Tag: Navigation

Parrot Asteroid Smart – The Multimedia Receiver of Your Dreams

Looking for an upgrade for you vehicles sound system? Well you’re in luck; Parrot is revolutionizing the industry with their all new Asteroid Smart multimedia receiver. This Android powered double DIN stereo is equipped with a touchscreen 6.2”, and an operating system that makes selecting your media easier than ever. With the Asteroid Smart, you get it all.

One of the bigger features of this deck is its mobile internet access capabilities. Simply plug in an internet receiving dongle and do things such as browse the Asteroid Market, stream some new music from Pandora, or check the weather. Plug in your Apple iPhone and load up the GPS App for full integration of your smartphones navigation system; the receiver even comes with an external antenna for better reception. Built-in Bluetooth version 3.0 allows you to make and receive hands-free calls as well as stream wireless music from your Bluetooth enabled device to the speakers.

  • Integrates GPS Navigation from Apple iPhone
  • A2DP Bluetooth Version 3.0 for Hands-Free Calls and Wireless Streaming
  • Connect to Wi-Fi for Access to Asteroid Market

The Parrot Asteroid Smart boasts 4 rear USB ports so you can connect a few different devices simultaneously like a flash drive, iPod and iPhone. For people looking into head-rest monitors, this receiver has built-in audio and video outputs for connection to separate screens throughout the car. Three sets of 6V RCA preamp connections will give optional amplifiers in your system a strong signal with less noise interference. When you connect an iPod or iPhone, an on-board 24-bit digital analogue converter will enhance your MP3 and WAV files for playback through the door speakers.

  • 4 Rear USB Connections for Multiple Devices
  • Built-In Audio/Video Inputs and Outputs
  • 3 Sets of 6V Pre-Amp RCA Outputs

This touchscreen multimedia receiver is one of many great products made by Parrot, so you can expect nothing less than quality. A solid handful of features, intuitive software and high-quality engineering make up this attractive receiver, so get yours today at SonicElectronix.com!

Check out our in-car look at the ASTEROID Smart:

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Coming Soon: Alpine INE-Z928HD Navigation Receiver

The Game Changer

If you thought 7 inches was the maximum size a Double-Din car stereo screen could achieve, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise.  The folks at Alpine have been hard at work concocting a head unit that breaks all the rules.  The Alpine INE-Z928HD navigation receiver features an unheard of 8 inch screen and is filled to the brim with the latest technology.  This year at the international CES awards, this unit won an innovations design and engineering award and it is blatantly obvious as to why. Everything about this unit is smoothly intuitive and gives the user a seamless way to access any of the plentiful features that are present.

Noteworthy Features

 Alpine INE-Z928HD

Alpine INE-Z928HD

  • Pandora Internet Radio control for streaming and station creation from iPhone, Android, and even Blackberry smartphones
  • 3D WVGA navigation design with over 6 million points of interest and free TMC traffic monitoring
  • Built-in HD radio which is compatible with SiriusXM
  • Built-in Bluetooth for audio streaming, phonebook search, hands-free calling and call waiting
  • 9-Band Parametric equalizer with customization features such as speaker count, speaker location, and upholstery type
  • 3 Pairs of 4 volt pre-amp outputs
  • My favorites screen allows user to set up to 8 shortcuts

If you’re wondering how you fit an 8 inch double-din head unit in a space meant for up to 7 inches, then don’t worry because Alpine is way ahead of you.  They have developed Perfect fit packages which are specifically designed to accommodate the INE-Z928HD.  They are available in ten of the most popular vehicle platforms and have even designed a universal kit for custom installations if there is no specific kit for your car.  In addition, these kits will retain any factory steering wheel controls and come with a vehicle specific wiring harness.  We are very eager to get our hands on this unit and you should be too.

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The Future of Car Audio

What Does the Future Hold?

Car logos

Vehicle manufacturers are becoming more adaptive at implementing the latest technologies into their vehicles

Car audio is a constantly changing animal.  We have come a long way from the early days of car audio in which people thought it was an expensive luxury to enjoy sweet melodies while you drive.  Nowadays, people not only expect to have audio in their car, but expect other features such as navigation, bluetooth, smartphone integration, video playback, and many other convenient features.  So what does the future of car audio hold for you?  How will newly developing technology affect your future purchases of not only car audio but for cars in general?  These things don’t only affect you but they affect us as well!

As modern vehicles become more advanced, they are becoming more integrated as well. Vehicle manufacturers are starting to realize the importance and popularity of car audio and video and are taking measures to give the consumer that all-in-one experience they are looking for.  The demand for watching movies on the go has had explosive growth with the decreasing cost of LCD monitors and DVD players.  As a result, OEM audio systems are going to be more surround sound oriented.

AppRadio2

App integration is rapidly increasing in popularity

Smartphones are another thing that are starting to change the car audio world as we know it.  We have started to see the emergence of smartphone integration with the likes of Pandora and Aha radio apps being integrated into aftermarket receivers and even in some new OEM systems.  Even more integration is starting to be present with the Pioneer AppRadio2 which can utilize other apps and functionality such as navigation directly from your iPhone.  The future will definetly see more app integration in vehicles.  Apple is even hinting at Siri integration in the near future!

