Garmin announced today the GMA 245 and GMA 245R, all-digital, Bluetooth audio panels designed for experimental amateur-built (EAB) and light sport aircraft (LSA). The GMA 245 is a panel-mount audio panel with a rich set of convenient and simple-to-use controls, while the GMA 245R is a remote-mount audio panel, both designed to interface with the G3X Touch flight display. These Bluetooth-enabled audio panels boast superior sound quality and an impressive list of additional features, such as advanced auto squelch, music bass boost, advanced equalizer settings, 3D Audio processing, wireless integration with the VIRB XE action camera and more. When interfaced to the G3X Touch flight display, both audio panels introduce more capabilities and offer advanced integration potential to provide pilots with an exclusive in-flight experience.
“Team X, our dedicated experimental engineering team, continues to expand the unique feature set of G3X Touch with the GMA 245/245R by bringing home theater sound quality to the cockpit,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “When selecting an audio panel for their homebuilt aircraft, pilots no longer have to settle for a minimal feature set due to price or lack of integration. With the new GMA 245/245R, pilots can take advantage of advanced audio capabilities with optimal integration and an intuitive user interface - all for a great price.”
G3X Touch meets Bluetooth wireless audio
Wireless communication further expands the utility of G3X Touch by allowing pilots the capability to connect a smartphone or tablet to the GMA 245/245R to easily make or receive phone calls and stream audio entertainment via Bluetooth. Incoming phone calls are annunciated by both visual and aural cues so pilots can easily make, receive or complete phone calls without significantly diverting their attention from the flight display. The remote-mounted GMA 245R merges seamlessly with G3X Touch for a sleek installation. For pilots who wish to integrate a dedicated audio panel alongside a G3X Touch flight display, the panel-mount GMA 245 incorporates dedicated music and intercom volume control knobs, a backlit keypad and more.
Innovative audio feature set
Music effects add to the rich audio characteristics provided by the GMA 245/GMA 245R, allowing pilots to select bass boost levels, as well as equalizer effects, including rock, classical and pop. Advanced auto squelch automatically adapts to the volume level within the cockpit and allows for natural conversation through headsets at all ambient noise levels. Expanding upon the exceptional quality and G3X Touch integration of the existing GTR 20/GTR 200 series radio/intercoms, the GMA 245/245R includes a six-place stereo intercom and support for up to three stereo music inputs. Additionally, a built-in digital clearance recorder can record up to 60 seconds of selected COMM radio transmissions so pilots can play back difficult clearances.
Garmin was the first to introduce 3D Audio technology to general aviation and the GMA 245/245R includes this capability, which mimics how pilots hear and process multiple audio sources. With stereo headsets, incoming audio is spatially separated to reflect how people process sound and conversation by differentiating audio sources and their unique locations or seat position. For example, sound from COMM 1 will come from the left, whereas sound from COMM 2 will sound as though it’s coming from the right.
VIRB XE integration
Bluetooth connectivity offered by the GMA 245/245R is further extended to integrate with Garmin’s HD action camera, VIRB XE. In place of a VIRB XE headset cable, the GMA 245/245R and VIRB XE connect wirelessly to allow pilots the option to overlay intercom audio and air traffic control communications while capturing high definition video. With the GMA 245/245R, pilots are offered the option of remotely mounting VIRB XE within Bluetooth range to capture HD video at the perfect angle, without concern of the camera being in reach of a headset cable.
Contributing to an easy and convenient upgrade path, the GMA 245/245R is rack and pin-compatible* with the GMA 240, GMA 340 and third-party audio panels for experimental aircraft. For pilots seeking a stand-alone or remote-mount solution, the GMA 245/245R offers seamless integration with G3X Touch. The GMA 245R is expected to be available in April 2016 starting at $1,199**, while the GMA 245 is expected to be available in May 2016 starting at $1,325**. For additional information, visit www.garmin.com/aviation or contact a local Garmin authorized dealer.