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JVC KW-XG500

CD receiver

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  • JVC KW-XG500

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  • JVC KW-XG500

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Item #: 105KWGX500
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the JVC KW-XG500

by Ken Nail
JVC

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.

Fill the double-sized dash opening of your car with the stylish, versatile JVC KW-XG500 CD receiver. A strong internal amp sends plenty of power to your speakers, so you'll enjoy sonic performance that'll knock the socks off of most factory systems. The nine presets and three adjustable EQ bands ensure you'll be able to tweak the sound to match your car's acoustics.

An optional iPod® adapter allows you to control your playlists from the receiver's face, and you'll find a handy front-panel auxiliary input for connecting other audio sources. Add a satellite radio and enjoy a wide variety of music, news, sports, and talk. Two sets of preamp outputs makes it easy to hook up a powered subwoofer and external amp.

Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver or its optional iPod adapter.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with built-in MOSFET amplifier (20 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs (including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files)
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • iEQ 3-band equalizer with nine presets
    • 24-bit digital-to-analog converter
    • subwoofer level and frequency controls
    Expandability:
    • compatible with optional JVC iPod adapter, satellite radio, CD changer
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary input
    • outputs: two sets of preamp outputs (rear and subwoofer outputs)
    • compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required)
    Other info:

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant
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    Yes
    RMS Power Output
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    20 watts
    Peak Output
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    50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
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    20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs
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    4-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
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    Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
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    No
    Video Screen
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    No
    Preamp Voltage
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    2.5 volts
    Display Color
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    White
    Key Button Color
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    Red
    EQ Bands
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    3
    Wireless Remote
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    Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
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    Yes
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Expandability
    AUX Input
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    Front and Optional Rear
    USB Input
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    No
    Memory Card Slot
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    No
    Bluetooth Compatible
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    No
    Satellite Radio Ready
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    Both
    HD Radio
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    No
    Navigation
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    ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
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    Classic/5Gen/4Gen/3Gen
    Nano
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    Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/Nano1
    Touch
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    No
    Mini
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    Mini2/Mini1
    iPhone
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    No
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
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    11.3 dBf
    European Tuning
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    Yes
    Seek/Scan
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    Seek
    Radio Data System
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    No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Double DIN AM/FM/CD player
    • 15-amp fuse (installed)
    • Trim ring (for Nissan installation)
    • Wiring harness
    • RM-RK50 Wireless remote
    • CR2025 Lithium battery
    • 8 Countersunk ISO mount screws (M5 x 8mm)
    • 8 Panhead ISO mount screws (M5 x 8mm)
    • Instructions (English/Spanish/French)
    • Installation/Connection Manual (English/Spanish/French)
    • Ground caution note (attached to wiring harness)
    • US warranty information
    • Canadian warranty information
    • Product registration/survey

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Features
    External Device Controls

    Features

    Compressed File Playback: The KW-XG500 can play MP3 and WMA files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs. The disc must be recorded in ISO 9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, or Romeo. MP3 files with bit rates from 8-320 kbps and WMA files with bit rates from 32-192 kbps are supported. Each disc can have a maximum of 512 files in 200 folders.

    Digital to Analog Converter: For high quality audio performance JVC uses a 24-bit audio DAC.

    Front Panel Auxiliary Input: A front panel stereo mini-jack is provided to allow easy connection of a portable audio source. Just connect your portable cassette, MD, or MP3 player and listen through your car system. The volume of the front panel auxiliary input can be adjusted so the level is consistent as you change from one input to another.

    Spectrum Analyzer Screen: The display background can be changed among five meter styles and two screen savers. You can also turn the spectrum analyzer off so only the alphanumeric characters and icons appear.

    3-Band Equalizer: Along with a user adjustable preset, there are five preset EQ curves; Rock, Classic, Pops, Hip Hop, and, Jazz. The user preset can be adjusted to your preference and stored in memory. The three EQ bands are centered at 60 Hz, 1 kHz, and 10 kHz. The level at each frequency can be adjusted from -12dB to +12dB in 2dB increments.

