Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

CD receiver

Item #: 113KDCX494

49 Reviews

This item is no longer available.

Original Price: $169.99

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Quality sound and sound-shaping tools

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494 CD receiver is built for quality sound reproduction, with a 24-bit digital-to-analog converter, 3-band parametric equalizer, and a host of other soundshaping tools. But while outstanding sound is reason enough to put the KDC-X494 in your dash, check out some of the other features offered by this versatile receiver.


Media options

The KDC-X494 will play your regular store-bought and home-burned discs, of course, and also discs you've loaded with MP3 and WMA files. If you're also into digital music, plug a thumb drive into the receiver's USB input to enjoy all the MP3 and WMA files you want. Finding the right tracks is no problem — grab the big jog dial and skip through your files in 10% jumps, or search alphabetically — the choice is yours.

Built for iPod®

USB input for iPod

The convenient front-panel USB input serves double duty in the KDC-X494. When your iPod is connected, you'll enjoy easy control from the receiver, with dedicated Search and Return buttons that make it easy to find just the right song when you're behind the wheel.

Once you've plugged in, the KDC-X494 bypasses the iPod's digital-to-analog converter, utilizing the receiver's superior 24-bit DAC for improved sound reproduction. The Supreme Setting restores high-frequency information that's lost when files are compressed.

Sound decisions

The KDC-X494 boasts a 3-band parametric equalizer that gives you extensive control over your mids, highs, and lows. You'll also be able to optimize the sound for different speaker size setups, as well as store your tone settings for different sources, like CD, USB, auxiliary input, and radio.

your description goes here

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 low noise levels. Kenwood's 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.

Add-on options

Connect an optional satellite radio to the KDC-X494, 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. You'll also find an auxiliary input on the front panel for MP3 players and other audio sources.

Kenwood's optional Bluetooth® adapter allows you to make hands-free calls with your compatible phone. When a call comes in, the KDC-X494 mutes the music so you can converse over the car speakers.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?
In most vehicles, you can use this adapter to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Kenwood stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and the Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls.

Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check Hands-on Research for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver or its optional iPod adapter.

Product 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 with 2-line fluorescent display
    • 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
    • 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 preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

    Why replace your factory radio?

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

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    Great receiver for the money (refurb)

    Written By Brian, Frisco, TX on Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    For the money, this is a great receiver. I only ranked it 4 stars because the user interface could be a little more friendly, but overall the sound is great. I'm running my factory speakers now and it's still 100% better than the OEM stereo.

    Install was easy as pie! Crutchfield came through again, answering all my question before and after the sale and giving me everything I needed to install this!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By DinoP, Bristol, CT. on Saturday, February 05, 2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed on a 2003 Hyundai Accent. Instructions were very clear and it easy to install. Crutchfield was very helpful with any questions I had. Stereo sounds great and works well with the IPOD. Just switching from inputs were a little bit confusing at first.

    Excellent Sound Quality and Features

    Written By Edwards, Edmond, OK on Thursday, February 03, 2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I went from a 5 year old Sony CD head unit to this Kenwood and the difference in sound quality is amazing. The music on my iPod has never sounded so good! This stereo gives you almost too many features as you have almost unlimited options in tailoring how you want your music to sound. There is a learning curve and I would suggest printing out the manual pdf for reference. I've installed aftermarket head units in my vehicles for over 20 years and this is the best I've seen yet.

    Slick, Full Featured, Dynamic

    Written By Will, Savannah, Ga on Wednesday, December 08, 2010

    If you are looking for a full featured Head to control your setup look no further. Kenwood has raised the bar with this head unit. My system is as follows:
    KDC-X494, 4 Pioneer TS-G1643R, Sound Ordnance M-2250 amp powering a
    Sound Ordnance B-24.
    All of this in my 06 Silverado makes for beautiful music. There is a small learning curve as this unit is packed with options and customization. Once you have everything dialed in it will be one of the best sounding systems you have heard in awhile. If you are coming from stock this will be light years beyond what you are used to.
    Notable features: 3 pair of preamps 4 volts USB AUX

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By JustinT, Vancouver, BC on Sunday, December 05, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Outstanding unit, at a great price. Crutchfield is 1st class, I will never shop with another audio company again. The customer service has been 1st class, whether it be over the phone, on chat, or via email.

    In regards to the deck, I have never installed audio equipment before. The master installation sheet that came with the order was a HUGE help, and made the process very easy. It took me an hour or 2 for the install total. The Posi stereo connectors were a big help...made attaching the wiring harnesses so easy. The install was a breeze!!!

    Make sure that you update your iPod software though, as that is the only problem I ran in to with my 5th generation iPod. I bought the ip101 Kenwood iPod cord, but I will take it back tomorrow. The white USB cable that comes with your iPod works just fine. Just make sure the software is up to date.

