Kenwood vs JVC – Which Brand Is Better?

Norvan Martin
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The name Kenwood JVC is very popular in the car stereo market. However, it has also led to some confusion. People have asked are Kenwood and JVC the same company. What is the difference between Kenwood and JVC? In this article, we take on the Kenwood vs JVC issue and answer your questions.

Kenwood vs JVC Comparison Table

CriteriaKenwoodJVC
Brand ReputationWell-established brand with a history of quality automotive and audio products.Respected brand known for its audio and video equipment.
Sound QualityDelivers clear and immersive audio experiences.Known for producing audio products with a focus on quality sound.
Build Quality/DesignDurable build quality with attention to design aesthetics.Offers products with sturdy construction and modern design elements.
Product RangeProvides a diverse range of automotive and audio products.Wide product range including audio, video, and multimedia solutions.
PricingVaried pricing options catering to different budgets.Competitive pricing with options for various consumer budgets.
FeaturesIncorporates advanced features and technologies in its products.Offers innovative features for an enhanced audio and visual experience.

Are Kenwood and JVC The Same Company?

Yes, Kenwood and JVC are car stereo brands made by the same company JVCKenwood. JVCKenwood is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and was formed from the merger of Victor Company of Japan, Ltd (JVC) and Kenwood Corporation. So, JVCKenwood was formed from a merger of JVC and Kenwood.

Are Kenwood and JVC The Same Company

So what’s the difference between Kenwood and JVC if they are made by the same company? Well, Kenwood and JVC are different brands. Their differences have to do with features, pricing, etc.Kenwood and JVC

However, the truth is that most of the components and technology used to make both are quite similar. The key differences really come down to marketing and the fact that the company has kept some lines exclusive to some dealers.

JVC is a well-known brand in the home theater and audio industry, known for its high-quality home theater systems and audio equipment, while Kenwood is a well-respected brand in the audio industry known for its wide range of high-quality audio products for a variety of applications.

Pros and Cons of JVC:

  • Pros: JVC is a well-known brand in the car audio industry. They are especially well known for aftermarket car stereos that are affordable and well-built. 
  • Cons: Some users have reported issues with their stereos cutting out or experiencing other audio issues.

Pros and Cons of Kenwood:

  • Pros: Known for producing a wide range of audio and video products, including speakers, headphones, and home theater systems. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and value for money.
  • Cons: Some users have reported issues with the functioning of some Kenwood systems. Often, Kenwood stereos require a reset to regain proper functioning.

Quick History

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.

 

The Top Brands

Choosing between these two legendary brands can be daunting and quite confusing, particularly for newbie users.

You don’t want to hit the shops and come out with something that will be a total disappointment. This blog will help you get a detailed look at Kenwood Vs JVC car stereo brands to help you make a choice.

kenwood stereo

When it comes to sound, you want nothing but quality. Most top brands offer the quality you need as well as excellent sound. However, the choice is very personal and quite important, primarily when we speak of two unbeatable brands.

Both Kenwood and JVC have maintained their quality, and customer reviews from most users always come out positive.

In terms of Kenwood vs JVC sound quality, these brands are mostly on par.

jvc stereo

Keeping customers satisfied throughout the year, as we well know isn’t easy. It means working extra hard on both customer service as well as product quality.

That is to say that you can never go wrong with products from these two companies. But everyone has his or her own preference and making a choice is inevitable. Today, both Kenwood and JVC have modern car stereos with backup camera and all the other cool features.

In our attempt to help customers have an easy time and make a quick smart choice when purchasing car systems, we gathered all the information on the similarities and differences between Kenwood and JVC to help you make an informed decision.

We paid top attention to features that you fellas look out for so that you only need to read, compare, and choose.

 

Comparison Chart Kenwood Vs JVC

As we mentioned above, there is very little difference between the two brands as far as quality is concerned.

For an amateur, it would take ages to notice any difference. But a veteran can tell that indeed there are differences in both physical outlook and performance. We also want to consider ease of use.

For instance, Kenwood has physical buttons, while JVC does not. Kenwood has two rear USB ports while JVC has only one. All these small differences make a significant impact on customer selection.

Here is a comparison chart to help guide your choice

Comparison Chart Kenwood Vs JVC

From the above table, you can tell that the two brands are almost of similar quality. We also know that both brands have been in the market for the longest time now; therefore, they are not new in the sound industry.

If what you are looking for is performance, you may want to find another unique feature because both Kenwood and JVC offer excellent performance. Now let’s get to the details of each brand.

