Heathrow, Fla. -
Dual is expanding its selection of mech-less head units with fold-out
iPod/iPhone docks, shipping a new model that adds multiple features, including
the option to dock iPods and iPhones horizontally, not just vertically.
Also unlike the
other models, the $149-suggested XML8150 digital media receiver lets users
control their docked device via the head unit's front-panel controls, not just
from the docked device's controls. Other changes include built-in hands-free
and stereo Bluetooth, front-panel USB, SD memory card input, 3.5mm aux input
and HD Radio-ready capability. iPods and iPhones can also be connected via the
front-panel USB input.
Thanks to the new
docking mechanism, the new model lets drivers mount an iPhone horizontally for
use as a portable navigation device (PND), charge it, and play navigation
prompts through the car speakers for louder playback. A 30-pin Apple connector
sits on the end of an accordion-like arm that folds out of the front panel and
rotates for vertical or horizontal docking. The arm also lets drivers place the
docked device to the right of the head unit's front panel and angle it toward
them for easy viewing.
The previous two head units, in contrast,
featured a dock that folded down from the front panel, allowing only for
vertical use and offering no ability to angle the device display toward the
"We are not the only company doing receivers
with iPod docks, but our dock design/solution is definitely unique in the way
it folds out from behind the faceplate and adjusts to horizontal and vertical positions,"
said marketing director Joanna Lukins. "I believe other manufacturers provide
shelf-like retractable docks as well as built-in docks, where you put your iPod
inside a receiver like you would a CD. Our solution allows consumers to safely
dock their devices in place and in clear view for the driver no matter what
they are using them for." That includes hands-free calling, she said.
The 4x60-watt head unit accommodates most
iPhone and iPod devices with 30-pin connectors, including the iPhone 4, iPod
touch and iPod nano models, the company said. Other features include MP3/WMA/AAC
formats through the USB and SD Card inputs, steering-wheel interface input for
use with optional module, three-band EQ with adjustable center frequency and
low pass filter, two-line black-and-white LCD display, and three pairs of
RCA-type preamp outputs for front and rear speakers and for subwoofers.