Aftermarket Apple CarPlay options are growing more plentiful by the month, and car electronics giant Kenwood has just added two more choices to the pile.
Toward the end of September, the brand will begin shipping its smartphone-compatible DDX6702S and DDX6902S multimedia receivers to stores, both of which come equipped with the CarPlay system. The units cost $800 and $850, respectively.
“We are committed to enhancing the connected lifestyle,” said Tony Mercado, Kenwood’s marketing manager. “iPhone users have deeply integrated relationships with their devices, and extending the safe function of those devices in the vehicle is vital. Adding the Excelon DDX6902S and DDX6702S to our current flagship units lets us deliver that fun and functionality to more consumers at lower price points.”
Unlike the larger DDX9702S and DDX9902S — which feature a 6.95-inch screen and both CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility — the new DDX6702S and DDX6902S are specifically tailored for iPhone owners only. Both have a 6.2-inch touchscreen as well as a physical knob and menu buttons on the left side, and either can be connected to an optional backup camera.
Kenwood didn’t specify the technical differences between the two receivers in its press release, but typically the more expensive version will offer the ability two switch between two phones hands-free as well as higher-quality AAC/aptX audio streaming capabilities. Both include HD Radio, a CD and DVD reader, AM/FM, SiriusXM, and apps like Pandora and iHeartRadio.
CarPlay allows iPhone owners to integrate smartphone functions into their vehicle’s infotainment suites by reading texts, facilitating calls, accessing Apple Maps navigation, and playing music easily and safely. If you don’t want to fiddle with the screen, CarPlay gives drivers the option to use the Siri verbal interface to access nearly all of these functions hands-free.