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JVC Arsenal KD-AR959BS

CD receiver

Item #: 105AR959BS

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146 Reviews

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Eye-catching and customizable

Think of it as a mood ring for your car. JVC's KD-AR959BS CD receiver lets you customize the illumination color in three different areas of the faceplate for any combinations you can think of. Combine that with super-clean CD playback, a USB input for charging devices and playing your music files, and Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming, and you've got a complete entertainment console for your car. And since this receiver is part of their Arsenal Series, JVC backs it up with a 2-year warranty.

JVC Arsenal KD-AR959BS CD receiver

You can use the Separate Variable color adjustments to match your interior lighting and illuminate your controls.

Smartphone integration

Bluetooth serves as a wireless bridge between your smartphone and your dash, enabling music streaming and hands-free phone calls with any compatible phone. But pair up this JVC and an Android™ smartphone, and you can use JVC's Smart Music Control App to harness Bluetooth's full potential — you'll be able to use your phone to change settings, EQ, and sources on your receiver with a simple gesture or a voice command.

If you enjoy Internet radio on your iPhone or Android, you'll really enjoy playing music from Pandora® and iHeartRadio® on this great-sounding receiver. You can scroll through your stations, bookmark songs, and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down right from the receiver's face.

Added cool stuff

JVC upped the power in their USB port, which lets you keep your smartphone charged, even when it's doing several tasks at once. Drive Change allows you to connect a memory card reader or USB hub to the receiver's USB input and select music from up to five memory cards or USB flash drives. Connect just about any portable audio player using the KD-AR959BS's front aux input. Once you've got the music going, you can shape your sound with the onboard 5-band parametric equalizer.

If you're adding amplifiers or a powered subwoofer, the six 4.8-volt preamp outputs provide you the clean signal you need. You also get a subwoofer level control and low-pass filter to help you match the sub's output with the rest of your system.

Want to keep your steering wheel controls?

In most vehicles, you can use an adapter (not included) to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this JVC stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and the JVC, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.

Bluetooth note: Use of this receiver's Bluetooth features will depend upon your phone's Bluetooth capabilities. Learn more in our article explaining Bluetooth profiles.

App Note: iHeart Radio playback and control requires the "iHeart Link for JVC" app on your smartphone.

iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free and audio streaming
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • AM/FM tuner includes Radio Data System (RDS)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • detachable face with Separate Variable color adjustments for 3 display zones
    • front USB port compatible with MP3, WMA, and WAV audio files
    • USB 1A connection provides extra power for charging devices
    • Drive Change lets you select audio from multiple flash drives or memory cards in a connected USB hub or memory card reader
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • 5-band parametric equalizer
    • low-pass filter and subwoofer level controls
    • loudness control
    • Digital Track Expander enhances compressed audio files
    Expandability:
    • built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control (see Details tab for model compatibility)
    • Pandora and iHeart Radio control with iPhone and Android
    • JVC Smart Music Control app (gesture control and voice command with Android phones)
    • Siri "Eyes Free" support with compatible iPhones
    • compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary input and USB port
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4.8-volt front, rear, subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

    Why replace your factory radio?

    Two good reasons - sound quality and cool features. A new car stereo offers power that's superior to most factory radios, along with more sophisticated tone controls. And most car stereos offer built-in or optional features that add safety and fun to life in your car, including inputs for your iPod or MP3 player, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free cell phone calls, satellite radio or HD Radio reception, and connections for building an audio system in your car.

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR959BS Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    146 reviews
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    Hard to beat for the money...

    Written By Anonymous, Georgia on Sunday, July 26, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This head unit from JVC will be hard to beat for the money, considering all the features. I was looking for something in the bluetooth compatible market with superb features and front, rear, sub low level outputs and this deck hit the mark and then some even though it was quite a bit BELOW my intended budget. It has all the features I need and room to grow and expand. I would definitely lump it into the "bang for your buck" catagory, and even suggest that it be at the top of that list. I am super nit-picky and I was not dissapointed.

    Pros: Great sound control features 3 zone infinite color customization Blue tooth and android compatible 3 sets of low level outputs

    Cons: I wish the remote were a little bigger. No bull, it's barely bigger than my thumbnail and I'm afraid I'm going to looses it. That's more a gripe than a con so take it at face value.

