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Kenwood KDC-BT952HD

CD receiver (New Stock)

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Item #: 113BT952HD
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Kenwood KDC-BT952HD

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.

Aim high
Why settle? If you want to roll with the latest from Kenwood, the KDC-BT952HD CD receiver gives you hands-free calling, HD Radio™ reception, and PANDORA® Internet radio streaming, along with a number of cool features that'll liven up your time on the road.

Enjoy PANDORA® Internet radio with your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry
You're not limited by platforms any longer. If you stream Pandora® through your smartphone, you can play it and control it from this receiver, whether you use an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry. When you're behind the wheel, you can listen to and browse through your favorite stations whenever you're in range of your network.

HD Radio™ for superior sound and more
HD Radio's superior sound quality and additional programming channels are changing the way many of us listen to radio. The KDC-BT952HD's built-in HD Radio tuner lets you tune into that digital sound quality, access the extra programming offered on secondary channels, and tag tunes for future purchase at the iTunes® store — all while you listen to FM that's close to CD quality, along with clear, static-free AM.

Kenwood KDC-BT952HD

Hands-free calling
No more fumbling for your phone. When a call comes in, you simply touch a button on this Kenwood, then talk naturally like your caller is sitting next to you. Plus, you can stream audio from a compatible device to this receiver, so you can enjoy great music and some control functions without any cables.

Enjoy your music media
You can plug in your iPod® to the rear USB input and scroll through your albums, artists, and playlists. Tools like Direct Search and Alphabet Search make it easy to find the tracks you want to hear. Of course, this Kenwood renders all your favorite CDs in precise detail.

Great sound tops it off
You'll find the audio tools you need to get the best possible performance in your car, including a 7-band equalizer, digital time alignment, built-in frequency filters, and more. And if you're the kind of person who lives for more power, you'll be happy with the three sets of preamp outputs that deliver a clean signal to your outboard amps.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?
In most vehicles, you can use an adapter to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Kenwood stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and the Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.

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

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)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC music files
    • built-in HD Radio tuner
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • fold-down detachable face with selectable 5- or 3-line line display, plus variable display and control colors
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • 7-band equalizer
    • Sound Excellence DSP with speaker size settings, plus high- and low-pass crossovers
    • digital time alignment
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • subwoofer controls
    Expandability:
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora control with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry
    • compatible with Kenwood's Music Control app for Android phones
    • compatible with SiriusXM tuner
    • inputs: rear auxiliary and 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
    Video Screen
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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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    7
    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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    Rear
    USB Input
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    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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    Built-in
    Navigation
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    ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
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    Classic/5Gen
    Nano
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    Nano7/Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/
    Touch
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    Touch5/Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/To
    Mini
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    No
    iPhone
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    Phone5/Phone4S/Phone4/Phone3GS
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
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    9.3 dBf
    European Tuning
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    No
    Seek/Scan
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    Seek
    Radio Data System
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    No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • AM/FM CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Microphone with integrated bracketed (attached 10' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector)
    • Wireless remote control (RC-405)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • Cloth face pouch
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Quick Start Guide (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty Card
    • Correction note

    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
    HD Radio + SiriusXM Ready
    Disc Playback
    USB/Aux Inputs
    iPod/Android Control
    Audio Section
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD is equipped with built-in Bluetooth ver. 3.0 (powered by Parrot) 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. Bluetooth Technology is a short-range wireless radio connectivity technology that was developed as a cable replacement for mobile phones and other electronic devices. Bluetooth operates in 2.4 GHz frequency range and transmits voice and data at speeds up to 1 megabit per second.

    Bluetooth Profiles: 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 (Hands Free Profile), HSP (Head Set Profile), OPP (Object Push Profile), PBAB (Phone Book Access Profile).
    • Audio Streaming: A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).

    Pairing: Your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone must be paired with the KDC-BT952HD before hands-free operation. You can register up to five Bluetooth enabled cell-phones with the Kenwood head unit (only one paired phone can be used at a time).

    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-BT952HD. See Kenwood's Bluetooth Compatibility List for the latest mobile device compatibility.

    External Microphone: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD 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. 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 1.485" (depth).

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

    Bluetooth Hands-Free Communication: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-BT952HD can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also includes and 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-BT952HD 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-BT952HD, 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-BT952HD. 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 Log: The Call Log 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. You can register up to 35 voice tags.

    SMS (Short Message Service): You can wirelessly download a SMS arrived at your cell-phone so that it can be read on the Bluetooth connected Kenwood head unit. Up to 149 already read and unread short messages can be downloaded. You can reply to a SMS by using the head unit's front-panel rotary knob or remote control to enter alphanumeric text. There is a limited amount of text that can be downloaded or entered. Your cell-phone must support SMS via Bluetooth for this feature to function.

    Note: Do not read incoming SMS or reply to SMS while driving.

    Wireless Audio Streaming: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-BT952HD will be able to control basic playback functions of your Bluetooth device's stored music; such as Play/Pause, Next/Previous Track, 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-BT952HD also supports audio streaming of music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker), but without control or metadata. You will continue to use your Bluetooth enabled smartphone to view and control streaming music apps. 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.

    Note: The iPhone 5 only offers Bluetooth audio streaming without control or metadata display.

    Bluetooth Detailed Settings: The KDC-BT952HD offers the following Bluetooth Detailed Settings, so you can configure the unit to suit your needs.

    • 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.
    • Speaker Output: You can select whether the call beep/caller's voice and streaming audio is heard through only the front speakers or all speakers.
    • Mic Gain: Adjusts the volume of the external microphone from -3 to +3.
    • NR Level: Reduces the noises generated by the surrounding environment without changing the mic volume. The NR Level can be set to -2 or +2.
    • EC Level: Adjusts the level of echo cancellation from -2 to +2.

