The Alpine CDE-102 CD receiver is about as entry level as car stereos come these days. It plays CDs and that’s about it…or is it?
As it turns out, even an entry-level car stereo can hide a few tricks up its sleeve. For example, the Alpine can playback digital media from its optical drive and a USB port on the faceplate.
DesignAs a single-DIN car stereo receiver, the Alpine CDE-102 doesn’t have very much faceplate real estate to work with and, as a result, its interface emphasizes efficiency over aesthetics
FeaturesThe Alpine CDE-102 starts with playback of AM/FM radio and Red Book audio CDs then adds MP3/WMA/AAC playback to the mix. Users are also able to feed their media to the unit via USB port.
MP3 CDs and USB devices can be browsed using the CDE-102’s search mode to navigate files and subfolders. You can jump quickly through large lists of digital audio files using the unit’s percentage search function.
Although Alpine has slapped the “Made for iPod” and “Works with iPhone” badges all over the CDE-102’s box, the unit doesn’t actually support Apple’s digital media player out of the box. You have to purchase a $30 KCE-433iV full-speed iPod connection cable to use iPods and iPhones with the head unit.
Alpine left its Ai-NET digital bus off of the CDE-102, so there can be no adding HD radio or satellite radio receivers to this head unit. However, the Bluetooth module connection means that hands-free calling and A2DP audio streaming can be added and controlled using the CDE-102’s interface.