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Kicker Adds Phone-Controlled DSP Amps

LAS VEGAS — Kicker’s Q Class of high-performance amps, component speakers and subwoofers takes its place as the brand’s top-of-the-line flagship car audio series, which ships in the first quarter.

The products include DSP amps whose settings can, via an optional Bluetooth- equipped black box, be controlled from an app running on a Bluetooth-connected smartphone or tablet. The IQI black box also lets users stream music via Bluetooth from a smartphone or tablet into an aftermarket or OEM sound system.

Kicker will promote the products through digital and print advertising and social media “to show a person’s emotional connection to music and leisure,” the company said. Literature, POS material, video projects and demo vehicles promoting the products will be on display.Kicker Performance Audio products, a division of Stillwater Designs and Audio, billed the launch as its “most spectacular” 12-volt product launch in more than a decade,

The Q Class products include the IQ series of five “intelligent” Class D DSP amplifiers, which consist of two mono, one stereo, one four-channel, and one five-channel amp. They are priced from a suggested $699 to $1,199, and all connect to all factory and aftermarket head units via the company’s FIT (Fail- Safe Integration Technology).

A $599 option is the Bluetooth-equipped IQI black box, which connects to the amps via short DIN cable. With IQI, a Bluetooth- equipped smartphone or tablet adjusts the amps’ DSP settings via a Tweeq app, which can be downloaded from Google Play and the iTunes Store. Installers can also use a PC to adjust amp DSP settings.

DSP settings can also be adjusted via physical controls on the amplifiers’ end panels. The Q-Class series also includes a new CompQ subwoofer group, the L7 subwoofer with patented square-cone technology, and a family of L7 loaded enclosures.

The square cone in the L7 delivers greater cone area than traditional round cones to deliver “more sound, greater impact, and stronger low bass,” a spokesman said. “Others have attempted to create a functioning square woofer and failed.”