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5 Car Audio Products Audiophiles Want

Clarion’s NX706 CD/DVD/navigation receiver — the company’s first high-res head unit — is capable of decoding 96/24 FLAC files. It also features 96/24 DACs. The receiver is part of the company’s Full Digital Sound (FDS) system, said to be the aftermarket industry’s first to deliver a digital signal from head unit to speakers. A digital Toslink output connects the head to an FDS processor, which in turn sends audio in digital form right up to the FDS speakers’ six-layer voice coils. The speakers incorporate the world’s first large-scale integrated (LSI) circuit chip designed to be integrated with speakers, according to Clarion. The head unit has a 7-inch WVGA touchscreen and 4x19-watt RMS amplifier for connection to traditional speakers. It also features 15-band parametric EQ with low- and high-pass filters, 3D maps, and HDMI input to mirror smartphones displays, though the head unit’s touchscreen will not control the phones’ apps. The NX706 carries a $999 suggested retail.

Sony’s RSX-G59 media receiver features Hi-Res Audio certification, built-in Bluetooth and NFC, and USB playback and charging. It’s natively compatible with the DSD format (5.6MHz/1-bit, 2.8MHz/1-bit), while standard-res files can be up-scaled via Sony’s Digital Sound Enhancement Engine technology. The system also features Sony’s ES9018S 32-bit DAC built in. Components are enclosed in a dual-layer chassis, engineered to result in low resonance and interference. Suggested retail is $1,499.

JVC’s flagship KW-M730BT mech-less multimedia receiver is one of the company’s first units equipped with the combination of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (The DVD-equipped KW-V830BT, launched at the same time, is the other such device offered by JVC.) The KW-M730BT is also the company’s first dedicated digital media receiver. It features the El Kameleon flat-face design with a 6.8-inch touch panel and a virtual viewing adjustment feature that offsets angled installations. The device is SiriusXM ready, and can connect to two smartphones simultaneously via Bluetooth to make hands-free calls, play stored content, or stream directly from the receiver interface. Storage media can also connect and/or charge through two USB ports. Audio processors can accommodate 192kHz /24-bit high-resolution audio and FLAC. Suggested retail is $499.

Billed as an alternative to traditional woofer, enclosure and amp combos, Harman International’s Infinity BassLink DC compact powered subwoofer system is engineered to pack powerful sound in a design that’s small enough to be removed should cargo space be needed. The integrated subwoofer system features a 10-inch driver, 10-inch passive radiator, 200-watt RMS Class D amplifier, and a precision compressor to control system behavior at peak power levels. It has an easy-to-install design with quick-disconnects and quick-release connections, and comes with a 180-degree phase switch, input sensitivity and variable bass EQ options The glass-reinforced ABS enclosure is water-resistant, making it additionally suitable for marine and off-road vehicles. Suggested retail is $399.

Pioneer Electronics’ TS-WX70DA active add-on subwoofer features the company’s proprietary Digital Bass Control, designed to control frequency response and increase the performance of the subwoofer system in the car. Two selectable bass modes are available: Deep (for jazz and classical) and Dynamic (for EDM and hip-hop). It features a shallow 3.75-inch height but packs in a 200-watt class D amplifier and two 6.5-inch dual voice coil (DVC) subwoofer drivers in a back-loaded horn enclosure design. A wired remote is included. Suggested retail is $500.

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