Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Control your iPod with your Kenwood receiver

Item #: 113IP500

86 Reviews

This item is no longer available.

Original Price: $69.99

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You've filled your iPod with an impressive collection of music. Now you'll want to bring it along with you every time you're on the road. And Kenwood's KCA-iP500 control interface gives you a great way to do it.

The interface powers your iPod and connects it directly to your compatible Kenwood radio. You use your radio's controls to select songs from the iPod's playlists folders, and the information that usually comes up on the iPod screen shows up on your radio's display. You can then store your iPod neatly out of the way, and get to your favorite tracks without taking your eyes off the road. With the KCA-iP500, you'll even be able to play the tracks that you've purchased at the iTunes Music Store.

You'll get the best sound quality possible from this direct connection. And the adapter will even charge your iPod's battery, so your iPod will always be ready to walk around with you.

Compatibility Note: Be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this iPod adapter.

Product Highlights:

  • connects your iPod to a compatible Kenwood in-dash radio
  • provides power to the iPod
  • enables direct control of many iPod functions from your Kenwood radio
  • sends iPod display information to your radio
  • recharges your iPod's battery
  • includes necessary cables
  • 3-5/16"W x 15/16"H x 3-1/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Why would I need an iPod® adapter?

An iPod adapter allows you to connect your iPod to your car stereo, then access your playlists with your stereo's controls - a great idea for several reasons. One, you can scroll through your song titles on your stereo's larger display, instead of squinting down at your iPod. Two, you can route the adapter cable to your glove compartment or center console, so your iPod stays safely out of sight. Three, the iPod adapter keeps your iPod fully charged, so it's ready to rock when you leave your car. And last of all, some adapters bypass your iPod's internal digital-to-analog converter, using your stereo's superior DAC to turn your files back into music.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface Reviews

Average Customer Review:

86 reviews
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Works w/the iPhone 4!

Written By Onyx C, Fort Dix, NJ on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Okay, time to dispel the myth...I bought this unit to help modernize my aging (2008-09 year model) Kenwood KVT-617DVD head unit. Not only is this item compatible w/the iPhone 4 (5.1.1 software version, as of this post), but combined w/the Scosche Passport, it CHARGES as well! I've read reviews that state only 10 playlists can be displayed, at a time. This is false. I have 27 playlists & If you properly set the dip switches in the rear of the unit, you can scroll through all of them. Incoming call? Not a problem. iPhone playback is paused when you get a call & resumes play, when you hang up. If you have a standalone bluetooth unit, or GPS w/bluetooth (which, I do), the phone rings, the music pauses & the bluetooth takes the call! You can leave the iPhone in the glovebox, because you'll never need to touch it! Unfortunately, your iPhone will lose its music controllability. It's sole control is via the head unit, so playlist navigation is significantly slower than iPod-direct control. Although I have a 7" screen, my title display is single-line, which means I can choose to view either the artist name or playlist title or genre type or album title. This unit doesn't allow you to view the songs in a playlist, unless the actual song is playing & you select "DISP". It will then, show the song title. While it lacks lightning-fast music navigation. The iPhone 4 compatibility, sound quality & the extra $ I saved by not having to upgrade to a newer unit, made the buy, worthwhile!

Pros: iPhone 4 compatible, excellent sound quality, gives you a reason to hang on to your older Kenwood receivers!

Cons: Slower music navigation due to iPhone music function being controlled by head unit. Can't view individual songs in playlists

Ipod Adapter

Written By ArtisH, Pensacola,Fl. on Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The product is great,but it's limited as far as devices it controls are concerned and it isn't compatible with the iphone itself.When I plug in my phone (ipod),it gives me an error message stating the incompatibility and it WILL NOT CHARGE.I like the way I can control the functions from my head unit,but those two small details makes it hard to give this a 5 star rating.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By edoyle, Trenton MI on Saturday, October 16, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is an excellent option for me to use on my Harley.

Not so bad actually

Written By Daniel, SA, TX on Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It works pretty decently... i've used it on both my iPhone and iPod touches, have it patched into my ddx8019 through the bluetooth add on and it reads them as external media sources, so even without full control i have some decent music to listen to when i get tired of xm or reg radio, or just want music i dont have to worry about. best part is when used in conjunction with an Ip300v you can have a fully working ipod unit and ur others tons of music, especially if you have an older ipod classic with all that memory. Only drawback is that it wouldnt charge my iphone but good to go other than that... oh and for you Pandora junkies when you use the iPhone you can override Ipod function and listen to pandora on your radio now... just a lil FYI

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Jim, Myrtle Beach S.C. on Sunday, June 06, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to install and works great.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Nick, West Jordan, Utah on Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works great, easy to install and hides out of the way- Ipod connection in glove box. Does what I was hoping for.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Anonymous, Richmond Hill, GA on Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I picked this bad boy up off my doorstep and had it installed in 15-20 minutes. The
sound was only negatively effected by the EQ on my ipod, per installation guidance.
Once you turn that off the sound rocks. I'm running a Kenwood DDX6019 in the dash
and I can't navigate the song list the way I would like even after adjusting the 1 & 2
switches on the adapter (hence the 4 star instead of the 5) but this was a much more
acceptable option than the $180 - $220 GXM 30 I was looking at for XM radio. The fact is
that I don't need to throttle through a bunch of songs that I myself loaded on my ipod. If I
don't want to hear, I won't load it. Nice product.


Written By Braniff, Virginia Beach on Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Item makes it real difficult to get to certain music. Don't think it is worth the money. You can achieve the same/better by using the front jack if your stero has one at a fraction of the price.

