1-888-955-6000
crutchfield.com
Crutchfield

Kenwood KDC-252U

CD receiver (New stock)

Watch video
Zoom
  • Kenwood KDC-252U

    Front

  • Kenwood KDC-252U

    Back

  • Kenwood KDC-252U

  • Kenwood KDC-252U

    Remote

Item #: 113KDC252U
 

Review Summary

DISCONTINUED
 
This item is no longer available to purchase.
 
Contact us for other options
 
Call   Email  
 
 
 
 
 

Our take on the Kenwood KDC-252U

by Ken Nail
Kenwood

Why replace your factory radio?

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

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.

See more info on this item

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:

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

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant
    Loading...
    No
    RMS Power Output
    Loading...
    22 watts
    Peak Output
    Loading...
    50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
    Loading...
    20-20KHz
    Preamp Outputs
    Loading...
    2-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
    Loading...
    No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
    Loading...
    Yes
    Preamp Voltage
    Loading...
    2.5 volts
    Display Color
    Loading...
    Bluish white
    Key Button Color
    Loading...
    Red
    EQ Bands
    Loading...
    3
    Wireless Remote
    Loading...
    Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
    Loading...
    No
    Parts Warranty
    Loading...
    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
    Loading...
    1 Year
    Expandability
    AUX Input
    Loading...
    Front
    USB Input
    Loading...
    Front
    Memory Card Slot
    Loading...
    USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible
    Loading...
    No
    Satellite Radio Ready
    Loading...
    No
    HD Radio
    Loading...
    No
    Navigation
    Loading...
    ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
    Loading...
    Classic/5Gen
    Nano
    Loading...
    Nano7/Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/
    Touch
    Loading...
    Touch5/Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/To
    Mini
    Loading...
    No
    iPhone
    Loading...
    Phone5/Phone4S/Phone4/Phone3GS
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
    Loading...
    11.2 dBf
    European Tuning
    Loading...
    Yes
    Seek/Scan
    Loading...
    Seek
    Radio Data System
    Loading...
    No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • AM/FM CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-405)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • Cloth face pouch
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Instruction Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty Card

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    iPod/Android Control
    USB/Aux Inputs
    Disc Playback
    Audio Section
    Radio Functions
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    iPod/Android Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The KDC-252U's front-panel USB port acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-252U. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5; use the Lighting-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head unit.

    iPod DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 105dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone, as well as music apps streamed to your iPhone.

    iPod Control: You can choose to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.

    • Head Unit: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). The head unit supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
    • iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker) from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Kenwood head unit and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode.

    Note: Access to your iPhone's downloaded applications will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet.

    Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood KDC-252U using your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately), or the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. The Kenwood KDC-252U provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.

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

    iPod/ Display: The KDC-252U will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood head unit. The head unit will display Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album label. If you choose to operate your connected iPod/iPhone via its clickwheel or touchscreen controls, the KDC-252U will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").

    iPod Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position. This unit does not charge the iPad.

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

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-252U is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/25/2012):

    iPod Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Pandora app Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod App mode Artist/Song Text Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N N N
    clickwheel
    color
    4th N/A N N N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N N N
    2nd N/A N N N N N N N N N
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    7th 1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    4th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    5th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

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

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

    Note: When the Kenwood Music Control app is first downloaded it will require some time to populate all the music, so we suggest doing this overnight.

    Music Files Format Supported by Music Control app for Android:

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

    USB/Aux Inputs

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-252U features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device with MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 folder layers, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder - with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

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

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood KDC-252U supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.1.1.0). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3/WMA music files to your USB (MSC) devices from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB (MSC) device using Kenwood Music Editor Lite through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using the head unit's Music Search function.

    System Requirements: The Kenwood Music Editor Light (ver.1.1.0) Windows-based software can be downloaded for free from Kenwood.com to your PC. The Kenwood Music Editor Light is compatible with the following Windows Microsoft Operating Systems.

    • Windows XP Professional, Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit)
    • Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)

    Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Zune, or Android

    Aux In: The unit is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input that can be used to input audio from a portable audio source, such as a portable MP3 player. The Aux input must be turned on to function. The unit has 3 auxiliary input modes.

