Monster iCruze package on sale for $99 | iLounge News

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Monster iCruze package on sale for $99

imageMonster is now selling the complete iCruze package for just $99, a fraction of what the direct-connect iPod car audio solution sold for originally. The kit includes the iCruze OEM/CD Changer Interface Module (reg. $250), the iCruze LCD Display Module (reg. $100) and necessary iCruze Interface Cables (reg. $30-$160). You’ll also get the “Monster Music: 3 Doors Down LIVE, Away From The Sun” Video SuperDisc ($25 value) with the system. Monster says the deal is available for a limited time.

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Comments

1

Wow, I’m defintely gonna check this out!

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on February 1, 2006 at 10:13 AM (PDT)

2

Bought it!  I cant wait!

Posted by Sammy on February 1, 2006 at 10:31 AM (PDT)

3

i was going to buy it until i did a little research.  you cannot access your ipod directly and the unit mimics your ipod as a cd changer where a playlist represents a disc.  since my accord stereo only allows navigation via pushing one of six buttons i would be limited to 6 - count’em 6 - playlists.  no navigation of artists, albums, etc for any stereo system as well!  be aware of what you are purchasing.

Posted by dennis on February 1, 2006 at 10:47 AM (PDT)

4

Good points by #3 - this was a deal breaker for me (actually had to cancel the order).

Another issue is that they charged me shipping on two packages - 6 dollar shipping for the 3 Doors Down disc!

Posted by shane erstad on February 1, 2006 at 11:00 AM (PDT)

5

I was contemplating on buying this but i feel the extra display seem such a hassle having to mount that and the inability to access your whole ipod library makes makes your ipod limited in use. i agree, i only have 6 disc selection which means i have to create a big playlist just so that i could listen to my songs.

Posted by drumdude on February 1, 2006 at 11:01 AM (PDT)

6

Let me get this right… the iCruze only works with factory stereo systems??? (or alpine)  I was getting ready to order this great deal but may have to pass.

Posted by 3rdEye on February 1, 2006 at 11:05 AM (PDT)

7

It works on most factory stereo and alpine head units with the bus connectors at the back. check to see if your head unit is compatible before buying. even though it is compatible with my suv, im still looking for the perfect integration for my factory stereo that can display my ipod library. if anyone has some suggestions or recommendation please input for i am still searching. THANKZ!!!

Posted by hollaboy on February 1, 2006 at 11:54 AM (PDT)

8

If interested, make sure to delete the 3 Doors Down cd in your cart so you won’t get charged for the extra additional shipping.

Personally, I find the limited playlist feature annoying—I already have an iTrip so there’s no real justification for me to get the iCruze. Good luck to those of you who do.

Posted by m9a1x7 on February 1, 2006 at 1:26 PM (PDT)

9

Guys,

what do you want for $99?

Most devices that are in that price range broadcast to your head units on an “empty” fm frequency.

In looking around for the ideal unit for over a year, there are pros and cons to all of the offerings out there.

1.)  FM Transmission (ie. iTrip) - These sound horrible, if you can tune them in at all.  However they are the most inexpensive usually $29-$99.

2.)  Direct-Bus Units - normally expensive $189-$350 w/out installation.

Harman-Kardon http://www.harmankardon.com/drive-1/tour.aspx

Looks cool, but expensive and there are three devices to mount (display, controller, and remote)

Neo-Car Audio
http://www.neocaraudio.com/prod-ion.html

Mid range in price - but no heads-up display , uses the iPod to controll it, as well as, the push buttons on you OEM radio.  Until Moster dropped their price, I was going to try this one.

And of course the Monster “iCruze”, which as others have said, allows only as many play lists as your head unit will allow (normally equal to the number of CDs your OEM CD Changer has).  I’m still going to give it a try…  I will let you know how it goes (or doesn’t)

Posted by jacobthe4th on February 1, 2006 at 1:34 PM (PDT)

10

Jacob,

Thanks for the heads-up on the Neo. That’s exactly what I was looking for! I didn’t think it existed.

