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Kenwood DPX503

CD receiver (New Stock)

Item #: 113DPX503

58 Reviews

This item is no longer available.

Original Price: $319.99

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Replace your bland factory stereo with this double-sized Kenwood DPX503 CD receiver, and enjoy the performance and versatility that go along with its stylish looks. The sleek DPX503 puts all the information you want front and center on its large multi-line display, and you can even choose from ten illumination colors to match your dash lighting.

Versatile entertainment center
Connect your satellite radio, flash drive, or MP3 player to the conveniently located front-panel USB and auxiliary inputs. Or play your iPod® by connecting it to the receiver's USB input. If you prefer your music on shiny discs, the DPX503 will play MP3, WMA, and AAC files on disc, as well as your store-bought CDs. Add-on options include Kenwood's HD Radio® tuner and Bluetooth® adapter.

Fine tune your audio
Contour the clean sound of the powerful onboard amplifier with seven preset tone curves for quick adjustments, plus bass, treble, and midrange controls for hands-on customization. Special controls let you tailor the sound to match your car's cabin, speaker setup, and your favorite listening position. Dual-zone capability allows the kids to listen to a CD over the rear speakers, while you listen to your iPod or other source up front.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?
In most vehicles, you can use this 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.

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

Product Highlights:

    General Features
    • CD player with built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • fits double-sized dash openings
    • large multi-line display with selectable button, knob, and display illumination (10 colors)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs, including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC files (will not play Digital Rights-protected music files on disc)
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control with 7 EQ curves and a 3-band equalizer
    • "Supreme" audio processing for better sound from your compressed music files
    • speaker settings that allow you to tailor the sound to the size and type of speakers in your car
    • digital time alignment
    • high-pass filter (speaker and preamp outs); low-pass filter (sub preamp outputs only)
    • dual zone capability so you can listen to different sources over the front and rear speakers
    • iPod direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connection cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • compatible with Kenwood Bluetooth adapter, satellite radio, and HD Radio™ tuner
    • inputs: front auxiliary and USB inputs, optional rear aux input
    • outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (front, rear/sub)
    Other features and specs:

    Why replace your factory radio?

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

    Kenwood DPX503 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    58 Reviews

    Awsome Unit !!

    Written by: Tweek from Crossville TN on July 11, 2011

    2005 GMC Canyon
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The DPX503 is one fine unit. The sound is just to much to describe with words.True, the display is a little dim in bright sunlight but is never much of a problem in my truck. The learning curve is a bit steep also ...But a good read of the manual will fix that. All the color options ...(Display and Face ) can be set up to fight the glare in bright conditions. Options galore with this unit..You can really tune it in to your ride with all the features of this unit. Kenwood has been a favorite of mine for years...But this is my first one..(That was in my ride) and I could not be happier with it !! I gave it a four star for the dim display... So much better looking than the touch screen units...Fits and looks good in my 2005 GMC Canyon



    it's ok

    Written by: Ray from Auburn from Central Illinois on July 3, 2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    bought this to replace factory stereo in 2010 Mazda 6 (non-Bose). The factory radio had too many buttons for non-working features. It was single disc, not 6. So most of buttons for multi disks, satellite, bluetooth, etc. And it didn't put out enough juice for my liking. Didn't want to spend a ton of something I wasn't planning on using. So replaced factory radio and speakers with Kenwood products. The head unit is ok, but it seems like Kenwood made it unnecessarly difficult to operate. It's double din, so you would think they could of made it more people friendly with the available space. The display is hard to see at times during the day. But I've tweeked it to the best I can.



    Not for iPhone

    Written by: Jay from McAllen, TX on May 18, 2011

    I bought this unit because of the specs. It really sounds great and the cabin
    tuning is simply amazing; however, I really would like to use my iPhone with this
    unit but it does not support the device.

    I was hoping that Kenwood would put out a firmware update, but they still
    haven't responded to my requests.

    Pros: Great Sound, USB Drive is nice, lots of input choices, cabin tuning is
    Cons: illumination is hard to see during the day, iphone does not work with this
    model, lots of menus to set up.



    Great Buy

    Written by: Dave from Cleveland, OH on April 27, 2011

    2004 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The radio is a great buy. Many features to play with. It takes a little time
    to learn how to navigate through the menus and your sources.

    Wish they would have allowed for iPod resume or place holding. If you
    disconnect or turn off the source, when you go back you have to find your
    playlist again and choose a song. It does not remember where you were last.

    Also wish the right knob was used for radio tuning rather than presets (spinning
    the knob will scroll through your presets, pressing the knob left and right will
    tune the radio frequency).




    Written by: Mark-anthony H. from Clarksville TN. on April 9, 2011

    Wow! 7 Sources of music. This is the most flexible unit I have ever owned for the
    money. I'm a Realtor and I spend a lot of hours in my car. 7 sources of music
    comes in handy. I have this unit max out for the most part. Components added are
    Sirius Satellite, Bluetooth EXT, and a Kenwood 10 Disc CD changer, (Kenwood
    Junction Box needed). With those three sources of sound, then include your built
    in FM radio, CD, USB and Ipod, for a total of seven. This unit is also flexible with
    sound and the varible allumination can't be beat. There are several cabin choices
    for your type of vehicle to include Digital Time Management of sound. For
    speakers I have Polk DB 5 X 7's front and rear, (Speakers by Speaker Mfg sound
    better to me). Powered by a Kenwood 4 channel amp with signal switching, (no un
    necessary drain on your battery). Needless to say, it's a concert hall in my car, the
    Bluetooth makes cell phone use even more enjoyable since the sound in muted
    automatically when a call comes in. I'm thinking of adding a 10 inch sub (Polk of
    course). I could not be happier, the Dpx and the Kenwood amp are a perfect
    combination, Power with control. A plug in for Crutchfield, minus my head unit I
    ordered every thing from crutchfield and paid no shipping. When I change my
    mind and decided to switch to the Polk Audios', Crutchfield took the kenwood
    speakers back, not question asked. Great customer service.



    Fantastic Stereo

    Written by: JonasF from Los Angeles, CA on March 10, 2011

    I bought this stereo to replace the factory model in my 2005 Ford F150.It is very
    easy to use once you take the time to read the instructions, maybe 15 or 20
    minutes total.It sounds amazing!I don't understand all the issues people have
    with seeing the display in the sun.You have many color choices,10 levels of
    contrast and the ability to have a black background with all the stereo display
    information shown in the color of your choice (NEGATIVE) or the stereo display
    information shown in black with your color of choice as the background
    (POSITIVE). If you are going to use a lighter color, like yellow, I could see it
    being a problem. I have mine set to POSITIVE with a green background and the
    contrast at 10.Living in sunny Los Angeles I have had no issues seeing the
    display clearly.I have used my iPod with it and that works perfectly.I added 4
    Kenwood KFC-C6893PS 6"x8" 3-way Speakers and could not be happier with
    the sound I'm getting.



    High End System

    Written by: Hooksett Tech Dude from Hooksett, NH on January 14, 2011

    2009 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this radio to replace the OEM radio on my 2009 Nissan Altima. The display on the OEM radio died so I did some research and decided on this Kenwood. The wiring harness, antenna adapter and face plate kit made a complicated job go nice and smoothly. It took about an hour from start to finish, but the installed radio looks really nice. There was one issue with the wiring harness, it did not have a chassis ground connector wire, no biggie, cause the OEM radio is grounded through the metal bracket that holds it in place, so the whole metallic frame inside the car serves as chassis gound point. I found an open hole and inserted a nut and locking bolt and grounded the radio to it. This issue is not a harness issue but one of those weird nissan things they do to their equipment for some odd reasons. Setting up the radio takes a little more time than normal as the manual is not well written, but with a little patience reading the manual and playing with the amplifier I was able to get into all the menus and adjust all the settings to my personal liking. This is an excellent aftemarket radio with great power, my car has never sounded as good as it does now. I have not experienced any of the reported issues because I took the time to understand how my new system works.



