SRS Labs’ WOW Stereo Enhancement Technology Goes Mobile With New Kenwood Car CD Receivers

Three of Kenwood‘s 2003 car audio in-dash receivers, introduced last month at the CES 2003 show in Las Vegas, will provide SRS WOW audio enhancement technology as premier audio features.

WOW is offered on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X969 ($700 US, available March 2003) and KDC-X869 competition-grade mobile CD receivers, and also on the lower-cost Kenwood-branded KDC-MP922 model. These products mark the first time that WOW audio processing has been incorporated into car audio products available worldwide.

WOW provides three primary benefits to mobile audio listeners including

  1. it elevates sound vertically, which is useful in vehicles where speakers are often located in kick panels and other low areas,
  2. it creates the perception of a three-dimensional sound field, including a pronounced center channel, using conventional two-channel stereo sources, and
  3. it uses bass harmonics to create the aural impression of very low frequencies, even from small speakers.

“Kenwood car products meet the need of mobile entertainment enthusiasts and it’s the inclusion of a superior audio technology, such as SRS WOW, that enables us to continue to make products practical and affordable that offer cutting edge technology,” comments Brian Towne, director of product management for Kenwood USA. “We are pleased to be the first products for the mobile market that include SRS WOW, and feel we are in an excellent position to increase our receiver market share for the fourth consecutive year.”

Thomas C.K. Yuen, chairman and CEO of SRS Labs said, “These new car audio receivers from Kenwood featuring WOW are a prime example of our strategy to expand our relationships with current OEM customers across different product lines. We intend to focus on similar opportunities to expand business with other OEMs using this ‘penetrate and expand’ business strategy.”

Kenwood USA Web Site

SRS Labs Web Site

Treo Engineering Announces Treo Series Extreme (TSX) Subwoofers

At CES, Treo introduced several new products, including the Street Series Extreme Twelve Inch Subwoofer (SSX12.22), and the all-new Treo Series Extreme Subwoofers (TSX10.xx, TSX12.xx, & TSX15.xx)

The TSX subwoofers are aimed at the high-end car audio consumer. They take many of the same technologies used in the championship winning Treo Engineering Competition Series Extreme (CSX) SPL competition subwoofers and translate them into great-sounding subwoofers that will stand up to any kind of abuse.

The TSX subwoofers will be available in ten, twelve, and fifteen inch sizes. All sizes will be available with dual 4-ohm or dual 2-ohm voice coils.

The TSX10 and TSX12 feature a large 208 ounce motor structure, 2.5 inch dual two ohm or dual four ohm voice coils, and a polypropylene cone. The TSX15 features the same polypropylene cone along, with even larger 298 ounce motor structures and 3.0 inch dual two ohm or dual four ohm aluminum voice coils.

All TSX subwoofers feature hydro-formed steel frames with Treo-exclusive perimeter venting and durable and attractive black electroplated top plates and T-yokes. Power handling on the TSX10 and TSX12 is 275 watts RMS and power handling on the TSX15.22 is 350 watts RMS. The TSX subwoofers boast two and a half inches of peak-to-peak excursion.

The Treo TSX subwoofers will be in stores beginning February 1, 2003, pricing to be announced.

TREO Engineering Web Site

More CES 2003 News

Delphi Will Demonstrate High-Tech Car Entertainment Options at CES

Delphi Corp. will demonstrate cutting-edge mobile car sound entertainment technology in several showcase vehicles at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The demos include Delphi’s Premium Audio System with DVD-Audio (DVD-A) playback; and a rear-seat entertainment system with DVD video and XM Satellite Radio.

Delphi is one of the first companies to demonstrate the high-quality digital audio of an internal DVD-A playback system for the vehicle. The Delphi DVD-Audio system was developed specifically for the automotive environment. It enhances the standard 44.1 KHz, two-channel mode CD format to a 96 KHz, six-channel mode.

