Sony announced several new 2013 single DIN CD car radios to ship this fall, including two targeted for car audio specialist retailers. Additionally, several of the new radios have an App Remote feature that improves smartphone integration with the lineup.
Since single DIN radios don’t bear much of a screen, App Remote lets the phone become an add-on mini screen for a car radio (Sony suggests you mount the phone with a windshield kit).
With App Remote–an iPhone or Android app–your phone can control your car radio functions, launching the tuner, CD, USB or apps directly from the phone. Internet radio plays through the car’s speakers.
“The smartphone display becomes a supplemental display. If you have a phone cradle for the dash, you will see artist and song information, and cover art. You can forward to the next track or album on the phone,” said Sony Business Manager for Mobile Taka Noguchi.
Conversely, the car radio can control and launch apps that reside on the phone. “So without touching the smartphone you can launch Pandora or Slacker, or navigation or YouTube,” he added.
With Android phones, if you receive a text, it can be read aloud through the car’s speaker,
The app works with new Sony CD/radios starting at $159 for the new MEX-BT3100P with built-in Bluetooth. (The app is not backwards compatible with older radios).
The app also works with a new MEX- BT4100, also with built-in Bluetooth
And there’s a third model that’s targeted for specialists, called the MEX-GS600R (also App Remote compatible). It’s a new GS head unit, and joins the line of GS amps and speakers for specialist retailers Sony introduced earlier.
All of the above models offer Pandora control via an iPhone, Android phone and Blackberry. They are SiriusXM ready using a new SXV200VI tuner (with Xtra SiriusXM channels).
The MEX-GS600BT, MEX-BT4100P and MEX-BT3100P will be available in November for approximately $249, $189 and $159 respectively.
Also new is a second GS model aimed at specialist retailers called the CDX-GS500R ($199). It is also App Remote ready but only for the iPhone and ships in October.
Then there’s a new low cost HD radio called the CDX-GT710HD ($149) that ships in November.
Both of the above models control Pandora playing on an iPhone and are SiriusXM ready.