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Kenwood KDC-BT855U

CD receiver (New Stock)

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Item #: 113BT855U
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Kenwood KDC-BT855U

by Ken Nail
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.

Painless pairing and music app compatibility

You'll enjoy great sound and remarkable versatility with Kenwood's KDC-BT855U CD receiver. It not only plays music from your CDs, iPod®, and more, but it also comes with built-in Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming.  This Kenwood's crystal-clear display gives you all the info you want, and you can switch the 3-line display to a 2-line format with a larger font that makes it easier to read phone numbers, song titles, and source data. Personalize the receiver's look by choosing from a wide selection of display and control illumination colors. A sleek-looking, flip-up CD slot door cover keeps airborne particles from gumming up the works inside.

The convenience (and safety) of Bluetooth®

Bluetooth lets you keep your attention on the highway when you get a call. Kenwood's Simple Secure Pairing system will automatically detect and pair phones in close proximity to the receiver — with no searches, PIN codes, or other hassles. When the receiver's paired with an iPhone® 4S or iPhone 5, you can engage Siri through Kenwood's Siri Digital Assistant Control. Just press a button and talk through the included Bluetooth microphone and you'll hear Siri's answers through the car's speakers. This receiver also provides a wireless connection to audio streams or stored music on your Bluetooth equipped device.

Kenwood KDC-BT855HD

You can tap into a variety of streaming audio sources with the receiver and your smartphone.

Music apps at your command

If you're a fan of Internet radio and music apps, you'll appreciate how the KDC-BT855U integrates your iPhone, Android®, or Blackberry™ into your system. With this Kenwood and your smartphone you'll enjoy playing music from Pandora®, iHeart Radio, and Aha™ radio. You can scroll through your stations, bookmark songs, and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down right from the receiver's face.

Great for your other content

Once you connect your iPod® or iPhone to one of the USB inputs you can use the receiver's controls to search through your albums, artists, and playlists. If you've got your music on an Android device, you can download Kenwood's free Music Control app from the Android market to enjoy a variety of search and playback features. If you store your music on another device, you can plug into the handy front-panel auxiliary input.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?

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

Note: Bluetooth compatibility with this receiver may vary, depending on your phone and service provider.

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.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • Pandora control with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry
    • automatic iPhone pairing with Siri control capability
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with AAC, MP3, and WMA music files
    • detachable face with selectable 2- or 3-line display, plus variable display and control colors
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 preset EQ curves and 3-band equalizer)
    • high- and low-pass filters
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • subwoofer level controls
    Expandability:
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • SiriusXM-ready (SVX-200 tuner and subscription required)
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary, front and rear USB inputs
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

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

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant
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    No
    RMS Power Output
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    22 watts
    Peak Output
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    50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
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    20-20KHz
    Preamp Outputs
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    6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
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    Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
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    No
    Preamp Voltage
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    4 volts
    Display Color
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    Variable
    Key Button Color
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    Variable
    EQ Bands
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    3
    Wireless Remote
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    Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
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    Adapter required
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Expandability
    AUX Input
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    Front
    USB Input
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    Front/Rear
    Memory Card Slot
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    USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible
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    Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready
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    SiriusXM
    HD Radio
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    No
    Navigation
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    ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
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    Classic/5Gen
    Nano
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    7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch
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    5/4/3/2/1
    Mini
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    No
    iPhone
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    5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
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    11.2 dBf
    European Tuning
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    No
    Seek/Scan
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    Seek
    Radio Data System
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    Yes
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-406)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • Microphone with integrated bracket (attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle male 3.5mm connector)
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Quick Start Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Card

    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.

    Built-in Bluetooth
    Disc & USB Playback
    iPod/Android/AUX Integration
    AM/FM+Internet+SiriusXM Radio
    Audio Section
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U is equipped with built-in Bluetooth (ver. 2.1 + EDR) allowing you to make and receive phone calls wirelessly through the receiver; as well as stream music wirelessly from your smartphone to the head unit. In order to use Bluetooth wireless technology, your phone must also be Bluetooth compatible and be able to interpret certain profiles. This unit is compatible with the following Bluetooth Profiles:

    • Hands-Free Communication: HFP 1.5 (Hands Free Profile), OPP 1.1 (Object Push Profile), PBAB 1.0 (Phone Book Access Profile).
    • Audio Streaming: A2DP 1.2 (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP 1.3 (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).
    Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the Kenwood KDC-BT855U. Visit Kenwood's Support Site for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    SPP (Secure Simple Pairing): With Secure Simple Pairing (SSP), you can easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone to the Kenwood KDC-BT855U without having to enter pin codes or go through complicated settings. When a registered Bluetooth device is in close proximity to the receiver, the auto connection function automatically pairs the two units. You can register up to five Bluetooth-enabled devices with the Kenwood head unit. A maximum of two Bluetooth-enabled phones can be connected at one time, but only one can be used at a time.