    HD Radio

    Built-In HD Tuner: With its built-in HD Radio tuner, you can receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. HD Radio significantly improves AM/FM audio quality and reception, as well as includes information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display. HD Radio Technology will deliver high-quality digital sound. AM digital will have FM-like quality in stereo (70dB SN @ 40-15kHz), while FM digital will have CD-like quality (70 dB SN @ 20-20kHz) with static free and clear reception. The unit's built-in HD Radio tuner allows analog AM/FM tuning as well.

    Note: HD Radio is the system for digital AM and FM broadcasting in the U.S. More than 2,000 radio stations are broadcasting their primary signals in digital HD Radio technology, as a free service. Go to HDRadio.com to check for HD Radio stations in your area.

    Station Text: AM/FM digital stations can offer text and data such as artist names and song titles.

    Multicasting: In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 3 multicast programs (HD1 to HD3, and analog).

    iTunes Tagging: It is possible to save the song's information (tag) from and HD Radio broadcasting station to your USB-direct connected iPod/iPhone. The songs will show up in a playlist called "Tagged" in iTunes the next time you sync your iPod/iPhone. Then you can directly buy the songs you want from the iTunes Music Store. You can "tag" up to 50 songs.

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-BT952HD's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD 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.

    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.

    Seek Modes: You can choose one of three seek modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.

    Note: You can also setup the KDC-BT952HD to search only HD Radio stations.

    Direct Access Tuning: You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD 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
    • 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). If you already have a Sirius Satellite Radio subscription, this radio cannot be added as a discounted second unit. If you have an existing XM Satellite Radio subscription, you can add this unit as a discounted second unit.

    Disc 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.

    MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The KDC-BT952HD can play MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and AAC (8-320 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc can have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder (512 maximum number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA/AAC playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (ver. 1.x/2.x) and WMA Tag information - up to 60 characters.

    Text Scroll: The KDC-BT952HD 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-405) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD 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.

    USB/Aux Inputs

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD features a rear panel USB (type-A) port that is attached to the unit's rear-chassis via a 35" pigtail. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device with MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and AAC (8-320 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 folder layers, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder - with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

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

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD 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 music files to your USB (MSC) devices 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.

    System Requirements: 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.

    Aux In: The unit is equipped with a rear 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 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.

    Auxiliary Display: The KDC-BT952HD allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.

    iPod/Android Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The KDC-BT952HD's rear panel USB port also acts 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; use the Lighting-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-BT952HD.

    iPod DAC Bypass: The 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.

    iPod 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 (A-Z) or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). In addition, the head unit offers Related Search, which allows you to play songs related to the currently playing song. Related Search lets the head unit create an album list of the currently playing artist, a song list of the currently playing album, a artist list of the currently playing genre, or a album list of currently playing composer. 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 iHeartRadio, 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.

    Note: 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.

    Pandora Internet Radio Control: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD CD receiver lets you playback and control the Pandora Internet Radio music service that is being streamed to your Apple iPhone, Android smartphone, or BlackBerry. While providing control over the Pandora music service, the KDC-BT952HD also displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list; you can sort the station list by date or alphabetically (A-Z). You can also skip song tracks within a station. In addition, you can also give songs a thumbs up/down and bookmark songs/artists.

    • Pandora App for iPhone: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD lets you playback and control Pandora Internet Radio streamed to your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately) or the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora App from the Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.
    • Pandora via Android or BlackBerry: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD also lets you playback and control Pandora Internet Radio streamed from your Android or BlackBerry smartphone, via Bluetooth (no hard-wired connection required). Your Android or BlackBerry smartphone must have the latest version of the Pandora App from the Android Market or the BlackBerry App World. Your Android or BlackBerry smartphone must also be Bluetooth A2DP/AVRCP/SPP certified and will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. In addition, you will need an active Pandora music service account.

    Note: Access to the Pandora service will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone or smartphone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    iPod/ Display: The KDC-BT952HD 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-BT952HD will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").

    iPod 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.

    Note: If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/25/2012):

    iPod Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Pandora app iTunes Tagging Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod App mode Artist/Song Text Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    clickwheel
    color
    4th N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    2nd N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y N N Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y N N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    7th 1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    4th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    5th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    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 Android Market place. 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 n/a n/a

    Audio Section

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD 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-BT952HD 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-BT952HD features front, rear and subwoofer 4.0-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-BT952HD's built-in amplifier off to improve the quality of the sound from the head unit's preamp outputs.

    Sound Excellence DSP (Digital Signal Processing): In order to optimize the sound quality, you can use the unit's Sound Excellence DSP to set the type of vehicle, speaker sizes, distances and x-over points. The DSP settings include the following:

    • Car Type: Select your car type to automatically set the Delay Time of each speaker for timing adjustment of sound output of each channel to have the highest surround effect. Choose from Compact, Full Size Car, Wagon, Mini Van , Mini Van Long, SUV, or Off
    • Listening Position: For a better sound-stage you can select your optimal listening position. You can choose from All, Front Left, Front Right or Front. You can also select to manually fine tune the sound stage by selecting the distance for each individual speaker in the vehicle compared to your listening position.
    • Digital Time Alignment (DTA): Choose from 0.00 to 20' (0.07' steps) 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.
    • Speaker Location: You can set the location of your vehicle's Front and Rear speakers.
      • Front: Door, On Dash, or Under Dash
      • Rear: Door, Rear Deck, 2nd Row, or 3rd Row
    • Speaker Size: You can select the speaker size for your Front & Rear speakers, as well as your subwoofer.
      • Front: Small, Medium, or Large
      • Tweeter: None, Small, Middle or Large
      • Rear: None, Small, Medium, or Large
      • Subwoofer: None, Small, or Large
    • X'Over: The head unit features independent Front, Rear, & tweeter high-pass crossovers, as well as a subwoofer low-pass crossover.
      • Front High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or select Full-Range)
      • Rear High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or select Full-Range)
      • Tweeter High Pass Filter: 1, 1.6, 2.5, 4, 5, 6.3, 8, 10, or 12.5 kHz
      • Subwoofer Low Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or Select Full-Range)
    • Speaker Level: You can adjust the volume level (0 to -8dB) of the Front, Rear, Tweeter, and Subwoofer channels independently.
    • Subwoofer Phase: Choose either Normal (0°) or Reverse  (180°)
    • Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.
      • Supreme Setting: When MP3, WMA, and AAC 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
      • Elevation Level: You can virtually raise the sound position heard from your speakers; the Elevation Level can be set to High, Low, or Off
      • Space Enhancer: You can set the Space Enhancer to Small, Large, or Off each setting value indicates the soundscape level
      • Sound Realizer: Virtually makes the sound more realistic using the DSP; can bet se to LVL1, LVL2, LVL3, or Off
      • Highway Sound: You can boost a certain range of sound that becomes hard to hear due to road noise; the Highway Sound level can be set to High, Low, or Off

    Note: You can also choose to bypass the head unit's DSP feature.

    Equalizer Control: Equalizer Control allows you to use one of the EQ presets, or set your own custom settings for the front and back speakers using the 7-band Equalizer. The EQ adjustments are as follows:

    • EQ Presets: You can select from Flat, Natural, Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Powerful, iPod (you can select from 22 EQ curve types within your iPod), or User (customized 7-band EQ).
    • 7-Band EQ: 7-Band frequency adjustment (-9 to +9 dB) for Front & Rear speakers using the following center frequencies; 62.5Hz, 160Hz, 400Hz, 1kHz, 2.5kHz, 6.3khz, 16kHz.

    Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store EQ and tone settings for each source (Disc, AM/FM, USB, iPod, Bluetooth Audio, and Pandora).

    Bass Boost: The KDC-BT952HD features a four-step Bass Boost (Off/1/2/3) to enhance your music's lower frequencies.

    Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes.

    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).

    Dual Zone: The Dual Zone mode allows you to output the Main source and the Auxiliary input separately for the front & rear channels. You can select whether the auxiliary input will play in the front or the rear. You can adjust the volume of the rear channels independently from the front channels (0-35). The head unit's audio settings have no effect on the second zone.

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

    Display Features

    Detachable Fold-Down Face: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD features a fold-down, detachable face to deter theft. You must manually fold the face down before inserting or ejecting a disc. The fold-down face requires 1.75" of open space in front of the unit to open. The CD player comes supplied with a soft black fabric, draw-string face pouch to protect the detachable face when you have it off the chassis.  A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Note: An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can also be purchased for this unit.

    Multi-Line Text Display: The 5-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-BT952HD offers six different display types:

    • 5-line display mode with 4-5 lines of text.
    • 3-line display mode with 2-3 lines of text.
    • iPod-like display mode for iPod and Pandora only.
    • 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-BT952HD offers English, French, and Spanish menu text.

    Variable Color Illumination: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD 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 Effects: The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD offers two unique key-button illumination effects.

    • Illumination Operation Sync: This function sets whether the head unit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the key-button operation.
    • Illumination Music Sync: This function set whether the head unit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the system's sound & volume level.

    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. You can even set times for two different cities (dual clock 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-BT952HD comes with an IR remote control (RC-405) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, Bluetooth, 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. You can also dial a phone number using the remote's numeric keypad.
    • 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.

     
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    Kenwood KDC-BT952HD Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    4 out of 5

    2nd Kenwood radio HU

    Written By Anonymous, Whitehall, MT on Saturday, September 13, 2014
     
    This is my 2nd Kenwood radio. I had the model prior to this one they improved the new model.
    Pros:
    Easier programing the radio and easier to get to the presets. More EQ frequencies 7 instead of 5. Built in Blue Tooth
    Cons:
    Glare on display screen in bright light.
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    4 out of 5

    very happy with this receiver

    Written By beatfreak47, southern california on Saturday, January 25, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    i must admit immediatly after install i thought i was not going to like this reciever. after about a week, i love it. i swapped a very nice pioneer for this unit and i am happy with the change. the display customization, features, and sound quality make this a great unit. the only complaint i have is that it takes a lot of effort to adjust the manual equalizer.
    Pros:
    sound quality, display, features
    Cons:
    too many key strokes to navigate menus
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    5 out of 5

    Great reciever

    Written By Pete, Hanford, CA on Monday, November 18, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this receiver looking for: -Bluetooth -Sat Radio -iPod connectivity

    I use an iPhone 4 and an iPod Classic. I purchased this HU with the SiriusXM tuner. I've had it in for a week and so far I love it. It took about 2 hours total for the install and update, and that's with my 11 year old son doing the majority of the work. I have a 2000 Silverado and the glare that other people have mentioned isn't a problem for me based on where the stereo sits. I can see how it might be a problem for a different car, though. There is a ton of audio customization that can be done, and you can adjust the display to show different info about the music, or you can change it to show just the clock. I have it set for 5 lines and it has all of the song/artist info plus a small clock at the bottom. The sound quality is much better than the factory system. I also want to throw in a plug for Crutchfied. I had a Parrot MKI 9200 installed for about 6 months, and I went through several before deciding that it's just a crappy product. Crutchfield gave me store credit even though I was well outside the return window. I'm much happier with this setup. The HU also comes with everything you need to install - wire harness, dashboard blank, etc.
    Pros:
    -OEM-style display -No USB/AUX inputs on front -Lots of customization -Clock visible all the time -Can save 2 custom audio settings
    Cons:
    -Glare could be a problem in some cars (not a factor in my pickup)
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    3 out of 5

