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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

CD receiver (New Stock)

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  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

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  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

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Item #: 113KDCX493
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

by Loren Barstow
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.

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493 CD receiver was built from the ground up to accommodate an iPod® in your vehicle. This versatile stereo features a front-panel USB input for connecting and controlling your iPod, along with a 13-character display that shows off your artist and song info.

Grab the big jog dial and skip through your files in 10% jumps, or search alphabetically — the choice is yours. Plus, your passengers can use the iPod's controls to switch songs if you want to concentrate on the drive. You'll also find an auxiliary input on the front panel for MP3 players and other audio sources. Both inputs are illuminated so you can find them easily at night.

Sound is king
As with all Kenwood Excelon receivers, the KDC-X493 offers a premium 24-bit digital-to-analog converter for superior reproduction, along with a host of soundshaping tools. The 3-band parametric EQ lets you get the kinks out of your car's acoustics.

The System E's crossover feature allows you to trim some of the lows out of your front and rear speakers and adjust the low frequencies going to your powered sub, so your equipment plays more efficiently. If you're building a full system, the three sets of preamp outputs send a strong 4-volt signal to your amps for superior sound quality and lower noise levels.

More options
Connect a Kenwood satellite radio to the KDC-X493, and enjoy the mix of news, sports, entertainment, and commercial-free music. Kenwood's HD Radio™ tuner lets you access the superior fidelity and extra programming offered by participating stations in your area.

Safety on the highway
Kenwood's optional Bluetooth® adapter allows you to make hands-free calls with your compatible phone. When a call comes in, the KDC-X493 mutes the music so you can converse over the car speakers. You'll also get a remote control, so your passengers can pick the next tune without hassling the driver.

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 or its optional iPod adapter.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD player with 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 files
    • detachable face
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q EX Sound Control (6 EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer)
    • high-pass filters (speaker and preamp outputs), low-pass filter (sub preamp output)
    • speaker settings that let you tailor the sound to the size and type of speakers in your car
    Expandability:
    • iPod direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • compatible with Kenwood's satellite radio, CD changer, Bluetooth adapter and HD Radio™ tuner
    • inputs: front USB and auxiliary inputs
    • outputs: 6-channel 4-volt preamp outputs (front, rear, subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

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

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant
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    No
    RMS Power Output
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    22 watts
    Peak Output
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    50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
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    20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs
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    6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
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    Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
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    No
    Preamp Voltage
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    4 volts
    Display Color
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    Blue
    Key Button Color
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    Blue
    EQ Bands
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    3
    Wireless Remote
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    Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
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    Yes
    Parts Warranty
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    2 Years
    Labor Warranty
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    2 Years
    Expandability
    AUX Input
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    Front and Optional Rear
    USB Input
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    Front
    Memory Card Slot
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    USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible
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    Optional
    Satellite Radio Ready
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    Sirius
    HD Radio
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    Optional
    Navigation
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    ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
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    Classic/5Gen
    Nano
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    Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/Nano1
    Touch
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    Touch3/Touch2/Touch1
    Mini
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    No
    iPhone
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    Phone/Phone3G/Phone3GS
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
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    9.3 dBf
    European Tuning
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    Yes
    Seek/Scan
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    Seek
    Radio Data System
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    No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • AM/FM/CD receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis
    • Sleeve
    • Face
    • Trim ring
    • Wiring harness
    • RC-547 Wireless remote
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • Soft fabric face case
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Back support screw
    • Instruction Manual (English/Spanish/French)
    • Warranty Card
    • "Attention" sheet (taped to unit)

    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.

    Overview: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X493 AM/FM CD receiver features a detachable face, front auxiliary and USB input, three pairs of 4-volt preamp outputs, CD changer and Satellite radio controls and built-in iPod operation, as well as MP3/WMA playback. The unit also supports Bluetooth via an optional adapter sold separately. In addition, the CD player comes with an IR wireless remote control. The unit's amplifier is rated at 22 watts x 4 channel RMS and 50 watts x 4 channel peak.

    Display Features
    Audio Section
    AM/FM Tuner
    CD Playback
    External Device Connection
    Remote Control

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The unit features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The CD player comes supplied with a soft black fabric, draw string face case to protect the detachable face when you have it off the chassis.

    Security Code: You can enter a 4-digit security code which must be used when the unit is removed from the vehicle, or the constant power source is disconnected from the unit. When constant power is restored to the unit, the security code must be entered before the unit becomes operational.

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face/button illumination is "keyed." In addition, while the unit is in Standby mode, you can turn the clock display on or off. 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 Illumination Control: This function turns off the display when have not performed an operation for 5 seconds. This is effective for when you are driving at night.

    Dimmer: The dimmer function will dim this unit's display automatically when the vehicle light switch is turned On when you connect orange/white Illumination wire of this player.

    Audio Section

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-X493 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior CD sound quality.

    Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 7-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 Bass, 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.

    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), "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).

    System Q Sound Control: Seven 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 (10kHz). You can choose from the following preset EQ curves - Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, and Game.

    Detail Audio Control: The KDC-X493 features independent Bass, Treble and Midrange control when the System Q Sound Control is in User mode. The Detail Audio Control allows you to adjust the following settings for the Bass, Treble and Mid frequency levels.

    • Bass:
      • Frequency: 40/50/60/70/80/100/120/150 Hz
      • Q-Factor: 1.00/1.25/1.50/2.00
      • Bass Extend: On/Off (when this feature is set to "On", the low frequency response is extended by 20%)
      • Level: -8 to +8
    • Mid:
      • Frequency: 0.5/1.0/1.5/2.0 kHz
      • Q-Factor: 1.0/2.0
      • Level: - 8 to +8
    • Treble:
      • Frequency: 10/12.5/15.0/17.5 kHz
      • Level: -8 to +8

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

    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.

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

    3-Sets of 4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X493 features front, rear and subwoofer 4V 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 headunit.

    Front and Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X493 features an independent High-Pass Crossover for the front and rear channels when your front and rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, or 180, 220Hz. The "Through" selection is a full-range setting. This feature is very helpful when you have smaller-type speakers in the front and larger-type speakers installed in the rear of the vehicle.

    Low-Pass Filter: The receiver features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the unit's subwoofer preamp output. You can select from 50, 60, 80, 100,120Hz or "Through". The "Through" setting allows your external amplifier's crossover network to do all the filtering for your subwoofer.

    Subwoofer Level: You can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level from the CD receiver. You select levels between -15 to +15.

    Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).

    Dual Zone: The Dual Zone mode allows you to output the Main source and the Auxiliary input separately for the front and rear channels. You can select whether the auxiliary input will play in the front or the rear.

    Tel Mute: The KDC-X493 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.

    AM/FM Tuner

    CR-2 Advanced Tuner: This unit uses Kenwood's CR-2 Advanced tuner for clear radio reception. 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.

    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. The tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank. You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets.

    Clean Reception System Circuit (CRSC): This circuit controls multi-path distortion by reducing stereo separation. As stereo separation is reduced, multi-path has less effect on the radio signal, improving reception in areas with tall buildings and mountains. The CRSC circuit can be turned on or off.

    CD Playback

    MP3/WMA Playback: The KDCX-493 can play MP3 and WMA files recorded on CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc should have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder with a maximum of 512 files and folders. During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (Ver.1) information. The headunit will display up to 30 characters.

    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.

    Text/Title Scroll: The KDC-X493 will display CD text, Audio file text and Satellite and HD radio text. You can turn the scrolling feature "on" 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 headunit's rotary knob.

    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.

    Favorite Memory Control: The headunit's Favorite Control feature allows you to save six "Favorites" for easy access. You can select a "Favorite" playlist from your connected iPod, your favorite radio station from the unit's built-in AM/FM tuner or connected Satellite Radio or HD tuner (both sold separately), or a favorite telephone number from your mobile-phone using the optional Bluetooth hands-free kit (sold separately).  This allows you to have instant access your favorite Radio station, telephone number, or iPod playlist from one list on the headunit's display.

    Off Eject: The KDC-X493 allows you to eject your disc for 10 minutes after switching off the vehicles engine.

