Jensen MP6612i review: Jensen MP6612i

  •  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.1
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Jensen MP6612i supports an impressive array of sources out of the box, including USB devices and SD cards, as well as hands-free calling and Bluetooth audio streaming. Its sub-$200 price tag makes it especially attractive.

The Bad In order to offer so much functionality, the MP66312i relies on a clunky external media module, which takes up valuable cabin space. Its LCD display has a sketchy, low-tech appearance.

The Bottom Line The Jensen MP66312i provides an impressive range of media inputs, standard Bluetooth connectivity, and a usable iPod interface. Its low-rent display lets it down, but its impressive number of features is difficult to beat for the price.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Jensen has a hit on its hands with the MP6612i. This inexpensive and visually plain car stereo has more features that far more pricey systems, and gives drivers an easy-to-use means of controlling them all when on the road. While its monochrome display is a little low-rent for our liking, the MP6612i is a compelling option for those wanting to play all kinds of digital audio formats in the car.

Design
At first glance, the Jensen MP6612i looks like it could have been designed ten years ago. With none of the backlit lighting found in Sony models and lacking the ergonomic D-pads of recent JVC stereos, it relies instead on an old-fashioned combination of a single rotary dial surrounded by function buttons and complemented by a row of hard buttons underneath the display. Beneath the dial, two phone buttons (one red, one green) provide a clue to the system's built-in Bluetooth hands free calling capability. The display on the Jensen MP6612i its most basic feature: a monochrome black-on-green LCD screen, it suffers from a lack of contrast at the best of times, and particularly in direct sunlight.

The MP6612i relies on a motorized fold-down faceplate, which opens briskly with a push of the eject button to reveal its single disc slot. We like the space economy that motorized faceplates provide, as they allow for more room on the front of the stereo for buttons and a larger display. Less well-integrated is the MP6612i's external Medialink media module, through which its external media sources must be connected. Unlike some other add-on media modules, the Medialink box cannot be hidden out of sight behind the dash, as the ports for connecting iPods, USB drives, and SD cards are integrated into the module itself rather than into the stereo faceplate. This design arrangement means that the Medialink module must be accessible from the cabin, and its design suggests that it is intended to be screwed to the underside of the car's glove compartment.

Features
This section is the Jensen MP6612i's strong suit. Few sub-$200 stereos come with the ability to play any sources other than AM/FM radio, CDs and MP3-encoded discs and perhaps digital audio players via a generic auxiliary input jack. The MP6612i can handle all of the above, and adds as-standard support for audio on USB storage devices and SD cards via the Medialink module. iPod owners can turn the MP6612i into a "full-speed" iPod interface with the addition of a Jensen J-Link cable for about $20.


The Jensen MP6612i relies on the Medialink external module to play audio from iPods, USB devices, and SD cards.

In addition to its Medialink-connected sources, the MP6612i comes with built-in Bluetooth hands-free calling as standard. Like the Sony MEX-BT2500, the MP6612i also supports the advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP) for wireless audio streaming of tracks from certain A2DP-enabled cell phones such as the Nokia 5700. All of the MP6612i's audio sources play out via its built-in amp, good for 18 watts per channel (RMS), and can be tweaked to the driver's preference using a surprisingly sophisticated series of EQ settings. External amps can also be connected via its three sets of external preouts.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

Jensen MP6612i

Part Number: MP6612i
Low Price: $19.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Type CD / MP3 player
  • Type radio tuner
  • Car Audio Type CD receiver
  • Type USB
    audio line-in
    audio line-out