    Not As Expected

    Written By User, Ohio on Saturday, July 27, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This was a bit of a let down. The unit has some nice features but lacks the performance I was expecting. There is no reliable source for detailed instructions. Each selection (radio, Bluetooth, cd) has to be programmed for bass/treble and all sound functions. You would think this could be easily found in one area. It took a lot of searching to find the setting for front and rear speakers to work on Bluetooth and USB. Using pandora is a joke because it syncs with Bluetooth not pandora. There is no cover supplied to store the face when removed. Settings are impossible and since it was a refurb from crutchfield the price should have been a little better. I think it is a marketing ploy since you can find this unit new elsewhere for the same price. Installation into my wrangler was relatively easy. Sound is ok but does lack what other units supply for this amount of $$$.
    Pros:
    Easy installation and decent sound. Upgrading was easy with USB memory stick or you can burn to cd and its a snap.
    Cons:
    Extremely hard to program and once you upgrade the flash memory it returns all of your setting to factory. No reason you should have to set aloof your sound settings for each source mode.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood head unit

    Written By Luis L, El Paso, TX on Wednesday, July 24, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The headunit was refurbish and not a single problem with it. It was like brand new no problems at all with it cheap price fast shipping!
    Pros:
    I'll use crutch field again
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    4 out of 5

    its ok, but has some issues still a good buy

    Written By J, chicago, IL on Wednesday, April 24, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Its a very cool radio, I have a galaxy note 2 and the bluetooth function is awesome. It allows me to control my entire music library, as well as control pandora. The cd player acts up from time to tome as it will eject from trying to put the face back on, and will eject the discbnumerous times befo it accepts. The problem is perhaps the hd radio it simply juat goes out and comes back on withoit notification. I dont have sirius radio so I cant coment on that option. Other wise its ok, especially the oprion to control a sub if I choose to install 1.
    Pros:
    Options for use with a smart phone, you'll love it especially with pandora, I have a unlimited data plan so this is a big plus. The Eq
    Cons:
    Hd radio cuts off without notification And cd player acts up The display colors change too frequent.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great stereo, for the most part.

    Written By krw, Euless, TX on Tuesday, April 02, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This head unit was a good value at full price. I purchased this stereo when it went on clearance for half-price. As such, it was an awesome value. It's packed with features, and has good power. My only real complaint is that te display is difficult to see in direct sunlight due to glare. The face is shiny, and curved. An anti-glare coating of some sort would have been welcome. I'm going to try a cell-phone anti-glare protector sheet on it. The iPod and Pandora connections works great with my iPhone 4 (iOS 6), but the Bluetooth connection currently will only play music, but not control the phone. There is supposed to be a software update coming to fix this. Lots of features and options equals lots of menus, but navigation and setup is not difficult. I had no problem pairing it to the iPhone, setting display colors, etc.
    Pros:
    Bluetooth, iPod/iPhone USB control, Pandora control, HD radio, excellent power output, 6 pre-amp outputs, multi-line display, user-changeable colors.
    Cons:
    Display difficult to read in bright sunlight, Bluetooth needs an update to work with iOS 6 devices.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Pretty Amazing

    Written By Anonymous, Seattle, WA on Tuesday, April 02, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This deck is awesome. I love how I can control my Ipod through the stereo, and that I still have the option to play my CDs. I also love how I can have full control of Pandora through my Android phone. The radio takes a little getting use to with the HD and finding the preset stations, but nothing ridiculous. I only wish that the stereo connected to a CD changer, other than that, I am very pleased.
    Pros:
    Looks Great, Sounds Great, Full Control of Ipod and Pandora, HD Radio, Bluetooth Works Great
    Cons:
    Radio is a little different
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT952HD

    Written By Steve, Eden Valley, MN on Monday, March 25, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    like all the function, except there is no preset buttons you have to go into the preset menu.
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    4 out of 5

    Nice upgrade, cool features

    Written By MannyR, Norwood, MA on Wednesday, March 20, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I was looking for a new radio that incorporated Bluetooth. This radio was on sale and was a great deal. It was simple to install. The setup was not as easy, it has many many options. It took me 3 days to get the color the way I wanted because it took me a while to figure out how to properly adjust. The screen does show some glare during the day but it is a great looking receiver.
    Pros:
    Great Looking. Lots of Adjustment. Bluetooth. Rear inputs for USB and Aux.
    Cons:
    Bluetooth connection takes too long. When you jump in the car, you need to wait what feels like 30-40 seconds before it makes the connection.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Nice unit.