    CD Force: When there is a problem with playing a CD with a special format, this setting plays the CD by force. Some CDs still may not play in the CD Force mode.

    External Device Connection

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-X493 features a front panel 2.0 USB type-A port that is hidden behind a sliding cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class device with MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (48-192 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with all USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. When your USB device is connected to this unit, it can be charged up provided that the KDC-X493 is powered on.

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

    iPod High-Speed Connection: The KDC-X493's front-panel USB port also acts as an iPod high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113iP101, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod. Using either cable allows you to connect, control, and charge select iPod models with the KDC-X493. The USB connection allows your iPod's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the headunit and sound quality to be maximized through the headunit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to105dB.When your iPod is connected to the KDC-X493, you can choose to operate your iPod via the Kenwood headunit's controls or your iPod's click-wheel/touch-screen.  If you select to control your iPod from the KDC-X493, the Kenwood headunit will allow you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast (your iPod's click-wheel/touch-screen will be locked in this mode). You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). You can also choose to listen to all songs stored on your iPod at random. The KDC-X493 will also display your iPod's music file information when in this mode. If you choose to operate your connected iPod via its click-wheel/touch-screen controls, the KDC-X493 will not display your iPod's music information (the headunit will instead display "iPodMODE") and the Kenwood headunit's controls will no longer operate your iPod. The Kenwood KDC-X493 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of Nov. 2009):

    iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type  Control Display Charge
    Audio Video Unit iPod Song/Artist Track
    dock-connector 3rd N N N N N N N
    click-wheel/color-display 4th N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N N N N N N N
    2nd N N N N N N N
     video 5th Y N Y N Y Y Y
     classic 80GB Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    120GB Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    160GB Y N Y Y Y Y Y
     nano 1st Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    4th Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    5th Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    iPhone 2G Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3G Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS Y N Y Y Y Y Y

    Note: Not compatible with OS 4.0. Apple firmware updates may change functionality results. You may need to reset your iPod if you download a newer software version.

    Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio receiver to this receiver:

    • SIRIUS Satellite Radio: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SIRIUS Universal Vehicle Tuner  and the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface (package # 700SIRKENW, sold separately); or you can connect the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface and the SiriusConnect vehicle docking kit (package # 700SIRPKEN, sold separately), along with your compatible SIRIUS Dock & Play receiver.
    • Auxiliary Input: A portable satellite radio receiver, such as the XM Delphi SkyFi3 or SIRIUS Sportster, can also be connected to the head unit via the auxiliary input.

      Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.

    HD Radio Ready: With an optional Kenwood HD Radio tuner (113KTCHR20 or 113HR300, sold separately), you will be able to receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. This new technology will significantly improve audio quality and reception, as well as include information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display.

    Bluetooth Ready: The unit is also Bluetooth compatible using the optional Kenwood KCA-BT200 Bluetooth adapter (113BT200, sold separately). Using this adapter you can make and answer phone calls from the Kenwood headunit. You can even download your Phonebook information from your compatible mobile phone into the headunit. You are able to register up to five compatible Bluetooth cell phones when using the KCA-BT200 adapter. Visit Kenwood.com for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    Changer Controls: This unit is directly compatible with Kenwood changers manufactured in 1998 or later. If the changer has an O-N switch, the switch will need to be set to the "N" position. In addition to basic disc navigation features, this unit has the following changer controls: direct disc access (using the remote), direct track access (using the remote), track intro scan, track repeat, disc repeat, disc random, and magazine disc random. When connected to a CD Text capable CD changer, this unit can display disc and track titles for discs encoded with disc and track title information. The text information can be scrolled manually or automatically.

    AUX Input: The KDC-X493 is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input for connecting external portable audio devices such as an MP3 player. The KDC-X493 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.

    Rear Auxiliary Input "Ready": The unit already features a front panel auxiliary input, but if you need a second auxiliary input, one can be added to the rear of the unit. When used with an optional adapter, this unit can accept a rear input from an auxiliary source. When the CA-C1AUX adapter (113CAC1AX, sold separately) is used, you cannot connect a CD changer to the head unit because the adapter plugs into the DIN changer control connection on the head unit. When the KCA-S220A 2-changer switch (113KCAS220, sold separately) is used, you can connect a CD changer and an auxiliary audio source at the same time. When an auxiliary audio source is connected, you can choose from one of six names for the source: AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.

    Remote Control

    IR Remote Control: The KDC-X493 comes with the RC-547 IR wireless remote control with a full numeric keypad. The remote will control Audio, CD, Tuner, Satellite Radio, and Dual Zone functions. The remote control allows direct access of your music tracks and direct access to discs loaded in a connected CD-changer (sold separately). It is powered by 2 "AA" batteries (supplied). The dimensions of the remote are: L = 5.362", W = 1.962", D = 1.115".

    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 KDC-X493 has a "steering remote control" lead on the back panel. When used with the optional SWI-JACK interface (127SWIJACK, sold separately), you can retain the use of your steering wheel and/or rear seat radio controls when replacing the factory head unit in select vehicles. The SWI-JACK is compatible with over 95% of the vehicles made from 1986 to the present. Compatible vehicles include many Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Please consult "What Fits My Car" to see if your vehicle is compatible.

     
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    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    83 people say:

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    3 out of 5

    Need a College Degree in Radio Works

    Written By Anonymous, Charlotte, NC on Thursday, September 23, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Bought this unit for my Ford Expedition. Worked great, sounded great but it honestly was
    the most unfriendly system I have tried to use. Way too many things to screw up and not
    very user friendly. Takes a brain surgeon just to figure out how to set the clock. All I
    wanted was a radio / CD that sounded good and was easy to use. I was so frustrated
    with it, I ended up putting it in my wife's vehicle (also a Ford and it fit / worked fine). She
    has more patience for messing with it. If you want a simple to use system, this is not the
    one to get. Glad to see it's discontinued.
    2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Bad Instruction Manual

    Written By Anonymous, Nj on Friday, April 09, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installation for me was easy, but now I have this installed in my car for 2 weeks and I still canot figure the controls out, nevermind getting the bluetooth going I cant even get it out of demo mode, time, or preset the stations. the instruction manual is terrible.. I would not recomend this product, I am by trade a network engineer and used to install stereos for a living so I think I am preety good at reading manuals.
    3 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Awesome

    Written By Jono, Humboldt County, Ca on Thursday, February 04, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    kenwood has done it again! it was a little tricky to install-because my older ford has that wierd grounding thing, but i called up crutchfield (which by the way has great tech support)and it turned out to be a simple fix-but once it was in it sure sounded good. there was a huge difference in sound quality vs. this and the stock deck that was in my car. this has excelalent sound quality and volume where the lows are'nt muddy and the highs are o so sweet.

    As for the problem of it being hard to use, i have'nt really run into it that much - except in a couple places - but after reading the manual carefully it wasnt that bad. theres also alot of settings you can change to make it sound better, and its also awesome for being able to connect to you're ipod.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Great Sound - Misleading features

    Written By Mark - OH, Ohio on Thursday, February 04, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installed in 04 Honda Pilot. Installation took about 2 hours (just for the unit - no speakers, amp, sub, etc.) The directions were ok but they didn't match what was provided exactly.

    PROS: Everything worked on the 1st try and the sound was great compared to factory. AUX works great w/ Droid and I'm using Pandora, etc to stream music. USB did not recognize Droid but neither was that advertised. Have yet to try iPod.

    Cons: The description and the box references bluetooth. From the manual and what I've read since says this unit is NOT bluetooth ready. It is bluetooth COMPATIBLE which means it's an option. The menu is clunky. If you want to mess with equalizer settings or other options, good luck!!! It can all be done if you can decipher the manual but it is not intuitive at all.

    Summary: The sound and the ability to stream via phone are what I really wanted. All in all, it's still a decent buy but there are likely other options that deliver everything they advertise.
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Has Never Let Me Down

    Written By Justin, Fort Worth, TX on Sunday, January 31, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I replaced my factory deck with this Kenwood KDC-X493 model and also replaced all of my factory speakers and my car stereo sounds SOOOOOOO MUCH BETTER!!! All I need to do now is get an HD Tuner and an amp for it and it'll sound even cleaner at higher volumes. I CAN'T WAIT!!

