It’s disturbing how long it took for manufacturers to create a capable
car stereo for the iPod. Many suffered from a latency issue that made
searching the iPod or even switching to the next song incredibly
frustrating. Add to that navigation schemes that would have led Ponce
de Leon to walk the plank, and you have a user experience that rivals
using the Zune. A new generation of car stereos has appeared lately
that battles the confusing navigation and lag issues associated with
switching tracks. Alpine hopes to lead the charge and bring iPod
enthusiasts a head unit deserving of the “Made for iPod” badge.
So close to being great. In the last few years, the center console of a vehicle has become command central for climate control, navigation, and enormous stock stereos. The amalgamation of these items is great until you try to add an iPod or hands-free Bluetooth system to the mix, or you want to upgrade the audio system. The Alpine eX-10 iPod integration and Bluetooth hands-free calling system hopes to alleviate your lack-of-an-iPod-kit-in-your-new-car blues. The eX-10’s LCD allows drivers to navigate their iPods and Bluetooth-equipped mobile phones. Users have the option of using an FM transmitter or auxiliary minijack audio output to bring the tunes to their stereo system. The FM transmitter pushed a better-than-normal audio signal to the stereo. But if it can be utilized, the auxiliary output is the way to go for cleaner sound, without the issues inherent in FM transmitters.