Do you like listening to your iPod® in the car? You do? Great — but if you're just jacking it into an aux input, you're missing out on some nice features and better sound quality.

Built-in iPod controls
Kenwood's KDC-252U CD receiver is the least expensive model with built-in iPod controls in their 2012 lineup. That means you can connect your iPod or iPhone® to the front-panel USB input and take charge of your playlists from the receiver. You won't have to fumble around with the player while you're scooting down the road or stuck in traffic. Your iPod or iPhone will even charge up when it's connected, too.

Kenwood KDC-252U

Better sound quality
And sound quality takes a bump for the better, too. When you're connected via the USB input, you bypass the digital-to-analog converter in your iPod and take advantage of the Kenwood's 24-bit D/A converter. Your music will sound fuller, richer, and more natural.

Good power with plenty of tone control
The KDC-252U is also a well-rounded sound machine, with a sturdy internal amplifier that kicks out a lot more power than most factory stereos. Plus, you'll have access to more sophisticated tone controls, including a 3-band EQ with a bevy of preset tone curves.

More connectivity
And even if you don't have your iPod on hand, you can keep the party going all day by loading in a disc full of MP3 and WMA files, or by jacking another device into the front-panel aux input. When you're ready to expand your system, a set of preamp outputs simplifies the job of adding an amp or a powered sub for some extra kick in your sound.

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.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD player with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • detachable face with 11-digit display and red button illumination
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band equalizer)
    • speaker size settings
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • low-pass filter, subwoofer level control, and phase switch
    Expandability:
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora control with iPhone
    • compatible with Music Link app for Android devices
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB input
    • outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs (2-volt rear/subwoofer)
    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 KDC-252U Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    Awesome!

    Written By HyerT, Helper, UT on Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great product for the money! I bought one factory refurbished and could not notice any defects or marks of work. This works great, I wanted a unit that would handle my plug ins without breaking the bank. It works well in my Ford Ranger. You get what you pay for, I hope everyone realizes this when they look at this product, it is good all around.

    Pros: Simple, easy to use.

    Cons: none yet.

    Kenwood stereo

    Written By Travis, Arlington, va on Saturday, September 14, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This inexpensive stereo was perfect for my goal to upgrade the stereo in my 10-year old single-cab pickup. I can now enjoy audiobooks stored on my iPhone. The kit/instructions were helpful but required a bit of intuition on my part. I think a few more detailed instructions would help many buyers. I enjoyed this experience with Crutchfield.

    Pros: Price. Features.

    Cons: None for my purposes.

    Amazing

    Written By Anonymous, Denville, NJ on Monday, August 19, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    it works amazing

    Pros: everything

    Cons: nothing

    Good, Inexpensive Upgrade

    Written By Steve, San Diego, CA on Sunday, July 21, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Replaced the OEM CD changer in our '03 G35 after suffering the dreaded CD-jammed-and-took-out-the-HVAC-too problem. 17yo son very happy with sound and iPod integration. Even with the stock speakers it sounds better than OE, in my opinion.

    Pretty easy install with supplied wiring kit and Metra dash adapter (half off!). Thanks Crutchfield!

    Pros: Good sound. Looks sharp.

    Cons: None

    Ken wood KFC 252u

    Written By Chris, Commack ny on Monday, June 10, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    The receiver was easy To install. The receiver sounds and looks great.

    Pros: The wiring harness fits perfectly

    Cons: You lose steering wheel operation

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Anonymous, Burwell Nebraska on Sunday, June 09, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    good for the amount

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By AllanC, White House, TN on Monday, June 03, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great Product and it fits nicely in the truck.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Joe, PA on Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Cool unit with good sound and features. Painless install with the kit. Delivered fast.

    Pros: Muti media capable. MP3 and CDR disc, aux input, USB and i Pod

    Cons: Can be to much to change sound profiles and folder options while driving.

    Good Deck for the price

    Written By ds, St.Paul,MN on Thursday, May 30, 2013

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I bought this deck at another store. But, I wanted to post a review on a site that is actually for folks that are interested in audio products.

    Installed pretty easily on my 2000 mazda protege. Sounded good. Loved having the USB port. Would have preferred to have a rear-attached usb port just to hide my thumb drive/ipod. But, for the price point, beggars cannot be choosers.

    Kenwood has made a customer for life with the quality of their products.

    Pros: Install ease, Ipod connectivity for price, removable face, IR remote for controlling unit.

    Cons: User interface not the easiest to use. But, that is noted on 99% of the reviews for this HU.

    Great Stereo

    Written By sb, Winslow, ME on Sunday, May 26, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I put this in my 2002 Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon and it made a huge improvement on my system. The installation was a lot easier than expected and didn't take me much time at all. Once that piece is done, the sound improved on my car a lot more than expected. The system does take a little bit to figure out with the controls, but once you do it is a great receiver. I also love that I can control Pandora through the stereo rather than my phone as it makes it much easier to use that way. The only problem that I have is when it takes control of my iPod. I have an iPod classic and it can be a little difficult to search through all the songs through the stereo and I usually just unplug it and find a playlist and then plug it in. Overall, I love this product and believe it includes a lot for the price.

    Pros: great sound value cool features iPod/Pandora control

    Cons: takes some time to figure out the controls

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By geon, south carolina on Friday, May 24, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Needed an inexpensive radio to work with a factory subwoofer. Crutchfield made it very easy to select one that would work properly and their installation advice and extra products were a fantastic bargain. I won't shop anywhere else after finding out (and using) about their tech help and the discounts on all the stuff needed to install! I could buy a radio elsewhere for a good price but the install specifics for my vehicle from them were worth any difference!

    Pros: Sounds great and I can play MP3s now Easy to install with the Crutchfield extras

    Cons: Not as intuitive to operate as the factory radio but easy to figure out in a few minutes with the instructions

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Kevin, Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This is an awesome stereo for the price. Also, Crutchfield threw in all the necessary accessories for free, which was awesome. It sounds great in my car and allows me to hook up my phone or an mp3 player to play music.

    I think I would get more out of this stereo if I was an iPhone user, because some of the features are specific to iPhones.

    The only issue I had was that it kept flashing PROTECT on the screen after I installed. I thought that maybe I had wired something wrong, but after hitting the reset button (found on the front of the unit after removing the face plate), it started working.

    Kenwood 252

    Written By jlinks, Fayetteville, NC on Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This is a great product but does require some time to master but overall is an excellent product.

    P