    Bluetooth Hands-Free Communication: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-BT855U can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also includes an external microphone (featuring adjustable gain), so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your vehicles speakers. During a conversation, you can switch between the Private Mode (talking directly on your cell phone) and the Hands Free Mode.

    • Answering a Call: When a call comes in, a ring-tone will be heard through your vehicle's speaker and the caller's name or phone number will be displayed. You can answer the call from the head unit's front-panel controls, or setup the head unit to automatically answer the incoming call immediately or after 1-99 seconds. The KDC-BT855U also supports the Call Waiting function, so you can answer another incoming call while suspending the current call you are on. Your compatible cell-phone must also support this feature.
    • Dialing a Number: Using the KDC-BT855U, 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 from the head unit's control knob or remote control.
      • Speed (Preset) Dialing: Allows you to register up to 6 phone numbers for quick dialing. The preset numbers can be accessed from the head unit's Control Knob.
      • Phone Book: You can dial by using the downloaded phone book. You can download phone book data from your cell phone to the KDC-BT855U. Up to 600 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. Stored phone numbers can be categorized by General, Home, Office, Mobile, or Other. You can search each category of the phone book in alphabetical order.
      • Call History: The Call History is a list of calls that have originated from and were received by this unit that you can dial. You can select Outgoing, Incoming, or Missed calls.
      • Voice Dialing: If your mobile phone supports voice recognition, then you can dial out by voice command. Simply speak into the included microphone.

    External Microphone: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U includes an external microphone to carry on your side of your phone conversation and voice command dialing. The external wired microphone offers improved audio quality versus an integrated microphone, so you can be heard easier over noisy traffic and road noise. You can adjust the volume level and noise cancellation of the microphone without affecting the other sources. The external microphone features an attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle 3.5mm connector which plugs into the mic input on the rear-panel of the head unit. The microphone offers an integrated mounting bracket which can be clipped to your vehicle's sun-visor or taped to your dash. The external microphone measures 0.525" (diameter) x 1.505" (depth).

    Note: This unit does not offer an integrated front-panel microphone.

    SMS: If your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone is compatible with SMS (Short Message Service), the Kenwood head unit will notify you when a message has been received. You must then use your phone to check the message. You cannot read, edit, or send a message through this unit.

    Wireless Audio Streaming (w/ Metadata Display): The Kenwood KDC-BT855U also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-BT855U will be able to control basic playback functions of your Bluetooth device's stored music; such as Play/Pause, Skip Next/Previous, Fast Forward/Rewind and Random/Repeat. The head unit will also display your stored music's song information; such as Artist name and Song/Album title. The KDC-BT855U also supports audio streaming of music apps downloaded on your smartphone with metadata display and limited control. Advanced music control of your music apps will still need be done via your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. When an incoming call or outgoing call is in progress from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, audio streaming will be paused so you can take your call. Once the call is finished, your streaming music will resume.

    Siri Digital Assistant Control: When paired and connected with an iPhone 4S or 5/5C/5S via Bluetooth (not USB), the Kenwood KDC-BT55U has the ability to access Siri through its front-panel controls and external microphone. Simply press-and-hold down on the head unit's Answer Button to engage Siri and use the included microphone to communicate with Siri. Siri's voice will heard through your vehicle's speakers. All Siri functions including hands-free calling, music search, setting reminders, text-messaging, audible navigation, and more can be done through the KDC-BT855U and its microphone. The head unit's display will only indicate hands-free calling and Bluetooth audio information (all other functions of Siri are only audible through the Kenwood KDC-BT855U; visual data will still need to be viewed from your iPhone device).

    Note: You can ask Siri to get directions to a destination and the turn-by-turn instructions will heard through your vehicle's speakers, while the on-screen map still displays on your iPhone 4S/5/5C/5S. The head unit's audio is attenuated while Siri provides audible directions.

