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Kenwood Head-Unit Rollout Underway

3/09/2011 02:30:48 PM Eastern

Long
Beach, Calif. - Kenwood is rolling out its 2011 head-unit lineup, having begun
shipping its Excelon-series CD receivers following last month's shipment of all
but one of its Kenwood-series CD receivers.

kenwood

By the
end of this month as planned, the company will ship its five new A/V-navigation
units, followed by mid-April shipments of two new mech-less digital media
receivers, said marketing development manager Tony Mercado. One more Kenwood-series
CD receiver is scheduled to ship later this month.

 The new Excelon-series CD receivers, all with
iPod/USB port at a suggested $160 to $400, include the first Excelon-series CD receiver
with embedded HD Radio. That model, the flagship $400 KDC-X995, also features
HD Radio's iTunes tagging feature and Pandora Internet Radio Link, enabling
control of an iPhone's Pandora app. It comes with a five-line display with selectable
text sizing and ability via Bluetooth to display all names and numbers from a
cellphone's address book.

 All of the Excelon models feature hands-free
Bluetooth and ability to interface with steering-wheel controls when an
aftermarket adapter is added. They come with external microphones for more
accurate microphone placement. All are covered by Excelon-series two-year
warranties.

 Kenwood's 2011 head-unit lineup includes the
company's first nine automotive head units with Pandora Internet radio
controls, first head unit with dual iPhone/iPod USB ports, and first in-dash
multimedia/navigation unit with embedded HD Radio. The lineup also expands the
number of head units with embedded HD Radio to four from one.

 The company's five new A/V-nav products, due
at the end of the month, are priced from a suggested $1,150 to $2,000. They
feature Pandora Internet Radio link and built-in Navteq live traffic free for
the lifetime of the product.  The top-end
$2,000 model, a part of the step-up Excelon series, features embedded HD Radio
and Twin iPod control, which lets users operate two iPods or an iPod and an
iPhone as separate sources.

 The two  new digital media receivers, due in mid-April
at a suggested $430 and $360, feature Pandora Internet Radio link, support for a backup camera,
3-inch full-color TFT LCD display, and playback of audio and video from a
connected iPod/iPhone.

 In the Kenwood series of CD receivers, six of
seven new models shipped last month, with the top-end $360-suggested KDC-BT948HD
shipping later this month with embedded HD Radio, iTunes tagging, Bluetooth
hands-free and Pandora control.

The second
model in the series with HD Radio is the $220-suggested KDC-HD548U with iTunes
tagging but no Pandora or Bluetooth.

  An OEM replacement speaker system, the $160-suggested
KFC-X183C 7.1-inch two-way speaker system, shipped last month. It's designed to
fit into factory speaker locations ranging from 6.5- to 6 by 9 inches, thanks
to a multi-application placement adapter.

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