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

    Auxiliary Display: The KDC-252U allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.

    Disc Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs.

    MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-252U can play MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc can have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder (512 maximum number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (ver. 1.x/2.x) and WMA Tag information - up to 60 characters.

    Text Scroll: The KDC-252U will display CD text or Audio file text. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto, Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.

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

    Direct Music Search: The supplied IR wireless remote control (RC-405) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood KDC-252U features the following Repeat, Random, and Scan playback modes.

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

    Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to the tuner mode while a CD is playing, the next time CD is selected as the source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.

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

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

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

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

    Audio Section

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-252U utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior CD sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-252U is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KDC-252U are as follows:

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

    3-Way Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 3-way rotary volume control that increases and decreases the volume of the stereo from 0 to 35. The rotary knob also controls other audio settings such as Balance, Fader, Bass, Mid, Treble and preset EQ settings. In addition, the rotary knob allows you to scroll through and select your music tracks when the Music Search function is activated.

    Volume Offset: The level of each source may be independently adjusted to prevent radical leaps in output volume when switching from one source to another. The available settings range from -8 to 0 (-8 to +8 for Aux source).

    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/off), 'SP-OEM' (for OEM factory speaker systems), 'SP-6x9/6' (for systems with 6" and 6"x9" speakers), or 'SP-5/4' (for systems with 4" and 5" speakers).

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

    Bass Boost: In addition, The Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2 or Off).

    Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes. There are 3 levels (LV1, LV2, or Off).

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

    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.

    Selectable 2.5V Preamp Output: The KDC-252U features a 2.5-volt stereo preamp output that you can be adjusted from a full-range rear speaker preamp output to a low-pass subwoofer preamp output.

    Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood KDC-252U offers the following subwoofer controls, when you have the unit's subwoofer preamp output activated.

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

    Tel Mute: The KDC-252U 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.

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

    Radio Functions

    AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood KDC-252U features a built-in AM/FM tuner. 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.

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-252U's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood KDC-252U offers two preset modes.

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

    Auto Memory Tuning: Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling.

    Mono Mode: The Mono mode improves the radio's FM reception, but the stereo effect will be lost.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The Kenwood KDC-252U features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The head unit includes a cloth pouch for storing the face-plate when detached.

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

    Fluorescent Display: The Kenwood head unit features a single-line, 11-character, bluish-white backlit fluorescent display with red button illumination.

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face and button illumination is "keyed." When the Clock Display is turned on and the unit is in Standby mode, the Clock Display is also "keyed." Pressing and holding the source button turns the unit off completely.

    Display Dimmer: The display has two brightness settings to adjust the brightness of the display according to the surrounding illumination. You can change this setting within the menu from On or Off.

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

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-252U comes with an IR remote control (RC-405) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, and Tuner functions. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).

    • Numeric Keypad: The wireless remote control features a numeric keypad (0-9) which allows direct track access of your music tracks & files (from CD or USB), as well as AM/FM presets.
    • Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one touch of the button.
     

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

    Quick impressions from the Lab

    Comment by Ralph Graves Staff Writer - Creative,

    Simple EQ Controls

    Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 1/17/2012 9:37:00 AM

    I had an opportunity to try out this receiver in the Labs. I tend to fiddle with EQ settings a lot, and was glad to find out that it was easy to do with the KDC-252U. Press the volume knob to enter, and use the back button to, well, go back.

    I also liked having the option to save individual user settings. I share a car with another family member who has decidedly different tastes in music (and what music should sound like). Not having to reset the EQ every time I get in the car is a huge convenience.

    Review this product
    Great Gear Giveaway rewards card

    Submit a review and then enter to win a $500 rewards card

    Kenwood KDC-252U Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    185 people say:

    Review this product:

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences about this product. Please be sure to focus your comments on the product itself. Read our Review Guidelines for more information.