The high-resolution reproduction of DVD-Audio provides greater sound field control, and enhanced musical or sound clarity.

The system also includes a 14-channel amplifier and a powerful subwoofer with rich, extended bandwidth.

“DVD-A is the future of audio reproduction,” says Dr. Robert Schumacher, business line executive for Delphi Delco Electronics Systems wireless products. “Delphi understands consumer expectations from the most casual listener to the most sophisticated audiophile. With our DVD-A designed for the vehicle, and its realistic sound reproduction, we are able to help satisfy the expectations of all types of listeners.”

According to Dr. Schumacher, DVD-A is expected to revolutionize album recording with the capability to include several versions of an album on the disc. Optional versions may include a super high-end surround sound version as well as video clips.

In another demonstration vehicle, Delphi is showing how integration can bring more choice to car occupants. Delphi’s rear-seat entertainment system with DVD-video playback integrated into the radio unit, and a low profile, factory-installed seven-inch display in the vehicle’s headliner, means space-saving styling, simpler production and cost savings. This vehicle also includes an XM satellite radio with the receiver integrated into the radio unit, eliminating the need for a separate receiver box.

The Delphi Fuba Reception Systems and TV tuner on this vehicle bring access to television programming, too. The reception system provides the on-screen menu driven by the TV tuner and a vehicle-specific independent audio and video diversity antenna system. Using up to four separate antennas, the multi-antenna diversity system evaluates and selects the strongest TV transmission signal to help provide and maintain the highest quality reception possible in a moving vehicle. The signal is directed to the remote TV tuner that works with the rear-seat display system.

With all these entertainment options in one vehicle, rear-seat passengers can use wireless headphones and a remote control to enjoy a DVD movie or TV programming while other occupants can experience XM’s 101 channels of satellite radio programming.

Kenwood and Good Guys Offer L.A. Auto Show Visitors 30-Day Free Trial of Sirius Satellite Radio

L.A. Auto Show visitors who stop by the Good Guys exhibit booth January 4 – 12 can obtain a coupon entitling them to a 30-day free trial of Sirius Satellite Radio service when they buy a Kenwood Sirius-ready receiver, or Kenwood Sirius-ready FM Adapter, Sirius antenna, and get the system installed by Good Guys before March 1, 2003.

Sirius broadcasts 100 channels of the best music and entertainment coast-to-coast. The new sales promotion, dubbed the “Sirius Free Ride Deal” offers consumers the chance to sample the Sirius service for one month without obligation.

All visitors to the Auto Show, running January 4-12 at the L.A. Convention Center, can qualify for the Kenwood Sirius Free Ride Deal promotion simply by visiting Good Guys’ booth and receiving the Sirius upgrade coupon. When customers purchase their new Kenwood receiver or FM Adapter and antenna from Good Guys and have it installed between January 12 and March 1, they can use their coupons to receive a Kenwood Sirius tuner at no extra cost.

“This is a terrific, risk-free way for people to test out Sirius and experience what they’re missing,” said Dan Navarro, director of merchandising for mobile and wireless, Good Guys. “There’s only so much you tell from a showroom demonstration. After you have the Sirius service and drive around with this amazing product for a few weeks, we think you’ll be hard pressed to go without it.”

“Once listeners experience the superior programming, signal coverage, and sound quality of Sirius, they won’t want to go back to ordinary radio,” said Sally House, director of marketing for Kenwood.

Sirius broadcasts 60 channels of 100% commercial-free music, as well as 40 channels of sports, news, and entertainment, all in clear, quality digital format. To initiate service, buyers simply need to have Good Guys activate the service when the equipment is installed. Once activated, listeners will enjoy all Sirius programming free for the next 30 days. Should they decide to continue their subscription, users will then be charged a $15 activation fee and $12.95 per month. Those deciding not to continue must notify Sirius to cancel the service.