    Look for another unit!

    Written by: Jeremy from NM on November 26, 2010

    2005 Pontiac GTO
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Not impressed at all with this unit. The screen is very difficult to see during
    the day. I bought this unit to use with my I pod, the i pod interface is
    impossible to use while driving. I have had the unit for just under a year and
    the usb port has worked intermittently. I discourage anyone from buying this
    unit, spend the extra money and buy something better.



    All I can say is WOW!

    Written by: Ray D. from Jacksonville, FL on October 5, 2010

    2004 Mazda Tribute
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    So I get this box of foam peanuts, and burried in there is this huge box. I open it up and I
    think I heard angels sing! Install with my Sirius Sat. radio went without a hitch and
    powered up like a champ! It took me all of four hours to go through the menus and
    figure out how I like the sound shaped in my SUV. The color choices, the face looks, oh-
    so many choices! I think Christmas came early for me! BUY THIS RADIO! You will not
    be let down!



    Very Happy

    Written by: Patrick from Mineral Ridge, OH on April 7, 2010

    2006 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this radio to replace the Shaker 500 system in my Mustang. I didn't want/need a GPS/DVD system. I felt that this was the best system without GPS/DVD.
    I was looking for a stereo that would allow me to plug in my iPhone and other devices.
    I bought the Bluetooth adapter for this stereo so that I could use my iPhone handsfree. This work very well. I can also play my music on my iPhone through the Bluetooth and it works very well.
    I was disappointed in the iPod adapter though. I was not very well described on the website and did not state that it would not work with the iPhone with version 3.0+.
    It does not charge the iPhone, and does not work properly. Just use your USB iPod/iPhone cord and plug it into the USB port and it works fine.
    I originally had problems with the stereo cutting out when I turned the volume up past 20. After a call to tech support, it was determined that I had the wrong cables plugged into the RCA ports. Tech support was very helpful, and very knowledgeable, and was able to help me with a possible solution right away.



    Solid Unit

    Written by: DAVE from Wisconsin on March 18, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall the unit is everything I expected. It has great options, Color choices, expandibility,
    and Control. It has brought life to my stock Speakers and sub. It matches my interior great
    and doesn't look out of place. I installed the unit in a 2004 F-150, it took about 4 hours
    start to finish. I also hooked up a HD radio tuner and Bluetooth unit. The Bluetooth however
    gave me some issues. The receiver would not recognize the bluetooth as a source. I had
    to pair the phone with the receiver first and then it would list it as a source. Crutchfields
    support was awesome and was there when needed. Hd radio is cool and works well. Now
    that the Bluetooth is working i would never go with out again .One drawback to the
    bluetooth is everytime you shut the receiver down you have to re-pair with your phone
    (similar to most). There has been alot of talk of the display brightness and visibility,
    I have no issues with seeing the display on a sunny day (none issue). The worst thing
    about this unit is that your main control knob is on the passenger side of this unit, why
    not driver side? (drives me nuts).In closing another good product from Kenwood and
    great support from Crutchfield.



    Unintuitive controls and unsafe in daytime driving.

    Written by: Calvin from Charlottesville on March 16, 2010

    I'm more interested in the good sound than in the mulitcolored lights. But it's crazy if I can't easily adjust from CD or other function to radio without stopping because I can't read the display. This is my second Kenwood and won't buy another.



    Not too Bad

    Written by: DoubleD from Winnipeg, MB -- Canada on March 7, 2010

    Display - All colors on the display are configurable. You can assign different colors to each knob, and buttons, and text, or whatever tickles your fancy. You can have the unit cycle through colors too. The display can be configured to display information in a few ways. There are 3 or 4 predefined formats. Within that format you can alter what is displayed to you at a glance. Viewing artist name, song title, station, all that is available at a glance. The face of the unit is shiny black. Reflection seems to be a horrible issue. Daylight washes out the intensity of the display. There are a number of contrast settings, and positive and negative settings.

    Expandability - Satellite radio ready means that adding XM or Sirus is a breeze. The large display easily lends itself to displaying data. I bought this deck of this reason. Bluetooth is another matter all together. The expandable bluetooth module leaves something to be desired. It will allow you to use your deck to receive incoming calls. It will even ring when you have your deck set to using bluetooth streaming radio. However, when this unit is paired with the Kenwood bluetooth module, you can not use voice dialing. The process of dialing to make calls is cumbersome. The deck allows bluetooth streaming media. It also has a usb port on media jack for use with an ipod or mp3 player. Both ports are on the face. Not sure I would buy this unit again



    Kenwood DPX503 vs Pioneer 8000BT

    Written by: tommy from Iowa on January 23, 2010

    [USB file hierarchy] The Kenwood does not do hierarchy of folders when using a USB thumb drive. I love my Pioneer 8000BT because it does.
    [ipod control] The DPX503 has a setting for using the ipod. I do like the 8000BT better for ipod use though
    [Display] The DPX503 has multiple settings.. contrast and display polarity switch so you can find a setting you can see! The user settings are impressive.. you can chose 10 levels of each: red green and blue..potentially there are 1000 colors you could make.. When I'm in my truck I miss the colors and the dancing lights.
    The displays both have a glossy / polished face so reflection may be an issue. My 8000Bt is easy to read 99% of the time.{boo sunlight} The DPX503 is in a car with tinted windows so it's always readable.
    [Controls] DPX503 controls are very intricate but alot less intricate3 than the 8000BT. On my 8000BT I just use the remote. The DPX503 controls are easier to use.
    [Remotes]The Kenwood remote is bulky.. it's contoured to be easy to grasp but it's almost hard to use one handed. The Pioneer remote is much easier to use.



    Its good, if you like to drive at night

    Written by: Chris from Gainesville, Va on December 6, 2009

    First the pros - the front ipod connection is convenient and quite easy to use. Makes great sound and plays cd's with mp3's just fine. At night it lights up really nice and is relatively easy to set up.

    Cons - If you drive in sunlight, you will not be able to see the screen. Its as simple as that. The background lighting on the unit is awful during the day. You have to look straight on in order to see it right which is extremely unsafe while driving. Toggling through the songs on the ipod HAS to be done on the unit, nothing can be done on the ipod controls. So lets say you want to listen to an artist that starts with the letter "V", and you have over a hundred of them, you will have to scroll down to V manually, and depending on how many artists you have, can take upwards of a couple minutes. Kenwood has been fine in the past, but the display on this unit was just awful.



    Dont try to use when driving!

    Written by: Kevin from Eastern North Carolina on December 2, 2009

    I got this unit after my brother in law gave up on it after a month of use. I
    was excited about it because it looks "factory" in my Tacoma.
    My impressions are:
    1. nice sounding unit
    2. nice looking unit-looks "factory" in my vehicle.
    3. nice (poorly lit) display-could be set to have the song title and album name
    scrolling across the display (although with about a 20 second lag)
    4. nice (poorly lit) display-could show ipod artist and song
    5. wide selection of color choices (of course you cant read any of them because
    it is so poorly illuminated)
    1. HORRIBLE illumination-can not see anything
    2. Poor ipod integration-dont even try finding a song while driving (which was
    the whole purpose of me needing a new stereo in the first place).
    3. WAY too complicated. I still can not figure out how to set the clock or the
    date much less change the colors.
    4. Kept causing my Ipod to lock up and freeze. My brother in law's Ipod quit
    working after using this stereo (thats how I inherited it). Could be
    coincidental. I am not sure.