    Your email won't be visible. Please use the email address that is associated with your order.
    (e.g., JohnD) Your review will be signed using the display name and location
    (e.g., Charlottesville, VA)

    Click on a star to rate the overall product on a scale of 1-5
    Rate the following specific attributes
      Value
     Sound Quality
     Ease of Use
     "Coolness Factor"
     Build Quality
    1500 characters left
    Attach a YouTube Review
    Crutchfield Video Review Guidelines
    • Only submit videos that you made or are authorized to use.
    • Do not submit videos that contain music, video or visuals that are copyrighted and belong to someone else.
    • Please see our Review Guidelines for more information.
    500 characters left
    500 characters left
    Filter by rating:
    5 out of 5

    Awesome!

    Written By HyerT, Helper, UT on Sunday, November 17, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood stereo

    Written By Travis, Arlington, va on Saturday, September 14, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Amazing

    Written By Anonymous, Denville, NJ on Monday, August 19, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    it works amazing
    Pros:
    everything
    Cons:
    nothing
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Good, Inexpensive Upgrade

    Written By Steve, San Diego, CA on Sunday, July 21, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Ken wood KFC 252u

    Written By Chris, Commack ny on Monday, June 10, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The receiver was easy To install. The receiver sounds and looks great.
    Pros:
    The wiring harness fits perfectly
    Cons:
    You lose steering wheel operation
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Anonymous, Burwell Nebraska on Sunday, June 09, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    good for the amount
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By AllanC, White House, TN on Monday, June 03, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great Product and it fits nicely in the truck.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Joe, PA on Thursday, May 30, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Good Deck for the price

    Written By ds, St.Paul,MN on Thursday, May 30, 2013
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Great Stereo

    Written By sb, Winslow, ME on Sunday, May 26, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By geon, south carolina on Friday, May 24, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Kevin, Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday, May 22, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood 252

    Written By jlinks, Fayetteville, NC on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a great product but does require some time to master but overall is an excellent product.
    Pros:
    Great features for our current electronic age.
    Cons:
    No power on or off but, just a standby position.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Aermacchiman, Liberty, MO on Monday, May 20, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I was pleased that the operator at Crutchfield suggested this radio after listening to me describe what I wanted in a radio.

    Also, the install was far easier than I thought it would be. I soldered the wires for best connectivity and used heat shrink tubing to protect all the joints. Wiring looked neat and reliable. All the connections were straightforward. I did have to strip off about half an inch on one set of wires. I have a wire striping tool, so it was easy to do. I am very pleased with the sound and look inside my Chrysler.
    Pros:
    Radio looks good in the car. The add-on piece that fills the opening in the dash is a perfect fit. Crutchfield thought of everything.
    Cons:
    None here.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By JimO, Lancaster, PA on Saturday, May 18, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Overall a very good value.
    Pros:
    Excellent Sound Quality and ease of use.
    Cons:
    Marginal AM receiver sensitivity
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    2 out of 5

    Eh..

    Written By KillaPhi, Stone Mountain, GA on Saturday, May 18, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I got this head unit because of the good price I guess. I later found out I could've gotten it cheaper somewhere else so meh..
    Pros:
    Really clean interface
    Cons:
    The equalizer is so elementary.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Awesome Stereo

    Written By Dave D., Whitingham, VT on Wednesday, May 15, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Love the new Kenwood, better sound than the stock unit by far....the USB port is the way to go, no more CD's for me!
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Anonymous, Saginaw, TX on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great sounding stereo. Easy to use. Love the iPod interface.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Perfect for my Wrangler

    Written By Paul, New York on Monday, May 13, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    My stock wrangler's head unit needed to be replaced, it was putting out about 5 watts per speaker. I have alpine speakers all around and will be hooking this up to subwoofer soon. There are many great audio controls such as bass boost, mid levels, loudness and a couple EQs. It has a calm red glow and is not too overpowering at night. I can definitely hear a change in audio quality especially after the fine tuning. It has 22 watts rms per speaker which is more than most in its price range. USB input is a must these days, and the Pandora radio control puts the cherry on top. CD's and aux also sound great. Spend the extra money and purchase this unit, considering that crutchfield includes all the wiring and hardware for free. I will 100% buy from this store again.
    Pros:
    Great Sound, easy to use, iPod control, USB, aux, build quality, cool red colors, CD drive
    Cons:
    I sometimes have to turn it on manually when I start my car, but it might just be a jeep thing ;)
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    wonderful

