The next time you’re at a red light, take a minute to look around at the other drivers around you. Chances are, most of them are staring at their phones. Even at a stoplight this is dangerous, so it’s good that the people at Sony have developed the XSP-N1BT, billed by Sony as “the first ever Smartphone Cradle Receiver.”
The Sony XSP-N1BT In-Car Smartphone Cradle Receiver essentially transforms multiple brands of smartphone into a dashboard touchscreen entertainment console, so that you can access your music and other media safely and conveniently while behind the wheel. And it connects to your car’s stereo either wirelessly or by USB, depending on your phone.
As you might imagine for a product that’s supposed to be the first of its kind, Sony is pretty excited about the XSP-N1BT, issuing a lengthy press release which you can check out below. And according to that statement, the Sony XSP-N1BT In-Car Smartphone Cradle Receiver will be available in May for the price of $250.
Here’s the official press release from Sony:
SONY ANNOUNCES THE FIRST SMARTPHONE CRADLE RECEIVER AND BLUETOOTH® WITH NFC ENABLED IN-CAR ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEMS
by Communications 01/06/2014
Industry’s First Smartphone Cradle Receiver Turns Smartphones into In-Dash Touchscreen Controllers
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (CES booth #14200) – Jan. 6, 2014 – Sony Electronics today introduced the first ever Smartphone Cradle Receiver allowing multiple brands of smartphones to serve as in-dash touchscreens. Sony also introduced seven new in-car entertainment systems, including six of the industry’s first Bluetooth® with Near Field Communications (NFC) models, featuring enhanced connectivity, control, and music playback from smartphones. The new models include Sony-exclusive App Remote™ technology, which turns Bluetooth-connected Android™ phones and USB-connected iPhone® devices into supplemental music displays and head-unit controllers, making it easier and more convenient to experience music, navigation, and smartphone applications while in the car.
Sony also launched its first in-dash entertainment unit with an HDMI and an MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) port to mirror the display of the iPhone 5, 5s, 5c with the Lightning™ Digital A/V Adaptor, and the iPhone 4 and 4s with the 30-pin Digital A/V Adaptor and other equipped smartphones.
Sony holds the distinction of being among the first to market with MirrorLink™ and has introduced a new MirrorLink-equipped multimedia head unit.
In addition, Sony has expanded its premium GS series lineup exclusively for specialty channels, including three speakers and two subwoofers.
“Consumers are now using their smartphones as a primary music source in the car, in addition to accessing key apps,” said Andrew Sivori, vice president of the Sound Division at Sony Electronics. “Our new head units are designed to maximize smartphone capabilities while making control and operation more convenient on the road.”
Sony’s new XSP-N1BT, the industry’s first double-DIN Smartphone Cradle Receiver, features a clamping system that holds a wide range of smartphones securely in the dash. With its second generation AppRemote interface, the smartphone’s touchscreen controls head-unit functions via Bluetooth (Android devices) or via USB (iPhone). AppRemote also facilitates voice operation of both the head unit and the smartphone. And thanks to its IR remote, the XSP-N1BT offers CD, USB and tuner source functionality even without a smartphone. The IR remote can also be utilized to select apps and head unit sources displayed on the App Remote menu screen.
The smartphone cradle receiver provides a charging capability via a compact USB cable. Sony’s new Xperia™ smartphones[i] charge without a cable via a magnetic connector.
Integrated Bluetooth Technology for CD Receivers
Sony is the first car audio manufacturer to offer Bluetooth with NFC one-touch connection, as well as convenient hands-free calling and music streaming, in the new MEX-N4000BT, MEX-N5000BT and MEX-N6000BH CD receivers, as well as in the expanded GS series lineup including the MEX-GS610BT and MEX-GS810BH CD receivers. With NFC, users simply touch their phone against the head unit to activate and connect to Bluetooth.
The units are also App Remote 2 enabled, offering voice control to make calls, select and play music, hear and compose text messages and emails, obtain mapping information, and listen to notifications.
To simplify the Bluetooth pairing process for iPhone devices, compatible models are enabled for Auto Pairing via a USB connection. By simply connecting an iPhone to the Sony receiver using a USB cable, the receiver will automatically prompt the user to confirm pairing, eliminating the need to go through the wireless “searching for devices” process.
The head units support a complete music streaming experience, allowing wireless playback, track control, and display of song information from smartphones and Bluetooth enabled MP3 players. The MEX-N5000BT model features an external microphone, and the MEX-N6000BH adds built-in HD Radio. The MEX-GS610BT offers dual USB ports and 5V preamp-outputs, while the MEX-GS810BH adds HD Radio as well.
The new CD receivers also incorporate the Advanced Sound Engine DSP processor for great sound quality, driven by 55Wx4 output power. Together with ClearAudio+™, a unique technology that leverages Sony’s expertise in digital signal processing developed over generations of perfecting sound, it delivers a rich, high-quality listening experience.
Sony’s A/V lineup runs the gamut from the opening price point XAV-65 receiver to the ultra-premium XAV-712HD receiver. The XAV-712HD includes MirrorLink, Bluetooth, HD Radio, HDMI and MHL ports, and App Remote version 2. It also includes a Micro USB to MHL cable as well as an HDMI cable.
Pump up the Volume
Sony’s new GS series XS-GS1621, XS-GS1621C, and XS-GS6921 speakers, developed exclusively for the specialty channel, deliver rich, powerful sound. The new XS-GSW121 and XS-GSW121D subwoofers offer high power handling and superior sound quality. Featuring MRC Honeycomb diaphragms, they maintain high rigidity for powerful bass with low distortion. The entire GS series lineup includes a 3-year warranty.
In addition to integrated Bluetooth and USB connectivity, Sony continues to integrate control of Pandora® internet radio into its new receivers. These Pandora-ready models let consumers listen to and control Pandora streaming content through connected iPhone, Android, and Blackberry® phones. Drivers will experience richer sound and customizable audio settings with Sony’s Advanced Sound Engine.
The receivers also offer access to SiriusXM using the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit (sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required). The SXV200 is the first SiriusXM Vehicle Tuner that receives SiriusXM’s expanded channel lineup, providing more commercial-free music, plus more sports talk, more comedy, and more exclusive programming including SiriusXM Latino, the most comprehensive Latin programming lineup, featuring exclusive commercial-free music channels covering a wide variety of genres. Customers purchasing the SXV200 will receive a three-month subscription to the All Access Package from SiriusXM with access to every satellite radio channel available, including all premium content, as well as access to SiriusXM Internet Radio content and personalization features on smartphones and other connected devices.
Pricing and Availability
The new XSP-N1BT will be available in May for $250. The MEX-N4000BT will be available in May for $119, the MEX-N5000BT will be available in March for about $129, and the MEX-N6000BH will be available this summer for about $189, online at www.sony.com/car and throughout the Sony Authorized Dealer Network nationwide. The MEX-GS610BT (April) and MEX-GS810BH (Summer) will be available for about $179 and $239, respectively. The XAV-65 receiver and the XAV-712HD receiver will be available in January for about $249.99 and $749.99, respectively. The XS-GS1621, XS-GS1621C, and XS-GS6921 speakers will be available in May for about $149.99, $179.99, $199.99, respectively, while the new XS-GSW121 and XS-GSW121D subwoofers will be available in May for $129.99 and $149.99, respectively. All GS models will be available online at www.sony.com/car and throughout the Sony GS Authorized Dealer Network nationwide.
Editor’s Note: News releases and digital images with captions are available at www.sony.com/news. For more information regarding Sony’s mobile electronics product offerings, please visit www.sony.com/car.
[i] Magnetic-connector compatible smartphones are Xperia™ Z1 and Xperia™ Z1s.