    Overall...lets just say that my factory Toyota radio is reluctantly going back
    in the vehicle this weekend (unless I can find another unit that I like at
    The Kenwood might be the "right" radio for you just not for me (or my brother in
    I would rate it much higher if the display was a bit easier to read and you
    could actually find the song you wanted on the Ipod while



    Good value for the money...

    Written by: Mike from Manitowoc, WI on November 24, 2009

    2005 Ford F-250 Super Duty
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Reading the reviews about the DPX503 I was concerned about the display. I installed the unit in a 2005 F250. I do wish the display was easier to see in indirect sunlight or on bright cloudy days, but to me its not bad. With direct sunlight shining on the unit, the contrast is fine and its easy to read. For night driving, I like the abilty to set the display colors to match the dash lights in the truck.

    The unit has ample power and is a significant upgrade over the stock radio. I bought the Kenwood speakers 113KFC6882 for both the door and rear panel locations. There is a little less bass at low volumes, but when turned up these speakers are much better than the OE's. The sound quality from the AUX/USB/CD inputs is very good. After an hour with the instruction manual, I don't find the controls/menus a challenge. But, for often used functions like tone adjustment, you do have to go through quite a few menus.

    Installation took me 4 hours all-in from start to finish for everything. Having done this once, I'd bet the same install would take less than 2.5 hours. Crutchfield's installation accessories made the job very straight forward. Overall, I am happy with the performance, sound and value in this system.



    Nice, but......

    Written by: John from Chattanooga on October 5, 2009

    2007 Chevrolet Colorado
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice unit, with good power and sound quality. The USB port and Analog Audio inputs in the front are great and they work really well. I have the add-on Sirius receiver and it works great.

    Crutchfield's installation kit worked as well as always and made installation a snap, but you do pay a premium.

    Whoever designed the control interface for this thing must have been stoned out of his mind! I have had it 7 months, now and I still carry the manual in my truck so I can reread how to change/adjust it. It is complicated beyond reason. You cannot just turn the knob to tune a new radio or satellite station. It takes from 6 to 8 button clicks to change the tone controls! The balance and fader are just as bad.

    WARNING, the display is so dim it is unusable except at night, then the britest setting is just right. Had I known, I'd have bought anything else, maybe even a Pioneer. If you try to adjust the display dimmer manually, it gets darker.

    That dancing colors when it first turns on are the most maddening thing I've seen in electronics. Most of the colors are unreadable, the reds are so even at night. So, while it's doing its show, you can't read the display to turn it off before cursing.

    I kept it too long to return it (trying to figure if the dim display was my fault), but I would not buy another and recommend you do not as well.



    Good Product for the cost

    Written by: Yvie from Oakley, CA on September 22, 2009

    2003 Toyota Camry
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    My husband installed this in my Camry, It's a nice unit once you adjust all
    the settings (a lot). My kids love all the different colors the unit changes to.



    Don't Be Fooled By Other Reviews

    Written by: Fraws from Waterbury, CT on August 29, 2009

    I have this headunit installed into my 2009 Mustang GT and the "issue of contrast in direct sunlight is not so realistic as other reviewers noted". The headunit works extremely well and there is enough features to produce excellent audio. Setup: Kicker KS680, KS6502, DCVR10, ZX7501. The headunit is powering the 6x8's and the component 6502 without any problem.



    Kenwood DPX503

    Written by: Me from NJ on July 27, 2009

    Well, as many folks have implied, the screen could be brighter. But I was able to adjust contrast with great success. The multiple colors is definitely a plus. I just use a 16gb flash drive and all of music plays without a hitch. Sound is great, many features and affordable. It took me a half hour to install in my 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser. I will probally get the next generation that may address the screen issues. It looks fantastic at night however.



    Did Kenwood not test outside

    Written by: kdarr70 from Seminole, OK on July 22, 2009

    Read all the reviews about the dim display and watch the video here at crutchfield before buying. What you see in the video is inside, now just think how did it would be outside. YOU CAN NOT EVEN SEE THE CLOCK IN THE DAYTIME. I thought maybe I had a defective unit so I called Kenwood I was told it was because of my car and not everyone will be happy with every feature. So I went out and moved to all different positions in the car to see the display at different angles. It does not help. I tried all of the settings the two different techs told me to do. I Reverse the display so it is color on black, turned all the dim features off, and adjusted the contrast. Nothing made it so I could see it in the daylight. My windows are even tinted so this makes the cab darker. I don't have a sun roof or anything to make inside my pickup brighter.

    I asked Kenwood if anyone ever called before and complained about this and they said no. So I am still thinking maybe I had a bad unit. I called the service center and they said it was just the radio no a bad unit. More less what many of the reviewers here say. I can not even start to think why a company like Kenwood would offer such a poor product. As for the sound and other features this is a cool radio. Very customizable. At night it looks great. The different colors are cool.

    If you like your radio clock, knowing what station you are on, or the song playing on Sirius you will regret ever purchasing this radio.



    to dim to complicated

    Written by: krobbiedd from santa cruz on July 15, 2009

    Man this thing is about useless. To dim to see except at night. Not intuitive
    at ALL. Already spent two hours trying to understand this thing and I'm just
    about nowhere. I took to long to install it so I can't return it. Don't buy it.



    Worst unit I've ever had

    Written by: TONY from Greenwood, SC on June 27, 2009

    The display on this Kenwood DPX503 is impossible to read during daylight hours, no matter what settings you use.

    The controls and use of them is not intuitive. You will definitely have to study the manual diligently to learn how to even use the basic features on this unit. Changing stations on FM is an ordeal, not that it matters because it hardly receives any stations at all.

    I haven't even tried AM, but FM reception is the worst I've ever seen in any radio. I could only pick up one local station, so I thought I had forgotten to plug in the antenna. I pulled the system out, and I had not forgotten; the antenna was plugged in. This antenna could receive many channels with my Subaru factory radio, so the problem is definitely with the Kenwood.

    On a positive note, the sound is very good, and it works well with my iPod. But had I been familiar with this unit before I made a purchase, it would definitely not be one I would consider.



    I want my factory stereo back!

    Written by: JohnFx from Austin, Texas on June 14, 2009

    The combination of glare on the display, horrible controls, confusing buttons, and poor manual make this device almost completely unusable.

    Do not attempt to use anything except the volume knob while driving. If there is a hint of sunlight the display is completely invisible unless you cup your hands over it. The buttons are poorly labelled and arranged illogically. The "joystick" control will make you want to put your fist into the dash after trying to use it a few times. It is EXTREMELY hard to select something by clicking it in the center without changing the selection by sliding it up/down/left/right. From the angle of the driver's seat or in a moving car would be impossible.

    I am an engineer, but have given up on trying to control the song selection using the head unit with an IPOD/USB connection. I now just unplug the ipod select the song, then plug it back in. There is no other practical way. Even changing the radio station is too complicated to bother with.

    Don't buy at any price! I wouldn't install this again if someone paid me rent for the space in my dashboard. You may be tempted by some of the other reviews, but trust me. I am considering ripping it out despite just having paid a $130 installation fee and dumping it in the trash can.



    Fairly Good Unit

    Written by: Justin from New Mexico on June 14, 2009

    2005 Nissan Pathfinder
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this unit for a '05 Nissan Pathfinder.
    Good: 1)Fits great install took 20 minutes, with great instructions. 2) Looks good with multiple background lighting options. 3) Sound is great (compaired to stock unit, even with stock speakers). 4) USB port makes IPOD use a breeze. 5) Good price for what you get.

