Pioneer and Kenwood are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, subwoofers and amplifiers. Kenwood specializes in car audio products.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at 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.
Pioneer products often offer a wide range of features and good sound quality, while Kenwood products are known for their excellent sound quality and wide range of products.
Pros and Cons of Pioneer:
- Pros: Known for producing a wide range of audio and video products, including speakers, headphones, and car audio systems. They are especially well respected for their car audio systems.
- Cons: Some users have reported issues with the functioning of some Kenwood systems. Often, Kenwood stereos require a reset to regain proper functioning.
Before you read further, you can check out this article in which we discuss if Pioneer is a good brand.
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 durability and reliability of some of their products.
Pioneer Quick History
Pioneer is a Japanese company whose full name is actually Paionia Kabushiki-gaisha. It was started in 1938 by Bozomu Matsumoto. The company started as a speaker, radio, and other audio equipment repair shop.
Since the company started, it has been a big part of making sound systems for homes, businesses, and other personal uses, like car stereos. Pioneer was the first company to develop a dynamic speaker (named Pioneer A-8) made of original parts for domestic use.
The Pioneer brand is the manufacturer of some of the major audio equipment today. This includes the first dynamic speaker for the home, which was also the first Hi-Fi speaker.
Another example includes the first professional LD player, which also became the foundation of today’s Blu-ray disc and DVD players.
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.
Pioneer Sound Quality
To be fair, Pioneer home sound systems are only good as entry-level audio equipment. Although they provide a decent listening experience, they are best for non-demanding listeners.
However, in terms of car speakers, Pioneer speakers offer a quality that is convincingly worth every penny. The sound calibration on most Pioneer receivers (like the one on the Pioneer VSX-932) makes the sound more personalized.
The Technical Audio Devices (TAD) from Pioneer were produced in 1975 with the view of delivering high-end professional audio delivery. But, it has continued to deliver quality sound and can be found in most professional speaker brands.
Pioneer has also partnered with the amazing Gary Stewart Audio to deliver some of the best-sounding club speakers that keep the party going.
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.
For many good reasons, the Pioneer brand has been more popular in car stereos and entertainment.
This is because of the continued research, development, and improvement of its features. Some of the major features of the Pioneer car audio system include:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Streaming features
- Touch screen
- Built-in navigation
- Real-time traffic
But most of these features are also found on other Pioneer devices, with only minor changes to make them work better for this one.
The other features that are common to other Pioneer devices include Dynamic leveling, digital inputs, HDMI with ARC, Dolby Atmos, and DTS: X for a rich and immersive audio experience, and other features for ease of use.
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
Pioneer Build Quality
Pioneer products have a good build quality. This includes the use of aluminum panels and an excellent finish to protect them for a long time.
Even beyond the physical build, Pioneer audio devices have improved a lot on the components, which has improved their reliability over the years.
However, the fact that Pioneer makes different devices is a factor that cannot go without mentioning. While Pioneer AV receivers and car stereos are known for their powerful build quality, some of the other products from the brand are not so durable.
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
Pioneer Ease Of Use
One of the major features that make most Pioneer devices easy to use is the ability to connect to other devices easily.
This is clear in the car audio system, where they offer different levels of the device without making it hard to use. This includes everything from the touch screen on more expensive car stereos to the easy-to-use menu button on cheaper ones.
Beyond the car stereos by Pioneer, their home theaters are extremely easy to use. It offers different setting options and sound changes that give it a more customized output.
But you don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to use these because everything is marked and there are manuals to help.
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.
Denon products are distributed between low-cost, average-cost, and high-cost devices. They have some of the best products at a low price as well as elite high-end devices.
However, when the chips are down and we compare the device with an equal device from other popular brands, you might realize you get the best value for your money.
Here are some price ranges for different devices from Pioneer:
Stereos: $100 – $500
AV Receivers: $250 – $1500
Soundbars: $250 – $800
Speakers: $100 – $800
Headphones: $50 – $400
Here are some price ranges for different Kenwood products:
Speakers: $20 – $100
Amplifiers: $50 – $5000
Subwoofer: $20 – $1500
Pioneer Space Requirements
Pioneer audio devices vary from size to size, but Pioneer AV Receivers are known for having a bulky build. This factor makes space consideration a serious business when considering a Pioneer AV receiver.
AV receivers are made to last for a long time, but if they get too hot often, they may break down sooner than expected.
Different devices will always require different amounts of space to function properly. This is because the space will depend not only on the size of the device but also on the amount of ventilation it can provide.
The home theater is another Pioneer product that might need special attention when it comes to space. Pioneer home theaters are quite tall and require as much space as possible.
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.
Pioneer Remote Controls
Most Pioneer devices come with a remote control that makes it easier to operate across the room. This remote can also be easily replaced by getting another one from the popular audio store in case of damage or loss.
Pioneer also has a digital remote control app that can be downloaded from your app store. However, to use the remote control app, the device must be compatible with it and they have to be connected to the same wireless network.
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.
Pioneer Connectivity Options
Here are the main connectivity options compatible with most Pioneer speakers:
Kenwood Connectivity Options
Kenwood supports a wide range of connectivity options, including:
Pioneer Power Range
Most Pioneer products are power efficient, i.e., they deliver the best audio quality with minimum power consumption. For example, the mid-range Pioneer elite VSX-LX303 AV receiver is rated at 100 watts per channel.
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
Pioneer Frequency Response
Most Pioneer sound systems have smooth frequency responses and a rich sound output that lets them send out sound in a wide area. For example, the frequency response for Pioneer TS series speakers is something around 34Hz to 42Hz.
However, the frequency response differs according to each device, which means you might have to check the user manual for each device to understand its frequency response.
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.
Pioneer products cut across audio equipment for home, professional, and car use. However, they are more popular for the production of car stereos that are affordable, easy to use, and meet industry standards. If you need an audio device that’s well-affordable and with good build quality, you might consider Pioneer devices. However, you might have to overlook the sound quality a little bit. 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.
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