Tag: radio

CB and 2-Way Radios – Why the Technology of the 50’s Is Still Relevant Today

Cobra Radio

If the world goes down a dark and bleak spiral, the people of the future are going to ask: “What’s a radio?” But not if we have anything to say about it. With the rise and domination of Smartphones and streaming media, radio is becoming less and less relevant to the people of today. Or so it seems.

You see, 2-Way radios are still relevant to the average person as much as it might not seem like it is. Why? Well a radio can communicate with another person from a distance.Cobra CXT1035RFLT

But so can a smartphone…

You can contact emergency services in case of an emergency.

But so can a smartphone!

You can quickly find out information about storms and other hazardous weather.

But there’s an app for that!

This is all true. But let me ask you this, how long does the battery last on your cell phone? How many times have you dropped a call or found yourself in an area where your data doesn’t work? How many times have you had to ask “Can you hear me now?” because of the static in the poor connection? Ahhh…. starting to make some more sense now?

Here’s the deal, cell phone companies don’t like to put towers up in places like mountains, or the middle of nowhere or in the middle of the ocean because it would cost more money to them than its worth (and possibly because they want to inconvenience us). If you’re someone who likes to hike, climb, boat or explore abandoned places, it’s a very good possibility that your phone isn’t going to work very well in those places and doing those things.  Do you want to rely on your cell phone if you get your arm caught in a rock like the guy from 127 Hours? Didn’t think so.

Radios are designed to be used in that kind of environment, your phone isn’t. Not to mention, if you’re biking and hiking, or on a boat, do you really want to risk dropping and breaking your phone or losing it in the water? A radio is like an insurance policy for your cell phone; small investment, big payoff.

A cell phone might be good idea for a 3 hour tour… But not for 3 year long TV series

Plus, you get some cool features like the one touch NOAA broadcast. With the push of one button you get access to the emergency weather station and can find out if you need get your skipper back to shore because a storm. If only Gilligan and his crew had one…

And, the Cobra CXR925 has a Rewind-Say-Again feature that will record the last 20 seconds of a transmission so you can play it back. Never miss an important detail again.

And think about this, if you’re tailgating, it’s lame to have to call someone in the car ahead of you, wait for them to answer and then try to hear them over your Hands Free Kit because you shouldn’t be talking on the phone while driving, and then have a conversation. Just press a button on your radio and start talking. Simple. And have you tried making a phone call at an amusement park with all the screaming kids and roller coaster noises in the background? It’s something out of a nightmare. A radio is meant for noisy environments so you know you’ll hear the other person.

So, still think they’re irrelevant? If so then you let me know how it goes trying to dial the nearest coast guard or ranger station when you get stranded in the ocean or on top of a mountain. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so why take a chance that you don’t have to take? Be prepared all the time, every time with a 2-way radio.

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Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT Review


By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

There are ordinary car stereos, and then there is the Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT. This model replaces the AVIC-Z3 in the line of Pioneer in-dash stereos. Talk about an upgrade – the AVIC-Z110BT is loaded with extra goodies. It has built-in Bluetooth, higher preamp voltage (4V as compared to the paltry 2.2V found in the AVIC-Z3), a 7-Band graphic equalizer with 6 presets (as opposed to the 3-Band, 5-preset EQ found in the AVIC-Z3), built-in flash memory maps, a built-in traffic tuner (the Z3 required an additional purchase), a speed display in navigation mode to help you avoid tickets, 1 set of RCA outputs, a rear USB input, and a SD card reader. Yeah, you might say it’s an upgrade.

This double DIN head unit is replete with a plush 7″ LCD Monitor that nearly spans across its entire frame. You can use the touchscreen monitor to access the built-in GPS navigation, Bluetooth, and to play media loaded on the SD and USB inputs. This receiver will also play your DVD’s, audio CD’s, and MP3’s. What’s more, you can use your iPod or iPhone with this unit to play any media stored on your Apple devices. Best of all, the AVIC-Z110BT has a customizable home screen, which allows you to set up shortcuts to all of your favorite devices. This makes it quick and easy to access them. And for those of you who really like to personalize your car stereos, you will appreciate how this unit allows you to use one of your personal photos as its background.


In comparison to the AVIC-Z3, the AVIC-Z110BT provides noticeably better sound quality due to the higher preamp voltage. The 4V makes a difference when transferring your audio to the rest of your components in your car audio system. Beyond excellent preamp voltage, its voice activation controls are worth mentioning. You can  vocally command the AVIC-Z110BT to run your navigation, play music from your iPod, or to make calls with the hands-free Bluetooth function. And this unit is smart enough to talk back – the text to speech technology announces the actual street name to help keep your eyes on the road and on the lookout for upcoming turns.

Lastly, the AVIC-Z110BT does not skimp on expandability options: besides everything mentioned above, you can add Satellite radio, HD radio, a rear camera, and even retain your steering wheel controls. There is very little this stereo can’t do – it is truly a 5-star model worthy of the price tag.

