When I first saw that Sony has introduced an in-car entertainment system I presumed the company did so in partnership with an automaker. Most systems like the XAV-602BT are selling features in new cars.
But this system is for the aftermarket, and I wonder if we won’t see more systems like it.
Sony’s XAV-602BT features smartphone connectivity and an optional GPS module (XA-NV300T) with TomTom® navigation. The Car Connectivity Consortium’s MirrorLink provides the smartphone connectivity, and Sony’s system works with Sony’s Xperia Z and ZL phones as well as with some Samsung phones. MirrorLink allows the phone to be controlled from a steering wheel, dashboard, or head unit.
The XAV-602BT receiver includes Sony’s App Remote™ technology for Android™ and iOS® devices, which is said to combine music and select smartphone apps into a single source list that can be displayed and controlled from the receiver. App content is displayed on the smartphone while audio content plays through the speakers.
When used with Android devices, App Remote for the XAV-602BT enables voice control of apps and functions including navigation, music playback, and notification readouts such as RSS feeds, Twitter, and text message reply.
The optional navigation module has a USB connection and includes an SD card that stores the TomTom® map. The system is not dependent on the phone.
Sony’s aftermarket in-car entertainment system provides DVD video playback as well as playlists and album art on a 6.1″ touchscreen display. The system’s sound engine and dynamic reality amp offer 52 watts x 4 power, a 4.1 multi-channel surround sound, and a virtual center speaker. A digital clarity tuner is said to improve stereo channel separation and sound quality even where FM signals are weak.
The system integrates Bluetooth® for wireless playback, track control, and display of song information from Bluetooth enabled MP3 players or smartphones. The receiver also offers front and rear USB connectivity for Walkman®, iPod®, iPhone, Android, Blackberry® and other compatible USB devices.
Other features include Pandora Internet radio, access to SiriusXM® (via an SXV200 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit sold separately), a Dynamic Color Illuminator® for different light effects, and five-volt front, rear and sub RCA preamp outputs.
Sony’s systems are due in October, with the receiver priced at $549.99 suggested retail and the navigation system priced at $249.99. Interesting options that cost less than a new car.