    Bluetooth Detailed Settings: The KDC-BT855U offers the following Bluetooth Detailed Settings, so you can configure the unit to suit your needs.

    • Bluetooth Audio: You can allow Bluetooth audio to be heard from only the front-speakers or all the speakers in your vehicle.
    • Call Beep: You can choose to output a beep from your vehicle's speaker's when a call comes in, or you can turn this function off.
    • Echo Level: You adjust the echo cancellation delay time until the least echo is being heard during a phone conversation.
    • Mic Gain: Adjusts the volume of the external microphone.

    Disc & USB Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs. The unit also supports playback of MP3/WMA/AAC music files loaded onto CD-R/RW discs. The CD slot is hidden behind a manual fold-up cover which blends in the front-panel of the head unit.

    Dual USB Ports: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover and a rear-panel USB (type-A) port attached to the rear-chassis by a 38" cable. The USB ports enable connection of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device; such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives. The USB ports support audio playback and control of MP3, WMA, & AAC audio files stored on these portable USB mass-storage class devices. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB ports (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On. You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.

    MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U supports the following types of MP3, WMA, AAC, & WAV files recorded onto CD-R/RW disc or loaded onto a USB mass storage class device.

    Media Type CD-R/RW USB Storage Device
    File System ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, Long file name FAT 12/16/32
    Playable File Types  MP3: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WMA: bit rate of 32-192 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    AAc:
    bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
     MP3: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WMA: bit rate of 32-192 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    AAC:
    bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WAV: bit rate of 16-bit w/ sampling rate of 44.1 kHz
    Maximum # of Folders/Files 500 folders/500 files (500 files per folder) 999 folders/20,480 (999 files per folder)
    Tags ID3 tags (ver.1.0/1.1/2.2/2.3/2.4), WMA tags, AAC tags

    Text Scroll: The KDC-BT855U will display CD text or Audio file text. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto, Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.

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

    Direct Music Search: The supplied IR wireless remote control (RC-406) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U features the following Repeat, Random, and Scan playback modes.

    • Repeat Play: Track, File, or Folder
    • Random Play: Disc or Folder
    • Scan Play: Track or File (plays the first 10-seconds of each music track on a disc or music file in a folder)

    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.

    CD Read: This function sets the method for reading a CD disc. You can choose between two modes.

    • CD1: Automatically distinguishes between audio file disc and music CD when playing a CD or CD-R/RW disc.
    • CD2: When unable to play a special formatted CD, set this function to CD2 to force playing. Some music CD discs may be unplayable even when set to this mode.

    Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will automatically power up and begin playback.

    Auto Reload: If the ejected disc is not removed within 15 seconds, the disc is automatically inserted again into the loading slot to protect it from dust.

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.1.1.0). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3/WMA/AAC music files to your USB (MSC) device from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB (MSC) device using Kenwood Music Editor Lite through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using the head unit's Music Search function. The Kenwood Music Editor Light (ver.1.1.0) Windows-based software can be downloaded for free from Kenwood.com to your PC. The Kenwood Music Editor Light is compatible with the following Windows Microsoft Operating Systems.

    • Windows XP Professional, Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit)
    • Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
    Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Zune, or Android

    iPod/Android/AUX Integration

    iPod Direct Connection w/ DAC Bypass: The KDC-BT855U's front-panel USB port or rear-panel USB port can act as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5/5C/5S; use the Lightning-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-BT855U.

    • DAC Bypass: This USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 105dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone, as well as music apps streamed to your iPhone.
    • Music Control: You can choose to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.
      • Head Unit: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). The head unit also supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
      • iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker) from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Kenwood head unit and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode. Access to your iPhone's downloaded applications will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet.
    • Information Display: The KDC-BT855U will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood head unit. The head unit will display Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album label. If you choose to operate your connected iPod/iPhone via its clickwheel or touchscreen controls, the KDC-BT855U will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").
    • Battery Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position. This unit does not charge the iPad. If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/19/2013):

    Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Specific Apps Display Type Bluetooth Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod/App Pandora app iHeart Link Aha Radio Artist/Song Text Track Info Phone Audio Siri
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y Y N N Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y N Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y
    4S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5C 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y
    4th 6.1.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y
    5th 7.0 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N N N Y Y N N N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    7th 1.02 PC Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N N N Y Y N N N Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N N
    2 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N N
    3 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N N
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y N
    mini 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

