TORRANCE, CALIF. —
Alpine has begun shipping the first two head units in its 2011 lineup, both with built-in hands-free Bluetooth.
They are the $230-suggested CDE-125BT and $270-suggested CDE-126BT. Hands-free Bluetooth previously started at $250.
Both are single-DIN units with front USB input to connect to iPods/iPhones, USB sticks and external hard drives. They also sport a front 3.5mm input. Both require a KCE-433iV cable to deliver iPod/ iPhone control. The cable is included with the CDE- 126BT but sold separately at a suggested $30 for the CDE-125BT.
Both are rated at 4x18 watts RMS. The CDE- 125BT features red/blue illumination, one preout and MP3 playback via a CD or USB. The CDE-126BT features selectable red or blue illumination, two preouts and MP3/WMA/AAC playback via CD or USB. Both are compatible with the $140-suggested KTP- 445 power pack to boost power output.
Both feature built-in Bluetooth from Parrot, external microphone and a feature that reduces the potential for microphone feedback. To reduce feedback, both heads let the user assign one vehicle speaker for phone-call playback, choosing the speaker that reduces or eliminates feedback levels.
Contacts in the user’s address book can be accessed through the heads, which also display missed calls, dialed calls, and received calls if the phone itself can display that information. Caller ID is available if the caller is already listed in the user’s address book. The CDE-125BT and CDE-126BT also support voice-tag dialing and auto answer if the paired phone has these features.