For 2013, Kenwood announced four in-car multimedia systems, all of which have Pandora Internet Radio compatibility with iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphones, and audio streaming via Bluetooth on three of the four models. All models have the ability to upgrade to Garmin navigation via a special app (available on the Apple iTunes Store), which downloads the mapping database directly onto an iPhone 4 or 4s and allows for instantaneous routing and re-routing without the need for continuous 3G, 4G or LTE service, avoiding long download times and high data charges. An enhanced iPhone “App Mode” function allows for in-dash, touchscreen control of play, pause, seek and stop functions for popular apps when connected to a properly enabled iPhone. New for 2013 is iPhone Siri digital assistant control and automatic iPhone Bluetooth pairing on all built-in Bluetooth models. All four multimedia models offer access to satellite radio from SiriusXM with SXV200 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner (sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required) and will support advanced features such as SiriusXM Replay. An updated graphic user interface allows for more customized icon placement on the main screen, and a new “all source” icon expands the screen to show every available source at a glance.
A new Kenwood Excelon multimedia model for 2013 is the DDX790 ($700.00), which offers a brilliant, high resolution 6.95” WVGA touchscreen that provides excellent visibility and video quality. In addition to audio streaming, built-in Bluetooth allows for voice dialing of telephone numbers from most smartphones with the voice-dialing feature. The external Bluetooth microphone can be placed in an optimized location within the vehicle, improving voice intelligibility which enhances hands-free communication as well as more efficient voice command of the iPhone Siri digital assistant. The DDX790 is also equipped with three sets of 4.0 volt preamp outputs for system building and exceptional control over audio performance from the driver’s seat. The Kenwood Excelon DDX790 carries a two-year manufacturer’s limited warranty, while the Kenwood DDX770 ($680.00) offers similar features and performance as the DDX790 while carrying a one-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.
The new DDX470 ($580.00) has many of the features of the DDX770 with the addition of a convenient volume knob, rear mounted 3.5mm A/V input and bright 6.1” WVGA touchscreen. The faceplate of the DDX470 has an easy-to-load DVD transport slot and large front panel buttons for simple and safe operation. The DDX370 ($530.00) has the same feature set as the DDX470 but without built-in Bluetooth. The DDX370 benefits from being compatible with the ADS iDataLink Maestro RR, giving the DDX370 the capability of interfacing with a factory Ford SYNC and offering command over functions such as steering wheel controls, hand-free controls and external USB device inputs. Both DDX470 and DDX370 carry a one-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.
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