    Every option packed into a little box

    Written By Cory, Springfield Oregon on Thursday, July 02, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Front, rear, sub outputs and controls. Good volts. Blu tooth works great, nice Pandora controls, radio reception is good, though I rarely listen to the radio. It picks up the station name and song name. This deck is simply amazing in the $100 range. It's very unlikely you could get all these options and quality in any other deck near this price. Obviously it's not a pro deck, but if you are looking at bang for buck, this is a strong contender. Extremely happy.

    Pros: Everything listed above.

    Cons: Waited too long to buy, :)

    Great Receiver

    Written By Bushwacker, Baker, FL on Sunday, June 21, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This is one of the best receivers I have had. Even sounds better than my old Alpine that died on me. You can't go wrong with this unit. Easy to operate and looks great too!

    Pros: Easy to access and operate the functions. Very impressive radio.

    Cons: Only they don't make one that will take up all the space in a 2003 F150.

    jvc arsenal kd-ar959bs

    Written By marvinh, North Carolina on Saturday, June 20, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    The JVC-Arsenal KD-AR959bs is a 100% best buy. 5 stars rating in all respects. Easy to use and all the functions one needs. I have no problems Seeing the print on the screen day or night and I am past age 70. Blue tooth quality is super. Mp3 player mode is wonderful in all respects. A must have CD Stereo System for any auto or truck. My unit was installed in a 2001 ford F150. I have replaced speakers in this truck prior to this JVC System install. This unit was purchased from Crutchfield in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have made other purchases from Crutchfield in the past and have been 100% pleased. I recommend Crutchfield with the highest rating of 5 Stars.

    Pros: 100%

    Cons: None

    Good stuff cheap

    Written By Scott, Massachusetts on Sunday, June 14, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    It is truly amazing how much you get for such little money these days. This head is loaded with features, simple to use and a fantastic value.

    Pros: Great sound, easy to use

    Cons: Would like an old fashion visual EQ

    Great radio

    Written By Douglas, Indianapolis, IN on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Love it. Easy to install. Sounds great.

    My 3rd JVC Head Unit in 3 Vehicles

    Written By Anonymous, Kannapolis , N.C. on Friday, May 22, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Beat out my Sony, Kenwoods! All said, two of JVC Head units are way past obsolete, but outlasted a few high dollar head units from other companies! So if they keep going, even after high dollar units fail, why wouldn't I trust JVC!?

    Pros: Lasting forever! Great value for what you get!

    awesome

    Written By christian, Minnesota on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    best bang for your buck, i own one and have installed 3 in other cars for friends never any complaints

    JVC no customer support

    Written By MazdaProtege, California on Saturday, May 16, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I drive dark roads late at night. The display constantly blinks without regard to settings and the front of the unit is glossy, both are distractions for such driving. JVC customer support contacts bounce. Do not count on anything from JVC customer support.

    Unit setup is tedious and the settings to not survive a disconnect of the vehicle battery lead.

    OEM radio display was much easier to read and did not have any blinking indicators. OEM radio had matte finish that does not reflect stray light. OEM radio backlight responded proportionally to dashboard brightness setting. Shouldn't it be a simple matter to have such features in a replacement radio?

    Pros: It works and fits. MP3 play from flash (no MP3 player required) is a good money saver.

    Cons: Would prefer no CD player, but with HD radio. Display and plastic finish are inferior to my 15 year old (now dead) OEM radio.

    Awesome

    Written By D. J, Georgia on Monday, May 11, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    The best radio I have seen yet.

    Pros: *****

    Good buy

    Written By Brian C, Springfield MN on Friday, May 01, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Best receiver for the money. Tons of EQ adjustments, endless color schemes.

    Great Little Radio!

    Written By Ecko, Montana on Friday, May 01, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I got the unit and installed it myself in just a couple of hours in my '03 Outback. I replaced the original stereo with this one and what a difference!! I love the Iphone voice control and after reading the instructions can operate pretty easily. The Bluetooth calling feature works great and everyone I have talked to said the call is clear and I can make the caller as loud as I want on my end to hear even when the windows are down and I am cruising on the back roads here in Montana! Definitely recommend.

    Pros: Sound for calls and CD's Color settings

    Cons: BT connection for music from Ipod or Iphone is about half as loud as sound from CD and BT calling

    Great Head Unit!

