OEM integrators who specialize in adapting after-market products to factory radios are focusing on bringing iPod, Zune and HD Radio capability to an existing car radio.
Many are also showing new Bluetooth adapters with audio streaming from a cellular phone and hands free calling.
Mitek is debuting its first OEM integration device called the Re-Q. The re-Q is a "black box" that connects to an OEM amplifier to correct factory bass rolloff, which is the circuitry used by OEM radios to automatically lower the bass when a user turns up the volume. The unit restores the true bass. Shipping is expected to ship in the first quarter at a price to be announced.
Peripheral will ship its first all-in-one adapter that can add many devices at once to factory radios. This "hub" or gateway is called the Gateway2Car and it allows the car radio to connect to almost any device a driver would want to play through his sound system: an iPod, a Bluetooth cellular phone with music, an MP3 player, a Microsoft Zune and HD Radio.
The new Gateway2Car comes in a modular format so that the basic unit offers iPod connectivity, and the step up package adds stereo Bluetooth and MP3 player capability. The Gateway2Car can also connect to Peripheral's HD Radio receiver. The Gateway plugs into the satellite radio port of the radio while retaining satellite radio capability. The unit will ship in the first quarter at $149 for the basic iPod connector. Prices on the other adapters will be announced.
Scosche is launching an adapter that clips to the bottom of an iPod to make it Bluetooth ready and able to stream music, without wires, to a Pioneer or Sony head unit.
Also new from Scosche is an adapter for the latest Apple nano. The Scosche NRFM2 has a built-in FM transmitter that displays the available frequencies on the nano itself. It also has a built-in remote control that can be attached to the steering wheel. Shipping in December, the NRFM2 has a $79.99 suggested retail.
BlitzSafe is offering one of the least expensive direct-connection universal iPod interfaces. The new UIIFX has an active circuit to match the audio level of the radio. It connects the iPod to the radio via auxiliary input, or through an auxiliary interface or FM modulator. It also charges the iPod and goes into sleep mode after a 20-minute charge, when the car ignition is turned off. The unit ships this moth at $66 for an initial one month offering and then $76 suggested retail price.
Although not an OEM integrator, AudioControl is shipping an OEM integration device called the DQL-8 that is a processor which allows the interface of an after-market amplifier with a factory car radio. It also has an input for an iPod or satellite radio module at a suggested $599.