Awesome product

Written By Conrad, Riverside, CA on Monday, April 20, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This product is great!!! Installation was very easy just plug and play for my stereo. Ran the wire into my glove box of my 06 Nissan Maxima and i was done. Hook the ipod up and just leave it there. From my Kenwood KVT 717 I can sort through playlists and get all of the information from the ipod. Just great product.

Great Product

Written By Dave, Reno, Nv on Monday, April 13, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was sick of the cheapo ipod adapters so I invested in this gizmo. Was a little nervous reading the other reviews but I love it. Very easy to instal and use just plug and play! The only reason it didnt get all 5 stars is I dont think anything is perfect.

Product is good for what it does.

Written By Chris M, Michigan on Friday, January 30, 2009

This product is only as good as your head unit. I have a 2nd gen Ipod touch with a Kenwood KDC-X679 head unit (3-4 years old). This adapter is compatible with both even though it does not charge the ipod touch. It does place the Ipod in standby and resume play when you power down the head unit, as well as allow you to display song titles and scroll through tracks. It is a pain to do anything else though, so all I do is unplug by Ipod and change albums or playlists that way. As soon as you unplug it and unlock it, it displays the song that is playing. My head unit still works and an equivalent unit would cost me around $250-$300, It's not worth it to me to spend that much money for the little hassle involved.

Don't Waste Your Money

Written By Dan, Cen Val, CA on Thursday, November 06, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I do not recommend this product. It is unreasonably difficult and time-consuming to navigate through your ipod's library via the head unit's goofy controls, and it does not allow you to use the thumb wheel instead. Save yourself the money and buy a simple adapter cord (e.g. PAC's) or save even more money and buy a different head unit. The only reason- and I mean ONLY- I gave this a 2 star vice 1 is the sound quality is awesome. Unfortunately getting to hear anything but the first song on my ipod, alphabetically speaking, is near impossible. To change artist you have to first push "SCN" on the head unit twice to go from 'playlist' select to 'artist'
select mode. Then can you hit the flimsy little "control stick" on the head unit up to select the second artist alphabetically, again for the third, and so on, etc. Takes TOO long. On top of all this, the display (on my HU anyway) is only one line. So you have to decide if you want to know what artist it is, or what song it is, but not both. The ONLY way I could see this being somewhat useful is if you are a playlist fanatic, and you know what songs, and in what order, you are going to listen to. In that case you could make the playlist, title it so it's alphabetically first on the ipod, and then plug it and go.

Last but certainly not least, my ipod hasn't crashed in 2.5 yrs of ownership, but has crashed (once I had to reload the WHOLE thing) twice in using this product in 2 weeks. Coincidence?

unnessasary extra

Written By brian, ohio on Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I got the unit half off so I tried dont regret worth the price. This unit plugs in cd changer input on my head unit wich keeps the wires out of singht and sounds great while doing it really important to some like my self. unles you have a touch screen selecting playlists and songs can be hard. es. with large play list. If you want ease of use with your 30g ipod get the 2 dollar patch cord plug into your aux jack in front of radio and stick with those easy to use controls of your ipod that you already know so well. This unit does charge your ipod and so does the car charger that you probaly allready bought

Best solution for iPod integration

Written By Billy, Durham, NC on Thursday, October 02, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I shopped around for new stereos that already had front aux inputs just to avoid having to install something myself (because I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to installing car stereos & equipment) but the fact is that I love my current Kenwood stereo and didn't want to swap it out for something else. So I came across the KCA-iP500 and decided I would try to install it. Well, installation into my 2006 Hyundai Tiburon was a breeze, and I am thoroughly pleased and ecstatic with the performance of the KCA-iP500. One of my smartest purchasing decisions of the year. By the way, I also called Crutchfield customer service to ask about my iPod's compatibility with the unit, and Lee, the customer service rep, was very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. A great experience all around!

works pretty well

Written By Adam, Arlington, VA on Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

If you're looking for the same song selection control you have on the ipod itself, this product isn't going to make you happy. ipod controls on the ipod itself are locked out as soon as you plug it in. It does allow you to navigate using playlists and turn on and off shuffle from the connected receiver, including playlist and track naming if your receiver supports text. However, navigating between playlists is slower than you'd hope for (around 2 seconds between pressing the button and seeing the new playlist title). That said, it does resume from the last thing you were playing when you connect it, so you can unplug the ipod, make your selection, and plug it back in if you need to do a lot of navigation. Choosing a playlist isn't too bad if you don't have too many. Skipping forward or back within a playlist works very well. The sound quality is outstanding. The only other downside is that it won't charge the iphone 3G. For my normal usage patterns (generally pick a play list, shuffle it, and skip songs I'm not interested in) it actually works very well, and for the price is a very good value.

glad to have it

Written By Anonymous, phoenix az on Thursday, September 11, 2008

i am glad i bought it, but i think it could be a lot better. i have over 7000 songs on my ipod. navigating through playlists and songs is a pain because you cannot pick specific songs from the menu, you can only pick a playlist, artist, album, or genre. i am using it with a ddx7017 touchscreen. other than the poorly functioned navigation it works pretty good, but the connection to the ipod has to be still or it will manipulate the sound.

i hope this helps

good product

Written By ez, emporia, ks on Sunday, August 31, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am very pleased with this product. I'm using it with my kenwood ddx6019 and it works great. For some reason it doesn't charge the ipod though, it doesn't use any battery but when i unplug it it's at the same point on the battery meter. It only took about 10 minutes to install and it worked the first time I plugged it in. It took a little while to get the hang of how to change the order of how to search through the songs. There are a couple things I don't like however. 1- can't play videos and 2- random is not really that random. It kept playing different songs from only a few different artist. But in the end I am happy i bought it, well worth the price.

