Under the Hood of the New VW Multimedia System

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>> Friday, May 2, 2014

In recent years the car multimedia industry has been advancing at a very fast rate. Now that virtually everybody has a smart phone with GPS functionalities, multimedia manufacturers are striving to develop new innovations and stay relevant.

Kenwood Electronics are at the top of the game and have recently released the DNX521DAB. This Volkswagen specific model has certainly set the bar high for other manufacturers.

New Features

The Kenwood DNX521DAB contains many new updates that weren’t present in its predecessor. The position of the USB port has been moved to the back for instance, which makes it easier to connect external devices and route them into the glove box. In addition the whole interface has changed layout, making it easier to navigate without compromising the view of other on-screen features. Perhaps the most significant upgrade is the microSD card slot, which is perfect for both audio and video playback.

The Kenwood DNX521DAB delivers a high level of performance.  


The Kenwood DNX521DAB has a seven inch, high-resolution touch screen, making it big enough for effective navigation, yet small enough to not divert attention. Upon start up the LCD screen presents the Volkswagen logo, this, however, can be changed if it’s connected to a SEAT or Skoda. The default screen position is very clear and shows minor alerts – such as climate control and the parking sensor screen –in the corners.

Main Features

One of the main benefits of using the Kenwood DNX521DAB is that it comes with built in voice activation tools. This allows drivers to perform a variety of different functions without taking their hands off the wheel. The voice control can be used to select music tracks; find a destination; and even make calls. This works perfect alongside its Bluetooth capabilities to provide a device that’s completely hands free.

As for navigation the Kenwood DNX521DAB contains built-in Garmin European Navigation systems and will be able to determine the fastest, shortest and most efficient mapping route. Traffic avoidance software ensures that it’s always accurate and optimizes the overall performance of the device.

In terms of entertainment the device has digital radio (local and national); a CD/DVD player; smart phone compatibility; microSD playback in a variety of formats; and access to the Apple App Store.


It’s difficult to fault the Kenwood DNX521DAB; however, it doesn’t come with an iPhone connector as standard, meaning that a further investment is required to get the most out of it. In addition, local digital signal isn’t always great; however, that could have more to do with local providers. All-in-all, the device is a good all round multimedia system and certainly delivers a high level of performance.


The Kenwood DNX521DAB is visually striking and sure to be the accent of any Volkswagen vehicle. It provides both entertainment and convenience in one easy-to-use package, and accommodates every mainstream form of digital playback, which ensures it will withstand the test of time. 

Image Credit: Kenwood Electronics

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