    Written By Ian, Seattle, WA on Tuesday, March 19, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Nice unit. very adaptable. Easy to install. Wish the sound quality was a bit stronger.
    Pros:
    Lots of features and options. Great Ipod control. HD radio works fantastic.
    Cons:
    Does not have much treble or brightness in any EQ setting. Bluetooth HF is pretty noisy
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great

    Written By Nmalo, 01013 on Sunday, March 17, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great features good value
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    5 out of 5

    Fantastic Sound & Features

    Written By Daniel B '07 Nissan Versa, San Clemente, CA on Sunday, March 17, 2013
     
    I was looking for a Double Din originally, but they were too pricey and didn't have all the features I wanted. Kenwood traditionally has good head units for a reasonable price. One factor I had to have was Bluetooth for my Cell Phone ( keeps the cops from harassing you) once installed even the technician from Crutchfield couldn't believe how clear the call sounded. and the sound from the stereo is amazing. very clean and plenty of room for adjustment the color options are more than anyone would need. The I-pod is easily adjustable and the 1amp charger really is a bonus. In my book Kenwood has really stepped up their game. well done..
    Pros:
    Clean Sound Quality for both Bluetooth and the stereo. plenty of features to use to keep even the high tech nerds happy for hours. attractive / stylish design.
    Cons:
    My only complaints are that upon installation of the '07 Nissa Versa there should have been some more side notes IE: the trim ring around the head unit will not work and must be removed, the cage that surrounds the head unit will not fit with the install kit and must be left out. Most of the colors, although nice leaves the unit not legible I had to resort to white with black letters in order to see. due to the design of the dash.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Does not work with iOS 6 via Bluetooth

    Written By Z, MA on Friday, February 01, 2013
     
    The primary thing I wanted was a car stereo that I could pair with my iPhone 5 using Bluetooth, and this stereo does not fulfill that function, and there was no way to know it wouldn't work prior to purchasing it. iOS 6 (the required operating system for the iPhone 5) only supports Bluetooth AVRCP 1.4. This Kenwood head unit, the KDC-BT952HD, does NOT support AVRCP 1.4. It does support earlier versions of AVRCP, which is why the Crutchfield website says "Bluetooth song title and controls" will work. They will not work.

    Kenwood needs to release a firmware update, but they have not. I installed the latest firmware, but it does not fix the problem (probably because it came out fairly long ago).

    Ideally, Crutchfield should note this incompatibility somewhere on their website. The iPhone is a popular phone, and it simply doesn't work via Bluetooth with this stereo. AVRCP is broken so there is no song name and no next/previous button. A2DP does work, so you do get sound, just no control and no song name.
    Cons:
    Does not support AVRCP 1.4, so Bluetooth with the iPhone 5 does not work (no controls and no song info)
    Crutchfield response on Wednesday, February 06, 2013
    Kenwood plans a March 2013 firmware update that will allow this stereo to display metadata and control the iPhone 5 via Bluetooth.
    14 out of 14 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Perfect for me

    Written By david, United States on Friday, January 11, 2013
     
    I purchased this unit for my 86 Mustang GT. Fits perfectly and looks amazing. I not only upgraded the head unit, but I also installed a 6-speaker JL audio component system and 2 Orion subs, pushing about 1500 watts total. Needless to say it all sounds remarkable.

    I got this unit for a few very specific reasons. 1) iPhone compatible and controllable. 2) Bluetooth enabled. 3) Pandora ready. 4) Variable color display - I have a red interior and it was important to have red colored display. Silly maybe, but if I'm going to drop nearly $300 on a head unit alone, it should have no flaws. So for those 4 reasons, this unit is perfect for me. Also, the 7-band manual EQ is pretty important too. Otherwise, pretty much standard features.

    The downside to this unit, one major downside that others have stated, is the display when in direct sunlight. It's HORRIBLE to be honest. I also have a convertible so it makes things even more pronounced when the top is down. However, there is the ability to switch positive/negative contrast on the display which pretty much negates that issue entirely....although in the evening you'd want to switch back since the display will then be too bright. Next flaw is then the menu navigation, so simple things like changing the display from Pos to Neg is about 10 button presses or so. And radio preset navigation is NOT quick.

    All in all, love it! Would not trade it for anything. However, could be better and more user friendly as well.
    Pros:
    List of features, bluetooth connectivity, pandora, sound, customization options, nearly everything!
    Cons:
    Display in direct sunlight, preset navigation, some menu controls, also the ability to remove sources you don't use as stated below.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great ;roduct

    Written By mikemis, Louisiana on Tuesday, January 01, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I was looking for an HD radio to replace the aging AM/FM/CD played in my wife's minivan, and this unit appeared to be the best choice. After installation, I'm convinced it was exactly that. It has a simple desing without a clutter of manyh small button, offers a wide range of sources - Sirius, Pandora, AM, FM, HD, mp3, iPhone, etc. - and has great sound. Best of all, it's really easy to use, whih means my technophobic wife can use it without having to ask me each tme.
    Pros:
    Simple and elegant design, great sound, broad range of sources, easy installation.
    Cons:
    It would be nice to be able to eliminate sources you don't use, such as Sirius, but apparently they're there for good, so you have to scroll through them to get to the ones you do use.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Good but has issues

    Written By Steve M, Santa Monica CA on Thursday, December 27, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Bought this to finally give my old land rover ipod capability and better sound. Great overall, but with a few issues and one giant Achilles heel. It goes completely silent for no reason requiring a reboot and you loose all your settings and the bluetooth connection. Reset up is a PITA to get it dialed just right, not sure if mine is a lemon or they all do this. It would be nice if the interface was more friendly and not so techy, this is not recommended unless you are sound savy. Buttons and writing could be bigger, not everyone has 20 year old eyes.
    Pros:
    Display can be done in "Land Rover Green" ~ great sound once you figure out how to set it up ~
    Cons:
    Confusing interfaces ~ buttons are a little small ~ still not a 100% on how to work the radio itself (!) ~ manual is not good at explaining details ~ biggest issue is that it simply locks up form time to time for no reason and no sound will play, then you have to reset the unit and you loose all your custom settings, a PITA but I am getting faster at it, happens about once a month, not sure if this is normal or not.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Unit!

