OLATHE, Kan. — Garmin has introduced 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, 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 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, according to company officials.
“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.”
Wireless communication 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 diverting their attention from the flight display.
Bluetooth connectivity offered by the GMA 245/245R is 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.
The GMA 245/245R is rack and pin-compatible with the GMA 240, GMA 340 and third-party audio panels for experimental aircraft.
The GMA 245R is expected to be available in April starting at $1,199, while the GMA 245 is expected to be available in May 2016 starting at $1,325.