Just what I needed!

Written By Matt, Raleigh, NC on Friday, July 18, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have a Kenwood KDC-X790 in my car and I bought this adapter for the iPod. I installed it today, and in one day, I've mastered it. Some of these other reviews almost deterred me from buying it, but other
reviews convinced me it would be the right decision. I was afraid that I would only be able to put everything on random. But if you read the instructions, you can easily browse by song name, artist, album, and genre. In the end, this works perfect and the sound quality is just fantastic!
Also, I bought a "refurbished" model, or whatever
Crutchfield calls it, and it's just like new. Saved some

Excellent Results

Written By lopez, Pinson,Alabama on Thursday, July 03, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installed in Ford Windstar on a Kenwood KDC-MP5032 in about 45 minutes including cable routing. iPOD controller works great. Sound is better than expected. Only flaw is not all info comes up on Kenwood screen. This was know in advance it may be an issue so I am not really dissappointed. My wife is pleased so mission accomplished.
Product is good and Crutchfield is a wonderful source to purchase automotive electronics.

Mostly Harmless

Written By El Shua, Ruston, LA on Thursday, June 19, 2008

The unit installed
in less than 10min
(that includes dash
removal and
replacement). It
works fine on my
Kenwood KDC-MP4028.

Awesome product.

Written By robert, Hanover, PA on Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hi, i have had this unit for 2 years. First it lived with a KDC-MP2035 and worked fantastically. and now I have it with my sirius, and BT100 on my KDC-MP3035. It still works fantastically.
some notes:

The his you hear is from your ipod. if it's a nano its hardly noticeable, but the larger capacity ipods have HARD DRIVES - that means MOVING PARTS/MOTORS. the hiss is caused by the interference. if you crank the volume then its less noticeable.

as far as the problem with 'only seeing the playlist title' - you can change the display text between playlist title or song title. read the instructions on how to do it. I am enjoying song title euphoria and you're all just whining.

Skipping through songs is perfect I think. I just punch in a number of where i think the song is close to, and hit the skip track button and it jumps right to the track i entered.

Someone mentioned the scan button which I am going to try. It makes sense if you think about it.

you should really investigate all avenues of approach when working with new things you get. after you find true faults and did your research, THEN review them.


Written By nick, Long Island, NY on Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This product is amazing it wors exactly as it says and it was a snap to install. It only took me 10 mins and it sounds really good as well.


Written By Steve, Simi Valley, Ca on Monday, February 04, 2008

this has got to be one of the best components ever I have everything at arms reach anything im in the mood for its there and because im on the road a lot im so glad I got it best part it was that it just plug it into your stereo and then plug your Ipod and go. It really dosent get any better than that

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Eric, Omaha NE on Monday, January 21, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product. Took me longer to unpack it than it took to install. I have it installed in a '06 Ram 2500, and also have Sirius Radio on the radio, this unit just plugged into the Sirius controller under my back seat. It plays all the folders, sorting them in alphabetical order by name. I have over 3400 songs in my iPOD, took me only a minute or so to find the song I wanted to listen to. Understand that the bigger collection, the longer to search for a song.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By djgama, dover, nj on Friday, January 18, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It works great, even with my old Kenwood stereo

Make sure you have the latest Ipod update

Written By Jake, Baltimore, MD on Sunday, December 23, 2007

Make sure you have the latest Ipod software update, and be sure to read the Head units manual to be sure you have the switches in the best spot. A browse feature would be nice such as what is already availibile with the USB interface. The unit provides nice level audio that seemed better than the ip200 cable with my x791. 2 usb ports would be really nice in the non navigation units but that is for another reveiw

Beware iPod Touch Users

Written By dcray2000, North Carolina on Thursday, December 20, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First, let me say the KCA-iP500 is great. It works like a champ with my iPod Nano. However, I recently got an iPod touch. The touch works with it but will not charge. Also, the touch got very hot after only 10 mins.


Written By DJ l3ling, Wentzville MO on Tuesday, November 20, 2007

First off, I just bought an iPod, and love it. I needed the cable to be able to control the iPod from the stereo, because as we all know, a direct connection like this sounds MUCH better than an RCA connection. I bought this product, took it home, and did the install in twenty minutes. Mind you, I don't have the keys to slide the radio out, so I had to rip my whole dash apart to get to the back of the radio. I had to set those two switches so the display would come out correct on my head unit. You CAN switch between playlists and artists and albums and everything, you have to know how to do it with YOUR RADIO. These controls can be found in the owners manual of YOUR RADIO. Look at the controls for a CD Changer. This product works by tricking the head unit into thinking that the iPod is a CD Changer.

Does not work great with 6G Ipod

Written By Robert, Fenton Michigan on Friday, October 05, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Matt, I wish you would have reviewed before I bought this. The advisor said it worked with the 6G ipod, which it does, but not like it should. Actually I found that most times the first time you connect your ipod to the Kenwood, it tends to work perfect. There on after it does everything Matt mentioned. Until you reconnect and sync to your computer. Then it tends to work again. I'm not sure if this is an ipod issue, or Kenwood issue. I was tempted to return, but there is really no alternative right now. Other than the FM modulator, which I don't want. Maybe Crutchfield or Kenwood will be good to us with an update for it or something.