    Written By WRW, Bel Air, MD on Sunday, November 18, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great unit. Installation was very straight forward. Needed assistance with one wire, tech support was super. Unit performs very well overall. BT is great with iPhone, and Vol/Adjust activates Siri. Sound quality of unit is great with lots of custimation.
    Pros:
    BT, Sound Quality
    Cons:
    Can't figure out how to maintain downloaded phone info.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Nice Unit

    Written By David S, Aylett VA on Saturday, October 13, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this unit to replace a Sony mini disk player that completely died in my 99 Camry. Installation was very easy, especially with the Crutchfield supplied wiring harness and dash pocket. Initial setup was fairly easy, but the full instruction manual will have to be downloaded to get full benefits of the features. This is my first experience with HD radio...I love it! I personally think the audio quality is better than SirriusXm which I have installed as well. One thing about the manual is it fails to mention what MC in the display stands for (while in HD)... I guess it stands for "multiple channels", since it's only displayed when more than one station is on a single frequency...HD1,HD2, etc. There are plenty of channel pre-set memory slots to store your favorite stations, and the mixed presets is a nice option to select between different sources. I don't like how the pre-sets are displayed though...HD stations are displayed by their call letters instead of frequencies...maybe there is a way to change this but I haven't figured it out yet. For now I have to memorize call signs. Bluetooth is a nice feature... I had to increase mic gain which was very easy to do; there is a texting feature but it is not compatibable with my iPhone 4. I did notice in order for my iPhone to pair properly, I have to wait until it is finished downloading my contacts before hooking up the charging/docking cord. All in all, I'm very happy with the Kenwood BT952HD.
    Pros:
    Easy installation. Great sound. Crutchfield's attention to detail.
    Cons:
    Display hard to see in certain lighting conditions. Not the best owners manual.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Nice unit, but setup takes some effort

    Written By David, NYC, NY on Sunday, October 07, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    As others have said, the poor manual and hard-to-navigate menus make this unit somewhat time-consuming to set up exactly the way you want it. Once you get there though, it's very nice. Would be better to have discrete buttons for things like presets instead of having to do multiple button presses and dig through menus, but this seems to be a common practice these days so I wouldn't single this deck out for it. It just takes some getting used to. Calls and streaming from my phone work well, I did have a minor issue with the phone book not always downloading but as long as I don't start streaming until the download completes it seems to work every time. Overall build quality seems good but not too sure about the face mechanism and how it would hold up to frequent removing/reattaching. I also got this as a refurb so it was a great value, the unit itself is like new and indistinguishable from a brand new one. A minor problem with some of the included accessories was taken care of promptly by Crutchfield so I'm a happy customer.
    Pros:
    Very configurable with tons of parameters to adjust, good sound quality once adjusted for the particular installation. Good call and streaming performance. Display color and neg/pos adjustments help with visibility.
    Cons:
    All those adjustments combined with a terrible manual (which you have to download, only "Quick Start Guide" included with product) and non-intuitive menus make for a lengthy setup experience. Despite all the display adjustments, high-glare face makes it difficult to see in certain lighting conditions. I actually applied a non-glare screen protector to the face which helps somewhat, but a factory matte bezel would be better. Some basic functions require multiple button-presses or menu navigati
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT952HD

    Written By Brandon, Pampa tx on Tuesday, October 02, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Awesome unit would recommend to a friend but like said befor it gets a little difficult to see in the sun and has way to many options for me to mess up but maybe I'll learn what they all do one day
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Good Radio

    Written By Anonymous, Steelville, Mo on Monday, September 24, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Had this product for while and I'm really enjoying it especially with SiriusXM..
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    3 out of 5

    works okay

    Written By madcityrick, madison wi on Friday, September 07, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Hi, put this into my 2012 wrangler. install was pretty easy and sound is good. my only beef is that you have to push about 3-5 buttons to do anything. Not convenient when driving - i like to keep my eyes on the road and not my stereo. also the time is not easily accessible. i have to push buttons to get it visible, again eyes not on the road.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Really Good Stereo

    Written By Kenderama, Grand Rapids, MI on Thursday, September 06, 2012
     
    I managed to get this refurbished from Crutchfield and therefore found it to be a good bargain to replace the stock head unit in my Rabbit. New price is a bit high, but refurb is a good deal here. :)

    The build quality and configurability of the device is quite excellent, and it worked out of the box perfectly with my iPhone 4 over dock connector as well as via Bluetooth handsfree streaming and calling. Each interface / source has it's own set of configurations so they can look completely different (for example, I have my iPod section showing Artist/Song/Album/GraphicEQ + Clock, but Pandora shows Station/Artist/Song/GraphicEQ + Clock) and even different colors and user-defined color-sets.

    The downside to that configurability is that a lot of the menus are very unintuitive, and some are downright confusing. Also you lose all song display if you decide to switch to iPod/App mode and control the music from your device.

    Finally, this head unit uses Parrot technology for bluetooth handsfree and it shows. Out of the box with the mic mounted on the A-pillar callers report that I am crystal clear audio-wise, though the high-end audio seems to be a bit lacking. (Which, understandable will trump upper-register sound any day for me. :))
    Pros:
    Plethora of color choices, solid build quality, Parrot Bluetooth technology.
    Cons:
    Menuing system was written by M.C. Escher. Simple setup options make little to no sense without the manual.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent unit!

    Written By D, Locust Grove, VA on Wednesday, September 05, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Exceptional unit, full of features and options that will allow you to fine tune your entire sound system. Selectable x-over points, speaker distance, individual channel outputs, DSP...

