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Looking for a Head Unit with specific features


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Howdy all,

I thought I'd cast the net wide to y'all for ideas.  I'm doing a project that needs a particular solution.  The non-negotiable requirements are:

  • Audio Head-Unit with LCD touchscreen preferably also with control-knob/buttons.  
  • TOSLINK output: dedicated TOSLINK or a mini-TOSLINK through a 3.5mm
  • Apple Airplay built in, Chromecast built in (also able to be it's own access point obviously)
  • BLE built-in, preferabbly also with APT-X codec in addition to usual SBC codec.

I get the same Airplay effect now actually by using my airport express (hacked to run off 12V instead of AC) and the screen of my iPhone.  But for this project it needs to be a bit more OEM.

The only thing I've come across so far is Fusion's Apollos series like the MS-RA770.  But it doesn't have the optical output.

Are there any other products out there like this?


Edited by Slurpee
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4 minutes ago, ctvandy23 said:

Saw this on Crutchfield and they are saying it has the TOSLINK ouput.

It has a TOSLINK input.  No output.  Bit of a bummer as it checks most boxes.  Maybe I can find a quality Pre-Amp to Toslink converter.  The ADC is really important in a product like that though and all I see is Amazon cheapo stuff.

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42 minutes ago, shawndoggy said:

dang that's a really specific feature set.  Why toslink output?

Mostly for simplicity sake.  There is no GND so no chance to couple in engine noise or other noise from helm electronics.  It removes one DAC and one ADC from the signal path lowering the noise floor and keeping the audio quality as close to source as possible.  The optical cable is cheaper and immune to oxidation or week connections from long term vibration and thermal cycling.  All of my DSP toys have optical inputs.  Even the amps with DSP inputs I'm playing with have optical inputs with optical pass through.  Since going that route I haven't had a single issue on any installs with noise from electronics, alternators, etc.  So I'm sort of in a rut, but a good rut.

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