Remote Control (optional)
USB Port: The Alpine CDE-121 features a front-panel USB
type-A port, so you may connect a USB memory device to this head unit. Your
connected USB memory device may contain MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps),
or AAC (16-320 kbps) music files formatted in FAT 12/16/32. This unit will
recognized up to 100 folders and 100 files per folder. ID3 tags (v1, v2) and
WMA tags are supported; track title, artist name, and album name ID3/WMA tag
data can be displayed. The head unit will play back files on a USB memory
devices with the same controls and modes as playback of CDs containing MP3,
WMA, and AAC audio files.
Note: You can only play back non-copy
protected MP3/WMA/AAC files.
iPod/iPhone Direct Connection: You can connect your iPod or
iPhone to the head unit's front-panel USB port using the Alpine KCU-445i iPod/iPhone
cable (500KCU445I, sold separately) or the iPod dock-connector cable that came with
your iPod/iPhone to get access to all of your iPod/iPhone's stored music, right
from the head unit. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or
iPhone 5; use the Lighting-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect
to the head unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation,
information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the CDE-121.
iPod/iPhone Audio Playback: The Alpine CDE-121 supports audio
playback of music, podcast, and audiobook files stored on your iPod or iPhone. The
USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded instantly
to the Alpine head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's
1-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 105dB.
iPod/iPhone Control: Once your iPod/iPhone is connected, you
get convenient control of your iPod/iPhone from the head unit. Your connected
iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen will be locked.
- Music Browsing: The Alpine CDE-121 lets
you navigate your iPod/iPhone by Playlist, Artist, Album, Song,
Genre, Composer, Podcast, or Audiobook. You can then search these
categories alphabetically. For especially big music libraries,
the Percentage Search function uses the preset buttons for quick jumps to
specific parts of the list (Preset 1: 0% to 16%, Preset 2: 17% to 32%,
Preset 3: 33% to 49%, Preset 4: 50% to 66%, Preset 5: 67% to 82%, Preset 6:
83% to 100% of the song library).
- Shuffle: The head unit offers three Shuffle (Random)
- Shuffle Albums: songs in each album are played back in proper
order; upon completion of all the songs in the album, the next album is
- Shuffle Songs: randomly plays back songs within a selected
category (playlist, artist, album, song, genre, composer.)
- Shuffle All: plays all songs on your iPod/iPhone randomly
- Repeat: A single song can be repeatedly played back.
iPod/iPhone Charging: While connected and the ignition
switch is set to ACC or ON, the head unit's USB connection will power and charge
Note: If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge,
then the unit will not recognize it.
iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Alpine CDE-121 is "Made
for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model
features (as of 9/27/2012):
| iPod Model || Generation || Tested Version || Media Type || Control Type || Display Type || Charge |
| Audio || Video || Head Unit || iPod || Artist/Song Text || Track Info |
| dock connector || 3rd || N/A || N || N || N || N || N || N || N |
| clickwheel |
| 4th || N/A || N || N || N || N || N || N || N |
mini ||1st ||N/A || N || N || N || N || N || N || N |
|2nd ||N/A ||N ||N ||N ||N ||N ||N ||N |
| video || 5th || 1.3 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| classic || 80GB || 1.1.2 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 120GB || 2.0.1 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 160GB || 2.0.4 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| nano || 1st || 1.3.1 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 2nd || 1.1.3 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 3rd || 1.1.3 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 4th || 1.0.4 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 5th || 1.0.2 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 6th || 1.1 PC || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 7th || 1.2 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| touch || 1st || 2.2.1 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 2nd || 4.2.1 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 3rd || 5.1.1 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 4th || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 5th || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| iPhone || 2G || 3.1.3 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 3G || 4.2.1 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 3GS || 5.1.1 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 4 || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 4S || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| 5 || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || Y |
| iPad || 1 || 5.1.1 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || N |
| 2 || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || N |
| 3 || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || N || Y || Y || N |
Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change
functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may
need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If
this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is
Auxiliary Input: The unit is equipped with front-panel
minijack (3.5mm) auxiliary input. You can input audio from an auxiliary source
unit: such as a portable MP3 player. You can change the name on the
display to match the type of device connected to the front panel input;
Auxiliary, TV, DVD, Portable, or Game.
Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player
that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs.
MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: This unit can play CD-R and CD-RW discs
containing MP3, WMA, and AAC files recorded using the ISO 9660 Level 1 or Level 2
formats. MP3 files with bit rates from 8-320 kbps, WMA files with bit rates from
32-192 kbps, and AAC files with bit rates from 16-320 kbps are supported. Variable
bit rates are also compatible. Up to a maximum of 255 folders and a maximum 509
files can be read from one disc. ID3 tags (v1, v2) and WMA tags are supported;
track title, artist name, and album name ID3/WMA tag data can be displayed.
