Ever since mp3 showed it’s cute little face, the music purchasing habit of the mass changed significantly to downloading digital audio. CD purchases thus witnessed something less than a windfall and in-dash receivers, instead of keeping put a stiff competition against portable digital audio players, accepted integrating USB inputs and iPod connections. Bluetooth solidified the new trend all the more and A2DP stereo streaming is now becoming as common as fries with burgers. Convenience, in the new age, is determined by how no-wire a gadget is and these car stereos do define convenience with a few more additional features.
The first one is JVC El Kameleon KD-AVX44, which brings every digital media connoisseur ample reasons to rejoice. Besides offering DVD/DivX-video and MP3/AAC/WMA playback (you need to plug in your iPod/USB/A2DP Bluetooth device), this is a car stereo that features a design that doesn’t clutter a vehicle’s interior. The new cleanliness comes for about $400; we have yet to see whether the Alpine iDA-X001 beats it, for the full-color display showing album arts and the browsing interface shall release you from the duty of unplugging your iPod every time you want to browse the digital-audio libraries.
However, some have been found supporting the AVN2210p from Eclipse more than the previous two, this one combines an in-dash navigation system with handheld GPS devices. The only thing that may prove to be a downer is the small touch screen display, but given its brightness and well-rendered maps, this great all-in-one device scores better than any other car audio system supporting a wide range of digital-audio formats.
When it’s about gadgets, not mentioning Sony would be a heresy. So here it is, the Sony CDX-GT610UI and the MEX-BT5000, with the first one featuring iPod connectivity and full-speed USB compatibility while the latter boasts of Bluetooth hands-free calling through a built-in microphone and integrated phone controls. If you need to copy the entire address book from your cell phone, you are not going to get anything better than it.