The Good The Alpine iDA-X305's two-way encoder control scheme and QuickSearch function makes it possible to scrub through large libraries in seconds. Add-on modules allow the feature set to be extended.
The Bad The lack of a CD player may be a turn off for many people.
The Bottom Line For people who listen primarily to MP3/WMA/AAC audio, the Alpine iDA-X305 offers one of the easiest-to-use interfaces for in-car browsing of digital media.
As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" That seems to be the approach taken by Alpine Electronics when designing its new iDA-X305 digital media receiver.
Based on the already impressive iDA-X100 receiver, the X305 keeps the same single-DIN size, rotary encoder-based interface, and lightning quick browsing of digital media while adding iPhone support and a few more watts of power to boot.
On the surface, the X305 also receives a visual refresh with a new matte-finish faceplate that blends better with many vehicles' dash panels and a brushed metal control knob that adds a bit of bling.Compact disc aficionados need not apply as the iDA-X305 also continues the X100's formula of omitting a CD-slot and moving parts in favor of a purely USB-based input scheme.
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