New Pioneer DAB radio head units

Pioneer is making 2013 the year of in-car digital radio, adding two new DAB head units to its range.

The single-DIN DEH-X8500DAB and double-DIN AVH-X3500DAB get the latest DAB+, so you’ll be prepared when the government goes ahead with the analogue-to-digital switchover. Both also have the Time Shift function, letting you pause and rewind live DAB radio. Music lovers will like the Mixtrax EZ facility, too; this adds effects to your iPod library and mixes songs.

Both new products also offer Bluetooth connectivity from hands-free expert Parrot, enabling drivers to legally make and take calls on the move through the stereo.

The larger, more expensive AVH-X3500DAB has a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, and offers an AppRadio Mode, which lets you connect your smartphone and use certain apps. This £400 head unit also has a USB input at the rear, so you can hook up your iPod without running a wire down your dashboard. You will also need to add the £349.99 AVIC-250 GPS module to get sat-nav.

The smaller DEH-X8500DAB has a MOSFET 50W x4 amplifier, a five-band graphic equaliser and advanced sound retriever technology, which restores any musical detail lost in the creation of compressed digital music files. It costs £239.99, and as with its bigger brother, everything you need to set it up is in the box.

Both units have pre-outs to let you hook up extra amplifiers, speakers and subwoofers, too.

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