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Digital media receiver
Our take on the Alpine iDA-X303 by Crutchfield's Zak Billmeier
Alpine gives you lots of ways to play your digital music in the car
Have you moved beyond CDs? Alpine designed the iDA-X303 digital media receiver to be the most intuitive solution for using an iPod® in your car. The centrally located jog dial mimics the functions of an iPod's click wheel, so you can locate your favorite tunes in a hurry on the 2-line display. And Alpine's 24-bit digital-to-analog converter gives you excellent sound quality from your iPod.
Simple iPod navigation and control
Turn the jog dial a little to access Search mode, then scroll line-by-line. Turn and hold the knob to move to Alphabet Search mode now you can scroll through the alphabet to jump quickly through your lists of artists, albums, or songs. The current song keeps playing, so you won't interrupt the music while you're searching. The convenient "Back" button lets you backtrack through the menus, instead of starting over from the top.
Play your other digital files, too
Throw your favorite MP3, WMA, and AAC files on a thumb drive, and you've got an easy way to stock up on tunes for your next road trip. Or you can also play another USB-equipped music player through the USB slot. No matter what your source, Alpine's built-in amp offers the punch you need to make your music sound great.
Flexible system-building options
This versatile stereo works with all of Alpine's peripheral gear, including satellite radio, auxiliary input adapter, add-on USB input, or CD changer. Add an HD Radio tuner, and you can "tag" songs you hear on an HD Radio broadcast for purchasing later in iTunes®. With Alpine's optional KCE-400BT Bluetooth® interface, you'll be able to answer or place a call with a touch of a button. You can also stream music from a music phone or Bluetooth-capable music player.
Setting up a system with external amplifiers or subwoofers? You'll love the three sets of preamp outputs, along with the ability to control the subwoofer's output level from the stereo. Add the combination of Alpine's PXA-H100 IMPRINT sound processor and the KTX-H100 tuning kit and you'll turn your vehicle into the perfect listening space the IMPRINT measures your car's acoustics and adjusts the stereo's settings automatically to create a perfect audio environment.
iPod note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check Hands-on Research for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver or its optional iPod adapter.
Information provided by Alpine
Note: Sorry, Crutchfield cannot ship Alpine products to Guam or Puerto Rico.
What's in the Box:
- AM/FM/Digital Media receiver
- Trim ring
- Wiring harness (10-amp fuse)
- 8" iPod dock to USB cable
- 80" USB extension cable (with male USB Type A connector on one end and a female USB Type A connector on the other)
- Hard plastic face case
- USB plug housing (locks extension cable and plug on radio together)
- 2 Radio removal tools
- 4 Flat-head ISO screws (M5 x 8mm)
- Face fixing screw
- Owner's Manual on CD-ROM (English/Spanish/French)
- CD-ROM system requirements
- Quick reference guide (English/French/Spanish)
- Customer Care registration card
- digital media receiver (no built-in CD player)
- built-in amplifier (16 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
- plays MP3, WMA, and AAC music files from external sources
- 2.2" 3-color LCD display
- detachable face
- iTunes tagging with Alpine's optional TUA-T550 HD Radio tuner
- optional remote control
- 2-band parametric equalizer
- compatible with Alpine's PXA-H100 IMPRINT audio processor and KTX-H100 tuning kit
- iPod control: direct connection to USB input for newer iPods
- compatible with Alpine's HD Radio tuner, Bluetooth adapter, CD changer, satellite radio
- inputs: USB input
- outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (front, rear, subwoofer) subwoofer output has bass level control
Other features and specs:
Alpine iDA-X303 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Memory Card Slot||USB memory|
|Satellite Radio Ready||Both|
|RMS Power Output||16 watts|
|Peak Output||50 watts|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||20-20kHz|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||Yes|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||No|
|Preamp Voltage||2 volts|
|Key Button Color||Blue|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||Yes|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|FM Sensitivity||9.3 dBf|
|Radio Data System||No|
Detachable Face: The head unit's front-panel detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The unit 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.
Two Color LCD Display: Select from four different screen view options:
- Song number and elapsed time
- Song title and artist name
- Song title and album title
- Calendar/Clock display
Calendar/Clock Display: Using the View button, you can select the calendar/clock display on the front panel LCD. The clock can be set to 12 or 24 hour display, and the calendar can be displayed as M/D/Y (month/day/year), D/M/Y, or Y/M/D. When the calendar/clock display is given display priority, the time and date are displayed even after the unit is turned off. The calendar/clock display can be turned on or off with the View button when the unit is powered off.
