Step into Kenwood's Excelon lineup

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 CD receiver will expand your sonic boundaries with a nice blend of audio features and sophisticated styling. Thanks to its selectable color feature, you can pick a button color that matches your vehicle's illumination so the receiver will look perfect in your dash. 

Better sound from more sources

iPod® or iPhone® users can plug into the convenient front-panel USB input, and enjoy outstanding control right from the receiver. When you're connected via USB, the KDC-X397 bypasses your iPod's internal circuitry, sending the digital data to the Kenwood's superior 24-bit digital-to-analog converter. Your favorite songs will sound better than ever. If you're a Pandora® Internet radio fan, you can even pick from your favorite stations when your iPhone's connected.

  • If you store your music on an Android device, Kenwood's free Music Control app allows you to enjoy a variety of search and playback features when your phone is plugged in via the front-panel USB.
  • If you're a satellite radio subscriber (or plan to be), the KDC-X397 works with SiriusXM's outboard tuner (not included), giving you coast-to-coast reception of your favorite talk, sports, and music programming.
  • You can liven up your drive by jacking another device into the front-panel aux input, or by loading in a CD or a recordable disc full of music files.
Kenwood KDC-X397 CD receiver

You can pick a button color that matches your dash illumination, so this Kenwood will look right at home.

Kenwood Excelon sound quality

If you're building a car audio system, this receiver features 4-volt preamp outputs that'll provide your amps with the strong signal they need for the best possible performance. And you'll find an impressive array of sound-sculpting tools built into this receiver. You can use the 3-band parametric equalizer to adjust the centerpoint of your treble, midrange, and bass controls, while the frequency filters trim unwanted low bass out of your full-range speakers and adjust the bass going to your subwoofer.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?

In most vehicles, you can use an adapter (not included) to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Kenwood stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and this Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab to see all compatible adapters. 

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 receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • detachable face with 13-digit display and variable-color button illumination
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • EQ Pro (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer) speaker size settings
    • speaker size settings
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • 3-level bass boost
    • high- and low-pass filters with subwoofer level and phase controls
    Expandability:
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora control with iPhone
    • Music Control app enables limited control over select Android devices
    • compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB input
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and 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.

    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-406)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Cloth pouch
    • Instruction Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Card

    Features and Specs

    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant No
    RMS Power Output 22 watts
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20KHz
    Preamp Outputs 6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs No
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 4 volts
    Display Color Bluish white
    Key Button Color Variable
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    Expandability
    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input
    USB Input Front
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible No
    Satellite Radio Ready SiriusXM
    HD Radio No
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano 7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch 5/4/3/2/1
    Mini No
    iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity 11.2 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Audio Section
    USB/Android/Aux Integration
    iPod/iPhone Control
    Disc Playback
    AM/FM Tuner + SiriusXM Ready
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X397 CD receiver is part of Kenwood's Excelon series line-up. It incorporates the latest technologies and delivers the highest sonic performance. From advanced audio tuning capabilities, crossover and equalizer system, high-voltage preouts (4V), and a two-year warranty - Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with long-lasting dependability.

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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-X397 are as follows:

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

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X397 features front, rear and subwoofer 4.0-volt preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs are fixed to the rear chassis of the head unit.

    Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X397 features a High-Pass Crossover for the front & rear channels when your front & rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 100, 120, or 150 Hz. The "Through" selection is a full-range setting.

    Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 offers the following subwoofer controls, when you are using unit's subwoofer preamp output.

    • 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.

    Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the head unit's audio 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.

    EQ Pro: The Excelon KDC-X397 features independent Bass, Treble, and Midrange control when the Preset EQ is in User mode. EQ Pro allows you to adjust the following settings for the Bass, Treble and Mid frequency levels.

    EQ Pro
    Center Frequency Q-Factor Bass Extension Level
    Bass 60, 80, 100, or 200 Hz 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, or 2.00 On/Off -8 to +8
    Midrange 0.5k, 1.0k, 1.5k, or 2.5k Hz 0.75, 1.00, or 1.25 N/A
    Treble 10.0k, 12.5k, 15.0k, or17.5k Hz N/A N/A
    Note: You can store bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (CD, AM/FM, Aux, USB, iPod, and Pandora).

    Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.

    • Bass Boost: The Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2, BB3, 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).
    • 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.

    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).

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

    USB/Android/Aux Integration

    USB Port: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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; such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives. The unit supports playback of MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) music files stored on a compatible USB memory device formatted with 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 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 Google Play App Store. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS Froyo or Gingerbread. 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 8-/16-bit n/a

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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) device 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. 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 KDC-X397 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV. 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.

    iPod/iPhone Control

    iPod Direct Connection w/ DAC Bypass: The KDC-X397'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. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5; use the Lighting-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X397.

