Kenwood is expanding CarPlay and Android Auto into a new segment of its car audio lineup–navigation decks.
The company found that many of its customers want the simplicity of built-in navigation, even though CarPlay and Android Auto link to navigation from a phone.
Kenwood is also supporting Hi-Res Audio for the first time and adding near field communications (NFC) to its line. And it is also now supporting Spotify directly on its receivers.
In total, CarPlay appears on 8 Kenwood head units for 2016, and half those also support Android Auto. CarPlay starts at $800 and Android Auto at $900, the same entry prices as last year, but with more features.
Kenwood is also joining the Hi-Res Audio fray at CES this week with four eXcelon receivers that now support FLAC files at up to 192kHz /24 bit audio. (Last year, Kenwood supported FLAC but at a lower resolution).
It’s also pushing sound quality with the addition of 13-band graphic equalizers with digital time alignment on all navigation and AV receivers.
Hi-Res Audio is offered on the four top line eXcelon receivers: DNX893S, DNX693S, DDX9903S and the DDX6903S navigation and AV receivers.
CarPlay models include the eXcelon DNX893S, eXcelon DNX693S, eXcelon DDX9903S and the eXcelon DDX6903S as well as the Kenwood DNX773S, DNX573S, DDX9703S and DDX6703S.
Half those models also get Android Auto including the eXcelon DNX893S, eXcelon DDX9903S as well as the Kenwood DNX773S and DDX9703S.
New Kenwood models with NFC allow users to simply tap their phone on the radio knob for pairing. These include the eXcelon DPX792BH, eXcelon KDC-X700, Kenwood DPX702BH, KDC-BT765HD, KMM-BT515HD and the KMR-D765BT.
Eight of the new Kenwood models will control Spotify on your phone directly from the car radio touch screen so users can browse through music and give a thumbs up or down.
Kenwood is also offering dual-phone Bluetooth that allows you to receive a phone call from either of two phones.
A total of 35 models in Kenwood’s new line are SiriusXM ready and 22 are HD Radio compatible. Many also support Pandora, iHeartRadio and Aupeo.