 


Kenwood 


It’s almost impossible to talk about car stereos without mentioning the word Kenwood. It is the most common name that comes to our minds whenever cars and sounds are mentioned.

kenwood-stereos

This is because Kenwood is a leading manufacturer and developer of audio electronics and communication equipment. It has been keen to provide its user with high-quality systems and built its brand.

Since its foundation in 1946 in Japan, Kenwood has been known worldwide by consumers as well as communication industry professionals for offering high-quality products.

Kenwood provides a variety of car audio components like car receivers, speakers, and amplifiers of various kinds.

Kenwood Speakers

  • Excellent sound quality compared to other brands
  • Deep bass and clear treble
  • Cost-effective
  • Great performance

Kenwood Subwoofers

If you searched for customer satisfaction reviews on Amazon about Kenwood subwoofers, you would be impressed by the colossal positive reviews left by the buyers. Kenwood subwoofers are known to last long while giving excellent sound.

They come at various designs, specifications, quality, and prices to help them fit in any music system you may have. The prices are also economy-friendly and quite reasonable.

kenwood subwoofer

You will agree that owning a car without a subwoofer jeopardizes the quality of the sound. They play a critical part in enhancing sound quality, and it really doesn’t matter where you are. However, there is a catch.

The amplifiers also need to be of exceptional quality. Once you have those two in their best conditions, riding on earth will turn into a ride in heaven.

Be sure to take care of your sound system for a more extended-lasting service. If you know and are keen on what you are looking for, then you do not need to look for it anywhere else.

 

Kenwood Audio System

So far, it is safe to say that the Kenwood sound system is of excellent quality. The Kenwood eXcelon series are among the best audio system we have in the market today.

However, they can be pricey and may lack some key features, and can also be challenging to navigate.

When it comes to the display, most ladies will like it as it has a fantastic look. The system is made of durable material and can stay in its excellent condition for a long time if well maintained.

Well, you can never go wrong with a Kenwood audio system, particularly the Kenwood eXcelon Double Din Video head unit.

 

Kenwood Amplifiers

Kenwood subwoofers and amplifiers work hand in hand. Both work well when combined as they’re compatible.

So, if you are a Kenwood fan don’t just pick the speakers alone but a complete car system. This helps enhance your sound quality.

kenwood jvc amplifier

Kenwood amplifiers have been endorsed over the years by industry professionals as well as the everyday consumer due to their excellent performance and durability.

The eXcelon “Reference-Fit” series is top-notch and, in that list, lies another impressive amplifier-five-channel XR900-5-. This amplifier can drive up your entire system regardless of the amount of space you have.

You don’t want to miss this one—the amplifier can be your only one-amplifier solution for your entire car system.

A 2-year warranty is given, and the amp itself is quite easy to operate. It is an excellent choice for everyone who enjoys loud music and refined taste.

 

Kenwood Excelon Products

When we talk about the Kenwood music system, we cannot forget to mention the Kenwood eXcelon products. The Kenwood company has been an active follower of the new technology trends being released every day.

Their efforts are seen in their latest products.  The latest Kenwood accessories are high-end and created using the latest technology from great minds.

The end products are known as eXcelon products. They look better, perform better, and can be used for an extended period of time.

These products have made the audio even better as it is clear like the original. eXcelon users are a happy lot, and this can be seen by the millions of reviews streaming in after purchase.

Kenwood eXcelon products are relatively cheap compared to what they are offering. Whether you are looking for amplifiers, audio systems or subwoofers, eXcelon products can give you precisely what you need for that life kind of experience.

 

Kenwood Specialty And Overall Quality

We have already made it clear from its specs that Kenwood is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys music.

Your car and passengers will thank you for installing Kenwood products as their accuracy of the musical expression is much improved and well amplified.

Everybody wants to enjoy listening to something that soothes their hearing and helps them relax and for some time, forget all their problems. For your car, high audio quality should be your topmost priority.

Kenwood has been keen enough to create fantastic subwoofers as they are top-rated in the world of car music.

Other latest products like eXcelon are also exceptional when it comes to both physical outlook and performance. Get yourself and your car a package of Kenwood products, and you can thank us later.

One major issue with Kenwood stereos however is that they often have miswiring DC offset errors

 


JVC


Japan Victor Company (JVC) was founded in 1927 in Japan until 2008 when it merged with Kenwood and became JVC Kenwood. The company has been well-known for introducing Japan’s first televisions.