Be warned -- does NOT work with 6G iPods

Written By Matt, Naples, FL on Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have already reviewed this product once -- this is just a warning to those who buy the iPods released earlier this month. I purchased a new 160gb iPod Classic, and it doesn't work 100% with this adapter.

1. It doesn't charge the battery
2. Song titles don't work properly -- often it will show the title of the first song, and it doesn't change as other songs come on
3. My screen never goes off anymore while connected
4. Many times, does not "resume" properly when you connect it
5. When you turn off your car, your iPod will continue playing, running down the battery!

It works, I mean it will play through your stereo...but it's awkward and doesn't charge the battery.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Thao, BILOXI, MS on Monday, August 27, 2007


Great for Playlists

Written By John, Orlando, Florida on Monday, July 30, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I loved the ease of installation with the Kenwood MPC-2035. Just merely a plug into the back on the console, and concealment of the module, and you are in business. Music sound is great through the Kenwood console.

As stated countless times, it is very difficult to navigate through your music collection unless you make playlists.

I do not think that making playlists from your favorite albums or songs is that big of a deal. You can either shoose to see the title of each playlist, or all of the songs included in each playlist without the title of the playlist, which is kind of weird.

They should have emphasized the necessity of playlists in the marketing of their product.

In summary, it is a small price to pay for what you get. I got the ability to play my digital music from my console without fumbling with my ipod. if you want to spend a couple hundred bucks, I am sure there is something better out there, but I think it is still good bang for the buck.

Great Disappointment on Infinity 07 FX and ipod integration

Written By mileswimmer, Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, June 28, 2007

First I don't blame Kenwood but Infiniti which misleadingly advertises that the FX comes "Ipod ready." Given that Infiniti has not come up with the actual FX ipod adapter, Infiniti recommended the Kenwood IP-500 as the ideal integration unit." They also installed a remote control reciever to control the ipod on the factory installed screen. The instructions and actual operation of the device is so cumbersome I couldn't see any way of operating it without having to stop the car. They wanted to charge me almost $500 for the whole ordeal! I had the thing taken-out. So much for dealer recommended parts.

Nice iPod interface

Written By amy, MD on Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I had a terrible time using my old iPod FM transmitter...static, cable didnt snap in and would fall out, etc. This interface works great. The sound is clear, and it charges easily. When I want to change albums, I just pop out the cable, change it on the ipod, and plug the cable back in. I can use the radio controls to skip over tracks. Works great.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Daniel, Montgomery, AL on Friday, April 13, 2007

hard to use, but unfortunatly the best option for sound quality/charging capabilities.

the best part of this is i can keep my ipod in my glove box or eventually run the wire to my center console so the ipod is kept concealed even if i forget it in the car.

i don't even bother trying to bumble with the clunky interface controls.. i just reach for the ipod, disconnect it, change albums on the ipod itself and plug it back in.
its not any slower than changing CDs out was before, but alot cleaner for my car.
mostly i set it on random and use the kenwood to advance tracks.
NICE construction though!

iPod Interface

Written By Mike, Midwest on Tuesday, April 03, 2007

True the learning curve for this thing is a little steep, but if you give it more than 5 minutes, and play around with it you can easily figure it out. I have a Kenwood KDC-X590, and iPod is all i ever listen to anymore. The scan button changes search mode. The seek button changes song.

But also consider your alternatives, RCA, FM Modulator, 3.5 MM jack. The ipod connector gives the best sound over all the alternatives, due to the fact that the headphone port on ipods is filtered for headphone use, so you are missing half the nuances that your car speakers can provide. The ipod connector is not filtered, so you get full sound. spend some time, read the instruction booklet. believe me it helps.

Best sound, Charging capabilities, and ipod control, FIVE STARS.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Dave, Marquette, MI on Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I must admit from reading the reviews for this, I was a bit weary about buying it. I decided to give it try though. It was incredibly easy to hook up. I think it is very simple to use. I have it hooked up to my KDC-MP922. I can easily go through my playlists (or albums, genre, etc.) and find songs. It displays all the information on the head unit.

It works great just READ the instructions first!!!!

Written By Kristofer, Denton Texas on Friday, March 02, 2007

I read most all of the other reviews and it made me hessitant to buy this cable but I did anyway. I also was frustrated thinking I could only press the seek button to foreward through songs, so I opted to just leave in on random. After I read the instructions I found out that by pressing the seek button it brings up all the folders such as artist, playlist, albums, genre, and etc. How could this get any easier I can browse all my albums and artist in alphabetical order and select who I want. I dont know if this works with all the kenwood units, but Iam using the DDX-6019 and it works awsome. I love this cable it just like having the ipod menu on my dvd player head unit.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By robert, Northbrook, IL on Saturday, February 24, 2007

They say that you can search for tracks, but good luck. I have over 1000 songs on my iPod.

If you are looking for full iPod control from your head unit, keep looking. If you just want to plug in your iPod and play random tracks, it'll do that, but not much else.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Caleb, tulsa,ok on Friday, February 09, 2007

First off in my opion that Kenwood and Alpine Head Units are the best. I prefer Kenwood. I recently upgraded to a nice Kenwood Head Unit to my new car, and got an Ipod to hook with my HU. I purchased the KCA ip500 because it sounded like the right product for my HU. VERY WRONG, yes it charges and it shows the name of the song, but its terrible, you cant scroll through any of the folders, and you have to use the seek button all day long just to get the song you want, unless you want random songs. I can find any song on my ipod within a few seconds, but on my HU with KCA ip500 it takes WAY TO LONG!!!!

hiss hiss and more hiss

Written By fhlh, Texas on Friday, February 02, 2007

Nothing but hiss connected to my x889.
I've tried TWO of these adaptors using a gen3 ipod and gen 5 ipod... same results.
Did a google search for "IPOD adaptor hiss"... seems it's not just an issue with this kenwood unit.
Do yourself a favor and use the mini phono plug to connect, sounds excellent. Which I'd rather have than functionality.

