Tag: Kenwood

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.

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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.

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Kenwood KFC-W3012 12” Subwoofer

By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

Since 1946, the Kenwood brand has been a leader in car audio and electronics. Their success is traced to their excellent product reliability. Throughout six decades they have consistently found ways to improve their designs and technology. This continued progress has enabled Kenwood to retain a top spot in the car audio industry.

Introducing the Kenwood KFC W3012 12” Subwoofer. If you want bass, BOOM, the KFC series subwoofer delivers 400 watts of RMS power. These subwoofers are designed with polypropylene cones to ensure tight bass. The sound definition is amazing on this Kenwood sub. Kenwood doesn’t sacrifice sound clarity for power, as many start-up brands seem to do. The KFC-W3012 subwoofer produces great audio clarity with plenty of power to back it up.

How does Kenwood do it? The answer lies in the KFC-W3012 design. The double-stacked magnet enhances excursion, enhancing peak excursion. The urethane foam surround and linear spider design also allow for increased peak excursion. This is why these subs produce an especially deep bass sound. The extended excursion capability allows this sub to handle low bass frequencies without damaging the cone. Less sophisticated subwoofer designs simply cannot compete with the KFC-W3012.

When it comes time to install the KFC-W3012, the silver gauge spring post terminals make it easy to wire and configure your subwoofer to an amplifier. Make sure you find an amplifier that can provide enough power for this booming subwoofer, especially because it is a single voice coil model that runs at a 4 ohm load. As long as you supply enough power, this subwoofer will thump loud and clear.

To get full performance from this Kenwood sub, you should install the sub in a sealed or ported enclosure. For sealed enclosures, use a box ranging from 0.75 cubic feet to 1.75 cubic feet. For ported enclosures, use a box ranging from 1-2 cubic feet. Using a box is a must if you want your subwoofer to produce optimal performance. You can choose from professionally constructed sub boxes or build your own. Also of note: the Kenwood KFC-W3012 has been designed with a shallow mounting depth for easier installation.

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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.

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