Sony’s New Marine Head Units Provide iPod Connectivity
Sony today announced its first marine CD receivers that are able to connect directly to compatible iPod, iPhone or other digital music players via a USB connection.
The marine head units (models CDX-H910UI and CDX-M60UI) support new features including MemoryBackup and ZAPPIN technology. These features make it easier for boaters to control and find their favorite music on the water.
The company unveiled the marine head units and a Remote Commander remote control (model RM-X60M) today at the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX).
Enhanced iPod Player Control
The new marine receivers’ included 4.9-foot cable has a USB connector, which allows it to connect to iPod and other USB media players. The units support Quick-BrowZer feature allows users to control and select music via the “rotate and push” button. They also have a Passenger Control feature, so passengers can control the connected device itself while it’s being charged. For owners who store their boats during the off-season, Sony’s MemoryBackup function saves the settings of radio stations and favorite tunes when the main boat power is shut down.
Another unique Sony feature is ZAPPIN technology. It offers a way of searching large music libraries and listening to favorite songs. Similar to most car stereos’ scan buttons, the ZAPPIN technology continues to play a series of short music clips from your own music library until you can find your favorite song to match your mood.
The CDX-H910UI and CDX-M60UI models’ DM+ technology enhances the sound quality of compressed audio files. They also play MP3, non-DRM WMA and non-DRM AAC music files, include a red and blue key illumination and have three preouts for expanding marine entertainment options.
Additionally, the head units offer 52 watts x 4 high-power output, a direct sunlight viewable white LCD screen, and are also satellite radio and HD Radio ready. Both models require additional equipment for satellite radio and HD Radio compatibility. Satellite radio requires a subscription.
Designed with a retro, sporty look that is similar to the other dials found in a boat cockpit, the CDX-H910UI model is IPx5-compliant and splash-proof. The head unit is also sun and salt-resistant, and its large buttons and display make it easy to use. It also has a rear RCA auxiliary input for expanding marine entertainment options.
The CDX-M60UI marine stereo has a Jump Mode feature that helps users quickly search through even the largest music libraries and quickly find tracks. It also features an auxiliary input (and included cap) on the faceplate, facilitating the use of portable music players on a boat with a standard 1/8-inch mini jack cord (not supplied). This model has a traditional Xplod design with red and blue key illumination.
While the CDX-H910UI model is splash-proof, the CDX-M60UI unit comes with a drip panel and a conformal coating on the circuit board to help prevent water seepage and corrosion. The faceplate is treated with a UV coating to resist yellowing and fading. Sony offers a water-resistant stereo cover that fits snugly over the faceplate to help prevent water damage.
Additionally, Sony introduced a compatible Remote Commander remote control (model RM-X60M sold separately for about $130) that makes it easy to control the music from the front, back or the cabin of a boat (as far as the wire will reach). For about $100, Sony also offers a compatible RM-X11M model.
Pricing and Availability
The CDX-H910UI and CDX-M60UI marine receivers will be available for about $350 and $200 respectively in January at authorized retailers across the country.