    CD Text: Song and album titles are displayed when playing CD Text encoded discs on the built-in CD player and a connected CD changer that supports CD Text. MP3 and WMA tags are also displayed.

    Amplifier Gain Control: When you are using the KW-XG500 with factory speakers (or those rated to less than 50 watts peak), the Amplifier Gain Control can limit the amount of power being sent to those speakers. When the Amp Gain Control is set to low, the volume control ranges from 0 (minimum) to 30 (maximum). When using speakers rated higher than 50 watts peak, you can set the Amp Gain Control to high, and the volume control will range from 0 to 50.

    Preamp Outputs: In addition to the 2.5 volt rear stereo preamp outputs, this unit has 2.5 volt line level Subwoofer outputs. The subwoofer output has independent level control, adjustable from 0 to +8.

    Crossover: The KW-XG500 has an internal low-pass subwoofer crossover; choose 95, 140, or 185 Hz.

    Optional Input Adapter: An optional JVC Line Input Adapter (item number 105KSU57 or 257KSU58) may be used to provide an additional auxiliary audio input on this unit. This feature allows you to connect a portable audio player, such as a portable MP3 player, to this unit as an additional audio source. The adapter connects to the CD changer input on this unit. When the adapter is connected to this unit, a CD changer cannot be connected.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The KW-XG500 has a steering remote control jack compatible with the optional SWI-JACK interface (item number 127SWIJACK), you can retain the use of your steering wheel and/or rear seat radio controls when replacing the factory head unit in select vehicles. The SWI-JACK is compatible with over 95% of the vehicles made from 1986 to the present. Compatible vehicles include many Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Please consult "Outfit My Car" to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    Station Names: You can assign names to 30 radio station frequencies, AM or FM. Each name can be up to 8 characters.

    Dimmer: When 12 volts is applied to the illumination lead and the dimmer is set to Auto, the display dims. The dimmer can also be set to Off (normal brightness at all times) or On (display is always dimmed).

    Repeat Play:

    • CD: repeats the current track
    • MP3/WMA:
      • Track: repeats the current track
      • Folder: repeats the current folder
    • Changer (CD):
      • Track: repeats the current track
      • Disc: repeats the current disc
    • Changer (MP3/WMA):
      • Track: repeats the current file
      • Folder: repeats the current folder
      • Disc: repeats the current disc

    Random Play:

    • CD: plays all the tracks on the disc in random order
    • MP3/WMA:
      • Folder: plays all the tracks of the current folder in random order, then moves to the next folder
      • Disc: plays all the tracks on the disc in random order
    • Changer (CD):
      • Disc: plays all the tracks of the current disc in random order
      • MAG: randomly plays all the tracks of all the loaded discs
    • Changer (MP3/WMA):
      • Folder: plays all the tracks of the current folder in random order
      • Disc: plays all the tracks of the current disc in random order
      • MAG: randomly plays all the tracks of all the loaded discs

    External Device Controls

    iPod Interface: The optional KS-PD100 adapter (item number 257KSPD100) allows an iPod digital music player with a dock connector to be connected and controlled by the KW-XG500. You'll be able to scroll through all your playlists, albums, artists, genres, and composers directly from the head unit. Song titles and other file information show up right on the head unit display. The iPod is also charged while it is connected to the KW-XG500 via the optional KS-PD100. The JVC KW-XG500 is "Made for iPod" compatible when connected to the KS-PD100 iPod adapter and supports the following iPod model features (as of Dec. 2009):

    iPod/iPhone Model Media Type  Control Display Charge
    Audio Video Unit iPod Song/Artist Track
    dock-connector (3 gen) Y N Y N Y Y Y
    click-wheel /color-display (4 gen) Y N Y N Y Y Y
    mini (1/2 gen) Y N Y N Y Y Y
     video (5 gen) Y N Y N Y Y Y
    classic (80/120/160 GB) Y N Y N Y Y Y
    nano 1 gen Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2 gen Y N Y N Y Y Y
    3 gen Y N Y N Y Y Y
    4 gen Y N Y N Y Y N
    5 gen N N N N N N N
     touch 1 gen N N N N N N Y
    2 gen N N N N N N N
    3 gen N N N N N N N
    iPhone 2G N N N N N N N
    3G N N N N N N N
    3GS N N N N N N N

