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Alpine iDA-X series gets incrementally better

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.

Read the full Alpine iDA-X305 review. Corinne Schulze/CNET

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 Apple 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.