At CES in Las Vegas, Kenwood is showing off its line of eXcelon line of automotive multimedia receivers, including a new high-end model, the DNX995S.
All three eXcelon receivers are focused on leveraging a driver's smartphone-based entertainment and information apps. The new flagship DNX995S (MSRP $1,500 USD) features DVD playback and navigation by Garmin, accessed through a 6.8-inch capacitive touchscreen. The display is anti-glare and anti-reflection coated, with an adjustable viewing angle.
The DDX9905 (MSRP $1,100 USD) offers a similar feature set, but omits navigation. The new "mech-less" DMX905S (MSRP $850 USD) offers a larger 6.95-inch screen, but omits both DVD transport and navigation. It's targeted at users who have fully embraced "no-disc" digital media.
All three eXcelon receivers are compatible with both Apple CarPlay for iPhone, and Android Auto, to provide safe access to smartphone navigation and entertainment apps. Streaming music from Tidal and SiriusXM Satellite Radio are accessible through CarPlay. Android users can access the Google Assistant, to get answers to questions, manage their schedules, make voice calls and use voice control with connected smart devices. They can also connect to Android Auto wirelessly, instead of USB, and leave their phone in a pocket or bag.
The Kenwood WebLink platform lets smartphone users take advantage of the receiver's display to view and control Waze navigation, control YouTube playback, access Yelp accounts or get the latest weather. NextRadio service provides artist information, song titles and album art in conjunction with traditional AM/FM radio. WebLink works with either a wired or wireless connection, and with both iOS and Android.
Kenwood Remote lets passengers use a Bluetooth-connected phone to select media source, control volume and EQ. Kenwood Music Mix lets up to five passengers play streaming or stored music via Bluetooth, to creating "an ongoing music set."
eXcelon receivers are designed to connect directly to two sets of speakers, or work as the center point of a system with multiple amplifiers and speakers.
Two camera inputs are included, one of them a dedicated rear-camera view engaged when the vehicle is put into reverse gear. The optional ADS iDataLink Maestro interface connects to the vehicle data bus and allows monitoring of status indicators such as battery voltage or diagnostics. Kenwood's DRV-N520 is an optional high-resolution dash camera that records incidents based on user settings.
"Our flagship models represent the best technology and user experience we have to offer," said Tony Mercado, marketing manager for the Kenwood brand. "Expanding our topline choices to three receivers lets our Kenwood eXcelon retailers and their customers build a premium, personalized in-vehicle experience."