    • DAC Bypass: This 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 110dB. 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.
    • Music 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 also supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
      • iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker) from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Kenwood head unit and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode. 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.
    • Information Display: The KDC-X397 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-X397 will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").
    • Battery 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. If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 using your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately), or the cable supplied with your iPhone. The Kenwood KDC-X397 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). New stations can be created based on the current songs or artists playing. You can also save 3 Pandora stations as presets. 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/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 1/2/2013):

    Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod/App Pandora app Artist/Song Text Track Info
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4th 6.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5th 6.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    7th 1.01 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    4 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    mini 6.0.1 Y N 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.

    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-X397 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-X397 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-406) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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.

    AM/FM Tuner + SiriusXM Ready

    AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 features a built-in AM/FM tuner. You can choose one of four tuning methods: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), Manual Tune, or Direct Access (via remote).

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-X397's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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.

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

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

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 comes ready for SiriusXM programming with access to XM and Sirius Satellite Radio stations. Thanks to its proprietary SiriusXM Connect port, you can add the optional SXV200V1 SiriusXM Connect tuner and receive more than 150 channels of exclusive programming directly from SiriusXM, via the "SiriusXM All Access" package (subscription required). Visit SiriusXM.com for a complete list of subscription options and channel guide. Additional features of the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect tuner include:

    • Channel list displays a list of all available channels
    • Category Search searches for channels in a certain category
    • Displayed Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's LCD
    • Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets
    • Direct Tuning via included remote
    • Supports the SiriusXM Instant Replay function, so you can pause, rewind, and replay up to 30 minutes of live content
    • Channels containing unsuitable content for children can be blocked

    Note: A separate SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription is required (operates on the XM Network). However, you can easily add this SiriusXM tuner to an existing Sirius or XM account for a Multi-Radio Discount Plan.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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. An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can also be purchased for this unit. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

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

    Variable Color Button Illumination: The Kenwood KDC-X397 features variable color button illumination. You can choose from one of 24 preset colors, have the unit scan through all 24 preset colors continuously, or customize your own color (RGB; 0-9). The custom setting allows you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue (from 0-9) to better match your vehicle's interior lights. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain red.

    Illumination Dimmer: You can manually dim the LCD and button illumination to better suit the time of day. The Kenwood logo and eject button do not dim.

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

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

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X397 comes with an IR remote control (RC-406) 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.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input wire (blue/yellow) within the included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    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.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 Reviews

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    Nice!

    Written By mb, Arizona on Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is a great radio for the money. It installed very easily and has a great sound.

    Pros: Easy to operate. Good sound.

    Cons: Cycling colors are annoying.

    KDC-X397

    Written By Grace, Lewiston, NE on Sunday, September 21, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    EZ install, EZ set up, Excellent radio!

    Pros: EZ all radio

    Cons: None yet!

    Very good unit for the price

    Written By Matt, Pa on Saturday, September 20, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    At first when i ordered i got an email telling me that it was on back-order and it would be shipped in a week, this kind of bummed me out. I was very surprised and excited to receive an email two days later telling me that my item has shipped and even more surprised when i received my package only two days after that. Me and my father got the old unit out and installed the new one in about 2 hours. It worked perfect i am very pleased with my purchase.

    Pros: -Tons of settings -The constant color changing is cool if you enjoy something a little different -works great with my ipod (the whole reason i replaced stock unit) -cant even tell its a factory refurb -improved sound quality -picks up alot more radio stations then my stock unit -im not sure why one would need a remote for a car stereo, but it comes with one and it works great -good price

    Cons: -might be a little confusing changing settings for some but the manual explains everything -sound quality is improved although gets distorted at high volumes (this is certainly caused by inferior stock speakers but i was anticipating this before i even bought the unit)

    Regret buying

    Written By NESkier, Boston, MA on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I bought this to get integrated Sirius and iPod functionality in my car but I regret it. The sound quality is terrible, (tinny) worse than my stock receiver. The unit is slow to steering wheel controls (2-3 second delay). The scrolling info display is inadequate for quickly finding a good Sirius station. i regret moving away from the standalone Sirius receivers for this reason alone. The buttons are cheap and flimsy and the dial feels like it will be broken after a few years, if I can stand it for that long. Overall, I regret buying this and paying to have it installed in my car.

    Pros: Connectability

    Cons: Sound quality, info display (Sirius), response time from steering wheel controls

    nice!

    Written By Miguel MTZ, Amarillo, TX on Saturday, March 22, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Good for the price. I checked online at other places nothing can compare. Yet people were still asking top dollar for dated products. More bang for your buck.

