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Want some great in-car entertainment?
Priyanka Joshi in Mumbai
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January 08, 2009

In-car entertainment remains a fast growing segment with some big brands, including Sony, Bose, Blaupunkt, Denon, JBL and even LG, battling it out for supremacy. So, all those who spend a lot of time on the road, gear up your cars with these Road Warrior essentials, spanning GPS navigation systems, in-car sound systems and Bluetooth devices.

In-car navigation

Sat Nav's Voxtel Carrera X430 is an easy-to-use navigation device that also doubles up as a mediocre media player, picture viewer, contact directory, also providing hands-free Bluetooth connectivity. Users get a split-screen interface display accompanied by a turn-by-turn voice navigation in this device and the only thing you have to focus on is the overcrowded road ahead.

The system can connect to car's video monitor system, digitally correcting images for precise and natural views. At Rs 18,000, it closely competes with MapmyIndia's navigator that keeps getting better with more complex city maps but is priced at Rs 21,000.

MapmyIndia navigator is equipped with a large touchscreen, along with a good quality windshield mount, car and wall chargers, a SD memory card that has the maps, and a CD that has a manual on it. There are no buttons on the device, except for a power button.

Car audio/ video systems

Sony's latest MEX-BT2600 system has Bluetooth functionality that allows users to stream audio direct from mobile phone or any Bluetooth enabled audio device without any unnecessary cables. It also acts as a hands-free car kit for mobile phones, allowing users to talk wirelessly while on the road. The audio system has an impressive output power of 52Wx4 channels and a 24-bit digital to analogue converter for accurate sound reproduction. At Rs 6,500, this is great value for money.

The Creative Zen Vision-W is another functional gadget for the car as it not only plays music and videos on its 4.3-inch widescreen TFT LCD screen, but it also comes with a TV-out, integrated compact flash slot, FM radio, personal organiser and voice recorder. One also gets an extensive line of accessories like additional batteries, car charger and IR remote.

The Blaupunkt GTx 693 is a multi speaker audio system, which consists of a tweeter, midrange speaker and woofer. GTx speakers have an ultra-cool design with open grills, supporting great sound quality with the maximum power on the speakers going up to 220W. Buy these speakers for Rs 3,500 (installation charges may vary)

Remember, if you are going to install high-power audio system components, then upgrade the alternator and probably the car battery too.

The Harman Kardon Drive + Play, is a three-piece unit that includes an LCD screen, a control knob and an electronics enclosure box. It is best if a professional audio technician installs this product, as there is a lot of wiring involved.

The drive + play interface is very similar to the iPod's, with menus for FM settings, songs and playlists. The display is monochrome but it has a bright, adjustable white backlight so it's very easy to read, even at night. The drive + play's control knob replicates the iPod experience.

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