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Kenwood DNX4210DAB Two-DIN Head Unit

Product Details
Manufacturer:  Kenwood Electronics
Website: http://www.kenwood-e...one/DNX4210DAB/
Typical Selling price: £999.99

What It Is
A lovely marriage of what an old school ice fan would want to find in a big old double DIN head unit combined with a plethora of wonderful digital cleverness and even possessed of an inherent design that proves the maker gives a darn about how easy the machine is to use and install. To start with, this is a member of the New Generation. It has a digital radio. In fact it has a DAB+ tuner in its guts so not only can it read the digital airwaves in the UK on Vanilla DAB but it can also be used in Europe where DAB+ is found as well. (I think there’s even porn radio channels in Germany on it…)

Anyway, it is a 6.1inch touch screen with VGA resolution (not the highest but it keeps the cost sane) and a disc slot above the screen. A USB on-a-wire hangs out the back and with the Kenwood J-Link lead (I tried another and it wouldn’t work) connected to that and also plugging the analogue jack into the iPod AV socket in the rear, it connected my iPod Touch 4th gen a treat. If you want, though, you can specify this USB to be just data alone and hook in a regular data stick instead. It’s all configurable.

I also plugged the AV output – well image anyway – into the test bench’s NESA drop-down screen, so I could monitor the video second-zone output, what ever was running on the ‘front’ i.e. main unit’s screen. For this is of course strong at dual zone stuff.

There are RCAs for a slew of amps if you want, as well as sockets for the included GPS antenna and the DAB aerial and mic too, in addition to the regular FM aerial socket-on-a-coax for the FM tuner inside.

The lovely Mister Kenwood delivered me a pukka J-link cable, just because I called and bleated! He dropped everything and rushed it over. I was filled with lurve! He also showed me more of the stuff the DNX4210DAB can do. Way more than I would have found in a day. It’s dammed clever and is deep into the bit after ‘well-thought-out’ as it has some genius spots. Like how you can connect up in AV either via a tip-ring-ring-sleeve AV jack plug, or else use the three red/white/yellow RCAs as demanded by most car units with an AV input. Fact is, BOTH are supplied at extra cost to Kenwood and yet to offer easier use to the end operator. Overall, then it has a potent processor and is well featured.

Scroll down past the specs lifted from the Kenwood website– as usual, these are all checked and there were a few typo corrections I found that have been filtered back to their webspert. Like missing the first ‘99’ on the “Effective Pixels 99.9999%” spec. I’ve also added more from the manual that isn’t on their site. TA runs the definitive specsheets!

Full Specifications

Key Features
6.1in wide VGA screen with LED backlight
Navigation system built-in (powered by Garmin)
Bluetooth Hands Free built-in (powered by Telechips)
Rotary encoder for smooth volume control
GUI with selectable 20 languages menu & text display
Audio & video playback from USB/DVD/USB/iPod
Rear AV-input
AV-out/R-cam in
DAB digital radio tuner built-in

General Features
Disabled System Indicator (DSI)
User-set security code
Dual Zone output
On Screen Display (OSD) Operation
Smooth GUI
Variable Colour Key Illumination
Rotary Encoder & Control Knob
Installer Memory
Back-up Memory
(-20dB) Attenuator with Smooth Volume Return
Touch Sensor Tone
Optional IR remote controller: KCA-RCDV331
Digital Clock (24H)
Made for iPod
Firmware upgradeable
Wired OEM steering wheel input

Multimedia GUI Features
OSDC Type: Full Graphics
Variable Colour illumination
Colour Palette: 256
Base Colour Class: 6,5000
Background Customise (1x.jpg)
Software updates (SoC) via USB
Slide Touch Operation
Scroll Display

Monitor Features
LCD type: 6.1 inch Wide VGA Touch Panel
LCD backlight: LED
Four Display Modes - Full/Just/Zoom/Normal
Screen Adjustments: Brightness/Tint/Colour/Contrast/Black Level/Sharpness/Dimmer
Dimmer function: Manual/ Auto Sync/Navi Sync
Visual Source Mode: DVD/Video/(TV)/USB/iPod/App
NTSC/PAL: Automatically selected
V.OFF/TFT Off Mode

Audio Features
Max. Output Power (MOSFET Power IC): 4 x 50W
Pre-outs: 3RCA: Front/Rear/Subwoofer
Pre-out Output Level: 2V
Subwoofer Reference Level, Phase and Frequency adjust
Dual Zone Source & Volume Control
Balance/Fader Control
Attenuation (-20dB) with smooth Volume Return
Sound Excellence DSP
Built-in 3-band parametric equaliser
System E's+ (Built-in HPF & LPF)
Beep On/Off

