At CES 2019, Kenwood and JVC Mobile announced a wide range of car radios that now offer a wireless version of CarPlay, joining initial entries from Alpine and Pioneer. But the new Kenwood and JVC models take a different approach.
To meet Apple certification guidelines, Kenwood and JVC radios connect to a vehicle’s speed wire. The two companies are therefore offering optional OBD2 dongles to achieve the speed wire connection.
“Functionally, it helps to provide a more accurate GPS location when using phone-based navigation apps, such as Apple Maps, Google Maps or Waze. From a certification standpoint, it’s the result of an evolving process and was a mandatory requirement at the time of Kenwood’s certification,” said a Kenwood spokesman. Earlier radios from Alpine and Pioneer were not required to provide a speed wire connection.
Wireless CarPlay is a new convenience where one’s phone can remain in a pocket or purse and the car radio will automatically recognize it and launch CarPlay.
Seven Kenwood car radios and two JVC models will offer the feature this year. JVC models start at $599.99.
Wireless CarPlay is found on the new 2019 top-of-the-line Kenwood deck with a Hi Res, 6.8 inch capacitive screen, which can be tilted up or down through internal motorization for the best viewing angle. The new model DNX996XR eXcelon Reference deck also offers wireless Android Auto, plus it can work with some ESCORT and K40 radar detectors to show warnings on the radio screen. It has three camera inputs and is compatible with Kenwood DVR modules.
Other features of the DNX996XR include HD Radio and SiriusXM capability and Hi-Res Audio playback up to 192kHz/24 bit in FLAC or WAV files. The new deck has Garmin navigation, a pair of 1.5 amp rapid charge USB ports and is expected to ship in March at a suggested retail price of $1,599.95.
Other Kenwood models with full wireless capability include: the eXcelon Reference DDX9906XR; eXcelon DDX8906S and DMX906S; and Kenwood DNR876S, DDX8706S and DMX9706S.
The speed wire dongles for wireless CarPlay are called the Kenwood KNA-SPM100 and JVC KV-PG10, each at a suggested $69.95. They have a 2-meter cable that plugs into the car’s OBD2 port. There’s a simple 3-wire connector to the car radio.
JVC’s two wireless CarPlay models are the KW-V950BW (MSRP $699.95) and the mechless (DVD-less) KW-M855BW (MSRP $599.95).
They also now add Miracast capability with Android phones. Users can “project” their phone screen onto the car radio display (only when the car’s parking brake is engaged). Users can then watch videos on the radios’ 6.8 inch screens. Select phones also permit touch control from the radio.
Both JVC receivers and new top-line Kenwood deck have a new feature that lets users choose which information can be seen on the receiver screen. Swiping the display selects between clock, photos, content album art, vehicle performance data (optional iDatalink interface required) and more.