Kenwood Ships New In-Dash Nav System With Pandora Link

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Kenwood started shipping their new DNX9980HD in-dash navigation receiver this week. This is the company’s first model to offer both HD Radio and Pandora Internet Radio link.

For the Pandora Link to work, users will need an iPhone with the Pandora app on it; all the same controls from the app interface will be mimicked onscreen. Album artwork and various visuals get displayed on the 6.95-inch touchscreen as well as the main function: navigation.

The navigation is powered by Garmin and includes realistic looking 3D buildings and landmarks for maps around metropolitan areas. Also, with an optional module, the DNX9980HD will be able to retrieve vehicle data such as fuel consumption, engine temperature and exhaust emissions.

The fully-featured unit also includes built-in Navteq Live Traffic for free and voice recognition for hands-free operation of the navigation system. With all the standard features, it’s going to give many in-car infotainment systems a run for their money — as it should for $2000. But, while the Pandora Link is impressive, I’ve been able to do this with only an Aux jack for a while.

Press Release

Long Beach, CA

Kenwood USA Corporation announces the delivery of two navigation/entertainment systems specifically engineered and manufactured exclusively for the Kenwood eXcelon dealer network.

Kenwood’s new flagship double-DIN multimedia / navigation receiver is the DNX9980HD ($2,000.00 suggested retail price), which is Kenwood’s first multimedia model to incorporate HD Radio and the Pandora internet radio link as built-in features.  Along with better sound quality and additional HD Radio-specific programming, the user can enjoy full-color album artwork and other visuals appearing on the touch screen display.  New for 2011 is the addition of Pandora internet radio control capability when used with a Pandora-enabled iPhone (Internet access required).  All seek, search and “thumbs up/down” functions are replicated on the faceplate of the DNX9980HD, and the 6.95” touch screen display presents full-color album art, song title, album and artist. 

Advanced 3-D navigation technology by Garmin is included, offering three-dimensional buildings and landmarks with many images being photo-realistic.  Lane Assist with Junction View are two features that reduce highway interchange confusion and improve driving safety.  ecoRoute provides the most fuel efficient travel routes, and the optional ecoRoute HD even allows the user to view vehicle diagnostics such as fuel consumption, engine temperature and exhaust emissions (ecoRoute HD requires the optional KNA-EC100 external ODBII interface module).  The DNX9980HD also includes built-in NAVTEQ Live Traffic service that is free for the life of the product.  Kenwood’s voice control feature allows the user to fully operate the navigation system and utilize features such as entering addresses or phone numbers, choosing menu options and select points of interest.  The voice control system will also operate the audio and video systems, allowing the user to change between multiple sources, access entries in a cellular phonebook, make phone calls, seek out music and video files and access station presets.  Twin iPod control allows for the connection and operation of two iPod, iPod Touch or iPhone devices.

The DNX9980HD has an advanced Digital Aria 3-D animated graphic user interface (GUI) with selectable skins and movable, drag-and-drop icons for complete customization.  A high-resolution WVGA 6.95” touch screen with Dynamic Brightness Control provides the best looking DVD video, iPod video and USB video.  While in the navigation mode, the DNX9980HD can display mapping information as well as audio/video controls on a split screen and will even allow continued monitoring of the navigation screen in split screen view while making or taking hands-free phone calls.  The latest Parrot Bluetooth module is built into the DNX9980HD and is capable of A2DP stereo audio streaming from a similarly-equipped portable digital media player or Smartphone.

The double-DIN DNX6980 ($1,200.00 suggested retail price) is a value-added combination of cutting edge technologies, intuitive user interface and great Kenwood eXcelon quality.  With the Garmin navigation and Parrot Bluetooth built right into the unit, the DNX6980 offers the latest in technologies at an attractive price.  A compact front-panel knob is included to easily control volume.  An upgraded 6.1” WVGA LCD touch screen panel with navigation/audio/video split screen view capabilities give the user complete control over multiple audio and video sources, including DVD, MP3/WMA compact disc, iPod, iPhone, Pandora internet radio link, external mass storage devices, satellite radio and HD Radio (optional iPod, HD Radio or satellite radio accessories and Internet access may be required).  The user can customize the GUI and hard-key illumination colors of the DNX6980 to match the unit’s faceplate lighting to the interior lighting of many vehicles, while the background and startup screen graphics can be changed to show personal photos or the brand logo of the vehicle.

The DNX9980HD and DNX6980 come with two-year warranties and are available only through authorized Kenwood eXcelon retailers.

Model              Sugg. Retail Price         Availability

DNX9980HD        $2,000.00              Now

DNX6980              $1,200.00              Now

KNA-EC100          $200.00                 Now

Kenwood Corporate Information

Founded in 1961, Kenwood USA Corporation is a leading developer and manufacturer of audio and video products for home, car, and personal use. Offering more than 250 products, Kenwood is one of the three largest selling brands of audio and video entertainment products in the United States and is recognized by consumers and the consumer electronics industry for providing superior quality, reliability and value.

Kenwood Communications, based in Suwanee, GA, established in 1983, maintains a leadership position in North and South America for mobile and portable two-way radios and custom systems.  Clients include prominent federal, state and local government agencies and first responders and private industry including manufacturing, contracting, security, hospitality and education.   Kenwood USA Corporation, based in Long Beach, CA, is the largest subsidiary of Kenwood Corporation (Japan).