When many people think about car audio systems, some of the main brands that come to mind are JVC, Kenwood, and Pioneer. So which is the best brand among the three? Well, to answer this question extensively, it will help to compare JVC vs Kenwood vs Pioneer in detail. We have prepared this guide to help you understand more details about these three top brands. That way, you will find it easier to choose among them when looking for car audio equipment.
What Makes These Brands So Popular?
Kenwood, JVC, and Pioneer are not popular for nothing. There are many reasons that make them some of the best brands in the car audio market today. They all specialize in manufacturing car audio equipment. Although they design and manufacture superior car audio equipment, they come with some disadvantages as well.
Thus, it will help to compare these three brands in detail since you may not install all of them simultaneously. For instance, if you are installing a car amp or head unit, you will only install one and not three. Hence, comparing them side by side will help you make a more informed decision. Let’s discuss where each brand excels, their differences, and shortcomings.
Brief Background of JVC
JVC is a Japanese company that specializes in manufacturing consumer electronics. Victor Company of Japan, popularly known as JVC, was incorporated in 1925. It is headquartered in Kanagawa-Ku, in Yokohama, Japan.
The company started as a phonograph and record company. Later, it started manufacturing television sets using Japanese-made components. That is why the company established a strong reputation for manufacturing reliable and durable electronics.
Today, JVC manufactures a wide range of home audio and car audio equipment. Its high-quality products offer great value for money. Thus, it is one of the brands you should never leave behind when choosing car audio equipment.
Brief Background of Kenwood
Kenwood Corporation, popularly known as Kenwood, is one of the most popular consumer electronics companies. The company was incorporated in 1946 as Kasuga Radio Company, in Nagano, Japan. It was established after WWII with the aim of meeting the demand for postwar consumer electronics.
The company was renamed Trio-Kenwood Corporation in 1957, and later Kenwood Corporation in 1986. It has a subsidiary known as Kenwood USA Corporation, which is located in Long Beach, California. The company has numerous manufacturing facilities across the globe.
Kenwood specializes in manufacturing a wide range of entertainment equipment, not just car entertainment. Whether you want home audio or car audio equipment, Kenwood has some of the best options to choose from.
Brief Background of Pioneer
Pioneer is yet another superior manufacturer of consumer electronics. The company was founded in 1938 by Mr. Nozomu Matsumoto. Pioneer is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Matsumoto started with making a domestic speaker using original parts, which became the origin of making HiFi speakers. Also, Pioneer is renowned for developing the first headphones in Japan.
Today, Pioneer produces car audio equipment such as amps, subwoofers, head units, and speakers among others. They also manufacture superior navigation systems for cars. Also, Pioneer is renowned for offering premium service. Their products often outshine those of competing manufacturers. Thus, they are a brand worth considering when choosing car audio equipment.
JVC vs Kenwood vs Pioneer Speakers
JVC speakers are known to offer great value for money. They are durable and offer stable performance. Also, they have superior power handling, such that you can drive them with a lot of power within their range without issues. Also, they are relatively affordable and will not dent your pocket.
Kenwood has a good reputation for making outstanding car speakers. Most importantly, their speakers are budget-friendly. They are often more affordable than those from Pioneer and JVC without compromising on quality. Thus, if your budget is quite tight, Kenwood speakers would be a great brand to choose from.
Pioneer speakers are known for loud sound output. Their speakers are designed with quality in mind, thereby attracting loyal customers for Pioneer products. Installing Pioneer car speakers means that you will get loud sound output. Most importantly, their speakers sound accurate and natural, even when playing music with heavy bass.
JVC vs Pioneer vs Kenwood Subwoofers
JVC stands out for its compact subwoofers. If your car is not spacious enough for a very large subwoofer, JVC can save your day. They have a wide selection of low-profile subwoofers for installation under the car seat or in a squeezed trunk. Most of their subwoofers come with a built-in amp for easier installation, especially where you do not have a standalone car amplifier.
Kenwood, on the other hand, has a good range of power subwoofers to choose from, although Pioneer offers more options. Regardless, Kenwood subwoofers are known for their more intense bass than subwoofers from JVC and Pioneer.
When looking at Pioneer subwoofers, they are available in very many types and sizes. Thus, you can find one that will fit your needs precisely. Their subwoofers are great for their precise and accurate bass output.
JVC vs Kenwood vs Pioneer Receivers
JVC receivers are among the most popular options in today’s market. They deliver a superior sound experience. They are generally more affordable than Kenwood receivers. JVC receivers are also easy to install. The installation process is straightforward and can be done as a DIY project.
Kenwood, on the other hand, produces high-quality receivers with advanced features. For instance, their multimedia receivers often feature Bluetooth, USB port, and radio. Also, their double din stereos are often affordable. Kenwood also offers high-end stereos for those who do not mind paying extra for premium features.
Pioneer manufactures premium-grade single and double din stereos. Its stereos are a great choice for car music enthusiasts who prefer sleek stereos with innovative features. Also, Pioneer stereos offer enhanced sound output with superior quality.
Kenwood vs Pioneers vs JVC Amplifiers
Kenwood amplifiers offer superior performance, thanks to their top-notch construction. They improve the sound quality of a car music system without denting your pocket. They are often available within an affordable price range. Also, they are energy efficient and compact. You can find a model that you can mount easily in a tight mounting location.
Pioneer amplifiers, on the other hand, are superior at boosting the volume of a car music system. Most of their amplifiers offer superb adjustment to the intensity of the sound output. They allow for more detailed tuning of different frequencies. Also, most of their amps feature speaker-level inputs for direct connectivity with stock receivers.
JVC amplifiers are not as popular as those from Pioneer and Kenwood. However, they are generally powerful. Also, you can find compact options with a thin design for installation under a car seat. Also, most of their amps come with low-level RCA inputs and high-level input for connecting to a factory head unit.
Final Thoughts on JVC vs Kenwood vs Pioneer
So which is the best brand between JVC, Kenwood, and Pioneer? As you can see, each brand has areas where it shines better than the other brands and other areas where it is less appealing than competing brands. Thus, your ultimate choice should depend on your preferences. For every car audio equipment, be it a subwoofer, amp, head unit, or speakers, pick the brand that fulfills most of your preferences.
Michael Evanchuk is a San Francisco-based sound engineer with 20 years’ experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. Evanchuk owns an auto stereo center, where he offers highly competitive car audio installation and repair services. He has written dozens of articles on different sound engineering topics, all of which have been published in leading journals, blogs, and websites.