    Note: The KS-PD100 is not compatible with the iPod touch (1st/2nd gen), iPod nano (5th gen), or iPhone (3G/3GS). This iPod interface will also not charge the iPod nano (4th gen) without the Scosche passPORT (142IFWA, sold separately). The adapter is made for audio file playback only, so it will not pass video signals from video capable iPods. When this interface is connected to the JVC receiver, you cannot connect a CD changer. Apple firmware updates may change functionality results

    Satellite Radio: This unit supports both XM and Sirius Satellite Radio when used with an optional satellite radio tuner and adapter, sold separately. This JVC headunit supports the SiriusConnect Universal Vehicle tuner and JVC KS-SRA100 Sirius Satellite Radio interface (item number 700SIRJVC1, sold separately). The headunit also supports the XMDirect2 Universal Vehicle tuner and CNPJVC1 XM Satellite Radio interface (item number 700XMJVC1, sold separately).

    Changer Controls: This unit is equipped with JVC's J-Link CD changer control system. It is fully compatible with JVC's CD/MP3 changer, item number 257CHX1500. Other JVC CH-X series CD changers (except CH-X99 and CH-X100) can be controlled directly by this head unit, however, they are not compatible with MP3 discs. You cannot use the KD-MK series CD changers with this unit, even with an adapter.

     
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    JVC KW-XG500 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    5 out of 5

    2009 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Installation

    Written By Anonymous, Roger, Mililani, HI on Monday, October 05, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I got this JVC unit when the factory unit started acting up after only 3 months of use. Rather than getting another unit from the dealer I opted to put in an after market unit. Wiring up the harness with crimps and attaching it to the Scosche in dash installation kit went smoothly. Removal of the factory unit from the dash went as planned. However, the removal of the hazard / clock module from the factory unit was a real plain. There was no tips on how to go about removing this module in the installation instructions. Getting that darn thing out took me 45 minutes. After this, everything snapped back into place and went back into the dash easily. I had a few questions regarding plugging the unit in and the Crutchfield customer service answered all of my questions. This JVC unit sounds way better than the factory unit. I'm currently using the factory speakers. The radio reception is descent and CD and auxilary port for MP3 player play works great. I'm really happy about everything fitting perfectly. No gaps in the dash or shaking of the unit. Just a good fit. With the wiring harness, in dash kit and Crutchfield support, this unit was a good bang for the buck.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Flashy graphics a bit over the top but it has nice sound and power

    Written By Anonymous, Valley Forge, PA on Wednesday, July 29, 2009
     
    Unit fit right into my 2008 Nissan Frontier. The stock side mounting plate holdes do not all line up, but do have positioning nipples so one bolt in each side will suffice. You will need an antenna adapter and harness adapter - use the blue antenna wire for the radio if neccessary to get good reception. Radio HU sounds nice and looks classy but I'm not a big fan of all the animations it does. There are plenty of adjustments to configure the output for your particular speaker system. It does have enough power to push some good speakers but using the available RCA outs to a post-amp and additional box would probably sound amazing. If you are installing this into a Frontier, don't bother with the face plate and installation kit - it fits right in. I fabricated a plastic bib to go around the radio to keep dust out and light from showing through the 1/8" - 1/4" space around the sides. Crutchfield support, by the way is very helpful. They have a good crew on that support desk.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    This puppy rocks!!!

