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Kenwood KDC-BT742U

CD receiver (New Stock)

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  • Kenwood KDC-BT742U

    Front

  • Kenwood KDC-BT742U

  • Kenwood KDC-BT742U

    Remote

Item #: 113BT742U
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Kenwood KDC-BT742U

by Loren Barstow
Kenwood

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.

Kenwood built the KDC-BT742U CD receiver to keep you in touch with the outside world, without taking your attention away from driving. Bluetooth™ connectivity, designed for Kenwood by industry leader Parrot, gives you safe, hands-free calling with your compatible phone. The receiver mutes the music for an incoming call, then you speak through the built-in microphone while listening to your caller over your car speakers.

Keep it simple for your iPod®
The front panel tells the whole story — one large jog dial, simple controls, and two inputs, both illuminated so you can find them easily at night. Plug your iPod® into the USB input, and an advanced "dual search function" lets you skip through your song lists quickly, either alphabetically or by jumping through your files in 10% increments. You'll see artist and song info on the bright 13-character fluorescent display.

Read more

More entertainment sources
You can plug your MP3 player or any other audio source into the minijack auxiliary input. Discover out-of-this-world radio by hooking up a Kenwood satellite radio tuner, or connect an HD Radio™ tuner for enhanced reception and additional programming from participating AM and FM stations. CD fans can load up a multi-disc changer for long-playing road trips.

Sound quality is key
Whatever you listen to, the KDC-BT742U offers an extensive set of soundshaping features. A built-in digital processor includes EQ settings designed specifically for iPod, a compressor for highway driving, and digital time alignment, along with advanced equalization and frequency filter functions. Three sets of preamp outputs make it easy to connect and control outboard amps.

A wireless remote allows your passengers to pick the entertainment without bothering the driver. Kenwood's "Short-cut" function gets you to your favorite iPod selection, radio station, or phone number with one touch of a button — you can set up to six shortcuts.

iPod 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.

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.

Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD player with built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • built-in Parrot Bluetooth technology
    • one wire iPod hookup — search files alphabetically or by jumping
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • detachable face
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (6 EQ curves and a 3-band equalizer)
    • digital signal processor with compression, time alignment, iPod EQ, Supreme+ feature (restores highs in digital music files)
    • high- and low-pass filters for speaker and preamp outputs
    • subwoofer level controls
    Expandability:
    • built-in Bluetooth and iPod controls — no iPod adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • compatible with Kenwood satellite radio, HD Radio tuner, CD changer
    • inputs: front USB input, front auxiliary input
    • outputs: 6-channel 2.5-volt preamp outputs (front, rear, subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

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

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant No
    RMS Power Output 22 watts
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs No
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2.5 volts
    Display Color Blue
    Key Button Color Blue
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Yes
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Expandability
    AUX Input Front and Optional Rear
    USB Input Front
    Memory Card Slot USB Memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready Both
    HD Radio Optional
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/Nano1
    Touch Touch3/Touch2/Touch1
    Mini No
    iPhone Phone/Phone3G/Phone3GS
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • AM/FM/CD receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis
    • Sleeve
    • Face
    • Trim ring
    • Wiring harness
    • RC-547 Wireless remote
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • Soft fabric face case
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Back support screw
    • Instruction Manual (Eng/Spa/Fre)
    • Warranty Card
    • "Attention" sheet (taped to unit)

    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.

    Overview: The Kenwood KDC-BT742U AM/FM CD receiver features a detachable face, front auxiliary and USB input, three pairs of 2.5-volt preamp outputs, CD changer and Satellite Radio ready controls and built-in iPod operation, as well as MP3/WMA playback. The unit also features built-in Bluetooth operation with an integrated microphone. In addition, the CD player comes with an IR wireless remote control. The unit's amplifier is rated at 22 watts x 4 channel RMS and 50 watts x 4 channel peak.

    Display Features
    Audio Section
    AM/FM Tuner
    CD Playback
    External Device Connection
    Remote Control

    Features

    Detachable Face: The unit features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The CD player comes supplied with a soft black fabric, draw string face case to protect the detachable face when you have it off the chassis.

    Security Code: You can enter a 4-digit security code which must be used when the unit is removed from the vehicle, or the constant power source is disconnected from the unit. When constant power is restored to the unit, the security code must be entered before the unit becomes operational.

    Text/Title Scroll: The KDC-BT742U will display CD text, Audio file text and Satellite radio text. You can turn the scrolling feature on to scroll longer titles across the screen.

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face/button illumination is "keyed." In addition, while the unit is in Standby mode, you can turn the clock display on or off. When the Clock Display is turned on and the unit is in Standby mode, the Clock Display is also "keyed." Pressing and holding the source button turns the unit off completely.

    Dimmer: The dimmer function will dim this unit's display automatically when the vehicle light switch is turned On when you connect orange/white Illumination wire of this player.

    Audio Section

    Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 7-way rotary volume control that increases and decreases the volume of the stereo from 0 to 35. The rotary knob also controls other audio settings such as Balance, Fader, Bass, Mid, Treble and preset EQ settings. In addition, the rotary knob allows you to scroll through and select your music tracks when the Music Search function is activated.

    Built-In Amp Setting: If you are using external amplifiers to power all of your vehicle's speakers you can turn the unit's built-in amplifier off to enhance the player's preamp output quality.

    3-Sets of Preamp Outputs: The KDC-BT742U features front, rear and subwoofer preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The front, rear and subwoofer preamp outputs are all fixed to the rear chassis of the headunit.

    Dual Zone: The Dual Zone mode allows you to output the Main source and the Auxiliary input separately for the front and rear channels. You can select whether the auxiliary input will play in the front or the rear

    High-Pass and Low-Pass Crossovers: You can set the high-pass crossover frequency for each set of front and rear speakers in your vehicle, as well as the low-pass crossover frequency for your connected subwoofer.

    • Front and Rear High-Pass Crossover: The Front and Rear speakers' high-pass crossover frequency can be independently set to "Through" (full-range), 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz.
    • Subwoofer Low-Pass Crossover: The unit's subwoofer preamp output low-pass crossover frequency can be set to "Through" (full-range), 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 200 Hz.

    Subwoofer Level: Once you have switched the Subwoofer Output to "on" you can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level from the CD receiver. You select levels between -15 to +15.

    Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).

