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.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    111 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 Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Installed this KDC-X397 today with some kicker speakers and WOW! My car has life again. This has amazing sound quality and is worth every penny. Very easy install with instructions. My old deck I would turn the volume all the way up and it still wasn't loud and sounded like my speakers were broke or something, when I removed my old speakers I could believe the cheapness of them. Anyway, if you owned the x396 you will like the more detailed equalizer in this one. Overall 4.5/5

    Pros: Everything

    Impressed still

    Written By Brian J, Decorah,Ia on Monday, November 18, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Been buying kenwood products for years. Not going to stop now! Should have bought this sooner!

    Pros: Great value! All the connections I needed for multiple amp system.

    Cons: Didn't have ATT button on head unit to to reduce volume like my previous kenwood.

    Great Stereo

    Written By JesseS, Idaho on Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Love the stereo. Easy to use. Great price for a five star product.

    Pros: Many different color options. Separate setting for base of speakers and subwoofer setting.

    Cons: None

    Great Stereo!

    Written By JohnM, Port Richey, Fl. on Friday, November 15, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great unit and easy to install. I love that I can plug in my iPod and control it from the head unit. Music sounds so much better than the stock unit and I haven't even changed out the speakers yet.

    Great head unit

    Written By Hunter, Baton Rouge, LA on Sunday, November 10, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is my second 300 series from Kenwood. Very easy to install with the included kit/wiring harness. Feature-packed, and aesthetically pleasing. Enslaves my iPhone for iPod playback and charges the phone while I'm driving...love this feature! The color-changing buttons are a little much for my tastes, but my 12 year old niece thinks they're "neat". Would definitely buy again and recommend to anyone who wants features at a great price.

    Pros: Value, features, function, easy install

    Cons: None

    kenwood excelon kdc x397

    Written By James T, fortcollins, co on Friday, November 08, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I love it. The color illumination is awesome and sound is great just from own power.

    Pros: Color. Power

    Cons: Doesn't work with my android phone

    kenwood kdc-x397

    Written By M. F, West Jefferson, NC on Wednesday, November 06, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Realy great cd player for the money!

    Pros: Alot of features, remote, and built in amp power.

    Cons: None

    Very satisified

    Written By KevinK, St. Michaels, AZ on Tuesday, November 05, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I took a step back and evaluated what I needed out of a player. I didn't want to spend too much money. I don't need bluetooth calling. Satellite radio isn't necessary, my past experience with it: during a 4 hour drive I'd only hear a few songs I actually like and I don't want to pay a subscription, plus all Kenwood Excelon units require an addition tuner plug in $50-$70 so I said forget satellite radio. Mainly I load music into my ipod touch and this unit runs my ipod well. I have an android phone (GSIII) but I don't plan on using Pandora on this player. My phone is my phone for calling and navigation. My ipod is my music player. This is a great player for the budget minded real world reasonable person that isn't interested in paying extra for added features that they are not planning to use. I'm very happy with this player!

    Pros: Cost, power, rca preouts, easy to install. Also installed 2 amplifiers, wiring, component speakers and subwoofers/box. Sounds kickass and player looks cool! :D

    Cons: Built in satellite radio would have been cool or a free tuner as an option. But in the end I'm still not going to pay a subscription for satellite radio. I don't drive enough to justify the cost. And I drive everyday lol.

    Great Value - Crutchfield's Website is a Great Place to Buy Car Stereo

    Written By Mansur, Baltimore, MD on Tuesday, November 05, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    When my factory CD changer started acting up, I decided to install a radio with SiriusXM capability. This unit was very reasonably priced and the Cruthfield web-site allowed me to select all the parts I needed to make sure I had the right wiring kit and the frame/bezel kit to fit my cars. I was so impressed with the first one I installed, that I ordered a second one for my older car. Both work beautifully with a separate SiriusXM tuner that I bought (also from Crutchfield). All the wires in the kit were color-coded and the instructions were easy to read. So I had no problem installing the radios in both cars. It took a while to figure out how to route the antenna wire for the satellite tuner - my recommendation is to run the wire first and then connect to the tuner as the last step. Crutchfield customer service was great since they shipped the unit out right away. The web-site had made a small error in my second order by not including the free car wiring kit - a call to Crutchfield fixed this right away and everything arrived together.

    Pros: Great value for all the functions you get. I like the changing colors. Several pages of stored stations possible on this unit.

    Cons: The display button in the front is hard to find and it took me a while to figure out that this is what I needed to press to see the Artist and Song Title. The button for removing the face plate can be accidentally pressed - not a big deal though. On/off button is also very small.

    Stellar CD Performance

    Written By Steve, Eureka, CA on Sunday, November 03, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I purchased the Kenwood Excelon KCD-X397 to replace an older Kenwood player that quit working. I must say upfront that the sound quality of the CD player in this unit is excellent, and approaches audiophile-grade quality. The Excelon series is clearly a step above the regular Kenwood line when it comes to CD performance. The FM tuner in this deck is about average. It pulls in stations relatively well, but the overall fidelity is not outstanding.

    Another must have feature on this deck if you have a multiple-amplifier system in your car, is the three sets of 4-volt RCA outputs. It's awesome to be able to control front to back fading, as well as setting the crossover frequency and volume of the sub, without having to leave the driver seat. The four-volt RCA outputs really send some punch to the Sound Ordnace amps I am using.

    All in all, this Kenwood is an absolute bargain. I do not listen to MP3 or any of the other low-quality audio formats, so I cannot comment on how well this deck works in conjunction with an IPOD or external MP3 player. I bought it strictly for high quality CD playback, and Doug, I cannot thank you enough for recommending this player to me.

    Pros: Stellar CD playback that approaches audiophile grade. Three sets of 4-volt RCA outs send solid punch to a multiple-amplifier system.

    Cons: A little to much glitter for my taste with all the color and display settings. FM sound quality is not outstanding. The deck has almost too many features, so expect a learning curve when you first start out with it.

    kdc-x397

    Written By don, michigan on Monday, October 28, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • <