For all of those MP3 music owners, the future of car audio is finally here for you. Gone are the days where you had to burn your MP3s onto a CD for playback in your car audio system. Sony recently released the MEX-1GP CD receiver, a CD receiver that also features a built-in 1 GB flash memory unit. So now your car audio CD receiver behaves in the same manner as your iPod or other type of MP3 player. The 1 GB flash memory unit can store up to 500 of your favorite songs, giving you plenty of playback time for your music. This little device will make even the longest of trips in your car smoother and more enjoyable, since you will not have to worry about changing CDs any longer.
Aside from playing MP3s, this CD receiver also plays CDs (as the name implies) along with burned CD-Rs and CD-RWs so that those who wish to play their old CDs can still take advantage of this nifty product. However, the real attraction to this new car audio head unit is the MP3 playability. The flash memory unit is located in the detachable faceplate. Here resides the USB port which allows you to connect the faceplate to your PC (similar to your iPod or other MP3 player). Once your faceplate is connected to your CD, you simply drag and drop the MP3 files onto the flash memory unit of the faceplate. Unfortunately the faceplate is only compatible with Windows operating systems, so all of you Mac owners will have to go to your buddy’s house to copy the MP3s to and from the Sony MEX-1GP Launch creader Crp129x.
The new receiver is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well. It is finished in a high-gloss black color and features a 13-segment LCD display for simple navigation of track and title information. The screen displays album, artist and track name when playing your MP3 music files. Users can shuffle or repeat tracks, albums or personalized groups through controls on the faceplate or with the supplied remote control. The MEX-1GP unit has a built-in 208-watt power amplifier and a three-band equalizer enabling clear, rich sound. The selectable rear/subwoofer preamp outputs, controls the frequency and output level of an external amplifier.
After installing this receiver and experiencing it for a little over a week, I must say that I am quite impressed with this product. For one, the sound quality when playing MP3s through this unit is nothing less than phenomenal. If you didn’t know any better, you would think that you were playing a CD with the crisp and clear playback quality of this head unit. While traveling on a three hour road trip (three hours each way, six hours total) I was able to listen to one selection of songs on the way up and an entirely different selection of songs on the way back, all without the hassle of changing CDs and enduring a pause in play. I’m just a little surprised it took so long for a product like this to hit the market, especially with the increasing popularity of portable MP3 devices such as the iPod over the last several years. While it may have taken awhile for a product like this to hit the market, I’m sure Sony will have plenty of competitors very soon, which will benefit car audio enthusiasts like myself.