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Old 04-03-2016, 12:40 AM   #1
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Interstate 2016 Kenwood Radio- Being Replaced

We have both found the standard high-end Kenwood radio in our 2016 Interstate to be overly complicated, irritating and sometimes downright dangerous to use why traveling.

The standard model is the Kenwood DNN992. After reviewing Kenwood's other offerings, I found their fall 2015 release of the DDX6702S and DDX6902S. Both support Apple's Carplay and get this: They have a knob! Yes, a knob that one can push and twist. Also buttons to push above the knob to go directly to menu etc. If you are not familiar with the Apple Carplay feature, its quite nice, the screen on the radio looks like an Apple phone and one can use the the phone navigation instead of the Garmin system.

Here is the link to the September 2015 Press release.

I plan to call Kenwood customer service prior to purchasing the DDX6902S to double-check that the connectors all match behind the radio.

As a side note: In attempting to do a software update (not map update) our radio locked up. We are given the choice, under warranty to either drive the 21/2 hours to our "local" Airstream dealer for replacement (have to leave it while the replacement unit is shipped and then installed) or send the unit to Los Angles.

Haasman
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:08 AM   #2
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I am curious why the replacement of the Kenwood is not covered under warranty for you? Also, there is another thread regarding the Kenwood and the replacement of the unit. It is sad to hear that newer models still have relatively same software malfunctioning issues. Personally, I will never own another product. This component has cases me to waste many hours trying to get it re-booted, fixed, diagnosed, etc. their customer service and online support is also poor.


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Old 04-05-2016, 04:57 AM   #3
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I agree with you that the Kenwood is an accident waiting to happen.

However, I travel in lots of remote areas without cell service, so GPS is a must for me. Has anyone found a decent double din unit with Garmin navigation?
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:27 AM   #4
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Lineolated, I'm not sure if this helps, but the Pioneer products, (and I can speak of the AVIC-8100NEX) use GPS. It is just a different product than Garmin GPS. I believe it is called, "HERE". I don't know much beyond that. With the product, you have the choice of using Appletalk/Android through your cell phone for navigation or the GPS that comes with the system. Originally I also wanted Garmin GPS, but so far I have found the GPS that comes with the unit to work great.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:13 AM   #5
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nice!

This is VERY interesting! I plan on checking on it this week! I am a computer person and the Kenwoods that come with the Interstate drive me crazy! I don't need a radio to "boot up". I don't need to log into it to access Facebook. I want it to interface with my iPhone cleanly, have maps, play music, play SiriusXM. I had to get out the manual just to figure out how to tune in a local station. That is a complete fail for Usability which is why I like Apple. They spend a lot of time and money on usability for products that are intuitive.

I agree, this radio is dangerous.

I support PC's, Mac's, Phones etc... apple is the easiest by far!
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:16 PM   #6
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I hate the Kenwood in my 2016 grand tour. I also plan on replacing it with something more intuitive and useful.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:50 PM   #7
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I am glad to hear that I am not the only one having problems with this product. I just printed out the manual and hope to figure out how to turn on the radio. LOL All I have done with it is use the navigation.
Gloria
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SterlingGT View Post
I support PC's, Mac's, Phones etc... apple is the easiest by far!
+1

I've wanted to put an Apple CarPlay unit in out T1N for quite some time. Unfortunately the opening in our dash only supports a single din head unit so I purchased a spare dash on fleabay for $60 in case I get adventurous enough to hack up the one in the car.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:38 AM   #9
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I have to say, I am a bit overwhelmed by the negatives about the latest Interstate radio! We have been wondering "Is it just us"? We are a very high family, and the user-interface on the Kenwood DNN992 is awkward, nonintuitive and again dangerous.

Yes, the locked radio will be replaced by Airstream. No problems there. It was locked from failed attempts to update the software.

We will have the Airstream dealer install a Kenwood DDX6902S instead of a replacement DNN992. I will be selling this radio.

Just having knob to push n twist and buttons located on the driver's side is headed in the right direction. The added feature of Apple's Carplay will be heaven compared to what we have been enduring.

Heads up Airstream Customer Managers.

We are staying with the Kenwood to try and maintain the connections behind the radio. Not trying to reinvent the wheel.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:28 AM   #10
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We hate it as well! The steps you have to go through just to turn on a radio station are ridiculous. Please let us know how the DDX6902S works for you.
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:01 PM   #11
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Here is a picture of the Kenwood Excelon DDX6902S



Please notice the left side of the radio, starting lower left- There is a knob for volume, and other sound controls, Telephone, AV with Carplay, menu, optical media eject button and a Power button (that also flashes when the security is on.

This manual for a closer look can be found and downloaded from http://manual.kenwood.com/files/B5A-0987-00.pdf

Haasman
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
We are a very high family
Should be "We are a very high tech family" Funny!
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haasman View Post
Should be "We are a very high tech family" Funny!
Thought it was just part of the SoCal culture.

Edit: Oops, I see that Loma Mar is up north. Oh well.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:16 PM   #14
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I know I've posted my rant against my Kenwoods elsewhere online but I'll say it again. I had a Kenwood DNX7100 in my car. Its radio got to the point that it wouldn't pick up a station unless the station's antenna was less than a mile away. Like a fool, I bought another Kenwood. That one was a DNX9960. A few days after the warranty ran out, the GPS stopped working entirely. When I switched the GPS on, the entire screen of the Kenwood went black. It was supposed to work with voice commands but you had to memorize the exact wording for each command. If you didn't say the phrase exactly the way it was in the manual, it wouldn't work.

I now have a Pioneer AVIC-8000 NEX. The interface is MUCH better and is easier to use, especially while I'm on the highway. It also just plain works. The GPS is different than the Kenwood's Garmin and it has a feature that the Garmin didn't have. Instead of it saying, "Turn right at 5th St." it will say something like, "Turn right, after Macy's." Plenty of times, I'm more likely to notice a big landmark before I see the tiny street sign.

It also has Apple's CarPlay. Instead of fiddling with buttons, you have voice control. Siri has problems hearing me when the fans and the AC are on, but for the most part, it works well. Siri is much smarter than the Kenwood voice recognition system because it's actually located in the cloud. Apple's giant computers can figure out different ways of saying things. A Kenwood with its tiny computer in the dashboard couldn't. The newer Pioneer radios also support the Android equivalent of Car Play.

My Pioneer doesn't have a knob, but it has clearly labeled metal button across the bottom with symbols. Not only are the symbols lit, they're raised so that you can feel the difference between them. The "plus" button feels very different than the "minus" button. The center "Home" button has a different finish so that it's easy to recognize. With the Kenwoods, there were dozens of menus that you had to scroll and scroll through to do anything. With the Pioneer, it's usually two taps and you're done.
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