Watch this demo of the Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT to learn more:


Pioneer Premier DEH-P410UB


By Chelsey P. – Sonic Electronix Writer

Everyone is looking for a great deal this holiday season, and if you’re trying to find a gift for the last person on your list, why not give them something that will give them joy and great music! A new CD player is a great gift idea for those in your life who need a unit that can do it all without a fancy display and confusing interface. Pioneer Premier head units are made with the highest quality materials and will give your vehicle the sound it needs for years to come.

The Pioneer Premier DEH-P410UB is an in-dash CD/MP3 receiver with direct iPod connectivity and a front 3.5mm auxiliary input. The rear USB connection is perfect for someone with an iPod. There is no need for additional iPod modules, which means less money and installation time. A great feature unique to this Pioneer unit is the Advanced Sound Retriever technology. This restores the lost audio frequencies in compressed music, resulting in enhanced music playback. This head unit has many more options besides great iPod playback and audio features. For example, you can add Bluetooth and Sirius Satellite radio.

As you may have noticed in our previous post, we have our own 12V testing bay. So of course, I had to take this unit and test out all it’s features before introducing it to you. The OEL (Organic Electro Luminescence) display showed my iPod information such as artist and song information right there on the screen. This is a major plus in my book since I always have to know who I’m listening to.

The Pioneer Premier DEH-P410UB is a great Christmas gift and with all of its wonderful features, it will make anyone happy!


Pioneer Premier DEH-P710BT


By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

Sometimes it’s best to trust the experts. And when it comes to car audio, the Pioneer Corporation has been designing top quality products for over 70 years. The Pioneer Premier DEH-P710BT is the latest car stereo from this prestigious brand. This in-dash, CD, MP3 receiver with built-in Bluetooth will make your drive safer and more enjoyable. You will not need to purchase any additional accessories as this stereo includes the Bluetooth adapter and microphone. This unit will allow you to keep your hands on the wheel as you make and receive calls. Once you finishing talking on the phone the stereo will automatically switch back to whatever type of music or programming that was playing prior to phone call. That makes for a drive that is, pardon the pun, safe and sound.

Besides the built-in Bluetooth, the DEH-P710BT also includes many expandability features. The two rear USB inputs give you tons of flexibility for connecting your iPod, thumb drive or any other USB compatible digital media players. Most iPods can be connected directly via the USB cable. Beyond that, this head unit is also compatible with Satellite and HD radio. To add either of these special radio options you will need to purchase a combination of adapters and modules (as well as a subscription in the case of Satellite radio). Further connectivity options include connecting a CD changer (via the rear aux input) to hold additional discs and wiring a steering wheel control interface to retain your factory steering wheel controls. This makes controlling playback while driving easier and safer.

In terms of the actual faceplate, the DEH-P710BT has an easy to use interface with a large turn style knob for quick and easy volume/tuning control. The sleek faceplate is detachable, a great way to safeguard your stereo from theft. This is important since the OEL motion display allows you to load 3D full motion backgrounds. It almost goes without saying, but this stereo certainly catches the eye. It will also please your ears with its incredible sound quality. With a rating of 94 dB, it simply doesn’t get much better and from testing this unit, I can certainly attest to that. Beyond clarity, the 3 sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer) will enable you to build your entire car audio system around this pioneer stereo.



KW-AVX810By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

If you’re going to upgrade your car stereo system, you might as well get one with all of the “bells and whistles.” The JVC KW-AVX810 is an ultra cool in-dash, double din, DVD, MP3 and CD receiver with a 7” touchscreen. The 7” widescreen display makes it easy to enjoy movies and select the touchscreen menu buttons. Like the KD-AVX77, the touchscreen uses special proximity sensors to dim or hide the menu buttons as you draw your hand away from the screen. You don’t often see car stereos with proximity sensors, that is pretty rare! This head unit will blow your friends away with its special features.

This car stereo offers numerous expandability options for adding different formats of music. The laundry list of options includes a front SD Card aux input and a rear panel USB input. You can use these inputs for adding devices loaded with your favorite music. This stereo is also ready for Bluetooth, Satellite Radio, and HD Radio. Separate modules and subscriptions are required as indicated. Further, the KW-AVX810 is compatible with iPods and iPhones. Some iPods will plug right into the USB input while others may require an additional adapter. The list of add-ons doesn’t stop there. You can configure the KW-AVX810 with a steering wheel remote adapter to retain your factory steering wheel controls. It can also be wired with a CD changer if you would like to store multiple discs.

In terms of audio configuration, the KW-AVX810 doesn’t disappoint. The 3 sets of 5 volt preamp outputs (including a front, rear, subwoofer and/or center channel output) make it possible to wire this head unit to all of your audio components. When it comes to sound, the built-in 7-band parametric equalizer and 8 EQ presets give you the flexibility you need to find the perfect sound. You can tweak the sound even while driving using the remote control (included with your purchase of the KW-AVX810).

With its numerous options and fully customizable interface, the KW-AVX810 is a great buy! It is also detachable and fully motorized, making it easy to hide when necessary!