By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK – The marine-audio market might represent a sliver of the overall mobile aftermarket, but factory-level dollar sales were up at double-digit percentage rates in 2012, prompting car electronics supplier to launch of new products.
Boss Audio, Clarion, Dual and Kenwood are among the companies that have announced new products 2013, with Clarion launching two head units compatible with the J1939 databus on new boats. Compatibility enables the head units’ displays to appear on OEM touchscreens that control GPS, chart plotters and other boat systems.
For its part, Dual is expanding its selection of marine product, having entered the market only last year. New product include a digital media receiver (DMR), CD receiver, speakers and accessories. Kenwood is launching two new head units that add new features to the models they replace. And Boss Audio is launching five marine heads.
Alpine, Pioneer and Sony offer marine-audio products but haven’t announced new products for 2013.
The new products enter a market whose factory-level dollar sales rose 17.9 percent during the January through November 2012 period to $23 million, Consumer Electronics Association statistics show.
For the period, speaker unit sales were up year over year by 32.5 percent to 223,000 units, with dollars up 69.7 percent to $9.4 million.
Unit sales of marine head units fell 5.6 percent to 135,000, and dollar volume was off 2.5 percent to $13.6 million.
See story at left for Clarion’s introductions and below for what the other companies are launching.
Boss Audio: Four new single-DIN Boss marine receivers with UV-resistant coating consist of a multimedia unit and three mechless units.
The marine multimedia unit is the $249-suggested MR360UV with DVD, 3.6-inch widescreen TFT monitor, RDS tuner, MP3 and WMA decoding, USB port, aux input, SD card slot, preamp-outputs, rear-camera input, 4x80-watt amp, IR remote and optional wired remote. It’s shipping.
The mechless units include $196-suggested MR1350UAB with iPod/iPhone USB, stereo Bluetooth with AVRCP, MP3 and WMA decoding, SD slot, aux in, 4x50-watt amp, and front and rear preamp outputs. It’s expected to ship in April.
The $150-suggested mechless MR1308UAB features stereo Bluetooth, AM/FM, USB, SD slot, aux in and 4x50- watt amp. The $121-suggested MR 1306UA offers the same features except for Bluetooth. They are expected to ship in late February.
With the launches, Boss Audio continues to offer 18 marine head units.
Dual: The company is adding six SKUs to the 13-SKU selection launched at last year’s International CES. The 2012 lineup consisted of six receiver and speaker packages, two CD receivers and five speaker pairs. Features included built-in hands-free and stereo Bluetooth, USB control of iPods/ iPhones, SiriusXM-Ready capability and seven-channel NOAA weatherband tuner.
The six new SKUs include the $179-suggested AMB500W DMR, a CD-less version of the flagship AMB600W CD receiver. Features include control of USB-connected iPods/ iPhones, built-in hands-free and stereo Bluetooth, SiriusXMReady capability, MP3/WMA playback via USB flash drives and SD cards, 3.5mm aux in, two pairs of RCA outputs (F+R/S), seven-channel NOAA weatherband, detachable face and wireless remote. It ships in May or June.
The MCP304S is a CD receiver packaged with two pairs of 6.5-inch speakers and a splashguard. The head unit features front-panel USB and SD slot for MP3/WMA playback from flash drives and SD cards, 3.5mm aux input, MP3/ WMA CD playback, one pair of preamp outs, wireless remote and universal splashguard to protect the unit from water splashes and UV rays.
The MCP100B bundle features a black DMR and two black 6.5-inch speakers for fishing boats. It has MP3/WMA playback from USB flash drives and SD cards, 3.5mm input, detachable front panel, one pair of preamp outputs and a wireless remote.
The DMS369 three-way 6x9- inch speakers feature 200-watt peak power, and the DMS365 three-way 6.5-inch pair features 120-watt peak power.
The MRF40 RF remote with detachable lanyard controls the AMB600W and AMB500W receivers.
Kenwood: Two replacement single-DIN CD receivers are the $120-suggested KMR-355U and $300-suggested KMR-555U, replacing the KMR-350 and KMR-550.
The KMR-355U is shipping, and the KMR-555U will ship in April.
Compared to its predecessor, the 355U adds a SiriusXM port to connect the outboard SXV200 tuner, which receives 2.0 service. Like its predecessor, the 355U features Made for iPod/iPhone USB, controls the Pandora app on a USB-connected iPhone, and features App Mode, which enables the head unit to stream music from an iPhone’s music-streaming apps and control basic app features such as play/ pause and next/back on many apps.
Other key features include a music control app for Android phones and two 2.5 preouts (one for the front, the other for the rear speakers or subwoofer).
The step-up 555U adds the following features that its predecessor lacked: front and rear USB inputs, ability to play WAV files from a USB stick, control of the iHeartRadio app on a USB-connected iPhone, and a disc cover. Like its predecessor, it features Made for iPod/iPhone USB, control of Pandora on an iPhone, App Mode and a port for the SiriusXM tuner. Other key features include a music control app for Android phones.
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