    Written By lloyd, Louisville, Ky on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Bought this for my girlfriends 2004 Chevy Trailblazer. We wanted something to fill in the big hole left by the factory radio that died. This radio fit perfect and was a breeze for me to install. I have put radios in before and this was one of the easiest for me so far. I soldered every joint and heat shrunk tubed all the connections. I love this radio so much I plan on buying at least one or two more. I haven't checked yet, but if it fits my Corvette I there!! GREAT RADIO and support was awesome with the only question I had! The sound is incredible and the remote works great!
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    4 out of 5

    Excellent aftermarket choice

    Written By Chris, Lacey, WA on Saturday, February 14, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this JVC stereo to replace my factory stock stereo in a Toyota RAV4 (with the mounting kit, of course). I wanted to go with a double-DIN sized stereo to better fill the gap left by the removal of the factory stereo. The sound on the JVC is quite good, and the controls seem easy to use. I agree with another review that said that FM reception is not stellar, but it works well enough for me. Having several EQ options makes it easy to get the sound I want as well. I installed this along with a JVC-specific XM radio kit, and it is awesome. I am very happy with this stereo and the XM kit, and the technical assistance by Crutchfield absolutely lived up to its reputation. If you have ANY qustions installing, just call them and they will definitely help you.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    2002 Mustang install

    Written By Daniel, North Port, FL on Monday, February 09, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Outstanding product !
    Thank you Crutchfield, for your unsurpassed Techincal Support !
    It's one thing to sell such great products at low cost, but to have the technical team to back it up is what really made me write this review.
    I would recommend this radio to anyone looking to gain more control over their sound. It a good looking radio, and sounds much better than stock. Don't be disappointed when you first fire it up. It takes some tinkering, but once you find the right settings, its incredible.
    Thank you Crutchfield !
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    4 out of 5

    2005 shevy crew cab

    Written By jpason, el paso tx on Wednesday, November 05, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit is exellent for the money. The only downsides are one, the display does not show all info from ipod at once. Two, navigation through ipod is cumbersome and will take a lot of getting used to. Third, and the biggest for me, the ipod adapter for jvc does not work with iphone or ipod touch!!! Big issue!!! extremely easy to install and dealing with crutchfield from ordering to shipping to support was top notch.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great product for the money, you can't go wrong

    Written By Clutchrider7, Milford, CT on Wednesday, July 23, 2008
     
    2005 Toyota Matrix XR AWD

    The stock mounting plates worked with the unit perfectly as well. Again the provided plastic tabs to fill the gaps on the sides needed slight modifying. A simple dremel or heat tool will help with this, very minimal work needed.

    As for the performance. The unit is much louder than stock, it provides the EQ presets which do a great job of regulating the type of music playing. The display matches my interior perfectly as my stock unit was also black, and even more so that my gauges and HVAC controls are all red/white at night which means it matches this unit perfectly. It was one of my requirements to keep it stock looking. When parked the car looks stock inside and I doubt anyone would pay any mind to the unit as it is not flashy with fake chrome buttons and all. The remote is very easy to use and I would say I actually touch the Head Unit maybe 2% of the time. I use the ipod mostly and with the connector I purchased for this unit, it allows me to hide my ipod in my compartment plugged in completely out of sight. You lose the ability to control the ipod from the source, but controlling through the Remote is fairly easy once you get used to it. I am still figuring minor things out like turning off the demo display and setting the time, but I will learn it in time, I am more involved in listening to my music and having my ipod music on hand, makes life so much easier and it was well worth what I paid.
    5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great DD radio...

    Written By Michael, Koxville, TN on Tuesday, June 10, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Got this unit as an alternative to the Double-Din factory unit in my Mazda 3. The unit sounds great and has plenty of features. Crutchfield was excellent, products arrived very quick and the included installation gear made installation a breeze. Got the PAC SWI and it allows full control of the unit via the factory steering-wheel controls. Overall very pleased with both the unit and Crutchfield.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    2004 Tacoma

    Written By Tony, Chico, California on Sunday, April 13, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I replaced my stock unit with this JVC. Looks great. Installation was a breeze. Take your time when setting up the wiring harness. My biggest dissapointment with this unit is FM reception. The factory unit did a much better job of pulling in radio stations. Overall am a happy with this purchase.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    JVC KW-XG500

