JVC and Kenwood are two renowned and well-respected brands in the audio industry that produces high-quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, subwoofers, and amplifiers.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at the sound quality, durability, price, and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points. However, we will compare them as closely as we can.
JVC Quick History
JVC was founded as “The Victor Talking Machine Company of Japan, Limited” in 1927 in Camden, New Jersey, as a subsidiary of the United States’ leading phonograph and record company. The Victor Talking Machine Company of Japan, Limited was then purchased by Radio Corporation of America in 1929 and started producing radios in 1932.
Of note, JVC was one of the first household brands to innovate with VHS and CD compatibility during the 1990s.
Today, the 2020 AV Forums Editor’s Choice Award winner is known as Victor Entertainment. The brand is owned by JVCKenwood Corporation.
In addition, JVC is well known as an excellent home audio car stereo brand, rivaling other big brands like Kenwood.
Kenwood Quick History
Kenwood is an audio company that was established in Komagane City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, in 1946 as the Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. Kasuga invented the name Kenwood as a combination of “Ken” from Kenmore appliances and “Wood,” which stood for durability and also suggested a relation to Hollywood, California.
Kenwood became more popular than Trio. Trio then bought it in 1986 and renamed itself Kenwood. Kenwood produces speakers (including car stereos), amplifiers and subwoofers.
JVC Sound Quality
JVC products sound clear and neutral. In general, their devices have low distortion and a real sense of ease and musicality.
For instance, their headphones follow the JVC’s guiding philosophy of making products that are “closer to the musical truth.” Innovations like their time distortion cancellation processing are used to create clearer sound during the playback of compressed audio files like WAV and MP3.
Although the speakers may lack bass, they produce loud, clear, and crisp sounds without a crackle.
Kenwood Sound Quality
Kenwood is very consistent in producing fairly average to good-quality sound regardless of the model. The vintage Kenwood speaker surrounds were built with urethane for optimal cone movement during sound production.
In general, their speakers are average in terms of sound. This is because many of them lack strong bass. However, the mids and highs tend to be ok.
Kenwood car stereos are particularly good and are some of the best and most popular on the market. This is because Kenwood stereos offer impressive sound quality, making them ideal for car audio systems.
The new Kenwood ODELIC SP0001 Glass speakers defy the old belief of wood-only speakers. The speakers themselves are made from an aluminum die-cast body to reduce unnecessary vibrations.
The notable features of JVC include:
- Bluetooth wireless technology
- 12-bit and 16-bit DAC
- JVC Playlist Creator for USB Memory
- Wired and wireless remote controls
- Digital processing Tuner
- AUX input
- Radio timer
- 3-Band Parametric iEQ
- Auto Dimmer
- Wide range of signal-to-noise ratio
The key features of Kenwood products include:
- High power handling
- Wide range of frequency response
- Wide range of signal-to-noise ratio ratings
- Compatibility with a wide range of systems
JVC Build Quality
Most JVC speakers are made from wood for natural sound reproduction since wood does not quickly generate standing waves.
The diaphragms are built with pure aluminum and provide excellent sound quality. The build is super high-quality with impeccable fit and finish.
Kenwood Build Quality
Kenwood pioneered the use of urethane in speaker surrounds for greater cone vibrations. They are built with a high-quality one-piece steel basket for added durability. Besides, the woofers are built with mica-injected fiber textured polypropylene to ensure the sound is great and the speakers are durable.
Kenwood now offers Excelon (stylized as EXcelon), its proprietary speaker technology offering better sound quality based on sound range, quality parts and superior workmanship. Kenwood’s Excelon line is their best. The front plates are typically made in brushed aluminum with aluminum knobs and switches and glass covers.
As an example, the new ODELIC SP0001 Glass Speakers look fantastic besides being strong. The aluminum die-cast bodies of the speakers themselves resist vibrations and ensure longevity.
For customers who opt for cheaper speakers, Kenwood also has a speaker line built with cloth edge and polypropylene mica composite cones. While these speakers may look decent, their quality is low and may not last long.
Ease of Use
JVC Ease Of Use
JVC products are user-friendly. Besides, every product comes with well-set controls, remote controls and a user manual to help you with setting up. If you lose the manual, you can easily download the user manual PDF version from the website.
Kenwood Ease Of Use
Kenwood stereos are not easy to connect to iOS and Android devices. The stereos come with one to three inputs for cameras, while the very high-end ones include an integrated and advanced navigation system that may not be very easy to use for an average individual.
On the other hand, Kenwood speakers are simple and easy to install.
JVC products are lower-cost alternatives to Sony, Bose, and many other brands. JVC’s products offer extremely good value for money. Here are the price ranges for JVC products;
Multimedia receivers: $200 – $2000
Vehicle cameras: $15 – $50
Camcorders: $50 – $5000
Headphones: $10 – $50
Speakers: $15 – $100
Here are some price ranges for different Kenwood products:
Speakers: $20 – $100
Amplifiers: $50 – $5000
Subwoofer: $20 – $1500
JVC Space Requirements
Some vintage JVC speakers were built into huge speaker boxes that may be cumbersome to place in a small room. Modern speakers are, however, compact. For instance, JVC car speakers are made to easily fit into the factory speaker slots, leaving no protrusions.
On the other hand, the receivers are relatively small and will comfortably sit on a table without blocking your view of the TV or causing any obstruction.
In general, their earphones are also small and made to fit into the ear comfortably.
Kenwood Space Requirements
Kenwood car speakers are compact and easily fit in tiny spaces. For instance, the tweeter heights of the New PS Series are designed as low as possible, and the speaker units decently fit within the spaces for factory speakers.
Kenwood’s higher end amplifiers are quite good, yet they are small considering the massive output that they can push.
JVC Remote Controls
JVC provides remote control systems for its receivers, subwoofers, and TVs. These remote controls come with appliances but can also be purchased separately.
Besides, there’s a JVC Remote, an application for connecting and controlling all compatible JVC car receivers through Bluetooth. This app works just like a wireless remote. The UI is user-friendly, and the app also displays source information for your JVC receiver.
Kenwood Remote Controls
Kenwood products come with remote controls for hands-free control. Besides, you can also install the Kenwood remote application to enhance your experience with the Kenwood car stereo, for instance.
The Kenwood Remote app helps you connect and control compatible Kenwood car receivers via Bluetooth, just like wireless remote control. The app can also display the source information of Kenwood car receivers on your smartphone’s screen, making it easier to make audio settings using the graphic interface.
JVC Connectivity Options
- AUX input
Kenwood Connectivity Options
Kenwood supports a wide range of connectivity options, including:
JVC Power Range
Many JVC speakers can yield up to 300 watts of peak power. The receivers can deliver up to 1000 watts of peak power.
Kenwood Power Range
Speakers: S Series up to 500W, X Series up to 180W, HQR Series up to 700W, M Series up to 1000W, and SPL Series up to 120W
Amplifiers: X Series up to 800W, HQR Series up to 1200W, PS Series up to 500W output power
Subwoofers: X Series up to 1000W
JVC Frequency Response
The speakers have a fantastic frequency response of 28 Hz to 36,000 Hz, while receivers have a frequency response of 16 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
Kenwood Frequency Response
The frequency range of Kenwood component tweeters is 5 kHz – 25 kHz, while that of midrange speakers is 800 Hz – 23000 Hz.
Products from JVC are fairly priced. The build quality is good and their devices sound clear and neutral. They are therefore good for home upgrades. On the other hand, Kenwood focuses on excellent workmanship and quality parts and is one of the most widely known car audio speaker brands. It also manufactures home stereo units, two-way radio systems, and amateur radio equipment.