    Bad: 1) As several people have stated the display could be better, day light use can be difficult at best (pretty good at night..LOL). 2) You need a PHD in computer science to program and navigate, I prefer more of a plug and play system, but great if your 16 and have nothing better to do I guess. 3) Knobs feel a little fragile not sure if they will hang tough for the long haul.

    Overall, I'm satisfied with the unit except for the things I stated and the service from Crutchfield as always was excellent.



    Nice Unit

    Written by: Craig from Phoenix, AZ on June 11, 2009

    2004 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this Kenwood unit to replace the stock Mach 380 unit in my 2004 Ford Mustang. The installation was a breeze thanks to Crutchfield. They have very good instructions and the harness and mounting kits worked like a charm. This Kenwood unit has the front inputs I wanted (USB & Aux) and they both work nicely. Excellent sound control and plenty of volume. The Mach 380 speakers sound better than they did with the stock unit. Nice to have so many unit color choices. The remote works well. I like the large display surface and different display choices. I do have to agree that the highly reflective surface can be hard to see in direct sunlight, but the proper color and contrast will eliminate most of the problem. The unit looks best at night or in lower light, when the multiple colors look really cool. Overall I think this Kenwood is a winner.



    Kenwood DPX503

    Written by: Anonymous from Seattle WA on May 25, 2009

    I agree..I was expect more from Kenwood. Nothing i can do now...just sell it.I,m not going to listen such a poor quality sound just because Kenwood.
    Dont buy will regret !!!!



    Can't see the display, controls bad, wish I could replace

    Written by: Mark from Metro DC on May 19, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It's an OK tuner, but ...

    I can't see the display in the daylight, or even very well at night. The multi-color display options are a joke without some sort of brightness settings.

    Switching between input sources is awkward at best, and the cheap-feeling toggles (joy sticks) on the two main knobs are awful. I'm afraid they'll break soon. And while on the road, I'm always pressing, only to get the wrong outcome because of a bump or slop in the controls.

    I also installed a Kenwood mated HD radio tuner, which works OK. But the facade presets are limited and all the buttons (on a double DIN) are way too small. I appreciate the large, multi-line text display (provided at the expense of bigger buttons), but because I can't read it, it's a waste of real estate.

    Adjusting sound settings (treble/base/fader) are nearly impossible without stopping beside the road. Perhaps I listen to enough different streams that it's a problem for only me, but this is exasperating. Too much bass rumble in a talk track. Too little bass in a great song.

    I have an iPod that I connect via USB. The "Kenwood" native controls are abysmal. I unplug the iPod to use its controls to make my iPod selections, then plug it back in to play.



    You CAN See the display during the day

    Written by: snorkel from Milwaukee, WI on May 10, 2009

    I just installed this head unit and it is well worth it.
    The display is easily readable in the day if it is set to show negative, this is where the text etc shows up black and the background is colorized. You can even hook up the dimmer wire and when you switch on the lights it goes back to the nomal display.
    You can pretty much adjust the display anyway you like.
    Also when the display is set to negative and direct sun light hits it you can see it very good. it can also display SMS messages, but only if your phone supports the bluetooth profile for that. For example the volume can easily be adjusted, even by those with large sausage like fingers.



    Nice unit definite improvement over stock unit!

    Written by: David from Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2009

    2000 Hyundai Sonata
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased the Kenwood DPX503 with the add-on Sirius tuner for a 2000 Hyundai Sonata. I purchased it to first listen to my I-Pod and then Sirius.

    Pros: Crutchfield's instructions made it easy to uninstall and install. The unit looks like it was part of the car after install. The sound is great over the stock unit. The remote makes it easy to work. It is easy enough to go from one source to the next. The Sirius works great no more wires hanging on my dashboard! My I-Pod works great, no more static because I can't find a station to tune to.

    Cons: As stated by other users you can't see this unit in the sunlight! The screws supplied are to short when the supplied spacers are added. If your thinking of dumping your I-Pod/MP3 and just mounting a flash drive with your music on the flash drive into the USB slot forget it! The music when played through a flash drive plays alphabetically no shuffle. The knobs to control the volume and tuning are too stubby to rotate with your fingers get use to the remote. The only way I have found so far to tune to radio stations is pushing the station number on the remote similar to a TV remote. I am disappointed when playing an I-Pod the album art work does not come on the screen when playing a tagged song file. I think Kenwood could have made better use of the face of the unit with a larger screen to maybe show album art work, lyrics, year of song, etc all of the kind of information that is tagged onto my song files on my I-Pod.



    Not so fast...

    Written by: Kroozr from Arizona on April 19, 2009

    2003 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    In all fairness, the Crutchfield advisors have informed me that the majority of flat screen display receivers are difficult to see in "direct sunlight". The following comments, however, are in reference to nominal, every-day lighting levels. I felt compelled to to send Kenwood's customer service the following comments regarding their I've copied these comments here:

    "I'm afraid I have just two words to describe this product: absolute failure! In the case of this dual DIN receiver things such as features, power, reliability, etc., simply don't matter. In fact, nothing about this thing really matters. Why??? Because, with the sun above the horizon (day time), it is impossible to see the display. And, therefore, impossible to operate the unit. Perhaps at night, or in a closed garage, the ambient light is low enough to see the display, but I spend most of my driving time during daylight hours."....

    Prior to purchasing this unit, I had noticed several reviewer's comments about a "dim", difficult to see display. However, most reviews were quite positive. So, I chose to buy it. Don't make that same mistake. (I've given the DPX503 a two-star rating, recognizing that is does have nice features.)



    Where do I start?

    Written by: Cristino from Bayamon, Puerto Rico on April 11, 2009

    Installing the DPX-503 in my Mazda 3 was a snap with all the Crutchfield supplied connectors and adapters. All I needed was a screwdriver, pliers, a portable soldering iron and black tape.

    This unit was hooked to a KTC-HR200 HD Radio Tuner and the steering wheel control was retained with the use of a PAC SWI-JACK.

    I used the CABIN 1 sound setting for my car and it really made a difference. It gives the sensation of the sound coming from a much larger space! One of these days I'll play with the digital timing correction, but not before saving my current settings!

    HD radio sounds just great, and so do my MP3's (I encode them at 128Kb, so haven't tested the 'SUPREME' effect yet) Tried to hook my portable disc drive to the USB port but got a USB ERROR message. It cleared itself after cycling the power. So I guess only memory sticks can be used... Well, I tried... ;-)

    The screen is a bit dim, either with the POS or NEG setting... Guess I was hoping it would be as nice as my old DPX-701... But the ability to match the radio control/screen colors to the factory colors more than makes for this shortcoming.

    All in all this is a great radio with great sound and is very easy to set up to your particular liking. Couple it to the HD Radio tuner and the steering wheel interface and you'll get a killer sound with the ease of use you're accustomed to. Highly recommended! :-)



    Excellent receiver

    Written by: lewis from Baltimore, MD on April 3, 2009

    2007 Nissan Xterra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    First a note about Crutchfield. This is my second receiver install and it went as smooth as the first thanks to Crutchfield.

    I put this stereo in my 2007 Xterra. I wanted a receiver that had enough power to make my stock speakers sound better. I have no real desire to go beyond putting some decent after market speakers in the doors. In other words, no amp or sub. Already, without even replacing my stock speakers, the sound quality has improved significantly. It actually sounds like I have a sub in the truck depending on the song that is playing. The volume can be turned up much more now without distortion.

    One of the main reasons I went with this receiver was because of the iPod features. You don't even need an adapter. You just plug your iPod into the usb port on the stereo with the cable that came with the iPod and it instantly recognizes everything. All my playlists showed up and I can control it all from the stereo instead of fiddling with the iPod.

