The Sony MEX-XB100BT with built in 40 watt x 4 RMS micro amp, possibly the most powerful car radio, is selling about 4X the rate anticipated, claims Sony.
The unit is backordered until the end of July. Best Buy has doubled the number of stores that will carry it so it will be in half of all Best Buy stores later this year, said Sony’s Rick Kojan.
Sony says it expects to see high powered radios offered by other suppliers, creating a new step up level for basic radios.
JVC Kenwood’s Daniel Jones said, “I would imagine every head unit manufacturer is ‘considering’ it,” but he added, “Obviously we are not able to discuss our future product plans.”
Jensen said it is not considering offering a high powered radio at this time.
Dual has already announced a marine version of the high powered deck to be shipped at a later date.
Dual’s marine version is CD-less, which leaves room for a built-in 600 watt full-range digital amplifier. It is expected to sell at a $499 suggested retail price.
Sony high powered deck began shipping in early spring with more than twice the power output of a typical radio.
One concern is that a high powered radio would detract from separate amplifier sales. Kojan says that powered radios are aimed at stepping up the $99 or $129 radio customer who most likely would not have purchased an amplifier. The MEX-XB100BT sells at about $229.
It “puts a stake in the ground against spiraling downward low end ASPs,” he claimed.
Sony is looking into offering the radio in double DIN and marine versions.