More than 13 years FUSION has been improving the marine audio entertainment industry, but the latest unveiling of its Apollo Series takes sound systems to a whole new level.
“We don’t believe in painting a product white and calling it marine,” said FUSION Managing Director Chris Baird. “We truly build products designed for the boating industry and with the new Apollo Series we’re building on our True-Marine design philosophy. It will forever change the face of marine entertainment and set a new standard by which all others will be created.”
At a recent press event in Florida, Houseboat magazine was given a chance to see – and hear – what all the excitement was about. The FUSION RA770 is the flagship of the new Apollo Series, epitomizing creative design and technological brilliance. The world’s first purpose-built marine entertainment system with a one-piece glass touchscreen display, built-in Wi-Fi streaming, Digital Signal Processing Technology (DSP) and PartyBus capabilities, the RA770 is truly a game-changer for the marine audio entertainment industry.
“The 770 is the pinnacle of what we do,” added Baird. “We wanted to step up to a little better and it’s the tip of the top. It is future-proof.”
Featuring a brilliant, optically bonded, full-color LCD display, the RA770’s one-piece glass touchscreen makes trying to locate the correct button a thing of the past. Users can simply tap the screen to pause and play, or swipe through a playlist to find their favorite song. The stylish display blends perfectly with modern glass houseboat helms and is an attractive addition to flybridge steering stations.
The FUSION Apollo Series also includes the SRX400, delivering a truly powerful feature set in a compact versatile form factor. Like the RA770, the SRX400 offers Wi-Fi streaming, DSP and PartyBus functionality.
“For many years our head units have defined marine audio entertainment,” said Baird. “While there has always been an ability to add features, no one has created a paradigm shift in this space, until now. After listening to our customers and closely examining trends and innovations in other industries such as touchscreen and glass helm systems, we knew it was time to change everything. We are very excited to introduce Apollo to the world.”
Fine Tune Like A Pro
For the pinnacle of sound quality, the Apollo Series harnesses the power of FUSION DSP, providing premium audio delivery to all speakers in any environment. FUSION’s system approach ensures every step of the audio chain is optimized through calculations by its audio engineers to deliver a technically superior listening experience – without the need for houseboat owners to have a technical understanding. Setting up DSP profiles is made simple with the free FUSION-Link app. With just a few clicks, boat owners can set up the preconfigured DSP profile to play high-quality audio customized for their ears and their specific environment. Precisely calculated loudness curves optimized for the human ear ensure quality audio delivery at every volume level – giving quality, full-range sound whether the volume is turned all the way up or all the way down.
Perfect For Houseboats
PartyBus is FUSION’s audio distribution network of the future and it’s truly geared towards the houseboat industry. Engineered for those who value freedom of musical choice, to play what they want, where they want, PartyBus gives houseboaters the power to command the party across the whole boat or quietly relax in a single stateroom, regardless of others’ preferences. The power of PartyBus kicks in when users add more PartyBus-enabled stereos to their onboard entertainment system like on the upper deck or in the galley. Each additional PartyBus-enabled stereo gives the option to join Party Mode and play the same perfectly synced audio source through the entire vessel. Houseboaters can also opt into Personal Mode and listen to available audio sources from the stereo in their zone of choice without disrupting Party Mode in the other areas of the vessel. You probably won’t truly appreciate this feature until you host a large houseboat gathering on your boat. When you get the desire to peel off to the master stateroom to listen to your own preferred tunes, you’ll then recognize how important the PartyBus feature really is.
You’ve Got Options
Offering more source options than ever before, the Apollo RA770 offers users the ability to play their favorite soundtrack via Bluetooth, Optical Audio (TV), Advanced SiriusXM features (USA only), DAB+ ready (available in Europe and Australia only), AM/FM radio, AUX and USB. Since this is the world’s first marine Wi-Fi stereo, users can finally stream music from a mobile device via Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), providing the highest quality audio streaming available. With the built-in Wi-Fi, the Apollo series can also wirelessly connect multiple Apollo stereos without running any cables, reducing installation time, cost and complexity. Simply put, because you don’t need to run cables this system is ideal for houseboat refurbish projects.
The FUSION Apollo RA770 (MSRP $649) and SRX400 (MSRP $349) feature a 4.3-inch and 2.7-inch display, respectively, are IPx7 rated for dust and water protection from the front when installed correctly, and include an internal Class-D amplifier. The RA770 has two RCA auxiliary inputs, one SPDIF port for TV audio output, one Ethernet port, one USB 2.0 port for phone charging and media playback, one SiriusXM port, one Motorola antenna connector port and it is DAB+ ready. The SRX400 has one Ethernet port and one Motorola antenna connector port. Both devices offer multi-language support and include English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch and Italian settings.
FUSION, owned by GARMIN, builds products that exceed regulatory standards using the latest technologies at GARMIN’s international ISO accredited manufacturing facility. Because we had a chance to control the music onboard ourselves using our own phones through the app, FUSION quickly learned marine journalists have a wide variety of music preferences that made for an interesting day on the water. However, one thing we could all agree on is that with its Apollo Series, FUSION truly has something unique that the marine industry has never seen before.
FUSION also released its plug-and-play one solution marine entertainment system – the Panel-Stereo. Ideal for houseboats with space constraints, the Panel-Stereo is an ultimate all-in-one audio entertainment solution. Combining all the elements required for excellent audio reproduction - Class D amplification, FUSION DSP, dual 3-inch speakers, a passive base radiator all inside a single tuned enclosure. Offering AM/FM, USB, AUX and Bluetooth streaming source options, the freedom of control via the Free Fusion-Link app, exceptional sound reproduction from a single product and flexible installation options, FUSION Entertainment has created another incredible audio solution.
“Quality audio entertainment has always suffered at the cost of the power and space constraints,” said Baird. “With the release of our Panel-Stereo, we are giving owners a powerful and durable audio entertainment system, packed into a compact form factor for easy installation, and freeing them from the constraints of traditional stereo systems.”
Panel-Stereo allows boaters to enjoy the flexibility of audio control from anywhere in or on an houseboat via Bluetooth from compatible Apple or Android devices running the free FUSION-Link app. Users can also enable stereo control from a compatible Garmin watch via ANT Technology, providing the freedom to choose how and where to control audio entertainment onboard. Audio control is also possible directly from the front face of the Panel-Stereo, using audible feedback, to guide the user through changing stations, music sources and saving pre-sets. Multi-language voice prompts include English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish settings.
Offering three mounting options to suit the requirements of any installation, the Panel-Stereo is a seriously versatile product. Designed for surface mounting with the optional 43mm surface mounting spacer, Panel-Stereo can be installed directly onto any flat surface with no mounting cut-out required. Minimal depth also makes it ideal for installation in shallow wall cavities with only a single cut-out, where standard speakers will not fit. Both flush and flat options are available with a premium finish.
Requiring only 12V DC power, ground and AM/FM connections, the Panel-Stereo (MSRP $399) is designed for quick and easy setup to provide a true plug-and-play audio entertainment solution. The Panel-Stereo meets the international standards IP65 water and dust resistance rating, ensuring peace of mind for any installation inside or outside your houseboat.
For more information, check out www.fusionentertainment.com and www.garmin.com.