    Music Control for Android Smartphone: The Kenwood Music Control app for Android organizes your Android smartphone's music, while providing quick and easy search capability from the Kenwood CD receiver. The free Kenwood Music Control App for Android can be downloaded onto your Android smartphone from the Google Play App Store. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS 2.2 or later. Once the app is downloaded and has a chance to organize all the stored music on your Android smartphone, you can connect your Android smartphone to the Kenwood CD receiver via USB (your compatible Android smartphone must be recognized as a USB mass storage class device; not compatible with MTP protocol). The Kenwood Music Control app offers the following Android supported functions.

    • Song Management: Music stored in your Android smartphone can be navigated from the Kenwood CD receiver. Songs can be easily selected by searching for a Song title, Artist name, Album label, or Genre.
    • Song Information Display: Song information such as Artist name, Song title, and Album label are displayed on the connected Kenwood CD receiver.
    • Mood Playlist: Playlists can be created by classifying songs into categories by type of mood. Songs are analyzed and classified into the following categories of moods - High Energy (Active/Powerful/Core), Acoustic (Detailed/Simple/Smooth/Easy), Standard (Dynamic/Rockin/Vivid), Stylistic (Cool/Urban/Trance).
    • Intro Skip: This function allows you to choose and listen to only the hook-lines of songs stored in your Android smartphone.
    Note: When the Kenwood Music Control app is first downloaded it will require some time to populate all the music, so we suggest doing this overnight.

    Music Files Format Supported by Music Control app for Android:

    Codec Extension Bit Rate Sampling Frequency
    AAC .aac, m4a up to 160 kbps 8-48 kHz
    MP3 .mp3 8-320 kbps n/a
    PCM/WAV .wav 8-/16-bit n/a

    Aux In: The unit is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input that can be used to input audio from a portable audio source, such as a portable MP3 player. The Aux input must be turned on to function. The KDC-BT855U allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV. The unit has 3 auxiliary input modes.

    • On1: Outputs the sound of the external unit connected to the Aux terminal when switched to the Aux source.
    • On2: Activates the attenuator function when turning on the power with the auxiliary source selected. This prevents the noise when no external unit is connected to the Aux terminal. Turn off the attenuator function when listening to output from an external unit.
    • Off: Disables the selection of the Aux source.

    AM/FM+Internet+SiriusXM Radio

    RDS AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U features a built-in RDS AM/FM tuner. The Radio Data System (RDS) feature displays radio broadcast information such as artist & track information when listening to compatible AM/FM stations. You can choose one of four tuning methods: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), Manual Tune, or Direct Access (via remote). The KDC-BT855U's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood KDC-BT855U offers two preset modes.

    • Normal: You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets (total of 24).
    • Mix: A total of 6 preset stations can be assigned to the head unit's 6 preset buttons, regardless of AM/FM band. This lets you recall a preset station without switching between bands.
    Note: 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.

    Internet Radio Apps: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U allows you to access Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Aha Radio online music services through your USB-connected iPhone or Bluetooth-connected Android/Blackberry smartphone. Your Apple iPhone must be connected to the KDC-BT855U via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 cable (sold separately, or the cable supplied with your iPhone. Your Android or Blackberry smartphone must support A2DP/ AVRCP/SPP Bluetooth profiles and be paired with the Kenwood KDC-BT855U. Your iPhone, Android smartphone, or Blackberry device will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi.

