Browsing All Posts By Kristopher Prue-Cook

Pioneer Announces Apple CarPlay Integration and New AppRadio 4

Pioneer-AVIC-8000NEX-CarPlay

All right Apple and Pioneer fans, listen up!  Pioneer Electronics just announced that they are offering Apple’s highly anticipated CarPlay feature that makes it easy for you to use an iPhone or iPad with their car radios.

Pioneer said it just began shipping a new CarPlay-capable AppRadio 4 car stereo deck to dealers around the country, according to an article on CE Outlook. They also launched a firmware update for their five current NEX model radios so that they are also compatible with CarPlay.

CarPlay brings Apple’s familiar interface to the car for accessing messages, music, maps and iTunes Radio.  It also features apps like Beats Music, iHeartRadio, At Bat (MLB baseball), Spotify, Stitcher, CBS Radio and Podcasts. With CarPlay, the radio recognizes an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 when its plugged in. Users can then access most features by voice including the ability to respond to texts and have texts read aloud. It also features large icons for simple menu navigation.  Check out the Video below from Pioneer.

The firmware update is available at: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Support/Downloads, and may be downloaded to a USB device and then uploaded to the radio. The radios that are available for the firmware update include the Pioneer AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX, and AVH-4000NEX.

AppRadio 4

pioneer_appradio_4Pioneer’s new AppRadio 4 is a powerhouse receiver, packing features not found in most premium stereos including Bluetooth and a 6.2″ capacitive touchscreen similar to your smartphone or tablet. You can take full advantage of the high-resolution WVGA screen with the onboard HDMI input, and it also has MirrorLink to mirror and control certain non-Apple smartphones. Android users will also rejoice in the seamless Android Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) for deeper access to files and folders, as well as the Google Voice integration. But worry not, iPhone users! You will love the intuitive iPhone/iPod interface and the ability to use Siri for voice commands.

 

 

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Harman International: The Pursuit of Great Sound

Sonic Electronix, one of the leaders in car audio, recently visited Harman, the premium global audio and infotainment group, at their research and development locations in Northridge, California and Detroit, Michigan. The purpose of these visits was to utilize and combine the powerful brand of Harman and the industry leading knowledge behind Sonic Electronix to begin working together on developing future car audio projects. “We are extremely excited to work closely with Harman on these upcoming projects. They truly are a premier audio company that creates a quality product and we are honored to collaborate with them”, said Sonic Electronix Director of Product Seth Wilde.

Harman, the parent company of many well-known consumer electronics brands including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL and Mark Levinson, is one of the leaders in the consumer electronics industry. “We are very blessed at Harman to have some of the brightest and best engineers available in the audio industry. Combined with our physical resources we’re able to bring new technologies to bear in our products that can’t be done by most manufacturers,” said Harman Director of Marketing and Product Management for Luxury Audio and Loudspeakers Jim Garrett.

The benefits of these visits between Sonic Electronix and Harman will be wide felt throughout the car audio industry and the future joint projects will lead to some incredibly exciting new products for consumers. “With all of the input that Sonic Electronix can provide us of what their customer needs are, we’re able to create new products that are fitting the customer’s needs today and into the future,” said Haman Western Region Director of Sales Kelly Wells.

Harman’s overall electronics knowledge and resources combined with the established knowledge and car audio experience at Sonic Electronix makes for an incredibly promising partnership moving forward and several promising, yet to be announced projects are already moving forward in development. “Our hope is that these new products will fill unmet demand in the market, carry the signature Harman sound and bring out the passion for audio in our customers lives”, said Wilde.

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Best Buys – Car Audio Speakers Under $150

A common question here at Sonic Electronix is, “What are some good car speakers that aren’t too expensive?” We all know that the answer to this is subjective. Now I’m going to give you my opinion as the Copyeditor and Product Specialist for this category. And as we all know, opinions are like a*******. Everyone has one. So, here is mine.

For a price point we’re going to set the maximum at $150 per pair. This seems like a reasonable place to start. I will also be focusing on coaxial speakers this time as this is what most people buy.

