Monday, September 27, 2021

Kenwood KMR-D772BT Marine Bluetooth CD Receiver Review

It’s been a rocky 12 months or so, maybe closer to 18 months, due to Covid 19. The vaccines came out and all looked good, and now there are the different mutations, like Delta version. If you’re like me and don’t want to be stuck inside again, it could be time to pull out the boat or side by side. And of course, music always makes the ride more enjoyable! Kenwood has a great motorsport series of products. Up for review today is their receiver, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT.

 

Features and specs:

 

Key Features:

·        TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate)

·        Drive Change

·        Maximum Output Power : 50W x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)

·        KENWOOD sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music

·        MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/FLAC Files Playback with ID-3 Tag Display

·        Android Rapid Charge

·        Multi language(English, Spanish)

·        Dual Phone Connection

·        Wireless Music Browsing

·        Conformal Coating *1

·        *1: Do not install the unit in a spot exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat or humidity. Also avoid places with too much dust or the possibility of water splashing.

 

Features:

 

General

·        TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate)

·        CD Door / Cover

·        16 Digit 1.5Line LCD Display

·        Rotary Encoder and Direct Key (TEL) for easy operation

·        Digital Clock (12H)

·        Variable Color Illumination

·        Dimmer Control Function (Manual/Set by timer)

Audio

·        Maximum Output Power : 50W x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)

·        Rear USB & Aux input

·        3 Preout (5.0V)

·        KENWOOD sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music

·        13 Band Graphic Equalizer

·        Time Allignement

·        Subwoofer Level Adjustable

·        Bass Boost

·        Loudness

·        Built-in LPF/HPF

USB

·        MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC Decoder with ID-3 Tag Display

·        iPod/iPhone Direct Connection with Optional cable*1

·        iPod Skip Search Function

·        Pandora/iHeart Radio/iTunes Radio/Spotify App Ready (iPhone App)

·        Drive Change (For Android or Card Reader)

·        Android Music Playback

·        Android Rapid Charge

·        *1: KCA-iP102: 30-pin type, KCA-iP103: Lightning type

Tuner

·        Sirius XM (SXV100/200/300) Ready

·        Backup Memory for Tuner Preset

·        FM/AM 24 Station Presets (18FM, 6AM)

·        RBDS with Radio Text

·        AME (Automatic Memory Entry)

CD

·        MP3, WMA, AAC Decoder with ID-3 Tag Display

·        0-bit Mute

External Media Control

·        Bluetooth Built-in (Hands-Free Profile / A2DP/ AVRCP1.5/Aptx)

·        NFC

·        Dual Phone Connection

·        Wireless Music Browsing

·        Pandora/iHeart Radio/Spotify App Ready (Android and iPhone App) via Bluetooth

·        Rear Wired BT Microphone included

·        Remote App for Android/iPhone

·        Marine Remote Ready (KCA-RC55MR / KCA-RC35MR)



The Kenwood KMR-D772BT came in a great looking color printed box with photos and specs of the receiver. Opening the box revealed a well-made receiver held in place and well protected by custom molded Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly metal with some plastic. Quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish. Also included were the owner’s manual, wiring harness and connectors, keys, and owner’s manual.

 

I really liked the design of the Kenwood KMR-D772BT. While you don’t want to get it wet, it does have conformal coating. This is a thin coating applied to the internal circuit boards. So this does provide some protection for outdoor use, like in a side by side. Most receivers have gone away from detachable faceplates.  But as boats and side by sides tend to be open, I’m glad to see a detachable faceplate used. The Kenwood KMR-D772BT also has some cool features like Android music playback, to make for a simple smartphone connectivity. It even has dual phone connection. And for times when you have a boat full or side by side full of family/friends, the music mix feature allows connection up to 5 Bluetooth devices connected at the same time.

 

Once installed, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT gives you great usability. You have access to the AM/FM tuner, there’s a CD player, as well as rear inputs for USB and Aux input. That way you can use any MP3 player or flash drive that you use for music, music stored on your phone, as well as music services that you use. That’s a lot of ways to enjoy music, to make the outdoors even more fun! The display is even a variable color display, so you can adjust it to match the colors of your vehicle’s dash. Now let’s see how it performs.

