Tag: car radio

Kenwood KDC-MP142 Review


By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

This Black Friday, everyone is looking for the best deals on the market.  But you don’t have to wait until Black Friday to start saving money on consumer electronics.  If you are looking to spend $100 or less on a high quality car stereo, the Kenwood KDC-MP142 is the choice for you. At our special price of only $79.99, this in-dash CD, MP3, WMA and AM/FM car radio is an absolute bargain.

With key features such as an illuminated front aux input and a handy wireless remote, the Kenwood KDC-MP142 receiver is going to fly off of the shelves this holiday season. The front aux input makes it easy to connect portable media players so that you can listen to all of your favorite music as you drive. While this stereo does not include any of the advanced expandability options (no Bluetooth, Satellite radio, or built-in iPod controls), its appeal is in its ease of use, sharp design and low price.


Using our 12V testing bay, I was able to get an up-close look at this head unit. The fluorescent display makes it easy to read the artist and title name as your song plays. Its built-in amp provides the industry standard 22 watts x 4 channels as expected. The KDC-MP142 includes 1 set of 2V preamp outputs, which allowed me to easily connect a subwoofer while testing it. Overall, the sound output was impressive as its 105 dB signal to noise ratio proved to be true to specs. I would highly recommend this car stereo for anyone looking for a great budget buy this holiday season. The Kenwood KDC-MP142 would be an excellent gift for anyone who needs a reliable car stereo in their vehicle.


Eclipse AVN6620/AVN62D In-Dash Receiver


By Chelsey P. – Sonic Electronix Writer

The Eclipse AVN6620 is a new, all-in-one car receiver that can do it all. This 7” LCD Double DIN system features a similar design to the AVN5510/AVN52D as it combines easy-to-use buttons with a touchscreen menu. This design makes it easy to control the built-in GPS navigation system and other audio and video sources. Not only can you use the touchscreen to navigate, but you can also use the simple backlit buttons at the bottom of the screen. These buttons provide easy access to the system’s feature menus as well. A menu button that gives drivers one-touch access to a destination entry, media source, and other system settings is also provided. As usual, Eclipse does an excellent job of making the onscreen menus intuitive and easy for drivers to use while driving. The large, bright buttons make it easy to see options at a glance. The main difference between the AVN62D and the AVN52D is that it features two DVD slots instead of one CD and one DVD slot. The two DVD slots allow you to watch a video or listen to music while simultaneously using the GPS navigation system.

The built-in navigation is DVD ROM based. The maps are provided by Navteq and include building outlines for major urban centers in the United States.  The map database has 8.7 million points-of-interest to help you always find what you are looking for. Points-of-interest can be found by street names, addresses, or by using an intersection search. The points-of-interest can be routed by information, detours, stopping points, via a route preview or through freeway assistance. The system has a split-screen design that shows a zoomed-in version of the map on the right-hand side of the display.

As for expandability options, you can add the Bluetooth adapter from Parrot for hands-free conversation that integrates seamlessly into the vehicle. When a call is coming through, the music will mute and then resume playing once the call has finished. Hands-free Bluetooth capability has become very popular in states where talking on your cell phone has become illegal. Not only can you add Bluetooth, but HD and XM or Sirius Satellite Radio can be added to this head unit. Have an iPod? No need to worry, just use the iPod cable to browse and select songs via the touchscreen. When the iPod is connected, the screen will display artists, albums, songs, playlists and genres for easy accessibility to all your favorite music.

The AVN62D is loaded with features including the GPS navigation, digital audio and video playback and advanced acoustic options. This device is for those looking to tech out their car with a single device without a lot of extra modules. This car stereo is different from its competition in terms of the design, controls, iPod interface and audio options.


Scosche FD1438B

When it comes to the installation of car audio and video, Scosche is a company that can be trusted. You can rely on them as a premier source for high quality components to make your install easier and more efficient. The new FD1438 from Scosche is highly anticipated double or single DIN dash kit for the popular Ford F-150 pickup truck.

In keeping with the Scosche tradition, the FD1438B, or sometimes called the FD1438, is made from the highest-grade materials, as well as a perfect factory match. Strong ABS plastic is used for the majority of the unit’s construction. The ABS plastic is of industrial grade and allow the dash-kit to feature a finish that is practically identical to that of the original manufacturer, Ford. Along with the matching texture, Scosche takes care to ensure that the color also matches that of the vehicle. Care is not only taken with the color and texture, but the shape is also contoured to match that of the factory dash. For those that intend to install a double DIN aftermarket head unit, this unit will allow for that installation. For those that wish to install a single DIN unit, the kit includes an optional pocket that can be installed underneath the head unit to allow for some storage space. As the Ford F-150 becomes progressively more popular and more individuals purchase the truck for home and commercial use, the demand on these kits is expected to increase. Now matter what type of stereo you are planning to put in your 2009 F-150, this will be the perfect installation kit for your truck.


