Pros: color change, great sound, detachable...
Cons: No mp3 playback
Here's the background on the purchase of this CD Player:
My husband and I had just bought a car (Eagle Talon...ooh!), which already has pretty good sounding speakers, so we thought we'd stop at Future Shop (it's a Canadian store similar to the American "Best Buy") to just "look" at some decks. We ended up walking out with this one after looking at many others for 20 minutes. The main thing was if we wanted MP3 playback or not, because this deck didn't have it. We decided that, although having hundreds of songs at our disposal would be great, we aren't really in the car for that long to need hundreds of songs at our disposal. The rest of my review will cover why we did end up with it.
Sounds pretty shallow, but we were very excited that we could change the colors of the screen on this one. There are 7 colors to choose from. The colors are much more vivid at night. You can choose from red, purple, green, yellow, light blue, dark blue, and white. I like the purple, whilst my husband likes the blues. Go figure :)
If you have a subwoofer (which will be our next purchase), you can adjust the subwoofer right from the deck. You can also adjust the bass and treble.
For security purposes, you can take off the faceplate, stick it in the little plastic case it comes with and take it whenever you leave your car.
The deck comes with 8 different equalizer presets, allowing you to choose the bass and treble levels according to music style. The presets are 'explod', rock, new age, custom, off, jazz, club, and vocal. Each of them are set to bring out the best of each musical style (don't ask me what the 'explod' one is... I guess it's Sony's custom one). Setting the equalizer manually (custom) does look pretty tricky, so I'm staying away from that one for now.
The deck comes with pretty basic CD playing functions: play, shuffle, mute (attenuating sound). You can hook up an external CD/MD player and control it from the deck (that way if you ever do want to play MP3s, you can just buy the add-on and have thousands of songs to choose from. The CD player doesn't have one of those annoying trays you have to load your CD onto, instead, the deck flips out and you stick your CD into a slot, then snap the deck back upright. I think it's a lot nicer than having a big tray coming out at you. Seems like less clutter :)
The player reads ID3 tags, which basically means it tells you what CD you're playing and what songs you are at. It will also tell you which disc number you're at if you have an additional CD changer. There are lots of other things the CD player will do if you have the additional CD/MD player, but I wont get into it since we're just interested in the deck itself.
The radio can save 6 stations per band (AM, FM, etc). This deck also has a BTM, which is "Best Tuning Memory" so you don't kill yourself if trying to tune your radio while driving. It basically stores all the stations in order of frequency with the highest signal at a touch of a button(well 3 buttons). A lot easier than trying to figure out all the buttons to use to store them manually. One really cool thing is that you can actually put in the names of the radio stations (or the style of music associated with the station if that's easier). You can enter in up to 8 characters per station.
We had no idea what this was until we read it in the manual. It's a Dynamic Soundstage Organizer. Pretty fancy sounding, right? From what I understand from the manual, it helps make it seem like you have speakers above the dashboard (instead of just in the car doors, etc). There are 3 levels, and the higher you go, the higher the sound seems to be coming from (as well as it gets louder). As noted in the manual, the DSO doesn't help every car's sound system, it depends on the type of music and the interior of the car.
Front and Rear
If you have speakers in the front and rear (as most of us do), this is great, especially if you have passengers in the back. With this deck you can change the volume of sound in the rear seperately from the front.
Satellite Radio Ready
The receiver is compatible with optional tuners that will receive digital satellite radio broadcasts such as Sirius or XM Satellite Radio. The digital satellite service must be subscribed to separately.
The remote is a wireless and card-sized. Dimensions are W=2.055", H=0.436", L=4.29". There is also an option to add a Rotary Commander wired remote. When the Rotary Commander is added, you can change the operating directions of the controls through the menu, depending upon which side of the steering wheel it is mounted.
I thought I'd throw this stuff in for the people reading this who might know what it all means.
-front, rear, and mono subwoofer preamp outputs
-high-pass and low-pass filters
-23.2 watts RMS/52 peak x 4 channels
-CD frequency response 10-20,000 Hz
-CD signal-to-noise ratio 90 dB
-FM sensitivity 9 dBf
The only thing I wish this came with would be mp3 playback, for the odd occasional roadtrip. There's really nothing I don't like about the deck other than that.