    (DSP) Audio Adjustments: The Kenwood KDC-BT742U offers the following customizable audio adjustments to optimize your music listening experience in your vehicle:

    • Cabin Selection: You can compensate the delay of the sound arrival time by selecting your environment from the following vehicle types - Off (not compensating), Compact (compact car), F-Size (Full-size car), Wagon (Station wagon), Minivan (minivan), SUV (Sport-utility vehicle), and MV-Long (Long minivan).
    • Speaker Setting: You can set the which speakers are being connected and their size and installation position.
      • Front: You can set the Front speakers' location to either Door, On Dash, or Under Dash; and the size of the Front speakers to either Small, Medium, or Large. You can also indicate whether the front speaker features a separate tweeter.
      • Rear: You can set the Rear speakers' location to either Door, Rear Deck, 2nd Row, or 3rd Row; and the size of the Rear speakers to None, Small, Medium, or Large.
      • Subwoofer: You can set the size of the subwoofer connected to the unit's subwoofer preamp output to either None, Small, or Large.
    • Preset Position Setting: According to the listening position, you can select the position from the following settings so that the normal position of the sound environment can be compensated in accordance with the selected position. You can select from the following - All (Not compensating), F-L (Front-Left seat), F-R (Front-Right seat), and F-All (Front seat).
    • DTA (Digital Time Alignment Setting): Choose from 0.00 to 14.44 feet for the Front pair of speakers, Rear pair of speakers and Subwoofer distances in reference to the distance between your listening positioning and the locations of the particular speakers.

    Equalizer Control: Equalizer Control allows you to use one of the System Q presets, or set your own custom settings for the front and back speakers independently, using the 3-band (Bass/Mid/Treble) Equalizer. The EQ adjustments are as follows:

    • System Q Setting: You can select from Natural, Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Game, or User.
    • Equalizer Settings: In the User mode you can manually the headunit's 3-Band (Bass/Mid/Treble) Equalizer settings.
      • Center Frequency: Independent front and rear frequency settings from these 4 bands:
        • Band 1 (Bass): 60Hz, 100Hz, 160Hz, 250Hz, or 400Hz
        • Band 2 (Mid): 630Hz, 1kHz, 1.6kHz, or 2.5kHz
        • Band 3 (Treble): 4kHz, 6.3kHz, 10kHz, or 16kHz
      • Quality Setting: Independent front and rear Q setting of 0.25, 0.50, 1.00, or 2.00
      • Levels: Independent front and rear EQ level of -9dB to +9dB.

    Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store System Q bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (CD, Tuner, Aux, and USB).

    Volume Offset: The level of each source may be independently adjusted to prevent radical leaps in output volume when switching from one source to another. The available settings range from -8 to 0.

    Tel Mute: The KDC-BT742U features a cell-phone mute wire (brown) in its harness that when hooked up to your car's phone system mute wire will automatically mute the receiver's audio signal when a call comes in.

    AM/FM Tuner

    CR-2 Advanced Tuner: This unit uses Kenwood's CR-2 Advanced tuner for clear radio reception. You can choose one of three tuning modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.

    Auto Memory Tuning: Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling. The tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank. You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets.

    Clean Reception System Circuit (CRSC): This circuit controls multi-path distortion by reducing stereo separation. As stereo separation is reduced, multi-path has less effect on the radio signal, improving reception in areas with tall buildings and mountains. The CRSC circuit can be turned on or off.

    Favorite Memory Control: The headunit's Favorite Control feature allows you to save six "Favorites" for easy access. You can select a "Favorite" playlist from your connected iPod, your favorite radio station from the unit's built-in AM/FM tuner or connected Satellite Radio or HD tuner (both sold separately), or a favorite telephone number from your mobile-phone using the unit's built-in Bluetooth technology. This allows you to have instant access your favorite Radio station, telephone number, or iPod playlist from one list on the headunit's display.

    CD Playback

    MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-BT742U can play MP3 and WMA files recorded on CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc should have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder with a maximum of 512 files and folders. During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (Ver.1) information. The headunit will display up to 30 characters.

    CD Force: When there is a problem with playing a CD with a special format, this setting plays the CD by force. Some CDs still may not play in the CD Force mode.

    Music Search: The Kenwood AM/FM CD receiver features a Music Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your MP3/WMA music folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using the headunit's rotary knob.

    Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to the tuner mode while a CD is playing, the next time CD is selected as the source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.

    Off Eject: The KDC-BT742U allows you to eject your disc for 10 minutes after switching off the vehicles engine.

    External Device Connection

    Built-In Bluetooth: The Kenwood KDC-BT742U CD-Receiver features built-in 2.4GHz Bluetooth technology (version 2.0) with a range of 32.8 ft and supports the following profiles: HFP (Hands Free Profile), HSP (Headset Profile), OPP (Object Push Profile), PBAP (Phonebook Access Profile), SPP (Serial Port Profile), and SYNC (Synchronization Profile). The controls of the KDC-BT742U can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call or end a call. The KDC-BT742U can even be setup to automatically answer a call. The unit also features an integrated microphone with adjustable gain on its front panel so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your car's front speakers. During a conversation, you can switch between the Private Mode (talking directly on your cell phone) and the Hands Free Mode. Your cell phone must be paired with the KDC-BT742U before you make and receive calls. You can register up to five cell phones (only one paired phone can be used at a time). You can also wirelessly download the short message (SMS) arrived at your cell-phone so that is can be read on the headunit's display. Using the KDC-BT742U, you can dial a phone number in one of the following ways:

    • Entering a Phone Number: Allows you to directly dial a phone number up to 32 digits.
    • Speed Dialing: Allows you to register up to 6 phone numbers for quick dialing.
    • Phone Book: You can dial by using the downloaded phone book. You can download phone book data from your cell phone to the KDC-BT742U. Up to 1000 numbers can be stored for each registered cell phone. Each number can be up to 32 digits long and each name can be up to 50 characters long. You can search for a number by the initials, or you can search the phone book in alphabetical order.
    • Outgoing Call List: Allows you to dial by using the outgoing call list. Up to 10 phone numbers are stored in the outgoing call list.
    • Incoming Call List: Allows you to dial by using the incoming call list. Up to 10 phone numbers are stored in the incoming call list.
    • Missed Call List: Allows you to dial by using the missed call list. Up to 10 phone numbers are stored in the missed call list.
    • Voice Dialing: If your phone supports voice recognition, then you can dial out by voice command. You can register up to 35 voice tags.

    Note: Visit Kenwood's web site for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-BT742U features a front panel 2.0 USB type-A port that is hidden behind a sliding cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class device with MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (48-192 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with all USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. When your USB device is connected to this unit, it can be charged up provided that the KDC-BT742U is powered on.