Video Features
1 three-RCA Audio/Video Input
1 three-RCA Audio/Video Output
iPod AV input switchable to additional AV input
Video-In: One dedicated NTSC video input (RCA) for Rear-view Camera
(Rear) camera display view control
RGB Input For Navigation System
DVD Menu Direct Touch Operation

Analogue Radio Tuner Features
Radio Data System (RDS)
Radio Text Plus
Program Type Function (PTY)
Enhanced Other Networks Function (EON)
Traffic Information (TA)
FM, AM, MW, LW Reception
24 Presets (18FM/3LW/3MW)
Automatic Memory Entry (AME)
Up/Down Seek Tuning
Tuning mode (Auto1/Auto2/Manual)
FM Stereo/Mono Selector

Digital Radio Tuner Features
DAB 1.0 tuner with DAB+ support
Intelligent seek & Ensemble seek
Tuning mode/Seek mode: Auto1/Auto2/Manual
Auto service memory (AME)
Service list by alphabet order
Audio interrupt standby by PTY
Audio interrupt standby by announcement
DAB - RDS integrated TI
DAB-DAB+ & DAB-FM auto switch
DLS (Dynamic Label)
DCR (Dynamic Range Control)
PTY (Programme Type) search & watch
TMC (Traffic Message Channel) support
Antenna power supply on/off switch

Single Disc
DVD±R/RW Compatible
DVD Region Code: 2
CD-R/RW Compatible
CD Text
MP3, WMA & AAC playback
24 bit Digital/Analogue Converter
DivX, MPEG1/2 Video File (.mpg) Compatible
2ch Dolby Digital and 2ch downmix dts and mpeg audio
CD-DA Repeat/Scan/Random play
Direct Search
Disc Menu Direct Touch

USB Features
Rear USB1.1/USB 2.0 terminal
Kenwood Music Editor Lite
Kenwood Music Control App for Android
MP3, WMA, AAC & WMV, WAV playback
H.264, WMV, MPEG1 & MPEG2 & MPEG4 Video Decoder
JPEG slide show & JPEG picture control
Album cover picture search
Category, Repeat/Scan/Random & Direct search

iPod Features
Made for iPod & iPhone *
USB Video & Audio direct control (2 wire) with optional KCA-iP202
Album art support
Music library search
Alphabet search
App & iPod control mode
Reverse browsing
Works with iPod Classic *: 80G, 120G & 160G
Works with iPod Video 5th/6th generation *
Works with iPod Touch *: 1st/2nd/3rd/4th generation
Works with iPod Nano *1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th Gen
Works with iPhone *
Battery charge + power control
1A current capability

* Always update to latest Apple firmware

Bluetooth General Features
Telechip Module built-in
Hands free Profile (HPF)
Easy pairing HFP device
Bluetooth firmware upgradeable
* depends on phone model/make

Navigation Features
Touch-screen controllable
Easy-to-use Graphical Interface
Built-in Map Data City Navigator NT version 14E
Map Upgrade via USB download
Map Coverage City Navigator Europe NT - V14E included
2-Dimensional Map Display
Auto Zoom Function
Turn-by-Turn Instructions
Automatic Re-Route
Day/Night Colour mode
Detour Re-Routing
Route Preference Function
GPS Info page
Primary/Secondary GUI
Multi Destination Search
Voice Guidance
Text-to-Speech (TTS) Voice Guidance
Phone call by POI search
Lane Assistance
Globe view (world mapping)
Multi-route review
Traffic Trend / My Trend
Traffic Message Channel Built-in
GPS Vehicle Position Sensing
Trip Computer
Trip log output to PC via USB
Additional main map field
Speed cameras’ locations database can be uploaded by USB

OEM Wired Remote Control
Parking sensor wire
Reverse sensor wire
Power Control (P.CON) wire
2-way (Tel/Navi) mute wire
Dimmer control wire
GPS Antenna Input
External microphone input

Monitor Specifications
Screen size (Diagonal) 6.1 Inches
Screen Size (WxH) 136.2 x 72mm
Display system Transparent TN LCD Panel
Drive system TFT Active Matrix System
Number of Pixels: 1,152000 pixels 800(H) x 480(V) x RGB
Effective pixels: 99.9999%
Pixel arrangement RGB Striped
LED (Light Emitting Diode) Back lighting

Video Specifications
Colour System of External Video Input: NTSC/PAL
External Video Input Level (RCA): 1 Vpp/75 Ohm
External Audio Max. Input Level: (RCA2 V/25 kOhm)
Video Output Level (RCA): 1 Vpp/75 Ohm
Audio Output Level (RCA): 1.2 Vpp/10 kOhm

