Harman Kardon has unveiled the Australian version of Harman Kardon Drive + Play, an integrated iPod docking system specifically designed for automotive use. Unlike other products on the market, Drive + Play provides complete iPod control, including full browsing and playlist handling capability, while minimising distractions for drivers.
>More than half of all iPod owners use their players in the car, and we know many are frustrated with the current auto solutions available because theyyre hard to use and offer limited functionality,, says Klaus Lebherz, car audio brand manager of Harman Consumer Group International. Our goal in developing Drive + Play was simple create a product that reproduces the iPod experience in any car while providing an array of options, including a line-level output, for connecting the iPodds audio signal to a vehiclees audio system, to offer consumers the most enjoyable way of taking their music on the road..
The Harman Kardon Drive + Play systemms integrated components
A backlit LCD screen, large enough to present five lines of iPod menu text, yet small enough to be mounted anywhere it can be easily viewed by the driver. For maximum convenience various display languages are selectable. The pivoting mount can be attached to the display in any of three positions and provides the user a full range of adjustability.
A five-button navigation control unit with universal mounting options mimics the iPodds user interface and can be mounted on the center console or other location for easy access while driving. The controller features four buttons that control the play/pause, forward, backward and iPod menu functions; a rotating dial around the perimeter that can be used for forward and backward scrolling; and a center button for the enterr command.
>The brainn serves as an information processor and connecting port. The brain houses a wired FM transmitter with five factory-set frequencies and one definable by the user. The Australian version of Drive + Play features a wired FM transmitter. A 3.5 mm audio output jack connects Drive + Play to any vehicle that has an auxiliary input.
The additional auxiliary input of Drive + Play allows the user to route other audio signals into the vehiclees audio system.
Drive + Play charges the iPod when docked, displays customized user menus such as playlists and user preferences, and shuts itself off when not in use.
The Australian model also includes a wired FM transmitter, which allows for installation directly into a standard antenna socket. This gives superior sound reproduction over traditional iPod wireless FM transmitters.
While the product is user installable most of us will need a professional installation. Sample installations have ranged around the $160 price point through a professional audio installer.