MB Quart Premium Series

The Premium Series is MB Quarts finest and top of the line speakers. Using the 40mm inverted dome Titanium WideSphere, top quality resonant basket and Composite Cone, the Premium line of speakers are a perfect choice for anyone looking to upgrade their speakers.

They come in a variety of sizes to suit everyone’s needs. They will definitely be on the brighter side of the sound spectrum due to the textile (titanium) tweeter and their WideSphere technology provides a wider high frequency soundstage for predictable high-end performance in nearly any mounting location. These are great for people who like to listen to their music loud or with the windows down. They do have a full sound and they are definitely the best MB Quart has to offer as far as coaxial speakers are concerned.

NVX V-Series

The brand-new V-Series from NVX are truly amazing. Naturally the bar was set high for these speakers as I have been thoroughly impressed with the X & N-Series offerings which preceded them, but the V’s blew away my expectations. With just the power from a standard head unit, these speakers lit up the interior of our demo car with brilliant highs and rich, powerful mids which really brought the music to life.

For kicks, we threw in a small 4-channel amplifier to really get the V-Series going, and we we’re impressed to see them transform from a fantastic set of stock-replacement speakers, to a legitimate aftermarket sound-quality contender. The V-Series are available in a complete range of shapes and sizes to fit any application, and their highly efficient design ensures premium performance with nearly any power source.

Infinity Kappa Series

Infinity’s Kappa Series feature proprietary Injected Carbon Glass Matrix (iCGM) frames and patented formed-glass-fiber Plus One woofer cones. Each speaker’s coaxially mounted UniPivot tweeter is a soft-dome, edge-driven fabric diaphragm for improved power handling and wide high-frequency dispersion. The 2-ohm nominal impedance of the Infinity Kappa coaxial speakers allows compensation for any added resistance in thin factory-installed speaker wiring and provides more output than factory speakers in its class.

The high sensitivity of the Kappa Series makes it ideal for upgrading a factory-installed system’s existing speakers with very noticeable fidelity improvements. The beautiful chrome inserts on the grille match modern interiors, and there are no visible mounting screws. With a modern look, articulate highs and strong lows, the Kappa series speakers are perfect for any factory or aftermarket sound system.

So, if you’re looking for an upgrade in quality and sound, check out SonicElectronix.com. and get yours today.

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Summertime or Anytime: Introduction to Marine Audio

It’s almost Summer! Time to get that boat ready!If you’re looking to improve your boats audio system, make sure the products are Marine Audio Certified for complete protection against a marine environment. This is important for many reasons:

Marine Radios:

Most often marine stereos or headunits are watertight, have coated circuit boards and UV-resistant paint, so it’ll stand up to the sun, salt, and spray. Many are compatible with, satellite radio, MP3 devices and remotes that can be placed around the boat to control your music anywhere.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marine Speakers:

Marine Speakers are also designed specifically for the wear and tear for the aquatic environment. They are available in a wide range of sizes from marine specific sizes for factory replacements to standard 6 ½” components and coaxials. Another great option for people that are water sports enthusiast are wakeboard tower speakers that can be heard by the person wake boarding and everyone around you.

 
 
 
 
 
Marine Subwoofers:

If bass is your thing then a marine certified subwoofer will round out your system nicely. There amplified, non-amplified, free-air, and enclosed models to suit everyone’s needs. Marine subwoofers are fashioned with waterproof rubber mounting gaskets, and the bass tubes are water resistant enclosures that use weather resistant mounting straps to help sustain your bass despite stormy conditions.

 
 
 
 
 

Marine Amplifiers:
For people that want more power and clarity, you need amplifier to give your speakers the power they deserve. Marine amplifiers are designed specifically for the harsh environment that electronics are exposed to. They feature rubber caps to cover the RCA inputs, silicone boots to shield the fuses, and their circuit boards have corrosion-deterring coating. They are available in 6, 5, 4, 2 -channel, and mono-block configurations.
 
