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CD receivers shopping guide
by Robert Ferency-Viars

With so many in-dash CD receivers to choose from, how do you pick the right one? This article will help you ask the right questions, narrow your choices, and find the car stereo that's right for you.

With a smartphone connected, more and more in-dash receivers let you control certain functions just by speaking commands. This lets you keep your eyes on the road while you access certain receiver functions.

Bluetooth compatibility has become a top priority for shoppers when deciding on a new car receiver. We tested six receivers in the Crutchfield Labs to find out which ones made the most of this convenient technology.

JVC's 2014 digital media receivers are great for everyone who uses their smartphone as their main source of music. These receivers don't play CDs, but they work great with popular music apps.

JVC's KW-V50BT and KW-V30BT DVD receivers integrate seamlessly with most smartphones and bring a big, bright touchscreen to your dash. You can cutomize the touchscreen interface to your liking, and make calls hands-free.

Many receivers promise Android compatibility, but how many features you can access depends on your phone. We got hands-on with three touchscreens to get some answers. While we didn't find a one-size-fits-all solution, the hunt for the perfect fit proved more rewarding.

If your smartphone is a big part of your life, it's only natural that you'd want to tap into it when you're on the road. Select JVC receivers work with the MirrorLink system to provide unparalleled in-dash control over an ever-growing list of smartphones. With MirrorLink, you'll enjoy touchscreen control over your music, phone contacts, and select apps - a seamless experience.

Smartphone lovers have a friend in Pioneer. The 2013 line of Pioneer receivers features unparalleled connectivity to your iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 (with separate adapters), and you can connect your Android phone through the Bluetooth connection. Plus you'll get all the other things Pioneer brings to the table: sweet sound, snappy navigation, and reliability.

A marine receiver has to do more than just look good and sound great. It also has to stand up to salt, spray, sunlight, and rough weather. Kenwood designed their 2013 marine receivers and remotes to withstand the rigors of boating life, with a conformal-coated circuit board that helps prevents moisture from seeping in and causing damage.

Kenwood's 2013 CD receivers are better than ever, bringing smartphone connectivity and great Kenwood sound quality to your dash. Check them out from the Kenwood booth at CES 2013.

Receivers glossary
by Dave Bar

Learn about the features and technical specifications found on many of today's receivers.

The top end of Alpine's 2013 CD receiver line gives you some exciting features, like Bluetooth, App Direct mode, and the ability to tune your sound using your smartphone.

How much power do I need? Do I have to connect my video sources to my receiver? Do I need a 3D-ready receiver for my 3D TV?

Kenwood Excelon receivers are all about sound quality, with powerful 4-volt preamp outputs for your amps and super-clean CD playback. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998 CD receiver features a built-in HD Radio tuner for crystal-clear radio broadcasts, along with Sound Excellence DSP - Kenwood's most impressive set of sound-sculpting tools. And Kenwood backs up this versatile receiver with a 2-year warranty. Check out some of the features in this demo video.

Pioneer's MVH-X370BT digital media receiver lets you enjoy music from your iPhone® or iPod®, select Android phones, or a USB thumb drive. You also get built-in Bluetooth® technology and Pioneer performance &endash; all at a surprisingly nice price. Plus, you can still check out the news or a ballgame on good old-fashioned AM/FM radio. Take a look in this demo video.

JVC's KW-V51BT DVD receiver offers a customizable and intuitive 7" touchscreen display that's also easy on the eyes. You can take your multimedia to the next level by connecting your compatible smartphone to the rear HDMI input to take advantage of a variety of apps while on the go. Take a closer look in this demo video.

Kenwood's DDX672BH DVD receiver blends big-screen wow factor with easily accessible touchscreen controls. Its 6.95" variable color display boldly shows off different sources, including a built-in HD Radio tuner for crystal clear AM/FM radio, Pandora® Internet Radio for iPhone® and Android™, and Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and wireless audio streaming. Check it out in this demo video

JVC's KW-V41BT DVD receiver shows off its audio/video muscle by including Bluetooth®, Pandora®, a multi-function USB port, and satellite radio controls - all capped off with touchscreen controls on a vibrant 7" display. It includes DVD and CD playback, lots of ways to hook up additional gear, and robust tone settings to satisfy any urges to tweak the sound.Take a look in this demo video.

Kenwood's KDC-BT762HD CD receiver gives you plenty of choices for listening to your music, including wireless audio streaming using Bluetooth, satellite, Internet, and over-the-air radio options, along with a front-panel USB port and aux input for connecting outboard devices. Take a look at in this demo video.

Alpine's CDE-W265BT CD receiver fills your vehicle's double-DIN (4" tall") opening with an easy-to-read two-line display and easy-to-reach controls. And since Alpine puts great sound at the top of their "to-do" list when designing car stereos, you'll also enjoy some innovative technology for upgrading the sonic soundscape in your vehicle. Take a closer look in this demo video.

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