The InCharge Auto BT is a simple device, both in form factor and function. Essentially, it features a 12-volt power connection on one end of a 4-foot cable and a male analog auxiliary audio connection on the other. You may be asking, "If one end of the cable connects to power and the other end connects to the car, where does my phone connect?" The answer is: wirelessly. That "BT" at the end of InCharge Auto BT doesn't stand for Brian Tong. It's short for Bluetooth and this unit uses Bluetooth HFP and A2DP/AVRCP to wirelessly receive audio from your handset to be output to your car's speakers via the aforementioned auxiliary audio connection. … Read more
For me a great hi-fi doesn't necessarily have to be the best-sounding one.
It's more about a sound that draws me in. One CD or LP leads to the next, and I don't want to stop to eat, read, go to bed, or watch TV. A great hi-fi is one that lets the music cut loose. Even cheap gear might have what it takes to get my juices flowing. Take the Velodyne vPulse in-ear headphones; they make too much bass and are far from the most refined headphones in my collection, but I keep using them. I … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Pioneer's smartphone-centric AppRadio impressed us when it launched last year, but we had our complaints. We wanted more apps, better hardware, and Android support.
At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, that's exactly what we got with the announcement of Pioneer's AppRadio 2.
The most interesting new trick in this second-generation hardware's bag is Pioneer's announcement of support for Android devices, specifically those that are equipped with either a Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) or Micro-HDMI connection. This is an interesting twist, as I assumed that Pioneer would be taking the wireless Bluetooth Serial Port … Read more
I know a little about under-dash record players from the late 1960s, but I was totally clueless about 1950s car turntables, until I heard writer Paul Collins talking about them on WNYC's "Soundcheck" radio show a few weeks ago. I chatted with Collins to learn more about these groovy hi-fis.
Columbia Records developed the proprietary Highway Hi-Fi format: a thick 7-inch, 16 2/3rpm record that had up to one hour playing time per side. Chrysler executives jumped on the idea, and offered the turntable as an option in their 1956 models, and were hoping one out … Read more
Remember the Parrot Asteroid that was previewed at CES 2011? It was to be the first car audio receiver to be based on Google's Android mobile operating system. Well, it's here and I got my hands on it.
Like no Android device I've ever seen Although the Asteroid is based on Android 1.5, you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at it. The interface of the single DIN unit looks nothing like any Android device that you've likely ever seen. It's been heavily simplified and optimized for in-car use. Half of … Read more
To go along with the consolidation of the Sirius and XM satellite radio services, the new SiriusXM rolled out a unified hardware platform: the SXV100 SiriusXM Connect vehicle tuner. We've already seen the first receiver to offer compatibility with the SiriusXM Connect from Alpine. Now, Sony strikes back with the second, third, fourth, and fifth as most of its new CDX line of CD receivers is now compatible with SiriusXM's module.
Four of the six new CDX receivers feature compatibility with the SXV100 SiriusXM Connect module ($60) and connect to the module's proprietary connection. The SXV100 draws … Read more
Back in December I leased a 2011 Kia Sportage, and one of my favorite features by far is the Bluetooth stereo. No more messy cable running from my iPhone to the aux jack; now all my audio gets beamed automagically via Bluetooth.
Alas, what I don't get is any information about the song that's playing. So if I hear something I don't immediately recognize, I have to pick up my phone, turn it on, and focus on the screen for a second--not exactly safe.
That should change with the arrival of iOS 5. According to 9to5 Mac, … Read more
Pioneer has been slowly adding iPhone app integration to its line of AVIC all-in-one receivers for the last two generations. First came PandoraLink, then Aha Radio and Motion-X GPS Drive in the latest generation. Today, Pioneer announced at an event in San Francisco that it's taking smartphone app integration to the next level with AppRadio: a standalone in-dash receiver that uses the iPhone and its apps as the primary source of for its audio and connectivity.
In a nutshell, AppRadio acts as a terminal, allowing users to interact with the apps and media stored on their smartphones, particularly Apple'… Read more
For most people this won't be an easy question to answer, because they listen to music in a variety of places. Sure, you might spend a good deal of time listening to tunes in your car or while exercising, so maybe the question should be, what's the best, most musically satisfying place you listen to music?
Thinking like an audiophile, I have to ask, does sound quality play any part in choosing where you listen? Or is it mostly a matter of convenience? I suppose a lot of folks have better sound systems in their cars than at … Read more