Display Dimmer: The LCD screen and the button illumination will dim when the vehicle's headlights are turned on. You can also turn the dimmer off in the menu if you prefer. The orange illumination wire in the supplied wiring harness must be connected to the vehicle's headlight circuit in order for the dimming feature to work. You can also set the illumination of the head unit manually.
Double-Action Rotary Encoder Knob: The iDA-X303 comes with a large Double-Action Rotary Encoder Knob for maximum control over all music search functions like QuickSearch for finding your songs or adjusting your volume.
Angle Mounting: Alpine recommends mounting the iDA-X303 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 Consumer Electronics Association. All manufacturers who comply with the standard can display the CEA-2006 logo on their product.
- CEA-2006 Power Rating: 16 watts x 4-channel
- Max Power Output: 50 watts x 4-channel
Sound Quality: The iDA-X303 uses clean digital connections and a 24-bit Burr Brown DAC (digital-to-analog converter).
Bass and Treble Controls: The head unit features independent Bass and Treble controls that allow you to adjust each setting +/-14 dB in 2 dB steps. The center frequencies are adjustable (60, 80, 100, and 200 Hz for bass and 10, 12.5, 15, and 17.5 kHz for treble) and the bass bandwidth is adjustable (from narrow to wide in four 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.
HPF: The high pass filter (HPF) removes the lower bass from the front and rear speaker and line level outputs. HPF options are 80 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, and off.
Subwoofer Pre-out: In addition to the front and rear 2-volt preamp outputs, there is a dedicated 2-volt subwoofer preamp output with variable level adjustment of 0 to 15. You can select either System1 or System2 for the desired subwoofer effect:
- 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 still audible
Power IC Off: When an external amplifier is powering all the speakers in the system, you can turn the internal amp off, which will improve the sound quality.
Interrupt Feature: When a device having the interrupt feature (such as a cellular telephone) is connected to the receiver, the audio signal will be automatically muted whenever the interrupt signal is received from the device. The supplied wiring harness contains a pink/black Interrupt lead that needs to be connected to the device's interrupt signal connection.
Imprint: With the addition of the optional PXA-H100 Imprint box (500PXAH100, sold separately) and KTX-H100 tuning kit (500KTXH100, sold separately) a car's inherent acoustic shortcomings can be overcome with the MultEQ feature. Imprint also gives you much more sound adjustment flexibility as detailed below.
MultEQ: MultEQ, developed by Audyssey Labs, automatically optimizes the audio for the listening environment inside your vehicle. The Imprint kit includes the hardware, software, and microphone necessary to measure multiple positions in the car and capture frequency and time domain information from the vehicle's actual acoustical environment. Once the car's speaker location delays are measured, along with the frequency peaks and dips caused by the absorptive and reflective materials in the interior, MultEQ creates a set of equalization filters to correct the frequency response and time domain problems for each speaker in the vehicle. It also removes sound distortion caused by the specific acoustical problems in the vehicle. This optimizes the sound reproduction to the specific vehicle listening environment with much greater precision than can be achieved using typical graphic or parametric equalization. The result is a more accurate soundstage and smoother, more natural sound optimized to match your vehicle.
Equalizer: 10 typical equalizer settings are preset for a variety of musical source material. Select from Flat, Pops, Rock, News, Jazz & Blues, Electrical Dance, Hip Hop & Rap, Easy Listening, Country, and Classical. You can also save six custom EQ curves you create by adjusting the parametric or graphic EQ:
- 5- Band Parametric EQ: The Parametric EQ allows you to
adjust the following 5 frequency bands in 1/3 octave steps from -6 to +6 dB
at a bandwidth Q factor of 1, 1.5, or 3
- Band 1: 20 Hz to 80 Hz
- Band 2: 50 Hz to 200 Hz
- Band 3: 125 Hz to 3.2 kHz
- Band 4: 315 Hz to 8 kHz
- Band 5: 800 Hz to 20 kHz
- 7-Band Graphic EQ:
The built-in Graphic EQ allows you to adjust the
following 7 frequencies from -6 to +6 dB
- Band 1: 63 Hz
- Band 2: 150 Hz
- Band 3: 400 Hz
- Band 4: 1 kHz
- Band 5: 2.5 kHz
- Band 6: 6.3 kHz
- Band 7: 17.5 kHz
Crossover: The active crossover can be used as a 2.2 channel (3-way; low-pass subwoofer, band-pass midrange, high-pass tweeter) or a 4.2 channel (2-way; high-pass front and rear, low-pass subwoofer). A crossover limits the frequencies delivered to a given speaker, so you send only the frequencies for which the speaker is well suited. The crossover adjusts the high pass filter or low pass filter of each band along with the slope and output level. You can adjust the following crossover settings:
- 4.2 Channel:
- High Pass Filter: the front and rear outputs are individually adjustable; crossover from 20 to 200 Hz in 1/3 octave steps with a slope of Flat, 6, 12, 18 or 24 dB/oct, additionally you can adjust the output level from -12 to 0 dB
- Low Pass Filter: the subwoofer output can be stereo or mono; crossover from 20 to 200 Hz in 1/3 octave steps with a slope of Flat, 6, 12, 18 or 24 dB/oct, additionally you can adjust the output level from -12 to 0 dB
- 2.2 Channel:
- Tweeter/High Pass Filter: crossover from 1 kHz to 20 kHz in 1/3 octave steps with a slope of 6, 12, 18, or 24 dB/oct, additionally you can adjust the output level from -12 to 0 dB
- Midrange/Band Pass Filter: a band pass has both high pass and low pass filters; HPF 20 to 200 Hz in 1/3 octave steps with a slope of Flat, 6, 12, 18 or 24 dB/oct; LPF from 20 Hz to 20 kHz in 1/3 octave steps with a slope of Flat, 6, 12, 18 or 24 dB/oct, additionally you can adjust the output level from -12 to 0 dB
- Subwoofer/Low Pass Filter: the subwoofer output can be stereo or mono; crossover from 20 to 200 Hz in 1/3 octave steps with a slope of Flat, 6, 12, 18 or 24 dB/oct, additionally you can adjust the output level from -12 to 0 dB
Time Correction: The time correction feature delays the audio signal to the speakers closer to the listener. This effectively creates a perception of increased distance for those speakers. Time Correction allows the listener to be placed at an equal distance from all speakers for optimum staging. You can adjust the distance of each speaker and subwoofer (6-channel) to the listener from 0 to 132.7 inches.
Media Xpander: The MX (Media Xpander) function makes vocals or instruments sound distinct by restoring sound quality typically lost during recording or transmission; this function helps restore audio information that becomes obscured when audio is compressed. The MX function can be applied to all sources, except AM radio. There are three settings and each source can have its own setting.
AM/FM Tuner: The Alpine iDA-X303 features a built-in AM/FM tuner with manual, seek, and preset tuning.
Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio receiver to this receiver:
- XM Satellite Radio: To receive XM Satellite Radio connect the optional CNP2000UCA XM Tuner and the Alpine CNP-ALP1 adapter cable (package item number 700XMALP2, sold separately).
- SIRIUS Satellite Radio: There a two ways to connect a
SIRIUS tuner to the iDA-X303:
- Universal SIRIUS Tuner: you can connect the optional SIRIUS SC-C1 SIRIUS Connect Universal Vehicle Tuner, along with the Alpine KCA-SC100 Sirius Satellite Radio interface (700SIRALPC, sold separately) directly to the head unit
- SIRIUS Plug and Play: the KCA-SC100 Sirius Satellite Radio interface and the SCVDOC1 SiriusConnect vehicle docking kit (700SIRALPP, sold separately) allows you to integrate many SIRIUS plug and play receivers; compatible tuners include the Sportster, Starmate, Stratus, and Stiletto; you can control the satellite receiver from your head unit and use the Quick Search feature to browse all artists and songs currently playing on all channels; the SIRIUS text information also appears on the head unit display
- Auxiliary Input: A portable satellite radio receiver, such as the XM Delphi SkyFi3 or SIRIUS Sportster, can be connected to the head unit via an auxiliary input adapter (500KCA121B, sold separately). You cannot connect this auxiliary input and a CD-changer at the same time.
Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.
HD Radio Ready: The iDA-X303 can receive HD Radio signals, including multicast broadcasts, when the TUA-T550HD HD Radio Tuner Module ( 500TUAT550, sold separately) is connected via the Ai-NET connector. The digital seek function allows you to search for only HD Radio stations if you prefer.
USB Memory Mode: The iDA-X303 can play MP3, WMA, and AAC files stored on a USB Memory device (also known as a "thumb drive") formatted in FAT 12, 16, or 32. MP3 files can be recorded with bit rates of 32-320 kbps, WMA files with bit rates of 16-320 kbps, and AAC files with bit rates of 8-576 kbps. The unit has a Bank function that automatically divides every 1,000 songs stored in USB memory into individual banks to make searching and playing back a song easier. Each bank contains 1,000 songs, in the order they are stored in the USB memory; up to 10 banks (10,000 songs) can be recognized. The unit's display shows song, album, and artist title, and elapsed time. If no tag information exists, the display shows the track number and elapsed time. During MP3/WMA/AAC playback from a USB memory device, you can activate the search mode to locate a specific folder or file by name. You can repeat the current track or current folder, and play the tracks in the current folder or all of the tracks in the current memory bank in random order. Additionally you can connect and control MP3 players like the iRiver Clix, Creative Zen, or Toshiba Gigabeat, using the MTP protocol.
