Shortly after Kenwood went head to head with Pioneer with its own aftermarket receivers with CarPlay integration, the company responded by announcing a second-generation Networked Entertainment eXperience (NEX) in-dash receivers with CarPlay support.
Building on the features introduced in the previous NEX series (the $1400 AVIC-8000NEX, $1200 AVIC-7000NEX, $900 AVIC-6000NEX, $750 AVIC-5000NEX and $700 AVH-4000NEX), the updated receivers offer better displays, support for Bluetooth connectivity and are Sirius XM-Ready.
Consisting of the $1,400 AVIC-8100NEX, $1,200 AVIC-7100NEX, $900 AVIC-6100NEX, $750 AVIC-5100NEX and $700 AVH-4100NEX, these new in-dash receivers support both Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, giving users the freedom to use their device in the car regardless of their smartphone platform of choice.
The upgraded models also offer Pioneer’s AppRadio Mode, MirrorLink compatibility, Pandora internet radio, iDatalink Maestro support and FLAC audio file playback (up to 192kHz/24 bit).
CarPlay is supported across all models while Android Auto is supported on the AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX and AVH-4100NEX. The top-of-the-line AVIC-8100NEX offers a capacitive WVGA touchscreen display, with the remaining models sporting an improved clear resistive WVGA touch panel that provides brighter, more vibrant colors and increased touch sensitivity.
The AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX and AVH-4100NEX have seven-inch screens and the AVIC-6100NEX and AVIC-5100NEX feature a smaller 6.2 inch display sizes. Bluetooth connectivity has been improved by way of support for Bluetooth AVRCP 1.4 and HFP 1.6 with wideband audio for clearer sound quality.
For those wondering, labeling a product as Sirius XM-Ready simply means that it provides fully integrated satellite radio experience. In practice, this means that after adding a compatible tuner to the receiver you’ll be able to use the receiver’s touchscreen to search and navigate SiriusXM.
In addition to commercial-free music, SiriusXM’s premier sports and live events, comedy, news, exclusive talk and entertainment programming (subscription required) is received through the new SiriusXM SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner, sold separately, including:
- TuneMix: TuneMix plays a unique blend of songs from the user’s favorite music channels from their current SiriusXM Preset Band.
- Traffic & Weather Now: Keeps users moving with the most current traffic and weather updates. A push of the Traffic & Weather Now button toggles between the latest report and the current channel.
- SportsFlash: Allows listeners to keep up with the big plays of their favorite teams.
All models except the AVIC-5100NEX have built-in HD Radio for high quality audio broadcasts with the HD Radio Artist Experience providing information on the artist, song title, album art, station logos and more.
The new receivers will be available in March.