New Kenwood radios will now allow Hi-Res Audio streaming over Bluetooth from select smartphones.
Kenwood is adding a new feature this year called Wireless Hi-Res Audio via LDAC. LDAC is an audio coding technology that permits Hi-Res Audio to be transmitted over Bluetooth. It works with select Android phones to allow users to stream music from a Hi -Res Audio (HRA) music service or from HRA files stored on the phone.
When a user pairs their phone, a secondary menu pops up to select a codec. Users can then select to stream over 990 kbps to enable LDAC wireless HRA streaming. This delivers true HRA over a Bluetooth connection, said Kenwood.
“This speaks to our Hi-Res Audio story. The receivers support Hi-Res Audio, the speakers support Hi-Res Audio, and the amplifiers support Hi-Res Audio. The missing part of the equation was the phone, in the way consumers use their phones today, which is wirelessly. We now have all aspects of how consumers access their music today,” said Kenwood’s Seth Halstead.
The feature will be available on three new Kenwood eXcelon Reference models.
These receivers also feature a 6.8-inch High Definition 1280 x 720 (720P) screen that supports a new HD rear camera, the KENWOOD CMOS-740HD (MSRP $249.95). The radio plus the camera together enable High Dynamic Range (HDR) to improve picture quality in dark or very bright conditions. They use HD-TVI digital signal processing to allow the transmission of video used in high definition security cameras and DVRs over an analog RCA cable, said Kenwood.
They are part of an 8 model full Kenwood lineup debuting at CES 2020.
Six of the eight new 2020 Kenwood and eXcelon models are now fully wireless with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless.
All 8 new models get an added camera input, for a total of 4 camera inputs (up from 3 inputs last year). The decks can now support blind spot cameras, that can be automatically triggered when used with an optional iDatalink Maestro RR (supported vehicles only). Or, the blind spot cameras can be switched manually using touchscreen controls.
Kenwood is also now offering support for USB smartphone mirroring for both iOS and Android phones. Previously, only Android mirroring was supported. Now, when connected via Bluetooth and a hard-wired USB cable with the accompanying “Mirroring for KENWOOD” app installed on their phone, users can mirror their phone on the radio for almost all applications. As safety feature, the vehicle must be parked with the parking brake engaged to access this source.
Also, for 2020, the new Garmin navigation decks (DNX997XR, DNX697S, DNX577S) get three years of free Garmin map updates and expanded traffic capabilities. Kenwood said, “With built-in Garmin mapping, not only will your navigation continue to work in areas with no or low GPS signal, such as tunnels and rural areas, but you will also receive the best overall experience, being able to retain features such as turn-by-turn lane guidance from your OEM cluster when coupled with an optional iDatalink Maestro RR on supported vehicles. “
The DNX997XR, DDX9907XR, DMX957XR, DMX907S, and DNX697S all include built-in HD Radio tuners. All 8 receivers are also SiriusXM-Ready.
The new line will begin shipping in March. It includes the DNX997XR (MSRP $1,499.95), DDX9907XR (MSRP $1099.95), DMX957XR (MSRP $999.95), DMX907S (MSRP $849.95), DNX697S (MSRP $1099.95), DDX9707S (MSRP $899.95), DMX9707S (MSRP $799.95), and DNX577S (MSRP $999.95).