Built-In iPod/iPhone Interface: The iDA-X303 uses a rear-panel USB connection (80" USB cable included) and comes supplied with a 6" iPod dock connector cable to connect select iPods and provide ultra-fast digital data transfer so songs are loaded instantly through the receiver. The iDA-X303 allows direct connection, high-quality audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of your iPod/iPhone using a USB connection.
- iPod/iPhone DAC Bypass: With the USB connection you get the fastest speed available and a direct digital connection to the unit's 24-bit DAC. Sound quality is maximized by using USB along with the 24-Bit D/A converter, allowing for an incredible Signal to Noise ratio of 105dB.
- Information Display: You can view Artist, Album, Song Information and Song Number right on the head unit's display. You can choose between three display modes (Track Number/Elapsed Time, Song Name/Artist Name, or Song Name/Album Name).
- Music Navigation: The iDA-X303 provides various music navigation
controls so you can find the music you want stored on your iPod or iPhone.
- iPod/iPhone Playlists: You can quickly and easily search through all of the music contained on your iPod/iPhone through Playlist, Artist, Album, Song, Genre, Podcasts, Audiobooks, or Composer searches.
- Percentage Search: For especially large music libraries, Alpine created the Percentage Search function to use the head unit's preset buttons for quick jumps to specific parts of the list. You can skip through your music in 10% increments.
- Alphabet Search: You can even use Alphabet Search to jump through your lengthy list of music by skipping through the letters of the alphabet. Once you have the letter you want, simply scroll to the exact song.
- Shuffle & Repeat: During iPod playback, you can activate any of the following playback modes: Shuffle Album (an album in the iPod is selected at random, and is played back in the album song order), Shuffle Song (all songs in the currently selected mode are played back in random order), or Repeat Play (a single song is repeatedly played back).
- Back Button: Instead of starting all over from the search menu, you can simply press the Back button on the receiver to go back one step (works just like your iPod). When you are playing a song if you press the back button it will take you back to the place in the menu where you selected the song.
- Charging: The Alpine iDA-X303 charges your connected iPod/iPhone when the unit is turned on.
iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Alpine iDA-X303 is "made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following Apple iPod & iPhones (as of Sept. 2010):
|iPod/iPhone Model||Gen.||Software||Media Type||Control Type||Display Type||Charge|
|Audio||Video||Headunit||iPod/iPhone||Song/Artist Text||Track Info|
Note: You must use the supplied cable for iPod/iPhone operation (the USB/iPod dock cable which comes with your iPod/iPhone will not function). The controls on the iPod are not functional when connected. This unit does support the iPod Full Speed connection. Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the headunit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available.
iTunes Tagging: When you add Alpine's HD Radio module (500TUAT550, sold separately), and you hear a song you like, simply press and hold the iTunes Tagging button on the iDA-X303. This iTunes Tagging feature lets you Tag songs you hear on HD Radio stations and stores the info on your connected iPod. The next time you connect your iPod to iTunes, you will be able to preview your selections and then purchase and download them from directly from iTunes.
Optional Auxiliary Input: With the optional KCA-121B Ai-NET/RCA interface cable (500KCA121B, sold separately) you can input audio from an auxiliary source unit, such as a TV, VCR or portable unit through the head unit's AI-Net port.
Note: When using this auxiliary adapter, you cannot connect a CD-changer to the head unit.
Bluetooth Interface Ready: With the optional KCE-400BT Bluetooth adapter (500KCE400B, sold separately), you can make and receive calls hands-free on your Bluetooth-capable cellular phone, and communicate through a microphone (included with the Bluetooth interface) and your vehicle's speakers. In addition to the wireless connection and hands-free operation, you also get caller ID, phone book access, and on-screen call information. With select compatible phones with streaming audio capability, you can listen to and control music stored on your phone and have it stream through your Alpine system.
Optional Wireless Remotes: The iDA-X303 does not include a remote control. It is compatible with two optional wireless remotes; RUE-4190 ( 500RUE4190, sold separately) and RUE-4202 (500RUE4202, sold separately).
Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The unit also features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with the optional PAC SWI-JACK Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (127SWIJACK, sold separately); or the optional Metra ASWC Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (120ASWC, sold separately).
Note: Please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.
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