Sony unveils four ‘Xplod’ Apple iPod-compatible car stereos

Sony has announced four new Xplod (in-dash head units that are able to connect directly to compatible iPod music players, allowing users to charge and control their iPod devices on the road.

The top-of-the-line unit (model CDX-GT630UI) is Sony’s first car stereo that can connect directly to iPod players, also-ran digital music players and USB thumb drives via a USB connection. It also includes Sony’s unique “ZAPPIN” function, which offers a way of searching and listening to music.

Providing several options for connectivity in the car, the CDX-GT630UI head unit connects to compatible iPod or also-ran digital music players via USB, allowing users to control and charge their devices and enjoy exceptional sound quality. CDX-GT630UI also supports Apple’s iPhone models.

Sony’s unique “ZAPPIN” technology operates similarly to most car stereos’ scan buttons. It continues to play a series of short music clips from your own music library until you can find your favorite song to match your mood.

This head unit’s “Quick-BrowZer” feature allows users to control and select music via the “rotate and push” button. It also has the “Jump Mode” feature that helps users quickly search through even the largest music libraries and quickly find the tracks they are looking for, and Passenger Control which allows passengers to control the connected iPod itself while being charged. Additionally, the head unit’s DM+ technology enhances the sound quality of compressed audio files.

The receiver supports MP3 and non-DRM AAC (and non-DRM WMA) codecs and is satellite radio-ready and HD Radio-ready (tuner module required). Plus, it features front, rear and subwoofer preamp outputs; has a flip-down detachable faceplate; and a 13-segment, LCD with black LED display; and blue and green switchable key illumination. Satellite radio requires a tuner and service subscription (both sold separately).

The CDX-GT430IP CD receiver comes with an interface that allows for control of most iPod players. The included 1.5-meter cable has a 30-pin connector provides full menu control and allows the head unit to charge compatible iPod devices. The unit’s selectable front and rear/sub preamp outputs can be used to control the frequency and output level of an external amplifier. Other features include Quick-BrowZer, Passenger Control and Jump Mode technologies, satellite radio and HD Radio ready compatibility, and MP3 and non-DRM WMA playback, with black LED screen and blue key illumination.

The CDX-GT330 unit provides versatility, through compatibility with most iPod players, and HD Radio and satellite radio ready functionality. It offers MP3 and non-DRM WMA playback support and two preouts. The CDX-GT130 CD receiver has one preout and a detachable faceplate with a black 13-segment LED screen.

Each new unit supports HPF/LPF sound quality enhancements and features an auxiliary input on the faceplate, facilitating the use of compatible iPod and also-ran portable music players in a vehicle with a standard 1/8-inch mini jack cord (sold separately). They also feature 52 watts X 4 peak output.

The CDX-GT630UI, CDX-GT430IP and CDX-GT330 head units come with the supplied wireless card remote (model RM-X151), so it’s easy to control the music from the front or back seat. Users can increase the CDX-GT330 unit’s connectivity by purchasing an adapter (model XA-120IP for about $50) that charges a compatible iPod device and controls it from the head unit.

The new CDX-GT630UI, CDX-GT430IP, CDX-GT330 and CDX-GT130 stereos will cost about US$160, $130, $100 and $80 respectively. The GT series head units will be available this September at retailers across the country and military base exchanges.

Source: Sony Electronics, Inc.

22 Comments

  1. My SO has a Pioneer with iPod control, but it is pretty wonky (gives an ERROR AO message) with the iPhone if the iPhone isn’t first put into iPod mode by tapping the iPod button on the home screen. There’s also the inadequately shielded amp circuit problem that allows that annoying GSM buzz.

    So, how well do this new Sony Xplod series handle GMS buzz rejection? How well does it work with the iPhone? Head unit manufacturers really need to be sure they’re testing with iPhones, because if people see that it works with iPods, they’re gonna assume it works with an iPhone too, and if it is flaky, they’re gonna be pissed.

  2. Meh. Just saw the part about the CDX-GT630UI supporting iPhone. Only question left is GSM buzz immunity. I really like that the <a >CDX-GT630UI images</a> on the Sony site shows a green illumination option, because I hate blue LEDS on my gadgets — too bright!

  3. I have the Sony clock-radio that supports the iPhone and have no issues with the “buzz” that other iPod-compatible devices have with iPhones. I imagine that their car stereos would be equally competent.

  4. Seriously, Apple should make the ultimate car multimedia centre, with wifi so you an load it with content from your house’s network. Add a few screens for movies for the kids, 3G connection for renting movies on the road, maps/navigation etc. You could fit a mac mini into a car. I’d buy it in a second.

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