updated 01:30 pm EST, Fri December 19, 2008
Kenwood intros I-K50 deck
Kenwood on Friday introduced its I-K50 in-car head unit with support for Apple's iPod players and the iPhone 3G via its front-mounted USB port. The I-K50's CD drive will play back MP3, WMA and AAC-encoded files, while the USB port will allow users to plug in USB flash memory keys loaded with the same supported types of audio formats. Plugging in iPods, including the classic, nano or touch, will allow users to control them via the head unit's controls instead of the music player's own controls, making it easier for drivers to focus on the road. Users can search the music collections stored on their iPods, iPhones or USB keys alphabetically via the head unit.
The new head unit's integrated amplifier is rated at a maximum power rating of 50W x 4 and has a built-in dB equalizer PRO function that lets users dial in a two-step bass boost. Users with audio players other than Apple's can also plug them into the I-K50 via the front-mounted auxiliary stereo input jack. The head unit includes an AM/FM tuner and saves up to six presets in memory.
Due for a mid-January release in Japan, the head unit will cost the equivalent of about $260; a US launch hasn't yet been mentioned. [via Impress]