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January 11, 2018

JVC and Kenwood’s new head units pack wireless Android Auto

by John_A

After a tease at the end of 2017, JVCKenwood has spilled the beans on its head units (yes, plural) with wireless Android Auto support. Its core JVC brand has unveiled two models, the DVD-equipped KW-V940BW and disc-free KW-M845BW, that let you keep your Android phone in your pocket while using its in-car interface on your center stack. They also support Apple CarPlay, as the image above suggests, aas well as JVC’s WebLink (for controlling apps like Waze, YouTube and Yelp). Music fans can control Spotify, iHeartRadio and Pandora directly from the receiver or stream music from up to five phones with a “DJ” feature.

Both models have relatively basic resistive (pressure-based) 6.8-inch touchscreens, four 50W outputs (or three 4V pre-amp outputs) and one backup camera input, although this keeps the prices relatively low: the V940BW sells for $700, while ditching DVD lowers the M845BW’s price to $600.

If you want to splurge, the company’s Kenwood brand is offering a trio of units with more finger-friendly capacitive screens, two camera inputs, a proprietary dash camera connection and additional model-specific perks. The top-of-the-line DNX995S includes both built-in Garmin navigation and DVD support for $1,500, while the DDX9905 drops Garmin to lower the price to $1,100. And if you don’t need discs, the DMX905S not only lowers the price to $850, but throws in a larger 6.95-inch display.

JVCKenwood hasn’t detailed availability for the new units. However, its lineup is definitely important if you want to use your Android phone as the heart of your infotainment system. Google has been talking about wireless Android Auto since 2016, but there’s been precious little support for it. This creates a genuinely accessible option that won’t require buying a new car.

Kenwood's 2018 head units

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

Source: MediaWire (JVC), (Kenwood)

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