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O-Car & iPods

The New Oxygen O Car stereo has just been released onto the UK Market. The product specifically released for iPhone is provided with cases which connect into the docking system holding your phone secure & in Place.

 

Being a little experimental he we thought we’d try the new O Car system with other iPod’s we have lying around the office & Shop. It turns out the stereo also works with the iPod Touch 2g through to 4g. The apps for the radio and system set up can be downloaded via iTunes and used in the same way as the iPhone.

 

We did however find that the O-Car only works with the newer OS. One of the iTouches with 3.2 would play the radio fine, however non of the music would play through the stereo. A simple upgrade soon corrected this issue though.

 

If you were looking to use the o car with an iPod there are a few things that you expect not to work correctly.

 

Firstly as there are no O-Car cases to connect securely into the dock, so you will probably have a loose / tight connection.

 

Secondly the iPods we tested needed a case to sit in the dock. Without a case the iPod simply falls loose and connection is lost regularly.

 

Thirdly the case may restrict the iPod docking horizontally back into the stereo. The Case we used was too large and would only sit upright.

 

Finally, and some what obviously non of the apps specific to iPhone (or that need a internet connection) will work correctly in the O-Car stereo using an iPod touch. Apps like google maps, youtube, petrolbuddy and many many more are made useless by the lack of wifi. Which in the opinion of us in the office and Shop is the point of the system millions of useful apps at your finger tips. Its Still an excellent stereo & well worth the modest price tag.  


March 30th, 2011
Shelved in the Car Audio category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

Oxygen O-Car Fully Tested.

 We’ve had the Oxygen O-Car stereos in for a few days now, and tested a couple of the units we have remaining (These things are going out faster than hot cakes). The full review will follow soon however we just wanted inform you guys of a couple of the good and bad points.

 

First point to notice is the simple & sleek design. Which means it will sit well in all cars (Well the large majority anyway). We have had them in a few cars now and they look like an upgraded version of the factory unit. Even better when the iPhone is connected. As you would expect the device runs as smooth as the iPhone its self (seeing that the app’s are specifically made for it). So lets get down to a few of the specifics

 

Docking the iPhone.

 

The stereo comes with a O-Car iPhone case which enables the iPhone to sit flush into the dock. The dock application is smooth and keeps the iPhone Tightly held in place when connected. Once docked the iPhone works as the stereo. You can access the radio through the O-Car App or any other Web Radio app you may have downloaded by selecting the app in the usual way.

 

We have also tried using an iPod Touch with the apps downloaded which do work, however there isn’t a specific O-Car Case so it may not sit very well in the dock (We had issues with ours). Another issue we had when using the iPod Touch was playing the music. We tried the iPod which had OS 3.1. Non of the music would play through the stereo however we updated the OS which seemed to resolve the issue.

 

Horizontal Album Selection.

 

One of the smaller issues we noticed is actually more of an issue with Apple OS. When the iPhone is horizontal in iPod mode it only shows tracks which are added to albums. None of the non album tracks display until vertical again. This probably wont be an issue for the vast majority of people however it does mean that if you dont group your music files to an album you will be better off using vertical.

 

Shake to Shuffle.

 

This will probably catch a lot of you out to start with. If you have Shake to shuffle switched on you will notice that a lot of the tracks will skip forward when you go over a bump in the road. We couldn’t figure out why some of the tacks skipped until it clicked a few hours later :-)

 

Thats it for a few of our findings for now however a full review is coming soon, & you can see the first of a few videos on youtube here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWZKlmyDyrU


March 29th, 2011
Shelved in the Car Audio category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

First Hands On – Oxygen Audio O-Car

I was lucky enough to have a look at Oxygen Audio’s brand new concept, the O-Car, earlier this month at the M.E.N. Expo 2011. This is what I thought of possibly 2011’s product of the year.

To say I was looking forward to getting my hands on an O-Car was an understatement, I had actually contacted Oxygen directly months ago in the hope of securing a demo model. On first impressions the unit looks quite basic and unappealing unless you know what this product is all about. Once you dock your iPhone into the surprisingly sturdy docking system the whole things bursts into life.

The dock itself is nothing short of impressive. It comes with a special protective case for your iPhone which also helps you locate it when placing you phone into the dock. The dock comes out from the unit around 2inchs and allows you to swivel the iPhone in a 360 x 180 arc meaning that you can eliminate any glare or ensure that you can always see where your sat nav is taking you. Should you choose to, the dock will also go flat to the stereo allowing the iPhone to sit horizontally on the front of the unit creating the illusion that the iPhone is actually part of the stereo itself.

The O-Cars greatest strength comes from its lack of features and controls. This may sound like I have lost my marbles but let me explain. Unlike conventional stereos where an iPhone connects via cable and you can select songs to play using the stereos controls, the O-Car does not have any controls. The only thing you can do is turn the volume up and down. The O-Cars features and controls are purely down to what apps you have installed onto your iPhone. If you have the TomTom or similar app then you have a fully built in Satnav, if you have a Pandora app then you have Internet Radio built into your car. Changing the features is as simple as visiting the Apple store and picking up the latest apps. Oxygen Audio have even released there own apps to allow you to control the basic radio and equalizer functions.