    This is a great head unit for your car. I highly recommend it....
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Amazing

    Written By JohnWD, Lynchburg, VA on Thursday, January 28, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Even with the complexity of the unit, I can almost garuntee that it's an improvement to whatever factory unit you have right out the box. Once you take the time to figure it out, it gets even better! It makes my original OEM speakers sound like they're brand new. Works great with my iphone, (I don't have an ipod) Kenwood sugests that you use their high speed usb connector, this may cut back on the very minimal interferance with your original usb phone cord.

    I chose to install the unit myself in my 2005 subaru outback. One step was very vauge, but only that one. That one step, removing the heater control cable, was absolutely the worst experience ever. With a hot head and about to the point to leave the wires just hanging out of my dash, I called the support team (one of 3 times), their very quick, very calm, and very knowledgable staff helped me tremendously!!! It may have taken me 4 hours to complete the job myself, but without their help, I don't think I could have done it at all.

    A couple of side notes: The replacement kit was already painted to match the rest of the factory components. No ugly black console filler! Signature 1-3 shipping toook all 3 days but made it fine. I don't care though, for the price, service, and included hardware 3 days is fine.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Difficult but worth the Sound?

    Written By Anonymous, W. Indy on Wednesday, January 27, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    As others in past reviews, I find this unit difficult to navigate. It has gotten better as I have used! Sound quality is Superior and build seems to be worth price. Added HD radio and love it (many local options). 3 stars is for difficulty to use and WORHTLESS owners manual. Do Kenwood tech guys actually use these products. Would be nice to have the option of a visual clock along with ANY OTHER DISPLAY (stations, tracks, etc.). Clock can only be seen as a stand alone option. Do not use bluetooth, so no comment there. Overall, sound quality for $$ is worth the purchase if you can live with this being a very difficult unit to figure out and operate!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    No Fast Forward or Rewind

    Written By Sean, California on Saturday, January 23, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Ive had this for about 2 weeks and its been great so far. It gets great radio reception and i even get a few stations i didnt get before. Overall its a pretty good head unit. There are a few problems i have with it though. Installation was pretty difficult. I soldered all the wires together to the wiring harness they sent for my car according to the instructions they sent me. After everything was connected i only got radio reception. No sound from cds or usb though. After i called them they said i had to connect other wires together that werent specified in the instructions. They helped me out. Excellent support from these guys. No instructions on hooking up external amp and sub, but they helped with that also. The main problem i have with this deck is that there isnt a fast forward or rewind feature. Which is weird cuz its the first deck ive ever seen without it. Ive almost considered returning it just for that reason. If i listen to a whole song and want to hear just the last verse again i have to replay the whole song. Kinda sucks. Other than that it works great.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Go Kenwood!! Go Crutchfield

    Written By Erik, Knoxville, TN on Tuesday, January 12, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    First off thanks so much to the crutchfield staff!! This is my second time around and its just a reminder how helpful the crew at crutchfield is! Thanks to Adam and Buzz (advisors) who helped me select this great Kenwood head unit (KDC-X493) for my daily commuter vehicle. Now I have my sirius reciever in the optional rear aux which means no static! And now with the front aux I can play pandora internet radio from my Blackberry storm through my car stereo. And last but not least........the USB port on the front. WOW I have a 4gb jump drive with roughly 37 albums of music!! This means no more cd changing or burning! Get tired of what you have, just change delete and change out music on your jump drive and presto!! Just remember you hold the eject button for 2 seconds prior to removal of your storage device and it will remember exactly where you left off next time you plug it in. Getting the radio settings set and general navigation around this unit is a bit confusing at first but after tinkering with it for a bit youll be used to it in no time. And as always you get dash kit and wire harness free from crutchfield. And the sound with my factory speakers in my 99 civic is pretty good considering they are factory speaks. To sum this up.....Excellent radio with great warranty and long time service from crutchfield since its a signature series item! Buy IT!!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    If you dont like it your nuts!

    Written By Zuff, Richland, WA on Monday, January 11, 2010
     
    installed this beautiful deck yesterday. my system in my ford ranger includes Rockford Fosgate Punch 6x9s in the rear, Fosgate Punch 5x8s in the front, a JL 8 inch W3 with a 2 channel amp bridged running (roughly) 100 Watts rms at 4 ohms. i was running a dinosaur of a panasonic vintage 2000 deck i recieved for free from a buddy who upgraded........needless to say it left alot to be desired. took me and a buddy 2 hours start to finish installing my KDC-X493 and my sound was exponentially improved, a little read through of the manual i had everything tuned, set, and ready to roll. interface is difficult at first, however with a little effort is easy to manage. i highly reccomend this deck with all its features and glorious clarity. i did alot of resarch online and in car audio stores my main contact showed me all of the companies employees stereos. there was a total of 6 and every single car was running some form of kenwood excelon. that instantly sold me! plus the 4v outputs and the tunable sound all around with upgradeable bluetooth 22 watts rms to the speakers and USB and aux inputs in the front....this is one heck of a deck! props to kenwood, i will never purchase anything else far as decks go, EVER again!
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    2 out of 5

    Day One

    Written By Anonymous, Sandpoint, Idaho on Sunday, January 10, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Today is day one, its in my wifes truck. 1-10 in the electrical/mechanical field i'm an easy 8+ self taught, naturally inclined. installation easy and the crutchfield info was helpful. the stereo has proven to me i need new speakers- the learning curve will be rated as days go by, one thing for sure is- day one it gets a zero for intuitiveness. my wife and i both spent about 2 hours sharing the manual to understand it- the information is all there just not very well organized and expects the reader to "know" what certain specific things. the visual display is not very impressive, the "kenwood" label is in the way of drivers view! reviewing the manual, this stereo has allot to offer, we will see in the coming weeks.

    crutchfield people? once i found them via google, the choice was obvious- well known and respected company and they have certainly embraced technology online which is a huge positive. They really do mean what they say about customer service- A+++ I use the tech support alot already and they are great. If you have doubts about using the company, they will take care of you. I run a small business and they are not your typical stereo store, they make you feel like they are your neighbor helping you out. excellent, i will purchase from no one else! Darryl
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    look for another reciever..

    Written By no, Sacramento, CA on Thursday, January 07, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Well I was really hopefull when I read the specs on this reciever. For the price you get a great set of features, primarily I was looking for Ipod controls at a decent price. Too bad you actually have to use the radio because otherwise I would recommend it..

    The controls are extremely difficult to use, there was definately no end user testing on this head unit. I'm an engineer by trade and the controls and complicated for no reason. The AUD nob that is responsible for most activities is pretty much useless , complicated, definately not user friendly.

    My last complaint is the radio reception, at least in my Honda Odyssey 2007, is extremley poor. When my stock radio, bare bones, works better than an aftermarket radio thats sad.

    If your looking at this head unit because of price and the features you get, move on.. this is not work the headache.