Posted by Hrothgar on February 1, 2006 at 2:14 PM (PDT)

11

I have been looking for a direct connecting unit for the last 6 months.  I have looked at the Harman-Kardon, US-Spec, Peripherals, Denison and the many after market radio and connectors.

For what it’s worth, I feel the best way to go is with an after market radio and iPod interface from many great vendors such as Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood…

This is great if you are willing to shell out $$$ for a whole new system and “maybe” be able to use your steering wheel controls.

If on the other hand you are looking to keep you factory system, the iCruze system is a nice unit, especially for $99.  As many of the readers have mentioned, it does lock your iPod when connected.  For me that was not an issue since I wanted to keep the iPod out of sight in the glove box.  I have found it to be an extreme hassle to keep pulling my iPod out of the car when I park.  I don’t want to have the window smashed and the iPod depart unwillingly.

The next best unit is the US-Spec connection.  It allows you to retain control of your iPod.  But there is a catch.  It only allows one of two modes at a time.  You can control your iPod with the car if the switch is in that mode, or you can control your iPod directly if the switch is in that node.  But, you can not do both.  But this unit is only $120, and since I wanted the unit out of sight, it was not a big deal

The Peripherals unit is a vary good one.  it is easy to connect and offers both direct and OEM operations at the same time.  I have seen them for $179.  If you buy them at Best Buy, they will install it for free.

I quickly ruled out he Harman Kardon unit since it is not a direct connect unit and works through the FM antenna.  Although the system is nicely designed, the quantity of components to mount, FM signal and the cost $299 made it a poor solution.

You should be aware, that most of these interfaces will not display any of the song information on your factory unit (except if you have a factory Alpine (D-Bus) system found in some Jaguar’s and Acura’s).  This means if you want to see your tune names, you have to keep your iPod out or have a remote display.  Only the iCruze and the H-K system offer remote display.

The next point is that all these systems (except the H-K) work off your factory CD controls.  Since most factory CD systems only support 6 CD changers, that is the limit if play lists you can have.  Yep, you hear that, play lists, not artists, albums, folders, genera…  Since a factory CD changer only is designed to play CDs, there is no built in method to read the files or folders that contain your music.  In that manor, you are limited to setting up play lists that act as 6 different CDs in the system.  You will see on the factory radio screen CD X and Track XX.  Another limiting aspect is that most CD changes only display two digits, so once you hit song 99 the display will only show 99 even if you are listening to track 351.

Well, I hope this will help some of you make a more educated purchase.  While the iCruze is not perfect, it is well worth checking into, especially for $99, it is allot cheaper then the other options.

Posted by mrjirey on February 1, 2006 at 3:02 PM (PDT)

12

I just ordered one. What a great deal. I was looking to buy the US-Spec Ipod interface. One thing I like about the US-Spec is it also has an extra auxilary input.The Irip sounds like poo and cassette
adapter has some hiss. I have a 12 disc changer which means 12 playlist I can control. I only have 12 playlists on my 4g and 3 on my nano.

Posted by GUTIERREZ on February 1, 2006 at 4:51 PM (PDT)

13

I already have the iCruz installed in my car and it works pretty good.

First I want to say the iCruz will support more than 6 play lists.  It all depends on how many CD’s your factory head unit can support.  Not all head units use the 1-6 preset buttons to switch disc’s if you have a CD changer connected.  My factory headunit uses up and down arrows to switch between CD’s or Playlists with the iCruz connected.  So I have access to 10 playlists in my 04 Camry.  Also the LCD display is seperate and does not have to be connected if you don’t want it to.

The Good Things:
All CD controls work (Next Track, Previous Track, Repeat, Random, FF, RW).  Fast forward and rewind will skip through a playlist 10 songs at a time.  When you disconnect your ipod and then come back to re-connect it will remember where you left off in the playlist and start playing that song again.  It keeps your ipod battery charged up.