    Pros: Price for all the features. Slick look.

    Cons: Would have liked a Bluetooth feature.

    great price

    Written By tom, pittsburgh pa on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    this was a factory refurbished model at a great price. it is a little difficult to change settings and adjust audio levels in the menu on the fly. there are so many different options in the menu. but it sounds n works good so I am happy with it. with the dash panel and wire harness from Crutchfield always easy installation.

    Cons: just the settings are a little tough to change on the fly.

    piece of cake

    Written By Anonymous, cleburne, Tx. on Friday, January 24, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Installed it myself with no problems at all. Love the sound and the looks.

    Great Sounding, Nice looking And All At A Affordable Price

    Written By Joe, Louisville, KY on Monday, January 13, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Sounds MUCH BETTER than my old stock radio that came in my 1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ and I feel I made the right choice buying this radio / cd player for my needs, plus it has some extra features that I don't currently use but if I decide I want to then they are literally at my fingertips, plenty of power and with my Alpine SPS510 speakers I installed I get a sound quality that I enjoy a lot. I told the person at Crutchfield what I was wanting in a car stereo and gave a few options to choose from that would do as I wanted ( Thank You Ringo )

    Pros: Sound Quality Plenty of features 2 Year Warranty Came with everything that I needed to install my radio at No Extra Cost ( and the install kit looks nice even though my original radio was a 1.5 DIN in size. Affordable I thought personally that figuring out the settings and such was fairly easy even though I'm from a time when radios had 2 knobs, maybe a couple of preset buttons and a single speaker.

    Cons: Can't think of any at all.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Written By Lorna, Hampton Cove, AL on Thursday, January 09, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I bought this Sirius car radio for my husband for Christmas. He absolutely loves it!!

    Pros: It's awesome.

    Cons: None

    great unit

    Written By Buddy D., Willow Springs NC on Thursday, January 09, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is my second 397, I have one in another vehicle, It does everything well at a great price.

    Pros: great sound, adjustability, and price

    Cons: none

    Kenwood Excelon Car Stereo - Great Product

    Written By BigCRC, Philadelphia, PA on Tuesday, January 07, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I replaced a Pioneer unit that I purchased from Crutchfield awhile ago with this Kenwood, not because of the sound quality, which was fantastic, but because of the overall operation of the unit. Other than a slightly better sound from the Pioneer, the Kenwood is much easier to operate, has numbered presets, a big display, and a really good remote, with numbers, which the Pioneer didn't have. I have a similar Kenwood unit in another car, and am very happy with their products and features. I installed their products into a 2001 Saab 93 4 door hatchback and a 2002 Saab 93 convertible, and everything I needed to make a clean and easy installation was included from Crutchfield.

    Very happy with this recent purchase and the ease of installation.

    Pros: Easy to use, looks good, and has good sound quality.

    Cons: The Pioneer I replaced with this Kenwood unit had richer sound, but that is the only downside that I have noticed.

    Great radio in this price range!

    Written By Todd, SC on Tuesday, January 07, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is a great radio for the price. Easy to install and it sounds so much better than the stock radio (still using the factory speakers). The lights are a really nice touch for teenagers. Set with one color or have them change. If you're not a crazy audiophile, it's a great bargain for someone who just wants a better sound and an accessible USB.

    Pros: Noticeable improvement in sound quality over the factory radio.

    Cons: Learning the interface will take some reading.

    Kenwood KDC-X397

    Written By Kyle, Little Rock, AR on Thursday, January 02, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is the first aftermarket car stereo I have ever installed myself. With Kenwood's and Crutchfield's instructions provided, it was a piece of cake to install. I've always been a fan of Kenwood for their quality and this unit reassures me why. The sound quality is definitely better than the stock unit that was in the vehicle. The only thing I don't like (but I don't know if this is the standard with aftermarket stereos) is that you have to adjust the audio equalizer settings for every input. I wish the settings picked would carry over to all the inputs.

    Pros: USB on the front, xm capable, price, easy installation, easy to use

    Cons: settings button is the volume control also, so it's easy to accidentally change settings

    Kenwood KDC- X397

    Written By Anonymous, Conway, AR on Wednesday, January 01, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great unit for price. Many features and easy install.

    Kenwood KDC-X397

    Written By ScottJ, Santa Clarita, CA on Thursday, December 26, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Easy to install with vehicle specific instructions provided, looks factory only better.

    Pros: Variable lighting, USB, Aux jack and ease of use.

    Awesome upgrade over OEM

    Written By Sam, Corinth VT on Monday, December 23, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Put this in my 1997 f250 after the stock radio quit working. This is soooo much better the sound quality is way better. Its incredibly easy to use. Installation was extremely easy it took me almost no time and i dont have any previous experience the supplied instructions are great.

