By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Grapevine, Texas — Pioneer went to the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA) KnowledgeFest to launch a 2013 single-DIN CD receiver lineup that expands smartphone connectivity to Android smartphones for the first time.
Android compatibility appears in five new head units priced at an everyday $90 to $150. A sixth head unit at $70 lacks the capability, which enables compatible heads to select music stored on a USB-connected Android phone by file name and folder when the phone is placed in mass-storage mode. To obtain the capability, users must also download a Pioneer Connect app to the phone, which will be able to take calls when in mass-storage mode, a spokesperson said.
The head units ship in late August.
Other smartphone connectivity options remain in the line and start at $90. They include a front-panel Made for iPhone/iPod USB connection that lets users access and play music stored on an Apple mobile device from the head unit’s front-panel controls. The USB connection also charges the Apple device with 1 amp of charging. An iPod/iPhone USB connection previously started at $100.
Another connectivity feature starting at $90 is head-unit control of all functions, excluding station creation, of Pandora’s Internet radio app installed on a USB-connected iPhone.
App Mode, also starting at $90, lets users listen to streaming-audio apps on a USB-connected iPhone through their stereo, and $90 also gets consumers the ability to play back MP3/WMA music stored on USB flash drives and some hard drives depending on the hard drive’s power requirements.
Starting at $100, the head units feature Mixtrax capability to deliver DJ-like special sound effects, even from music stored on an Android phone. Previously, Mixtrax appeared in only two single CD receivers at $199 and $229.
The $130 and $150 head units get stereo and hands-free Bluetooth, which previously started at $140. When paired with an iPhone 3G S, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, the two head units support hands-free Bluetooth access to an iPhone’s native voice-control feature. This lets drivers use the iPhone’s native voice-control feature to call a contact or select a playlist, song, artist or album without holding the iPhone.
Also in the line, HD Radio appears in the $120 model as in the previous line. Like the previous models, the new models do not connect to the SiriusXM SXV200V1 universal satellite-radio tuner.
All six head units feature aux input, FM RDS, 4x50-watt Mosfet amp, preamp outputs, and advanced sound retriever to improve the quality of compressed music stored. Models starting at $100 offer dual front/rear preamp outputs, wired-remote input, and multi-line multi-segment LCD display vs. 12-character display.
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