    Note: You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.

    iPod Direct: The KDC-BT742U's front-panel USB port also acts as an iPod high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113iP101, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod. Using either cable allows you to connect, control, and charge select iPod models with the KDC-BT742U. The USB connection allows your iPod's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the headunit and sound quality to be maximized through the headunit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to105dB.When your iPod is connected to the KDC-BT742U, you can choose to operate your iPod via the Kenwood headunit's controls or your iPod's click-wheel/touch-screen.  If you select to control your iPod from the KDC-BT742U, the Kenwood headunit will allow you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast (your iPod's click-wheel/touch-screen will be locked in this mode). You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). You can also choose to listen to all songs stored on your iPod at random. The KDC-BT742U will also display your iPod's music file information when in this mode. If you choose to operate your connected iPod via its click-wheel/touch-screen controls, the KDC-BT742U will not display your iPod's music information (the headunit will instead display "iPod MODE") and the Kenwood headunit's controls will no longer operate your iPod. The Kenwood KDC-BT742U is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of Jan. 2010):

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

    Note: Apple firmware updates may change functionality results. You may need to reset your iPod if you download a newer software version.

    Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio receiver to this receiver:

    • SIRIUS Satellite Radio: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SIRIUS Universal Vehicle Tuner (607SCC1) and the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface (113KCASR50); package item number 700SIRKENW, or you can connect the optional KCA-SR50 Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface and the SiriusConnect vehicle docking kit (607SCVDOC1); package item number 700SIRPKEN, along with your compatible SIRIUS Dock & Play receiver.
    • XM Satellite Radio: To receive XM Satellite Radio connect the optional CNP2000UCA XM Tuner and the CNP-KEN1 Kenwood adapter cable (package item number 700XMKEN2).

    Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.

    HD Radio Ready: With an optional Kenwood HD Radio tuner (113KTCHR20 or 113HR300, sold separately), you will be able to receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. This new technology will significantly improve audio quality and reception, as well as include information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display.

    Changer Controls: This unit is directly compatible with Kenwood changers manufactured in 1998 or later. If the changer has an O-N switch, the switch will need to be set to the "N" position. In addition to basic disc navigation features, this unit has the following changer controls: direct disc access (using the remote), direct track access (using the remote), track intro scan, track repeat, disc repeat, disc random, and magazine disc random. When connected to a CD Text capable CD changer, this unit can display disc and track titles for discs encoded with disc and track title information. The text information can be scrolled manually or automatically.

    AUX Input: The KDC-BT742U is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm mini-jack auxiliary input for connecting external portable audio devices such as an MP3 player. The KDC-BT742U allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.

    Rear Auxiliary Input "Ready": The unit already features a front panel auxiliary input, but if you need a second auxiliary input, one can be added to the rear of the unit. When used with an optional adapter, this unit can accept a rear input from an auxiliary source. When the CA-C1AUX adapter (113CAC1AX, sold separately) is used, you cannot connect a CD changer to the head unit because the adapter plugs into the DIN changer control connection on the head unit. When the KCA-S220A 2-changer switch (113KCAS220, sold separately) is used, you can connect a CD changer and an auxiliary audio source at the same time. When an auxiliary audio source is connected, you can choose from one of six names for the source: AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.

    Remote Control

    IR Remote Control: The KDC-BT742U comes with the RC-547 IR wireless remote control with a full numeric keypad. The remote will control Audio, CD, Tuner, Satellite Radio, Dual Zone, and Bluetooth functions. The remote control allows direct access of your music tracks and direct access to discs loaded in a connected CD-changer (sold separately). It is powered by 2 "AA" batteries (supplied). The dimensions of the remote are: L = 5.362", W = 1.962", D = 1.115".

    Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one touch of the button.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The KDC-BT742U has a "steering remote control" lead on the back panel. When used with the optional SWI-JACK interface (127SWIJACK, sold separately), 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 the Crutchfield Vehicle Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.

     
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    Kenwood KDC-BT742U Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    1 out of 5

    I tried to like it.

    Written By Michael, Akron, OH on Thursday, April 14, 2011
     
    This is the unit that ended my relationship with anymore Kenwood products. I had another unit, a simple CD player that was cheap and great. This is a joke. Bought it in Jan. 2009, within a month the WIRING HARNESS WAS BAD! I called Kenwood, they said, "send the harness back and we'll see." REALLY? So luckily it was the same harness as my other Kenwood, Crutchfield was great and sent me another new one on THEIR dime, but taking the dashboard apart wasn't much fun. Then you have how complicated it is to work. Takes forever to learn it all, even then you can't adjust the EQ while playing at the level you like; as you adjust it, the sound is muted, then it blasts you out. NOW the main knob that has WAY TOO MANY FUNCTIONS is broke; the bass in my sub goes in and out! And if you flick it with your finger, it comes back in sometimes. The Bluetooth is useless. I never had one conversation that didn't end up going back to just using the phone. It just let you know someone was calling and you sounded like you were in a tin can. I'll never buy any built in Bluetooth mic on any unit. Not Crutchfield's fault.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    1 out of 5

    Definitely NOT HandsFree

    Written By BrendaC, Spring Branch, TX on Wednesday, August 25, 2010
     
    Far too complicated for car stereo. You can barely change stations without
    having an accident since the controls are so so difficult to use. Unless you
    are a set-it and forget-it type person, you'll drive yourself crazy - if not off
    into a ditch - trying to use this thing!!

    Hands free operation is non existent since the microphone is such poor quality
    that no one can hear you when you try to answer the phone using the bluetooth
    feature. You end up with a much greater distraction trying to override the
    Kenwood unit as the default audio source to answer your call. The auto mute of
    the stereo when a call comes in is actually the most useful aspect of the
    bluetooth connectivity.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    4 out of 5

    know something about this before you buy it!

    Written By j, detroit, michigan on Thursday, August 19, 2010
     
    you must know something about the kenwood menu before you go toying with this radio. the manual that came with it tells you nothing. you need to find someone that knows where your speakers need to be set, hz and all that jazzy stuff. after you have all your settings set to your liking this stereo is worry free. change your battery or your battery dies and most of your settings remain. throw the manual away. everything you need to adjust while driving is on the remote. the bluetooth might work a little better if you adjust the settings on that also. people stop whining and learn your stereo.
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Don't waste your time or money...

    Written By Jerry, San Antonio, TX on Monday, August 02, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Really has no redeeming qualities, other than the fact it's cheap. The bluetooth sounds great while you're sitting still, but picks up a lot of noise when the car is in motion. Sort of renders it useless. On top of that, the audio controls are non-existent. You can adjust the fade, balance, and sub-woofer output, but that's it. No bass, no treble, nothing. All things considered, spend a little more and get a better stereo.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    1 out of 5

    Is this somebody's idea of a joke?

