More automobiles are being sold with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay than ever before.
How can you use CarPlay or Android Auto in a vehicle that you already own? If your car’s stock infotainment system isn’t cutting it, then a Kenwood Excelon DMX905S aftermarket device like this may help.
Informational systems like this one play a vital part delivering the likes of Android Auto and CarPlay to vehicles that otherwise wouldn’t receive it, and they are not rare.
But are they worth $649 in the US, or approximately £500 / AU$885 in the UK or Australia? In order to discover, we tested the Kenwood Excelon DMX905S.
The device must be installed before you can use it, and unless you’re mechanically inclined, you’ll probably want a professional to handle it.
Remember this when you’re estimating the cost of the gadget — installation, particularly if you require an adaptor for steering wheel controls, would likely cost at least another few hundred dollars/pounds.
There should be very few visible parts of a correctly placed machine. On my 2012 Nissan Sentra, the microphone for Android Auto and CarPlay voice commands is immediately over the rearview mirror, which is entirely out of view. For example.
We also put a USB/Auxiliary port, which you should do as well. In order to use this unit’s built-in Android Auto Wireless, which is supported, a wired connection must be made, since it does not have a USB port on its front.
A row of buttons sits just under the screen of the Excelon DMX905S. All of these buttons may be found on the bottom row, which contains volume controls as well as volume attenuation controls.
We didn’t like the fact that the buttons were so far away from the screen, even if they were simple to push. Also wasn’t only ugly, but it made it more difficult to touch the bottom of the screen. It would have been preferable if the physical buttons were more flush with the display.
The Kenwood Excelon DMX905S, on the other hand, is well-designed and should fit in any vehicle. It’s a bummer that it won’t fit in any vehicle.
However, the main reason to purchase this device isn’t because of its design—because it’s of the software.
Only Kenwood’s proprietary yify codec pack v1.0 software, but also Apple’s CarPlay and wireless Google Android Auto are supported by this device.
Kenwood’s proprietary software is the first topic we’ll cover here. In general, we found it to be rather straightforward to use, although it isn’t the most visually appealing system out there.
Waze, a phone app, and other apps may be accessed from the primary screen through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
Overall, we found Kenwood’s software to be straightforward to use but preferred to utilise the phone applications like CarPlay or Android Auto instead. However, if you don’t have access to Android Auto or CarPlay, you’ll still have a few choices available to you. To utilise the Excelon DMX905S as a Bluetooth device, all you have to do is connect your phone to it over Bluetooth.
However, there are a number other Bluetooth devices available, and many of them are far less expensive.
There is a good chance that you are more interested in Android Auto or Apple CarPlay if you are considering purchasing the Kenwood Excelon DMX905S. Even though none of those systems are being reviewed here, they both performed well.
This particular device appeared to connect faster to CarPlay than Android Auto, although it may have been because we were testing it on an older Google Pixel XL running the Android P beta.
When trying to connect to Android Auto Wireless, we encountered several difficulties. Additionally, the device linked to wired Android Auto a lot more quickly, as opposed to Android Auto Wireless, in the ordinary case.
Additionally, there were a few bugs in Android Auto that may have been related to the Kenwood unit rather than Google’s software, such as the fact that asking Google Assistant to make a phone call sent us back to the Kenwood home screen for the call rather than to Android Auto’s phone screen when we requested it. Bug that caused us to have to reopen Android Auto manually seemed a little unusual.
Using the Kenwood Excelon DMX905S, an older vehicle may now use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
Kenwood’s software is not the greatest but it is the cheapest method to have Android Auto Wireless without purchasing a new vehicle and it performed well in our testing.
Even if the expense of installation and ensuring that you can access a USB connection once the machine is installed aren’t a deal-breaker for you, this might be the next in-car entertainment system for you.