By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Kenwood USA unveiled two low-end car CD receivers at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer's Association show here last week, including a low-cost $80 CD model with front panel auxiliary input for easy iPod/MP3 connection.
Called the Kenwood KDC-135, the receiver joins the recently shipped Sony CDX-GT110 and a newly announced JVC radio at $109 with remote control, that all share the common theme of providing a generic front panel auxiliary input as a low-cost means of allowing consumers to connect to an iPod or MP3 player. These differ from the more expensive iPod controller kits in that they don't allow the car radio to control the iPod.
Sony was among the first suppliers to offer front panel auxiliary inputs last year on a $99 CD receiver in a "GT series" that met with high market demand. Other suppliers are expected to follow suit this year. Noted Ray Leek, Jensen's mobile electronics VP, "Sony had such success, I think everyone will go with aux input."
The new Kenwood KDC-135 also offers a removable face plate. It will be joined by the step up KDC-MP235 with front panel auxiliary input. When used with optional adapters, the KDC-MP235 further allows Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM and Sirius satellite radio capability, and iPod radio control. It also offers MP3, WMA and AAC playback at a $120 suggested retail price. Last year Kenwood's lowest price for Bluetooth capability was $180.
Both the KDC-135 and the KDC-MP235 will ship in December. Additional features for both models include 50x4 watt power, switchable 2-volt pre-out connector, low pass filter and eq settings.
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