    Written By bill30189, Woodstock, GA on Saturday, March 13, 2010
     
    I'll take everyone else's word for the sound quality, I haven't figured out how to tweak it to my liking. What ever happened to bass and treble control? I've spent 2 hours over three sessions and still don't have any pre-set radio stations, except for the one I asked the installer to program. He commented on how complicated this unit was. I wanted the bluetooth feature but after reading the comments and trying to set it up myself (with no luck) I've decided to return this unit Monday morning and eat the $55.00 I paid for installation.
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    4 out of 5

    Almost Great

    Written By no, Baltimore, MD on Monday, January 25, 2010
     

    I have had the unit installed for about a week. I love the look and the clean sound. The amp in it is much better than the factory Explorer amp which I bypassed. I like the sound field and sound quality adjustability. This unit is good for us tweakers. EQ and crossover are welcome features. It has everything you would need and much more. The scrolling display shouldn't be a distraction to anybody. If so turn it off!
    The only problem is that it has so many options, and does so much, that accessing it is a pain. I recommend familiarizing yourself with it BEFORE you hit the road. learning on the fly with this unit is dangerous and frustrating. This is what kept it from being great and getting that fifth star. Keep the manual handy because it will be awhile before all the functions and how to navigate become second nature.
    I'm using an iPhone 3G with the bluetooth. Most people say they hear me clear. One said I sounded terrible. One said it sounded better than my Plantronics/Altec Lansing 903 Backbeat earphone headset. It all boils down to the noise level in your car. Quiet car good quality. The mic on the unit is good so it picks up the noise in a loud car especially in the rain. I haven't yet experimented with the mic gain level to see if it makes a difference.
    So all-in-all it's a very good unit. All works as it should. It has loads of useful features and looks and sounds great. In time the operation will be second nature and my only complaint will no longer be valid.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Terrible device - don't buy if you own a 2000-current Chrysler

    Written By Craig, Parker, CO on Sunday, January 24, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I purchased this radio 3 weeks ago, and due to the OEM harness adapter being back ordered, just installed it this weekend. I will say everything worked, just not well. The bluetooth is scratchy just sitting in my driveway, with the person on the other end of the call barely being able to distinguish words. The sound quality was terrible, no amount of fussing with the very difficult menus could adjust the EQ to a level that did not sound totally tinny. The majority of the audio adjustments are available only on other models in this series - non BT*** models.

    In Crutchfield's defense, they are shipping me a different unit, and only charging me the difference in the price of the head units. I will definitely shop with Crutchfield again.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Good except for Bluetooth

    Written By wetpaperbag, St. Louis, MO on Sunday, December 13, 2009
     
    Everything except the Menu and Bluetooth was awesome about this radio. I had to take 2 stars away though because :

    1 - The menu is horrible and takes quite some time getting used to maneuvering.

    2 - The Bluetooth is AWFUL.. I installed it in a 2001 Dodge Ram truck and the callers on the other end said it sounded like I was in a tunnel underwater. It actually sounded better when I just answered from the phone and had the audio go through the stereo.
    (I'm using a Motorola Droid)

    Sound quality and everything else was real nice. Just those two gripes. I'm going with an Alpine that has a remote Bluetooth Microphone, and it's $20 cheaper (if you compare the prices on here).
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Horrible, user unfriendly, hands free terrible

    Written By mishmosh1970, Santa Cruz, CA on Saturday, November 07, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit is horribly complicated to use and the manual is also terrible. Even the simplest tasks such as changing channels are so unintuitive that this radio is actually a hazard to operate while driving. They need to learn a little something about human factors engineering. Forget trying to use the iPhone through the USB interface, it's totally buggy and will sometimes cause the iPhone to reboot for no apparent reason. It's better to use the iPhone with the aux interface, especially if you like to play music from anything other than iTunes. In addition, the unit has all sorts of distracting and dangerous flashing lights and patterns that can be hazardous while driving.
    4 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Bluetooth is terrible

    Written By rlbccb, Atlanta, GA on Sunday, October 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I purchased this product solely to get the bluetooth option. The receiving portion works OK but the microphone does not work. After trying every setting and getting tired of screaming just to hear the person on the other end complain about not hearing me, I have given up. This produce is worthless for bluetooth.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Nice sound but there are issues!

    Written By Glenn, Layton, UT on Monday, September 21, 2009
     
    Bought this receiver to replace the factory stereo on a '00 Honda Odyssey,
    honestly if I knew would have chosen the Sony MEX-BT3700 or Pioneer
    DEH-P710BT instead for its superior display settings manipulation and
    manual. RMS power of 22watts X 4 channel of this HU and cheaper price
    sway me to buy it. Most of the electronics I bought over the years were
    easy to set up/operate with very minimal assistance from the manual. But
    this head unit blows me away, deciphering the display settings and manual
    was frustrating. First time set up I was scratching my head, clueless and
    flustered, whoever design the controls and wrote the manual must have
    been sleeping or drunk. I spent two days poring over the manual and
    tinkering with the HU, still only able to set it up/customized it half way.
    Bluetooth handsfree call and operation works good although I could not
    get to add my wife's cell phone a Samsung Exclaim and my Motorola Q9C
    phone book won't download to the unit. Overall the HU sounds good and
    unit aesthetics looks nice but failed miserably in executions, confusing
    manual, basic/complex basic operations and settings.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Hands free doesn't work well; complicated

    Written By Michael, Akron, OH on Thursday, September 17, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I usually give the benefit of doubt to the equipment, figuring it must've passed the test with someone. Like many, I too have been told I sound like I'm talking in a tin can and unless I'm sitting still with no engine noise, people can't hear me very well. I can usually understand them, but the bluetooth has a lot to be desired. It's also hard to use on the road, even after you figure out how to work everything. The volume/everything else knob, has way too many uses, making it difficult to adjust while on the road. The slightest bump and your on a different function, it takes way too long to get back to the main screen; you think your turning the volume down and find yourself adjusting the the EQ or something. Needs a back to home button or something. But again, the more you get used to it, the easier. The sound quality is fantastic; compared to a cheaper Kenwood unit I replaced. However, like many other aspects, it's very complicated to adjust. I have the HD radio unit and often find that it has the same reception as a non-HD unit. When it loses the signal, it goes quiet until it gets the signal again. When it does have a good signal, it sounds well, it may also be that my anntenna is cheap. Overall, I don't think I'd buy it again; I'd get a separate hands free device. However, I'll stick with it and hope for the best. Except for the hands free, it works well once you have it adjusted properly.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Not for a oldtimer