Good points, bad points

Written By nitwit, Philadelphia, PA on Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installation couldn't possibly be any easier.
Charges iPod while connected
good sound
works through head units remote (no more 50 remote for everything connected to your car stereo!)
a "must have" for iPod owners.

can't directly access specific songs, but that's why iTunes created "playlists", besides, You should be watching the road, not the dashboard (or your ipod)!

Keep Looking...

Written By RPM250, MA on Saturday, January 27, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First, I love Kenwood products, and have bought many decks through the years. My love of the company makes me reluctant to rate this iPOD adaptor. But here it goes.

Pros - Simple 5 min installation. That's it.

Cons - After I spent the 5 minutes to install it, I played with it for 2 minutes and then spent another 5 minutes uninstalling it.

From all the other reviews, the reason is obvious. You loose all control from your iPOD and have to depend on the deck controls, which is a joke. Even if you only had 3 CD's worth of songs, it is not worth the trouble to try and find just one of the songs. I ripped it out so fast that I never even considered the sound quality, which I'm sure is great, considering the Kenwood name.

Stick with RCA inputs and use the iPOD controls.

four stars if your a random user

Written By deserthootman, Louisville, Ky on Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this in conjunction with a KDC MP4032. I can only speak for this unit but it searched pretty fast. But when your used to the ipod interface, kenwood is still way off base. But on random the way i like it, its a beautiful thing. The reason i didnt give it 5 stars was the cords were difficultly long and made them hard to hide in my dash. But hey it might pan out well for you.

I bought two, and I'm sending two back...

Written By Eric, Orange County, CA on Thursday, January 04, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My girlfriend and I have KDC-X790 and KDC-X789 respectively, and both have 80GB iPods (with 45GB of music on each). I have been running a phono-to-RCA cable from the headphones jack of my iPod to the AUX INPUT on the back of my deck. You retain iPod control, and get crystal clear sound. The only drawback is no ability to charge the iPod. I bought the KDC-X790 and KCA-iP500 for my girlfriend for Christmas so she could ditch her factory radio and her reception-challenged FM modulator. I just got it all hooked up and have to say... This interface is absolutely impossible to deal with!!! To try and navigate through over 600 CD's of music is impossible. It would take you as long to find a single song as it takes you to reach your destination. I am sincerely disappointed that I completely lost control FROM the iPod. Maybe this would be OK for the 4GB mini owners... or maybe not even then... but if you have a collection of music, this is not for you. Bad purchase on my behalf. I'm sticking with the phono to RCA and deal with charging some other way.

Well worth it for me!

Written By Skeptic03, Northern CA on Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I've had the KCA-iP500 connected to a Kenwood EZ500 for a couple of months now, and I love it. As other reviewers have pointed out, finding a single song could be a hassle, but that's not a factor for me. I have a 6gb iPod mini that I just fill up and set to random. The iPod is a few years old, and the battery is junk, so this was a great way to continue to get some use out of it. It stays in the glove box until I buy a new cd or want to update what's on it, and I don't have to think about it. If they come out with a 2nd gen model that improves search features, you might want to think about that... but for my money, this does the job very well.

Good basic controls

Written By James Land, Kansas City on Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I am not new to this adapter. My wife has one in her car with a basic Kenwood HU, but I have not used hers much. I got the 30 gig Ipod video, and bought the iP500 for my KDC789 HU. I was very familiar with the PhatNoise system from Kenwood, and this works very similar. Other reviews note the lack of search options- LEARN HOW TO USE THE SCAN BUTTON. Each time you press the scan button, it takes the "folder" search option from playlist, artist, album, genre, root folder, etc. Depending on how you organize your ipod, knowing the diff search options makes it much easier to navigate. Also- having multi line HU is helpful- I can see track title on one and playlist/artist/album/genre on another. Does not show three lines, however. I have 18 gig on it already and found that a combo of playlist and artist searches works well. Only gripe would be lack of direct access- I have remote and PhatNoise lets you DA.

immpossible to navigate

Written By craig2c, Salt Lake City, Ut on Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The sound quality is great. Easy setup and install. But absolutley impossible to find anything but random songs

Works fine, but lack of easy navigation is a deal-breaker

Written By Jereme, Wisconsin on Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I purchased this along with a new deck in order to get away from using an FM transmitter with my iPod. Install was easy (aside from Toyota's design forcing me to take apart much of my dash) and the sound is excellent. No more cruddy FM sound. No more switching stations to avoid interference. No more being interrupted by someone else's music when they pull up next to me with an FM transmitter of their own. Plus, the fact it powers and charges the iPod is great.

Unfortunately, the KCA-iP500 disables the iPod interface, and my deck interface is almost impossible to navigate, only shows song title, and is slow to show the title when switching songs. The main reason for the iPod's dominance over other players is it's interface, and disabling it is not the way I want to go.

