updated 01:10 pm EST, Thu December 21, 2006
Sony GT600 In-Car Stereos
Sony today unveiled a successor to its GT500 in-car CD receivers. Dubbed the GT610, the head unit is the first in the GT line to include a USB port. The extension allows drivers to play AAC, MP3, or WMA tracks directly from an external flash or hard disk drive instead of recordable CDs. Audio quality for these heavily compressed music formats has also seen a boost, Sony says. Much as with the Crystalizer hardware in Creative's Xmod and other X-Fi devices, Sony's BBE-MP processing can automatically find and restore the higher-frequency sounds that are typically lost when an MP3 is created. The company has also expanded the central LCD screen. The GT610 is initially set to appear in Europe in January for an unspecified price and should also see an official launch in North America soon afterwards.