Tuner Specifications
FM Frequency range (50kHz step): 87.5MHz ~ 108MHz
FM Usable Sensitivity: 0.9μV/75ohm (S/N 26dB)
FM Quieting Sensitivity: 2μV/75ohm (S/N 46dB)
FM Frequency Response: 30Hz ~ 15kHz (± 3dB)
FM Signal to noise ratio (Mono):  65dB
FM Selectivity(DIN): >80dB (±400kHz)
FM Stereo Separation: (1kHz) 35dB
MW Frequency Range: 531kHz ~ 1611kHz
MW Frequency step: 9kHz
LW Frequency Range: 153kHz ~ 279kHz

DAB Tuner specifications
L Band - Frequency range1452.96MHz - 1490.624MHz
Band III - Frequency range174.928 MHz - 239.2MHz
Sensitivity- 100dBm
Signal to noise ratio: 80dB
Audio format MPEG1 Audio Layer II, MPEG4, HE-AAC V2

DVD Specifications
24 bit D/A Converter
MPEG1/MPEG2/DivX Video decoder
Audio decoder: Linear PCM/Dolby Digital/dts/MP3/WMA/AAC
Wow & Flutter: Below Measurable Limit
Freq. Response. (96kHz Sampling): 20Hz ~ 20kHz
Freq. Response. (48kHz Sampling): 20Hz ~ 20kHz
Freq. Response. (44,1kHz Sampling): 20Hz ~ 20kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.0001% (1kHz)
Signal to Noise Ratio: 98dB (1kHz)
Dynamic Range: 98dB
Disc Format: DVD-Video/Video-CD/CD-DA
Sampling Frequency: 96k / 48k / 44,1kHz
Quantifying bit number: 13/20/24bit

USB Specifications
USB Version compatibility: 1.1/2.0
File System: FAT 16/32
Maximum Supply current: 1,000mA
24 bit D/A Converter
MP3 Decode: Compliant with MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer-3
WMA Decode: Compliant with Windows Media Audio
AAC Decode: AAC-LC "m4a" Files
WAV Decode: Linear - PCM Files
Acceptable video files: MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264, WMV

Bluetooth specifications
Bluetooth 1.2 certified
Frequency 2.402 - 2.48 GHz
Output power+4dBm(max), 0dBm (AVE) power class 2
Maximum range: Line of sight approx. 10 meters
Handsfree profile (HFP)

Navigation specifications
High sensitivity GPS Receiver
Receiver frequency: 1575.42 MHz (C/A code)
Acquisition time cold: <35 sec
Update rate: 1/sec continuous
Position accuracy: <6 meters/typical
Velocity accuracy: 0.1 meter/sec RMS
External GPS antenna

Two Release keys
Escutcheon plate
Installation Sleeve (cage)
25 cm DC cord
GPS antenna with 500 cm cable
Handsfree Microphone with 300 cm cable

Optional Extras
KNA-RCDV331 remote control approx £30 (Unit is pre-equipped with Infra Red ‘eye’ on board)

General Specifications
Operating voltage: 14.4V (10.5 ~ 16V Allowable)
Maximum Current Consumption: 15A
Dimensions (WxHxD): 182 x 112 x 160mm
Weight: 2,200 gr

Editor Review : Kenwood DNX4210DAB Double DIN Do-Everythingy Head Unit
You do feel like you are interfacing with a very clever piece of kit, with the iPoddery either being doable with all sorts of cute extra conveniences using the metadata (album art and titles and stuff) on the screen, or else at another press, full control reverting to the iPod itself so a passenger can mess about instead of getting their hands in the way of your gear stick.

The mass of chevrons and arrows in the graphics does serve to confuse until you have been told the logic behind them but this will confront you for a moment only and is so easy to do, I plan to do a video of all sorts of things being done in succession in real time, for Talk Audio TV.

In the meanwhile, here’s Kenwood Electronics’ OWN video…covering the navigation

But ultimately the ‘feel’ is classy and the look is lovely, with absolutely huge capability. I didn’t use the Bluetooth on test but it does come with a quality microphone. Not a dual model to better echo cancel but still a good one.
I gather that there will be other models above this one later. But for now, she’s a bit of a digital radio flagship.

How Is It Made?
Good and solidly with quality connectors and dual provision of more than one entry point for the convenience of the end user – rather than compelling you to go purchase a different wire to the one you have. Thus a 3.5mm jack instead of a triple-RCA for AV input if need be. The heatsink around the back is substantial and the crucial extra socket for the digital radio aerial is only tiny but there. And that’s the big one.

