With car electronics in cars becoming extremely complex, the demand for standard single din sized stereos has fallen dramatically.
The market over the last 5 years has been mainly aimed at the larger double din format units. These tend to host a ton of extra features over their small single din counterparts. What seems to be setting the trend now and has been for some months, is the direct replacement options. This is something that is designed and manufactured to hugely upgrade and to replace the original factory audio or entertainment system but still keep the original factory look and feel to the car. This is something Alpine know all to well, as they have been working with some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world for many years, producing original fitment speakers, navigation units, CD changers and radio tuners.
This has mainly been fitted at factory or even as a dealer fit option until now!
Alpine has always been a personal favourite manufacture of mine. So when I received a call from Tim Key of Alpine UK a few weeks back about a hands on demonstration of a new retro fit direct replacement system, I just couldn’t say no.
A meeting was arranged and on the day I was greeted by a vary tasty Audi A5. After a quick chat I was introduced to the brand new Alpine Style X701D, a high end after market retrofit infotainment system for a range of later Audi A4 and A5 vehicles.
Everything about it shouts out perfection.
This perfectly integrated system is packed with a wealth of features including Digital Radio, European navigation. Hands free calling, audio streaming and iPod/iPhone control.
The navigation packs full 3D European coverage covering 48 countries. TMC Route Guidance for lane assist and live traffic information. Points of interest. Hard drive based and easily updatable maps (additional costs apply)
The built in DAB/DAB+/DMB turner gives outstanding sound quality and a much wider range of radio stations over a traditional AM/FM turner.
Bluetooth give wireless connectivity for your phone allowing audio streaming and hands free calls. You can control phone options such as viewing contacts, missed and received calls all through the touch screen and with no need to touch your phone.
Even controlling the original Audi on board computer functions is simple and straightforward. None of the original functions are lost. Access things such as vehicle settings & warning messages. Display parking sensor information and control air conditioning and heater controls. Something that has proved to be a big problem with non direct fit units in the past.
Sound quality has always been two words I have associated with Alpine products and this model is no exception. To compliment this they have also put together a range of premium speaker upgrades. From high quality front speaker kits to a full blow audiophile system with digital amplifier and DSP capabilities.
There is a ton of extra features this unit has, Including dual screen display, rear camera input, AM/FM radio, iPod video playback, USB and HDMI inputs.
Overall this unit has it all, it’s stylish, has a great user interface, sounds fantastic and does everything you would ever want and more. This is the future of in car entertainment and alpine have set the standard with this product.
Professional installation is highly recommend with this unit and has approximate fitting time of around 2-3 hours. Available from most Alpine and Retrofit dealers across the UK.
The X701D comes with or without a CD/DVD drive. Priced at £1849 with and £1595 without DVD drive.
Available for the Audi A4 (2007 – 2015) and Audi A5 (2007 – 2016)
For more information please visit www.alpine.co.uk