Car Audio

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This month we reviewed products from Clarion, Mobilistics, Exonic Mobile Entertainment, and XM Satellite Radio.

Clarion DXZ845MC Clarion's DXZ845MC features the company's Music Catcher technology, a platform that allows the head unit to store up to six CDs of music. Music Catcher enables users to download up to 128MB of WMA files in real time. Once downloaded, the unit's Music Catcher system transfers the music directly into a file management system. The unit is outfitted with an anti-distortion filter, which corrects sound quality problems associated with compressed audio formats like MP3. Part of the high-end ProAudio line, the DXZ845MC is an AM/FM tuner and can play CD, CD-R, CD-RW and MP3 files. It also features dual zone capabilities and a built-in subwoofer level control.

Mobilistics Dynamco Mobilistics' Dynamco is a remote-controlled electronic engine immobilizer built into a standard relay housing. The starter, fuel pump or ignition relay is simply replaced. Not only is the immobilizer passive arming, it is now passive disarming thanks to a unique motion-triggered remote control. No cutting of wires or major installation is required. Call 805-445-9911 for more.

Exonic Mobile Entertainment EXM 700P Exonic is a new division of Ample Entertainment. Its ready-to-install package system, the EXM 700P, includes dual 7-inch widescreen High Definition headrest-mounted monitors, a DIN-sized and easily mountable multimedia disc player, a TV tuner with amplified antenna, and two wireless IR headphones to limit driver distraction. Installation features allow seamless integration in vehicles with factory or aftermarket stereos with selectable FM transmission frequency.

Omnifi DMS1 The future is wireless. Stream your audio content stored on a computer hard drive or straight from the Internet to your vehicle without having to burn stuff on to a disc. The DMS1 should bridge the gap between digital PC-based audio content and a performance-oriented, mobile-based audio system. Thanks to the bandwidth, a consumer's vehicle needs to be just 150 feet from the PC source in order to receive the signal. If the consumer's vehicle is outside this range, there is the option of bringing the shell-protected hard drive from the PC to the car using a standard USB connection.

Peripheral Electronics PXGM24 Interface The PXGM24 interface allows up to two auxiliary input sources to play through OEM radios equipped with the GM 24-pin harness. The PXGM24 was created to provide a method for supplying a direct audio input for multimedia installations. The head-unit can toggle between all the possible sources as if they were factory installed, displaying CD, FM, AUX1, AUX2, etc. Some of the vehicle applications include 2003-2004 full-size pickups and SUVs, Trailblazer, Monte Carlo and Impala. The PXGM24 also has four independent level adjustments for each input channel.

XM Satellite Radio XMCommander What's your main issue with not getting on board with satellite radio? You don't want to buy a new, XM-ready head unit, right? Well, that excuse won't work any more. The XMCommander is an XM receiver that works with any AM/FM car stereo. A complete package, the unit features a compact controller with display screen (styled to integrate with the dashboards of most vehicles), an XM Micro Antenna, a remote control, and a small tuner box. Works with all AM/FM stereos, regardless of make, brand or year. Retails for $159.99.

Pioneer AVIC-N1 Pioneer's AVIC-N1 merges entertainment, information and vehicle dynamics technologies into one product. Route guidance information can be obtained, AM/FM/XM satellite radio can be played, DVD movies for rear passengers can be dialed up, all while monitoring the performance of the vehicle. Features a 6.5-inch, fold-away LCD monitor; a camera input; a nav with a 12-million points of interest (POI) database with more than 248 different categories; DVD video playback; CD/MP3 CDs; and AM/FM/XM satellite radio.

Rosen Entertainment A9 The A9 is a full-featured mobile video entertainment system with integrated DVD/CD/MP3 player and wide-screen 16:9 9.0-inch, digital quality LCD monitor. It's been designed to blend with your factory interior. Also features a compact design and lifetime warranty.

Panasonic CX-D3000U Panasonic's CX-D3000U is a single DIN-size mobile DVD player that plays both DVD and CD formats. For audio, users can listen to traditional compact discs or home-recorded CDs containing MP3 music files. The files can be organized into folders that can be named according to title, artist, type of music, etc. The CX-D3000U will then read and display this text information on an external video monitor (sold separately). The system is also able to read both single-layer and dual-layer DVDs, allowing commercially created and home-recorded movies and videos to be played. Retails for $349.95.

AudioControl DQS Six-Channel EQ AudioControl's 24-bit DQS boasts six input and output channels and is targeted at multi-channel in-car theater applications. It features 192 bands of equalization; 30 bands of constant-Q EQ on each channel plus two programmable parametric equalization controls for each pair of channels. EQ settings can be saved in one of eight non-volatile memory locations. In addition, the DQS can provide independent EQ controls for left, right, center, left surround, right surround and subwoofer. Retails for $59.

Car Audio