So, I'll be returning this adapter and buying the PAC iPod adapter instead, so I can continue to use my iPod interface.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Andrea, Dallas, TX on Monday, October 30, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this connector for my new ipod and it was easy to install the only probably is beware if you already have satellite radio hooked up you have to plug it into the tuner and that is a bit of a pain. Overall the product works and allows you to use your remote or radio controls to work your ipod and this is great!!!!!

iP500 Review

Written By Jeffrey, Wayne, NJ on Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm not new to car audio, so installing this unit was very easy. It will take you more time to pull out your headunit than it will to plug in the iP500. All you have to do is plug in the cable to the headunit, run the wire to a place that is easy to reach and you're done. It would have received 5 stars, but it only displays the Playlist title whereas I thought it would scroll the song title on my headunit as it does with Sirius. At any rate, it's a great option to add to your car audio and get some more use out of your iPod.

Great for Me and my 2005 Freestyle

Written By Doug, Huntsville, AL on Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It took me about 2 minutes to install this and I love it, its probably not great if you are looking for 1 song in 1000s but since I usually just set it on random and let it go its fine. Readout is great after I used a bit of freeware to bulk rename the ID titles to match the filename format I like. Its a great deal considering there is really no real option to it with the sound quality.

Does enough for me...

Written By Tony, Glen Burnie, MD on Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I just purchased this. It works well, and took all of 1.5 mins to install (since I have a sirius tuner already plugged into my head unit). I just plugged this into the other port on the dirius tuner and it worked great!

Sound quality is amazing... search function is terrible, but if you put things into playists for use in your car, then its great.

Not a good solution if you have a 30 or 80GB iPod tho unless you have the smaller playlists.

It's better than nothing, but not what I was hoping

Written By Andy, Gulf Coast, AL on Saturday, September 16, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Pros - Goes one step forward beyond a simple "line-in" by charging your iPod, but...

Cons - Two steps back for not displaying any song info on my deck or being able to navigate efficiently.

Bottom line: Assuming sound quality was a constant, I would rather have bought a deck with a simple "line-in" so that I could at least use my iPod's controls to navigate among my songs. At least I only have a couple hundred songs on my 2GB Nano, I can't imagine if I were one of those with a full size ipod and thousands of songs.

Bare Minimum

Written By Paul, AZ on Thursday, August 03, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this to use w/ Kenwood's KDC-X790. I'll keep it plain and simple:

1. It keeps your ipod charged in the car.
2. Good sound quality compared to an FM Modulator

Cons: (and I think they far out weigh the Pros)
1. The interface doesn't allow the display of the following fields: ALBUM, ARTIST, GENRE.
2. As a result, you can't browse your ipod collection by those fields. I repeat: YOU CAN NOT BROWSE YOUR COLLECTION USING ALBUM, ARTIST, GENRE.
3. No access to iPod Playlists.

So what can you do? You can move ahead/back one track at a time. You can only move through your music collection in a linear/sequential manner: Track 1, then Track 2, then Track 3, etc. NOW IMAGINE HAVING A 60 GB ipod and trying to access song # 14,000!

What a JOKE!

At least Crutchfield handled the situation w/ Class!! I'll be getting something else.

Not perfect, but...

Written By BART, Okinawa Japan (USAF) on Saturday, July 22, 2006

I have a Kenwood DDX7015 setup in my car here in Japan, so the KCA-iP500 interface was a no brainer for me. My take?
-Simple iPod connection
-Easy to install
-Touch screen navigation (using my 7015)
-Great sound

-Can't use iPod to navigate - must use stereo interface (which is why I understand some of the negative comments...since I have the DVD dual din Kenwood player, it's not such a big deal for me)
-In disc list mode, a lot of the artist/album titles are truncated

Bottom line:
-I've used 4g and 5g iPods, as well as nanos on this system...can't imagine going back to a line-in setup. Although the disc list function is lacking, once an artist/album/playlist is queued up and playing, viewing complete song title or album title is mastered. I'd like the interface to offer native iPod navigation, but it's not a deal killer. If you don't have a video interface in your ride, then this review won't help you. Sorry.

iPod hooked up to Sirius tuner pass through port - Awesome!!!

Written By G, Plymouth, MA on Thursday, June 22, 2006

I have a Kenwood KDC-319 deck and Sirius satellite tuner KTC-SR902 with the KCAip500 hooked up to the slave unit port on the satellite tuner. I was hesitant to buy the KCAip500 due to reviews that contained the following statement

"Yes you WILL get static when using the iPod interface and the Sirius tuner."

I initially purchased a high quality FM transmitter and was not happy with the low volume and sound quality so I decided to give the cable a try. WOW! Pure CD like music and crystal clear on amplified stereo. No static at all. Do your self a favor and at least give the cable a try and save your reciept.

One note, I have the satellite tuner and the KCAip500 switch in my trunk. I mention this because in the manual it says to keep the KCAip500 swith away from the deck to reduce possibility of noise. Not sure if this is the source of static that other reviewers mention.

The interface is a little cumbersome but the sound quality and convenience out weigh the navigational downfalls. Manage your iPod with playlist etc on your computer. If you don't like the music get it off your iPod :-)

Worst iPod interface EVER!!!

Written By James, Haddonfield, NJ on Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This thing is absolutely one of the worst ipod interfaces out there. It isn't even capable of displaying the artist name. You can forget about finding a song because the controls are WAY slow and totally cumbersome. Takes a long time (about 5 seconds) for the little song info that this thing actually supports to appear. I opted to go for the panasonic CQ-C7203U at crutchfield that even comes w/ a free ipod adapter. Poor design.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Tim, USAF Germany on Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed this in my 05 4 Runner with the KDC X790 and while the sound quality is fine and it does basically work (hence the two stars). It takes too long to jump from one song to the next (especially the previous song), and navigating around is cumbersome to say the least. This will be my last Kenwood purchase.