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    4 out of 5

    Great receiver, as always great service

    Written By Matt, Damascus, MD on Saturday, January 02, 2010
     
    There is a reason I come to Crutchfield for all of my vehicle electronic needs. They make everything so simple and always recommend the best setup. I received a new iPod touch for Christmas and needed to upgrade my aftermarket receiver that was installed in my 05 Saturn Ion. Obviously I'm writing this so I bought this receiver and the sound quality coming from my aftermarket speakers and dual 12 inch subwoofers is amazing! Apparently the receiver has a built in amplifier making my amp on my subs work a lot less harder. There may be some of you on the fence about this unit, but trust me don't be cheap and get something twenty of thirty dollars less, the little bit of extra is worth the sound quality. I listen to primarily rap and the difference in receivers and sound quality makes my neighbors regret moving in. The only gripe I have about this unit is the size of the remote. The thing rivals a Comcast cable remote. Make sure you also have a spare iPod cord because it doesn't come with one. Other than that, follow the install directions and get ready to rock the neighborhood.
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    5 out of 5

    great radio

    Written By 810434****, Michigan on Sunday, December 06, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    All I can say after a day of having this radio in my truck is way better then the factory radio even playing thru my stock OEM speakers, cant wait for the alpines I ordered to arrive.. Then I added the HD radio feature to this radio another well added piece of equipment you should have better sound well worth the investment. 5 star ratting for this radio..
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    1 out of 5

    Great Sound - Horrible Interface

    Written By Anonymous, Ridgeland, SC on Sunday, November 01, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Sound from a Kenwood is always great. But, I have no idea what they were thinking when they designed the interface - and the manual is even worse! I am very computer literate, technically and mechanically literate as well, and this thing is a mess! Good luck figuring out even the most basic functionality - starting with disabling "demo" mode at install or setting the clock. You will spend many fruitless hours trying to figure this thing out! If you want to scan or tune an FM station (without knowing the frequency) - no chance! I am about ready to pull it an put it in the trash... I love Crutchfield and will buy from them again - but I think they should tell Kenwood to recall these units with full refunds to all purchasers. Shameful!
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    great buy

    Written By spiller, rangeley, ME on Sunday, November 01, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    this head unit is great, and with the help from crutchfield it made it simple 2. Pushes the power to your speakers well and has great subwoofer hookup ability. My only problem was that the next level up is only 40 bucks more and it has bluetooth already into it. I wish now that i'd have bought that because im always answering calls on the road but other than that its sikk.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Very happy with the reciever

    Written By Ryan, Bluffton, SC on Sunday, October 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This was purchased for a 2007 Chevy TrailBlazer LS. I had no experience
    swapping out radios, and wanted to attempt it myself. The removal,
    exchange, and installation all went smooth, especially with the additional
    diagrams and instructions that Crutchfield included. The radio itself
    performs very well, and gives me a variety of options for what type of device
    I want to use. I use a usb flashcard, my portable mp3 player, and an ipod.
    Most of the songs have the same or better quality than the radio. The only
    problem I ran into was once the radio was installed, and I attempted to
    attach the trim ring around the radio, it would not fit due to the factory dash
    being too close to the radio. I resolved that problem with a little trimming
    with a dremel tool.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    I'm Brand Loyal to Kenwood for a Reason

    Written By Phil, Pennsylvania on Friday, October 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The reason is, I've never been burnt. This receiver is everything I was wanted and surpassed my expectations in a few areas.

    FM reception is great. This thing picks up stations I never knew existed. Very impressive in that respect.

    I wanted Front USB but now I wish I'd gotten one with it out the rear (cable). I need a smaller thumb drive cause that thing sticking out is a recipe for something to break (jmho).

    The display is a bit slow on some functions. I wish they'd have made the display not do all the animation and 1 second delays when setting things up. I'd like it to be quicker. Like instantly display track titles, preset programming, and other things. I might be exaggerating at one second but it seems a long time on some things. Other things display instantly like they should. An example is setting your FM presets. Takes longer than I care to wait.

    The audio quality from this deck is excellent. It also has enough power for most users without an external amp. It is deserving of good quality speakers.

    I misread the product info and didn't see that bluetooth is an option. It's expensive to add so I doubt I'll add that now. Bummer. I should have call before ordering... What an idiot.

    Something common to all CD receivers, I wish they'd use DVD drives so they could read from a DVD media. CD media's getting hard to find.

    I disagree about the user interface. The manual needs work, but once you figure the manual out, it's great.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    WORTH EVERY PENNY!

    Written By Chris, Harker Heights, TX on Friday, September 25, 2009
     
    When I originally came across this cd deck, I fell in love with it. However, I read some of the reviews for this unit with negative feedback basically stating that it is too complicated and that the owner's manual was hard to comprehend. All of that did discourage me at first but, after researching further I went with my gut instinct and ordered it. I like the features and compatibilities of the Kenwood KDC-MP442U and for the price tag on this unit you will be hard pressed to find a better deal. I have owned many different model and brands of cd decks and I would have to say this is the best yet. Please take into consideration that this is not a simple minded factor unit with numerous buttons. It is after market unit with many more features than a factor deck could ever offer you. I personally was able to figure out how to use the unit and its entirety with no more than 20 minutes of playing with it. It also works extremely well with Ipod and Iphone. VERY SIMPLE. THANK YOU KENWOOD AND CRUTCHFIELD.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By ScottW, NW Washington on Tuesday, September 15, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Pros: Sounds great, works well with iPhone 3GS.
    Cons: Like many units, knob is located to left of display and driver's hand blocks the display when trying to operate. Would be perfect if knob was on the right side of the display!

    Mastersheet was very helpful. Crutchfield included all parts necessary. The wiring harness made installation easy.
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    excellent unit!

    Written By John, clinton twp. mi. on Sunday, September 13, 2009
     
    I really like this unit....Its kenwoood would you expect anything less!
    Power out of this radio is awsome...plenty to run 4 - 5X7 polk db571s in my
    ford f150 supercrew. Which leads me to the 4volt preout.....never thought
    my amp could get bass that loud and clean. Which my sub is a 10" pioneer,
    powered by a MTX thunder amp.
    Pros: great power, lots of settings, adjustments and features, remote
    control, and cd/mp3/usb inputs,and ipod control.
    Cons: User interface is a bit tricky. I would recommend that you play with
    the unit first, then go to the manual to figure the rest out. Really Really
    read the manual. You'll have a better understanding of the unit, and how it
    operates.
    Overall: I wish the units interface was a bit easier, but i'm really happy
    with it! Thats why I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 star rating. I have no plans
    to use the bluetooth feature on this unit so I skipped that section of the
    manual. If your considering this unit, don't let the user interface scare
    you.....(espically if your somewhat tech savvy) Its a really good unit. Last
    but not least its KENWOOD! Buy it...already!
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Sounds great, horrible manual

    Written By Anonymous, Chino, California on Saturday, September 05, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit looks and sounds fantastic. As others have pointed out, expect to spend some "quality time" with the unit because the manual is horrible and the interface is not intuitive.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Great sound but horrible user interface

    Written By Tim, Knoxville, TN on Wednesday, August 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    If you are looking for great sound right out of the box this is a solid choice. The internal crossover function, which allows you to limit the amount of low frequencies sent to the front speakers, really allows you to fine tune the sound. Plenty of power for most applications without the need for an external amp.

    The bad news is that this reciever has the worst user interface/menu that I have ever seen. The user manual is not much help. There is nothing intuitive about it.

    Overall, I think this is the best reciever for the money. I can live with the horrible interface because of the great sound and features.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    High Quality

    Written By Alex, Casper, Wy on Wednesday, July 29, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit is easy to install, The 3 amp outs with one being a 4 volt pre amp out makes for great clean sound. Using the USB and AUX ports is very simple and and easy to find thanks to the blue lighting aroung them on the fround of the deck. I did find the Instruction booklet to be at the least confusing. It makes things more confusing when the decks that it has instructions for have three different names for what to do to get to the different menus. Other than an impossible instruction it's pretty simple to figure out on your own if you have the time to sit down and tinker with it for a couple hours to get every thing the way you want it. Has individual equilizer settings for each mode CD, AUX, USB, Radio making the customization of sound limitless.

    I do wish I would have spent the 40 extra for the higher up model with the multiline display. Also the front USB is built in Ipod and charges any other MP3 player that uses USB makes using your MP3 on a long road trip easy and continous.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    great sound, if you can use it

    Written By I.C., Dallas, TX on Saturday, July 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    5 stars for sound quality - best I've ever owned in this regard
    2 stars for user interface - if you have a vehicle with stiff suspension, e.g., a pickup, then you may want to think twice about this one. Even the slightest bump changes your "press" into a "toggle." It's really aggravating.
    1 star for documentation - worst I think I've ever seen. The index refers you to a section that then refers you to a quick reference written in modern hieroglyphics. After over an hour trying to decipher it, I finally quit reading it and started pressing knobs & buttons to see what they did. I'm sure the documentation paradigm made sense to the folks who designed the unit. I still had to call Crutchfield to figure out how to set the presets for the tuner.
    4 stars for iPod/iPhone connectivity. It works pretty well (though, again, it's hard to navigate into your playlists, etc. due to the "lateral" sensitivity of the knob) and didn't require any setup. Occasionally it can't connect to the iPod and one has to disconnect/reconnect the USB cable, after which it always seems to connect correctly.

