I purchased the C550 model to update from my C320 Garmin, which served me for years of trouble free service. I gave it to a family member and they love it. The C550 is very close to the C340 model, which I also purchased and have in my wife's truck. The unit performs very well and has spoken street names, which is helpful and is better than "Turn in 200 feet." The 550c has a built in MP3 player, which is easy to operate and has the memory card slot to add hundreds of songs with a 1 or 2 Gig memory card (not included). The C550 has speakers on each side that provide very clear and warm sound from the Mp3 and there are 7 factory installed songs that give you a chance to try it out right out of the box. We were impressed with the sound quality from the speakers and could enjoy the music even above the normal sounds of driving. The traffic feature was impressive and the great thing is the power cord doubles as a FM traffic receiver, so you won't have to spend $130 more for the receiver cord like on the C340 and other models. The traffic shows a freeway grid of all the freeways in your county / City and red or yellow sections of the freeway maps shows where there is a problem. You can also zoom in on your location to just view local freeways, too. This also works out of the box and sets up when you first plug it in. The GPS system got satellite reception very fast and the maps were very up to date. It's basically a C340 with MPS player, Blue Tooth Phone and it comes with a traffic reciver cord. You can also download many Points of interest (POI's) from your computer to add to the tons it comes with and there is also audio tours that can be downloaded to the C550. I personally like that I can use it as an MP3 player and connect it to my car stereo that has an MPS input. This way, you no longer need to have 10+ CD's in your car, because the C550 holds all your music collection and it can play the tunes or you can run it into your stereo. If you're a techy kind of person, this unit is a lot of fun to play with for sure. If you don't need a hands-free bluetooth phone or MP3 player, I suggest getting the C340 and saving some money. The safety they provide in terms of not getting lost is well worth the price and knowing where all the gas stations, rest stops, restaurants and hospitals on long trips is priceless. Add in all the gas you'll save from no longer getting lost and finding the quickest route and the money saved pays for these units many times over. You will also not need to use your cell phone's 411, which my provider charges each call, because the Garmin is basically a phone book, too. When you want a number, simply type in the name and up comes with address and phone number to businesses. Very cool. If you don't have a GPS, you're really missing out on a lot of convenience, added safety and money saving benefits. This C550 and other Garmin's are excellent products and you can give a better gift to a loved one or to yourself.
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