Alpine iDA-X100 Digital Media Receiver

The Good The Alpine iDA-X100 features a full-speed USB/iPod connection for speedy browsing of songs with the large search knob. Percent Search mode allows for quick scrubbing through long lists. Alpine Imprint audio processing allows drivers a great deal of freedom to adjust audio for best possible sound.

The Bad The iDA-X100 occasionally forgets that an iPod device is attached if the vehicle is started or stopped while a podcast is playing. The lack of an optical disc player can be a bit of an inconvenience for some users.

The Bottom Line The Alpine iDA-X100 is a great receiver for people who transport all of their music on an iPod or MP3 player. The unit offers fantastic digital-audio integration without the need for a separate adapter, but should you ever want to just play a CD, you'll be out of luck.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
7.7 Overall

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Alpine iDA-X100 Digital Media Receiver
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Price $399 MSRP $100 Amazon.com $399 MSRP $399 MSRP $79 Amazon.com
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Features
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Performance
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Review

Alpine iDA-X100 Digital Media Receiver

When was the last time you walked into a store and purchased a CD? If it takes you a few moments to come up with an answer, you've probably made the jump to digitally distributed and stored audio. If so, Alpine may have the car stereo for you, the Alpine iDA-X100 digital media receiver.

The iDA-X100 eschews physical media in favor of a purely digital approach. Music is played back over a USB pigtail that features full-speed iPod connectivity. An intuitive interface makes it easy to find the song you want, and advanced audio controls ensure that your digital music sounds as good as the day you ripped it.

Design
The first thing you'll notice about the Alpine iDA-X100 is the huge knob in the center of the faceplate. The Double Action Encoder, as the instruction manual calls it, is twisted to adjust volume, navigate menus, and choose songs. Pushing the large select button in the knob's center makes selections in menus and enters the search mode when a digital-audio source is selected. The outer ring of the knob can be pressed and rotated for the Percent Search mode, which is used to quickly jump through long lists. If, for example, you want to quickly get to an artist beginning with the letter Q, you can press, twist, and hold the outer ring to quickly jump from A to B and so on, instead of endlessly rotating the dial and scrolling through all of the artists on the device. The Percent Search is also used to jump between radio presets and MP3 folders and playlists when not in search mode.

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