Jan 07 AT 12:53 PM Dima Aryeh 14 Comments

Sony announces in-car receiver that doubles as smartphone cradle

Sony Xperia car cradle

Sony is well known for its in-car audio solutions, from head units to amplifiers and speakers. But its newest product comes as a surprise to us. It merges car audio with your smartphone. This is the Sony XSP-N1BT, a new head unit announced at CES 2014 that uses your smartphone as the display.

Instead of a a large display on the front, like most head units for cars do, this “cradle” just has a black face. This is where you insert your phone, where it will automatically pair using NFC and charge via Qi technology (if your device supports those functions). It can also charge your device over USB. The head unit then uses your smartphone as a display by way of a Sony remote app, where you can select your input. You can stream audio over Bluetooth or use more traditional means like CDs and radio.

Price and release date weren’t announced, but I have to say that this is an absolutely amazing product. As someone who uses Bluetooth audio for the car exclusively, I would love to dock my smartphone and have it control my head unit (though the curved back would probably be ill suited for such a cradle). You can even multitask with Google Maps while it’s in the cradle.

However, I worry this head unit won’t be very popular when it comes out. Not many cars these days have the double DIN slot necessary to install a custom head unit, so only owners with older cars will be able to use this. However, I still love the idea. Do you?

Source: Sony
Via: Android Police, @evleaks

Dima Aryeh is obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • Efrain

    Actually I would by that radio and yes you can install that on New cars, they actually make face plates to replace your stock car radio on any new car. You can get them on any car audio shop or best buy

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Many cars have integrated radios with no place to mount a new radio. And no way to remove the radio because it integrates with the HVAC system. Even the 2000 Lexus RX300 has a solid dash with no place for a new player.

      • Daniel Redman

        I think Efrain’s comment answers your issue. He means that although the stereo looks built in, a certain section of dashboard (in most cars at least) are replaceable, leaving you with a standard double din slot.

        • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

          What I’m trying to say is that in most modern cars, you replace the stereo and you lose HVAC controls. Many many new cars have all HVAC controls right on the stereo. Meaning no more AC, heat, or anything. And even if you have a surround, it’s hard to mount double DIN players in many cars.

  • uzunoff

    This is interesting since Sony doesn’t have QI charger built in their phones. So is this to be used with other phone brands?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Most likely, Sony will start integrating Qi wireless charging into their new phones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mula951 Oscar Rivas

    Finally! Lol! I’ve been wishing for this for years now. But I wanted more of a padfone concept! But this us just as good!

  • Steven

    Let’s see, my S4 has (optional) Qi, it has Bluetooth, and NFC. Crutchfield sells a DoubleDIN install kit for my car…

    Sign Me Up!

  • Ever Torres

    My 2012 Nissan altima, has no problem I can installed easy when will it be ready for sale?

  • captainkirkw

    I wonder what the range of sizes of phones is for this? Quite a bit of difference between my Moto X and my Galaxy Note 2.

  • Dazza

    Like like like!!

  • Cap mahbubur rahman


  • donger

    Looks nice.

  • leejoyoung

    sony xperia ultra Compatible?