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Sony Offers SACD Car Audio

San Diego — Sony announced the first Super Audio CD (SACD) car head unit, which is also the company’s first double-DIN-sized DVD/monitor.

Sony said it is offering the XAV-W1 DVD player because it recently began seeing “a need on behalf of some of the audiophiles in the mobile segment for a different experience,” said Kengo Kurokawa, Sony’s mobile electronics marketing manager. He said some audiophiles want to produce in their car the same sound experience of their home system.

SACD sales, however, have remained sluggish, with combined SACD, DVD-Audio discs, cassettes and vinyl albums together totaling only $22.1 million in sales in the United States last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

The XAV-W1 has a 7-inch monitor and is satellite radio ready and can control an iPod when used with a separate adapter. It is also HD-Radio ready with a separate tuner and is compatible with 5.1 channel surround sound option. It supports Dolby Digital and DTS and will ship in August at approximately $800.

A single-DIN version with SACD and with Dolby Digital surround and DTS and similar satellite radio, iPod and HD-Radio capabilities will be available at approximately $280.