Now far from history, JVC has maintained its reputation for producing high-quality car systems. And the fact that it merged with Kenwood does not mean that it is not doing well, thanks to its old glory.

jvc stereos

That also means that if you play music with a Kenwood and JVC car stereo using the same speakers, you will notice that there is very little or no difference between the two. However, they are both of excellent quality—grade A for that matter.

 

JVC Car Stereo Receivers

One thing that we can all agree on is that JVC products are cheaper than their Kenwood counterparts.

We can also agree that JVC car stereo receivers are among the most popular in the markets today and there is a good reason for this.

They give high-quality sound experience at reasonable costs compared to other many brands, including Kenwood.

jvc-stereos-for-cars

When it comes to installation, you don’t need a highly professional technician to install it for you; everything is virtually quite straightforward.

In many cases, you just need to install the unit with an appropriate faceplate into the dashboard and connect the speakers and harness.

If you find yourself getting stuck, a user manual is there to help you through, but it’s generally rare to get stuck even for those with no experience. Well, doing it yourself means you have saved some bucks—a selling point for the brand.

 

JVC Subwoofer

The world of automotive is growing each day, and with the massive production of small cars, it is getting quite challenging to find space to install a subwoofer. But not when you are a JVC fan.

JVC allows you to enjoy music despite your car size as it creates sizeable subwoofers that will provide full bass even from a low-profile enclosure like the trunk or under your car seat.

jvc subwoofer

Its built-in amplifier and class D design are to ensure that you enjoy your music when locked in a tight place.

If you are wondering how you will operate it in that tight corner, worry no more because there are remotes to keep you well strapped in your seat and all you have to do is pick your remote and choose what you want to do.

The remote ensures that most controls are eliminated so that more space for air is available for better bass.

 

JVC Speakers

Another product that will give you value for your money is the JVC speaker.  That is to say that you do not need to strain financially in order to have a good speaker for your ride.

You also don’t need to worry about durability as the speakers have excellent power handling and stable performance.

If you want smooth lows and highs that are consistent, maybe you should try the CS-ZX640 speakers.

They may be everything you need for great music. These speakers are equipped with super-tweeters and Poly-Ether Imide Dome tweeters that allow higher frequencies.

What Happened To Boston Acoustics?

At this time, sound united upholds the brand name, but no manufacturing is accounted and there is no imminent production planned for Boston Acoustic. Their former series included the A25 bookshelf speakers and A360 towers. Sounds United dropped Boston Shipments to its dealers short of any notice successfully bringing the brand to an end.

 

Sound Quality

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 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.

Features

JVC Features

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

Kenwood Features

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

Build Quality

JVC Build Quality

Most JVC speakers are made from wood for natural sound reproduction since wood does not quickly generate standing waves.

jvc-stereos-for-cars

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-stereos

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 of 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.

ODELIC SP0001 Glass Speaker

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.

Cost

JVC Cost

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

Kenwood Cost

Here are some price ranges for different Kenwood products:

  • Speakers: $20 – $100
  • Amplifiers: $50 – $5000
  • Subwoofer: $20 – $1500
  • Space Requirements

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.

Remote Controls

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 a 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.

Connectivity Options

JVC Connectivity Options

These include: 

    • Bluetooth 
    • RCA
    • HDMI
    • USB 
    • Wi-Fi
  • AUX input

Kenwood Connectivity Options

Kenwood supports a wide range of connectivity options, including:

  • Bluetooth
  • RCA
  • Optical
  • Headphone
  • HDMI

Power Range

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

Frequency Response

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.

 

Conclusion

For a keen driver, the purr of his car engine is all the entertainment you need, but his passengers will vehemently disagree.  For many, a great car stereo is a necessity these days. Whether it’s for background music, a radio program in the middle of a traffic jam, or simply a travel bulletin to prevent you from getting lost or stuck, a Kenwood or JVC stereo would be a great companion.

From our critical analysis, it is safe to conclude that both JVC and Kenwood sound systems are great brands to consider when looking for a car stereo system. Aside from the few minor differences in features, performance, and price, it is almost impossible to distinguish between them. For individuals who like classy and fabulous-looking displays, Kenwood would be a great choice.

For an economy-conscious individual who is looking for affordable yet durable and high-quality sound systems, JVC could just be a great choice.

Whether you own a big or small car, there will always be an ideal size suitable for your vehicle. Users who have used both brands agree that they are both of excellent quality, and it is up to the buyer to choose their preferred brand, and we assure you that you will be a satisfied customer. Before you go, you can also check out Kenwood vs Alpine.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin