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 play back music stored on a USB-connected Android smartphone that uses the USB Media Transfer Protocol for music transfer. The head units also control basic playback functions on the Android phones, including play, pause, fast forward, rewind, random and repeat. The head units also display song title, artist name and time information.
The CD-receivers’ USB ports are also 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 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 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 Bluetooth-connected Android phone.
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.