Kenwood is shipping a handful of its 2019 radios including the brand’s first all-wireless CarPlay/Android Auto decks. The 2019 line also adds several first-time features for the radio maker including a reverse-tilt screen (on one model) to accommodate many dashboards.
Kenwood is also offering a new Android mirroring feature that does not require a special app. Whatever is displayed on the phone screen also displays on the radio screen with touch control from the radio. The parking brake must be engaged, however, for the feature to activate.
The new all-wireless decks both sport 6.8-inch screens and include wireless CarPlay as well as Android Auto Wireless. The 7-inch version of these decks are now slated for June.
Shipping now are the all-wireless eXcelon DNX996XR and DDX9906XR. They also include Android mirroring and hi-res screens at suggested retail prices of $1,600 and $1,100, respectively. The DNX996XR includes a screen with a motorized tilt inward as well as outward for installations where the radio must clear the contours of the dash.
Both models also use “the highest level of sound quality components of any of our receivers,” said Kenwood’s Seth Halstead. The power supply capacitors, coupling capacitors and cross-shaped panel structures, as well as special tuning features, are all of a superior grade, he said.
Kenwood is offering Android mirroring as Android Auto covers only a limited amount of apps. “Users were requesting being able to have full control from the phones without any limitation,” said Halstead. Although, he noted that the feature only works when the parking brake is engaged.
The 2019 line also includes Kenwood’s first mechless (no CD/DVD) decks to include built-in navigation. The leader model DNR476S brings the basement price for Garmin navigation in Kenwood’s lineup down to a $900 suggested retail price. The previous entry price for Kenwood navigation decks was $1,050.
An additional new mechless navigation model now shipping is the eXcelon DNX696S at $1,000. Also new is the Kenwood DNX576S.
Kenwood radios now provide three camera inputs so the cameras can function as blind spot monitors that link to turn signals (when used with an optional Maestro RR2). The driver then gets a view of the appropriate side lane when the turn signal is activated, so blind spots are eliminated.
Finally, Kenwood now allows customizable widgets so users can create a full screen dedicated to certain functions. For example, a screen can be assigned to Maestro functions, such as climate control or radar detection.