Kenwood USA Web Site

Good Guys Web Site

Sirius Satellite Radio Web Site

The World’s Best Car Radio Gets Better

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, Blaupunkt will introduce an upgraded version of its top-of-the-line head unit, the San Francisco CD72, making it the world’s first car stereo with TwinCeiver™ Digital Directional Antenna (DDA) technology.

The new technology promises dramatically improved reception of conventional AM and FM broadcasts. TwinCeiver provides up to twice the signal strength at the front end of the radio, while significantly reducing multipath distortion caused by radio signals that bounce off buildings and other objects.

Compared to its predecessor, the new San Francisco CD72 also has a more powerful 4 x 65 Watt amplifier, a new 4 x 13-band parametric equalizer, Dynamic Sound Adjustment (DSA) for automatic cabin equalization, and Digital Noise Covering (DNC). The San Francisco CD72 has been selected as one of five Blaupunkt products that will receive the Innovations 2003 Design and Engineering Showcase award at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show.

TwinCeiver builds on Blaupunkt’s exclusive DigiCeiver digital radio tuner technology by adding a second antenna and tuner circuit that are integrated by the DDA processor. Unlike other multiple antenna systems, however, this receiver does much more than simply switch from one antenna to another. Thanks to its all-digital processing, TwinCeiver can evaluate, compare, and combine the radio signals from two antennas on the fly. Normally, the only time signals from two antennas can be added together is when both are the exact same distance from the broadcast transmitter. DDA adjusts the timing of the signals from two antennas so they function as if they were equidistant from the transmitter, no matter what direction it is. This so-called ‘phase array’ configuration is the same technique that allows modern radar antennas to search in different directions without physically turning, It causes the reception to be stronger in the desired direction, and weaker at side angles that might carry multipath distortion.

Most of the time, when both antennas are receiving signals that are relatively distortion-free, the TwinCeiver simply adds them together for improved signal strength and better sound quality. When multipath distortion is significant at one antenna or the other, however, the signals are digitally compared and evaluated, to determine the optimal signal. In this way, the TwinCeiver effectively functions as a Digital Directional Antenna (DDA), continuously tracking optimum reception and minimizing distortion from multipath effects. The results, according to Oliver Steinig, Product Group Manager, Blaupunkt USA, “are remarkable. We are very confident that this is the finest in-car radio tuner the world has ever seen.”

TwinCeiver has a Radio Data System (RDS) background reception mode that takes advantage of optimal reception conditions to quickly and inaudibly access RDS channels on different frequencies for station and format lists without interfering with the audio. (This is more important in Europe and other areas where these RDS capabilities are more widely used than in the USA.)

The San Francisco’s digital sound processing capabilities are also used to provide Blaupunkt’s acclaimed Digital Sound Adjustment (DSA), and Dynamic Noise Covering (DNC) capabilities. With DSA, an included microphone actually ‘listens’ to the acoustic characteristics of each individual car, and then automatically adjusts the radio’s four-channel, 13-band parametric equalizer to correct for anomalies in these characteristics. DNC technology uses similar techniques to adjust equalization ‘on-the-fly’, compensating for changes in ambient noise from the road, airflow, or tires. Any changes in the ambient noise in the cockpit are matched by a corresponding change in volume at the problem frequency, maintaining linear and consistent sound to the listener.

Designed for premium in-car audio systems, the San Francisco includes 5-Volt preamp outputs for all four channels, a subwoofer pre-out, and two aux inputs. The unit also features a high-quality CD transport, CD changer controls, and the company’s award-winning KeyCard security system.

Control of the San Francisco is both convenient and simple with the included handheld IR remote, or optional Thummer™ steering wheel remote. Software-driven menus and adaptive faceplate controls provide intuitive in-depth control of the unit’s extensive setup configuration and advanced features.

The Blaupunkt San Francisco CD72 will be available in January 2003 at a suggested retail price of $749.99.

Blaupunkt USA Web Site

Consumer Electronics Association – CES 2003 Web Site