    Written By Anonymous, Columbus,MS on Friday, September 04, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Love the sound quality BUT!!! Watch out for the manual, it will have you flipping a lot of pages and scratching your head. Get a highlighter pen. Make sure you turn OFF the DEMO MODE. It is your 1st lesson in how to use this thing. Hint ! once you hit the SEARCH button , you choose your CONDITION (Tuner,HDR,SAT,iPOD,AF2,AF1,DISC,CH,SB- on/off,2ZONE,FM,AUX) which are the funny icons next to the page #,with the SRC button. At 1st , I thought it was missing a lot of the MENU, until I put it in the right CONDITION. Then I found them. This manual is not very user friendly, but with some patience and preserverence, and a lot of fooling around , you will eventually figure it out. Hint, get a notebook and take notes of your actions, for they are probably not listed in the manual, and if they are you will save yourself a lot page flipping.Thank goodness the display stays on when you are trying to program and flip through the book. GEE, I just learned how to do the Clock while writing this. I haven't even got near the Bluetooth yet, but hey Crutchfield does have a tech support team. But look at the bright side , the price is right and when you get through figuring out how to use it, you will be ready for the next generation. Wish it had a "UFO" mode, where you can push a button and turn into a UFO, that would be great during rush hour. Good Luck and Welcome to New Age Electronics and there Engineers.
    3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Awesome Sound Quality

    Written By Christopher, Philadelphia, PA on Sunday, August 23, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is hands down the best sounding stereo I have ever owned. However, the other reviews on this stereo are correct. The manual is pretty confusing, and thats mostly because it covers the operations of two other Kenwood models. If it were a dedicated manual strictly for the KDC-BT742U it would not be that bad. As for the sound quality, it is amazing. Cd's, Ipod, Satellite radio, and HD radio all sound great. I havn't tried linking my cell phone yet, but I am confident I will have no problem in doing so. For the money this thing has a ton of features and as I mentioned before, great sound. It was pretty easy to instal(it took less than 45 minutes). My only suggestion is to leave the factory settings alone until you get the basic operations down, and then tackle the more advanced functions one at a time until you get the unit dialed in to your accoustical taste.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Wouldn't Buy Again

    Written By Jamey R, Eldridge, IA on Friday, July 10, 2009
     
    Installed in my sons '92 T-Bird with some Kicker 5X7's. The overall sound
    quality of the tuner, CD and IPOD is great but the controls are horrendous!
    Way too complicated for any kind of adjustments unless you're parked in
    the driveway with plenty of free time and have a degree in Electronics
    Engineering. The manual reads like a DOS program, "if you want do X, than
    go to Y". Whatever happened to volume, fade, balance, bass and treble?
    Also, although the Bluetooth quickly paired with my sons phone, the hands-
    free quality is poor at best. Next time, I'll go with Pioneer.
    9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Not worth it

    Written By KHutch, NJ on Tuesday, June 23, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installation of this unit was not hard at all but when it came to actual use this is one the worse user experiences I have ever had. The menu paths are very illogical. Without the manual you can spend hours trying to find certain settings such as bluetooth settings. Even controling your ipod via headunit is cumbersome. When I connected via bluetooth with my iphone and made calls no one could even hear me. I eventually just stopped using it. Even worse after 2 months it would not connect via bluetooth. My phone showed that I was connected but the headunit would not connect. I assume I probably have to reset the headunit to fix this but I haven't had time to look at manual to find out how to do a reset. The sound quality is alright and connectivity via usb or aux for my iphone has worked fine, but with the experience of going through this menu daily to make simple changes its hard for me to even think about the sound quality.
    5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Sounds Good but Handsfree

    Written By Gary, Houston Texas on Sunday, June 21, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Bought it for the built in blue tooth and the USB controller. The stereo itself sounds great and the controls aren't as bad as some have stated. The bluetooth is a different story however. I can hear just fine those who call me but they cant understand me hardly at all. Sounds like we are in a tin can. I have tried all kinds of adjustments that are available and it it is stull pretty much useless. If I want to add bluetooth handsfree calling to my car, it is going to be obviously with a separate unit. If you don't catch it, there is NO external mic for the unit. The one in the front of the stereo does not function very well.

    Installed in a 2003 Acura MDX
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Delivers!!!

    Written By Greg, Muskegon, MI on Sunday, June 21, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This stereo is my first Bluetooth head unit! The Bluetooth works flawlessly with an Altel Motorola Razr v3a. I have no external amps except the 10 + year old 100 watt Kenwood powered subwoofer. I chose this unit based on the 22 watt RMS, which is higer than most of the others. I have factory speakers in a Ford Taurus. This unit has created a sound stage that I've never heard from those speakers. I disconected the sub and it drives my speakers with authority! Awesome subwoofer adjustments also. I like the DTA function which corrects the distance difference between the speakers. I like all the speaker / EQ settings available, and feel that Kenwood units are far superior than the competition.

    The only thing I don't like is the owners manual, which seams to skip back and forth a lot. It had functions listed first and well after (maybe a page or five) how to access / set those functions. Frustrating!! I have been a fan of Kenwood for several years and this is my fourth Kenwood head unit, therefor I know how several sound settings work. This is the first with a poorly laid out manual. Maybe someone important (Bill Crutchfield!) could suggest Kenwood improve their manuals!! I feel that a new Kenwood owner would be lost for several days with the current manual.

    I would have gave a five star rating here, which is what this head unit is, however for the manual issue I am deducting a star! Overall, I do recomend this head unit, maybe they'll improve the manual!!
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT742U

    Written By ajteez, lake ozark, MO on Wednesday, June 10, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    killer eq options and great xover. lots of extras for all the nerds like me. no regrets.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Forget it!

    Written By Sherm, Kamuela, HI on Tuesday, May 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Dreadful manual. Illogical, unintuitive interface. Selecting functions requires using a single knob - either pushing, turning, pushing up, down, left or right; doing this while driving and not inadvertently pushing it in the wrong direction is nearly impossible. Selecting a preset station requires 3 steps. Making a "speed dial" call takes 6 steps and requires concentrating on a hard to decipher display! It would be safer to use two handheld cellphones simultaneously than to try using the hands-free functions on this unit while driving. Bluetooth works OK, so receiving calls is easy. If you want to make calls, however, pull over and park or dial the number using the remote - use one hand held device to replace another hand held device.