    I have not even used all of the features of this receiver yet and I am already very pleased. It also looks great. The install looks professional and the display color options are endless so you can customize the look of the stereo. I set mine to match all of the other interior display lights so it looks as close to factory as possible.

    Bottom line: Great sound, great looks, great price = Excellent choice for a receiver.



    Do Not Buy This Receiver!!

    Written by: jonotheis from FT. Lauderdale, FL on March 30, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    You cannot see your display during the day. The colors are cool at night but if there is any kind of light coming into your car you will not be able to see the colors or what the display is saying at all.
    I bought this unit because of the Ipod USB connection and I am very unhappy with that function also. When you plug in your Ipod you can only shuffle the entire song list which for me is 10gigs of music. I cannot chose a folder or even search through the music while it is plugged in. So I just use the aux plug in function which makes the USB pointless... I am very unhappy and just want to get rid of this double din receiver... Avoid this product you will be very unhappy with it especially during the day.



    Kenwood DPX503

    Written by: Jeff from Folsom, Calif on March 25, 2009

    2003 Toyota Camry
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Fits perfectly in my 2003 Toyota Camry. Bolts directly into the chassis. Works and sounds great. Easy to operate.



    Nice unit...

    Written by: Stephanie from Near Boston, MA on March 17, 2009

    For my birthday, I asked for and received this unit to replace the head unit that came with my '07 Nissan Frontier. I'm very happy with my birthday gift! My iPhone works perfectly with this, as does my partner's iPod Nano, and the tuner brings in stations I was unable to receive on the (very basic) factory radio. The sound from all sources is nice and clear! I had been playing iPods using an FM transmitter, but the sound was iffy, finding an empty station that would work near the city was next to impossible, and fiddling with it to find an open station while driving is a good way to cause an accident!

    The unit fits very well in my Frontier, and the installation was easy as pie with the instructions and wiring harnesses provided by Crutchfield. We soldered the connections up and trimmed the escutcheon plate for the unit in the house, then just plugged everything in and popped the unit into place--no problem!

    I do have two relatively minor complaints about this unit. 1) The display is a bit dim in daylight, even after turning up brightness to 10. HOWEVER, the cure for this is to use the display reverse settings and reverse it to POSI 1 (black text on light) or POSI 2 (which switches to a negative display when the car lights are on). 2) The manual is printed in teeny, tiny type that's dark gray, rather than black. I've got good eyesight, but geez.

    Anyway, these are minor complaints...I love my new unit, and now I've got to think about upgrading the factory speakers...




    Written by: Bill from Hornell, NY on March 3, 2009

    2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Like the unit and installation was pretty straight forward. But I must agree with one of the other reviews, the display is difficult to see during the day even with the contrast up the whole way.



    Worth Every Buck!!!

    Written by: thedigi1 from Chicago, IL on March 2, 2009

    I bought this stereo from reading what many of you have wrote, and I can honestly say you guys hit the nail on the head. It does everything that I wanted it to do and then some. I will say that the display is a bit dark but coming from a factory radio who cares! The fact that I can play my i pod or a USB stick with no interference or static from the city makes this radio a 5 star product. Now I know many other radios out there can do the same but if you are looking for a double din type receiver that performs great and looks good in your car then look no further and pick up the Kenwood DPX503 :)



    DPX503 Solid Value

    Written by: David from Blue Grass, Iowa on February 6, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I had an amp and speakers installed in my '07 Sierra when I first bought the truck. I was not satisfied with the factory head unit, and just could not find an aftermarket head unit that had the specs and features I wanted at a reasonable price point, until Kenwood introduced the DPX503.

    I had some install issues due to the install that was done on the amp with the factory head unit. But you know what? The Tech Support guys at Crutchfield took all the headache out of those issues and gave me step-by-step - what to check and how to check to ensure my install was done correctly.

    The radio has so many features, it's a bit overwhelming at first, but after a few days, it becomes second nature. I'm still dinking with some of the settings to see what I like best.

    The sound quality is far better than the factory head unit. I really like the direct iPod capability. I don't have an issue with the display brightness. I upped the contrast to 8 and that helped a lot.

    I also like the fact that the unit is expandable. I did not need DVD or Nav capability, but did want Sirius. May add Bluetooth later. The display provides a lot of options for the information it provides, and adjusting the color to match the vehicle dash lights is a a real plus.



    Nice headunit

    Written by: Edward from South Alabama on January 28, 2009

    2008 Nissan Pathfinder
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    After talking with an Crutchfield adviser, I decided on this Kenwood unit. I
    have had the Kenwood unit for just over a month now and like it! This unit
    has lots of adjustability! Color can be adjusted to match dash lights. I use
    the USB port daily to connect my Ipod Touch. Works perfect. Only thing I
    would prefer would be the USB connect in the rear for a cleaner hook up
    (no wires connected to front). I have not had any problems as noted in
    other reviews reading the display during the day. There is a setting to
    adjust display brightness if needed. EQ works well. The unit sounds great.
    I just need to add a sub to bring in the low end. The controls are user
    friendly. After a couple days, you will have it figured out. The install was
    quick and easy in a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. Of course the directions and
    kits supplied by Crutchfield made things EASY! No fault to the unit or
    Crutchfield, ONLY proplem I had was the AM/FM radio reception. After a
    phone call to tech support, we detemined the problem was the Nissan
    antanna adapter. Crutchfield sent me a new adapter out right away and
    this fixed the issue. Once again, a good experiance with Crutchfield. Thank



    Great all-around

    Written by: James from West Palm Beach, FL on January 22, 2009

    Plenty of features & customization to match any car. This unit can be set up to color match your stock lighting color with preset colors and R-G-B adjustments available, and the sound settings for the 'Cabin' will automatically get the F-R sound delay setting pretty close for your type of vehicle - you can custom adjust from there. Great feature.

    Initial setup allows you to set the contrast level of the text, so you should not have any difficulty seeing the display. Mine is clear day or night.

    I have a great system in my other car, but have discovered additional subtle aspects of my music with this head unit and two pair of 5725GT Sony speakers. Fantastic combo. Channel separation & clarity are the best I've heard, and you can spend less than $400 for the whole setup.



    Not perfect, but good

    Written by: Matt from Atlanta, GA on January 22, 2009

    2007 Hyundai Entourage
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    All in all, I like this unit. It has strong reception, good features and the Aux and USB ports on the front are extremely useful. I threw a bunch of MP3s onto a USB stick and plugged it in and it just started playing the songs. You can hop between folders, though I wish the folder name was used instead of "folder 1", "folder 2" etc. I haven't tried the iPod connection yet. There are a ton of options for tuning the sound based on your vehicle which is nice (I put it into my wife's Minivan). As others have said, the display gets washed out and unreadable in sunlight, but I rarely look at the display while driving so that isn't a deal-breaker. And the dial/joystick on the right is difficult to get used to, but I'm slowly getting there. I wanted a dual DIN HD radio, but couldn't find it in stock, so this was the closest thing. I am happy with it and, more importantly, so is my wife.



    DPX 503

    Written by: terrytech from Davison, MI on January 20, 2009

    Some balance to all the glowing reviews of the DPX 503 The DIY install of this head unit into my 98 Buick LeSabre was a 12 hour nightmare, for which I was rewarded with a confusing and dizzying click through endless menus, maddening non-functionality, and sub par listening experience. Pinnacles of my ordeal:
    - First the display is far too dim - probably not safe to glance at while driving.
    - The DPX 503 is about ½ inch deeper than factory radio. Since there is zero clearance on the LeSabre for the extra depth, I had to cut steel body parts out of the way to make it fit.
    - Steering wheel interface buttons are disabled when you remove the factory radio. You must buy another interface, which is another wholly different nightmare.
    -The AM radio reception is perfectly terrible. I can barely pull in a station that is within 10 miles of my location.
    -AM/FM tuning is extraordinarily difficult. The only way to select a specific station is to use a complicated key combination on the remote.
    - "Bluetooth ready" means you must buy the bulky and expensive KCA BT100 or KCA BT200. GOOD: The BT phone sounds great. BAD: You have to update the BT firmware using a BT enabled laptop (got one?) to get most phones to work properly. Done improperly, can kill your BT unit.
    There are many more comments. Summary:I wish I had bought a simpler unit with the features I wanted already built in.



