If you’re a music lover who spends a lot of time on the road, you don’t want to fumble with an iPod’s controls to enjoy your music. So what’s the solution? An iPod stereo receiver for the car. And there’s no need to break the bank – here are four of the best options available for under $150.
Sony CDX-GT630UI iPod Car Stereo
The Sony CDX-GT630UI has a slight power edge on its competition with its 4 x 52W output, but where it really shines is in its versatility playing different types of music files. An iPod can be connected directly and controlled/charged via the receiver, but the frontal USB slot offers other options too: MP3, WMA, AAC, and ATRAC3 files can all be played from a USB drive. The ZAPPIN feature lets you scroll easily through your iPod’s catalog, and style-conscious listeners have a choice of blue or green illumination. It’s an easy way to connect and listen to your iPod in the car.
You can find the Sony CDX-GT630UI iPod-Ready Car Stereo Receiver for $109.99 at Amazon.
JVC KD-HDR50 iPod Car Stereo
The JVC KD-HDR50 is a 4 x 50W HD radio receiver with seven equalizer bands and two pre-amp outputs. Its CD player will accommodate MP3 and WMA files on disc as well as CD audio, and its USB input lets you play tracks from a flash drive too. You can control your iPod through the receiver’s controls, and it also comes with a wireless remote control. An auxiliary input allows use of other music devices.
The JVC KD-HDR50 iPod-Ready Car Stereo Receiver is available from Amazon for $129.64.
Pioneer DEHP4100UB SCD iPod-Ready Car Stereo Receiver
The Pioneer DEHP4100UB SCD integrates a CD-IU50 iPod cable to let you control your music directly from the receiver. It provides 50W of power to each of the four channels, and three pre-outs allow connections of external amps or speakers. The Pioneer is satellite-radio-ready, and it comes standard with a wireless remote. It’s also compatible with Pioneer’s Bluetooth adapter, so you can use your speakers for hands-free cell phone calls.
You can find the Pioneer DEHP4100UB SCD iPod-Ready Car Stereo Receiver for $128.00 at Amazon.
Kenwood KDC-MP342U iPod-Ready Car Stereo Receiver
The 4 x 50W Kenwood KDC-MP342U features two options for iPod connections, either the USB slot on the faceplate or the optional iPod Interface cable. The receiver also plays standard CDs as well as discs with MP3, WMA, or AAC tracks. A mini drive can also be attached to the USB slot on the faceplate for playing music files. The Kenwood is HD-radio and satellite-radio ready, and comes with an IR remote control. Plus it’s available with an optional adapter to use Bluetooth-enabled devices.
The Kenwood KDC-MP342U iPod-Ready Car Stereo Receiver is available at Amazon for $101.00.