Tag: kenwood stereo

Kenwood DNX-9140 In-Dash GPS Navigation

DNX9140By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

If you are on the lookout for a fabulous in-dash navigation receiver, the Kenwood eXcelon DNX-9140 is a great choice! When it comes to car stereos, this in-dash DVD/CD/MP3 receiver is at the top of the list. Featuring a 6.95” touchscreen, this car stereo has a sleek faceplate design exempt of the customary cluster of buttons and knobs. Navigating through a car stereo’s menu options has never been easier. Of course, the ridiculously advanced voice command feature means you probably won’t even want to touch dial. You can use either to make hands-free phone calls with the built-in Bluetooth technology by Parrot. And that’s only barely tapping into this stereo’s “wow” factor.

You can operate the DNX-9140 just by talking to it. With technology like that, even Batman would be envious of this head unit. Imagine getting GPS navigation directions without typing an address. How about finding a song on your iPod without thumbing through your entire music library? Or audibly telling your stereo to switch from the radio to playing your iPod? The voice command software lets you do all of the above. The ultra thin microphone uses noise cancellation technology to allow you to clearly relay your commands, even on the road. This ultimate hands-free device is a must if you are looking for a smarter, safer way to drive.

As mentioned in the intro, this Kenwood stereo has integrated Parrot Bluetooth technology. This outstanding hands-free interface is compatible with most cell phones, and even smartphones like the iPod and BlackBerry. The stereo will mute the volume as a call is dialed in. Upon answering your call, the caller’s voice feeds into your stereo speakers. You will not have to hold any phones or fumble with any wires as the Bluetooth microphone will pick up your voice while you drive. Another Jetsons-like feature is the Bluetooth music streaming technology, which allows you to stream music from any Bluetooth phone or laptop without connecting any wires. This would even leave George Jetson impressed!

With all of the above mentioned, naturally there must be some kind of weakness that has been overlooked, right? What about the GPS navigation feature? Thanks for asking. The built-in GPS navigation is designed by one of the finest providers of navigation software, the Garmin navigation company. As a result, you get an extremely accurate system that will not lag while loading points of interest, new addresses and alternative routes. It is MSN Direct and TMC Traffic ready, meaning you can add on these extremely useful data software programs for all of the latest traffic updates. For your safety, this unit is engaged with roadside assistance, a big help in times of emergency.

The fun doesn’t stop there either. You can connect your iPod or iPhone through the optional Kenwood KCA-IP301V iPod adapter. The DNX-9140 also offers two rear USB inputs, perfect for connecting portable MP3 players or thumb drives. It is also compatible with a rear backup camera and steering wheel interface for retaining your vehicle’s factory steering wheel controls. Though adding a HD radio tuner or satellite radio tuner may seem like overkill at this point, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the DNX-9140 is also fully compatible with both of these expandability options. Besides, it doesn’t get much better than a motorized touchscreen unit with tons of expandability options. By the way, if you’re just not a touchscreen type of person, you can control the entire operation with the wireless remote.

Of course, all of the options in the world don’t mean much if the sound quality is poor. Not to worry, this deck features a 24-bit digital-to-analog converter to ensure clear sound whether you are playing songs from a CD, MP3 CD, iPod or other portable music player. The built-in 13-band equalizer gives you total control over the various sound settings. This stereo also includes 9 preset tone curves for preserving your favorite sound settings.

Kenwood knows car stereos as it is, and they made a shrewd decision to involve experts on Bluetooth (Parrot) and navigation (Garmin) to help create this one of a kind mega stereo. This all-around unit lives up to its billing and is truly at the top of its class.


Top Kenwood Car Stereos

Kenwood dnx714

By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

The Kenwood DDX714 head unit is equipped with a lot more features than the typical car stereo. The flashy 7-inch built-in LCD display shows your DVD movies and burnt Divx discs. You can use the touch-screen controls to make phone calls, and the built-in Bluetooth enables you to partake in hands-free conversations. The built-in USB input allows you to plug in your iPod or iPhone and control them through your stereo controls. You also have some nice expandability options. You can add GPS navigation to this top notch head unit to help you find directions and points of interest. It is also compatible with Sirius or XM satellite radio, so you can get premium content anywhere on the road. To top it off, the rear camera input allows you to add a backup camera to your vehicle (additional adaptor required).

Imagine having all of the above qualities, but with GPS Navigation built-in. That is exactly what you get with the Kenwood DNX7140. This is one of the best available car head units on the market, in terms of the numerous options is comes equipped with and the unit’s overall durability. The flip-down faceplate is motorized for your convenience. This flashy unit is sure to impress your passengers with its look and ease of use. One drawback is that the unit is not detachable, but it does come with a security code to help discourage theft.

Another option is the Kenwood DDX814 eXcelon stereo. This head unit is a step up from the DDX714. Not only do you get an additional year on your warranty, but you also get a few cool bonus features as well. You get 3 additional volts of preamp voltage, for a total of 5V preamp voltage. The DDX814 also has a 13-Band Parametric EQ offers greater sound control than the DDX714’s 3 Band parametric EQ. The stereo includes all of the DDX714 features, such as built-in Bluetooth, DVD playback, and the 7” LCD screen. Even the most particular audiophile would be satisfied with any of these fantastic stereos.


Kenwood KDC Stereos (MP738U, MP638U)


By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the Kenwood Corporation is known for their outstanding products. They remain a leader in car audio today, going on 63 years of industry dominance. Today we discuss two of the top Kenwood stereos.

Kenwood KDC-MP638U and KDC-MP738U are superb car stereos. Both are in-dash CD/MP3 players, which means you can load hundreds of MP3 files on a blank CD and have music playback for hours without switching discs. Both head units are loaded with expandability options, as they are both compatible with Satellite Radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth hands-free talking, and iPod connectivity. Satellite Radio has commercial-free, premium content. HD radio gives you a clearer signal almost anywhere. Bluetooth hands-free devices are now required by law in many states. Besides, it makes your drive safer and more convenient.

Both car stereos have iPod to USB connection capability. The USB input enables you to use the iPod cable that came with your iPod to connect it to the stereo, just as you would connect your iPod to a computer USB input. In fact, you can connect practically any unit or portable storage device to the USB input. You can control playback with your stereo controls, and your MP3 player or iPod charges while the music plays.

You will love the total equalization control you get from the System Q Sound Control. The stereos come equipped with a 3-band parametric equalizer and 6 preset tone curves. Adjust the bass, treble and other sound details based on the music or song you are listening to. When it comes to connecting an amplifier, the 3 sets of preamp outputs will allow you to connect each channel.

The KDC-MP738U is an upgrade over the KDC-MP638U, because it has a few additional features. For just a little more money, you get a model that has everything the 638U has, plus steering wheel control compatibility for your convenience and a Security Code for theft prevention. The steering wheel control accessory is required and sold separately, but it is a very important safety feature because it keeps the driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel when adjusting the stereo controls. The security code is a built-in anti-theft device that requires a security code to be inputted when your head unit is re-installed. If someone were to steal the stereo, the thief would not be able to turn it on without the security code. Besides that, the hope is that these codes will deter theft since thieves may be aware of units that require security codes.


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.