There was once a time when pretty girls mocked us because our cars didn't have CD players. These days it looks as if we're finally getting our own back, as Pioneer has just released the MVH-8200 -- a car stereo without a CD drive. The MHV-8200 is available now for around £279, while the MVH-8200BT will
set you back somewhere in the region of £310.
Instead of relying on old-skool plastic discs crammed with a dozen or so songs, the MVH-8200 gives you access to an almost unlimited supply of digital music via its integrated SD card reader, front-facing USB port or 3.5mm auxiliary jack. A separate cable enables you to connect your iPhone. All you need to do is copy your songs across from a PC before you set off.
The MVH-8200 has a fairly small 76mm (3-inch) colour TFT display that lets you watch films and view photos. The system supports DivX, JPEG, MP3, WMA and AAC, though you'll have to ensure your audio tracks are of the DRM-free (iTunes Plus, Amazon MP3) variety.
The MVH-8200 has a built-in 50W amplifier, which will send plenty of grunt to four separate speakers -- front and rear. Those who want to be truly deafened can connect an external amp and subwoofer via its RCA pre-out, or use Pioneer's Direct Sub Drive feature. The latter allows users to send two 50W power channels to a couple of front speakers, and send 70W of the stereo's remaining power to a subwoofer at the rear. It's perfect for bass lovers who can't be bothered with -- or can't afford -- a separate amplifier.
Pioneer is also selling a second version of the MVH-8200, known as the MVH-8200BT. This unit comes with integrated Bluetooth from Parrot, meaning you can make calls over your car's speakers. A bundled external microphone is included for extra clarity.
The MVH-8200 is a smart piece of kit -- the screen's a tad on the small side but it'll play anything you can throw at it. Buy one, but only if you've got no use whatsoever for CDs.
Edited by Nick Hide