I have an iPod-compatible Alpine deck in my Kia, and I couldn’t live without it. That being said, I’m seriously considering trading up to the iDA-X001, Alpine’s latest offering, and the first deck by Alpine or anyone else designed with input from Apple’s iPod team.
Not only can the deck connect to your iPod via its dock port, but it can control it as well. Information from your iPod, such as track listings, song length, and album art, shows up on a SlideShow-like 320×240, 2.2-inch full color screen. Awesome.
But iPods aren’t the only portable devices this do-all works with. Indeed, it has a standard USB port to take music from a thumbdrive, as well as stereo Bluetooth (via optional adapter) to work with your mobile phone’s music library, as well as enabling Bluetooth-based hands-free calling without a dorky ear piece. In addition, you get access to that mysterious HD-Radio, and it’ll even work with your XM or Sirius receiver.
We’re not sure if the deck will play back your iPods video, but even if it doesn’t, we can’t complain. At $450, this stereo is very attractive, as that’s a decent price for car audiophiles. It’s slightly larger than most car decks, but other than the size, we can’t think of much wrong with this deck. You’ll be able to get your hands on one early Summer, 2007.