The Good The Sony CDX-GT420IP provides drivers with a broad range of digital audio options, including a means of browsing and playing songs from an iPod.
The Bad The system's iPod search functionality is limited by the simplicity of the stereo's design, including its glare-prone monochrome display.
The Bottom Line Sony's CDX-GT420IP is an affordable means of taking your iPod library on the road. While its basic user interface lacks the search functionality of some other systems, this is a competitively priced and decent sounding entry-level stereo for the digital-audio age.
Drivers looking for affordable, as-standard iPod connectivity in their car stereos are finding an ever-increasing array of options. Following the Jensen MP6612i, the JVC KD-PDR30, and its own CDX-GT610Ui, Sony launches the CDX-GT420IP for 2008.
The CDX-GT420IP's simple faceplate design shows that it is one of Sony's entry-level devices. Like the MEX-BT2500, the single-DIN unit features an open CD slot and a standard arrangement of six hard buttons along the bottom of the bezel. To the left of the unit's white-on-blue monochrome display, the rotary volume knob is surrounded by six buttons for selecting and controlling audio sources, two of which--Source and Mode--have stylish red backlighting. In contrast with other made-for-iPod stereos, there is no indication on the faceplate that the CDX-GT420IP has full speed or "intelligent" iPod connectivity.
As well as its as-standard, full-speed iPod connector, the Sony CDX-GT420IP is an AM/FM tuner and has the ability to play CDs and compressed disc-based audio formats such as MP3 and WMA. Its front-mounted generic auxiliary input jack lets non-iPod owners connect their media players, too. For such a simple device, the CDX-GT420IP features some impressive audio-tweaking options: In addition to its six preconfigured EQ3 settings, it enables users to create their own custom EQ curve, and to fine-tune output by adjusting the level of the low-pass filter. A separate control for subwoofer level is also a nice touch.
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