By >Andrew DAISH
Sony’s latest car stereos feature SiriusXM and Pandora tuners
Sony has announced a new set of car stereos with SiriusXM satellite radio connectivity and Pandora internet radio. The first receiver to offer compatibility with SiriusXM Connect was from the company Alpine and now Sony has fought back with the release of a range of receivers.
Four of the new stereos feature compatibility with the SXV100 SiriusXM Connect module which adds advanced features to the satellite radio experience. The additions include the ability to pause and rewind up to 30 minutes of cached audio and also receive alerts when your favourite song or artist is being played on another SiriusXM channel.
Pandora internet radio app control for iOS (sadly not Android or Blackberry) has been included in the more expensive models as well as various other features including USB connections and Dynamic Colour Illuminator which offers 35,000 illumination colours for display text and button backlights. The top model, the CDX-GT660UP adds a large 2 line display with a flip down front panel which is compatible with Sony’s SensMe application which allows users to create mood based playlists for their media.
All of the new CDX units feature new digital processing AM/FM tuners that are designed to minimise cross station interference in urban areas where airwaves are crowded. The other standard features included enhanced Power IC for cleaner audio quality and MP3/WMA playback from CD-R media.
The new line of stereos are expected to be released between late August and early September 2011.
“Consumers want their audio choices personalized to match their individual needs and preferences, especially while they are in their cars,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Audio Product Division at Sony Electronics. “Sony is redefining content selection in the car. Whether someone wants convenient access to commercial-free music and sports, news, talk and entertainment from SiriusXM, music discovery services like Pandora or iPod® and iPhone® compatibility, we now have a solution at lower prices than ever before: We now offer SiriusXM compatibility from as low as $90 SRP and Pandora compatibility from as low as $130 SRP.”
Universal SiriusXM™ Satellite Connectivity
Four of the new models (CDX-GT565UP, CDX-GT660UP, CDX-360MP, CDX-GT56UI) feature SiriusXM compatibility, using the new SXV100 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit (sold separately, XM subscription required). The compact SiriusXM vehicle tuner has a simple connection, providing integration of SiriusXM in an inexpensive and easy-to-install package. The SiriusXM vehicle tuner also provides numerous new features including the ability for listeners to pause and rewind live SiriusXM satellite radio.
The entry-level CDX-GT360MP model is SiriusXM compatible plus offers great sound quality from its built-in equalizer and powerful 52×4 watt high power amplifier – all at an affordable price point of $90 SRP. The step-up CDX-GT56UI model offers all the features of the CDX-GT360MP receiver and adds iPod and iPhone control, allowing users to control digital music using the USB 1-wire, and 7 Band Digital Equalizer, Time Alignment and Automatic Level Optimizer.
The CDX-GT565UP model, also SiriusXM compatible, allows users to stream Pandora from an iPhone, customize the receiver’s illumination to complement existing lighting components with the Dynamic Color Illuminator and create an impressive listening experience with the Advanced Sound Engine. Users can also control digital music players using the USB 1-Wire feature. The receiver features Automatic Level Optimizer, which analyzes each track’s playback levels and adjusts output level to optimize transitions between tracks and sources. The CDX-GT660UP unit adds a drop down panel design, two line LCD display and SensMe™ channels to organize music into playlists that perfectly match any mood, scene or location.
“The SXV100 connects drivers and their passengers to entirely commercial-free music and exclusive entertainment they can only find on SiriusXM,” said Sean Gibbons, Vice President, Consumer Electronics Product Marketing, SiriusXM. “We are thrilled that Sony is introducing a car stereo lineup that is SiriusXM-Ready, giving customers the ability to control and enjoy satellite radio on the road.”
Sony offers SiriusXM capability, starting at only $90 SRP, on the CDX-360MP, CDX-GT56UI, CDX-GT565UP and CDX-GT660UP models.
Stream Pandora Wirelessly – From Any Device
Sony’s two newest Digital Media Players, the DSX-S210X and DSX-S310BTX models, feature an integrated Tune Tray to connect and control an MP3 player without unsightly and distracting wires, dual USB 1-wire inputs and an easy to read 4-line OEL display. Both also feature the SensMe application, to better organize playlists.
The Pandora integration on the DSX-S210X and the Bluetooth® enabled
DSX-S310BTX digital media players allows listeners to stream Pandora via the application on their smartphone, and transfers the Pandora-related controls to the head unit. Both models allow listeners to access their personalized Pandora stations and the ability to fine-tune the listening experience by offering thumb ratings directly on the receiver. The DSX-S210X digital media player is iPhone compatible; the DSX-S310BTX is iPhone compatible and is also the first aftermarket product to offer Pandora integration with the Android™ and Blackberry® smartphone platforms.
“The car is the most popular place to listen to the radio,” said Jessica Steel, executive vice president of Business Development at Pandora. “We are excited that Sony is making Pandora available in its in-dash receivers, enabling seamless access for iPhone, Android and Blackberry users alike.”
Sony offers Pandora compatible receivers starting at only $130 SRP and up to $280 SRP on the CDX-GT565UP, CDX-GT660UP, DSX-S210X and DSX S310BTX models.
Entry-Level Value, Top-of-the-Line Sound
Also joining the car audio lineup are the CDX-GT260MP and the CDX-GT40U receivers. The CDX-GT260MP model is a front auxiliary model with a slot panel design that features crisp and clear sound at an affordable price. The receiver delivers 52 watts of peak power to all four speakers for powerful output (208 watts total power) while the red key illumination helps users locate buttons quickly during evening playback. The CDX-GT40U unit additionally offers a front USB connector and intuitive search features Quick-BrowZer®, which finds music by artist, album, genre, song or playlist, and ZAPPIN™, which plays a 6/9/30 second introduction clip to help find a specific song. Also included in the CDX-GT40U model is Automatic Level Optimizer. All six CDX models also feature a Digital Clarity Tuner™. A conventional tuner loses stereo sound of FM radio when further away from the station, but the new digital processing tuner expands stereo area, improving sound performance.