    FM reception significantly worse than 4Runner factory unit. Tuner doesn't have a scan function (except to automatically enter the 6 strongest stations as presets), so you can't scan to find stations. Didn't a scan function became standard on car radios 25 years ago? Looking for the next station involves pushing the dial left or right once for each step on the dial. Even if you have memorized the manual, it's unlikely that you'll be able to talk a passenger through procedures which would be too dangerous for the driver to attempt.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Walk away

    Written By Nemy, EL Paso Texas on Monday, May 04, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    OMG.. If you love to carry a manual and flip through page 3 to be referred to page to go back to page 67.. Then have at it.. Yeah this stereo has alot of options but with the limited controls you would have to live in your car to master it. I almost miss my factory stereo. ANd if you want your girlfriend and friends to hate your stereo and ease of use or lack of ease of use. Yes it sounds great. yes it was easy to install, yes it looks great, and yes you probably will grow to hate it.. Walk away walk away walk way ... Or memorize the manual...
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Would never Buy again

    Written By Al, Seattle, Wa on Tuesday, April 28, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this for its Bluetooth capability, what a disappointment. The people on the other end cannot understand me even with my mouth down by microphone on receiver. The one knob for all setup features is a joke. It is diffcult at best. I would never recomend this product to anyone.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Bad Bluetooth, nice music

    Written By Andrea, Seattle, WA on Sunday, April 19, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I purchased this unit when it first came out & spent the first 2 months in contact with Kenwood tech support trying to find out why the Bluetooth wouldn't pair with my Verizon LG Voyager 10000x. 2 months & no fix. The techs said that all the blackberrys worked with this unit & they've had no problems, so I recently went ahead & upgraded to the Blackberry Storm 9530 because I was tired of waiting for something (nothing) to happen with a Voyager fix. I went to try to pair it yesterday for the first time, excited I finally had a phone that was "compatible" with the unit. When I called my dad, he could not hear me, saying it sounded like I was talking from the backseat into the phone & that they could hear most of the car sounds as well. So, essentially I have a regular in-dash receiver unit that I can't use Bluetooth with (the biggest reason I purchased it, along with the front USB/Aux inputs). Called tech support again & was told that it should work bc it's a BB but try another one instead. My friend had a BB Curve 8330 & seemed to have a little better sound but still doesn't help me b/c now I have a Storm. Tech support says all that I can do is wait & see if & when they come out with an upgrade (oh btw, that's an indefinite thing. They never know when or if the firmware upgrades are coming out) Save yourself the time, money & hassle by maybe spending a little more on a unit that would actually perform how it is supposed to. I'm extremely disappointed with this purchase.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT742U

    Written By mark, rocky hill, ct on Friday, April 17, 2009
     
    installed perfectly into my f150, sounds great, hard to understand directions, i mainly baught it for the built in bluetooth, nearly impossible to setup the bluetooth and then when you use it the other person sounds great with the speakers but to them you sound like your bairly recognizable, i wouldn't recomend this to a person until kenwood fixes the problem with the bluetooth mic.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Lots of features

    Written By Adrian, Memphis, TN on Friday, April 17, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Sounds great and has lots of features. Keep the handbook handy, I still don't have the hang of everything it can do. Wish it had more buttons on the face. It looks sleek but a few more buttons would make functionality a lot easier. Bluetooth works but I don't have the gain and NR dialed in just right yet, people are having a hard time understanding me. Works great with iPhone.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Good for music, bad for phone

    Written By DaveW, Virginia Beach, VA on Wednesday, April 15, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Easy install into my Matrix, it is a difficult unit to figure out settings wise but once you get the hang of it it's not bad. Paired my iPhone 3G with the unit for hands-free talking and person on other sounds great but to them I sound "tinny", "distant" and "garbled". Tried every gain and noise reduction setting for the mic and nothing helps. Called Kenwood and all they suggested was buying another unit that had an external mic?!?! Would not buy again. All I can use bluetooth for is to know when I get a call, which is useless.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT742U

    Written By Charles, Savannah, Ga on Saturday, April 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Awesome stereo, Instructions are TERRIBLE, luckily the factory setup was just what i needed so no problems there. only gripe is that i have to almost yell at my callers so they can hear me. I can hear them just fine. Apparently there a few settings that will correct this but like i said the Instructions are TERRIBLE, so i am having to figure it out on my own.

    Only other problem is that my older IPod will not work with the stereo link wish that the basic info had said that. Oh well i wanted to buy a new IPOD anyway.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Not What I Expected

    Written By Mike, Minneapolis, MN on Friday, April 10, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have had this unit in now for about a week and I am still trying to figure out some things. I manual is terrible as many state here. I'm usually pretty good at these things but this one is quite the challenge. My 2008 Ford Econoline 350 van has a somewhat noisy and rough ride. I find it very unsafe to try to use the joystick or other functions while driving. It is very touchy and hard to operate. The built-in bluetooth hands-free feature was one of the biggest reasons I purchased this unit and, so far, I can not get it set to where others can hear me well enough to use it on a regular basis. This is very disappointing. The navigation of the controls are taking some getting used to after many hours of fumbling around. I think Kenwood could have done a much better job here. The iPod control is pretty cool. This was the other feature I really wanted in a system. I like the interface but so far I have not figured out how to get into "shuffle" mode. I do not like that the clock is not displayed unless the info setting is disabled. I will probably get a clock to stick on my dash to solve that problem.

    This unit has some disappointments but it is a step up from my factory radio. With a little patience and about a year of messing around with it, hopfully I will learn to like it more.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    too complicated. should have got a better one

    Written By brian, philly on Tuesday, April 07, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    i bought this head unit because it had a usb for my memory stick. also it had 3 rca output jacks. i didnt know it was going to be so hard to adjust everything. i have always been a fan of kenwood and never bought any other brand. im very disappointed in this unit. you get what you pay for
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Horrible manual; outstanding product.

    Written By Stephen, Burlington, NJ on Sunday, April 05, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I read the other reviews and figured I could deal with a poor manual, but it's horrible. The folks at Kenwood really need to overhaul their technical writers. The unit gets 5 stars, the manual gets 1 star, and together they get 3 stars.

    I picked up the Crutchfield wiring harness and front bezel. Expect to spend an hour or so installing the unit in a '96 Dodge Ram. There are numerous settings available to fine tune everything from the speaker locations, to the type of vehicle, and even if a sub-woofer is installed. There are also numerous equalizer pre-sets available. Expect to spend at least one hour walking through the manual and menu as you play with the different settings.

    The radio works well, although the pre-sets are useless because you have to press one button and then turn the all-purpose knob to the appropriate preset number (1-6) and then press that in. It's faster to simply change channels with the remote. The iPod interface was recognized by my iPod Touch G2 and charging is supported. There are a couple of ways to search for music but I don't think anyone can beat the iPod's interface. I haven't tested the CD, but hey, it's a CD.