    • Pandora App (for iPhone/Android/Blackberry): The free Pandora App (either from iTunes Apps, Google Play, or BlackBerry App World) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood KDC-BT855U using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+) or Bluetooth paired Android/Blackberry smartphone. The Kenwood KDC-BT855U provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). New stations can be created based on the current songs or artists playing. You can also save 3 Pandora stations as presets. You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down. An active Pandora account is required.
    • iHeartRadio Link (for iPhone/Android): The free iHeartRadio Link app for Kenwood (either from iTunes Apps or Google Play) lets you play music from the iHeartRadio music service through the Kenwood KDC-BT855U using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+), or Bluetooth paired Android smartphone (2.2+). The iHeartRadio music service provides access to more than 1,500 live radio stations from coast-to-coast (including pop, country, urban, rock, talk, and sports). The KDC-BT855U will provide control over the iHeartRadio Link app, as well as display station identification and song/artist information. From the head unit's front-panel controls, iHeartRadio stations can be searched by the following categories (Local, Genre, City, or My Stations). The Local selection provides a list of radio stations in your local listening area. The unit also provides over 22 Genres to choose from (including pop, country, hip-hop, jazz, etc.) to help you find the right radio station for you. In addition, you can search for radio stations by City. Cities can be searched alphabetically (A-Z). You can even store your favorite stations (My Stations) for easier, quicker access. An active iHeartRadio account is required.
    • Aha Radio App (for iPhone/Android): The Kenwood CD receiver offers compatibility with the free Aha Radio app for your USB-connected iPhone (iOS 4.3+) or Bluetooth-paired Android smartphone (2.2+); available from iTunes Apps or Google Play. Aha Radio provides you with up to the minute content made available from the convenience of Kenwood's front-panel controls and LCD screen. Listen to the latest Facebook updates or Tweets from your friends. Listen to thousands of stations that include internet radio, podcasts, and audiobooks. Receive traffic information, restaurants and coffee locations personalized to you instantly, safely, and easily. An active Aha Radio account is required.
    Note: Access to these Internet Radio services will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone or Android/Blackberry smartphone to connect to the Internet. Not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U comes ready for SiriusXM programming with access to XM and Sirius Satellite Radio stations. Thanks to its proprietary SiriusXM Connect port, you can add the optional SXV200V1 SiriusXM Connect tuner and receive more than 150 channels of exclusive programming directly from SiriusXM, via the "SiriusXM All Access" package (subscription required). Visit SiriusXM.com for a complete list of subscription options and channel guide. Additional features of the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect tuner include:

    • Channel list displays a list of all available channels
    • Category Search searches for channels in a certain category
    • Displayed Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's LCD
    • Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets
    • Direct Tuning via included remote
    • Tune Start allows you to choose whether to start a song from the beginning or from its live point when tuning to a preset music channel.
    • Song/Artist Alert with visual notification of your favorite songs or artists
    • Supports the SiriusXM Instant Replay function, so you can pause, rewind, and replay up to 30 minutes of live content
    • iTunes Tagging for connected iPod/iPhone
    • Channels containing unsuitable content for children can be blocked

    Note: A separate SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription is required (operates on the XM Network). However, you can easily add this SiriusXM tuner to an existing Sirius or XM account for a Multi-Radio Discount Plan.

    Audio Section

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KDC-BT855U are as follows:

    • Full Bandwidth Power: 22 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20-20kHz, 1% THD)
    • Maximum Output Power: 50 watts x 4 channels

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-BT855U features front, rear and subwoofer 4-volt 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 fixed to the rear chassis of the head unit.

    Note: You can turn the KDC-BT855U's built-in amplifier off to improve the quality of the sound from the head unit's preamp outputs.

    Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-BT855U features a High-Pass Crossover for the front & rear channels when your front & rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 100, 120, or 150 Hz. The "Through" selection is a full-range setting.

    Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U offers the following subwoofer controls, when you are using unit's subwoofer preamp output.

    • Low Pass Filter: The receiver features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the preamp-output, when the output is set to Subwoofer. You can select from 85 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, or off.
    • Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).
    • Subwoofer Level: Once the Subwoofer preamp output is activated, you can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level (-15 to +15) from the CD receiver.

    Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the head unit's audio settings according to the type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of 'SP-Off' (flat/off), 'SP-OEM' (for OEM factory speaker systems), 'SP-6x9/6' (for systems with 6" and 6"x9" speakers), or 'SP-5/4' (for systems with 4" and 5" speakers).

    Preset EQ: Eight EQ curves are preset into memory, allowing you to recall the best preset EQ curve for different types of music. Each preset has its own level settings for bass (100Hz), midrange (1kHz), and treble (12.5kHz). You can choose from the following preset EQ curves - Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, Game, and User.

    Note: You can store bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (Disc, Tuner, Aux, USB, iPod, Bluetooth, and Pandora).

    Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.