 

The Kenwood KMR-D772BT was easy to set-up once installed. The receiver starts by having you set up the language on the display. The Audio button takes you through all of the audio settings for your subwoofer, speaker sizes, crossovers, digital time alignment, loudness, volume offset, preset and manual EQ’s, bass boost, sound effects, car settings, balance, and fader. As is typical for Kenwood, you get a ton of control, to get the most out of your speakers, as well as get the sound just the way you like it.

 

The sound effect section is packed with sound effect settings for sound reconstruction, space enhancer, stage EQ, drive EQ and sound realizer. The title pretty much tells you what each setting does. Sound reconstruction helps to restore high frequencies lost in audio data compression. Space enhancer enhances the sound space. Sound realizer makes the sound more realistic. Stage EQ virtually adjusts the sound position of the speakers. Drive EQ helps against road noise. Some of the settings may make the sound a bit…artificial. Some work very well. And some of the settings like Space Enhancer and sound realizer has multiple levels of effect. Some settings could be either too much, too little, or just right. And the acoustics of your car could also affect how these settings sound. But that’s what it’s all about: letting your ears decide what is right for you, thanks to all of those options.

 

The buttons are also played out very well and easy to read, and the display was easy to read. The power button doubles as the source button, and each press cycles you through Radio, USB, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, BT Audio, Aux, and standby. Putting in a CD automatically switches to the CD transport. And switching sources adds CD in the rotation of possible sources adds CD in the rotation of possible sources. With the provided mic connected, pressing the phone button gives you hand free calling to the caller on your phone, as well as your phonebook, call history, and other phone settings.  The display also worked great, showing you dual lines of info, for song title on top and artist below. It also displayed a clock, the source playing and for Bluetooth connection, it also provided the codes of the song, such as aptX. 

 

We also can’t forget the built-in amplifier.  Rated at 50 watts RMS, it’s not a lot, but is the standard amount for internal amps in a receiver.  It won’t give you the quality of sound you would expect to get from an external amplifier, but it did work well.  Let’s hear how it sounded with Kenwood’s 6’5 inch 2-way speakers we recently reviewed:

Adele: Rolling in the Deep – The plucking of the strings of the acoustic guitar had nice definition. Vocals were pleasantly smooth with nice timbre of the texture. Kick drum had nice dynamics, tight powerful impact. High hat and cymbals were sufficiently crisp and clean.

Earth, Wind and Fire: September – Wood block had very good tone of the wood. Guitar sounded nice and raw, trumpet was smooth and not too brassy. Vocals were also very smooth with very good texture of the timbre along with very good harmonics. Drums were dynamic and cymbals were crisp and clean.

Lipps Inc: Funkytown – cowbell had very good tone and texture without being tinny. Cymbal was crisp and clean. Car horn was just as clean and very dynamic. Soundstage was surprisingly very deep. Vocals had nice texture of the timbre. Bass beats were deep, with very good dynamics and played with authority.

 

The Kenwood KMR-D772BT provides a lot of great usability. And it’s the kind of receiver that you would want in your boat or side by side, thanks to the conformal coating. There’s even a detachable faceplate for added security. With an MSRP of $219, you get a huge bang for the buck, being able to get the sound just the way you like it! Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.kenwood.com.



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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Kenwood KFC-1673MRWL Marine 6.5 Inch 2-way Speaker Review

After all of the quarantining from COVID, more and more people have been headed out of the house. It’s totally understandable. I’m one of those. And many have turned to outdoor activities. This could mean pulling out either the boat or the side by side. And if you’re wanting to enjoy your tunes while you are out on the boat or side by side, Kenwood has you covered. Up for review today is the Kenwood KFC-1673MRWL. It’s their 6.5 inch 2-way speakers designed to handle some of the elements.