Great sounding--Bad controlling features

Written By greg, Murphys, CA on Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The ipod connection is great to use. It sounds great but the control portion of it sucks. I have to disconnect it to use it because it is impossible to find the song your looking for. I have just gotten used to changing the song manually. All-in-all its a good connector/charger for your car.

Also works on kmd-42 MINI DISK PLAYER

Written By DAve, COL on Monday, June 12, 2006


iPod Video compatible

Written By Josh, East Berlin, Pa on Monday, May 29, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

If your wondering if this work with the 5G Video iPods, It does indeed work. The sound is incredible!!! Worth every penny!

Great for dead Ipods too

Written By winter, APO AE on Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

If you are like me (and many others) after about a year the battery in your Ipod died and left you with an attractive but expensive paperweight.
The charging function of this interface provides a constant supply of power allowing you to use an otherwise useless Ipod. I just leave it in the car all the time and load it from time to time when I get something new.

Thanks Kenwood,

Great IPOD accessory

Written By Adam, New Jersey on Monday, May 01, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I don't want to echo the reviews on here so I will be brief. I agree that the KCA-iP500 sounds great and is really easy to install. I also agree that the scroll feature is much less efficient than the Ipod and with a large libray of music you have to have a good plan to be able to find your music.

One idea that I have not seen here is that the KCA-iP500 (at least mine) will start playing your IPOD wherever you last had it on.

For example, I go to a U2 album on my disconnected IPOD and play a song. Then I can plug my IPOD into the unit and it will start playing that same song. If you adjust your face unit with the scan to be able to adjust by artist from there, you can navigate a little faster. OBviously a litle dangerous for driving, but great for getting it set before you go.

Overall, I am enjoying it alot. SOOO much better than my FM transmitter...


Written By monique, Santa Maria on Saturday, February 04, 2006

I installed it and it sounds terrific. Very nice with all my speakers and sub w/ dynamat. Only thing is you cant really scroll through the menu. But I figured you cant have everything.

KCA-iP500 & Sir-Ken1

Written By Justin, Shorewood, IL on Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Yes you WILL get static when using the iPod interface and the Sirius tuner.

Also, it is a pain to scroll through. I've found a quicker way to scroll through. On my deck (KDC-MP628) I can dial in a number and then hit the up button and it will scroll to whatever number artist that is.

Looks like I'm forced to purchase the KCA-S210A to stop the static from the Sir-Ken1.

If you're not using the Sirius tuner, the sound quality is fantastic. Sounds like a cd.

Best when thought as a replacement for a CD Changer

Written By Mitchell, Piermont, NY on Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I imagine I went about this differently than most folks who had an ipod first then wanted to integrate it into their cars. I got into the ipod/itunes late in the game and was sticking with my cd changer...burning itunes onto cds and loading them in. Well I had enough of that as my itunes library grew, then I had repeated mechanical problems with my cd changer.

So I got the kca-ip500 and an ipod 2GB nano. As a replacement for a cd changer its ALMOST perfect. Ive got the cables running into the glove compartment so its completely out of sight, dont have to worry about powering it, and Ive got way more than the 10CD capacity of my cd changer loaded up. I heard the smaller the hard drive of the ipod the faster the navigation of your library.

Youre going to have to use playlists and be real organized about it to navigate easily; and the shorter the playlist the better because going track to track is sluggish. Unlike a cd you cant just keep tapping next to cycle through the songs, you have to wait until the next song is loaded before you can hit next again to proceed. So you can imagine if you have a long playlist and you want to listen to whatever is #33 youll be hitting next for a bit.

As for displaying info I was always a big fan of CD TEXT and on my kdc-x879 Id get the song title/artist displayed, now I only get the song title. So I lost a little there but since most of my cds didnt have cd text in the first place Im gaining now as its coming off the ipod.

So hopefully the next gen of these adapters will be a little more functional, but for what I was looking for Im real happy.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Matt, Honolulu,Hawaii on Thursday, January 26, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

KCA iP500-iPod control interface diffently keeps the S.Q. and clean signal within your system.But,disappointed that the ipod menu does display on the LCD of your deck. Like the other reviews mentioned on this product, you need to organize everything to a playlist and only the artist and title of song in what ever playlist your in appears on your decks LCD.
Encourage you to read every ones review on this product so you gain a better understanding about what is displayed on your LCD of your deck when using the iPod interface.
I'll give this product 4 stars only because of S.Q. and clean signal. Worth the $$ ? I guess. Aloha!

Good Product

Written By Eric Gibbs, Encinitas, CA on Sunday, November 27, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very easy to install. Plugs into the back of the stereo where the external CD changer normally goes. If you're running the cable through the car, like me, you'll find all the little converters and transformers on the cable to be bothersome, but that's just to install. The product works well and it's cool to be able to work my ipod through my stereo. It doesn't say on the site, but on the convertor box itself (The big grey box that says Kenwood on it) there are two small switches. The manual doesn't explain it very simply how to set them. Just go to and they've got a list on how they should be set, depending on your deck. Hope it helps.

Excellent ipod companion

Written By Jeff, Honolulu, HI on Monday, October 03, 2005

Great product! Nothing but raves about this! The installation was easy & only took about 10 minutes to complete. Very user-friendly. I have no complaints at all! Unlike the FM transmitters, it actually connects through the stereo, as if it's running an actual CD player. If you create playlists on your ipod via i-tunes, the Kenwood receiver acknowledges them, which is probably the best thing to do (to separate by genre, artist, etc)otherwise you'll hear the songs in order by title/artists only. The KCA-iP500 does not shuffle songs, in fact if you have your ipod on shuffle mode, once you plug it up to the interface, it automatically shuts off the shuffle. That's why it's good to have playlists for this. Other than that, it's a great product & I would recommend purchasing this to get the best out of your ipod. This product truly take your ipod experience to the next level!

