It's Christmas time for the consumer electronics industry. I'm not talking about the holidays or company profits based on sales for the gift-giving season, but rather CES, the world's greatest electronics trade show. It happens every January in Vegas and that's when manufacturers put on display all the gear that they hope will be the hot items for the new year. Car audio companies have been cracking the whip on their various elves to create new products while adding innovations to "older" ones. Here are a few things that are bound to be on many people's Christmas lists in '09. Whether you need iPhone connectivity and battery recharging in the car, a new navigation system or a CD receiver replacement for your factory radio, CES has it all-and more. If you didn't get what you wanted over the holidays, get it for yourself. See below.
Connect Your Iphone
Scosche Pass Port
If you're an iPhone fanatic like me and, much to your own chagrin, can't live without the device, then you'll appreciate yet another cool Scosche invention... The passPORT can be used for the new 3G phone and the latest iPod models. Developed in cooperation with Apple to ensure its compatibility and function for both OEM and aftermarket automotive products, this accessory connects your devices to any in-car iPod integration system to keep your indispensable Apple gadgets charged. MSRP is $29.99. Look for a similar product for home use from Scosche that will also allow you to use home accessories including speakers, alarms and docking stations with the iPhone 3G and new iPod models. Keep tabs on it here: www.scosche.com
Audio Video Navigation
Eclipse collects Innovations Awards like you collect speeding tickets. This Winner of a Best of Innovations 2009 award from CES is the next iteration of Eclipse's popular double-DIN AVN line. So how do you make a great product better? With more geeked-out technology of course. The AVN726E improves its audio-video-navigation source unit with digital video circuitry, boasting a superior image quality. Eclipse has taken the audio aspect to the next level as well with premium parts that cut down on distortion. And navigation is now memory-based. So no more DVD-ROMs to mess with. Look for more details after Eclipse unveils the product in full at this year's CES.Till then go to www.eclipse-web.com.
Kenwood DPX503, DPX303
Have you finally had enough with your lame factory radio? Kenwood's DPX503 and DPX303 are perfect double-DIN OE replacements that provide the latest in connectivity and sound performance. These CD receivers feature an illuminated front Aux input and USB port with 1-wire high-speed iPod control. That means you can control your iPods from the DPX instead of fiddling around with your music player while driving. The DPX503 has a large multi-line display with full-spectrum variable illumination and plays all of your MP3/WMA/AAC compressed audio files. Two RCA 2.5V pre-outs make it easy for audio system expansion. The DPX303 has a large fine-dot display with four lines of text and you can add iPod control with the KCA-iP500 iPod interface. IR remote controls are included and both models are Bluetooth, satellite radio and HD Radio Ready. MSRP for the DPX503 is $320. The DPX503 is targeted at $250. See www.kenwoodusa.com.