Kenwood KDC-MP638U

Every once in a while a receiver comes along that get overlooked.  Often times, these receivers are the easiest to use.  The KDC-MP638U from Kenwood just so happens to be one of those units. When someone says “Kenwood Receiver”, most people will think of the KVT-512, DNX8120, or the DNX-512 and not the KDC-MP638U.  While the unit does not come with a large LCD display, the head unit offers enough features and expandability options to exceed the needs of most people.  In fact, the majority of people probably do not use every single feature on their aftermarket stereo.  So what it really comes down to is that this overlooked head unit from Kenwood is a solid stereo with plenty of features.

The first thing you notice about this unit after it is hooked up is the Kenwood interface.  The unit uses a 4-Tone fluorescent dot-matrix display and two dials for most of the controls.  The selection dial is a simple way to control your unit with ease; however it does take a little bit to get used to.  As it is with most Kenwood units, controlling the interface becomes a breeze as soon as the user picks up how to use it.  The display is smooth and the menus are easy to read.  The equalizer settings are straightforward and easy to select.  Kenwood offers six presets for their equalizer, each of them sounding great.  The sound customization on this unit really is easy to use, yet quite powerful.

In today’s car audio market, people are looking for more and more ways to listen to music.  They are looking for auxiliary ports or USB ports to connect their portable music device.  The Kenwood KDC-MP638U offers both for the most connection options that one could ask for.  The rear USB connection cable is perfect for connecting an iPod to the stereo.  When connected, Kenwood offers direct connection to control the iPod right from the head unit itself. Keep the iPod connected and out of site in a glove box or other compartment. Unique to many of Kenwood’s units is the rear auxiliary input.  From some this can be harder to connect an audio device to, but this can also be a convenient feature.  Without an auxiliary port in the front of the unit means that the front panel looks smooth and less cluttered.  The KDC-MP638U also offers the ability to add Satellite and HD Radio to the unit, adding even more audio choices.

Overall, the Kenwood KDC-MP638U is an extraordinary unit that offers powerful features.  One of the most striking features of the head-unit is the 4-tone fluorescent display.  It is easy to navigate and displays all of the appropriate information.  Kenwood’s technology is constantly improving.  This unit is a great example of care that Kenwood places on each unit to provide the best and simplest interface.  It supplies plenty of listening options and uncomplicated installation.


Dual XHD7720

Dual XHD7720

HD Radio is the new radio.  In the next couple of years, many of the new automobile makers are going to including HD Radio in their vehicles.  But for those of us that aren’t in the market to purchase a new vehicle, Dual saves the day. The HD Radio bar has been raised with the release of the Dual XHD7720.  The single DIN receiver seems like a basic in-dash receiver, but is so much more.

The first and most notable feature on the XHD7720 is the HD Radio iTunes tagging.  The process is quite simple.  First, make sure that your iPod is connected to the unit.  Then when you hear a song on via HD Radio, you are able to “tag” the song on your iPod.  Because the HD Radio carries a digital signal, the song information can be stored digitally on the iPod.  That information stays on your iPod so that the next time you sync your iPod on your computer, the song information it transferred to the PC and the “tagged” songs will display with a link to download them.  Imagine the convenience: hear a song you like on the radio, push a button, sync your iPod, and download the songs to your home computer.  You’ll never again have that frusturating feeling of wondering who just played that great song on the radio! The best part about this feature is that it comes built-in.  No need to purchase a separate HD tuner, an additional iPod add-on, or even a subscription because it comes with everything you need.

The Dual XHD7720 also comes with all the features that make it a solid head unit.  It plays MP3 and WMA files.  Front panel USB for the connection and charging of iPods or other MP3 devices.  The unit is Bluetooth ready with the Dual BTM60 microphone.  For even more music options, this head unit allows A2DP streaming of Bluetooth audio.  Overall, this car radio (in-dash head unit) is perfect for those that like to discover new music on the radio and then take that music with them. The interface on the 2-step motorized front panel is easy to learn and simple to use.  With the rise of HD Radio, Dual is one step ahead with the XHD7720.