For 2013, Kenwood announced two Excelon in-dash navigation systems, which both feature HD Radio, Pandora Internet Radio, Aha, Bluetooth with audio streaming capabilities and on-board industry-leading Garmin navigation. Each model also offers access to satellite radio from SiriusXM with the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner (sold separately , SiriusXM subscription required), and can interface with the iPhone Siri digital personal assistant via voice control. Automatic Bluetooth pairing for iPhone makes the process of adding iPhone connectivity to the Kenwood receiver a one-step procedure.
The DNX690HD (pictured above) is a value-added combination of cutting edge technologies, intuitive user interface and great Kenwood Excelon quality. A compact front-panel knob is included to easily control volume. A 6.1” WVGA LCD touchscreen panel with navigation/audio/video split screen view capabilities give the user complete control over multiple audio and video sources, including DVD, MP3/WMA compact disc, iPod, iPhone, SiriusXM, Pandora Internet Radio, Android-platform smartphones, external mass storage devices and HD Radio (optional smartphone apps, accessories and Internet access may be required). The user can customize the GUI and hard-key illumination colors of the DNX690HD to match the unit’s faceplate lighting to the interior lighting of many vehicles, while the background graphics can be changed to show personal photos or the brand logo of the vehicle. The DNX690HD features a single USB port and a rear-camera input.
The DNX890HD (pictured above) features the latest in navigation technology by industry-leader Garmin, including Garmin Smartphone Link for Android (free, available now on the Android Market). This unique feature allows smartphone communication with the DNX890HD via Bluetooth, delivering basic weather in real time at no charge, and advanced traffic, fuel prices and red light camera information on a subscription basis. The user can even send an address from their smartphone to the DNX890HD via Bluetooth at any time; even if the unit is turned off (data will be transmitted once auto-connected with the DNX890HD). Advanced photo-realistic Junction View and Lane Assist reduce highway interchange confusion and improve driving safety. Traffic Trend routing calculates routes based on historic traffic data, while My Trend routing predicts routes based on the user’s driving behavior. Built-in NAVTEQ Live Traffic provides real-time traffic data for over 90 major cities in North America (including Canada). While in the navigation mode, the DNX890HD can display mapping information as well as audio/video controls on a split screen and will even allow continued monitoring of the navigation screen in split screen view while making or taking hands-free phone calls.
The DNX890HD has a high-speed, animated graphic user interface (GUI) with movable, drag-and-drop icons for user customization. A high-resolution WVGA 6.95” touchscreen with Dynamic Brightness Control provides the best looking DVD video, iPod video and USB video, and a reverse tilt feature allows the display to be angled in either direction for optimal viewing.
The latest in Bluetooth technology is built in, providing convenient and safe voice-dialing of telephone numbers (compatible with most smartphones featuring voice-dialing capability) and is capable of controlling Pandora Internet Radio from Android and Blackberry-platform smartphones. The DNX890HD is equipped with dual USB ports, dual camera inputs for front and rear application, and three sets of 5.0 volt preamp outputs for system building flexibility.
Seamless OEM integration with a factory Ford SYNC system is made possible through Kenwood’s first-to-market introduction of iDataLink Maestro RR (manufactured and sold separately by Automotive Data Solutions). Using the iDataLink Maestro RR module and vehicle-specific quick-connect T-harness system, both Kenwood Excelon in-dash navigation models communicate with the vehicle data network and SYNC module. This single-box solution allows the Kenwood receiver to offer touchscreen command and control of display text, Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming and SYNC voice controlled features while retaining steering wheel controls and factory-installed audio functions. New for 2013 is the ability to view and operate interior climate controls, distance and proximity sensors, tire pressure sensors and vehicle gauges such as engine temperature, RPM and other performance indicators. Also included is the industry’s first seamless integration with factory-installed GM OnStar systems.
The DNX890HD and DNX690HD are covered by a limited two-year manufacturer’s warranty and are available through authorized Kenwood Excelon retailers.
Price and Availability
DNX690HD → $1,100 (January 2013)
DNX890HD → $1,400 (February 2013)