• Mike Van Horn

KICKER’s Groundbreaking KEY Smart Amplifier with Auto-EQ

The 2015 Fiat 500 Sport was a highlight in the Kicker booth at CES 2018.

SHREVEPORT, LA (06.29.2018) – KICKER’s revolutionary KEY180.4 Smart Amplifier with 180 watts of power, Auto-EQ and compatibility with start/stop vehicles opens new sales opportunities for proactive 12volt retailers. This new mobile-audio technology was showcased during CES 2018 and put smiles on the faces of those who experienced the Key amplifier demo in the booth Fiat.

Randy Botts, KickerSpecial Projects Manager, commented “The Fiat in the Kicker booth at CES always had a line of people waiting for a demo. After a demo in the Fiat dealers were always smiling. The Key amplifier fixes phasing issues and sound location in OE sound systems.”

Joel Dunn, CarTunes Mobile Electronics – Ogden Utah, has the new Kicker Key amplifier installed in his 1992 mustang. He is holding the Key A/B switch in his hand.

Joel Dunn, CarTunes Mobile Electronics – Ogden Utah stated “A customer coming into the store looking for a speaker upgrade is a perfect candidate for a budget friendly Kicker Key amplifier. If the customers existing speakers are AOK he can dramatically improve the sound in his vehicle with this amplifier. A quick demo in my Mustang will close the sale.”

“The Kicker Key amplifier opens new doors for 12volt retailers. Proactive dealers in our territory are demoing and selling this new product and their customers are very happy” David Holland- Shiflet and Dickson, Gastonia NC.

The KEY180.4 represents a completely revolutionary approach to achieving greatly improved sound quality and imaging in an affordable, all-in-one package that installs nearly anywhere, and works with even the most modern factory or aftermarket audio systems.

The extremely compact KEY180.4 automatically improves the sound quality of any vehicle with the push of a button. KEY technology breathes new life and realism into any audio system, factory or aftermarket, with this brilliant amplifier and acoustic processor in one. The four-channel amplifier comes with a microphone and integrated push-button remote. The remote is designed to start the calibration process once microphone placement near ear level is complete.

James Halter (R) and Richie White pictured holding a Key Amplifier at Stereo and Video Center in Tyler TX. “The Kicker Key amplifier is amazing. Customers who hear a demo are blown away-we are selling about six Key Amplifiers every month” Halter stated.

The button press sets the KEY’s test tones and proprietary algorithms in motion. The system detects speaker sizing, applies a 24dB crossover and 40 channels of equalization, applies time alignment and customizes the gain levels of each channel independently. The true potential of the vehicle’s sound system is revealed in a matter of seconds, delivering dramatic improvements in realism and soundstage without the need for expensive external processors or personal tuning time.

KEY technology uses FIT2 (Fail-Safe Integration Technology) and start/stop compatibility to work with nearly any vehicle on the road today. Once installed, the amp can be activated via remote 12v signal or DC offset. Additionally, the amplifier’s miniscule footprint allows for easy installation in a myriad of locations, from behind the radio, to under a seat, or even behind the glove box.


KEY technology also employs a unique method of controlling heat and virtually eliminating the need for a protection mode. Faced with thermal overloads, traditional amplifiers force the listener to experience volume “pumping,” even a possible shutdown, or the fuse simply blows. KICKER engineers created a dynamic system that engages a inaudible limiter/compressor applied only to the peaks of the music for as little as milliseconds at a time. The temporary drop in power results in the amplifier cooling and a cancellation of the compressor. Music then returns to its full dynamic range without a moment’s inconvenience or interruption.

Visit kicker.com for more.

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