as confusing folder structures and playback errors, though the problems got better with each update.
It is a well-rounded single-din head unit that brings modern technology and robust performance to your car's dashboard and is defined by a continuous power output of 22 watts across four channels, suitable for most standard car speakers. It boasts a maximum power capacity of 50 watts on four channels at 4 ohms, plus a dedicated subwoofer output for deep bass. Its RMS power output of 14 watts per channel and compatibility with 4 to 8-ohm speakers ensure versatile speaker matching.
Bluetooth functionality, with hands-free calling and audio streaming through profiles like A2DP and AVRCP 1.6, is another key feature. The microphone provides clear call quality, and the SSP feature simplifies device connections. It can store up to five phone registrations, ideal for multiple drivers. While there are occasional Bluetooth connectivity issues reported, they are not prevalent among most users.
Additional conveniences include a smartphone cradle, steering wheel control compatibility, and an optional remote control. The detachable face offers security, and the multi-language display caters to a diverse user base. Its compatibility with external parking sensors adds an extra layer of assistance for drivers.
5. Best Portable: Skisea Wireless M6 9-Inch Touchscreen Stereo
Dive into the world of advanced automotive technology with the Skisea Wireless CarPlay & Android Auto system, a revolutionary tool for the contemporary driver. This portable, user-friendly gadget is designed to transform your driving experience, seamlessly connecting with your smartphone for an enhanced in-car journey.
The Skisea system excels in its easy mobility. Its plug-and-play feature, connecting to your vehicle's cigarette lighter, sidesteps complex installations. It's crafted to integrate smoothly with your existing car radio, providing a straightforward enhancement compatible with a range of vehicles, including cars, trucks, and buses. Its wireless connectivity automatically pairs your iPhone or Android device as you enter the vehicle, granting immediate access to vital apps and functions.
A key highlight is its wireless functionality, offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto without the mess of wires. iPhone enthusiasts can access their apps, maps, and Siri voice commands directly, whereas Android users have the additional option of a wired connection for added versatility. This dual compatibility caters to all device preferences, ensuring your phone's prime features are always at your fingertips.
However, a fraction of Android Auto users experience disconnections after 15-20 minutes, necessitating a reboot for reconnection; this is rectified with a wired link. Note that the day/night mode only functions with CarPlay, not Android Auto.
Safety is a prime concern, and the Skisea system boosts it with a 2.5K HD front camera and a 1080p HD rear camera. The front camera serves as a dashcam, capturing your travels in high definition, while the rear camera, equipped with waterproofing and night vision, simplifies parking. When reversing, the system smartly switches to the rearview for optimal safety.
Navigation is a breeze with the 9-inch HD touchscreen, offering live GPS guidance. Voice navigation through the car speakers lets you drive attentively without missing directions, even suggesting detours to avoid traffic. The lack of ability to control Google Maps audio separately from music deteriorates the experience to some extent.
The Skisea system presents multiple audio output options: an FM transmitter to utilize your car's original speakers, Bluetooth for wireless streaming, and an AUX input for a direct link. While the 1-amp charger sustains the phone battery, it's not highly effective in charging. The built-in stereo speakers also offer a more personal audio experience. Steering wheel control compatibility enhances safety and convenience by allowing track changes and call handling without removing your hands from the wheel.
At its core, the Skisea system features an advanced chip for improved video color and stability. The new screen includes noise reduction for a clearer display, and the stereo speakers are designed for clear, high-quality sound.
Skisea is backed by a dedicated team focused on car stereos, with extensive R&D and a commitment to excellence. Their 24/7 customer support team ensures any issue you face is promptly addressed, guaranteeing a seamless multimedia experience in your car.
6. Best Multi-functional: Hieha 7023B 7 Inch Double Din Stereo
The Hieha Car Media Receiver stands out as an allrounder in the competitive car infotainment arena by combining entertainment, connectivity, and safety in an elegant, user-centric design.
Its compatibility with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a central draw, ensuring effortless smartphone integration. This feature grants you easy access to voice-guided navigation, calls, messaging, and music, utilizing Siri and Google Assistant.
The device is centered around a 7-inch HD capacitive touchscreen, delivering 1080P video playback for clear and dynamic visuals, enhancing your experience whether for navigation purposes or video playback.
