Amid all the gadgets and gizmos at CES, Sony has quietly announced a new in-car entertainment system, the XSP-N1BT. It was announced so quietly, in fact, that everyone seemed to miss it until @evleaks pointed it out. It seems like Sony should have made a bigger deal, because it looks neat.


The XSP-N1BT is (supposedly) the world's first double-DIN smartphone cradle receiver. You just drop your phone on and adjust the slider to hold it in place. The dock has NFC for instant Bluetooth pairing, which is how you get audio out of the device and into your speakers. You can also do hands-free calling and charge the device over USB. Sony's Xperia phones will reportedly charge wirelessly, but that might be referring to future Sony devices with Qi built-in (details are a little fuzzy). If that's the case, other phones like the Nexus 5 might charge wirelessly too.

The XSP-N1BT comes with a little remote control and can play CDs. There is reportedly a radio too, if you're into that sort of thing. A phone can act as a control unit for all the unit's functions with a Sony remote app. It will be out in May for $250.

[@evleaks, Sony]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • h4rr4r

    Add wireless charging for all brands and I will take one today.
    If they can make one without CD and Radio I would prefer that.

    • Johnny Bravo

      kind of hard because there are several different types of wireless charging technologies. the standard slowly seems to be qi

      • John O’Connor

        The Samsung Wireless Chargers work with my Nexus 5.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      It uses Sony's magnetic dock connector for wireless charging, no Qi unfortunately.

  • silver_arrow

    Well I saw some sources reporting the Z1C has qi built in...

  • Sorian

    More info needed! NOW! I want to know if I can use my N7 with this.

  • fredric

    If I can connect the steering wheel controls into that, you got yourself one hell of a deal!

    • mik3m

      This will become the norm in future.
      Get into car, plug your smartphone (no more car key), security unlocked, auto-pilot to destination.

      • fredric

        That's one laaaaazy future we're gonna live in X )

        • Mr E

          Phase 2 involves forklifts to schlep you over to your desk

          • Bob G

            Phase 3 involves the plot of the movie, Surrogates.

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      • Michael

        The only thing I disagree with, is I'd prefer not to actually have to plug in the phone.

        • Joe

          You won't have to. You set it in the cradle and your phone connects automatically through NFC bluetooth. You have the option of plugging it into the USB to charge it though, which is nice.

    • moehre

      The UI is Sonys own "APP Remote" for several BT Headunites alrdy available.

      • fredric

        Is it installable onto other units?
        If yes, I'm already halfway through the transaction ^_^

  • Eli Shirk

    This is a great idea, looking forward to learning more details. Will the government keep it from working properly while the vehicle is in motion? I hate all the so called safety features of my in-car navigation which actually make it more dangerous to operate. For instance if you're moving you can only use the microphone to enter a destination, but as soon as you come to a red light or stop sign it automatically cancels the verbal input and switches to touch input, which means you need to keep moving until you're done dictating the entire address and wait for it to process what you said and then verbally confirm the selection before you can come to a stop, otherwise you have to start all over again.

    • Cj

      That's poor design on the manufacturer side. Why should it stop verbal dictation when the vehicle stops?

      • Eli Shirk

        I agree, very poor indeed. It basically forces you to complete your entry the way you started it. If you're moving you must finish the entry while moving, if you're sitting still you must finish your entry at rest, other wise it cancels whatever has been entered so far and forces you to start over, it's absurd and drives me crazy. For the most part I plan ahead and enter addresses in before while parked, but sometime you want to locate a POI like a mall or gas station while moving, and it makes it incredibly difficult and dangerous to complete the task. I also think they should use the weight sensor in the passenger seat to unlock the touch controls while in motion, why shouldn't a passenger be able to enter information while the driver pays attention to driving? Sorry for the rant.

    • John Smith

      what piece of shit car manufacturer is that ? Please tell so that I can avoid... thx

      • Eli Shirk

        It's a Mazda, and the in car navigation/infotainment system is made by TomTom. The car otherwise is great, but TomTom really messed up as did Mazda by selecting TomTom.

  • Brayden Reesor

    This.. Would be so amazing. If this could work with my Nexus 5, I'd be all over it.

  • ChadyzGroove

    This is exactly what I've been wanting if it works with the Nexus 5 and/or Nexus 7 I will be buying it for sure.

    • Andrew Beard

      I bought it would work with the Nexus 7. The tablet seems significantly larger than a double din opening.

  • inzandity

    Looks like at the bottom of Sony's PR... "The new XSP-N1BT will be available in May for $250"

    • Tony Byatt

      Someone didn't read their own links...

    • RyanWhitwam

      So it does.

  • http://ignaciozippy.com/ Ignacio Zippy

    Also in the official announcement: an in-dash screen with HDMI and MHL inputs. (Miracast would have been nice too, I guess).

  • Jacob Chang
  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    Other sources are saying the wireless charging is through Sony's magnetic dock connector. Just a heads up.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    I was going to make a snarky remark about how stupid it was to buy a stereo tied to a specific phone, then read it and realized that not only is it not tied to a specific phone, but unlike Samsung crap of late, it looks like Sony's not even tying it to their brand. With that in mind, I could EASILY see myself buying one of these. Dramatically better than previous options.

    • Bob G

      "it looks like Sony's not even tying it to their brand."

      Except for the Sony logo on the cradle?

      • jamaall

        That's not what he means. He's saying that you don't need a Sony phone for it to work. For example, you need a Galaxy S4/Note 3 for the Galaxy Gear. With this cradle, you can use any Android or iPhone and any device that can download their app.

      • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

        I didn't say they weren't branding it, I said they weren't tying it to their brand. I even referenced Samsung to make it clear what I meant, like how their Gear REQUIRES a Samsung phone. Sony's not requiring you to own a Sony device for this to work.

        • larokus

          Please forgive bob G his lobotomy didn't wo out so well. He is still Pissy Sony put the Sony logo on a Sony product....??? We are all equally mystified.

  • D Canfield

    This would be great if you could buy a modern vehicle with a DIN style radio anymore. It was bad enough when you had to buy elaborate adapter brackets, but it's getting to the point that the radios in many vehicles are completely impossible to replace.

    • Sootie

      My 2013 triton has a standard double din unit, I replaced it with one of those elchepo chineese android headunits

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

    The question obviously being:
    Will the Xperia Z Ultra fit?

  • yankeesusa

    If it has xm radio capbility and can link with my subwoofer and amp then it sounds like a cool device.

    • MSmith79

      That's my kicker. I need a Sirius component.

    • MSmith79

      Actually on another forum they say the press release says ""The receivers also offer access to SiriusXM using the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit "."

  • Arthur Dent

    If it supports Qi and the app works with non-Sony phones, then this thing is pretty damn cool.

    • MSmith79

      It doesn't support QI. It does work with non-Sony phones. However...and here's the kicker...Sony phones will have wireless charging for it through their "magnetic" charger.

      • RDB

        There is no such thing as wireless charging this is just a marketing word. wireless charging which has to be called induction charging is years and years old. same boot as nfc. these are not new technology and all are 15+ year old.

  • Ziya Kokarağaç

    can I put it into a 2012 Ford Focus. any ideas?

    • MSmith79

      If it supports double din radios, then yes. Easy way to tell is to go to Crutch Field's site. Look up a double din radio, and then check if that radio fits your car. If it does, then so will this.

  • xsirxx

    Would buy in a heartbeat if I had a double din. Hell I would buy and android head unit if I had a double din. or hell I would even buy a head unit with a mirror display, guess what... If I had a double din.

    Nothing exists in a single din...

  • ericshmerick

    "If it had, if it can, if it would" lol. Love how things get picked apart instantly.

  • Josh

    Seriously?!?!?!... as a mobile electronics installer that caters to new car dealerships, this is horrible.. limited market (only sony xperia phones), limited, limited, limited.. It is time for one of the big players (Alpine, Pioneer, Sony, Kenwood, etc) to build a double din unit with the full android experience and quite dancing around it. Allow for the user to use his/her phones internet connection via bluetooth or as a wifi hotspot to utilize androids full functionality. This is what people want. Don't believe me? as the customers who ask us for such functionality on a daily basis. We have to turn them down. The crappy no name units on the market that kinda offer this are crap. We do sell a dual tablet system for "headrest monitors" but at $1600 for what amounts to $50 chinese shit tablets... its hard to sell. Give the customers what they are asking for guys! It will make my job easier and make you guys money.. easy as that.

    • magnafunk

      Ummmm.....No mate it will work with any bluetooth enabled smartphone (so basically any smartphone). I'm guessing it would probably work with ipod touch or any android media players too.

    • Trishan
  • JayH

    I was interested but once they said wireless charging. WIN!! I use my phone for everything else in my car. And If I could only dock my Nexus 7 now. SWINGGG!!!!!

    • magnafunk

      It actually says "charge without a cable via a magnetic connector" which I take to mean that it charges through pogo pins

  • Steve B

    For those hoping for Qi charging, sad to say this is not what you're looking for. Sony's "magnetic" charging only works with Sony phones.

    You can see how it works here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhIE6pt6bKA