All of this talk about vehicle integration might raise the question as to why anyone would need to buy aftermarket car audio equipment.  Even though vehicles have become more integrated, they still usually have cheap, stock speakers, limited bass output, limited  music equalization, and restricted sound quality all together.  It will be a very long time until you can say that your stock sound system could over glorify that of a well-tuned, aftermarket sound system.  This can apply to other realms as well such as Keyless entry alarm and remote start systems.   The future of car audio is not entirely clear, but one thing is for certain and that is that people will always look to aftermarket when their stock system is not enough.

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Eclipse AVN6620/AVN62D In-Dash Receiver

AVN6620

By Chelsey P. – Sonic Electronix Writer

The Eclipse AVN6620 is a new, all-in-one car receiver that can do it all. This 7” LCD Double DIN system features a similar design to the AVN5510/AVN52D as it combines easy-to-use buttons with a touchscreen menu. This design makes it easy to control the built-in GPS navigation system and other audio and video sources. Not only can you use the touchscreen to navigate, but you can also use the simple backlit buttons at the bottom of the screen. These buttons provide easy access to the system’s feature menus as well. A menu button that gives drivers one-touch access to a destination entry, media source, and other system settings is also provided. As usual, Eclipse does an excellent job of making the onscreen menus intuitive and easy for drivers to use while driving. The large, bright buttons make it easy to see options at a glance. The main difference between the AVN62D and the AVN52D is that it features two DVD slots instead of one CD and one DVD slot. The two DVD slots allow you to watch a video or listen to music while simultaneously using the GPS navigation system.

The built-in navigation is DVD ROM based. The maps are provided by Navteq and include building outlines for major urban centers in the United States.  The map database has 8.7 million points-of-interest to help you always find what you are looking for. Points-of-interest can be found by street names, addresses, or by using an intersection search. The points-of-interest can be routed by information, detours, stopping points, via a route preview or through freeway assistance. The system has a split-screen design that shows a zoomed-in version of the map on the right-hand side of the display.

As for expandability options, you can add the Bluetooth adapter from Parrot for hands-free conversation that integrates seamlessly into the vehicle. When a call is coming through, the music will mute and then resume playing once the call has finished. Hands-free Bluetooth capability has become very popular in states where talking on your cell phone has become illegal. Not only can you add Bluetooth, but HD and XM or Sirius Satellite Radio can be added to this head unit. Have an iPod? No need to worry, just use the iPod cable to browse and select songs via the touchscreen. When the iPod is connected, the screen will display artists, albums, songs, playlists and genres for easy accessibility to all your favorite music.

The AVN62D is loaded with features including the GPS navigation, digital audio and video playback and advanced acoustic options. This device is for those looking to tech out their car with a single device without a lot of extra modules. This car stereo is different from its competition in terms of the design, controls, iPod interface and audio options.

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JVC KW-NT1 Navigation

JVC KW-NT1

By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

The last time I attempted to drive while fumbling through a paper map, not only did I nearly crash my vehicle, but I ended up getting lost. I came to the realization that a modern vehicle is not complete without GPS navigation. The power of in-dash GPS navigation is that you always know where you’re at and where you’re headed. No more wasting gas money or time while driving around in circles. As I feasted my eyes on the brand new JVC KW-NT1 navigation system, I couldn’t wait to see it in action. This is a spectacular CD/MP3/DVD receiver with navigation, and it’s all controlled through a 6.1” LCD touch screen.

As I drove down the road, the voice feature told me to “make a right turn onto 1st street in 200 feet.” JVC calls this text-to-speech technology. This allows the driver to rely on street signs rather than the GPS screen in order to read the name of the upcoming street. Most GPS navigation systems do not read off the actual street name, so they will only tell you to “make a right turn in 200 feet.” It is much safer to use the KW-NT1 because it keeps your eyes on the road as you hear the voice prompt indicate the approaching turn-off.

This navigation system also has a speed limit display feature. On some highways the signs are so sporadic that it’s easy to forget the speed limit. These “speed traps” can cost you if you’re unaware of the speed limit. It is also helpful if you are the type of person who doesn’t even notice the signs. Or perhaps you’re like me and you don’t believe in self-incrimination, so you avoid looking at the speed limit sign so that you have an alibi if you are pulled over. Whatever the case may be, the KW-NT1’s speed limit display provides a solution to overlooked speed limit signs. Especially as you drive through speed traps. It is great to have a reminder that tells you the speed limit is only 35 MPH despite the fact that you are driving on an open country highway that is void of any residential or commercial life.

As far as features go, this navigation unit has it all. This unit allows you to make and receive hands-free phone calls using the built-in Bluetooth. When I called people, they said they could hear me clearly through the external microphone, and I was able to hear them through the speakers without any hiss or whistling sounds. The double DIN touchscreen makes dialing easy, and the system responds quickly and accurately to phonebook entries.

If you are fortunate enough to own an iPhone or an iPod, you will love how the JVC-KSU29 allows you to control both through the stereo. This saves you from hassling with discs while driving. With this cable adapter, you can control your playlists through the stereo controls. It also charges most iPods, but the iPhone and certain newer iPods require an additional cable, the Scosche PassPORT. The unit is truly versatile, as it also plays media from SD cards or USBs.

This unit makes your drive safer and more entertaining. I haven’t had time to install the steering wheel adapter yet, which will enable the stereo controls on the steering wheel. That measn no more reaching down towards the stereo while driving. That will only make this great unit even safer to use.

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