CARgo: High-definition navigation

Quiet Clarion continues to deliver Ten years ago, car stereo manufacturer Clarion characterized cool with a prominent sponsorship position on MTV’s Pimp My Ride and solid credibility among car audiophiles with a taste for bass. Three years later, the show was cancelled. But while operating in relative obscurity, Clarion continues to shine and its recently-released NX404 multimedia navigation receiver shows why. Featuring a 6.2-inch touch screen display alongside Bluetooth capability and both Android and iPhone compatibility, the NX404’s navigation module offers North American map data and some of the nicest 3D perspectives of terrain, buildings and landmarks that you’ll see circa 2014. It is also among the car stereos that will play lossless FLAC audio files from a USB flash drive, which means you can listen to 24-bit/192 kHz clarity if you can actually figure out what a FLAC file is, and how to get one. A front 3.5 mm audiovisual input complements three sets of 2-volt preamp outputs and it’s even got an HDMI input because people really need to see best-in-class video on a 6.2-inch screen. $700; visit

Just snap to the dash The togoDock iPhone car mount doesn’t look like much, and with production just starting, it may not amount to much. But it’s a very unique iPhone car and home docking system in which you plug the iPhone into the lightning adapter that’s sticking out of the unit and you can then literally just press the dock, containing the phone, onto any magnetic surface where it will snap into place. So instead of having a permanent car mount that gets in the way, the iPhone itself is already attached to the mount and you can just affix it wherever you’d like, with the magnetic backing holding it firmly in place. The unit also comes with a power cable wrap which unfurls to plug into a power source and a built-in backstop which holds the phone steady against users pushing buttons and the touch screen. It is admittedly a pricey product given the reality of what it does, but with each car mount being more irritating than the last, this might be your final purchase from this product category. $30; visit

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