Kenwood Corporation

Not to be confused with the UK-based manufacturer of kitchen appliances, Kenwood Limited.
Kenwood Corporation
Industry Consumer electronics, electronics
Founded 1946
Headquarters Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Shoichiro Eguchi, CEO 29 Jan 2003
Products Consumers electronics
Revenue Decrease US$$1.71 billion (2014)[1]
Decrease US$20.51 million (2014)
Decrease US$5.4 million (2014)
Number of employees
4,424 (2006)
Parent JVC Kenwood Holdings

Kenwood Corporation (株式会社ケンウッド Kabushiki-Gaisha Ken'uddo) is a Japanese company that designs, develops and markets a range of car audio, hi-fi home and personal audio, professional two-way radio communications solutions and amateur radio ("ham") equipment.


Established in 1946 as the Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. in Komagane City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, in 1960 the company was renamed Trio Corporation. In 1963 the first overseas office was founded in Los Angeles, California, USA.[2]

In the early 1960s, Trio's products were rebranded by the Lafayette Radio Company, with a focus on citizens' band radio.

An importer of Japanese-made electronics RadioShack was A&A Trading Co., and a bilingual Japanese-speaking manager from there, William "Bill" Kasuga partnered with George Aratani and Yoichi Nakase to establish a company that would be the exclusive importer of Trio products.[3]

The name Kenwood was invented by Kasuga as being the combination of "Ken", a name common to Japan and America that had been tested and proven acceptable to American consumers in the name of Kenmore appliances, and "Wood", referring to the durable substance as well as suggesting a relation to Hollywood, California.[3] The brand recognition of Kenwood eventually surpassed that of Trio's, and in 1986 Trio bought Kenwood and renamed itself Kenwood. George Aratani was the first chairman of Kenwood USA Corporation and succeeded by Kasuga.[2] Kenwood merged with JVC in 2008 as JVC Kenwood.

XX880SR audio cassette tape recorder

Kenwood introduced its Sovereign line of components in 2001.


Amateur radio transceivers

Kenwood has offered lines of HF, VHF/UHF, and portable amateur radio models, including some with built-in digital data modes (Automatic Packet Reporting System, built on AX.25 packet radio) and modems needed to send and receive these protocols.

Among the product lines are the "TS" series of HF transceivers which cover the HF ("high frequency") bands, from 1.8 to 30 MHz.

Kenwood TS-830S transceiver
Kenwood TS-590S transceiver
Kenwood TS-430S HF transceiver (left) and Kenwood AT-250 automatic antenna tuner (right)

Other series include the 100, 500, and the 2000 series. Kenwood also offers a "B" model, which is a transceiver without display or controls and is completely controlled by a remote computer or a separate control unit.

KA Series hi-fi systems

Kenwood's series of "Integrated Amplifier" stereo power amplifiers, launched in 1977 and produced through the mid-1980s. The design for most of these items features a true dual-mono path for stereo output (in other words, no electrical components are shared between left- and right-channel amplification). Front plates were typically made in brushed aluminum with aluminum knobs and switches, glass covers, and in some cases analog VU meters.

Amplifiers in this series included (in no particular order)[4]

NV Series hi-fi systems

These were a series of mini hi-fi systems launched in 2000, all featuring an ultra modern design. Each one is dealt with separately.


The NV-301 and NV-701 were probably the top-of-the-range models of the NV series. Both shared a three-layered half-mirrored sleek design, the main difference mainly lay in the specification of the two systems. The NV-301 was the basic model with two speakers and with a simple phono input (marked for MiniDisc and DVD players) while the NV-701 was a 5.1 Dolby surround sound model with A/V inputs. Both featured a three-disc carousel, a cassette player with Dolby B noise reduction, a natural display, intelligent features and the ability to save up to 40 radio stations. Kenwood had clearly taken huge advantage of microcomputers as evident in the functions that are featured; had old methods been used, the NV-301/701 would have been much larger. These features had never been matched by other manufacturers, with other designs being rather crude by comparison.[6]

Communications equipment


  1. Kenwood Corporation
  2. 1 2 Kenwood Corporation / Company History
  3. 1 2 "Entrepreneur Bill Kasuga Courage Helped Him Bring Music To The Public's Ears", by Patrick Seitz, Investor's Business Daily, 3/21/2011 (alternate link: )
  4. Kenwood KA-1000 on, retrieved 2013-11-26
  5. (50W RMS per Ch. I bought one in 1979 and still operate it)
  6. "Kenwood NV-301/701 design", Image Shack, 2013-07-15, retrieved 2013-07-15

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