updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon October 6, 2008
Sony iPod marine headunits
Sony on Monday introduced its first marine CD receivers that are able to connect directly to compatible iPod, iPhone and other music players through a USB cable. The CDX-H910UI and CDX-M60UI head units also come with Sony's MemoryBackup and ZAPPIN features, with the former saving radio station presets when the boat is in storage and the latter offering a short preview of a song to allow users to navigate large music collections. At the same time, the company rolled out the Remote Commander RM-X60M remote control, which is compatible with the head units. All three new products were unveiled at the International Boatbuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) show.
Each head unit includes a near 5-foot long USB cable that will connect to portable audio players with a USB connection. Users can then control the content via the head unit itself thanks to Sony's Quick-BrowZer feature or lets passengers make the call via the connected device itself.
Both head units share DM+ technology that enhances the sound quality of compressed audio files such as supported MP3 and non-DRM WMA and AAC formats. Either has three RCA preouts for adding other gear such as amplifiers and subwoofers, or provide 52W x 4 on their own. Each has a bright LCD display that is viewable in direct sunlight, and can, with additional equipment, play HD and Sirius XM satellite radio signals. The CDX-H910UI is IPx5-compliant, being able to withstand low-pressure water jets, and has a rear RCA auxiliary input for connecting other source units. The CDX-M60UI has a front 1/8-inch stereo input and is water resistant rather than waterproof.
The wired remote control, the RM-X60M, can be hooked up to the receivers to allow users to control their operation from another location on the boat. It will be priced at $130 when it ships, with the CDX-H910UI marine receiver priced at about $350, while the CDX-M60UI will cost nearly $200. All three products will be available in stores this January.