Features and performanceAs its name implies, the headline feature of the Brisbane SD48 is its SD card playback capability, which is accessed via a slot situated horizontally down the right side of the faceplate. For our test, we loaded up a mini SD card with a number of MP3 tracks encoded at 128Kbps. Selecting “SD Card” from the source menu automatically started the tracks playing, and we were pleased to see that the system displayed full folder and file names for tracks on the card. The Brisbane accommodates up to 127 music directories and displays ID3 tag information up to 30 characters in length. While users can navigate folders and files by using the up/down and left/right arrows on the left-hand keypad, the Brisbane SD48 provides no other means of browsing for tracks by name, meaning that drivers could find themselves skipping through long lists of songs before listening to the track they want to hear.
In sumWith its discless design and support for a range of digital-audio sources, the Blaupunkt Brisbane SD48 could well represent the future of the car stereo (although it could do with being more iPod-friendly). It offers decent audio output and a good range of audio-customization features, and with a price tag of around $160, it offers an alternative to entry-level stereos from the likes of Sony and Alpine. However, its lack of disc-playing capabilities and its basic faceplate design may deter some.