JVC announces new CarPlay-compatible head unit

JVC has announced that it will be adding CarPlay compatibility to its top of the line head unit, the KW-V820BT. If your vehicle does not come with CarPlay built-in, and you want to add it, this may be a great option for you. The KW-V820BT will connect to your iPhone to let you safely interact with the navigation, music playback, and more without fiddling with your phone. In addition to adding CarPlay support, JVC is also including new controls for Spotify and Apple Music, allowing you full access to the streaming services from the head unit.

At this time, JVC has yet to announce official pricing or availability on this CarPlay-compatible head unit.

Press release:

2016 Multimedia Lineup Hits International CES With Multiple Integration, Audio Enhancements

Apple CarPlay™, Spotify® highlight seven major product additions

LAS VEGAS – January 7, 2016 (MEDIAWIRE) – JVC Mobile has bolstered its double-DIN multimedia line for 2016, upgrading six of seven models to provide touch-enabled control at multiple price points.

Most significant in the line is the addition of Apple CarPlay™ to its flagship KW-V820BT. Apple CarPlay lets users connect an iPhone® and safely interact with navigation, music playback and other driver-centric apps from the receiver, with Siri® as the primary interface. For models without CarPlay, connecting an iPhone via USB enables playback and basic music selection. This improvement provides more control options and allows the user to charge the smartphone without taking up the vehicle's 12-volt receptacle.

Another major addition is the inclusion of control for Spotify® and Apple Music™, two of the world's most popular streaming music services. The built-in control capability allows full access to the features of the music services on a connected smartphone. Spotify is available on all new models, while Apple Music is embedded in all models except the KW-V620BT. Both join Pandora® Internet Radio, (all models), iHeartRadio® (KW-V620BT) and SiriusXM® (all models except KW-V120BT) to provide a full array of streaming music options to fit drivers' tastes.

Bluetooth connectivity has been improved as well. All models except the KW-V620BT can maintain a live pair with two smartphones simultaneously. This allows the driver and passenger, for instance, to switch hands-free access without having to un-pair the previous phone. In addition, four models—KW-V120BT, KW-V220BT, KW-V320BT and KW-V420BT—can pair automatically with an iPhone or Android-based smartphone, eliminating the process of accessing pairing mode and entering codes.

Along with functionality, several new audio technologies—available on all models except the KW-V620BT—enhance playback of compressed music and tailor the vehicle sound stage to the user. K2 Technology expands the bit rate and frequency range to restore frequencies lost during CD formatting, and Sound Response boosts low frequencies lost in compression. To create the ideal listening experience, Sound Lift allows the driver to virtually raise the sound stage by adjusting sound frequencies, and Time Alignment ensures that sound from each speaker reaches the listener at the same time. For perfect reproduction, a 13-band equalizer enables precise changes to different frequencies based on the audio content. And Volume Link EQ helps maintain the audio experience on the road by adjusting volume of certain frequencies to compensate for ambient road noise.

Vehicle integration is another key addition. Four models—KW-V320BT, KW-V420BT, KW-V620BT and KW-V820BT—can interface with iDatalink Maestro, a gateway device that allows the receiver to read vehicle information, access factory installed peripherals and control certain functions. Depending on the vehicle, replacing the factory radio may mean the loss of certain features, such as climate control or telematics, or disabling of factory satellite radio or auxiliary inputs. iDatalink Maestro allows the new radio to retain functionality of peripherals, display their status and/or control their features.

"This is our most ambitious set of year-over-year improvements to date," said Hazim Jainoor, marketing manager for JVC Mobile. "Integration with both personal devices and the vehicle itself is paramount to fulfilling customer expectations. Our goal with the 2016 multimedia line is to get consumers excited about enhancing their time in the vehicle with better, safer entertainment options." All of JVC Mobile's new-for 2016 products are on display at International CES, January 6-9 in North Hall Booth No. 1711 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Jared DiPane

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.