    Written By Mark, Boulder, CO on Monday, April 27, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great receiver for the money. This receiver has features normally found on stereos $25-50 more! The faceplate has a real wow factor with tons of color combos or color flows. FM sensitivity is better than most receivers and the preamp voltage will make any other amp installs you do sound much better. The ease of use isn't great, but within a week you are a pro at navigating this head unit. A great feature of this receiver is the low/high amp settings. If you are running stock speakers, running low amp gain keeps the receiver from blowing the speakers with more power than they can handle by limiting the max volume. If you have aftermarket speakers, you will then be able to set the amp gain to high with no fear!There is a large group of head units all around $130, but if you spend an extra $10 and get this receiver, the amount of upgrades you get is just a steal for the money. Next up are some new speakers and a sub for my setup!

    Pros: Build quality, sound quality, coolness factor

    Cons: Ease of use

    Nice music system

    Written By PZ, New York on Thursday, April 23, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Installed this device in my 2010 ranger to replace the factory radio. The difference in sound quality was quite noticeable. The JVC produces great sound across the frequency spectrum and makes the OEM speakers come alive. I'm using the blue tooth and pandora functions and enjoy the simplicity of it. The colors are a nice touch and if you have the need, you can create any effect you want. There's an option for colors to change as you listen, but it seems a bit distracting for a road vehicle. I wonder if the large dial/volume knob will last based on how many functions it has to perform. The usb port is great for playing tunes from a jump drive, using the cell phone as a source and for charging devices. The install kit absolutely sucked. Directions were wrong, the plastic cheap, and the radio is ready to fall out of the opening with the slightest pull. The stock radio had sirius plug that connected to the truck's antenna and power system which was not addressed in any of the literature or options. If you want xm/sirius, be prepared to shell out more for a compatible device.

    Pros: Sound, blue tooth, pandora, colors.

    Cons: Install kit no option for connecting to existing sirius plug

    Great for the RV!

    Written By JR, Mt. Vernon, IN on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I purchased this stereo as an entry level head unit to update the older stereo in my class A motorhome. I wanted a unit that was Bluetooth capable and boy was I pleasantly surprised at all this unit provides especially for the great price. First off, driving a 32' 18,000 lb. motorhome down the highway I really don't want to deal with any distractions from a cumbersome stereo. The main items I wanted was: Bluetooth capability, an actual round volume knob to turn music up or down instantly without having to hold in on a button. (Dumb engineering idea by the way), and hands free talking for phone calls. This unit does all of this plus more. It has the usb connection for any mp3, 1/8" line input for any type of audio, and more. The best part is how easy it connects with my Iphone 5 for Pandora and phone calls. I just jump into RV, turn on stereo and it does the rest. Another great plus is I have been using stereo with Google maps and RVParky via Iphone and voice directions play over stereo car speakers! It comes with a microphone that I mounted on steering column and have not had any complaints from callers. I really did get everything I wanted from this stereo and way more. JVC has always been a solid equipment company and this unit exhibits that and more.

    Pros: Easy Installation Great Price Lots of Options Versatile Clear voice for phone calls Works great with Pandora Bluetooth connects great and stays connected Selectable display brightness and color

    Cons: Haven't found any cons yet since install of May 2014

    Replacing with something that works

    Written By Dan, New Jersey on Sunday, April 19, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    There is nothing that makes this radio stand out. The sound and controls are about the same as the Kenwood and Pioneer I also own. I had an extremely cheap media only version of this same head unit in my old junk car. I needed bluetooth calling in my new car. The old cheap media unit worked perfectly for this. However, this head unit has such poor bluetooth that I can't use it with most of my customers. It sweals and they can't understand me. It cuts out constantly. I even called into tech support for help. With some fine tuning it stopped the squealing but my customers still can't hear me.

    Seriously, the only reason people replace factory car stereos today is because they need a feature like bluetooth that did not come with the car.

    My other complaint is that you can only really use playlist. If you have an 80GB ipod and want to go from Adele to ZZ-top then it will take 5 minutes of scrolling. It's just easier to disconnect the iPod and use that interface and then plug it back in.

    Pros: Lighting effects

    Cons: Horrible bluetooth Media controls Lack of backlighting on center buttons for shuffle, etc

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR959BS

    Written By joe n, New Jersey on Saturday, April 18, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value