Kenwood's 2019 receivers to gain wireless CarPlay support

Car entertainment system manufacturer Kenwood announced today at CES that wireless CarPlay integration is coming to its 2019 lineup of in-car multimedia receivers. The company unveiled seven new receivers in Las Vegas, all of which will allow iPhone users to access their content on the center console without the need to connect with a Lightning cable.

CarPlay allows users to interact with their iPhone safely on the road, giving access to hands-free calling, messaging, and more. Audio apps appear on screen with larger controls for ease of use and Siri can be used to enable navigation, read your messages, or control media playback. Previous models of Kenwood receiver, and most built-in multimedia systems, require a wired connection to use CarPlay.

BMW and Volkswagen were among the first car makers to offer wireless CarPlay in their vehicles, but the rollout has been slow as people replace their cars infrequently. A number of third-party head unit makers have jumped on the wireless CarPlay trend — such as Pioneer and Alpine — offering the opportunity to add wire-free CarPlay connectivity to existing vehicles by replacing the multimedia system (rather than buying a whole new vehicle).

Models with full wireless capability include: Kenwood eXcelon Reference DNX996XR and DDX9906XR; Kenwood eXcelon DDX8906S and DMX906S; and Kenwood DNR876S, DDX8706S and DMX9706S. The models are also equipped with wired and wireless connectivity for Android Auto.

Scott Caswell, senior marketing manager for Kenwood USA, said:

CarPlay and Android Auto really caused a revolution in the car audio industry when they were introduced. They gained traction by promising a predictable, interactive experience in any car equipped with a phone's corresponding platform. This predictability has allowed us to quickly evolve the technology with wireless connectivity, allowing us to deliver more options to our end users.

Pricing and availability are yet to be announced.

Adam Oram

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.