Safety is a primary focus, underscored by an HD night vision backup camera equipped with 12 LED lights. This camera, offering a broad 170° view, activates automatically in reverse, assisting in safer parking.
Designed as a double din unit with an additional frame, it fits a variety of vehicles, although confirming compatibility with your car’s dashboard and wiring setup is advisable.
Bluetooth 5.2 technology underpins the system, ensuring stable and clear hands-free calling and audio streaming, a crucial feature for maintaining focus while driving. An obstruct to the feature is that many has faced intermittent issues with Bluetooth connectivity, particularly the system's ability to reconnect to phones automatically.
The phone mirroring function is a notable feature, expanding your smartphone’s display onto the receiver's larger screen. While generally effective with current iOS and Android versions, some users have faced functionality issues. It’s recommended to purchase with a certified warranty for peace of mind.
Audio enthusiasts will love the EQ audio settings with multiple presets, allowing for a customized sound experience. Moreover, the system can play a variety of media formats, ensuring that your preferred entertainment is always accessible.
The head unit integrates with steering wheel controls and includes FM/AM radio. It supports multiple languages and offers display customization. Note, vehicles with a voltage exceeding 14V might require adjustments for compatibility, and certain functionalities may be restricted while in reverse as a safety measure.
7. Advanced Sound Retriever: Pioneer MVH-S622BS 2 DIN Receiver
If you often struggle with your low-quality audio sources, there could not be a better option for you than the Pioneer MVH-S622BS Double DIN Receiver. This Pioneer device features their outstanding Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) is technology. It restores lost high frequency signals from compressed files and creates new signals to restore details that were left out during compression.
Integration with smartphones is facilitated by Pioneer Smart Sync, an advanced app that enhances the receiver's features and usability. Whether through Bluetooth or USB, this integration supports a variety of apps like Spotify, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, etc. MIXTRAX technology, a Pioneer exclusive, offers a DJ-like audio experience, blending your music with a variety of effects and two-zone club-style illumination to enliven the mood within your vehicle.
The stereo's tuner is compatible with SiriusXM, supporting 18 FM and 6 AM presets, complete with Best Station Memory and RDS functionality. The manufacturer advertises it as a SiriusXM-Ready, but the unit requires an additional purchase for XM Satellite integration, making it a deal-breaker for satellite radio enthusiasts.
Pandora integration is seamless, allowing users to interact with their music directly through the receiver's interface, giving "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" to songs and accessing a broad spectrum of stations. iPhone users can experience the benefits of Siri-eyes for free, but they would need a separate internet connection.
Bluetooth capabilities are expansive, featuring the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), AVRCP 1.6, and the convenience of dual phone connection, amplified by the superior call quality of the Wideband Speech Handsfree Profile 1.6.
The display is equally compelling, with a backlit LED screen offering 210,000 color combinations, enabling personalization to match any car interior. The VA LCD (2-line) screen and a customizable brightness control ensure visibility is optimized for both day and night driving.
Pioneer prioritizes user experience with automatic dimming to coincide with vehicle illumination and manual timing controls, all encapsulated within a sleek 2-DIN chassis. You may have noticed by now that, though it is a double DIN, the stereo lacks a dedicated touchscreen panel. That is because this build is customized for users who love the old-school minimalist approach.
Without visual aid, for some users, the touch-sensitive buttons for navigation were difficult to operate, and the volume knob does not respond to quick movements, which can be troubling.
Many users have expressed concern regarding the display screen's dimness, particularly when it comes to daytime driving. Users find reading the screen in bright conditions challenging due to insufficient backlighting.
The receiver offers a 13-band Graphic Equalizer, expandable to 31 bands through the Pioneer Smart Sync app, and a Digital Signal Processor for fine-tuning your audio experience. The built-in MOSFET amplifier delivers a clean 50 watts across four channels, while the Dynamic Bass Enhancer and Time Alignment features allow you to sculpt the audio to perfection. Inputs are generous, with a front USB port and an AUX input, supporting a wide array of external devices.
