Kenwood announced nine new CD receivers that have audio connectivity and control capabilities for music files stored on or accessed by iPhone, iPod and Android smartphones. New for 2013 is iPhone Siri control in all Bluetooth models as well as automatic iPhone Bluetooth pairing. The popular iHeart-Radio, Clear Channel’s all-in-one digital radio service featuring live and custom stations, and Aha are fully supported for iPhone and Android smartphones in many of the step-up models. Six out of the nine new Kenwood CD receiver models are SiriusXM Ready (optional SXV200 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required) and offer the expanded capability of receiving additional commercial-free content as well as Spanish-language programming.
The top CD receiver model is the KDC-BT955HD ($310). It features built-in HD Radio and Bluetooth. Pandora Internet Radio control, iHeart Radio and Aha control for iPhone and Android smartphones is supported, and the KDC-BT955HD also offers audio features such as a digital sound processor, a 7-band equalizer and three sets of 4.0 volt preamp outputs with on-board digital high-pass and low-pass filtering. The three-line, full-dot variable color illumination LCD display offers exceptional visibility and fast scrolling of music files, multiple telephone numbers and names. The flexible, multi-lingual display of the KDC-BT955HD gives the user the ability to easily operate external media devices such as iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android smartphone and USB mass storage as well as content from HD Radio, Pandora Internet Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, iHeart Radio and Aha (optional smartphone apps and accessories may be required).
Front and rear, dual USB ports provide additional connectivity to external devices as well as expanded installation options for these devices. A protective CD Door/Cover keeps airborne particles from interfering with the internal mechanism and gives the KDC-BT955HD a sleek, finished look in the dashboard.
The KDC-BT855U ($280) offers support for Pandora Internet Radio, iHeart Radio, Aha control for iPhone or Android smartphone and Bluetooth plus a dedicated front panel key that is reserved for wireless cell phone operation. An external Bluetooth microphone can be placed in an optimal location within the vehicle for improved hands-free communication. Adding to the safety factor is a three-line display that can be switched to a larger font, two-line format for easier reading of phone numbers, music and source data. Variable color illumination of the display and backlit keys allows the user to match the color of the KDC-BT855U to the dashboard lighting of almost any vehicle. With front and rear, dual USB ports and a 3.5mm auxiliary input, the KDC-BT855U can conveniently connect to a wide variety of portable devices such as iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android-platform smartphone, thumb drive or portable mass storage. The KDC-BT755HD ($250) has the performance and functionality of the KDC-BT855U with the addition of HD Radio and is equipped with a 13-digit, single-line display and single, front panel USB port.
A new multi-line display model for 2013 is the KDC-655U ($220). With the use of the Kenwood Music Control app for Android, the user can browse and control music files on an Android smartphone. The KDC-655U also offers front-panel Pandora Internet Radio and iHeart Radio control via iPhone, and is SiriusXM Ready. The three-line full-dot variable color illumination display can be switched to a larger font, two-line configuration for better visibility and added safety.
The KDC-BT555U ($210) is a value-added Bluetooth solution with an external microphone that can be installed in an optimal position for better voice intelligibility, perfect for use with the iPhone Siri digital assistant. Pandora Internet Radio streaming and control for iPhone is included and SiriusXM Satellite Radio compatibility can be added, and a front panel USB port and 3.5mm auxiliary input is included for the control and playback of a wide variety of external media, including iPod, iPhone, Android (with the use of the Kenwood Music Control app for Android) and mass storage devices.
The KDC-HD455U ($200) delivers the full HD Radio experience. With built-in HD Radio, the KDC-HD455U gives the user all of the features and audio performance of HD Radio right out of the box with no subscription required. Users can enjoy HD Radio-specific programming (where available), and iTunes Tagging is made easy by pressing a dedicated button near the volume control. An 11-digit full-dot display shows scrolling text from the HD Radio broadcast as well as from Pandora Internet Radio for iPhone. Variable color key illumination provides visual customization and/or color matching to the vehicle’s interior lighting.
The most cost-effective SiriusXM Ready model is the KDC-355U ($160) which connects to the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner SXV200 tuner (sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required) and offers SiriusXM Replay for pause, rewind and replay of up to 60 minutes of SiriusXM content. This CD receiver has iPod/iPhone/Android smartphone connectivity along with full control and playback of Pandora Internet Radio via iPhone. Even at this attractive price, the KDC-355U still features variable color key illumination, a steering wheel control interface (adapter sold separately) and offers three sets of 2.5 volt preamp outputs for exceptional system building flexibility. The KDC-255U ($120) has most of the features of the KDC-355U with the exception of SiriusXM Satellite Radio compatibility and steering wheel interface capability, plus it has a single preamp output. Lastly, the KDC-155U ($110) has all of the features of the KDC-255U but with fixed red illumination of the display and front panel buttons.
Each are covered by a limited one-year manufacturer’s warranty and are available through authorized Kenwood retailers.
Price and Availability