    I don't think I would buy this unit again, but it sounded too good to send back.
    6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    whimpering

    Written By bill, mojave, ca on Friday, July 03, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    i bought this radio and the sirius package also for installation in my accord. i gave this radio 4 stars ONLY because of the nightmarish menu system on it. the system is not only confusing when trying to set it up, it is ,imho, a safety hazard when trying to select different modes when driving. otherwise it is a great radio. the old saying "just because you can doesn't mean you should".lol . as usual high praise to crutchfield and staff.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Geat Stereo, a little confusing

    Written By Spencer, Fort Wayne, IN on Tuesday, June 16, 2009
     
    i bought this about 3 days ago and i love it! it sounds amazing with the 24 bit processing and it pulls its weight with the 50w x4 power i absolutely love it.

    the ONLY con and a small one at that is that i takes a while to get used to.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Josh, Belchertown, MA. on Sunday, June 07, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Very good head unit. I would recomend this to any one looking for a good radio for there vehicle.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great

    Written By BigDogRoxx, Tennessee on Wednesday, June 03, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    It took some time to set up and figure out but the sound is AMAZING!! Turned my polks from sounding alright with my factory head unit to sounding professional.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By jose, Brockton,Ma on Friday, May 29, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    wow i love it i got it in 2 days free shipping.put it in last night and its perect in my car with the stock speakers in my infiniti g35. very loud i would buy another kenwood unit again AAAAA++++++
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Stereo

    Written By Comstock, Seaside, CA on Sunday, May 24, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I've had this stereo for about a month now. Greatly improved the sound quality in my 06 ford ranger w/ stock speakers. Now my system is LOUD and a lot clearer as well. Install only took 40min with included supplies and instructions. iPod control works great. Only downside is the instructions are pretty difficult to navigate. Took me a while to figure out how to turn off demo mode and set the clock. Great stereo highly recommended!
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Gary, Price, UT on Tuesday, May 19, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Nice piece of work. Does everything that I need. Menus are a bit confusing until you get used to them and the user's guide reads like the NEC code book but other than that the system is pretty nice. I like how it has an on-board amplifier so that I can up-grade the system in an affordable manner. I don't have to use the pre-amps until I'm ready to. The mp3 option is so much better than regular cds, but it is nice to be able to check out audio on a flash drive also.

    I gave the unit only four stars because the manual could be written in a much more clearer manner, but, the receiver is well worth the money spent.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By RYAN, gulfport, ms on Saturday, May 16, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    the cd player is a great deal, but is kind of hard to figure out. The manual is not very clear on instructions as far as how to set it up and how certain operations work. I have had it installed for going on 2 weeks and still cant figure out how to change the ipod controls to allow you to control it from the ipod it's self. there is a favorite feature and i have not yet figured out what it does or how to set anything to it, but other than those few things it seems to be a pretty good reciever
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Complicated controls

    Written By Anonymous, PA on Saturday, May 16, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Sounds great, Installation was easy,
    But the controls are too cumbersome like the favorites.
    You should not be required to hit three buttons to get to your favorite radio station.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    GREAT!!!

    Written By Tyler, Stephens City, VA on Tuesday, May 12, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Sound quality is great. I can really hear the difference between the stock and after market head unit. Pretty simple controls. Very easy to set up. Thanks Crutchfield!!! Would definitely recommend you to buy it!
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    mike p

    Written By MIKE P, Cedar Park, TX on Monday, May 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This deck took about 15 minutes to install, including the removal of the factory unit...programing on the other hand took a while...apparently they expect you to read the instructions!!! The set up is confusing, put managable. I wish there were a few more buttons on the deck itself, but thats just me. The sound is amazing compared to stock. I have the deck paired with 4 db571 polk 5x7 speakers in a 2001 Ford F-250 crew cab. Something i was not expecting is that when i plug my iphone in thru the AUX port it can be used similiar to a bluetooth setup, where the phone conversation can be heard thru the speakers. When the iphone is plugged into the USB port it operates as a regular ipod. Can't beat it for the price...Crutchfield has gained a customer for life, THANKS!!!
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493- NICE UNIT!!

    Written By David, Deer Park, NY on Monday, May 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I purchased this unit as a replacement for the factory radio in my Volvo 850. The unit came exactly as advertised and actually exceeded my expectations. The sound quality is excellent but the controls are confusing at first and do take a while to get used to (especially the radio presets). It seems as if the car stereo manufacturers are moving away from the standard preset buttons and are moving towards the "volume knob/joystick approach" which MUST be mastered before driving. I bought this unit from the scratch and dent department and I must give Crutchfield kudos on the visual and audio quality- no defects! I did have 2 issues with the unit. 1st- Kenwood should have provided additional rear USB and AUX jacks which would make it easier to hide your ipod/mp3 player without having the cable attached to the front panel. Also it is tedious detaching the cable from the facplate everytime you remove the faceplate. 2nd- The instruction manual doesn't explain several features and their operation. This radio is well worth the money.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Study Up!

    Written By Daniel, Kamuela Hawaii on Sunday, May 10, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The USB under the sliding door on the front of the unit is convenient and the unit does recognize an ipod and switch to those controls as soon as one is plugged in.......... but come on already! This thing is VERY difficult to program. Difficult to understand the directions and follow the logic of the controls. I agree about the clock, it needs a one button touch to turn on and off and you should be able to have it displayed while other info is on the screen. Don't the people that design these things ever really use them?
    2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Solid product and great value

    Written By Robbio123!, Purcellville,VA on Friday, May 08, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I spent a long time combing through various product features / reviews and comparing prices. This Kenwood product exceeded my expectations in every aspect. The sound quality is excellent, the installation does not get any easier then this plus the product has a full range of features that work exactly as advertised. I truly believe this receiver is competitively priced and will out perform others offering the same feature points.

    Pros: Installation is very simple. Don't over think the task. It really is as simple as it looks. The sound quality it solid. It works great with my IPod.

    I have a '98 Explorer and was replacing a factory unit that died. The back of my old receiver had 2 wiring harnesses connected to it, one of the harnesses (the square one) was used for the center (arm-rest) console in the back. There was no possible available matching harness. I had called the guys at Crutchfield as well as Ford. It turned out that that harness was proprietary by Ford and not needed for the new head unit. The guys at Crutchfield were great. They were Very knowledgable, and willing to walk me through the entire process.

    Cons: The manual on this receiver can be a little intimidating upon first glance. I recommend - play with the unit first, then refer to the manual as needed. It will make more sense that way. It's a cool unit once you get to know the interface.

    This is a solid unit, enjoy!
    6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent Purchase

    Written By Jose, Queens, NY on Friday, May 08, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have never installed a receiver in any car, the instructions included with the Installation kit were excellent. Before you know it, after a quick trip to the hardware store to buy wire cutter and crimp tool, I was done. This unit is exactly the unit I was looking for, primarily a place to hook up my IPod. I love playing with it, so I pretty much learned all the features by testing out the buttons. Living in NYC, FM transmitters for IPods simply did not work. Another thing I love about this unit, the fact that it has the ability to divide the sound into two zones. That means I can listen to the radio at my volume level while the kids in the back can listen to something else at their desired level.

    I recommend this unit, not a bad price either.
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    1 out of 5

    kenwood needs a muligan

    Written By mel, missassippa (mississippi for the grammar police) on Tuesday, May 05, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This radio is not that hard to use if you take about 30 minutes to get a feel for the user interface.
    I really can't complain because it does what it's supposed to.
    I think that Kenwood engineers should have put more time into the button layout.
    Several things just don't add up.
    To recall FM presets the best and safest option is the remote while driving.
    But the remote does not FF or REW it just skips to the next track or goes back a track.
    You have to use the head unit buttons for FF & REW through a track.
    Just lazy engineering.
    I'm still not sure I get the whole USB connection on the faceplate deal either.
    It's nice to have a USB port but seriously if it were on the back the set up and end result would be cleaner.
    It's a shame that the display is in either or mode as in do you want to decide between the time or stations/tracks.
    Lazy focus groups.
    If I didn't have to make any mods to my vehicle I would've stuck with Sony or Pioneer (although their reliability track record is terrible in my book).
    It's ok if you know what you're getting.
    Not perfect by far but not terrible either.
    I'm going to go out on a limb an suggest that if the head unit doesn't have an organic oel display then steer clear because the attention to detail is also missing.
    I hope that this review helps someone.
    2 out of 11 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Great, for the price.

