Monster debuts iCruze for Apple iPod, plays music through car audio systems

Monster is proud to announce that it has partnered with SoundGate to produce and distribute iCruze, Monster’s latest iPod accessory that allows consumers to play their entire music collection through their car audio systems. With a suggested retail price of $199.95, the iCruze is scheduled to be available to consumers this Fall.

“Apple’s iPod is the world’s most popular digital music player,” explained Noel Lee, The Head Monster in the press release. “Monster has now made it even easier for iPod and iPod mini users to listen to their entire music collection in the car, the days of cluttering the car with CDs are finally over.”

In conjunction with Sheridan, Wyo.-based SoundGate, Monster’s iCruze is an interface that enables the connection of an iPod to a factory or aftermarket radio through either the car’s existing CD changer or satellite radio port. An optional display is available if the existing head unit is limited and cannot display text. The iCruze display is a multi-line, 20-character backlit LCD display that reproduces the same information as that on the iPod, such as song title and song artist. Since the iCruze is a direct connect to the automobile’s sound system via the CD changer or satellite radio port, sound quality is also incredibly clear.

“iPod is the world’s most popular digital music player with an unrivaled array of third party accessories,” said Stan Ng, Apple’s Director of iPod Product Marketing in the press release. “Joining the lineup of over 200 iPod accessories, iCruze provides another innovative car audio option to allow music lovers to listen to the iPod in their car.”

Taking into consideration an automobile’s limited space, Monster and SoundGate designed the iCruze to use as little space as possible. The iPod and iPod mini can be hidden away and controlled by the CD player that it is connected to. Users can select the songs and playlists of their choice through either the steering wheel controls or the CD player’s controls. The song information can also be viewed on the optional display and the iPod can be mounted anywhere in the vehicle depending on the car audio system device it is connected to.

According to Rob Putman, president of SoundGate, the demand from iPod users to be able to use their portable devices in the car has been immense. “Utilizing proprietary technology, the iCruze will work in virtually hundreds of different vehicles via the vehicles’ CD player or satellite radio connection. We are extremely pleased to partner with Monster, the market’s accessories leader.”

More info and photos here.

11 Comments

  1. I’d like to see what the optional display looks like since my iPod would be tucked away. I wonder also if the display would be one that would allow to “browse” the iPod, not just see the track that is playing. I’ll be keeping my eye on this.

    This should have been an Apple accessory.

  2. there are already adapters for about $50 you can plug straight into the CD changer port of most head units, then get one of those Belkin cigarette charger things with the adjustable volume and that does the same thing for considerably less. I use this setup and it sounds great, way way better than those crappy FM modulators.

  3. I can imagine car-radio manufacturers including a full iPod controller in their audio (or Navi) system. Anything else would be a temporary solution. Luxury car makers could use a built-in iPod — all you’d see is a FireWire connector for one-way synching.

  4. I think I’ll buy a new BMW to go with my iPod Photo. I like the new iPod photo windshield heads up display. It allows me to store maps on my iPod and transparently display them in my windshield while listening to Blackeyed Peas.

  5. This looks like it might be good. I was thinking of getting the new Alpine system which looked like a good solution but this may be better. Not enough information on the website yet to tell for sure though.

  6. I’m still waiting for a system where I can just insert my iPod into the deck, IE like an audio tape, instead of having it sit in a dock. Wouldn’t that be better? And I’m guessing still, wouldn’t this be limited to just 6 playlists? Isn’t the BMW like that anyway?

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