    Written By Tom I., Vineland, NJ on Friday, April 04, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit is excellent! My factory stereo in my 2003 Chevy Silverado died and reserching the reviews, led me to the KW-XG500. It was a great choice. The sound is great and really makes the factory speakers sound like an aftermarket system. The internal amp has more than enough punch for me and the install was a breeze. With the Silverado, I had to purchase the factory chime adapter but the wiring was easy, color for color connections. After the initial connections to the adapter, the install was a "plug and play". The only problem I had was I chose the "scratch and dent" model to save some money and the one I received was bad. The guys at Crutchfield shipped a replacement out the same day and I received the new one the next day! The replacement worked perfectly! Even though I had that little "hiccup" with the first stereo, I would recommend this stereo to everyone! Easy to install, sounds great, excellent customer service, what more can you ask for?
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    radio great, Crutchfield? not so much

    Written By Derek, Utah on Saturday, March 29, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I ordered this radio to replace the factory head unit in my wife's 4Runner. I have bought several car systems from Crutchfield in the past, and hoped this experience would be similar to those, easy and painless.
    I was told that the Sirius tuner was backordered, but would ship in a week or so, and that I would not be billed for that portion of the order until it shipped. Well, I was billed for the whole shipment but didn't really care since I'd have everything within a week or so.

    The second shipment arrived, and I was anxious to get the unit installed, and did not discover that the second shipment was incomplete until after I had the factory radio out and was in the middle of installing the new head unit. The Sirius tuner arrived, but not the adapter to connect it to the JVC. No mention of this item being backordered was made when the tuner shipped. I called Crutchfield and asked where my adapter was, only to be told that I should have it soon. Two weeks later: no adapter and I just called again, only to be told that the shipping date is 'uncertain', and likely to be several weeks!
    I bought this head unit specifically for the satellite interface, and to have it up and running before we head out on a trip later this month. Well, there's no hope for that, no indication when the adapter will ship, and I still was charged for the parts which have not arrived.

    I am sorely disappointed in Crutchfield, as I could have purchased this unit elsewhere, but thought I would get everything in one place.

    I give the radio (so far) 5 stars for performance and features (though I obviously don't know how well the Sirius tuner will work) but I give Crutchfield 1 star for service and communication. (average: 3 stars.... but the radio really seems decent so this probably isn't fair to JVC)
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    4 out of 5

    Great product.

    Written By Karsten, St. Louis, MO on Tuesday, March 04, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installed the receiver into my wife's 2003 Tiburon. All parts and diagrams were supplied by Crutchfield for the install. Easy. JVC receiver fits perfectly into the double-DIN slot and sounds great. Good clarity and bass supply. Controls are easy for my wife to use, too. Only problem is that the sound decreases when an Ipod is connected into the auxiliary in the front. Great product though! Would buy it again.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Excellent Value

    Written By alan, Central California on Sunday, March 02, 2008
     
    This is a review of my overall experience in addition to a review of the hardware. Purchased this head unit from Crutchfield to replace the factory cheapo Clarion in a 2008 Nissan Frontier. Crutchfield service was superb, same as it was over 30 years ago when I got my first aftermarket in-dash unit from them.



    This unit absolutely rocks from a standpoint of audio quality and features. If you want good sound without an outboard amp and need a double-din unit, this is the way to go. I paired it with some Infinity 6x8's (Reference, not Kappa) and the sound is superb. I did the speaker install myself, and added some sound dampening material which I purchased elsewhere.



    I had originally intended to install the head unit myself, but decided after purchasing that I would have it done by an install pro. Paid a local independent $25 bucks and he did a great job.

    Summary of Review:

    JVC - KWXG500 - 5 Stars
    Crutchfield - 5 Stars

    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    JVC KW-XG500

    Written By baadams52, Raleigh, NC on Monday, February 25, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This head unit is great !!! I installed it in my 2006 Nissan Frontier in about 40 minutes. The sound is awesome even with the factory speakers. I am going to upgrade the speakers an add a small subwoofer under the seat to complete the system.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    JVC KW-XG500

    Written By thea, omaha, ne on Monday, February 18, 2008
     
    This stereo looks and sounds wonderful in my camry. I still have not learned how to use all the features. It sounds great with the factory speakers. Very nice system.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Highly Recommend