    • Bass Boost: The Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2, BB3, or Off).
    • Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes. There are 3 levels (LV1, LV2, or Off).
    • Supreme Setting: When MP3 or WMA files encoded at a low bit rate (less than 96 kbps, 44.1k, 48kHz) are played, the Supreme Setting function restores their high frequencies so the sound quality is closer to files encoded at a high bit rate. The processing is optimized for the compression format and the bit rate used. When the Supreme Setting is Off, the unit plays the original sound stored in the audio file.

    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 (-8 to +8 for Aux source).

    Key Beep: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face w/ Hidden CD Slot: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U features a hidden CD slot behind a manual fold-down cover which blends in the front-panel of the head unit. The KDC-BT855U also features a detachable face to deter theft (no face-case is provided). An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can be purchased for this unit. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Multi-Line Text Display: The 3-line full dot LCD makes it easy to navigate through your disc's music, radio presets, iPod music library, USB content, Bluetooth audio, or phonebook contacts. The KDC-BT855U offers 5 different display types:

    • 3-line display mode with 3 lines of text.
    • 2-line display mode with 2 lines of text.
    • Spectrum analyzer display mode with 1 line of text and spectrum analyzer.
    • Clock display mode with clock & date.
    • Display off mode which turns off the display and button illumination.

    Note: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U offers English, French, and Spanish menu text.

    Variable Color Illumination: The Kenwood KDC-BT855U features variable color display and button illumination. You can choose to use the same color for the LCD display and button illumination, or use a separate color for each one. You can choose from one of 24 preset colors, have the unit scan through all 24 preset colors continuously, or customize your own color (RGB; 0-9). The custom setting allows you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue (from 0-9) to better match your vehicle's interior lights. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain red.

    Note: You can switch the in-dash head unit's display between a positive or negative effect. You can also adjust the display's contrast from 1-30.

    Illumination Effect: This function sets whether the head unit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the key-button operation.

    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. You can also choose to dim the display manually. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain the same brightness.

    Clock/Date Display: The in-dash CD receiver features a 12-hour clock and date (M/D/Y) display.

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face and button illumination is "keyed." 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.

    Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned On or Off within the menu.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-BT855U comes with an IR remote control (RC-406) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, and Tuner functions. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).

    • Numeric Keypad: The wireless remote control features a numeric keypad (0-9) which allows direct track access of your music tracks & files (from CD or USB), as well as AM/FM presets.
    • 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 head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input wire (blue/yellow) within the included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

     

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Video: Kenwood 2013 CD Receivers

    Video: Kenwood 2013 CD Receivers

    by Zak Billmeier
    3/6/2013
     
    Video: Kenwood 2013 CD Receivers

    Kenwood's 2013 CD receivers are better than ever, bringing smartphone connectivity and great Kenwood sound quality to your dash. Check them out from the Kenwood booth at CES 2013.

     
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    Kenwood KDC-BT855U Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    5 out of 5

    Excellent upgrade

    Written By AsianCraig, Houghton, MI on Friday, April 11, 2014
     
    This was a replacement for the 1.5 DIN CD player that came in my 2000 Silverado.

    I paired this unit with some new speakers (Memphis 5x7's [15-PR572V2] in the back doors and FUSION Performance Series 6.5's, component speakers [PF-CM650] in the front doors) to end up with what I would describe as impeccable sound quality. The new speakers definitely aided the head unit in overall SQ, but even the stock speakers sounded nicer with the new stereo.

    I am nothing short of impressed with the features included with this unit, but one thing that could be better is some of the navigational aspects (i.e. phonebook, settings, etc.).

    Pros:
    Choose any colors to match your dash, seamless Pandora and Bluetooth integration, excellent sound quality, aesthetically pleasing
    Cons:
    Some controls are clunky, phone book is difficult to navigate
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
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    5 out of 5

    Bonus points with the spousal unit

    Written By Busmonkey, Southern MD on Friday, March 21, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Wow. The sound and quality expected of a Kenwood, with some great features that help me earn bonus points at home. Read on. I used a USB extension cable to connect the rear USB to a port on the dash. I keep a thumb drive in the front USB and my phone in the rear USB. Factory steering wheel controls are connected and work fine (yes, an extra interface is required). Between this and a compact powered sub, the horrid factory sound in my Gen2 Prius has been replaced by a good, solid system. The voice connect feature with Siri is great, too. Other than messing with her, I'd never used Siri before. Leaving work the other day, with my phone in my pocket, I switched on the car, and started driving away. The phone connected and music started playing. I pushed the voice command switch and asked Siri to call my wife. Told her I was on the way home, and she asked me to stop by the mailbox on my way. Now maybe I'm an anomaly, but maybe not. There's no way I'm going to remember her request at the end of my hour-long commute. So I tried something new. Pushed the voice command switch again, and asked Siri to remind me to stop by the mailbox when I got home. She read back the reminder, and I put the phone in its mount. When I got about 100ft from home, I heard the deedle and saw "check the mailbox" pop up on the screen. Kenwood makes an amazing unit that puts out great sound. Combined with Siri, it helps me earn bonus points with the boss.
    Pros:
    Plays any media Simple adjustments Great features
    Cons:
    Difficult the see entire screen with polarized sunglasses
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT855U

    Written By Tim, Durango, Co on Thursday, December 19, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Really nice deck. I just bought this deck a week ago and im in love with it. Get the extras and you wont be dissapointed. Can play anything. I got all the extras cd player, xm radio, bluetooth, ipod hooked up through rear usb(and it charged it), radio, bluetooth, pandora, front usb, and front headphone jack. I was also able to hook the factory steering wheel controls up. Awesome
    Pros:
    Has a phone button. That was a huge plus for me. All the features.
    Cons:
    Nothing
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT855U

    Written By Anonymous, Greeley, CO on Sunday, November 03, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Very nice radio. You can't ask for a better upgrade on a old work truck.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
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    5 out of 5

    Great Receiver

    Written By ScottC, Napa, CA on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I installed this unit in my 99 SLK230 and it fits great with the car, straight through the bose amplifier via the fron RCA pre-outs. My iphone 5 connects every time without a hitch for Pandora, phone calls etc. I can hear and make calls clearly even with the top down at lower speeds. Plenty of functionality on the unit, the only pain is changing radio stations is not as easy as it should be due to a limited number of buttons. All in all a great unit.
    Pros:
    BT connectivity, easy to read display, functionality and looks
    Cons:
    Changing radio stations
    5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
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    5 out of 5

    I love it!

    Written By Rick, Monroe, LA on Thursday, July 11, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is the best receiver I have ever bought. The call quality is amazing and the sound it delivers is perfection.
    Pros:
    High Quality
    Cons:
    This receiver has no cons!
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT855U

    Written By Alexgee57, Girard, OH. on Tuesday, June 25, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Very well made product Kenwood does it again. This stereo does all the things I bought it for. The phone quality is great clear and no drop calls. Connects to bt and pandora instantly.the color options are excellent and can match any interior color.
    Pros:
    Its a Kenwood prduct the quality is in the name
    Cons:
    None
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT855U

    Written By Anonymous, Nunn Co on Sunday, June 02, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Nice radio easy to install good sound
    Pros:
    almost everything
    Cons:
    I think ease of Bluetooth could be better
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
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    4 out of 5

    Very Happy

    Written By bathroomsink, Las Vegas, NV on Sunday, May 19, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I was happy with unit. Only complaint is it can be hard to see in the sunlight. Call quality on the phone sounds like you are on speaker phone, but hey it works and you can understand each other. The display can be complicated, but messing with the settings a user can change it to display less information. Overall very happy.
    Pros:
    Tons of features. Lots of customization. External microphone.
    Cons:
    Hard to see in daylight, playing around with colors helps somewhat. Phone pairing was tricky at first.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
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    5 out of 5

    Great Deck

    Written By Nitesmoker, Some cornfield in Illinois on Saturday, March 16, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I just bought the head unit and it was simple to install and setup. There are tons of features that this deck offers and am very impressed with its performance. This is an upgrade from a Kenwood Excelon KDC-X395 for me so it is a big step up in features.
    Pros:
    A TON of features that offer a lot of listening choices. Great sound quality with a lot of choices in tuning your sound preference. I used my CD player on my other deck like 2 times because of usb and with this deck it still gives me that option but it is hidden behind a stealth-ed "flap" so its out of the way. The cord for the mic is very long to give many options to installing it.
    Cons:
    Display hard to read in the daylight. Because of all of the features it can be confusing to get around in the settings. lack of information for the owners manual. It is downloaded from kenwood's site and doesn't offer much in the way of information for the features and settings.
    16 out of 16 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Kenwood KDC-BT855U, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_113BT855U/Kenwood-KDC-BT855U.html ).