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JVC, Kenwood, Clarion Expand HD Radio Choices

Format expands presence in dashboard offerings

On the heels of Toyota’s announcement that it will offer HD Radio receivers on certain vehicles in model year 2012, JVC, Kenwood and Clarion are expanding their HD Radio offerings.

JVC Mobile Entertainment introduced four in-dash CD receiver models with HD Radio: KD-HDR44, KD-HDR70, Arsenal KD-AHD79 and the Double-DIN KW-HDR720. Two in-dash receivers with navigation will also be equipped with HD Radio tuners as well as a secondary HD tuner for Clear Channel’s Total Traffic HD+Network. Both navigation receivers include a free lifetime subscription to that service.

Available this month will be the KD-HDR44 for $139.95, KD-HDR70 for $179.95 and KD-AHD79 for $199.95. The KW-HDR720 ships in March with a list of $219.95.

Artist Experience, in which visual images and text are synched with HD audio, will be standard in the new navigation models KW-NT50HDT and KW-NT30HD, as well as a later update, which will be made available for the 2010 KW-NT3HDT model, according to JVC.

Newly added is connectivity with the iheartradio iPhone application from Clear Channel. After being downloaded to an iPhone, the iheartradio application can be used via USB connection to the navigation units. The KW-NT50HDT and KW-NT30HD receivers will be available in March and list for $1,199.95 and $999.95, respectively.

Kenwood’s CD receiver, the KDC-BT948HD, has Bluetooth, HD Radio and a Pandora Internet radio link. On this unit, Pandora can be controlled and viewed on the front or via an iPhone.

Bluetooth, HD Radio and a Pandora link are included in Kenwood’s Excelon CD receiver, the KDC-X995. Both radios are set for March availability with list prices of $350 and $380 respectively.

An integrated HD Radio for 2011 is the KDC-HD548U with suggested $200 list price. This is a successor to an earlier model; the receiver maker says sales of that unit gave Kenwood the top-selling in-dash player with an integrated HD Radio tuner from April through October 2010, based on unit and dollar volume, according to the NPD Group. The KDC-HD548U is set for February shipping.

Meanwhile Clarion is introducing five CD source units with “more HD Radio compatibility than ever,” according to the manufacturer. The CZ401 audio source unit has built-in HD Radio, a first for Clarion. The unit has a dedicated Tag button for iTunes tagging.

Clarion’s new CZ line-up will be available in the first quarter of 2011 with list prices ranging from $99.99 to $229.99.