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Kenwood Adds Pandora Control To 9 Heads


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

• 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.