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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Check Out Kenwood's Latest CarPlay & Android Auto Receivers From CES 2016

Kenwood joined Pioneer and Alpine as the third aftermarket manufacturer to sell CarPlay head units last year. Now, the company has announced four new dashboard receivers at CES 2016, bringing the total number of receivers that support Apple's in-car technology to eight.

Android Auto models have also doubled from two to four.

Here's a rundown of the newly announced hardware...

Firstly, I should point this out... None of the newly announced receivers are capable of supporting wireless CarPlay. So, that wait for wireless CarPlay hardware goes on.

Kenwood at CES 2016

- 15 new double-DIN head units for 2016, across the Kenwood and Kenwood eXcelon lines.
- Processor upgrades on all head units.
- New graphic user interface with album art, navigation instructions and source selection in vibrant colors.
- Interface personalization.
- Apple CarPlay compatible models are up from four to eight.
- Android Auto models are up from two to four.
- Rapid charging technology for smartphones which delivers 1.5 amps power through USB ports.
- High-resolution Audio Playback decodes up to 192KHz, 24-bit FLAC or WAV-embedded files.
- Built-in 13-band equalizer.
- Three RCA Outputs on all 2016 receivers.
- New Bluetooth ability to connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.
- Two camera inputs.
- iDataLink Maestro in most head units.

Model Numbers of CarPlay and Android Auto Devices:

1. DDX9903S - CarPlay + Android Auto
2. DNX893S - CarPlay + Android Auto  (Garmin Navigation System)
3. DDX6903S - CarPlay
4. DNX693S - CarPlay (Garmin Navigation System)

The new Bluetooth feature will allows users to connect two smartphones to the head unit at the same time. By doing this, drivers can select which smartphone is used as an Audio source. This feature can come in handy when switching between a driver's and passengers smartphone for audio.

Seems like Kenwood is just playing catch up to Pioneer which already has head units with most of the features mentioned above.

Additional Pictures:

These details are from Kenwood's press release. The entire press release is below. Full details can be found on Kenwood's website.
KENWOOD Introduces 15 New Multimedia Receivers for 2016 
Expanded smartphone support, higher-quality calls and faster processing deliver a premium user experience 
LAS VEGAS – January 7, 2016 (MEDIAWIRE) – Kenwood USA, manufacturer of advanced-technology driver entertainment systems, will debut its 2016 product lineup at International CES. The collection includes 15 new double-DIN multimedia receivers—12 of which supplant the previous year's models—across the KENWOOD and KENWOOD eXcelon lines. Key improvements address consumers' desire to seamlessly and safely access smartphone-centric apps through an intuitive interface, as well as performance enhancements to support onboard navigation and source selection. 
The 2016 multimedia platform received a processor upgrade resulting in improved stability and faster startup. The additional power also supports a completely new graphic user interface that delivers album art, navigation instructions and source selection in vibrant color and clarity. To personalize the interface, users can add shortcuts to their most-used sources on the home screen, select from a variety of backgrounds and switch between information sources by swiping across the display. For models with built-in Guidance by Garmin®, navigation maps and icons are more informative, and routing and recalculating are faster, thanks to new solid-state memory and a doubling of data transfer speeds. 
The number of models embedded with Apple CarPlay™ has increased from four to eight, encompassing the four new topline models across KENWOOD and KENWOOD eXcelon. When a compatible iPhone® is connected to the receiver via USB, the Apple CarPlay interface lets the user access select entertainment and information smartphone apps on the receiver's display, as well as use Siri® to make selections, provide navigation directions and deliver search results by voice. 
As well, the number of units equipped with Android Auto™ has doubled to four models in 2016. Created to extend the Android experience into the vehicle environment, Android Auto provides useful information at the right time, in addition to turn-by-turn navigation, music selection and more. A combination of voice and simplified touch menus lets the driver access Android Auto's features with minimal distraction. Phones connected through the USB port now benefit from new rapid-charging technology that delivers up to 1.5 amps. 
Sound quality was enhanced in the 2016 line. Available on select KENWOOD eXcelon receivers, High-Resolution Audio Playback decodes up to 192KHz, 24-bit FLAC- or WAV-embedded files from media connected through the USB port, which now supports more types of storage media. For all 2016 receivers, a built-in 13-band equalizer enables precise audio adjustments. To further tailor audio to the vehicle environment, the user can access new features to adjust digital time alignment, sound stage height, ambiance and volume based on ambient road noise, powering the built-in amplifier or external amplifiers through three sets of RCA outputs. 
Previously featured only on key models, all 2016 receivers now support the ability to have two phones actively connected via Bluetooth at the same time, letting the driver and passenger select which phone will be broadcast through the audio system. All models also receive the latest Hands-Free profile, supporting high-quality calls at twice the bandwidth of the previous profile. 
In addition to audio and the user interface, all 2016 multimedia units can now better interface with the larger vehicle world. Each supports connection of two cameras (front and rear view) to help avoid obstacles while parking and maneuvering. Most new units also support connection with iDataLink® Maestro, an add-on vehicle gateway device that enables the receiver to read vehicle information, control specific factory features and connect to factory installed entertainment and safety peripherals. 
The 2016 multimedia lineup will be on display during the upcoming International CES in Las Vegas, January 6-9 at Booth #1702 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more details, please visit the KENWOOD website at
Source: Kenwood

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