    Written By jbecasen, San Diego, Ca on Wednesday, February 13, 2008
     
    This HU is pretty frackin cool. The red lighting is sweet and not too bright and even if it was you can set it to autodim when you turn on the headlights at night. It really does a good job of filling out the stock HU. It was very simple to install. Only took about 1 hour, more or less, and soldered all the wires too. The 'LOUD' setting really brings the speakers to life. I noticed that when I hooked up my ipod to the AUX input, the sound was a little low, BUT you can adjust the gains on the auxiliary out. Seriously, a nice upgrade.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    JVC KW-XG500

    Written By John, Darlington, SC on Monday, February 11, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I installed this into an F-250 Superduty pickup truck. It fit in the double din perfectly. The dash lights up green and this stereo lights up red, but it still looks fine. The receiver seems to made well and is user friendly.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Huge Improvement over Factory System...

    Written By cgodale, Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, February 05, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I recently purchased a new Pontiac Vibe, with the "Monsoon" factory radio. The monsoon name is a misnomer, because even though I paid extra for this system, it sounded mediocre at best, and totally lacked the high end of the sound spectrum. After much research, I decided the most important factor in a replacement system was that it had to be double din to fill the very prominent space on the Vibe's dash... Next, I wanted the Ipod hookup. And third, HD Radio. Unfortunately, I could not find a unit in double din that had built-in HD radio. I saw a Kenwood that had HD Radio expandability, but it had too many bad reviews, so I avoided it. I trusted what everyone said about this particular JVC unit, and went ahead with it. Wise choice. I am very critical about car sound systems, and this goes way back to the mid 70s, when I was the only kid in high school who had a power booster and graphic equalizer....Nothing kills the driving experience more than a bad sound system. While this is not the best system I've ever had, I have to say I am very satisfied with the sound. It really kicks, with plenty of bass and high end. My Vibe is a bit noisy, but this system does a great job in filling the cabin with crystal clear sound. Almost no distortion at all. The white/red scheme goes perfectly with my car's dash lights.
    My only criticism is with the installation kit. It is very, very cheap. The two side brackets are very difficult to snap into the front plastic space filler. And speaking of that, they make you retrofit this for double din by cutting out the thin middle piece with a knife, and filing the edges.....that's bogus. They should supply the proper piece. The installation was not difficult, but just took longer than necessary because of this cheap installation kit. Once you get it all together, then you have to saw off the extra taps on the side of the bracket. You have to be very careful to avoid cutting off the wrong tabs. I was holding my breath the whole time, because one false move, and the thing would crack and become useless.
    Also, you defenitely can purchase this system cheaper from other sources--in some cases, a lot cheaper. I went with Crutchfield because of their reputation for standing behind their products, and free tech support. I think this is well worth the extra bucks you'll pay.
    3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Love your music again!

    Written By Ken, Boston, MA on Monday, February 04, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Replaced factory stereo in 2005 Ford Explorer - less than one hour to install from box to music. 5+ stars on the Crutchfield side - fast shipment, easy-to-read instructions, rapid install with included wiring harness and trim kit - nothing short of superb. Concerning the radio - never thought that music could sound so good in my truck. Radio is very sleek looking and looks nice in the dash - almost a perfect fit in the double opening with only a small trim ring needed (included for free) - the radio does not have a space to attach the rear mount, but it sat on the support rail perfectly so no problem (double check your car model to see if this will cause a problem).
    PROS: nice red backlight for the radio controls (doesn't kill your night vision), nice large display (albeit too few characters - however display scrolls), 18 preselects for each audio source, aux inputs on front and back, good control of music quality through EQ settings including a 'Loud' setting that makes your music sound amazing.
    CONS: My music sounds so good that I am now on a quest to further improve it by changing out my speakers!

