Video: Clarion 2013 CD and Digital Media Receivers
Zak Billmeier grew up in southern Vermont and coastal Maine. After graduating from Mary Washington College with a Geography degree he still isn't sure quite what to do with, he eventually settled in the mountains of Central Virginia. He spends his free time chasing his daughter around, taking pictures, gardening and cooking. He joined Crutchfield's car A/V writing team in 2007 and is now a lead producer on our video team.
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Heads up!Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.
Clarion's 2013 line of CD and digital media receivers combines great sound, good looks, and modern functionality. So no matter what you're looking for in a car audio system, you'll likely find it. Get the lowdown from the Clarion booth at CES 2013.
Zak: Hi. I'm at the Clarion booth at CES 2013. John, take us through the CD receiver line.
John: Okay. What we have here is our CD model line. If you take a really close look to the product, just initially you'll notice they all primarily look the same, because we wanted to make sure that the customer base had the same factory look and feel that we were offering in every single one of our model platforms.
What we do is we start from our entry-level model down here which has a red illumination. This is the CZ102. This is a CD receiver with basic AM/FM functionality, full loaded presets. It also has a front 3.5 auxiliary in for added feature. On the back side of the unit, it has a two channel, two-volt RCA output, but it also has OEM steering wheel control, so you can purchase an aftermarket accessory that will integrate to your factory steering wheel control once you replace the radio.
As we move up in the model category we have what's known as the CZ202. Now you gain the feature functionality of front USB, which of course incorporates for USB iPod direct. It allows you to utilize any Apple device, and what you can do is not only have iPod functionality, but also Pandora sourcing, which means that you can activate your Pandora application from your Apple device.
Once you've done so, and it is plugged into the CZ202, you gain full on-screen control functionality as far as all your stations. You get your thumbs up, thumbs down functionality, play, pause, and track forward. At the same time of course it incorporates all the basic features that we mentioned in the CZ102, where you get your preset station functions, you get your CD control functionality, 3.5 auxiliary in, the OEM steering wheel control input. But now we go from a two-channel, two-volt output to a four-channel, four-volt output.
Moving up, we now gain the feature functionality, just like on the CZ202 and the 102-same basic feature functions, of course that USB input. But now you gain Bluetooth. So in addition to all the features that we've previously explained, including, of course, that Pandora direct connect functionality, you now get Bluetooth hands-free and Bluetooth audio streaming. This is also the model in the category where you get to add on some of your additional add-on accessories such as satellite radio. So as you move up each model you notice that you gain a feature and function to show the benefit in the actual price of the product.
Right what we have up here, this is our fleet piece. This is the CZ702. This is a true sound quality unit. And what I mean by that it gives you, of course, digital time alignment. It also gives you the availability of variable color display. The USB is now moved from the front to the back. It still incorporates for that Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming. You can add the SXV tuner. Of course it is USB iPod direct, so you get the ability of the Pandora direct connect. It also now goes from a four-channel four-volt to a six-channel four-volt. So now you have true independent front, rear, and sub connectivity.
As we move over in the two models what we have here are two mechless receivers. This is the FZ502. It is considered a mechless receiver or a digital media receiver. And what that means is it does not have an internal CD mechanism. This is for the end user that utilizes all external media. What it does have is a front USB and a front 3.5 if you slide the Clarion display over. The nice part about this unit also is that it has full control capability on a three-line display because it does have built in Bluetooth hands-free. It also does Bluetooth audio streaming. You have the ability of adding the Sirius direct connect. You have the ability of course, also doing USB iPod direct for Pandora, and of course you do have the four-channel two-volt RCA output with the OEM steering wheel control.
New to this market this year we have what's known as the FZ150. The FZ150 is a low-cost alternative in regards to the mechless receiver section, in the fact that as a step-down unit it has of course the USB, full-size SD card input, auxiliary with pre-sets. But this unit does not have satellite radio connectivity nor does it have Bluetooth.
We have one single double-DIN model that's available in the category. This is the CX501. This has been an incredibly popular unit for our production in the simple fact that it does give you the OEM factory look and feel, such as certain General Motors vehicles, Honda, or anything aftermarket such as in Nissan. It does have a front USB input. As you can see here it does incorporate for the variable color display. It has the ability, of course, USB iPod direct, Sirius direct connect capabilities, also the Pandora direct connectivity, and of course it has Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming.
Zak: Great. Thanks so much John.