Sony Hits Breakthrough Car Audio Prices

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Updated. Sony revamped the low to mid-end segment of its car audio line to include what it termed breakthrough pricing on Pandora and Sirius XM decks.

Sony shows lowest cost sat radio decksIt will also deliver next month the first aftermarket car radio that can control Pandora on an Android or BlackBerry phone, said Sony’s Mike Kahn, director of Alpha cameras and mobile music.

At the heart of the new line is a near-basement priced radio with satellite radio capability.  At $100 SRP, the CDX-GT56UI CD receiver works with a new Sirius XM SXV100 tuner at $69 (with some TiVo -like features). It also offers full iPod and iPhone control.

“It’s the first aftermarket head unit to be compatible with satellite radio under $100. We think there’s still a lot of versatility and usability left in satellite radio,” said Kahn.

There’s an even lower priced version–CDX-GT360MP–for $90 that works with the new sat radio tuner, but this model lacks iPod control and it has a single pre-out.

Sony is also aggressively pricing two Pandora CD receivers.  At $130, a  CDX-GT565UP controls an iPhone and controls Pandora.  You can mark songs with a thumbs up or thumbs down.   It’s joined by a version that is identical but for a slide-down face plate at $150.

Pandora control is also found on 2 new Sony radios that lack CD mechanisms.    For Android and BlackBerry owners is a DSX-S310BTX that controls Pandora via a Bluetooth connection between the phone and the radio. The same radio will also control Pandora on an iPhone via USB at $280.

A second CD-less deck, the DSX-S210X, controls Pandora from an iPhone only at $200. Both models use Sony’s Tune Tray feature– the radio slides open so your  iPod can be stored inside  (without dangling wires).

The line refresh will be available next month starting with the leader model CDX-GT260MP at $70. It has a simple front USB slot and aux-in plus MP3 capability. It’s $10 cheaper  than Sony’s current price leader and it includes new chip technology to improve radio reception.

There’s also a CDX-GT40U that permits use of a USB drive.  It is iPod compatible (without radio control) at $95.

Source: Sony Electronics

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16 Comments

  1. If you are not charging for your installs shame on you. The money isn’t made selling a head unit anymore , it’s made in the back room. Easily a head install can top the price of a price leader head unit.

  2. Well no suprise here.Many manufacturers(most?)don’t seem to want to dance with the one who brought them. After thirty years in this business with the last five trying to stay in business instead of trying to grow is discouraging to say the least.I don’t see any clear answers to the mobile electronics situation,but i will say that some manufacturers have no qualms about what they are doing to the independent.I for one am evaluating everything i sell and the ones who help me i will help. Just sayin!

  3. Unfortunately head unit manufacturers are out of touch with the public. Stock head units look substantially better despite their terrible performance. Technology has jumped way ahead and these guys are playing catch up. Although this here is probably the best effort I’ve seen by any manufacturer.

    I’ll give them that their market is not just determined by the customer but car suppliers. There’s only so much you can cram into a single DIN and nowadays it looks like crap and not all cars support double DIN. Even still, the option to move to a double din is limited unless you go touch screen. Touch screens are useless to a safe driver and dangerous to those who aren’t.

    The reason why installers dont make any money anymore is because it is a job wasted on customers who have yet to purchase a computer and discover the internet. Installing a car stereo is about the same as a house painter or gardener, they’re only hired by people too lazy to do it themselves.

    Obviously, high end vehicle people will want to have a professional install but then you cater to a market that is so small its no wonder you dont make any money.

    Get on Apple to make a head unit, it will be overpriced but beautiful and full of limited features that always work. Then jailbreak it to give it unlimited features. Then, installers – jump on the Apple bandwagon and make some money!

  4. John Haynes said it the way it ought to be… If you feel a suopplier’s practice is not good for your business; do something. Vote with your purchasing dollars. Seek out suppliers who understand and deliver Profit, Identity and Predictability. Resolve to sell these brands to consumers as opposed to allowing consumers to “just purchase” what some other retailer (or supplier) has told them to buy at that other retailer’s “we beat all prices” price. Be in charge of your business.

    Ray Windsor
    German Maestro

  5. Here we go again.
    Let’s face it Sony does not know what their place in the market is any more. They appear to be floundering. Instead of trying to be at the top they want the bottom? (do you remember Trinitron, Walkman, all top shelf products) And once again they do not listen to their US dealer network. At CES several years back I told the Sony national that Sony had won the race to zero, zero profitability = zero support! My follow up after that, I submitted no more purchase orders! It seems that the (can we say it?) (Japanese) management does not understand the retail market they are building product for. They feel price alone will drive (online) sales. Sadly they may be right in the short term.
    To summarize Sony upper management is operating in the dark ages and has lost all contact with present day economic realities, and does not care. After all they are Sony.

  6. Why support a company that won’t support you.There are plenty of manufactures out there that have a better plan.I stopped selling sony when they discontinued the “es” line(way back). Since then sony has done nothing for 12 volt but brought the market down.I have always said if you can’t compete with the big boys then the next step is to drop your pants(prices).It seems they’re good at that.

  7. i am already giving away free radios with an install price of $200.00. same outcome. morris katz used to sell radios for $0.10 each as a promotion. we have gone full circle. g.

  8. I am an old timer .Been in the trade for more than 40 yrs.Iwas at a meeting years ago when sony was just entering car audio. They were picking dealers brains for information on what they should offer in products. We were told that they would never sell to big box retailers.Iguess selling on the internet is doing to the big retailers what they have already done to us.Are we suprised guys?

  9. At some point in time, there has to be a stopping point, right? I mean…isn’t there SOME value to the products that we sell? The car stereo business was built by the independent retailer and small specialty chains. The expertise to install these products in today’s cars still resides there. But, without a dollar return per sale, the 12V shops find it harder and harder to do business.

    The sad thing is that at some point, lower pricing does not even increase unit sales, so we are basically giving money away for no gain. Time to reevaluate your partners, see who is providing the best profit attainability for you and vote with your purchasing dollars!

  10. It will be in Wal-Mart, Sams etc for even less! I wonder if I can make enough profit after paying employees, insurance, lights, etc. to afford a burger off the dollar menue! Just saying…….

  11. Soon we’ll be giving away radios for $50 that cost $46 and the
    customer will expect a free install as well.

  12. Worse yet, is the give away prices Sony sells the product direct from their own website. I thought they (and many other companies now) were manufacturers, not retailers. And they wonder why our numbers are down.

  13. I agree with Barry. Oh no, did I just say that in print?
    Sony is definitely coming back on strong. We surely do NOT
    need to give away technology that customer’s will pay more money.

  14. Great product and cutting edge technology. The market is proving there is still a lot of life left in head units. I just wish we could break the cycle of feeling we must give it away to sell it.

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