Sony entered the market for Bluetooth car kits, shipping a $79 miniature square adapter that adds Bluetooth audio streaming and handsfree calling to a factory radio. It plugs into the auxiliary port of the radio and then also into a USB port for charging.
If the car doesn’t have a USB port, it can work with a simple adapter that turns a 12 volt plug or cigarette lighter into a USB port.
The user-installable kit, RMX7BT, gives users full voice control for commands like calling, navigation and listening to text messages. It uses Siri for iOS devices and a newly developed “Assistant” application for Android.
It comes with a round controller knob that can stick on to the car’s console.
Sony said it is still on track to ship its first radio with CarPlay and Android Auto, the XAV-AV100, in mid- to late November at $499 street price.
It is an in-dash mechless (without CD or DVD) AV deck with a 6.4 -inch screen, and Bluetooth. The 800 x 480 touch screen offers “improved visibility” including better night visibility and less sun glare. It is expected to be one of the least expensive CarPlay models available at the time it ships.
Sony also began shipping two new low end receivers that bring the price for Hi-Res Audio FLAC file playback down to a low of $79 suggested retail price. The new DCX-G1200U and CDX-G3205UV (with SiriusXM capability at $99.99) can play back FLAC files at up to 24 bit/48kHz through the USB drive.
Both decks also come with a new “karaoke” feature. One of the settings on the built-in 10-band equalizer, deliberately fades the vocal frequencies to a lower volume so you can sing along.
The receivers support Android Open Accessory protocol (AOA 2.0) to play content from your Android phone and display it on the radio screen through a USB connection from radio to phone.
The radios come with digital high pass and low pass filters and built in 55 watt x 4 amplifier plus a bass boost mode called EXTRA BASS.
They also have a configurable steering wheel remote input so you don’t need an adaptor to work with the steering wheel controls on certain vehicles. Installers can program the steering wheel controls directly from the radio.