If there was one digital-thing I’ve been anticipating, it was a head unit I could install that would offer the same flexibility, control and interaction as my iPod. Finally, that "thing"
Alpine Electronics has dropped the best "Made for Apple" in-car audio experience. It is the iDA-X001 Digital Media Receiver and it is available right now. Not only has it been picking up such awards as the 2007 iLounge.com Best in Show and a CES Innovations 2007 Award, but the device is flush with features at a great price.
Alpine designed the iDA-X001 to have a pure digital USB connection, and to allow users to naturally and easily navigate through all of the digital content on their iPod via the head unit. The result is the highest possible iPod sound quality and most iPod-like experience in the car. The iDA-X001 has sound-tuning features such as bass and treble with center frequency and Q adjustability, and three pairs of RCAs for system expandability. When playing music from fifth-generation iPods, the iDA-X001 has a signal-to-noise ratio that rivals CD-quality.
It is designed with the same screen ratio as the iPod itself and includes a color 320 x 240 pixel TFT screen. The screen displays artist, album and track information, and even album art from the iPod. The iDA-X001’s self-return dial is designed to quickly and efficiently search through multiple files. The jog dial and button portion of the faceplate can be removed for anti-theft purposes.
Fifth-generation iPods with the latest firmware are able to link directly to the iDA-X001 via a direct high-speed USB connection. The iDA-X001’s pure digital USB connection provides fast data transfer, quick command response and superior iPod sound. It provides full digital audio using a 24-bit Burr Brown DAC and has a built-in 18 Watt x 4 amplifier (at CEA-2006 power ratings) and 3 pre-outs. The iPod data access speed is approximately 25 thousand times faster than Alpine’s Full Speed™ Connection for iPod cable (Full Speed cable transfer rate: 19.2 kBps; USB transfer rate: 480 mBps).
For earlier-generation iPods, the iDA-X001 retains Alpine’s Full Speed for iPod Connection capabilities through the KCE-422i (sold separately, $30 suggested retail index). The Full Speed cable gives access to expanded iPod search options: playlist, artist, album, song, genre, podcasts and composers (except video playlists and audiobooks). The iDA-X001 can support both a USB iPod and another iPod connected via the Full Speed cable at the same time.
The iDA-X001 is built on Alpine’s proprietary Ai-NET BUS platform, which allows it to connect to a variety of digital media sources and formats, including XM® or SIRIUS® Satellite Radio, HD Radio™ and USB-based MP3 players. The unit is also Bluetooth ready and has a “phone” button which allows access to the user’s address book, missed, dialed and received calls. A Bluetooth indicator notifies the user when the Bluetooth module recognizes the phone and is ready for operation (separate interface adapters and service subscriptions required).
The iDA-X001 is available now at authorized Alpine dealers for $450 (SRI). Visit www.alpine-usa.com to learn more about Alpine products or to find an authorized retailer.