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Pioneer Upgrades Smartphone Linking In Car CD-Receivers

LONG BEACH, CALIF. – Pioneer unveiled the first eight models of its 2014 lineup of car CD receivers and added new smartphone-connectivity features.

Prices of the single-DIN head units range from a suggested $90 to $140.

New connectivity features include the ability to control basic playback functions of music stored on USB-connected Android phones, including play, pause, fast-forward, rewind, random and repeat. The head units also display song title, artist name and time information.

The Android phones must support the USB Media Transfer Protocol for music transfer.

Previously, the company offered CD receivers that selected music stored on a USB-connected Android phones by file name and folder when the phone is placed in mass-storage mode.

Like before, the CD receivers’ USB ports are compatible with iPods and iPhones and thumb drives.

In another connectivity enhancement, two models simplify the Bluetooth pairing process with iPhone devices. Those models deliver auto pairing over a physical USB connection. Users connect the iPhone to the CD receiver, which automatically prompts the user to confirm pairing and eliminates the wireless “searching for devices” process, the company said.

Both models can store pairing data for up to three phones.

All told, three models offer Bluetooth for hands-free calling and music streaming, and they are the company’s first CD receivers to support Siri Eyes Free on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. Siri Eyes Free enables voice control of such iPhone functions as placing a call, selecting music, composing and listening to text messages, getting navigation information, listening to notifications and adding reminders.

All eight new models also control Pandora internet radio on a USB-connected iPhone. Song and artist selection can be made directly from the receiver when the Pandora app is launched on the iPhone.

The three Bluetooth-equipped head units add the ability to control Pandora on a Bluetoothconnected Android phone. That feature was previously available only in higher-priced CD receivers.

Like before, the receivers also feature Mixtrax, a virtual DJ feature that takes the music from an iPhone, iPod Touch, USB device and select Android devices and adds transitions and effects. Six patterns of club-style illumination follow the beat of the music.

One model adds HD Radio.