They kept it simple for the stupid, which is good

Written By pwatanab, Los Angeles, CA on Monday, August 22, 2005

It essentially works just like the Ipod does, just slower. I've seen the competition from Alpine and Pioneer in action, and the Kenwood seems to be faster. I use mine with the KDC-X889, and couldn't be happier. As many others have stated, it's impossible to use the artist search if you have a ton of music by a zillion different artists. However, you CAN disconnect the unit at any time and just use the Ipod's regular controls, then plug it back in. SQ is perfect, easy to install and use, great if you mostly use playlists and genre search, or just set to random.

Kenwood's the best in a weak field

Written By iPodPal, Vancouver, Canada on Friday, August 05, 2005

**** If you expect this product to give you the same intuitiveness and functionality as the iPod itself, you will be very disappointed. All iPod adapters are 1st generation at the moment and thus are still working on better funtionality & intuitiveness****

I recently bought the KCA ip500 adapter, along with a new 7028 HU to play my iPod Mini.

I rate this product pretty high because it allows you to quickly access and display/search the contents of your entire iPod fairly easily, provided you organize your itunes well. That said, if you have a HUGE music collection with 5000 songs, you may be a bit disappointed because it will get pretty hard to find a specific song. If youre like me, and you enjoy random, this is the way to go.

Ive organized my artists into A-Z playlists and I can access each one and then search within that playlist in order to find a particular song, which can usually be done in a couple of minutes with practice. For me and my 800 song + Mini, this unit is working out really well so far. As for speed, the Kenwood combo I have is pretty darn quick, much more so than what I saw with Alpine or Pioneer, which allows me to search
through my artists/songs with little lag time.

I havent read the maunual much at all, and Ive figured out how to utilize virtually all of the adapter/HU combos functionality in about two weeks.

My extensive pre-purcahse comparison with comparable adapter/HU combos from Alpine and Pioneer resulted in me choosing this unit and Im not disappointed at all. The 7028 is a great HU, and is (obviously) brand new for 2005. I think it helps to have a new HU such as mine to fully appreciate the functional


Written By Edward, Manassas, VA on Sunday, July 24, 2005

I use a KDC-X789 and this adapter. It's easy to install (maybe 30 minutes, tops, no soldering or drilling or cutting) and sounds good. Has a certain geekyness factor displaying songs and playlists on the dash display.

However, the response of the controls is lackluster... I will often hit a button and get no reaction at all. If all you do is shuffle your main library or use playlists you'll probably be all right. But if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have just stuck with my aux in and a cigarette lighter charger.

Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod® Control Interface

Written By Bob, Troy, NC on Thursday, July 07, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product. Simple to install. Slow to find next audio book, but sounds great and is easily controlled from radio panel. The best add on for the IPOD I have found.

I like and recommend it

Written By Lee, Boston, MA on Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I picked up this adapter and installed it the weekend, putting over 7 hours of use on it. I really like not having to worry about the battery strength remaining on my iPod, as well as seeing the titles of the songs scroll across my HU. The way I use it is to put one of my 7 playlists on random, and let it do it's thing. If I hit a song I don't want to hear, I just FF over it. I can store the iPod in the glove box (where it's hooked up) and not have to worry about it being in plain view. Searching for a particular song is unbearable and almost impossible to do, but if you like choosing a playlist (or your entire library) and just letting it go, then its definetly worth picking up.

Not perfect but still good.

Written By dk, MA on Friday, July 01, 2005

I'm using the ipod adapter with a KDC-X589 (this is an 8 character one line display). Most importantly the sound quality is excellent. Another good thing is the unit is small and easy to mount in many locations.
The interface has some flaws though including:
-can't search within a search. (if i choose the genre classic rock, i can't select which classic rock artist i want.)
-takes a couple seconds to display info.

this unit is really good if you create playlists on your computer. it's easy to make several playlists in itunes and then just listen to that in the car. This unit is not good if you want to manually select a specific song from the headunit.

This is still much better than carrying around CD's and having to fumble around changing them. It would take much longer and be less convenient to find a specific song if you had a few hundred cd's in your car rather than having this adapter.

Sounds Great!!!!!!!!!!!!

Written By Brent, Atlanta, GA on Sunday, June 19, 2005

If you are an ipod freak like me you will like this product. Sounds great but, if you are looking for a song or artist it will take about 5 or 10 minutes. The operation of the ipod from your head unit isn't prefect but, acceptable. The idea that I have over 2000 songs of CD quanilty music at my finger tips is pretty cool. I did read some things online about static with the sirius tuner, I have had no such problem. Over all I would strongly recommend this product, it sure is the best way to use your ipod in your car.

I love it!

Written By William, Clayton, NC on Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am an iPod freak. I love my iPod. I have used the tape adapters, the FM signal adapters and got by with those....until now. The sound from the Kenwood KCA-iP500 Ipod Control Interface paired with my Kenwood Excelon KDC-X789 CD/MP3 Receiver is outstanding, as good or better then CD quality!! The controls are not the best, but I always made long playlists and just used random anyway so it works out great for me. I have no complaints...Great sound in my car is what I've always wanted from my iPod, and now I have it. Thanks Crutchfield and Kenwood.

Horrible control

Written By Ryan, Boston, MA on Friday, May 27, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (