Jensen Adds $399 CarPlay In Debut Under New Owner

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Jensen car audio will make its CES debut under new ownership by bringing Apple CarPlay to head units for the first time and starting CarPlay-capable head unis at $399.

The Jensen car audio business was purchased in July 2015 from Voxx by Dual Electronics, which is maintaining the Jensen dealer network of dealers specializing in aftermarket car audio and car A/V. The dealer network excludes mass merchants.

Dual also carried over the Jensen’s development team, and the new Jensen products have been developed independently from Dual’s Dual- and Axxerabranded products.

For the launch, Jensen is launching eight new multimedia head units priced from a suggested $199 to $499, four new amplifiers from $99 to $299 in single- to five-channel configurations, four coaxial speakers from $59 to $89 per pair, and two subwoofers at $79 and $99.

The speakers ship in March, the amps are available now, and select heads ship in March and April. The CarPlay models will ship in the second half.

The four CarPlay head units are priced from $399 to $499 in single- and double-DIN configurations with 7-inch and 6.2-inch touchscreens, respectively. The two $499 models feature built-in navigation, and all four feature HDMI/MHL mirroring to mirror the screens of Android and Apple smartphones. The head units also use Bluetooth’s HID profile to control all Android apps from the head-unit touchscreen. Apple phones lack HID.

Four 2015 models also had HDMI mirroring.

Wireless HDMI/MHL connectivity is available using the DMH25 DualCast Wi-Fi dongle to wirelessly connect a smartphone to the heads. Control of Android phones is still via Bluetooth HID.

With three continuing multimedia models, the Jensen multimedia lineup grows to 11 from eight.

All 11 multimedia models feature built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling (HFP), music streaming and player control (A2DP and AVRCP), and phonebook support with call history (PBAP). Each model also comes with external microphone for better voice intelligibility.

All 11 multimedia units for 2016 also feature direct USB control of music on iPods and iPhones, up from eight in 2015.

Ten multimedia models, up from six in 2015, feature Pandora Link to deliver full control of the Pandora app on a USB-connected iPhone and on a Bluetooth-connected Android device. From the head unit’s touchscreen, users can give Pandora tracks a “thumbs up/down,” bookmark songs, and switch personalized radio stations.

All 11 models also feature front-panel USB inputs for music playback and for convenient charging (2.1 Amp) of various electronics devices.

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