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Sony Intros 2008 Marine Audio

Sony introduced four new marine audio models at the International BoatBuilders Exhibition (IBEX), including its first two marine units to support iPod control without the need for an extra adapter.

Last year, Sony’s marine audio line required a $50 accessory for iPod control.

As in the car audio market, suppliers are now adding connectivity to marine audio for iPods, HD Radio and satellite radio. Sony’s top three new models are HD Radio and satellite radio ready as well as water and UV resistant.

The new entry-level CDX-M10 has a front-panel auxiliary input to add an iPod or other portables to the system. The unit is not splashproof and requires an optional plexiglass shell. It will carry an estimated retail of $129 as will be in stores in February along with all of the new models.

The Sony CDX-M30 at $170 steps up to a two-line display, selectable red or blue illumination, and iPod control when used with an optional adapter. The unit also works with two Sony remote control units including the RM-X55M with a built-in LCD screen that can remotely operate an iPod as well as a head unit. The CDX-M30 is also HD Radio and satellite radio ready.

A new CDX-M50 adds out-of-the-box iPod control at $199 and the new top-of-the-line CDX-H905 IP adds splash-proof construction and a design to match a typical nautical cockpit at an estimated retail price of $349.

Sony retains the model CDX-HS70 in the line for a total of five 2008 marine audio head units compared to four in the 2007 line, it said.

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