Kenwood Adds Aha Radio; Expands Android

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Now that more than half of smartphones sold are Android models, the car stereo market is responding with radios that control your music on an Android phone.

It is particularly pervasive in Kenwood’s 2012 line up.   Almost every receiver lets you connect an Android phone via USB and then control your music from the radio’s seek, pause, play and stop buttons to sort through music on the phone.

Kenwood DNX9990HD
Kenwood DNX9990HD

And you can use these same radio buttons on many models to control iPhone apps such as Netflix and YouTube on all multimedia and navigation receivers.

Plus there’s a second type of Android control specifically for Pandora.   You get full control over Pandora streaming from an Android or BlackBerry smartphone over Bluetooth  on nearly all Kenwood in-dash navigation/ DVD/radios this year.

And the top of the line top-of-the-line DNX9990HD also gives you Aha Radio control.

The 5 new in-dash navi/radios also now work with the new SiriusXM SXV100 tuner.   And 4 of them have built-in HD Radio.  They may be installed in a Ford vehicle while still retaining the sexy Sync features like voice control, (with an optional ADS module). Pricing for the line ranges from $1000 suggested retail price for a DNX5190 to $1,600 for the DNX9990HD that ships in March.

Next up are AV models that don’t come with built-in navigation but they now work with a Garmin app to add navigation.  The 3 new DVD/radios can display the Garmin map from the iPhone on the car radio screen in real time. Plus you get the voice cues for turns from the car speakers. The map stays on the screen while you multitask on the phone in many cases.  The Garmin option is an in-app purchase, which means when users buy the Garmin app they are offered the ability to pay a bit extra and purchase the Kenwood radio link (an exclusive option to Kenwood).

The 3 AV radios also have Pandora iPhone control and are SiriusXM ready.  You also get iPhone app control for apps like Netflix and YouTube from the basic seek, play, pause and stop radio buttons and you may use the same buttons to control music on an Android phone. Two models give you Bluetooth with audio streaming. Models include the DDX719 at $700 suggested retail price, the DDX419 at $550 and the DDX319 at $500.  Shipping is expected in March.

Also new are 7 Excelon CD/radios from $140 to $320 SRP.  All get built in control of Pandora on an iPhone and control of music on an Android phone.   (It helps to download a Kenwood app from Android Market to get enhanced music control from an Android phone).  HD Radio is in four models.   The top of the line KDC-X996 also controls Pandora streaming on Android and BlackBerry phones via Bluetooth. And it works with the new Sirius XM tuner so you don’t need extra adaptors.  It should ship in February at $320.

Also new are 2 marine audio receivers, an expanded subwoofer lineup and new Excelon power amplifiers.

Source: Kenwood

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