    Pairing the bluetooth to my phone made my brain hurt (again, the manual). I'm told my voice is a little distant but I can hear the others quite well. The phone book from the phone is downloaded, but it's easier to use it from the phone. You can dial from the remote too.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT742U

    Written By gotobe95bravo, Colorado Springs Co on Monday, March 30, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I love this unit and for the price you cannot beat it. I also got the Blue tooth to work no problem. Yes the instruction are like a foriegn Language however that is not crutchfield fault. But if you call them up they will help so thank you.

    I also found out you can have up to 5 phone on the unit so with my wife and I that is great. I have had no problems talking to everyone.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT742U

    Written By Don, Albuquerque, NM on Saturday, March 21, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Excellent stereo at a very good price. The complaints about the user interface are valid, but sit in there with a sober mind and the instruction manual for a half hour, and you'll have figured out all the feature you need. This unit gives its user an amazing, sometimes extraneous, amount of options and adjustments. Think of it this way, if you don't know what you're doing, leave the factory setting alone, and your radio will sound great.

    Pro's: The CD player doesn't skip like my factory player did, the overall sound quality is at least twice that of my factory stereo, and the price is right. The bluetooth works quite well with the windows up, the USB iPod connection is extremely convenient (don't have to bring the iPod inside to charge it), and the aux input allows my friends to jump in the truck and plug their music in. Installation was easy, and now I have an extra storage bin for the phone and iPod that are plugged in.

    Con's: The iPod control might as well be useless; it's much easier to just hold the iPod and control it (which you can do). User interface is tough to understand. If you crank it to max, you'll blow your factory speakers :-)
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Five stars for a stereo under $250

    Written By Brian, Spokane, WA on Wednesday, March 18, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The reviews are right... but if there is such a thing as a five star stereo for
    under $250 - this is it. Yes, the setup can be complex, but that is a feature
    for some systems and this HU has an umbelievable amount from built in
    crossovers, subwoofer settings, noise reduction and mic gain settings for
    the bluetooth, and many IPOD settings. It is also tricky to figure out the
    sequence of buttons to make every feature work, but after a couple of
    weeks of training that problem is gone. As far as the bad microphone
    goes, all of the reviews for bluetooth mics seem shakey on most stereos I
    have read about. I have a noisy Jeep Wrangler and it works with the hard-
    top on. I won't be using it on the highway with the top down, though.
    Very satisfied for the price.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Decent, but kinda let down

    Written By walker56, Newport News VA on Sunday, March 15, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     

    Great sound, and yes many options....... BUT ... to do something as simple as ajust the bass level, sound in general you need to pull over to figure it out, even then i doubt your doing much , if anything without the manual.

    There is no exageration here, you need the manual for EVERYTHING.....
    Cannot play music from your conected bluetooth device to the reciever, as it seemed it might, a big let down.
    The bluetooth is not worth the extra money over the other model (Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493) It also has higher pre amp output, etc with the cheaper version.
    No att button on the unit, somthing ive learned to love on other units =(
    Ive learned to like this model, but would not recomend it to my Enemies.
    Another Button or 2 for options alone is much needed for this model, the current layout is just too many 3 button sequences, etc.

    ....On the positive side, the USB and Aux in the front completely ROCKS, make folders of various music and your good for hours and hours ! it detects it rather fast, without any delay that you might expect. The USB also dubs as a charger for what ever device you may need to use it for also.

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    4 out of 5

    Easy Bluetooth

    Written By Jere, Dardanelle, AR on Thursday, March 12, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have had numerous Kenwood stereo systems over the last 20 years (as I used to work for a dealer back in the 90's), and this all-in-one iPod controller/bluetooth setup is outstanding. The bluetooth was so easy to set up and use. Takes a bit to get all the parameters set, but once you're there, you're there. I really like the front panel USB connection too, as I needed something easy for my wife to use, and the internal power sounds really good on the factory location speakers. First stereo I've liked without the use of amps.

    The multi-function knob and buttons take some getting used to, and I'm still learning what does what, but all in all, I've really liked this unit.
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    5 out of 5

    Once you figure it out, its great.

    Written By Jaime, Albuquerque NM on Monday, March 09, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This radio has some learning required, I'm in a field of work where I have electronics and computers around me 24/7 and I still had to refer to the manual a few times. I brought the manual inside with the faceplate the first night, and studied it.

    Once you figure out how the major functions work (like the 6 way joystick) and get the configurations configured properly to your liking, its an awesome radio.

    Bluetooth compatibility is GREAT. I live in a city with a mandatory hands free law, but I dont like BT headsets, and most car kits dont automatically turn on and off with the car, so I was finding them staying paired with my phone even with it parked outside my apartment.

    This one is perfect for me, and it works flawlessly with my Blackberry. People who called me said voice quality was great. I have an iPhone, that I use for data and a glorified iPod, and now that this stereo works so well with it, I find i'm listening to that more then my sat radio.

    Yes, its a complicated radio, yes, you actually need to read the manual, but once the major features are programmed to your needs, you find that its pretty easy to use. Turn the knob for volume. Tap it left or right to change the channel. Hit the source button to turn it on or off, and choose your source.

    If you NEED bluetooth hands free, and you have an iPod or iPhone for your music, THIS is the radio to get, hands down.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Good features, but not user friendly

    Written By Glenn, Houston, TX on Thursday, March 05, 2009
     
    This unit has all the features I was looking for - bluetooth with a built-in
    mic, front USB, and an ipod interface. It's also very customizable if you like
    to tweak your stereo. Unfortunately, it's just too complicated for road use.
    Most of the functions are selected using three buttons and a multifunction
    knob, and it's very difficult to use those functions safely while driving a car.
    Even selecting a favorite station is a three-step process which requires
    looking down at the display. Bluetooth sounds about like a typical
    speakerphone, but my car isn't very quiet, so take that with a grain of salt.
    The unit looks great in my dash and sounds great, but you need to study
    the manual thoroughly and keep it handy if you install one of these.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Hard to use!!!!

    Written By RNCWO, Norman, OK on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I installed and connected everything with ease, but when I tried to set up this radio, I was really frustrated. The operators manual is very difficult to understand, finding the dir=fferent modes is hard, I still haven't been able to set my favorite stations, either something is wrong with the radio or most likely, it is smarter than me. I have never had a radio this difficult to operate. The sound is great.
    3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Hello can you hear me!!

    Written By Gavin, Flatwoods, Kentucky on Friday, February 27, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I keep hearing myself say this over and over when making or answering a call. i can hear on my end just fine everybody i talk to has a problem hearing me so the problem seems to be with the built in mic!! as for the rest of the unit as just about everyone has stated on here the manual isn't worth the paper it's written on.but the sound of the unit is great cd,tuner and usb all work good and i have found i like the usb on the front of the unit its pretty cool. hopefully kenwwood will have a fix on the mic soon as one reviewer posted that they are aware of the problem.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    A LOT of features for a good price!