    Written By Manders, Ky on Saturday, May 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is the second Kenwood receiver I've purchased, the last one was over 8 years old and still going, it was just time to get iPod controls. First the good. sound A+, features A+, Value A+. Main complaint is the manual, confusing, fragmented and does not explain most of the features. Seems to have been written for a person who knows stereo technology, not a novice user. iPod controls, forget about using the knobs on the unit itself, just use the iPod to navigate your song list. Mainly the usability of the unit is not friendly, Kenwood needs to put more effort though into this. Why have 3 large buttons along the bottom that is rarely used? Use these button for common features (scan, presets, etc) I hate the knob, hard to use while driving. However after looking at different model, I still think for the $, this is the best unit. But fix a few issues and KW could be leap years ahead of the competition.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great

    Written By Rod, Bowie,MD. on Saturday, May 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Crutchfield continues to be a leader in the Electronics industry. This radio is powerful and has some great features. I had to call support and was able to talk to a live person in less than 2 minutes. They send all of the items you need for an easy do-it-yourself install. USB thumb drive works very good with mp3's on it. Good work Crutchfield.
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    5 out of 5

    Dominant Receiver!!!

    Written By Nimz, Arcadia, LA on Tuesday, April 28, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Can't beat that price anywhere else! Second, yes the setup could be easier but seriously people, read the manual and you'll be able to navigate the menu in a couple days time. Last but not least, my flash drive works like a charm in the usb port! I use 2GB flash drive and there are no problems at all. 400+ songs instantly at my disposal. Plus you can search by artist name alphabetically on the receiver. Awesome purchase!
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Keith

    Written By keith, Slocomb, Alabama on Sunday, April 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Awesome is the best way to describe the sound that comes out of this radio.
    I just installed this radio along with kenwood Kfc 1682ie 6 1/2" door speakers into a Chevy Colorado reg cab pickup. Also added a Bazooka BTA6100 6 1/2" powered sub. All this adds up to a awesome sound which is very clean crisp and powerful. I'm very pleased!
    This is the best radio for the price and better than several at higher prices. I highly recommend it.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Product

    Written By Sean, Houston, TX on Thursday, April 23, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a great product that was exactly what I was looking in my truck. Great functions and I love the display. Hooks up great to my ipod!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Get One

    Written By Bill, in Missouri on Tuesday, April 21, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    If you're use to kenwood products you won't having much trouble figuring out the operation of this head unit. If you're not, then there will be a learning curve.
    I put it in my daughters '96 Jeep and she just loves it. The Ipod controls work pretty close to an older kenwoods cd changer/music keg controls ... I know, I have a music keg in my '01 Dodge and found my way around the ipod controls faster using the head unit than I do with the actual ipod itself.

    It works great, has a lot of bang for the buck and worth every penny in my opinion.
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Ed, Ohio on Sunday, April 19, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    It's a really nice unit. The sound improvement is really noticeable. I am still learning how to navigate all of the options. As mentioned - it's not easy. Both Crutchfield and Kenwood personnel have been very helpful. The reality is that once you finally set up the unit for your liking, you'll never change the settings again. If you have no patience or struggle with tech stuff - get a different unit. For every one else - this is a good unit and is challenging, which for me makes it kind of fun.
    To be honest, my main complaint is the clock. You can either have the time displayed or the song (or station) - you can't have both. And, to get the clocked displayed you have to push a button in for one full second, turn a knob and press the button again. There should be one button that allows the clock to be displayed.
    And finally, the remote is really nice - didn't think I would use it, but I use it a lot.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By atvdave, Newburgh, IN on Saturday, April 18, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Not a bad receiver. I really like the 22 watt RMS pre-amp out the receiver puts out. I got this HU for my son (who also drives my Silverado truck) and myself. We both have a ipod touch and wanted something that we could just easily plug in and play. The wiring harness that Crutchfield sent with the unit fit perfectly, and was a breeze to install & hook up. My biggest complaint is that the unit is a pain to get it programed. Also just to switch to a different radio station it's a 3 step processes, not good when driving down the road. We just use our ipod touch to control our music, it's so much easier.

    Overall it's a good HU, just a pain to program or switch stations.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Eric, Vacaville, Ca. on Friday, April 17, 2009
     
    This was the first time I tried to install a car tuner and I benefitted from the patient tech support guys at Crutchfield. The expanded hours they were available surprised me, Saturdays and Sundays. All in all, it probably took me about 2 1/2 hours to install. That was due to my inexperience, not the tuner.

    The CDs sound excellent. I really am grateful to get excellent A.M. radio reception. I find the remote control easier to use than the on-board controls. I agree with other reviews that the user manual is not user friendly, and I have not yet learned how to do some functions with the tuner, like using presets for the radio stations.
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    5 out of 5

    Great features

    Written By Matt, Springfield, OR on Friday, April 17, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have always purchased Kenwood decks, and this deck did not disappoint. The front USB port makes connecting my iPod a breeze. I really enjoy being able to choose between deck or iPod control. The menu system was a bit of a learning curve, but works easily. I love the adjustable features, especially the built in high Pass filters. I added a powered subwoofer to my system, so with this deck I can cut off the lower bass notes to my door speakers, improving their sound quality. Seperate subwoofer control is outstanding with low pass filters, level, and phase adjustments. The included remote control is very handy, especially when the deck is controlling the iPod, as I can easily switch songs with the remote.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    A-mazing

    Written By Nathan, PA on Thursday, April 16, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    love it.

    pros-souds great,love how you fine tune it to your car, blue light look sweet at night

    cons- a little touchy

    menu stuuf that other complain about is not all that bad for me just fallow along with the maneul and you should be fine

    GREAT PRODUCT FOR THE PRICE
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By David, Fond Du Lac, Wis on Monday, April 13, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a SWEET head unit. Sensitivity great, sound quality tops. This unit has tons of features, many of which I have not yet to explore. Like the ability to download your phone book to memory, so when somebody calls it displays the name, and dual zone...all nice bells and whistles. From a music standboint, the 4 volt rca's mean this will work with about any amp out there! Drawbacks ( and yes, there are a couple ) are simple. This unit for no reason goes into protect from time to time> I soldered (yes soldered ) connections and used shrink tubing to assure the best contact between connections, and used a VOM to verify each connection. Just a fluke with the model i think. The second is not enough buttons! too basic a layout on the faceplate. other than that, an excellent unit!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Great Sound

    Written By DK, Sioux Falls, SD on Thursday, April 09, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Pros: Thanks to the guide provided, installation was a piece of cake. The sound quality is awesome. It is a sharp looking unit.
    Cons: The menus are very difficult to navigate and the user manual was almost impossible.

    Once you get used to the navigation, it is an overall good stereo.
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Tee, So. California on Tuesday, April 07, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Easiest installation I have ever done, all fit well with free kit. Operation instructions are a little ambiguous for setting up favorite stations and switching between stations but the sound improvement makes up for it. Would have been nice to be able to change the display color also. All in all, very good unit, easy install, at a very good price.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Gerald, Bend, Oregon on Monday, April 06, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I must agree with all of the other reviews. The manual could have been written better. To make matters worse I added the KCA-BT200 and it took me a while to get the Blue Tooth feature to work. I just ordered the KDC-BT742U for my other car that should be here soon. Hopefully it will be easier to use. I must take my hat off to Crutchfield and their support team- they are both patient and curteous with people like me. Once I got over the shock of having to take my dash apart installation was a snap. All in all the unit is a pleasure to listen to.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Craig

    Written By Craig, Canton, OH on Thursday, April 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The installation kit and instructions that Crutchfield provided made the installation process seem easy. Installation time was about 30 minutes.