As for the magnetic-mount aerial, I found it to be amazingly good. It showed full bars on the radio’s display and the GPS antenna was small and solid and again was able to grasp the sky in moments. This was something  had not been able to do with the same windowsill with the Parrot Asteroid and fretted that it wouldn’t work with this unit but it came with a small piece of steel which acts as a Ground Plane and thus I feel may have helped both as they were perched on the two inch square in the corner window of the box room I work in.

Otherwise typical Kenwood build quality of superb finish, lovely feel and desirable appearance.

The optional remote

How Well Does It Work?
Blisteringly. I flung the magnetic-mount digital aerial and the GPS spud in the window of my box room office, wound the wires across the room and when I fired up the unit in the bench, the GPS grabbed the sky almost immediately, showing my street.

Mister Kenwood who delivered the J-Link also showed me how the nav map can be flung around to look about your location and told me of the out-sourced database service that has speed traps, or caravan sites…loads of data you choose yourself to add to the nav. The source Kenwood use is called http://www.PocketGPSWorld.co.uk and it looks a rich source of cool stuff.

The DVD performance is delicious and the iPod video function works wonderfully too. Just fit it to earth the handbrake wire so you can see video on the move. This is, of course not for the driver but front seat passenger’s comfort. All instructions state you should fit this wire to the handbrake – if you don’t, the laws about paying due care attention to the road still apply.

I tuned a bloody heap of digital stations into the unit’s presets in moments and then set illumination colours to scroll madly in a childish fashion rather than match a dash.

The front screen can show navigation as well as say monitor the rear view camera on a split screen (beloved of trailer users, I gather, to check it’s safely still being towed) all the while playing the DVD movie in the back via AV out.

The thing can just do it all and best of all, it is the vanguard of WHY you would spend a thousand pounds on a full new infotainment system. I really think that at a grand the ruddy remote aughta be included rather than an optional extra but again, do you really want one when you can reach it from where you sit? It’s perhaps more of a bossy passenger or chauffeured punter thing!

You really can tell that the dual core processor in here has some tits as it can do a few things at once. That said, although it has been years since the companies were arguing and showing off about who was closest to full speed iPod control, there is a performance wrinkle of sheer brilliance in this unit.

Even as a dual core, previously, if you were asking the navigation to show you a route to Liverpool from London and the unit was also trying to read a freshly-connected iPod, it could take a full minute to deliver your route. Now, however, the Kenwood clever clogs have supplied the unit with a little extra memory spudney. This is used to satisfy the Apple licence agreement that states that all Made for iPod products must adhere to the ‘read-all-data-before-proceeding’ edict. So, a small extra memory is used to buffer the contents data and only feeds out what the unit actually needs at the time. It has resulted in an order of magnitude, a ten times acceleration of the processor and that Liverpudlian route now takes seven seconds to be offered up.

I loved the crispy video images, especially the mad CGI movies and trailers from Pixar. I have UP!, Puss in Boots and Toy Story 3 on the iPlop. And the audio was not just clean, it was dynamic as well. Not quite like the high voltage output that I have heard from Kenwood’s older high end but still able to let you hear the lossy compression o most of what you will be playing. Unless, of course, you have a heap of discs to Frisbee in and out of the slot.

I reckon mastering this is easy but becoming really conversant with everything it can do is only going to happen with a select few owners, as like a computer, it has more things it can do than you’ll need. Perhaps the coolest thing is how, once I had pumped the DVD film out to the rear AV feed and thus the NESA drop down screen I have installed on the desk to monitor it, she never faltered to show the movie to the kids in the back, no matter how ineptly I messed about with the controls up front.

I ended up with the film showing on the rear zone, navigation running on the left of the main screen and then a digital radio station showing tuned in on the right of the screen, with the main (front zone) speakers playing the tune.
All in all one heck of a tour de force and one ready to join the digital radio revolution with a vengeance. Easily a Talk Audio Recommended Buy.

Overall 9.0
Sound Quality 8
Appearance/Display 9
Ease Of Use/HMI 8
Features 10
Value For Money 10

In A Nutshell
Driven by the new generation of Dual Core processors now usable in-car, this unit is capable of running three things at once and is for the price, one heck of a leading edge wunderkind. It has a USB and a slot that are both whorishly happy to take stuff up ‘em any which flavour of disc, file or flick and look sumptuous, too. Just a bit of makee-learnee to grasp how to boss the thing as ever…


Jun 15 2013 12:58
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