    Love the radio-wish I hadn't waited so long to make the change
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Quality stereo at a very reasonable price

    Written By Mike, Orange County, CA on Thursday, January 31, 2008
     
    Finding a reasonably priced double din stereo at my local electronic stores was becoming a severe hassle, so I figured I'd check out this site. My fiance bought me this stereo to replace my 2003 Tacoma factory stereo and it really amazed me. This stereo, in my opinion, is excellent all around. The controls are easy to deal with, and I liked the fact that there wasn't a sea of tiny little buttons covering the whole entire face. Sound quality is amazing, even with the factory speakers I can see a big difference. I also like the aux input for hooking up an iPod. Definately well worth the money!
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    JVC KW-XG500

    Written By Jason, chicago on Thursday, January 31, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Very nice unit! I Installed this in my '04 gmc canyon in less than an hour. Much better sound and features than the original factory setup. Fills up the double DIN opening with no gaps. Although you do need the mounting kit a few modifications are necessary but it only involves pulling a few plastic tabs off and cutting the center strip off I used a pocket knife,very simple. The wiring was very easy as well a few wires for navagation are not used, but buying the gmos-01 adapter is a must. The sound and quality are great. Hopefully the cd's will never get stuck! Thats why I replaced the factory unit in the first place.
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    5 out of 5

    Great replacement

    Written By kvrdave, WA on Wednesday, January 30, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I had a stock radio in my 2006 Ford F-250. It was pretty poor and basic. What I really wanted was just a good solid Double Din receiver so that everything looked good. I just don't like the look of a single din in a double din place. Crutchfield instructions were great, as always. But this was a breeze to put in. Fit perfectly, and looks like it belongs there, instead of being something added on. All the features are great and what you would expect. The aux jack in the front is perfect for my needs, If I had it all to do over again, I would do the same thing.
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    4 out of 5

    toyota avalon upgrade

    Written By Kevin, Bay Area, CA on Sunday, January 27, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    We wanted a CD player in our Avalon so decided to upgrade from the factory radio to this unit. Since the Avalon has a factory amp, we needed a special adapter which Crutchfield supplied. The unit works well and the only reason I did not give it 5 stars is that it does not include HD FM. (It was not advertised to include HD, but I expect all "new" radios to include it by now.) We also like the front panel AUX input and use it to connect to an iPOD. We prefer using the iPOD instead of a different interface to select music so the AUX input works well for us.
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    5 out of 5

    Nice Double DIN Unit

    Written By Mark, Houston, Tx. on Saturday, January 26, 2008
     
    Excellent unit! Installed one several months ago in my 02 WRX so I've had plenty of time to "live with it". Definitely a nice step up from the factory unit. Only 2 minor complaints: (1) front mount USB physically a little low in relation to dash. Someone can bump into USB flash drive & possibly break when getting into passenger seat. To be fair, this is an issue of radio placement specific to my car but something to think about. Given a choice, I'd opt for rear mount USB and keep flash drive in glove box out of sight from thieves. (2) Accessing setup menu. Menu is fine but I always forget how to get into it (which buttons to push). Otherwise, I really dig this unit and I'd definitely buy again. The unit fills up the double din space nicely...no filler tray needed. Buttons are in good locations, easy to find & operate. Putting your music on a flash drive is THE only way to go....forget the CDs or even DVDs....flash drives are faster than DVD data and no moving parts (i.e. no skipping). Access time on an 8 GB drive is much quicker than expected. I never notice read time when I first turn radio on or insert drive although there is a lag time of approx. 10 seconds. But once in memory, song access is as fast as a CD if not faster..especially moving from folder to folder..no CD to shuffle. The unit will even remember where it was if you pull out the drive or shut the car off with the drive running...even though manual says not to. Another really nice feature is the ability to control subwoofer frequency and level. Gone are the days of constantly tweaking the amp controls. Overall, I highly recommend this unit.
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    5 out of 5

    Awesome Radio

    Written By Eric, Cumberland Gap,TN on Sunday, January 20, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a great Radio. I bought it for my Nissan Frontier (06). It went in perfect and was actually very easy. I bought it for the aux. input and because i didn't want the plastic dash fill in around the single din radios. i would recommend this radio to anyone.
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    5 out of 5

