12 Volt: Hashmarks of Excellence
Alpine has always been a leader in the aftermarket world. Ever wonder what the five slashes are before the word Alpine in the logo? (No, someone did not just leave their hand on the key that shares space with the Question Mark.) Those five stripes stand for Engineering Excellence, Manufacturing Excellence, Marketing Excellence, Service Excellence, and Partner Excellence. A multitude of retailers have been Alpine partners for years. Let's take a look at some the actual tech Alpine is excited for this year and moving forward.
You can't go far without mentioning Alpine's flagship model, the INA-W910. The 7-inch screen looks awesome, but more importantly is Alpine's attention to detail when developing the HMI (Human Machine Interface). Steve Brown, Manager of Product Marketing at Alpine (also known as one of the best installers on the planet), puts it best: "Although there are other double-DIN head units out there that may have busier displays that appeal to the younger demographic, we find customers who purchase an Alpine keep coming back for the superior interface. It is one thing to have a unit look great on a display board. It is another to actually use it while hurdling down the highway at a high rate of speed."
Of course, one of the most potentially difficult new technologies to navigate is Pandora. However, the interface runs smooth and isn't clunky. Alpine was one of the first manufacturers to come up with dedicated soft 'Thumbs-Up' and 'Thumbs-Down' buttons on the control screen, so Pandora users can fine-tune the artists they are interested in hearing. Another nicety is an easy-to-operate, seven-band graphic EQ built in so at least you can get most vehicles sounding reasonable out of the gate—even if it is only a head unit swap.