Text/File/Folder Quick Search: When you are playing a disc with CD
Text, ID3, or WMA tags, you can easily search for a track, file, or folder by its title.
Once you have activated the search mode, you can use the rotary encoder to
quickly scan through the titles to locate the desired track. For discs without
CD Text, ID3 or WMA tags, searches are made using the track numbers associated
with each song.
Playback Modes: The Alpine CDE-121 offers Repeat and Random
- Repeat: Repeat Play (repeats playback of current
track/file), Folder Repeat (repeats only files in current folder).
- Random: Random Play (all tracks/files on disc are
played in random order), Folder Random (only files in current folder are
played back in random order).
Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with
the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will
automatically power up and begin playback.
Auto Reload: When a CD is ejected and left sticking out of
the CD slot for 20 seconds, the unit automatically reloads the CD to protect if
Angle Mounting: For proper CD playback, Alpine recommends
mounting the CDE-121 no more that 35° above horizontal.
CEA-2006 Compliant: The
specifications given by Alpine for the built-in amplifier comply with the
CEA-2006 mobile amplifier power testing and measurement standards from the CEA
(Consumer Electronics Association). All manufacturers who comply with the
standard can display the CEA-2006 logo on their product.
- CEA-2006 Power Rating: 18 watts x 4 channels (at 4
ohms, 20-20kHz, 1% THD)
- Max Power Output: 50 watts x 4 channels
Bass & Treble: Bass & Treble settings provide control over your
car audio system, so you can tailor the sound to your personal tastes.
- Bass Control:
- Bass Center Frequency: 60Hz, 80Hz (default), 100Hz,
- Bass Band Width: 1 (narrow) - 4 (wide)
- Bass Level: -7 to +7 (+/-14dB in 2dB steps)
- Treble Control:
- Treble Center Frequency: 10kHz (default), 12.5kHz,
15kHz, or 17.5kHz
- Treble Level: -7 to +7 (+/-14dB in 2dB steps)
Loudness: Loudness introduces a special low and
high frequency emphasis at low listening levels to compensate for the ear's
decreased sensitivity to bass and treble sound at low volume. There are
three loudness settings (1, 2, & Off).
Subwoofer Preamp Output: The unit is equipped with a
non-fading subwoofer preamp
output with subwoofer level control. You can select from two types of subwoofer
- Subwoofer System 1: Subwoofer level changes according
to the main volume setting.
- Subwoofer System 2: Subwoofer level change is different
from the main volume setting; even at low volume settings, the subwoofer is
Note: The unit's subwoofer preamp output is full-range
and does not have a
low-pass filter. You will need to use your connected amplifier's low-pass
Audio Mute: Activating the Audio Mute function will
instantly lower the volume level by 20 dB.
Interrupt Feature: Although the supplied wiring harness
contains the pink/black Interrupt lead, it is not used in this unit. This radio
does not have the audio interrupt feature.
AM/FM Tuner: The Alpine CDE-121 features a built-in AM/FM
tuner with manual, seek, and preset tuning.
Preset Tuning: The built-in tuner provides 12 FM and 6 AM
preset stations. Stations can be preset manually or automatically.
Local/Distance Tuning: Local seek tuning lets you tune in
only those radio stations with sufficiently strong signals for good reception.
Distance seek tuning allows both strong and weak stations to be tuned.
Detachable Face: The unit features a single front loading CD
face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The CD player comes supplied
with a hard plastic face case to protect the detachable face when you have it
off the chassis. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face
non-detachable, if desired.
Note: An optional soft face case
sold separately) can also be purchased for this unit.
1-Line LCD Display: This unit is equipped with a 1-Line
white-backlit LCD, so you can easily view AM/FM stations, CD-Text, and ID-3/WMA
Text Display: Text information, such as the disc name and the track
name, will be displayed if playing a CD text compatible disc. It is also
possible to display the folder name, the file name, and the tag information,
while playing a MP3/WMA/AAC disc.
Text Scroll: This unit can scroll the disc and track names recorded on
CD-Text disc, as well as the text information of MP3/WMA/AAC files, folder
names, and tags. There are two Text Scroll settings.
- Auto: The CD text information, the information of folder and file
names, and the tags are scrolled automatically.
- Manual: The display is scrolled when a disc is loaded or when a
track is changed.
Dimmer: Although the supplied wiring harness includes the
orange illumination wire, it is not used. There is no display dimming feature
on this unit.
Remote Control (optional)
Optional Wireless Remote: The Alpine CDE-121 is wireless
remote control ready. Simply add on the Alpine RUE-4202 IR remote
sold separately) to make it even easier to control the head unit's functions.