 
 
 
 

 Marine Certified Amplifier Installation Kits:

This is a part of your audio system that you don’t want to skimp out on. You always want a BC-5W2 marine compliant certified amplifier installation kit. This is very important as they will be subjected to corrosive conditions at all times and marine electrical system are usually 14.4 volts. You want a power and ground wire, such as Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC), that can transfer as much power as possible as they usually have a long run from the power source to the amp. This helps prevent voltage drop to your amplifiers.

Something to Know
While most marine products are not completely waterproof, they do an excellent job standing up to the water splashes and bumps that come with the harsh marine environment. In fact, Marine equipment does this so well that it is also used in golf carts, ATVs, and other off-roading vehicles.

So remember. When you’re looking to upgrade your watercraft’s audio system, make sure it’s marine certified. We have a huge selection for you to choose from, so head over to sonicelectronix.com and gets your system today.

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Metra’s new T-Spec Line of Amp Kits and Amplifier Installation Accessories

Metra’s new line T-Spec was designed with the express goal to bring innovation and value to a complete line of revolutionary new car audio accessories. T-Spec products feature high levels of engineering with the installer in mind while using only the finest materials available.

Power and Ground Wire:

V12 Series Full OFC Power/Ground Wire

Now, we all know that the performance of your car audio system is only as good as its weakest link. Many wire companies today will have you believe that a cheap cable will save you money and get the job done. But the truth is that below-specification cables will rob current from your amplifier reducing power output by as much as 50% and they also can run very hot. T-Spec power and ground wire meet or exceed CEA and ANSI standards.

 

 

RCA Cables:

T-Spec V12 Series RCA

High levels of noise rejection in an RCA cable is something you always want. T-Specs utilizes meticulous build quality using only the finest materials available. This provides maximum performance in all price ranges and all T-Spec RCA cables feature a proprietary ultra-flexible PVC jacket that is so durable it is BC-5W2 marine compliant as are their speaker, power and ground wire.

 

 

Compact Brass:

Fusing an aftermarket car stereo system provides protection for your car and your car stereo. T-Specs fusing systems are top-notch. The new T-Spec compact accessories are constructed from solid brass featuring an Industry first proprietary black coating. Their smaller size means a smaller footprint, maximizing available space. This combination of top quality materials and purposeful design provides an incredibly reliable and simple to install product that will last for a long time.

 

 

The combinations of all these features provide maximum performance in all price ranges. Their new product line features 4 levels of value, performance and has you covered for all your car audio needs.

 

Level and Wire Features:

The V12 Series is T-Spec’s top of the line level. They spared no expense in developing the V12 series. It features full spec virgin oxygen-free copper (OFC) wire that exceeds CEA and ANSI specification for wire gauge and has high strand count for maximum flexibility. V12 above-spec wire is an industry-first providing greater current capability for your stereos sensitive electronics.

If you’re looking for a high-end product without the high price, the V10 Series is perfect for you. It also features full spec virgin oxygen-free copper (OFC) wire that meets CEA and ANSI specification for wire gauge and a high strand count for maximum flexibility.

 

The V8 Series is the best mix of value and performance. It’s power and ground wire is also full spec virgin oxygen-free copper (OFC) that has a high strand count for maximum flexibility.

 

Last but not least is the V6 Series. The V6 series power and ground wire is a copper-clad aluminum (CCA) and utilizes a high strand count for maximum flexibility. V6 has a lower price with little compromise.

 

 

Packaging :

Such a high-end line of car audio products deserves packaging that is just as cool. T-Spec’s full line looks amazing on the shelf with icon-based level differentiators, boxes with UV coatings and custom windows. The bulk and V6 series come in nicely detailed resealable retail polybag that looks great next to the higher level boxes. All together, it’s a very impressive system.

T-Spec has everything for your car audio needs and budget; from amp kits, bulk wire, RCAs, fuse holders and everything in between. With their convenient and simple level rating system, you know what you’re going to get. So head over to sonicelectronix.com and get your T-Spec car audio installation accessories today.

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