    Kenwood DPX503

    Written by: elchorizon from McAllen, TX on January 18, 2009

    2005 Ford F-350
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I would have giving this HU a 5 star rating but like others have said, the display is not visible during daylight hours (its like having a blank display).

    This is dangerous for me while driving. I have had many Kenwood HU's and been very pleased, but they really dropped the ball with the display on this unit, what were they thinking?

    Very nice HU and even the display is nice, but only at night.




    Written by: 2009flhx from Starkville, MS on January 14, 2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I did a lot of research prior to purchasing this deck. I decided on this model based on user reviews here. Package was received quickly and I decided to try the install myself. However, the mounting instructions for the brackets were too complicated to figure out on my own, so I ended up paying $50 to have it professionally installed. Once installed, I was impressed by the color and display of the unit. However, this unit is very complicated to navigate. If you like options, you'll love this deck. It does so many things that the user interface is multilevel and complicated to navigate. If you're savvy with electronics and user interfaces, you'll have no problem. But, if you're looking for a deck that easy to navigate through, you may want to choose another model.

    SOUND: Terrific. I have a 2006 Tundra and the sound with the factory speakers is terrific.

    IPHONE USE: I hooked my IPhone up with the USB cable supplied by Apple and the IPhone jumped in to Airport mode and displayed a screen saying the device was not compatible. But, it still worked and I was able to view my IPhone music files on the Kenwood (and play them).

    I would highly recommend this unit.



    Great Head Unit

    Written by: KRISTI from Northern California on January 13, 2009

    2003 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was able to install this head unit into a 2003 Mustang GT with the MACH
    460 stock stereo. No problems were incountered. The intgration with the
    factory amps and speakers was perfect.

    The disappointment is that with an IPOD Classsic, the menus work. With an
    IPOD touch, the menus do not come up. You can not do any searches, it
    sees the IPOD touch as just one file system. The IPOD is version 2.2

    If the IPOD touch menus worked, I would have given it a 5, but because of
    the lack of menus, I give it a 3.



    Kenwood DPX503

    Written by: Ryan from Millville, NJ on January 7, 2009

    2006 Ford Fusion

    Everything about this headunit is great. Sound quality, is superb and the display is quite exceptional. While I could agree to a point the screen can be somewhat hard to see during the day, I believe it makes a difference at what angle you view it from. In my car it is great. The learning curve of the menu's and everything is quite combersome but with time and a little playing around you will get the hang of it.



    Great features, poor display

    Written by: Jonathan from Hartland, WI on January 2, 2009

    2006 Volkswagen Passat
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    As another reviewer mentioned, the screen on this player is just too dim. The features are absolutely great - things like the USB port on the front to allow an iPod connection are great. But regardless of which of the color settings we use, the screen is at best dim, and at worst completely unreadable during daylight hours. This is disappointing, since the rest of the unit is so nice.



    Awesome aftermarket system

    Written by: Jason from Columbia, SC on December 26, 2008

    I've been into car audio for about 23 years and this is by far the nicest head unit I've ever had. I mainly bought this for the AUX and USB inputs and for HD radio. It is my first double din ever and lives in my '06 Explorer.

    HD radio sounds really GREAT! Artist/song title display is so cool. Even regular CDs sound so much better than my old head unit! Display options are also very cool. Independent color choices for each knob, display, and buttons.

    The only reason I did not give 5 stars is this: If you are like me, you like the bass and treble controls where you can get to them quick. I like to fine tune on demand depending of the type of music I'm listening to. On this model the bass and treble controls are buried down under 4 levels of menus. MENU --> SOUND --> EQ --> BASS (or TREBLE). Thats how it goes to get to them. Once you get used to it, its not THAT bad, but it is a bit of a hassle if you are driving in traffic etc.

    Overall it is a great unit so far. Just buy it. You will not be dissapionted!



    DPX 503

    Written by: ken from Ft Myers, FL on December 22, 2008

    Functions and features of the DPX 503 are terrific. Also, as one reviewer noted, the sound thru my existing amp and speakers is clearer and overall quality improved. One big issue I'm having is with the LCD readout: the LCD screen is practically unreadable in bright daylight. The glossy screen does not help, either. I can find no brightness adjustment for the screen itself- only color background and contrast, neither of which has resolved the problem. If anyone has found an internal adjustment or a way to resolve this, would greatly appreciate your feedback. It's hard to believe that Kenwood would produce a product that has such poor readability.



    DPX503 for Factory 2005 Toyota Camry Radio

    Written by: John from Oneonta, Alabama on December 21, 2008

    2005 Toyota Camry
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I replaced my Toyota factory radio with the Kenwood DPX503. The Crutchfield supplied trim unit fit well, and I used the two mounting brackets from the factory radio. The Crutchfield supplied wire harnesses (two) worked fine and the color-coding matched the radio's harness. I soldered all wires. Everything sounds great.

    I wanted white display lighting to match the Toyota's instruments and was surprised it wasn't one of the 10 preset colors but I set a custom display color that was white (set R, G, and B to the max setting of 9).

    A few lessons learned:

    (1) I left a CD in my factory radio and now I can't get it out, what a dummy,

    (2.) There is a setting called "DSI On/Off" that in its default ON setting causes the red light in the upper left corner to flash when you turn your ignition off,

    (3) I couldn't get a 16 Gb USB "thumb" drive to work, it may be because I have too many files on it or because there are some jpeg's on there, not sure at this point. It worked fine with a smaller drive with only mp3's on it.

    Summary: I am VERY pleased with the DPX503 and with Crutchfield's supplied instructions and accessories for replacing my factory 2005 Toyota Camry radio.



    My wife loves her new Kenwood

    Written by: Don from Albany, Ga. on November 22, 2008

    2003 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I replaced my wifes stock Nissan Altima reciever with this Kenwood. Not only does this Kenwood look sleek, it also performs. Ipod hooked into the USB port is awesome, sounds just like a cd and not only that, the Ipod is being charged at the sametime. Thanks Kenwood and Crutchfield. With your help my wife is impressed with her birthday gift.



    Kenwood DPX 503

    Written by: jgg from Orlando, FL on November 16, 2008

    Others have written about the customizable display and the "Control" knob. I'll focus more on the iPod/ USB control.

    I bought this receiver with the KCA-IP500 iPod Interface/Controller and KCA-BT200 Bluetooth Hands Free Unit. I got the iPod interface module thinking that I'd be able to use it to hide the cable to my iPhone in a storage bin beneath my head unit. That was a mistake because the built in iPod interface works MUCH better. With the KCA-IP500 iPod controller all you can do is change songs and folders. With the DPX 503 built in interface it's like controlling an iPod. Just connect the iPod to the head unit with the USB cable that came with your iPod and you can sort by Playlist, Artist, Album, Genre, ect. All of this information makes it a lot easier to sort through all the music on your iPod. USB pen drives work similar to the iPod control. When you're sorting though the songs on your USB drive the unit displays folder, album and song name which makes it easier to sort through your tracks. While a track is playing it displays all the track info on the units 4 line display. The drawback is that the USB port is on the front of the unit. I'd rather it be in the rear where you can hide the cables.