 

Features and specs:

Peak Input Power            260W

Rated Input Power          75W

Impedance         

Woofer Features              6-1/2 inch Water Resistant PP Cone

Tweeter Features             1/2 inch Water Resistant PEI Balanced Dome

Sensitivity            86 dB/ W / m

Frequency Response       65Hz -21KHz

Cutout Diameter              144.8mm             5-11/16 inch

Mounting Depth               64.9mm               2-9/16 inch

Net Weight         1820g    4.0 lb



The Kenwood KFC-1673MRWL came in a nice looking, color printed box with photos of the speakers and their specs. Opening the box revealed a well-protected speaker held in place by custom molded Styrofoam. Pulling out the speakers, I could see that they were good quality speakers. Materials used in the construction was both metal and plastic. Quality of the materials as well as the fit and finish, were both good. Also included was the installation hardware, remote for the color LED’s, and manual.

 

The Kenwood KFC-1673MRWL employed a simple, yet functional and fun design. The basket was a simple thick white plastic, and covered the entire back of the speaker to help protect it from the elements. Given the amount of power they are designed to handle, these features would work great. And a white plastic was also used for the cone, with the color LED mounted on the back side of the cone, makes for a fun touch. And it also provides some elemental protection. The end look is pretty cool. And I really liked the design of the speakers.  The plastic grill on the front is a built-in white plastic grill.  The tweeter is built into the grill, held in place above the center of the speaker.  So, if you look at the speaker, it looks like a coaxial. But the design is more like a component speaker, with a separate tweeter. The wires for the tweeter run across the side of the grill underneath, as you can see in one of the photos below. And to further provide it's resistance to the elements, all of the speaker wire connections or LED wire connections are covered in a white rubber material, as is also shown in the photos below. 

 

Not only did the Kenwood KFC-1673MRWL prove to be a quality speaker, they also proved to be fairly efficient as well. It’s always better to drive speakers with a dedicated amplifier. Receivers have built-in amps to power the door speakers, but they are not nearly as powerful as a separate external amp. The more efficient a speaker is the better it performs with the amp built into the receiver. Let’s see how these speakers perform, powered by the Kenwood KMR-D772BT receiver.

 

Adele: Rolling in the Deep – The plucking of the strings of the acoustic guitar had nice definition. Vocals were pleasantly smooth with nice timbre of the texture. Kick drum had nice dynamics, tight powerful impact. High hat and cymbals were sufficiently crisp and clean.

Earth, Wind and Fire: September – Wood block had very good tone of the wood. Guitar sounded nice and raw, trumpet was smooth and not too brassy. Vocals were also very smooth with very good texture of the timbre along with very good harmonics. Drums were dynamic and cymbals were crisp and clean.

Lipps Inc: Funkytown – cowbell had very good tone and texture without being tinny. Cymbal was crisp and clean. Car horn was just as clean and very dynamic. Soundstage was surprisingly very deep. Vocals had nice texture of the timbre. Bass beats were deep, with very good dynamics and played with authority.

 

I truly enjoyed the Kenwood KFC-1673MRWL. With the use of the color LED behind the clear plastic cone, they do have a fun look. They are well made, and should provide years of use. They also give you room to grow. Being able to handle 75 watts RMS, you can power them with your receiver, and then later upgrade to a separate receiver to power them. With a $199 MSRP, they are fairly priced and provide a good value. Based on their design, features, quality and performance, the Kenwood KFC-1673MRWL has earned our Highly Recommended award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.kenwood.com.



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Friday, September 3, 2021

In Time for CEDIA 2021, Samsung Launches New Products and Programs to Continue Powering Successful Partnerships

In Time for CEDIA 2021, Samsung Launches New Products and Programs to Continue Powering Successful Partnerships

 

From new displays and sizes that can meet any client’s diverse needs, to programs that give back to our community–Samsung is uniquely positioned to set up dealers for success

 

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – September 1, 2021 – In time with CEDIA 2021, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announces new size options for its flagship Neo QLED 4K TVs and Lifestyle TVs, as well as a new iteration of The Wall—all designed to help integrators better meet their valued clients’ wide variety of needs. Samsung has also updated its Platinum Program, which through close partner collaboration, has improved Samsung’s CI channel share to its highest level in many years—giving partners an even greater ability to grow their businesses.

