No, not Kenwood UK with their fancy mixers and toasters. Kenwood Japan just released a new audio player in their home country. It is questionable if it will see an international release, but there are always specialty import stores to get one’s mitts on that classy exotic hardware. AudioCubes is one of them.
Kenwood players always had a reputation of having a really good amp section, and some people even claimed gapless playback capabilities. Some of their models also supported some absurd proprietary “Kenwood Lossless” audio codec, but no FLAC or other more common ones.
The MediaKeg MG-G608 – a random string of letters and numbers even Sony would be proud of – has a paltry 8GB of internal memory, but it sports a MicroSDHC slot as well, so storage capacity for most people’s needs should be sufficient. As far as I can make out the G608 has no video capabilities at all, it is a pure audio player. It supports MP3, WMA (incl. DRM), AAC, and WAV. Seems they ditched the Kenwood Lossless codec, but unfortunately they didn’t replace it with another, more standardized one. Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP) is included as well, so one can use Bluetooth headphones with remote functionality with the player. It has tons of tactile buttons – a refreshing sight in the age of counterintuitive touch screen players. At 46.5×98.5×13.5mm and 55g it is really tiny and lightweight. Battery life is a mediocre 19 hours without Bluetooth, and 8 hours with. The user interface is in Japanese and English.
Thanks to Coolvibes for the tip. Official product page in Japanese.
A choice of two alternative designs are offered for the latest Media Keg digital audio player, both of which possess identical feature sets. Kenwood claims, by the same token as their hard drive players, that the 1GB and 2GB M2GD55/M1GD55 (pictured left) and M2GD50/M1GD50 (right) focus on high sound quality.
Format support is limited to MP3 and WMA (DRM) which can respectively play for 21 hours and 16 hours on a single charge and be transferred with both MTP and MSC (UMS) protocols. Four lines of text can be displayed on the monochrome OLED (looking very similar to Panasonic D-Snap SV-SD950N). Both designs come with a pair of Kenwood canal phones and will go on sale in Japan next month.
Kenwood are refreshing their line of Media Keg audio players with two new 60GB models. The HD60GD9 boosts the storage capacity of the HD30GB9, released one year ago, and extends its supported audio formats to include unprotected AAC on top of the initial MP3, WMA (DRM), and Kenwood Lossless.
Those who admired Kenwood’s focus on high sound quality will be pleased to hear that the HD60GD9 still makes use of a dual stage clear digital amp EX and Supreme EX decoder technology. A limited edition model, the HD60GD9EC, is built with a gold-plated internal frame to provide an enhanced sound quality.
The standard model will have a heavy price of 54,800 Yen ($475) and the special edition, 57,800 ($500), when released in Japan next month.
[Press Release via Impress]
At a time when news about yet another company giving its flash-based DAP a bump in storage capacity is considered ordinary, we can’t help but do a double-take when a new player boasting a microdrive waltzes onto the market.
Kenwood today announced the HD10GB7, a tiny (2.4″ x 1.7″ x 0.7″) 10GB player with a 24-hour battery life and 1.5-inch display. In addition to the typical handful of supported audio codes, the device also includes a photo viewer and custom EQ. Offered in either black or white, the newest member to the Media Keg family will sell for about $345 when it becomes available early next month in Japan.
[Press Release via AV Watch]
Kenwood announced today that its new Media Keg HD30B9, successor to the equally excitingly named HD30A9, will be available at the end of September. Aside from a few minor cosmetic differences (the most notable being that the A9 was cobalt and the B9 is black) and an enhanced digital amplifier, the two players still bear a very striking resemblance to each other. Both can use either the bundled Kenwood Media Application software or Windows Media Player 10 to tranfer MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM9, WAV, and Kenwood Lossless audio files via USB 2.0 from a PC to the device’s 30GB hard drive.
Even though the HD30GB9 doesn’t support video playback, it still sports a 2.2-inch color TFT (320 x 240) for comfortable viewing of track info and album art. Its built-in lithium ion battery is good for about 20 hours.
No firm word on price yet, but most estimates hover around the $500 mark.
[Press Release via AV Watch]
Kenwood just announced their player for release in Japan at the end of this month. It has a nice looking design and a killer 2.2” QVGA color screen. It sports a 24 hour battery life and measures 104×61×17mm. It already supports 7 different languages so we will likely see it soon here in the US. Other gadget sites are reporting that there is no FM support and no picture support. However, the press release does state that there is support for album cover art. But, then again, its just a press release, and perhaps a poorly translated press release.
I have always been a fan of their head units. It has a nice disign and an already establish brand name. If they can get the right distribution it may do well.
In the US Kenwood has always had a fairly strong brand presents in the car stereo market. I was always a fan of their head units. Now, in a Japanese press release they announced that they will be selling a 1GB MP3 player in three different colors. The player looks to be a re-branded Creative FX120. Hopefully we will see advances into car audio with this move. It would be great to see mp3 players other than iPods integrating into our cars.