    Nice Reciver

    Written By Steve, Long Island , NY on Sunday, January 13, 2008
     
    I just installed this JVC unit in my 2006 Mustang. This replaced the Shaker 500
    system. I was more suprised then I expected to be. The sound quality on the JVC
    is so much better even with the stock speakers. I can now connect my XM radio into
    the front aux input or swap to my Ipod when ever I feel like . All with CD quality
    sound. I did the swap my self and the wiring harness and mounting kit were perfect.
    So were the instructions. I had one wiring question during the install and the
    Cruchfield tech walked me right thru it. Highly recommed this unit if your looking
    for a double din size receiver.
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    5 out of 5

    JVC KW-XG500

    Written By Charlie, San Francisco, Ca on Friday, October 05, 2007
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great product for the money paid. This headunit has so much to offer. You could use it just as a headunit or you could actually develop a decent sound system for your car. It has more than the basics in order for you to create a decent system.
    It is very easy to use and the greatest thing is it is capable of being integrated into the steering wheel's audio controls.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Car Stereo System

    Written By swhicker, Shelby, NC on Wednesday, July 25, 2007
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this system for my '04 Nissan Xterra. I bought it mainly because it would fit my console with out any additional modificiation. I also like the fact that it has an aux. input on the face and the power it puts out with out the addition of an amp. I am by no means an audiofile, but I do enjoy a good quality soung in my sound sytems. This one fits the bill. I am very pleased with it and the easy of installation. Crutchfield's wiring diagram made installation a snap. I spliced the factory wires on the back of the system to the free wiring harness that Crutchfield included and then simply snapped it in, bolted it in and everything worked perfectly. I very seldom install car stereos. In fact the last one I installed was over 10 years ago for my wife's car. Installation in those days consisted of connecting 4 or 5 wires (at most). With today's sophisticated systems I was a little leary of taking on a project like that on my own. After pricing installation with a local car audio installer, I felt obligated to try it on my own. Crutchfield was extremely helpful when I called them (twice). They provided very simple solutions that worked both times. You don't have to be affraid to buy a car stereo from Crutchfield and install it on your own because you aren't alone. Crutchfield will help you with every step.

    As far as the Jthis JVC systems goes...LOVE IT! Works great! Great sound! Excactly what I wanted at a great price.
    16 out of 17 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Solved my problems

    Written By Shad, Baton Rouge, LA on Monday, July 16, 2007
     
    I have a 2006 Nissan Altima. I got this unit for the double din size that fits nicely in the dash. I mainly use it to listen to my 80 gig iPod. Got a monster aux cable to plug right into the aux input on the front of the unit. It sounds great and I can still use the iPod controls to get to my 8,400 songs quickly. I found most of the connections that use the dock port disable the iPod controls and you are left fumbling around on the head unit to search for songs. For me, it was tedious as I have become quite adept at the use of the click wheel.
    Also, the tuner is great and the display is large and easily readable even in the sunlight. It has options to automatically dim when you turn the lights on for night driving which is convenient. This unit also put a lot more kick in my already great sounding Altima factory speakers. Loaded with custom settings for sounds and functionality. The manual is easy to read and had my unit customized in minutes. I had this professionally installed so I cannot comment on the ease of installation. But, they had me in and out in a half hour.
    Bottom line...It solved my problems with iPod integration and filled the double din slot perfectly vacated by my factory stereo.
    Great features, great look, incredible sound, this is a quality JVC product I highly recommend.
    12 out of 12 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Double-DIN Bang for the Buck

    Written By Neil, Boston, MA on Thursday, July 12, 2007
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I finally broke down and purchased an aftermarket head unit for my Ford F-150. I'd installed a P.I.E. interface with the stock head unit which I used to attached my Microsoft Zune to listen to MP3s, but I missed having MP3 CDs to listen to for hours on end without the hastle of connecting and reconnecting externals.

    My JVC KW-XG500 provided all this and more. Installation was an absolute snap! The unit also includes a 1/8" jack that I can use to attach the Zune should I feel the need.

    AM/FM sensitivity and selectivity is outstanding. The large display shows title/track & artist and can be seen quite clearly even in bright sunlight. The user's manual is intuitive and well-organized.

    This unit is highly recommended. The only feature I'd like to have is a removable face plate.
    35 out of 35 people found this helpful
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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the JVC KW-XG500, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_105KWGX500/JVC-KW-XG500.html ).