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Clarion CZ702E Single Din CD/FM/USB/iPod Head Unit

Product Details
Manufacturer:  Clarion
Website: http://www.clarion.c...9588448634.html
Typical Suggested Selling price: £209.99: CAD Price £179.99
Link To Purchase: http://www.caraudiod...ion-cz702e.html

In A Nutshell
A fabulously highly specified super-bargain with the power to drive stock speakers well, or a full on amplified system, or even a mad end active speaker, six-or-seven-amplifier-channels-needed competition system. Time Alignment and a useful equaliser, wonderfully colourful display illumination and high power multiple-configuration RCA outputs. Full fat iPod control and even supplies MP4 video to an accessory monitor, (with an extra wire) the Clarion CZ702E has a panoply of excellence that utterly belies its price point. This unit would be a secret weapon to a sound-off competitor in the EMMA scene who is in a price-controlled class as the Clarion CZ702E is one hell of a lot of competition grade head unit for the money, that sounds good enough to get you all emotional and win you sound off trophies!

Overall                                                 9.4
Sound Quality                                        9
Appearance/Display                              9
Ease Of Use/HMI                                    8
Features                                               10
Value For Money                                  11  (I Reserve the right to do this! It has precedent!)

What It Is
A Twenty-First Century Toy of the Finest Order. The Clarion CZ702E looks like a perfectly ordinary, if particularly beautiful single DIN CD headunit. However, for the price of a decent CD player a year or two back, you now get what would have cost you £500 or more, even if there was no USB nor iPoddery control on board, which of course, there is. There is a whole suite of true high end features that make the Clarion CZ702E a competition-worthy head unit, yet kept cost-low by cunning design. You get a trio of massive-voltage RCA outs that can be configured as classic front/rear/sub or else as two, or three-way, offering only lows/mids/highs as stereo for a true high end actively-driven speaker and amplifier system. There is time alignment to perfect the stereo image and crossovers and an equaliser with presets as well as customisable slots. Also, the Clarion CZ702E can light in 728 different colours, which looks awesome left in demo scroll mode and as well as having the very best Bluetooth technology from Parrot onboard for all streaming formats yet devised. If you add an accessory CCA750 wire, you can connect a monitor and see iPod video output as well! All that and telephony too, with a built in microphone in addition to a socket to add an external microphone if you would rather.

Editor Review : Clarion CZ702E Single Din CD/FM/USB/iPod Head Unit

How Is It Made?

A beautifully put together piece of ordnance as one would expect form the world’s biggest maker of car audio. The Clarion CZ702E comes with a really smart yet low button-count and easy-to-use remote control as well as of course having neat buttons with high quality break out force or ‘feel’ to them on the unit itself. The front panel and fascia trim are a bit lovely and arrive with a cohering layer of plastic to protect them until install, as they have the most delicious glass-like shiny finish to them I have ever seen on what is after all a polymer injection-moulding. The Clarion CZ702E feels solid and massy as it has a lot of electronics on board and the wires that are hard-connected to the back are solid and of high quality, especially the umbilicus that awaits the addition of a DAB302E add-on box. A very classy looking and delightfully potent-motored deck that grasps a CD from you with authority and just oozes class, despite its low price tag.

How Well Does It Work?
This is a superb piece of kit. Just for spinning CDs with great aplomb, spitting huge quality sounds out the back, this unit is a monster among cheapies. Let’s leave the whistles and bells out for a moment. The sound quality of the CD was astonishing.

OK, the Signal-To-Noise Ratio of the CD section of the Clarion CZ702E is rated at >94dB or ‘better than ninety-four decibels’. Now CD can be output as high as 106dB signal-to-noise by using even more sophisticated Digital to Analogue Converters (DACs) than the 24 BIT job used in the Clarion CZ702E but they cost a LOT of money. So, while Pioneer can throw the names of the exalted makers of their DACs around and see their top bucks decks used in top end sound off cars’ systems, this headunit has a giant-killer set of ways to be of near-reference quality. It uses a phat full five Volts of signal output power and this means you can gain structure your system such that the tiny bit of transport noise way back in the box that I could hear faithfully reproduced by the Genesis SM100 amplifier I use on the Daiwa laboratory power supply, could be dialled back by reducing the amp gain and raising the headunit power. I was able to enjoy the full 24 BIT depth of the machine.

This means a separation of the soundstage to clarity and width with depth. This means musical expression, emotion and feel as well as impact, clarity and simple definition. Brushed cymbals sound like a thousand strands of wire on the high-hat, not just a susurration of ‘pish’. Mouth sounds, throat groans from blues singers and the twangy edges of strings are all apparent. It simply sounds better than a normal CD deck. I didn’t really play deeply with the time alignment as I use a stereo pair of B&W speakers on the test bench, which also means I could have spent a week really giving this machine a pull through on the crossovers and equalisation but the most crucial thing is not just how it easily bosses my iPod Touch 4thGen nor even how much of a doddle it is to add the magical digital radio box by just plugging an umbilicus in that has an aerial plugged into it in turn but just how it performs.

A real find and a brand statement all at once, the Clarion CZ702E is clearly the sort of thing a smaller brand could never offer at the price. As such it is easily a Talk Audio Best Buy and is awfully close to Reference status, which is absurd at £210. It is even more absurd at £180, which is what Car Audio Direct, our known-good internet vendor (we also refer to Car Audio & Security) sell it at. And as such, I have awarded the terribly rare Spinal Tap points score.

Yes, it is an Eleven for Value For Money.

Full Features & Specifications
CD/USB/MP3/WMA playback
728 variable colour lighting for buttons and display
Built-in Parrot Bluetooth interface (HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP, PBAP)
Built-in Microphone and external microphone ready with optional RCB199
Digital radio ready (optional DAB302E)
3.5 mm audio auxiliary input (front)
Rear USB port with iPod direct connect capabilities (optional CCA750 iPod interface cable)
4 × 50 W MOS-FET power amplifier
Digital time alignment control and 3-way crossover
Subwoofer level control
Built-in Low pass/High pass filters
Beat EQ Plus for sound adjustment
5V/6-channel audio pre-out
OEM steering wheel remote ready
Wireless remote control included

TUNER SECTION:  Frequency bands
FM:  0.05MHz steps                                      87.5 to 108MHz
MW: 9kHz steps                                            531 to 1,602kHz
LW:  3kHz steps                                            153 to 279kHz
FM usable sensitivity                                     8dBf
FM 50 dB quieting sensitivity                        17dBf
FM alternate channel selectivity                    6 dB
FM stereo separation @1 kHz                       30dB
FM stereo freq. resp. @ ±3 dB                      30Hz to 15kHz

S/N ratio                                                        >94dB
Frequency response                                       20Hz to 20kHz
Dynamic range                                               94dB
Harmonic distortion                                         0.1%

Power output (DIN45324, +B = 14.4V)          4 × 25W

Dimensions (W × H × D)                               188 × 58 × 190mm
Remote control (W × H × D)                          43 × 11 × 113mm
Weight                                                           1.4kg
Power consumption:                                      less than 15A
Speaker impedance                                      4Ω (4Ω to 8Ω allowable)


The remote control


Looks like a belter!
Incredible Spec at the price!
Seriously considering one of these
I've been a die hard alpine fan for years but tbh this is tempting me away from alpine
im getting one!
I've got one and its a major step up for clarion in this price range.

I thought I had read that this uses its onboard DAC for ipod playback. Is that correct?