    Pros: Ease of use Sound quality Easy to install

    Cons: none

    Excellent for the price

    Written By LesS, Hilo, HI on Friday, December 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 is a very excellent unit for the price. The faceplate lights is a great feature and the first thing I noticed because it's like a light show. I've just started to adjust the unit but haven't gotten the sound down just right yet. It's a little complicated and it takes constantly using the unit to learn all the functions and adjustments. What I can tell about the sound is that it has enough power for what I need, I just have to fine tune the unit. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 is an excellent buy for this price.

    Pros: Faceplate light show, ease of installation

    Cons: It's a little complicated to figure out all the functions and to adjust the sound of this unit.

    KDC-X397

    Written By Brian, Dallas on Thursday, December 19, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Crutchfield Support picked this unit for me as my vehicle, steering wheel, and connection- best for my money. All the accessories and sides to get XM, chimes, and remote working wonderfully. Tech support sat me down at my kitchen table and connected everything. Went to the car and had unit installed and operational in 24 mins!!!!

    Pros: Crutchfield, Kenwood, and all the needed cables. Tech support is 6 stars! Unit runs great!!!

    Cons: I have to take the face plate off so someone will not break into my car! Guess I could sit and listen with my Glock!!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Written By Brandon, Shreveport, LA on Thursday, December 19, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This Kenwood CD player has been the best radio I have ever purchased. The sound is outstanding, so many functions for your system, its like your practicing to be a d.j. The changing of colors constantly gives you a different look.

    Pros: A full list of choices for everyone's acquired taste of sound.

    Cons: Patients will be needed to learn about all functions this deck has to offer.

    Great receiver

    Written By Oscar, Bethesda, MD on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Excellent sound and overall quality. iPhone 5 works great with Pandora and charge it at the same time.

    Pros: sound, look and feel, usb, aux

    Cons: none

    KDC-X397

    Written By Ted, Roanoke, VA on Monday, December 16, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Very easy to use. Easy to learn all the functions. All of the features I wanted in 1 unit and the capabilities to expand later, if I wanted to!!

    Pros: Amazingly easy to set up and use and ALL of the features I wanted in 1 receiver!!

    Great Stereo

    Written By Anonymous, Spartanburg, SC on Saturday, December 07, 2013

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

    I've read many reviews on this stereo and wanted to throw in my 2 cents since I'm a serious review reader before purchasing and hope this helps someone down the road.

    First off, I don't like a lot of fluff, this stereo had exactly what I wanted at a very affordable price with tons of features. It looks good without being TOO much. Many users have complained about the learning curve associated with this stereo, however, I feel this is one of the easiest to learn. All the functions are built into the main knob. You click the knob, and turn it to the setting. Once you find the setting you want to change, you click the knob and rotate it to your preference. It's always a click rotate pattern, much like how you would use a mouse on a computer.

    Pros: The sound is STUPID good! I replaced an older Alpine system, and this one blows it away.

    Cons: only con is it's about an 1/8 inch taller than my old system, so the face plate doesn't fit. No biggy, still looks good, and if I ever want to modify my dash, it won't be difficult.

    Great Headunit!

    Written By Anonymous, west chester, pa on Wednesday, December 04, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This headunit replaced my factory 2009 Toyota Corolla S with no issues at all. It made the acoustics in my car sound so much better! I plan to get an amp and a subwoofer added to my car's stereo system in the near future! But this is easy enough to install with the included instructions and manual!

    Great value, features, sound

    Written By Ken B., Texas on Monday, November 25, 2013

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

    I purchased and installed this unit to replace a similar Sony unit that failed partially after 3 years. The KDC-X397 is a fantastic value and I would not hesitate to buy it again.

    Pros: Great value, attractive design. I love the 24 color illumination either user selectable, or the unit will slowly scroll through all the colors. I like the 3 built-in pairs of RCA jacks. I love the parametric EQ and the multitude of settings for crossover and subwoofer. The removable faceplate design is easier to put on than Sony's. For the price, this is a fantastic unit. The unit plays flawlessly from a USB flash drive, which is my main source of music while driving. AM/FM reception are great!

    Cons: I have only minor complaints: The user interface takes some time to get used to, especially going through the settings, but it's nothing that you can't learn. The remote control is too small and the volume buttons on it are really too small. The high pass and low pass crossovers need to offer a couple of additional frequencies, however I doubt that most users will care about this. The volume knob could use a rubbery grippy perimeter rather than the smooth plastic that it has.

    Excellent Head Unit

    Written By 1NT3GR4, San Antonio, TX on Tues