    Very easy to achieve a very well balanced sound in you particular automobile! In reality, first time over last 20 years I've not bothered using any components between the head unit and the amplifier (my parametric EQ, DSP and Epicenter are now simply sitting on the shelf). Very happy with the unit! Outstanding connectivity and function with the built in Blue Tooth.

    P.S. Sorry, I guess I'm too old to rate the "coolness" factor, but it looks great, simple, fairly easy to use and outstanding functionality!

    Pros:
    DSP, X-over, Sound Field selection, individual channel settings (not just Front/Rear) to compensate for the distance of the driver/speaker in relation to the listening position, an array of illumination (including negative and positive background) that let's you blend in the colors/brightness with your existing electronics. Display selection (text size and appearance options) are excellent. USB cable is long enough to make a custom installation (not just let it hang). Excellent Blue Tooth!
    Cons:
    Display is a bit difficult to read in the bright sun light, wish that display glass (plastic) had mat/flat surface, not glossy to prevent the glare... Also, I wish that the included Blue Tooth mic had a 360 ball mount, no just lateral swivel. But don't let these little things stop you, very minor details, excellent unit overall!
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    5 out of 5

    Great update

    Written By Nick, Carlsbad, CA on Monday, September 03, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Kenwood addressed the few shortcomings I observed in the 948HD with the 952HD.
    Pros:
    Excellent sound Increased customizability Improved LED display in daylight - it's now visible, although still not ideal Increased compatibility with many types of mobile devices
    Cons:
    Requires patience - this isn't a con, but wanted to address, for those who pan its lack of ease of use. There must be some trade-off with extensive allowance for customization. Menus are still pretty intuitive, and once you reach settings you're happy with, you're done, unless you tweak occasionally. If I want something done correctly, I'll take the time to use it. Some aren't willing to invest that. Would like to see compatibility w/ more diverse set of portable media storage, but that's picky
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT952HD

    Written By George, Anderson, DC on Saturday, July 28, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Good value for all the features, HD radio is nice, great sound, do not ready like the way the radio presets work. Overall very pleased with my choice. Huge improvement for a 2001 dodge ram 2500 quad cab.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-BT952HD

    Written By Anonymous, Bucks County, Pennsylvania on Saturday, July 28, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great Product sounds great and works amazing! Awesome buy will do business with crutch field in the future as well great company and a great buy!.
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    4 out of 5

    Loses sound

    Written By Anonymous, Dallas, Tx on Monday, July 23, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This receiver constantly loses audio and I have to reset it by disconnecting/connecting the radio fuse or the battery terminal cable to get the receiver to work. This is very irritating.
    3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Great sound, but had issues

    Written By Shawn, Space Coast on Monday, July 02, 2012
     
    Lots of control, but menus were clunky at best. Once set up sound was awesome and I think it can make any system sound better. My issues came from comparability and customer service at Kenwood. I could connect and use my Razr Maxx, but had audio skip issues with streaming music and phone calls. Customer service said can't do anything while on phone. Finally was able to get back to them on another phone when they were open and I wasn't at work. This time they did zero trouble shooting with the phone and told me it wasn't on the compatibility list. So it's sort of works with Android Phones like my girlfriend's droid2. My phone works great with her 2 year old JVC though, so I'll likely get one from them now.
    Pros:
    Great sound and shopping options. Clear phone calls and music when the bluetooth didn't skip.
    Cons:
    Kenwood has issues with bluetooth
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Nice unit but could be easier to use

    Written By Andy, Ca on Sunday, July 01, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Sounds good. My iPhone 4S takes 1 minute to connect. This may be a known iPhone issue though. While hooking up, you will not be able to do anything else with the unit like listen to music. Sound quality is good. I am still using my stock 07 civic speaker so the full potential is still not known. It does make the stock speakers sound better. Ease of use is not so good. Kenwood feels that less buttons is better, but something as simple as changing a preset radio station requires pressing a button, turning a dial once or twice, scrolling to the desired station on the screen and pressing enter. I prefer the old style 5 preset buttons. I realize some people dont listen to radio, but all source inputs use this menu based navigation which can be difficult while negotiating a mountain road. Back to the bluetototh phone portion of the Kenwood. Calls are clear and the microphone can be mounted anywhere in the car. I found the a-pillar near the sunvisor to work really well. The civic is a noisy car, and the Kenwoods noise cancellation works well. Source selection offers Sirius satellite radio (with an adapter) which I do not subscribe to. It is in the source selection list which can not be skipped. It would be nice to disable unused sources from the list. The display is difficult to see in the civic since the deck is mounted with the diplay facing upward. The display can get dust in behind it. Mine has a piece of packaging from delivery behind the lcd cover.
    Pros:
    Good sound good looks good fit.
    Cons:
    Difficult to navigate though multiple menus at highway speed. Bluetooth connection not quick or definite.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Radio!

    Written By AlanJ, Florida on Saturday, June 09, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installed in a 2010 Altima 4-door sedan w/standard factory radio.

    This radio has everything I was looking for -- Price, Installation materials, Sound quality and Features.

    The installation materials supplied by Crutchfield make the difference. My hardest job was finding a grounding point for the radio's wiring harness. I used posi-connectors because they're easier to work with than crimping or soldering. The Scosche dash kit fits likes a glove.

    The few HD stations I tried came in crystal clear with CD-like sound.

    Pairing my iPhone4 to the radio was handled entirely by the radio, including downloading my iPhone contact list to the radio. Hands-free sound quality over the mic and speakers is clear and static free.

    The screen text is easy to read from the driver's seat in all but direct sunlight. The font used is crisp (even in 5-line mode) and very easy to read.

