updated 11:15 am EDT, Tue September 5, 2006
Kenwood USB Car Stereos
Auxiliary input jacks are increasingly prevalent options for car stereo head units, but they limit playback only to devices that already have minijacks for sound output. This forces sound to pass through typically weak amplifiers in digital audio players, potentially hurting the quality of the sound as it reaches the car stereo. Kenwood recently announced six new head units that solve this problem through the introduction of new head units that all include a USB port. The new stereos scan the storage systems of any device attached via USB, allowing the stereo to use any USB storage - including digital audio players and hard drives - as a source for music. Common audio formats such as AAC, MP3, and WMA are supported. The stereo manufacturer also indicated that there will be an iPod adapter to fully control Apple's ubiquitous music player. No prices or shipping dates were given, though Kenwood noted that there would be both single- and double-DIN stereos to accommodate different cars and listener needs.