Electronic Design

Alpine Head Units Allow Users To Stay Connected And In Control Of Digital Devices

As portable audio and video increasingly become a permanent fixture in our everyday lives, consumers desire to constantly be connected and in control of their digital media. Alpine Electronics of America, Inc., the industry-leading manufacturer of mobile media solutions, helps consumers bring their digital world on the road through their 2007 in-dash head units. These new head units offer simple, no-hassle connectivity to a variety of digital media from iPod®, USB WMA/MP3 players, satellite radio to Bluetooth®, ensuring that users will not have to compromise the quality and availability of their digital devices when in their vehicles. Alpine is also the first company to deliver its full line up of new 2007 head units with full iPod command and control.

“Alpine understands that consumers today are more plugged in to the digital world than ever before; being in their cars should not limit their communication or entertainment options,” said Steve Witt, vice president, Marketing, Alpine Electronics. “Our new head units enable users to bring their digital devices into the car and continue using them in a seamless, integrated manner.”

Alpine understands the significant role that iPods now play in the lives of consumers and saw the need for a head unit made specifically for seamless iPod integration. As a “Made for iPod” program member, Alpine designed the iDA-X001 to allow users to naturally and quickly navigate through all of the digital content on their iPod via the head unit. Winning the 2007 CES Innovations Award in the Mobile Audio category helped validate the relationship between these two products.

The iDA-X001 is the first aftermarket head unit designed for a fully integrated iPod experience in the car. The iDA-X001 has one built-in audio source, an AM/FM tuner, and no CD/DVD slot. Instead, it has a dedicated USB input to directly connect an iPod, resulting in the highest possible iPod sound quality and most iPod-like experience in the car. The head unit includes a color 320 x 240 pixel TFT screen that displays artist, album and track information, and even album art from the iPod. The unit also features three screen-view options: album art plus song name and track information; larger album art display and song name only; or clock and calendar information. It provides full digital audio using a 24-bit Burr Brown DAC and has a built-in 18 Watt x 4 amplifier (at CEA-2006 power ratings) and 3 pre-outs. The iDA-X001 is also built on the Ai-NET BUS platform, which allows it to easily connect to a variety of other digital media.

The new 2007 head units offer simplified, faster iPod connection via Alpine’s third-generation KCE-422i Full Speed Connection for iPod cable. The optional KCE-422i cable links an iPod to the head unit without a bulky hideaway box. The Quick Search function offers fast navigation of playlists, artists, albums, songs, genres or podcasts. The Percentage Search feature takes the iPod’s music library and divides it into the six groups, to match the six preset buttons on the head unit, allowing users to jump to a section of the library instead of individually scrolling through files. Enhanced features include source identification and full-tag information, artist, album, song and playlist displayed directly on the receiver; 200 percent faster data transmission (over previous solutions) for quick and easy file navigation; and concurrent iPod battery charging.

Four of Alpine’s new 2007 head units are built on Alpine’s proprietary Ai-NET BUS platform (iDA-X001, CDA-9887, CDA-9885, CDA-9883), which allows them to connect to a variety of digital media sources and formats (separate adapters and/or subscriptions required), including:

  • iPod Full Speed Enabled: Directly connect an iPod and navigate large music libraries quickly and easily with on-screen display of artist, album, song or playlist
  • Satellite Radio Enabled: XM or SIRIUS satellite radio can be accessed with on-screen channel and song tag information
  • HD Radio Enabled: Access static-free digital HD Radio broadcasts with separate TUA-T500HD; new 2007 head units also get multicasting capabilities
  • USB WMA/MP3 Enabled: Play and control USB-based WMA/MP3 portable devices through the head unit
  • Bluetooth Enabled: Operate Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices wirelessly using the KCE-300BT Buletooth interface module, developed in cooperation with Motorola. New 2007 Ai-NET head units show on-screen display of caller ID, missed/dialed/received calls and direct dial address book access. Users can listen to music from audio service providers such as Motorola streaming audio services on Bluetooth-enabled phones or devices with Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) streaming audio support. If the device has the Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), basic control of the music files such as Play/Pause, and Track Up/Down is enabled through the head unit
  • SIRIUS Plug and Play Enabled (new 2007 head units only): Play and control select SIRIUS plug and play devices through the head unit XM Mini-Tuner Enabled: Use a new 2007 Ai-NET head unit to play and control portable devices that use XM’s new Mini-Tuner platform. The XM Mini-Tuner is a tiny cartridge that contains the XM chipset, making it possible for subscribers to take their XM subscription from one XM compatible device to another, including from home to car. Separate Mini-Tuner car dock and Smart Digital Adapter for Alpine head units required, sold separately.