    The sound quality and available features are superb.

    The menu system is atrocious and the user manual is just as difficult to interpret. For the most part, figuring out how to use most features has been trial, error and lots of frustration. For example, even though I'm in the technology industry, it took about 15 minutes to figure out how to disable the demo mode (with the instructions).
    4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    OUTSTANDING RADIO

    Written By VICTOR, BELLEVILLE, NJ on Tuesday, March 31, 2009
     
    I BOUGHT THIS RADIO FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT I CAN USE MY IPOD WITH. BUT AFTER INSTALLING IT I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. THE SOUND MY STOCK SPEAKERS PUT OUT IS AMAZING AND I LOVE THE WAY IT LOOKS WITH ITS BLUE ILLUMINATION IT DEFINITELY STICKS OUT. INSTALLING WAS A BREEZE. WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND TO OTHERS.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Awesome

    Written By Keniger3, Olathe, CO on Thursday, March 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Ilove this radio but the menu is hard to nav. at first. The only reason I
    didn't give it five stars is you can't have the clock on and the station or title
    of the song at the same time.
    Easy to install with the adaptors from crutchfield. Even the steering wheel
    control was a breeze to install on my 2004 chev Silverado.
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    4 out of 5

    Great unit for the Money

    Written By Dan, Port washington, Wi on Thursday, March 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Very happy with the unit. Installation was a snap. Took less than 1/2 hour. Made the stock speakers in my 05 Corolla S come alive. I like having the ipod connection in the faceplate. I did not like using the remote or the unit for the ipod controls. I found it distracting while I was driving. But, the unit had a setting where I could use the Ipod itself, and that worked very well. All in all very satisfied, would do it again.
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Mahlon, Florida on Wednesday, March 25, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I agree with most past reviews. When first installed, the unit is set on "demo". Once you read how to take it off, then you can read how to setup your sound specifications. If you don't tweak your sound settings, then you won't hear your sound's full potential. Once you do though, oh how sweet it is. The manual is very confusing to figure out, thats why I rate 4 stars. Otherwise, the sound is amazing. Just what I was looking for.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Confusing at first, but an excellent deck!

    Written By Sean, Albany, OR on Tuesday, March 24, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I had it professionally installed in my 2005 GMC Sierra Crew, it took two appointments and several phone calls to get everything to work right (steering wheel control interface is confusing apparently...) It sounds great and has loads of customization and features, IF you can figure out the programming and the owner's manual. Once you get everything programmed, though, everything is intuitive and easy, and couldn't ask for better sound and features. Its well worth the installation and programming -- compare for yourself, but this deck is worth every bit of time and money invested.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-X493

    Written By Greg, WI on Sunday, March 22, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I just installed this unit to replace a factory radio in my Hyundai Elantra.
    Install went easier than I thought it would, it's been almost 30 years since I've installed a radio.
    Thanks to Crutchfield and the supplied instructions and wiring harnesses, I had the CD player and speakers installed in about a day. I did a lot of research before buying (reading the reviews and checking different web sites and stores) Crutchfield had the best deal going.
    I agree with some of the reviews about the awkward menu system, but I am working through that and after playing around, it is starting to make sense. Most of the other CD players I was looking at seemed awkward as well.
    All in all a very good upgrade from my factory system, what a difference! I am thinking about the HD upgrade. Although more researh is needed. Some sites out there may have a little better price, but you cannot beat Crutchfields "freebies" and of course their customer service and service, they are top notch. I would not hesitate to order from them in the future.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By George, Park Falls, WI. on Friday, March 20, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this unit to up grade the stock unit in my 96 ford f-250. First I must say thanks to crutchfield, They send you everything you need from taking out your old stereo to all equipment needed in putting in your new one. Very easy to install.
    Ok now about the stereo. This unit plays much better then my stock unit, the radio is much more clear, the cd player works and sounds great.
    The USB and AUX inputs are great ad ons. I tried a sony mp3 in the USB port and it works great.

    (Now for the Cons.)
    I myself do not use an IPOD, but I do use a 8 gig MP3. I am still trying to get this to work on the USB port but am not haveing any luck. It will work on the aux. This means you need to buy another item to hook it up from the MP3 player to the aux player.
    It does take some time to learn how to work the features in this stereo. You will have to read the instructions.

    Over all I think this is a great stereo for the money, I would buy again.
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    4 out of 5

    Nice Upgrade

    Written By Steve, Shelbyville, TN on Tuesday, March 17, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I used this CD Receiver to replace my factory unit in my Dodge Dakota. Install was a breeze and it sounds great. It does take a while to get used to the operation and setup, but once you figure it out its quit simple. The display is clear and easy to read. The iPod function works really well. I received everything necessary for install and the directions were easy to follow. The reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was for the time it took me to learn its operation and functions. A great receiver. It picks up radio stations much better than my factory unit. Highly recommended for its price.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-X493

    Written By Jerome, Evans, GA on Sunday, March 15, 2009
     
    I really like this head unit. It is packed with all of the features and capabilities I was looking for. The sound is phenominal! My daughter has a MP3 player that operates perfectly through the USB port and it sounds amazing!

    Others have stated that the unit is difficult to use. I disagree. The user's manual certainly could be written better, and that has been a little frustrating, but after spending some time learning how to navigate through the menus, it is pretty easy. Just know that it is complex, and unfamiliar, then dedicate the time to learn how to use it, just like anything else that is unfamiliar.

    My only complaint is that the lighting is too bright for night driving and is a little distracting (but I prefer my dash lights to be pretty dim at night), and is not quite bright enough in bright sunlight. You can't have it both ways, I guess :o)

    Overall I LOVE this unit and would definitely recommend it.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Wes, Durham, NC on Wednesday, March 11, 2009
     
    Pros: This is a great sounding head unit! You get alot of bang for your buck here! i have another Kenwood that was 3 times as much, and this one sounds just as good, and can do everything the more expensive unit can and them some! Deffinetlly would recommend this to anyone looking for a good head unit!!!

    Cons: The menus are tough to navigate through, so i found myself pulling out the manual quite a few times! Deffinetlly would be alittle intimidating to someone new to electronic devices!
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Do NOT buy this unit!!

    Written By slogg, Annandale, VA on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This puppy definitely SOUNDS excellent. But, all of those 'fine tuning' options like picking individual speaker types/sizes, sound-shaping said speakers, defining cabin size, picking speaker location; NONE of that stuff is accessible. The manual is THE SINGLE WORST PROGRAMMING MANUAL I have ever seen. I've installed every type of head unit you can imagine over the past 10 years. This one still baffles me. I just flat-out gave up on trying to fine tune things, which is a shame, because that's why I purchased this specific model, because it was infinitely tweakable. It does let you set hi/mid/bass and f/r/sub but that's about it. They tell you how to do the other tweaks, but go ahead and attempt to do it, it won't work, i guarantee.
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    4 out of 5

    Great Full Featured Radio

    Written By redwoodwalker, Pelahatchie, MS on Monday, March 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I LOVE this radio. It has really good iPod control, and the ability to read off a flash drive is well appreciated. It has really good range of sounds, but the Kenwood speakers I bought with it don't do it justice. The remote is a bit finicky about where you point it (your aim better be good). The only complaint besides the remote is the MP3 disk reading (I haven't got it to do that successfully), and that very well could be my inability to properly set up the disk. You really can't go wrong with this radio for the money. I got MUCH more than I expected.
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    4 out of 5

    Great Sound, bad menu system

    Written By David, Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, February 25, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Pros: The head unit sounds amazing, and has a lot of features packed in. Works terrific with Ipods.

    Cons: As everyone else has said, the controls are not very intuitive. Most every option of the unit is buried in a menu somewhere, and the unit is not very consistent with how it navigates the different menus, making it fairly confusing. It also isn't what I expected when it comes to USB input. There is no shuffle option to randomly play all songs in USB-mode (Ipods can do this however). It does allow random play of individual folders, however you're out of luck randomly playing across your entire music collection since the unit has a 255 folder and 255 file per folder limit.