The Bad Things:
The Font used on the LCD display is to big and causes the song names to be cut off.  The LCD display does not scroll the names across the display.  When using random mode on the head unit, iCruz does not remember random was turned on after the ipod is disconnected and then re-connected. You will have to hit the random button again on the head unit to turn random back on.  The ipod screen is disabled, so you can’t let the passenger play DJ.

So the iCruz is not perfect but for $99 and comparing it to some of it’s competitors it has alot to offer.

Posted by iscripter on February 1, 2006 at 7:16 PM (PDT)

14

I have a 99 Camry .. and it only uses 1 cd.  Does that mean I have to make one big playlists?  I thought the FM presets were used as playlist.

Can anybody clarify this for me?  I have been looking for something like this instead of using the cassette which makes weird noises.

Posted by KenRn05 on February 1, 2006 at 9:18 PM (PDT)

15

I have the USA Spec (http://www.usaspec.com) interfaces, purchased from Crutchfield, in both my Volvo and Ford truck.  They work wonderfully and I’ve been very happy with them.  I can control the iPod from its built-in controls or use the stereo’s controls to skip tracks, so I’m not sure why mrjirey says you can’t.

The interface allows you, via a dip switch, to use the iPod’s controls or to use playlist control with up to about 10 playlists.  IMHO the playlist mode is very limiting and for me useless.  You can read about how these work on their website.

The only caveat is that they do have newer firmware available for the many of the units, so before you install them, contact USA Spec to make sure that you have the latest and greatest or you may have to remove and reinstall them, which is a pain!

I use mine all the time in my vehicles and if I’m in need of a quick charge for the iPod and don’t have my adapter or PC handy, I just run it out to the car.

Posted by Bandito on February 2, 2006 at 12:01 PM (PDT)

16

You cannot beat the Alpine head units w/ iPod support.  I have the 2005 model, and they introduced a new 2006 line, with very fast interface.  The head units start @ $180 @ Cruthfield, and the special iPod cable is just $30.  I paid $100 for the iPod KCA-420i adapter last year!  The new 2006 line has the adapter built into the unit. 
It is more than the Monster product ($210 total), but full control of your iPod is just the best

Posted by Son of Bandito on February 2, 2006 at 6:04 PM (PDT)

17

mrjirey -  You’re wrong. The Harman Kardon is a direct connect unit.  You can also the FM transmitter or connect through the antenna.  the remote controls all the functions on the iPod and the display mimics the iPod’s.  It’s also cheaper than what you wrote.  It’s $199 on Crutchfields.com and CircuitCity.com.

Posted by bdodge on February 2, 2006 at 6:06 PM (PDT)

18

The 2006 line is called “Ipod Full speed”
Check it out: http://www.alpine-usa.com/

Posted by Son of Bandito on February 2, 2006 at 6:07 PM (PDT)

19

Just to clarify, the Harman Kardon unit does not connect to your factory car stereo’s built in CD changer. as do the other units do, but connects to a number of factory or after market head units via an FM modulator or stereo line-in cables (http://www.harmankardon.com/drive-1/diagram.aspx).  In this manor you can not use your factory or after market radio to control your iPod, but must use the H-K control knob.

Since most factory car stereos do not have line-in capabilities, you must use the FM modulator.  In this manner it is not much different the using an iTrip.

Two main advantages that the H-K system offer over an iTrip is that the system has better performance since the H-K system uses an in-line FM modulator that cuts off the regular antenna and boosts the systems FM output.  Secondly your can hide your iPod, and it will charge while connected.

The H-K systems interface is vary easy to use, but since it is not providing any better connection method then an iTrip (unless you are using the line-in connection) why not just use the iPod with an iTrip for Less then $50 rather then the $199+ for the H-K system?

Just my thoughts after spending some time looking at may systems.

Posted by mrjirey on February 3, 2006 at 11:33 AM (PDT)

20

Great news about the Full Speed systems from Alpine.

Thanks or the tip.

Posted by mrjirey on February 3, 2006 at 11:51 AM (PDT)

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