 

The Right Products…

 

Samsung’s award-winning Neo QLED QN90A 4K flagship display will now be available in new 43”, 50” and 98” sizes. These new screens, which join the existing lineup of 55”, 65”, 75” and 85” models, make for a portfolio that delivers the ultimate performance—while also appealing to the diverse needs of consumers. Samsung’s Lifestyle portfolio is also “expanding” to include a large 85” iteration of The Frame and a 65” Terrace Full Sun for direct-sunlight installation. With these additions, The Frame portfolio will now be available in 8 screen sizes, and the Terrace—between its Full Sun model and the original design—will be available in 5.

 

In addition to new consumer screens, Samsung has also further developed its stunning LED The Wall (IWA Series). The 2021 model delivers The Wall’s most detailed picture yet—offering the industry’s first 8K resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate and simple 8K playback. The Wall’s massive screen can be configured to over 1,000 inches—or about a quarter of the length of a football field—creating a completely expansive canvas for showcasing content.

 

There’s also an ongoing demand for an easy-to-use content management system—and the OBR Series 75”, Pro TV 75” and BHT Series Pro TV Terrace all make it easier than ever. The TV products are ideal for those seeking sleek additions to living areas or business environments—and they’re designed for effortless installation and quality performance. The QBR Series comes installed with Samsung's SMART Signage Platform 6.0 and embedded MagicINFO Player S6 media player—and delivers 4K UHD picture quality that gives new meaning to color precision. The Pro TV 75” includes groundbreaking updates, including a UHD display and HDR functionality, for top picture performance. Lastly, the BHT Series Pro TV Terrace remains suitable for the indoors or the outdoors, bringing an impressive IP55 weatherproof rating for protection from any weather in any season.

“The home tech landscape has evolved dramatically over the last 18 months—this is a great moment to step back and finally see the exciting advancements in this industry first-hand,” said Mark Quiroz, Vice President of Marketing, Display Division at Samsung Electronics America. “Samsung’s latest display products continue that legacy with increased picture quality, easy installation, and breakthroughs in design and sizing versatility for the home. With ongoing innovations like the Wall MICROLED technology, QBR Series Narrow bezels, symmetrically designed 4K displays, and monitors ideal for both streaming and gaming, dealers have more options than ever to deliver seamless integration.”

…With the Right Programs

 

“At the core of our promise to our partners is our high performing product portfolios; these new screen sizes strengthen that promise by strengthening dealers’ ability to meet the diverse needs of their clients. Just as important, though, are programs that let us collaborate closely with them to achieve shared success,” says Jim Mayo, Executive Director of Custom Install Channel/Strategy at Samsung Electronics America. “This alliance with our partners has helped us achieve #1 market share in this market. We’re proud and appreciative of the partnerships that have brought us here.”

 

Samsung’s Platinum Program has changed significantly in the last 12 months. It now offers comprehensive regional distribution support and provides Samsung’s partners with simplified access to consumer & commercial product under one umbrella—making it easier than ever for integrators to spec out jobs based on client need.

 

In addition to helping our partners achieve success, since 2020 our programs have also been developed to help those in need. Thanks as well to our strong partnerships, in 2021, Samsung and our Platinum dealers will have combined to raise almost $300,000 in total for several worthy causes, including the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Tisch Brain Tumor Center and Autism Speaks.


For more information, visit www.samsung.com.

 

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) is a leader in mobile technologies, consumer electronics, home appliances and enterprise solutions. The company pushes beyond the limits of today’s technology to provide groundbreaking connected experiences across its large portfolio of products and services, including mobile devices, home appliances, home entertainment, 5G networks, and digital displays. As EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Corporate Commitment Partner, SEA is dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment through its eco-conscious products, practices and operations. To learn more and to get involved, visit Samsung.com. For the latest news, visit news.samsung.com/us and follow @SamsungNewsUS. SEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd


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