    Written By twl1066, Tucson, AZ on Monday, May 13, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this to repelace an aging stock radio in a 93 Lebaron Convertible. My wife wanted to be able to listen to her iPod. I just wanted improved sound quality. I matched it to 5.25 Sony 3-ways in the doors and 5.25 Kicker coxials in the rear panel and boy does it sound great!
    Pros:
    Easy of use and improved sound. Wiring harnesses and dash adapter provided by Crutchfield simplified installation.
    Cons:
    newer models have more features, but I went for a unit on special with free installation accessories.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC 252-U installed in 97 Mustang GT conv

    Written By Mike, Raleigh, NC on Friday, May 10, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Very nice unit for a very reasonable price. Controls are not very intuitive but a little time with the manual works that out. ipod connectivity works great! Sound is very clear, moderately loud and a big BIG upgrade from my old factory unit.
    Pros:
    Price, iPod connectivity, looks nice
    Cons:
    None really. Controls took a bit of study and time to master but are fine
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Awesome!

    Written By Huck, TN on Thursday, May 09, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have been looking to upgrade my truck's factory stereo with an Ipod ready unit. This Kenwood fit the bill to a T. Easy to use and to set up. Great sound quality!
    Pros:
    Ease of use and Setup. Sound quailty
    Cons:
    none
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    1995 Bronco

    Written By FT, Eliz. City NC on Thursday, May 09, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Easy install (less than 30 min) . Makes 18 yr old speakers sound like new!
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Leroy B, Columbus, GA on Wednesday, May 08, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Good sound
    Pros:
    Good price
    Cons:
    Not easy to use at first
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Stereo

    Written By AYoung, Sacramento, CA on Monday, May 06, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great value for the price and a good stereo all around
    Pros:
    Great sound Great price Easy to install with wires already pre-crimped
    Cons:
    Not many options Can't change color on the deck itself
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Better than expected

    Written By Tran, Denver, co on Sunday, May 05, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Sound better than expected for a low end receiver.
    Pros:
    Pre-amp, USB, Aux input
    Cons:
    N/a
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Anonymous, valley center on Saturday, May 04, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great deck great price great everything
    Pros:
    Good sound nice layout of menu
    Cons:
    none
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Awesome

    Written By Jeff, Port St Joe, FL on Friday, May 03, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Excellent receiver for the price.
    Pros:
    Aux and USB inputs very accessible, plenty of power, easy to adjust controls.
    Cons:
    none
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    kenwood kdc-252u

    Written By Nathen, olympia,wa on Thursday, May 02, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Love the new deck. Went in no problem.
    Pros:
    Looks great easy to use
    Cons:
    Doesnt have a very good antenna signal
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Anonymous, Virginia Beach, VA on Monday, April 29, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Outstanding radio
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Charles, Calhoun, Ga. 30701 on Sunday, April 28, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great Value, Sound Great, and Looks Great
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Excellent Product

    Written By rqui, Manchester nh on Saturday, April 27, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This stereo was originally more expensive and I got it and the adapter and the installation kit for a great deal. Couldn't have asked for a better experience. Went to the local big box store and they told me that it would be $150 plus installation cost. So glad my Uncle recommended Crutchfield. Any electronics will now be checked out here before I go anywhere else.
    Pros:
    I now have Iphone compatibility in my 05 camry.
    Cons:
    I didn't read the instructions to put in the installation kit and had to have one of my workers put it in for free. So none.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood ipod cd player

    Written By Chichskibby, East bend nc on Saturday, April 27, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Works great and extremely capable of finding all you sings on your ipod
    Pros:
    Cheap price and easy to program and install
    Cons:
    None
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Written By Kyle, Bowling green, ky on Wednesday, April 24, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great head unit
    Pros:
    Easy to use
    Cons:
    Very reliable
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Great head unit

    Written By ldrmanbgft, Stuarts Draft, VA on Sunday, April 21, 2013
     
    Great head unit. I can hook up my ipod to it!! Will probobly never use the CD player, as all my music is in my ipod. Fits very well in my 98 Volvo V70 XC AWD. I also like the niffty little storage pocket underneath it, I can put my ipod and remote in there!! After I got it adjusted (sound settings) I am very pleased.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value