Clarion supports iThing tunes, & and the Bluetooth alternative


Clarion recently announced the “all new” CMD7 Marine CD Receiver (along with a pacel of other marine stereo gear) and its main new feature seems to be a direct iPod interface.  According to the CMD7 product page, you “just connect your iPod’s USB cable to the CMD7’s rear USB input and you get complete key control of your iPod including genre/album/song title search and you can also use iPod’s control wheel (simple control mode). The same connection can also be used to play back audio files stored on USB memory.” Now this isn’t truly new, given what Fusion has been up to for years now, but that sure is a handsome stereo and there are many Clarion fans out there.  Maybe the next version of the mighty CMV1 (in action here) will easily manage iThing videos like Fusion’s SonicHub and MS-RA200 do?  Meanwhile, some boaters are pretty pleased to simply stream tunes into their existing stereo’s aux port using a Bluetooth gadget…

I’m speaking specifically about Pompano Beach Panbot Glen Ersley, who recently enthused on the Hull Truth about his experience with what’s formally called the BlackBerry Remote Stereo Bluetooth Gateway (also reviewed at  It does look like a clean and easy setup, though I wonder how well Glen can see his iPhone when the sun shines on his center console’s dash, and here’s hoping it never takes a serious douse of salt water. There seem to be numerous options to the Blackberry gadget, including a similar Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver (made especially for iThings, though I think that BT A2DP works in pretty standard way these days) and the Kensington LiquidAUX, which adds hand’s free calling support and even a wireless remote for controlling calls and switching tunes.


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

3 Responses

  1. lfbaron says:

    Interesting, but I have been using what I believe is a cleaner and more flexible solution with my run-of-the-mill Sony stereo. I connected an old Airport Express (Apple’s Wi-Fi router) to the aux input on the stereo, connected the iPod to the newly created wireless network and, with Apple’s new AirPlay feature, I can stream from the iPod or iPad any music I want from wherever I am on the boat. Even Pandora, if I am within range of a true Wi-Fi connection (or using 3G connection). Only drawback is that it requires 120V input, but that’s what inverters are for.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I installed this unit in my sailboat.
    Built in Bluethoot and ipod docking tray.
    Got it all(no CD)works like a dream and sounds good to.

  3. Kardinal says:

    We installed the Belkin bluetooth unit on the bridge of small motoryacht we manage last year and then split the audio connection with a Shack splitter to the salon unit. Bluetooth works awesome, and its really nice for guests to enjoy the same music everywhere with the ability to change ipod or pandora music on the fly. Can’t wait for the Jailbreak on 4.2 so i can upgrade my OS and try AirPlay via an Express. I hear you can’t use multiple speakers/express from the iOs. Is this true?
    Early last year on a new Ferretti we sold, the client chose the Seamphony system with 5 Express coupled to Bose SA3 amps ( ) awesome system but had some limitations until AirPlay. I am planning on installing the same type system in my home but with only the Express & SA3 driving speakers with all media coming from my iPod as I walk around.
    Great site that I have always admired, but never had the chance to share. Keep up the good work Panbo

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