    Summary: This is a great, feature-rich headunit. I do not regret purchasing it. It is however not perfect and it should be avoided by those who get frustrated by electronics easily
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Unit

    Written By z4d4g4, York, PA on Monday, February 23, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I got this unit for a lot of reasons. The biggest was because it gave you the most bang for how much you pay for it. It's pretty easy to install. There is some soddering required but not much. Once it's in the car the set up can be kinda nerve raking but once you get used to it it's a very good unit.
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    4 out of 5

    What a Deal!

    Written By Anonymous, Plano, Texas on Thursday, February 19, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I had been searching for a new CD player for my 1999 truck. I began to check prices on the Kenwood systems and look at their different models. I finally decided, after much research, to buy the Kenwood KDC-X493. This is one of the cleanest sounding systems I've owned. I'm using after market speakers and what a difference it made.
    This week I'm adding a powered 8" subwoofer and can't wait to hear my system with a little more bass added. You do need the manul in order to set this unit to your liking, but you'll be please with the Kenwood X493! There is also a USB on the front of this unit that allow you to plug your ipod or Iphone directly to the unit. I even bought one for my little brother and he loves it too.
    Crutchfield even sent me the kit, wiring harness & antenna extension at no additional charge and still received free shipping. There was clear instructions on how to install everything....so easy. It took me 45 minutes to solder the wires using heat-shirnk tubing and had the unit in place and ready to listen to a great sound.

    Melvin
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Excellent sound & reception, challenging interface

    Written By Fluoronator, Decatur Alabama on Tuesday, February 17, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Pros - Easy installation, Crutchfield instruction very detailed and easy to
    follow. Sound quality was excellent. I was amazed at the number of
    stations the receiver would tune-in with perfect clarity.

    Cons - Difficult interface and menu system. Took over an hour with the
    manual to learn to set the presets and change stations. Still cannot figure
    out how to switch between the clock and station display without going into
    the configuration and setting it up to display one or the other. One other
    thing, my fault for not reading the fine print, but. HD Ready does not mean
    HD, it means you can purchase an additional component to add HD.

    Overall - I've been very happy with the service I received from Crutchfield
    and am impressed with the sound quality and tuner capability. I do wish I
    had shopped a little longer and found a model with more intuitive controls.
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Good unit, difficult to navigate

    Written By Jim, Harrisonburg, VA on Tuesday, February 17, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a great buy for the money, and sounds great. My only issue is with the "joystick" controler. These controlers are becoming more common, and with the myriad of functions built into this receiver it can be quite daunting to use. You press it to change some functions (tone, balance, etc,), you turn it after pressing other buttons to do other functions, you push it up, down or side to side to accomplish other functions. Basically, a pain to do while driving. And the manual might as well be written in Arabic. It describes about 100 other functions that Kenwood's more expensive models have, but are irrelevant to this particular model. So navigating the manual is more difficult than navigating the controler stick.

    Even so, this is a nice receiver with good sound quality. It sounded good even before I added an Alpine amp.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Christopher, Sanford, FL on Monday, February 16, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this model after a cheaper model was sold out.
    This is a great quality receiver , sounds great in my Lincoln LS. Installation
    for me was a little tricky because I was taking out a 6 CD player. After I got
    everything taken out is was pretty much match up the colored wires and
    reinstall.(Easy enough)

    One thing is the black plastic of the kit doesn't quite match the interior of
    my car but I'm guessing it never really does. The USB input is good and
    even restores your song's position if you have to take it out. (impressed)

    Now the features of this receiver are awesome but trust me you will have
    to read the manual on how to program this one.(More than once) This is my
    first Kenwood so I had to get comfortable with the controls. It took me
    awhile to get the sound how I like it and I am still fine tuning it. Which is
    most of the reason why I like this receiver because I can play with it. Of
    course the wife has trouble finding certain things (radio)because it is hard
    to go into the different menus while driving. Would not recommend this
    model for entry level electronics users.

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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Dinah, Hampton Roads, VA on Sunday, February 15, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I purchased this receiver after installing four Polk Audio 651s in my 2003 Dodge Durango to replace the Infinity system. I was truly not prepared for the quality of sound that I got after everything was hooked up. HOLY COW!!! I have never installed car audio speakers or a receiver before and, I know nothing about car wiring. Crutchfield sent me everything I needed to install the speakers and receiver. Customer support is remarkable. Ladies....never get ripped off again having a entertainment system installed in your vehicle. Crutchfield makes it easy to do yourself, I did it!
    3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    wonderful product

    Written By martin, asheville n.c on Sunday, February 15, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this kenwood head unit hoping it would impress me and o boy the
    features are great and I can even hook up my computer to this wonderful
    piece of equipment between the seperate sub level and front and rear
    faders I'm in crutchfield heaven. way 2 go crutchfield please get more of
    these back in stock for everyone to apreciate
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great deck at a even better price!

    Written By Jerad, Colroado Springs, CO on Sunday, February 15, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I installed this deck in my 2002 chevrolet camaro Z-28 it had the factory monsoon sound system installed from the factory which sounded good but when combined with this deck and a small 10" subwoofer it sounds amazing i was seriously suprized at how good it sounds, the install was extremely simple just match each color with its corresponding color wire and plug it up its that simple. It came with everything needed to install it for my car, and the best part was no tax and no shipping charges what else can you ask for. I will buy again from crutchfield thanks for everything!!!
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Namsag, Appleton, WI on Saturday, February 14, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I installed this unit in my 2005 Jeep Wrangler. My two front speakers are Polk dp521's mounted with adaptor brackets. The rear two in the sound bar are factory. My Jeep also comes with a factory sub woofer. Please keep that in mind as I rate this.......

    WOW! Major difference over the stock unit. Much cleaner, clearer and significantly louder. I hear sounds I never heard before. This is an awesome low cost unit. Sound much better than I had expected.

    It is user friendly and easy to operate while driving. It did take a little reading and playing around with to find all the features it offers but nothing unusual.

    All the needed adaptors and accessories were accurate and included. In fact they sent me an antenna adaptor that wasn't even needed. Although I did have my dash out before the directions appeared to be very complete and easy to follow.

    If this is in your price range I highly recommend this unit.
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    3 out of 5

    menu is a drag

    Written By armbahr, Wisconsin on Friday, February 13, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I work on computers but the one thing I remember most about this player is how maddening the menu system is. I am sure it is because it has so many features but it took the fun out of listening to it. The tuner is very good regarding reception but setting the presets is challenging. Sound is decent but I would probably look for a stereo with a more intuitive programing system.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X493

    Written By Phil, Thomaston, ME on Sunday, February 08, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Brooke was my advisor online and by landline, a very pleasent person to deal with.

    Once I had the two wiring harnesses married, and one phone call to Rudy, a tech rep, the installation to the vehicle ('98 RAV 4) took about five minutes. That was a great accomplishment for me thanks to Crutchfield's well-written instructions.

    Next comes the programing. It may be because I'm from the babyboomer era and am losing touch with the modern world, but I found it a challenge. I much prefer the old AM car radios where you pulled out the button when you found the station you wanted and then pushed it back in! Anyway, I have not yet been able to program it. I have read the book several times and I have talked with several people who have some knowledge of electronics, but none of us have been able to make it work.

    Overall, the radio pulls in stations from afar, sounds great, and looks nice in the dash. One thing I wish I could do is dim the accent lights on the radio; I find them distracting at night.

    I would recommend this to someone who has a good understanding of modern electronics / radios.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent quality and clarity

    Written By Christopher J., Totawa NJ on Thursday, February 05, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This Kenwood is one of the best units I have installed in my car. The sound is superb. It took a while to adjust the settings to where I could get the sound just right, but after that it made my car sound like a theater. I would highly recommend this unit. It blends perfect with my VW Jetta and the dash. Great looks and it's functionality make this a perfect unit for smaller type systems producing great sound without updating to much stock devices. Thanks Crutchfield another successfull purchase.
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    4 out of 5

    Good receiver

    Written By John, Chicagoland on Wednesday, February 04, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)