    The audio and music controls are easy to use, though scrolling and selection takes my eyes off the road more than I like. The sound quality of this radio is so much better than the factory radio, even with the Altima's entry-level factory speakers. I didn't listen much to the factory radio - now I can't wait to get in the car and turn this one on. I have no hesitation recommending the Kenwood KDC-BT952HD.

    Thanks Crutchfield and Customer Advisor Drew!

    PS. Kenwood support is outstanding. They replied to an email question within 10 minutes. Unheard of!
    Pros:
    - Rich set of built-in functions (even a dedicated SiruisXM plug-in port in the rear) - USB handles all connections and the radio-attached dongle stays out of the way - Easy-to-read text display - Automatic Bluetooth pairing - Hands-free cell-phone (mic and car speakers) - Text display of Artist and Song for HD, USB, Pandora - Separately adjustable colors for keys and display - Tons of audio-shaping controls
    Cons:
    - Single-DIN size by its nature puts a squeeze on key-button real estate (though placement is still acceptable); they've done as good a job as might be expected with the user-interface without having a Double-DIN touch-screen to work with. - Instruction manual thoroughly lists the possible option settings but doesn't explain why one might choose one option instead of another.
    7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Awesome Stereo!

    Written By Chris K, NJ on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The bang for the buck is incredible with this stereo. Bluetooth audio streaming, Bluetooth calling, HD Radio, AM Stereo, USB and 3.5mm inputs with a remote control all for under $300! You can't beat it.
    Pros:
    Great sound quality
    Cons:
    Takes a little getting used to when navigating through the menus.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Works well, and with my Android

    Written By Dom, Maryland on Saturday, May 19, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I put this unit in a week ago, and have been very satisfied. I have an HTC EVO Shift, which is a few years old, and the radio works well with it, including music on the phone, streaming over bluetooth, and pandora. There is a kenwood app in the android market that makes listening to music on the phone work really well. The usb port seems to keep up with power requirements, even when I'm streaming music with the screen on. According to the manual, the usb port power output is .5 amps, which is adequate. Compare that to the small iphone wall charger at .15A, the HTC wall charger at .85A, ipad charger at 1A, and kindle wall charger at 1A.

    I haven't had any problems with the bluetooth functions. My phone pairs up quickly every time.
    Pros:
    Good android support, complete feature set.
    4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Great So Far

    Written By Mike C, Cincinnati, OH on Sunday, April 29, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great sound and not too difficult to install. Only wish they would have told me when I called in that it required a separate adapter for the steering wheel controls... now I have to pull everything apart again. Pandora doesn't seem to connect over Bluetooth, which is a slight inconvenience. Phone Bluetooth audio quality is amazing though. Found a solution to the difficulty reading the display during the day. In the settings, you can "reverse" the background illumination so it is mainly color with black text - much easier to read during the day! Everything else is as advertised.
    Pros:
    Great sounds and functionality. HD Radio Linking and signal are a big upgrade from my old JVC unit. Beautiful display. Great IPod function.
    Cons:
    Be aware of the need for an additional adapter for steering wheel controls.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Satisfied

    Written By C.Rowe, Lexington,KY on Monday, April 02, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a nice HU.I bought it for the three line display and the HD radio(built in).This cost twice more than any Hu I've owned(approx. 10-12).I bought this to replace a Sony DSX S200X. which cost half as much.Besides the HD radio they're pretty much equal(sound,features,display,user friendliness,sound). However the Sony just stopped emitting sound from both USB ports one day.I checked fuses and reset everything without resolution and the return window had just ran out..........So I guess it's still OK that the Kenwood costs twice as much.
    1 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Great Stereo but doesn't work with Iphone 3 or 4

    Written By BeGood, Media, PA on Monday, March 26, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This stereo works great and sounds great. Easy to set up and good menus. I didn't really like the main control that much because the buttons on the sides of it, above and below it are not easy to push. I sent it back because it does not work with the Iphone 4 or 3. It would play music through the USB/IPOD mode fine until I would pair the phone to the radio in order to make phone calls through the unit. After that, no sound from the music even though it looked like it was playing. Reset the unit to factory defaults and don't pair it, and it works again. Called Kenwood support and eventually got the answer that there is no update and they were making a note of my issue but not going to pursue resolving it. So I bought a Pioneer and it works.
    6 out of 11 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great HU

    Written By Stan S., Novi, MI on Sunday, March 25, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I put this HU into a Honda S2000. It fit perfectly and had the right adapters/holes to use the stock mounting location. Front protrusion is really important in this car and it fits just fine.

    The bluetooth works great except for a few things: - It doesn't want to autoconnect all of the time. I feel like there is some sequence of pairing or something that I'm missing, or perhaps it's my phone's fault (HTC Incredible 2) but I usually have to connect to the HU using the phone's settings or using the HU's menu to connect to the phone. - It tries to connect to hands-free profile no matter what. I have not found a way to disable this on the HU yet. I can disable it on my phone, but the HU still flashes up that hands-free is not connected, which is annoying. The A2DP still works during this period so nothing is functionally broken.

    Everything else has worked great with no complaints. I have an external amp running my speakers and no issues there. Both AUX inputs work well and it reads my iPad like it should in iPod mode. There's also a mode to allow you to control the music through the iPad instead of the HU, which is nice.

    The screen is pretty hard to read in direct sunlight though, so beware of that. I haven't monkeyed around with the contrast yet to see how much better I can make it.
    Pros:
    Everything but the cons
    Cons:
    Bluetooth auto connect a bit flaky, no way to disable the hands free profile. You can't disable the XM source....so you have to scroll through that every time, which is slightly annoying Hard to read the display in direct sunlight
    7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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