LAS VEGAS —
Kenwood is launching its first nine automotive head units with Pandora Internet radio control, offering its first head unit with two iPhone/iPod USB ports, and adding HD Radio to an in-dash multimedia/ navigation unit for the first time.
At booth 1801, Kenwood is displaying Pandora in all five new in-dash multimedia/ nav systems, in two upper end CD receivers, and in its two mech-less digital media receivers, which lack CD but connect to alternate sources such as iPods and USB drives.
In other changes, Kenwood will:
• expand FM-based Navteq live traffic reception to four of its five multimedia/nav units, up from one.
• offer stereo Bluetooth for the first time, with the technology appearing in all five multimedia/ nav units.
• expand built-in Bluetooth hands-free technology to 11 heads units from five at price points down to less than a suggested $200 on a CD receiver.
• offer built-in HD Radio in an multimedia/nav unit for the first time and bring the selection of heads with builtin HD Radio to two from one.
The company’s five new A/V-nav products, priced from a suggested $1,150 to $2,000, feature Pandora Internet Radio link and built-in Navteq live traffic free for the lifetime of the product. They also feature a split-screen touchscreen to let users control sources while a map remains on screen.
All five feature upgraded Garmin navigation software exclusive to Kenwood in the aftermarket, and all are satellite- ready and HD-ready (except for the top-end $2,000 DNX9980HD with built-in HD Radio). The top-end $2,000 model, part of the step-up Excelon series, adds voice control and twin iPod/USB ports.
Digital media receivers:
Kenwood offered its first two mech-less models last year and will replace both with new models at the same suggested retails of $500 and $450. Both, however, add Pandora Internet Radio link and support for a backup camera. Both also play back video from a connected iPod/iPhone. The top model adds hands-free Bluetooth.
Excelon in-dash CD:
Five models range from a suggested $190 to $380, all with hands-free Bluetooth and steering-wheel control interface via adapter. The flagship $380 KDC-X995 features built-in HD Radio, iTunes tagging, Bluetooth and Pandora.
Kenwood series CD receivers:
Seven models priced from a suggested $150 to $350 include the $200-suggested KDC-HD548U with built-in HD Radio and iTunes tagging. The $350 KDC-945U features Pandora.