Oxygen have meant business with this product and are set to take on the big boys in car audio such as Sony with there TuneTray DSX range. All the components are high quality and the built in 52×4w amp sounds nice and crisp. Unfortunately the demo unit I had chance to use did not have any sub woofers or tweeters hooked up so it would be unfair of me to rate the true quality of the music from this stereo yet. I will be doing a full test in the next fortnight when we receive our first shipment. In my eyes the £250 price tag that has been placed on these units is extremely reasonable. When you consider the competition in this price bracket, the Oxygen O-Car is in a league of its own.

My expectations for the Oxygen O-Car were very high with all the hype and media frenzy that has built up over the last 6months. On first impressions I can see that it has been worth the wait. Despite only using the stereo for a short space of time it has given me a glimpse of what is possible and I want more. This will be the biggest car entertainment product of 2011 and rightly so. I will be testing the unit over the next few months with a full review to come soon after.

The Oxygen O-Car is set to take the car audio world by storm. This will the product of the year, possibly even the decade.


March 24th, 2011
Shelved in the Uncategorized category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

TuneTray VS O-Car: Two revolutionary car stereo ideas

It is now a well known fact that car stereos are moving to digital media at an ever increasing pace. 10Years ago a car stereo that did not play CD’s or even cassettes would have been a ludicrous idea, nowadays its what people want. Why carry a large wallet of CD’s that will get scratched and damaged when you can have your whole music collection on a card the size of your thumb nail?

There have been two major developments in the last 12months in the way we connect digital media to our vehicles, namely our iPods. Sony released their latest concept, the TuneTray, last September. This was met with much anticipation from the industry and public alike, featuring full speed digital media control and a connect anything attitude, Sony have had a big success with the DSX range. Starting at only £100, the TuneTray is not a technology that is exclusively for the rich and famous, it is available to everyone.

You may have never heard of Oxygen Audio. They were a fairly small French audio manufacturer until they had an idea that will again change the way we use our digital media. The O-Car is Oxygen Audio’s take on how we should integrate digital media into our daily lives. It features a similar concept to the TuneTray in that it only caters for the digital world of music, leaving CD and Cassette firmly behind however it currently only caters for iPhones. What it does with the iPhone is why I am sat here today comparing these two innovations. Conventional stereo’s will connect your iPhone via a cable or USB port, the O-Car allows your iPhone to BECOME the stereo.

I have had chance to use both systems, below are my findings.

 

Idea

The TuneTray was and still is a fantastic and innovative idea. The ability to connect any piece of USB hardware and hide it away within the stereo is unrivalled. No other stereo on the market can do what the TuneTray range can.

The O-Car is also innovative in how it turns your iPhone into a car stereo. This is easily the best way to integrate your iPhone into your car. The down side to this particular idea is that it has to be an iPhone 3GS or newer and has to be plugged into the stereo for anything to be heard. The radio is controlled by an app developed by Oxygen themselves.

 

Features

The TuneTray range has a huge list of features including bluetooth, multiple USB ports and high end equalizer controls. It comes with everything you would expect from a high end stereo.

The O-Car allows you to provide the features! It comes with the standard RCA pre outs and high power amplifier that you would expect but it also enables you to use any features or apps that you have downloaded to your iPhone. You can use a TomTom sat nav app with it whilst listening to music, or make calls using a connected microphone. You can even turn your car into Digital Radio using apps such as Pandora or Spotify. The possibilities are only limited by the apps you buy.

 

Cost

Sony have been very clever in the way that they have branded the TuneTray. They haven’t just made it exclusive to a single, high priced model in there range, they have created a whole range around the idea. Starting at only £100 for the basic DXS-S100 model and reaching £200 for the DSX-S300BTX, Sony have made the TuneTray accessible for everyone.

Oxygen Audio do not have the luxury of having multiple models due to the concept behind the unit. They have however priced the O-Car at a price that is very affordable. At £250 the O-Car is towards the top of the Single Din price range but for the features and quality of the unit I would still class it as very good value for money.

 

Ease of Use

This is where the Sony is at a disadvantage when compared to the O-Car. Displaying the full iPod menus on a 4line display is tricky and to do it right, Sony have had to make the control a little complicated at times. It is still a case of Albums, Artists and Playlists but there are hidden features like the searching by letter and quick search that when pressed by accident can throw you off target. When combined with the fiddly thumb stick control this accounts for a sometimes frustrating user interface.

The O-Car is the complete opposite, simple insert the iPhone into the dock and use it in as you would naturally. The O-Car does not impose onto the iPhone, even the Radio and Equalizer settings are altered using Oxygen’s Apps that were developed in house specifically for this stereo.

 

When put side by side these two huge step forwards are both equal to one another. The only difference is that they are two huge steps in slightly different directions. If you have an iPhone, you will want the Oxygen O-Car, it is simply the best iPhone compatible stereo on the market. If you have an iPod or any other USB device, the Sony is easily the best choice for you. No-body will be disappointed with either of the stereo’s I have featured in this article, it will be purely based on your own personal preference as to which you will want the most.


March 24th, 2011
Shelved in the Uncategorized category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

New Beat Products To Supplement The Range

 The latest in the long line of beat audio products are hitting the shelves this week. Car Audio Plus have had a few samples in to test throughly and give you our honest opinion as usual.

The Product reviews will be coming soon, but to wet your appetite a little you can find the products online now. The new range includes the new beat 285 stereo and the beat 285BT which offers additional Bluetooth functionality.

What can be said for the products at this early stage is the styling has improved greatly. 

 


March 3rd, 2011
Shelved in the Uncategorized category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

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