JUST TESTED: Dynaudio's in-car audio system for the VW Passat CC GT
In-car audio has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, with more and more car manufacturers turning to specialist hi-fi companies to develop their in-car audio systems.
Our colleagues on the Ultimate Guide to High-End Entertainment (on sale now) have just been putting the VW system through its paces, so you can read the full review below.
VW Passat CC GT
Terrific speed and energy to the sound; great value in its basic form; optional touchscreen is world-class
Not the deepest bass around
Great to use, listen to and live with
Danish firm Dynaudio has enjoyed a long affiliation with Volkswagen. The company's optional speaker system in the Passat, and now the new, swoopy Passat CC GT, has long been one of our favourites.
Not only does it sound great, with a fast, accurate sound that reminds us of the Danish company's home loudspeakers, but it's also available at vaguely sensible prices: the basic system costs just £785. Given that the car comes as standard with a dash-mounted six-CD changer and a 3.5mm in for an external source, that could well be enough for many buyers.
The touchscreen is fantastic
However, our road test car sported every extra in the book, including a DVD touchscreen navigation system (£1915 when fitted with Dynaudio speakers). But while that initially seems steep, it's actually money extremely well spent once you look into what you get.
First, the same option also gives you access to a dedicated iPod input with full control over your Apple portable, with album, artist, title and track information displayed on the 6.5in touchscreen.
A wonderful user interface
Second, the system provides quite the best user interface we've experienced in a car at any price, its beautiful graphics shaming cars costing much more (just try tuning in the radio, for instance – it's like the first time you played with an iPhone).
And third, you get a 30GB hard disk for music storage, plus an SD card reader for external music files – and, just to be sure, a 3.5mm input is fitted, too.
For an extra £235, you can have a six-CD changer too, but frustratingly, while DAB is also available, it can only be fitted if you choose not to have the sat-nav kit.
Sonically, the Dynaudio system does without a boot-mounted sub or fancy sound processing, but it's none the worse for it: as we've said, the sound is always expressive, exciting and very musical. Overall, then, this is a must-buy.
Drive units 2 x 28mm tweeters/front, 2 x 52mm midrange/front, 2 x 20cm bass/front, 2 x 20mm tweeters/rear, 2 x 16.5cm bass/rear
iPod support Yes
DAB support £150
TV option No