InCar Entertainment  - - AUDITION -

If ever there was an au­dio com­pany truly de­scrib­able as om­nipresent it would be Amer­i­can-born Rock­ford Fos­gate. Dur­ing its half cen­tury ten­ure pro­duc­ing some of the most recog­nis­able prod­ucts on the planet, Rock­ford Fos­gate, or sim­ply Rock­ford in lo­cal ver­nac­u­lar, has been there and done it all. This in­cludes the marine el­e­ment too, and his­tory will record that Rock­ford dom­i­nated this fun­da­men­tal cor­ner of the mar­ket long be­fore many of its com­peti­tors even con­sid­ered its rel­e­vance.


One trend you’ll no­tice when brows­ing com­pany marine sta­bles (should that be aquar­i­ums?) is that the prod­ucts num­ber far less than that of car au­dio. This is not sim­ply be­cause there’s less boats but also be­cause marine ves­sels tend to not ad­here too strictly to stan­dard size com­po­nents, es­pe­cially where head units are con­cerned. In a per­fect world ev­ery boat would al­low for ei­ther 1-DIN (50mm) or 2-DIN (100mm) in size. Sadly though this is any­thing but a per­fect world, and the num­ber of times I’ve seen boats with 1.5DIN-faced (75mm) re­ceivers is sub­stan­tial. True, many hail from the USA but in fair­ness it’s not re­stricted ex­clu­sively to that part of the world. We’re now see­ing a lot more Euro­pean wa­ter­craft join­ing this trend and for good rea­son. Most boats fea­tur­ing sin­gle-DIN head units have free real es­tate around the re­ceiver’s face. Not quite enough to al­low the fit­ment of a 2-DIN re­ceiver, but space enough to fit a 1.5-DIN face in while still re­tain­ing the 1-DIN back-end. Strangely though, the 1.5-DIN mar­ket re­mains al­most un­tapped. Rock­ford though has strate­gi­cally tar­geted this mar­ket, de­vel­op­ing a new world­class head unit called the PMX-5 specif­i­cally de­signed for those boats able to ac­cept a 1.5DIN source unit.

De­signed as an all in one dig­i­tal re­ceiver, the PMX-5 suc­cess­fully blends mot­ley fea­tures, clean lines, marine grade ma­te­ri­als, ro­bust com­po­nents, and boasts nu­mer­ous an­cil­lary aspects unique to marine au­dio such as be­ing ISO8846/SAE J1171 ig­ni­tion pro­tec­tion cer­ti­fied and hold­ing a IPX6 wa­ter­proof rat­ing. It’s some­what of a de­par­ture from stan­dard re­ceivers, omit­ting pri­mary items such as a disc mech­a­nism and nav­i­ga­tion, but in this tech­ni­cally savvy day and age th­ese things are re­dun­dant any­way. Don’t let the lack of disc mech­a­nism cool you off ei­ther, be­cause the pos­i­tives of hav­ing no mech are multi-tiered, start­ing with the most ob­vi­ous in that it al­lows the price tag to stay lower. There are, how­ever, other an­cil­lary bonuses that by en­large re­main un­no­ticed, such as less mov­ing parts equat­ing to less chance of break­downs, not to men­tion that no mech­a­nism also means more space for RAM – ergo the PMX-5 op­er­ates some­what faster than its com­pe­ti­tion too.

Mov­ing along to the fea­tures and start­ing with in­put method­ol­ogy; get­ting mu­sic into the PMX-5 is sim­ple enough, achieved pri­mar­ily via your smart de­vice and the full speed ver­sion 2.0 USB plug lo­cated on the back. As a sec­ondary source you can use the ver­sion 3.0 + EDR Blue­tooth chipset in­stalled, not only for tele­phonic du­ties but also for A2DP and AVRCP wire­less stream­ing. Sta­ble An­droid aside, I might men­tion it’s also com­pat­i­ble with the lat­est iPhone 6 and 6s run­ning iOS 8 soft­ware. You can also use the USB to op­er­ate all man­ner of stor­age devices pro­vided they’re for­mat­ted and stored within the stan­dard FAT 12/16/32 file struc­ture, with pri­mary file types sup­ported be­ing MP3 and WMA.

The unit also sup­ports Pandora, a highly pop­u­lar in­ter­net ra­dio ap­pli­ca­tion which al­lows you to se­lect the genre/song/al­bum/artist you pre­fer and it will au­to­mat­i­cally se­lect and play oth­ers along a sim­i­lar vein, with you ap­prov­ing or dis­ap­prov­ing tracks as it plays them, al­low­ing the sys­tem to build a com­pre­hen­sive and ac­cu­rate data­base of songs you’ll en­joy. You sim­ply open the Pandora app on your smart­phone and away you go. If you pre­fer to re­main within the ana­logue realm the PMX-5 also of­fers ana­logue au­dio in­puts on the rear, along with an ana­logue ra­dio tuner fea­tur­ing 18 pre­sets for FM and 12 for AM. For ex­ter­nal con­trol there’s an ana­logue di­rect steer­ing wheel in­put, plus a dig­i­tal con­trol port which

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