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Kenwood Expanding Apple CarPlay Options

Aftermarket CarPlay options will grow when Kenwood later this month ships two multimedia in-dash head units at suggested retails of $800 and $850.

The two CarPlay-equipped models join two flagship head units equipped with both CarPlay and Android Auto at suggested retails of $900 and $950. The flagships set sail in June.

Other aftermarket autosound suppliers offering CarPlay include Alpine and Pioneer, which combines Android Auto and CarPlay in its units. The technologies have also begun to appear as original equipment in select vehicles.

CarPlay and Android Auto enable head-unit touchscreens to display a driver-friendly UI that controls key apps on USB-connected Android and Apple smartphones. Apps include a phone’s music library, navigation apps, and select music-streaming apps. Siri, Apple’s voice-activated and voice-respond assistant, is the primary interface to select entertainment options, open apps, reply to text messages and get turn-by-turn directions, Kenwood said.

Kenwood’s new CarPlay models are the $800 DDX6702S and the $850 Excelon-series DDX6902S. They feature 6.2-inch screen bordered on the left by a physical knob and menu buttons. The screen connects to an optional back-up camera.

Features include HD Radio, CD and DVD playback, and ability to connect to an optional Sirius XM SXV300 tuner. They also feature built-in control of Pandora Internet Radio and iHeartRadio. 
For custom applications, the Excelon DDX6902S includes three 5-volt pre-amp outputs and a 7-band equalizer. The Kenwood DDX6702S includes three 4-volt pre-amp outputs and a 5-band EQ.