CES 2009: Sony Xplods with new automotive units
The most feature-filled of the new models is Sony's MEX-BT5700U model (in photo above) with a front USB port for music players including iPhone and iPod. Its Bluetooth connection can also transfer phonebook info from a phone to its display and allows access to phone functions through the head unit. And when using Bluetooth to play music from a media device, the Sony unit displays song name, artist, etc. Sony says the MEX-BT5700U is their top of the line head unit and expects it to go on sale this June for about $300. Follow the jump for info on all seven of Sony's other models announced this week at CES as well as the official Sony press release.
Sony announced two other Bluetooth-capable units. The MEX-BT3700U doesn't transfer song or phone data to its display but offers other features of the MEX-BT5700U. The MEX-BT3700U will sell for about $200 and a lower unit, the MEX-BT2700 will retain the hands-free feature of the previous two, but not the USB port. It will sell for about $160.
Sony also unveiled four new units to its GT line that should be available later this month. The CDX-GT430U's USB port will play content from thumb drives and some music players but not Apple products. However, it does have an aux jack. It should sell for about $130. For $10 more, the CDX-GT530UI adds iPod compatibility.
With the CDX-GT730UI and CDX-GT930UI, things start getting fancy. The 730UI gets a front USB port, a detachable, motorized faceplate with full-motion display and red, green or blue key illumination. It sells for about $200. The 930UI goes for $30 more and gets a wider display, and a rear USB port.
The double-din CDX-GT77UI unit should retail at about $250 retail sometime around next month. As well as fitting most new cars, it works with Apple's products and has a wireless remote. Expect it to go on sale sometime next month.
If you're as confused as we are about what models do what, here's Sony's press release...
SONY REVS UP XPLOD LINE WITH NEW CAR STEREOS
New models stress connectivity and convenience
LAS VEGAS - Sony is expanding its mobile audio lineup with eight new Xplod® in-dash CD receivers. Designed to support the growing demand for iPod® and Bluetooth® compatibility, these head units provide a broad range of in-car connectivity.
"We're offering elegantly designed products with innovative solutions for enjoying music on the road," said Mike Kahn, director of marketing in the Audio Product Division at Sony. "Whatever your audio needs may be, we've got them covered."
Get Hooked Up
Four new models are being added to Sonys GT line of car stereos, with the high-end CDX-GT930UI being the most advanced of the group. This head unit features a rear USB-1 wire connection for iPod, iPhone®, Walkman® and other USB devices, as well as a rear aux-in. The fully-featured model also has a motorized, detachable faceplate and a 4-volt front, rear and sub preamp output. It also has a wide area "Extended FL" 4-line display with switchable blue, green and red key illumination, allowing for full and intuitive control of the device's functionality.
With the same feel as the high-end unit, the CDX-GT730UI model features a four-line, full-motion display. This CD/MP3/WMA/AAC receiver has a front USB-1 wire connection for all digital music players, a detachable faceplate and a front aux-in. Three preamp outputs allow for simple connection to all car audio components. It also offers red, blue and green key illumination.
The new CDX-GT530UI model is the most affordable head unit with connectivity for iPod. This model features a front USB-1 wire port for easy connection to iPod, as well as two preamp outputs and a front aux-in.
The CDX-GT430U unit has a USB port for connecting and controlling content from USB thumb drives and digital music players like a Sony Walkman (not iPod). This receiver also has a front aux-in and two preamp outputs.
With 52 watts x 4 high-power output, the new GT series models are made to provide powerful, high-quality sound to any car system. Each car stereo features ZAPPIN' and Quick-BrowZer for quick navigation through music libraries, regardless of size.
Additionally, the GT series utilizes DM+ Advanced technology to enhance the sound quality of all audio. These models have Low-Pass and High-Pass filters to give the user more control over their signal outputs. They are all HD Radio® ready, and come with wireless card remotes.
Three of Sony's new head units feature Bluetooth technology for simple hands-free phone calls and audio streaming (with a Bluetooth compatible phone).
The top-of-the-line MEX-BT5700U model features a front USB-1 wire port for easy connection to all digital music players, including iPod and iPhone devices. New for 2009, this unit is able to automatically transfer all phone book contact information from a Bluetooth connected phone to the display. This feature, called Phonebook Access Profile (PBAP), enables functional control of the linked phone through the head unit.
Additionally, while streaming audio via Bluetooth wireless technology, the MEX-BT5700U unit transfers all metadata of a song, which means all album, artist and track information appear on its large four-line display. It also has a flip-down faceplate, front aux-in and three preouts, and comes with an external microphone. In addition, it supports ZAPPIN, Quick-BrowZer, Jump Mode, Passenger Control and utilizes DM+Advanced technology.
Similar to the high-end model, the new Sony MEX-BT3700U head unit with Bluetooth wireless technology features a front USB connection, a front aux-in and three preouts. The CD/MP3/WMA/AAC receiver is also compatible with the latest in Sony's audio features and technologies, including ZAPPIN, Quick-BrowZer, Jump Mode, Passenger Control and DM+ Advanced. Sony offers an optional microphone, model XA-MC10, designed to complement the MEX-BT3700U.
The MEX-BT2700 provides hands-free solutions and improved audio streaming functionality at an attractive price. This receiver has a front aux-in and two preamp outputs.
Each of the new BT series head units are satellite/HD Radio ready and have a high power output of 52 watts x 4. Additionally, these receivers have low-pass and high-pass filters and all come with a wireless remote for convenient control.
For the first time in years, Sony is adding a double-din styled head unit to its lineup. Designed to be compatible with most new model cars, the larger sized CDX-GT77UI unit features a rear USB-1 wire connection for iPod, iPhone and other digital music players.
Like all new models, the CDX-GT77UI is satellite/HD radio ready and has a maximum power output of 52 watts x 4. High-pass and low-pass filters allow for simple output control and a wireless remote makes control easy from any seat in the car. The double-din receiver supports ZAPPIN, Quick-BrowZer, Jump Mode, Passenger Control and DM+ Advanced technology, and also has three preamp outputs and a front aux-in.
Pricing and Availability
Within the new GT series lineup, the GTX-GT930UI, CDX-GT530UI and CDX-430U models will all be available later this month for $230, $140 and $130, respectively. The CDX-GT730UI will be available next month for about $200.
For Sony's new Bluetooth models, expect to see the high-end MEX-BT5700U hit stores this June for about $300. Additionally, the MEX-BT3700U unit will be available in February for about $200 and its compatible microphone, the XA-MC10, will arrive later this month for about $30. The MEX-BT2700 will also be available later this month for about $160.
The double-din CDX-GT77UI model will be available next month for about $250.
In line with Sony's continued relationship with Ford – announced at last year's CES, there will be a customized 2009 Ford Flex on display in Sony's booth at the show. The so-called "Graffiti" Flex features an urban-themed custom paint job and a fully loaded Sony Xplod sound system.
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