SACD in the Car: It's Too Late, Sony?

That's right, if you've been waiting to play that multichannel Tapestry in the car, now you can finally do it. A full six years after the dawn of surround SACDs, Sony has introduced the first car SACD player, the MEX-DV2000 (above, $280). I initially heard rumblings about this way back in January, but now, apparently, it's a reality.

Xavw1front_lg_2 And on Sunday (why Sunday?), Sony announced that another SACD-equipped car unit is coming in August: the XAV-W1 audio/video system (left, $800), complete with touchscreen panel.

For more info on both models, click here.

Despite so many industry people insisting how music in surround is destined to "take off" in the car, it sure is interesting that it took Sony this long to mobile-ize SACD.

Back in January, Yushi Igarashi, general manager of the Sony SACD Project in Tokyo, said that the coming introduction of the format to the car market is "a tremendously exciting development. Last year, Sony included SACD playback in the PlayStation 3. . . . Now, SACD can be listened to in the car, which is a key application in winning over music lovers' hearts and minds. At Sony, we remain committed to driving ahead with SACD integration - and to this end, we are continually developing SACD-capable hardware in order to broaden the HD music world."

Well, maybe SACD is indeed big in Japan. But here? Nope, except for continuing releases from the good folks at Telarc. And Sony's car introductions are doubly "interesting" when you consider that, more than a year ago, its entertainment division basically abandoned support of the format that its own company had invented.

Still, I'm glad for what we had. And all of us with SACD collections are certainly glad for what we now belatedly have: the ability to put SACD in the car and really feel the earth move under our seat. -Ken Richardson