The stereo’s USB Auto Switch feature offers flexibility in how connected phones are utilized, prioritizing between charging and media playback. Along with an external Bluetooth microphone, the device's design includes fixed-face security, a multi-language display, and steering wheel control ready (adapter sold separately), emphasizing both security and convenience.
The Pioneer MVH-S622BS is more than just a media receiver; it is an immersive audio experience that brings the concert to your car, integrating seamlessly with modern lifestyles and delivering a performance that can turn every drive into an auditory odyssey.
8. Best CD Receiver: Kenwood KDC-X304 eXcelon Car Stereo
If you are someone who still holds on to CDs, then this particular stereo will perfectly fit in your favorites. With a sleek design and cutting-edge technology, this single DIN receiver breathes new life into your CD collection while offering a suite of modern features to enhance your in-car audio experience.
At its core, the stereo excels in playing CDs, providing music enthusiasts with a high-fidelity listening experience that's hard to match with digital streams. It handles a variety of formats, from standard MP3s to high-resolution WAV and FLAC files, ensuring that every detail and nuance of your favorite tracks are brought to the forefront. Apple device users will appreciate the iPod, iPhone, and iPad control through USB, ensuring seamless integration and control of their devices.
The variable-color illuminated CD player, featuring a detachable faceplate, adds both security and a stylish flair to your car's interior. The 1.5-line LCD display is clear, providing essential information quickly, a key for safety while browsing your music collection.
While purchasing you should consider the device's menu interface as it has been critiqued for its complexity. It requires multiple steps to navigate, especially while accessing audio settings like subwoofer level and controls. This can be distracting for drivers, diverting attention from the road.
The unit's 13-band graphic equalizer and digital time alignment offer detailed control over the audio output, allowing for customized bass and treble adjustments to fine-tune your sound preferences.
Kenwood's Excelon KDC-X304 is more than a CD player; it's an all-encompassing audio hub. It includes Bluetooth 4.2 for wireless streaming and hands-free calls, with a dual phone connection feature useful for users juggling multiple smartphones. Its Music Mix feature supports streaming and control from up to five paired smartphones, turning every car ride into a group DJ session.
The system also features Amazon Alexa integration for voice-controlled music, navigation, and smart home device management. It's compatible with the SiriusXM tuner for access to satellite radio's diverse channel selection. Internet radio control is robust, with Pandora easily operable from iPhones (via USB or Bluetooth) and Android devices (via Bluetooth), offering a tailored soundtrack for your drives. The front-panel USB and AUX inputs provide additional connectivity options for various devices and formats.
While the receiver is advantageous for Apple users, Android users face limitations, notably the lack of USB support for Android devices. This means Android connections are limited to Bluetooth, which typically doesn't support high-resolution audio quality like FLAC files, compared to a USB connection.
For audiophiles aiming to build a sophisticated sound system, the stereo's three sets of 5-volt preamp outputs deliver a high-quality signal for external amplifiers. The Sound Reconstruction feature enhances compressed music files, elevating the quality of digital media.
Enhanced usability comes with Kenwood's Remote app, turning your smartphone into a remote control for the receiver. This is particularly useful for custom installations or for those who prefer not to reach the dash. For those desiring a physical remote, the optional KNA-RCDV331 wireless remote is also available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions by the buyers.
Do car stereos under $150 support Apple CarPlay/Android Auto?
It is important to read the individual product details to confirm if any other device supports these features.
Will I need to purchase additional equipment to install these car stereos?
Depending on your vehicle and the stereo system, you might need additional equipment like a wiring harness, dashboard kit, or an antenna adapter. Most of the time, they are provided in the box. But, to be extra sure, we advise you to read the packaging label directly. It's best to consult a professional installer or refer to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Can I get a CD player stereo under $150?
Check the individual product specifications for this feature.
Finding the best car stereo under $150 that fits your needs is about balancing cost with functionality. Our comprehensive review guides you through the top 8 options, each offering a unique blend of features to enhance your driving experience.
Whether it's seamless smartphone integration, superior sound quality, or user-friendly interfaces, these budget-friendly models prove that you don't have to break the bank for a premium audio journey. Make an informed decision and upgrade your car's entertainment system with confidence, ensuring every journey is accompanied by the perfect soundtrack.
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