    Written By Kimberly, Oklahoma City OK on Sunday, February 22, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    We installed this headunit in my '08 Mustang GT yesterday. I will agree with previous reviewers who've said the instruction manual is difficult to follow. It is, but I just hung in there and eventually got everything set up the way I wanted (including pairing my AT&T Quickfire). For this price, you can't beat built-in Bluetooth, USB (I like it on the front) , IPOD connection, etc. The only thing I wish it did that it doesn't is display the time at all times. And actually it will, but you have to choose between the time or other info. like telling you the radio station, name of song on the CD, etc. (That's one of those things you don't know until you buy--unless I'd read the owner's manual before purchase that is.) But I'm looking on the website tonight and I just don't see anything else to beat it - and a replacement might not show the time either. Really though, that's my only beef - kind of minor in the grand scheme of things. The unit looks great and sounds great!
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    2 out of 5

    Kenwood stereo

    Written By Frank, Kentucky on Sunday, February 22, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Wish there were some reviews of this unit out there when I was buying. This could be the most confusing, hard to operate piece of electronics I've ever witnessed. Unless you plan to forever keep the owner's manual in your console and refer to it every time you want to tweak a setting, do not order this stereo. I wish I could take this out easily and send it back; I would go back to my original equip. in a heartbeat. I'm sure that no one at Kenwood ever tested this in a real vehicle. The music sound is poor; everyone I talk to thru the Bluetooth phone says I sound very distant; nothing is instinctive or intuitive about this stereo. Nothing positive about this unit comes to mind.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    The Good/Bad/Ugly

    Written By Kleve, Tucson, AZ on Saturday, February 21, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The install was painless and the adapters furnished by Crutchfield worked perfectly. Good fit and looks great. That ends the good! I totally agree with the first review by Alberto. This is an excellent unit as far as sound, but the most non-user friendly device I have ever used. There is nothing, NADA! that is intuitive about this unit. The manual stinks! I just want to play music, I don't want to go to night school to learn how to do it. Too many multi-function controls. Search should do that, not something else dependent on when and how long you push it. The tuner operation is especially frustrating, good luck with that one! The radio does work great when you finally tune a station. Eventually got blue tooth synced to my cell phone and it works well. USB works well with a flash drive. The remote works well when you figure it out. Great features/functions, absolutely terrible user interface! If it were possible I would go out and torture it just to get even for my total frustration. NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    THIS STEREO IS BADLY DONE

    Written By Taran2ula, Stamford, Ct on Friday, February 20, 2009
     
    This stereos manual is absolutely horrendous. It makes very little sense at all. I had a Pioneer DEH- P7800MP stereo before this, and I thought the manual was bad, but boy oh boy, this takes the cake. I am serious. You are going to find that you will have to experiment with the menu system until you find the function your looking for. Sometimes, even when you are in the correct menu option, pushing the enter button does not give you the desired option at all, but some other unusual option that had no purpose there at all, given the choice you made. In fact, just finding how to get into the menu is a task as they dont tell you directly, but list is as an abscure detail buried in the manual in a bulleted list of functions. The manual is BAD!!!!!!! Really bad. In all fairness, the stereo sounds awesome and the bluetooth functions flawless and awesome, but you shouldnt have to go through this kind of navigating a maze, guess work searching, to find obviously frequently used functions. My rating for this stereo is 1. Thats all it deserves and thats only because the manual was so bad, that it warrants a major negative.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Built-in Mic Weak?

    Written By Groovy, Honolulu, Hawaii on Tuesday, February 17, 2009
     
    Although I am very happy with this unit after selling my KDC-X692 to get it, I have been struggling to get enough volume on the built in mic. Whenever I make a call via Bluetooth (iPhone 3G), the person I am calling can hardly hear me. I have turned up the Mic Gain to +2, even tried NR +/- 2 but no difference. I think it is because the built in Mic is too small. It would be nice if we were offered a way to add on an extension Mic. We could then place the Mic in a better location for reception. I am hoping that Kenwood comes up with a Firmware update soon (they are already aware of problem). Other than that though, this is a very fine unit and all the other options work great (although I am not sure if this unit has 24 bit D/A converter like the X692 had)...
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Really dificult to operate

    Written By Alberto, Toa Alta, PR on Saturday, February 14, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The owner of this receiver will need a "KDC-BT742U for Dummies" book instead of instruction manual. I have been unable to preset radio stations, don't even think of setting cellphone and bluetooth.

    Manual is pretty unclear and it is full of "go to page 6" just to find out that page 6 doesn't make any sense. The function control on the receiver does not have all the functions described in the manual. As example, there is not "delete favorite preset memory function" in the receiver, but it is in the manual. Amazingly, the receiver have factory setted favorite radio stations and you can't delete them.

    I used to be fan of Kenwood receivers and HF transceivers. I am a radio amateur, electronic technician and computer programmer, but I have never been so frustrated trying to operate an electronic device.
    4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Lots Of Options

    Written By Don, Huntsville, Al. on Wednesday, February 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have had this unit now about a week. There are many options and menus. Navigating them takes some getting used to. I have a 2006 Nissan Frontier. When I ordered it the Crutchfield page said it fit my truck. After I installed it and was back on the Crutchfield site it stated it didn't fit. I don't know what the issue is. Everything they sent me fit great! I didn't have one issue putting this in the dash. I changed the factoy 2X din to a single din with a Metra bracket. It lined up perfectly. There was plenty of clearence all around. Overall a great buy. Don't know what the fit issue is though. Makes me wonder what else would fit that they said wouldn't.....
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    CD+USB+Bluetooth

    Written By Rasto, Whitehouse, NJ on Monday, February 09, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit is great, worth the money! Bluetooth works excellent with Samsung 940U phone. Need to take time to understand menu. I would preferred to have USB at rear of the unit or to have SD card reader in front instead. Recommended to all friends! Works great!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Does not Play Razr Vxx Music via Bluetooth

    Written By Scott, Chicago, IL on Saturday, February 07, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I was disapponted that the MP3 music does not play from my Razr to the receiver either via Bluetooth or the AUX jack. I also find the setup and functions difficult to navigate through. This may have been better with a couple of more buttons instead of the 2 1/2 pages of setup parameters and only a couple of button combinations. It will probably get easier the longer I have it, it's only been a couple of days. Other than that, this sounds great and has almost every possibility of devices to play from.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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