    The DPX 503 sounds great and is easy to control. Over all I'm very satisfied with this receiver.



    Excellent quality

    Written by: Wes from Albuquerque, NM on November 8, 2008

    2001 Toyota RAV4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The DPX-503 is excellent quality, I'm extremely happy with it; I can't say enough good things about it. There are a few minor cons: For example, the right knob, which can either rotate, be pushed in four directions, or pressed as a button: this is sometimes a little touchy. Also, when playing from USB or CD-MP3, you can randomize a folder, but can't randomize the whole media. But this is minor stuff, and on the whole I think this is the best thing out there right now.



    Kenwood DPX503

    Written by: Ryley from St. Louis, MO on November 5, 2008

    2005 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I picked the Kenwood DPX503 over the Pioneer FH-P800BT for a few
    reasons. 1) The Kenwood unit had the USB plug and the AUX-IN in the
    front, which for me, is the best solution. 2) Kenwood unit has a much more
    configurable and modern display. The Pioneer is still using basic looking
    alarm clock type LCD. 3) Kenwood unit illumination color can be matched to
    that of my car.

    The install was very easy. It took me about 45 minutes to solder and tape
    all the wires and 10 minutes to install everything in the car. Everything fit
    as it was supposed to. Sound quality seems to have improved somewhat
    over the factory receiver, something which I was not expecting. Makes me
    wonder how much better new speakers would improve things. As the guy
    before me the right hand controller is a 7 way affair. It's very very easy to
    push it to the left, right, up or down when trying to press it. This is more of
    an issue when setting things up then it is day to day. Regardless I would
    have expected better here. I have also purchased a SWI-JACK device to
    use my factory steering wheel controls with the new receiver. This works
    very well and reduces the need to use the 7 way controller. iPod interface
    has been set up intuitively, works very well and is instantaneous (no
    delay). A search function or ability to access artists by letter would have
    been nice as scrolling through the artist list does take a while.



    Kenwood DPX503

    Written by: Robert from Albany NY on October 17, 2008

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    If you like the DPX501 OR 502 you will love this unit. It will display the text of your sat radio station and has up to 10 colors to choose from not to mention you can make your own colors also. The menus are easier to access then before.



    Good replacement of Factory Stereo or Older Kenwood

    Written by: Toivo from Tampa, FL on October 15, 2008

    2002 Mazda Protege5
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this stereo in a Mazda Protege 5, and it fit like a glove with no modifications to the vehicle. The illumination can be tailored to meet the vehicle perfectly, and there's a fair bit of customization of the display. The receiver is packed with features I found useful. Most importantly, they work well. Browsing iPod playlists or data CD folders is very snappy. The iPod customization with my 2nd generation nano is pretty flawless. Additional bonuses -- I upgraded from a 5-year old Kenwood, and the wiring harness connector was the same, the satellite tuner connector was the same, and everything just worked. Kenwood's backwards compatibility rocks.
    The only shortcomings are that AUX and USB connectors are only on the front panel, and they're covered with a flimsy little cover. While convenient, I'd have preferred them on the back so I could hide the iPod in the glove compartment. Also, the right-hand knob rotates in addition to being a four-way joystick; when attempting to press it, it's easy to instead flip it sideways. Also, the tuner's automatic station search seems to require very powerful stations to work properly; the tuner itself picks up much weaker stations just fine.



    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Double-DIN AM/FM/CD/Changer controller receiver with 10A fuse inserted in chassis
    • Sleeve
    • Trim ring
    • Trim plate
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-547)
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 6 Pan-head ISO-mount screws
    • 6 Flat-head ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Strips of double-sided adhesive
    • Kenwood Music Editor CD-ROM
    • Instruction Manual (English/French/Spanish)
    • Warranty Card

    Features and Specs

    CEA-2006 Compliant No
    RMS Power Output 22 watts
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 4-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs Yes
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2.5 volts
    Display Color VariableColor
    Key Button Color VariableColor
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Yes
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input
    USB Input Front
    Memory Card Slot USB Memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Optional
    Satellite Radio Ready Both
    HD Radio Optional
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/
    Touch Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/Touch1
    Mini No
    iPhone Phone/Phone3G/Phone3GS
    FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System Yes

    Product Research

    Display Features
    Audio Section
    Radio Functions
    Disc Playback
    Aux/USB/iPod Connection
    Bluetooth/Remote Control
    Supplied Software

    Display Features

    2-DIN Chassis: The DPX503 has a 2-DIN chassis (also known as "Double DIN" or size DD), and will fit in many vehicles with a large dash opening. The unit can be ISO-mounted using factory brackets, or Euro-mounted using the supplied mounting sleeve.

    Note: As always, please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to verify fit with your vehicle.

    Multi-Line LCD Display: The Kenwood DPX503 features a large multi-line LCD full-dot display with full-spectrum variable illumination. The headunit's display offers the following features.

    • Display Type: Type A (text/icon display), Type B (text/icon/status display), Type C (text/source/clock display), Type D (spectrum analyzer display)
    • Illumination Color: You can select from ten color variations for the headunit's display, button illumination and control knobs. You can set the headunit's display, button illumination and control knobs to the same color or different colors. The headunit can also automatically rotate between all ten color variations.
    • Illumination Effect: Sets whether the illumination color is changed in conjunction with the unit's key operation.
    • Illumination Music Sync: Sets whether the key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the unit's sound volume.
    • Contrast: The display's contrast can be adjusted between 1 and 10.
    • 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.
    • Display Illumination Control: When this function is active, the display turns off after 5 seconds if no operation is performed. This reduces the glare during night driving.

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

    Station/Disc Naming: The unit allows you to attach an 8-character title to a radio station or a CD. The unit can memorize up to 30 FM/AM station names and 10 CD names.

    Text/Title Scroll: The DPX503 will display CD text, Audio file text, RDS information and Satellite and HD radio text. You can turn the scrolling feature "on" to scroll longer titles across the screen.

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

    Audio Section

    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.

    Switchable Rear/Subwoofer Preouts: In addition to the front channel preamp outputs, you can switch the unit's rear RCA preamp outputs to a non-fading subwoofer output with independent volume control (-15 to +15), phase control (Normal/Reverse), and selectable crossover (50Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz or Through).

    Built-in Amp Switch: If the audio signals are output to external amplifiers, you can turn off the internal amplifier to improve audio quality.

    Audio Adjustments: In order to optimize the sound quality, you can use the Audio Adjustment Menu to set the type of vehicle and speaker sizes, distances, x-over points and listener position. The Audio Adjustment settings include the following:

    • Cabin Setting: Choose from Compact (rear door), Compact (cargo), Full Size (rear door) Full Size (cargo) Station Wagon (rear door), Station Wagon (cargo), Sport-Utility (rear door), Sport-Utility (cargo), Mini Van Long (rear door), Mini Van (cargo).
    • Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the System Q Sound Control settings according to the type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of "SP Off" (flat), "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).
    • Digital Time Alignment (DTA): Choose from 0.00 to 14.44 feet for the Front pair of speakers, Rear pair of speakers and Subwoofer distances in reference to the distance between your listening positioning and the locations of the particular speakers.
    • X'Over: You can set the crossover value for each pair of speakers and subwoofer.
      • Front High Pass Filter: Select between Through, 40, 60, 80 ,100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz.
      • Rear High Pass Filter: Select between Through, 40, 60, 80 ,100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz.
      • Subwoofer Low Pass Filter: Select between 50, 60, 80,100, or 120 Hz.
      • Subwoofer Level: Select between -15 to +15
      • Subwoofer Phase: Choose either Normal or Reverse
    • Equalizer Control: 7 EQ curves (Natural, Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Game) 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 (10kHz). The headunit also has a User setting that can be set to your personal taste between -8 and +8 for bass, midrange and treble.
    • Position Control: 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. You can select between 0.00 to 5.558 feet for the Left Front Speaker, Right Front Speaker, Left Rear Speaker, Right Rear Speaker, Left Subwoofer and/or Right Subwoofer.

    Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store System Q bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (CD, FM, AM, Satellite, and CD changer).

    Loudness: The Loudness feature compensates for low and high tones during low volume. You can turn this feature either on or off. Only the low tone is compensated for when the tuner is selected as a source.

    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 for all sources other than the AUX input which you can set from -8 to +8.

    Dual Zone System: The DPX503's Dual Zone System allows you to output one source to the front channels and another source to the rear channels. The main source can be the internal disc player, tuner, or a source connected via the 13-pin CD changer input. The sub source is a device connected to the front-panel RCA auxiliary input. You can assign the sub source to either the front or rear channels. When the Dual Zone System is activated, the volume of the front channels is controlled by the volume knob, while the volume of the rear channels is controlled in the Audio Control menu from 0-35.

    Tel Mute: The DPX503 features a cell-phone mute wire (brown) in its harness that when hooked up to your car's phone system mute wire will automatically mute the receiver's audio signal when a call comes in.

    Beep Tone: The CD player features a touch sensor tone that beeps when you have selected a function of the unit. You can turn the beep tone ON or Off.

    Radio Functions

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

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

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

    Radio Data System (RDS): The unit's tuner features RDS (Radio Data System). RDS is a service used by some radio stations to transmit data outside of normal radio broadcast signals. When an RDS station is received, you can immediately find out what kind of data is being transmitted by looking at the program service name. RDS features an emergency transmission function that interrupts regular programming to broadcast an emergency announcement (such as a tornado or severe storm). There is also a switchable Traffic Information function, which will automatically tune a traffic bulletin when it is broadcast, even when you're not listening to the radio.

    Receive Mode: If you choose to connect the optional HD tuner, the Receive Mode allows you to choose to receive analog or digital AM/FM broadcasts. You can choose from the following.

    • Auto: analog and digital broadcast will be received with the digital broadcast having priority
    • Digital: receives digital broadcasts only
    • Analog: receives analog broadcasts only

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

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

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

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

    Note: You cannot connect both a Satellite Radio Interface and HD Radio tuner to the headunit.

    Disc Playback

    AAC/MP3/WMA Playback: The receiver can play AAC, MP3 and WMA files recorded on CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, and Romeo formats. The headunit supports MP3 audio files with transfer bit rates of 8-320 kbps, WMA audio files with transfer bit rates of 48-192 kbps, and AAC audio files with transfer bit rates of 8-320 kbps. Each disc should 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, WMA Tag, and iTunes m4a Meta-data information. The maximum number of characters for display is 30 characters for ID3 Tag, WMA Tag, and AAC song information. A maximum of 64 characters can be displayed for File/Folder name.

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

    Off Eject: The DPX503 allows you to eject your disc for 10 minutes after switching off the vehicles engine.

    Aux/USB/iPod Connection

    AUX Input: The DPX503 is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm mini-jack auxiliary input for connecting external portable audio devices such as an MP3 player or Tape walkman. The DPX503 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.

    USB Port: The front-panel USB port allows you to play USB mass storage devices loaded with AAC, MP3, and WMA files. The USB port enables connection to portable USB mass-storage players, USB thumb drives and audio control of MP3 players. The USB port is compatible with all USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. The headunit supports MP3 audio files with transfer bit rates of 8-320 kbps, WMA audio files with transfer bit rates of 48-192 kbps, and AAC audio files with transfer bit rates of 8-320 kbps. The unit supports a maximum of 8 directory levels, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder (65,025 maximum number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA/AAC playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag, WMA Tag, and iTunes m4a Meta-data information. The maximum number of characters for display is 30 characters for ID3 Tag, WMA Tag, and AAC song information. A maximum of 64 characters can be displayed for File/Folder name. A single or multi-slot card reader can also be connected the USB port, allowing your music to be put neatly into different types of memory cards.

    iPod Direct: The DPX503's front-panel USB port also acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113iP101, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the DPX503.

    • USB Connection: The USB connection allows your iPod's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the headunit and sound quality to be maximized through the headunit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 105dB.
    • Audio Playback: The Kenwood headunit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone.
    • Music Navigation: When your iPod/iPhone is connected to the DPX503, you can operate your iPod/iPhone via the Kenwood headunit's controls (your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen will be locked). The Kenwood headunit will allow you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast.
    • Information Display: The DPX503 will also display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood headunit.
    • Charging: While connected and the ignition switch is set to ACC or ON, the headunit's USB connection will power and charge your iPod/iPhone.

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

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood DPX503 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of Feb. 2010):

    iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type  Control Type Display Type Charge
    Audio Video Headunit iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Info Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N N N N N N N
    4th N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N N N N N N N
    2nd N N N N N N N
     video 5th Y N Y N Y Y Y
     classic 80GB Y N Y N Y Y Y
    120GB Y N Y N Y Y Y
    160GB Y N Y N Y Y Y
     nano 1st Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y N Y Y Y
    3rd Y N Y N Y Y Y
    4th Y N Y N Y Y Y
    5th Y N Y N Y Y Y
    6th Y N Y N Y Y Y
    touch 1st Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y N Y Y Y
    3rd Y N Y N Y Y Y
    4th Y N Y N Y Y Y
    iPhone 2G Y N Y N Y Y Y
    3G Y N Y N Y Y Y
    3GS Y N Y N Y Y Y
    4 N N N N N N N

    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the headunit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available. Not compatible with iOS 4.0 for iPhone (3G/3GS) or iPod touch (2nd/3rd gen).

    Bluetooth/Remote Control

    Bluetooth Ready: The unit is also Bluetooth compatible using the optional Kenwood KCA-BT300 Bluetooth adapter (113BT300, sold separately). Using this adapter you can make and answer phone calls from the Kenwood headunit. You can even download your Phonebook information from your compatible mobile phone into the headunit. You are able to register up to five compatible Bluetooth cell phones when using the KCA-BT300 adapter.

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

    Remote Control: The DPX503 comes with the RC-547 wireless remote control with a full numeric keypad. The remote includes volume control for the rear channels when the unit is operating in the Dual Zone mode. It is powered by 2 "AA" batteries (supplied). The dimensions of the remote are: L = 5.365", W = 1.965", D = 1.205".

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The unit also features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with the optional PAC SWI-JACK Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (127SWIJACK, sold separately); or the optional Metra ASWC Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (120ASWC, sold separately).

    Note: Please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    Supplied Software

    Supplied Software: The DPX503 comes supplied with the Kenwood Music Editor Version 2.1.0 CD-ROM. Kenwood Music Editor is a desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer music files to your USB devices from your PC. Automatic Playlist Generation is another function of this software which analyzes each song based on the tempo/spectrum distribution and categorizes them into familiar genres such as POP, Rock, Ballad, etc.

    System Requirements:

    • Operating System:
      • Microsoft Windows XP Professional/Microsoft Windows Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit version)
      • Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit version)
        • Note: Operation on Windows XP/Vista (64-bit version) is not guaranteed.
    • Other Programs:
      • Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0
      • QuickTime 7 or later (when using AAC file)
      • Windows Media Player 10/11
    • Hardware:
      • System requirements that above operating systems recommends.
      • Had disk with a least 100MB free space
      • CD-ROM drive (CD-R/RW drive when writing to CD-R/RW)
      • USB interface (2.0/1.1)

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