The CDA-9887 satisfies the need of consumers who will settle for nothing less than the best in-vehicle sound quality experience. Featuring Alpine’s Imprint™ sound architecture, the unit improves the users’ in-vehicle listening experience by removing acoustical problems to enable full musical detail reproduction, with flawless harmonizing of all the elements in the music specifically for that vehicle. Users are able to listen to their music in the form that the artist intended by eliminating sound distortions inherent in the automotive environment using Audussey Labs’ MultEQ, allowing for better soundstage and sound quality in all seats for all musical content.

The CDA-9887 uses 24-bit Burr Brown D/A converters for the best sound quality and playback of MP3, WMA and AAC files. With three pairs of pre-outs (4V) and built-in 18W x 4 RMS amplifier, the CDA-9887 offer flexibility to add on other digital sources.


Alpine’s CDA-9885 is ideal for consumers who want to build a custom system around a full-featured head unit that includes a built-in 18W x 4 RMS amplifier and HP crossover, 3 pre-outs (4V) and a remote. The unit’s BioLite display offers a wider viewing angle and better visibility in all lighting conditions. The CDA-9833 facilitates easy viewing of song information on the multicolor dot matrix LCD display and has a detachable, flip-down face. It also gives users the flexibility to customize the system to their liking with a built-in HP Crossover, 18W x 4 RMS amplifier and 3 pre-outs. Both units can play music with MP3, WMA and AAC support.


All three of these units have MP3 playback and Full Speed Connection for iPod, giving the complete line of 2007 Alpine head units iPod playback capabilities, along with the Percentage Search feature. The CDE-9881 is an ideal building block for a system that is optimized for both iPod and CD playback. It has 3 pre-outs, a multicolor dot matrix LCD screen and is remote control ready. The CDE-9873 also offers great system building flexibility as it comes with one pre-out, built in HP Crossover and 16W x 4RMS amplifier that allows users to choose from a variety of subwoofers to perfectly match their system building needs. The CDE-9870 is a CD/MP3 receiver with one pre-out and a removable slot face.


The best-sounding, most flexible CD player in its class, the DVA-9861 receiver uses a high-resolution 24-bit d/a converter, which allows for cleaner, more detailed sound from CD music. It plays virtually any digital shiny disc format, including DVD and DVD-Audio, and if the car has a rear-seat entertainment setup, users can play DVD-Video discs for rear seat passengers to enjoy. For those who want to expand their systems, the DVA-9861 also features full processor control and 5.1 multi-channel music playback with DTS, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro-Logic II support.

As the DVA-9861 is also Ai-NET BUS enabled, users can connect their various digital media devices and control them through the DVA-9861 for a personalized digital in-car environment (additional Alpine interface adapters, tuner boxes and subscriptions required). Along with KCE-422i Full Speed Connection for iPod compatibility, the DVA-9861 also offers quicker iPod file search via Alpine’s Percentage Search function.


For the consumer who is looking for the best single-DIN DVD player available on the market, the DVA-9965 is the answer. This head unit comes with a high-quality DVD player, and built-in HD Radio tuner, to access HD Radio digital broadcasts without the need for an extra tuner box. It also comes with a 24-Bit D/A converter allowing for optimal sound quality that can be enjoyed in surround sound through Dolby Digital, Dolby ProLogic II and DTS. The DVA-9965 is equipped with MP3/WMA/DVD-MP3 playback function and is iPod KCA-420i ready so it allows users to play virtually any form of music. The MediaXpander feature ensures the best sound quality by bringing musical details back to life, which are lost in the media compression stage. The Vivid BioLite™ display of 4,000 colors and 16,000 pixels displays graphical icons of the connected media sources, and the GlideTouch™ control bar lest the use scroll through, then press on, the desired source.

Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

Alpine head units are available at authorized Alpine dealers.

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