Kenwood is due to become one of the first suppliers, if not the first, to ship aftermarket Alexa car radios.
It will deliver three car radios with Alexa capability at the end of the month, with an additional mechless model (without a CD player) to follow in September.
The four audio-only decks include a button that users can press to ask Alexa questions or dictate commands as with any Alexa device. Users may ask to open a garage door or turn up house lights from the comfort of their car if they have the appropriate equipment. Or they can ask to hear songs from Amazon Music.
The decks present an opportunity to attract customers who might not ordinarily seek to replace a car radio, said Kenwood’s Seth Halstead, adding, “Just about everyone knows Alexa. If you put up a banner that says ‘Alexa Here,’ it will bring people into the shop….16 year olds who may have no interest in car stereo anymore, you may be able to get their attention to come into the store.”
The new Alexa decks are as follows:
KDC-X304 eXcelon SRP $160 CD, Single Din, Alexa
KDC-BT378U SRP $140 CD, Single Din, Alexa
KDC-BT34 SRP $140 CD, Single Din, Alexa
KMM-BT328U SRP $130 Mechless, Single Din, Alexa
While these are all audio-only decks, Kenwood is working on offering AV decks with Alexa in the future.
Features of the KDC-X304 include Bluetooth, Spotify and Pandora compatibility, FLAC file compatibility, front USB and aux inputs, App remote, and 13 band EQ.
The mechless KMM-BT328U has a short chassis and adds SiriusXM capability.
The new products were announced at KnowledgeFest in Dallas last week.