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Kenwood Readies Marine Head Units

Long Beach, Calif. – Kenwood is scaling back its selection of marine/action-sports head units to three but four but stepped-up their smartphone connectivity.

Two new CD-receivers and a digital media receiver (DMR) ship in November as part of the company’s 2015 lineup. All three feature stereo Bluetooth, up from one model, and all add Android Open Accessory (AOA) for USB-connected Android phones running the Android 4.1 or later OS. With AOA and a free Kenwood app, the heads search for Android-stored music by artist, album genre, and song title. The heads’ USB port also charges the Android phone.

In another upgrade, the company is adding front, rear and subwoofer preouts to all models, “reflecting the need for system building in this segment,” said senior marketing manager Scott Caswell.

The company previously announced that all of its mainstream-series automotive CD-receivers and DMRs for the 2015 season would include AOA.

All three also feature conformal coated main circuit boards to resist moisture and condensation. All three also come with iPod/iPhone USB, control of Pandora and iHeart Radio on a USB-connected iPhone, Bluetooth AVRCP for control of Android- and iPhone-stored music, control of an optional SiriusXM tuner, variable-color display, DriveEQ, and three 2.5-volt preouts.

The $150-suggested DMR is the KMR-M312BT.

The opening-price CD-receiver is the $150 KMR-D362BT, which adds CD player. The top CD-receiver is the $210-suggested KMR-D562BT, which adds aptX streaming over Bluetooth.

In its 2014 marine/action-sports heads, Kenwood also offered the ability to search for music on USB-connected Android phones via an app, but the feature worked on pre-Android 4.1 phones, and it only enabled searches by file folder and track name.