    Will be hooking a 10" sub and amp up to the deck within a week, those products were also purchased from Crutchfield. Thanks!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By AP, Lapeer on Thursday, December 02, 2010

    This receiver is amazing. I like the simple look and not having a lot of buttons on the front. It looks neater and sleeker that way. It has all the settings you could want. It has great quality sounds great. The 6 RCA outputs are nice. I'm using this to run 2 Rockford P3D212 subs powered by Punch P400-1amp and Kenwood KFC-X693 6x9s and KFC-X173 6 3/4s powered by Punch P400-4 amp. I'm very happy with the USB and auxiliary inputs i don't even use CD's anymore. I would would definitely recommend this. I would buy this again.

    Refurbished Kenwood Excleon kdc-x494

    Written By DClement14, Abita Springs, LA on Thursday, November 25, 2010

    I got this head unit installed in my 2010 civic lx coupe yesterday, and I love it! Out of the box, it looked brand new which I was very pleased with considering I got it the cheaper refurbished one. Sound quality is great even on my stock speakers (which i plan on replacing soon). The speakers sound fine, but at higher levels they start to distort (definitely the speakers not the head unit). The unit is extremely customizable, and very attractive in appearance. My only suggestion to people before buying this unit is to consider the kenwood excelon kdc-x794. It does give a little more customization than the 494, but like I said I was happy saving a lot more money buying this one refurbished (the 794 wasn't offered refurbished at the time). All in all a great head unit

    Exceptional Unit

    Written By Walt, NJ on Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this stereo as an upgrade for my wife's beetle and was more than surprised at how easily it installed. I have average car wiring knowledge and slightly better than average wiring abilities, but this stereo was installed in under 45 minutes. I purchased the wiring adapter and trim plate that are suggested with this item, the wiring adapter had very clear instructions and I was able to wire the adapter to the stereo unit on my office desk. While I was concerned with the installation, I figured I would give it a shot after watching the videos and reading the instructions, it really was very simple. The "keys" to remove the factory stereo came with the accessories and once out and disconnected, the new stereo slid right into place (wire management behind the new stereo is important though). The trim plate makes the stereo look like a professional install and overall it looks like it should have cost a lot more than it did. The stereo has great sound, with many user settings to customize your sound and display settings, plus being able to have front plugs for everything makes this the ideal stereo for anybody who has an ipod, iphone or other device to plug in. We are exceptionally happy with the customer service from Crutchfield and highly recommend this item and company to anybody who is looking for electronics.

    Inexpensive and loud!

    Written By Loosh, Berlin, NH on Thursday, November 11, 2010

    I purchased this stereo to replace an older Panasonic (12 years old) which I loved. Looking at the stereo's crutchfield offered, I was appalled at most having only 2 Volt pre-amp outs. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to try a Kenwood Excelon and I am GLAD I did. The stereo makes my amp sound tremendous and makes even my cheap factory speakers sound outstanding. Cheap price and excellent quality. I am very pleased with this receiver.

    My bad

    Written By Lee, Northern Cal on Friday, November 05, 2010

    To be fair, I need to take back my previous review. I stated/ranted that there was no way to scroll thru your station presets. This is not true, and my-bad for overlooking it in the instructions. My apologies. However, I DID call Kenwood twice to inquire about this feature, was quite specific, and was told by both reps that this feature was not available and they apologize but "this is just the way the unit was designed". So, Kenwood's bad for not being up to speed on their own product and simply informing me that I needed to change the Seek Mode to Auto2 which does provide preset tuning seeking. So, my rating has gone up to 5 stars. This unit sounds great, looks slick, and I DO feel the controls are intuitive. It just takes a little time playing with them to understand the logic order. Many of these controls you probably won't even touch again once the system is tweaked to your liking. It's also nice having 6 pre-outs at 4V. Previous units and much of the competition only offer up to 2.5V. I haven't played with the USB or IPod/IPhone interfaces yet, so no feedback there. However, I would now recommend this unit, especially weighing features with price-point.

    Nice unit

    Written By Jim, Goldsboro, NC on Sunday, October 31, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice unit, good sound. Love the USB port. Loaded up a 4 gig flash and gave a pile of CD's to my brother. I was using a 6 disc changer but the USB is much easier to toad whatever I want to listen to with a few touches on the remote and immediate acess to a hundred or more songs.

    Amazing Product

    Written By Anonymous, Richmond, VA on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I absolutely love this stereo. I've always stood by Pioneer, but didn't like their new line, so I went with this Kenwood model. Sounds great in my Xterra. Got some Pioneer 4-way 6" rounds in the front, Pioneer 5-way 6x9's in the back, 2 12" sub with a 1200 watt max amp powering em, and the steering wheel remote control adapter. Everything sounds amazing and works perfectly. The headunit pushes more than enough power to the speakers and looks and sounds great.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By bob, pine grove,pa on Monday, September 13, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    fantastic product lots of options to this radio. easy to hook up with accessories and simple to use

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By MikeR, Rosendale,WI on Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I had seen the unit locally before I bought it thru Crutchfield. Installed easily but had one tech question after I fired up the unit. Called customer service and the problem was solved quickly. Great sound and the tuner picks up many stations am and fm! I primarily bought this unit for the aux/and usb hook-ups and am not disappointed. Plent of power to my 4 alpine 6.5's. No amp needed for my Dodge Dakota cab. I do have one suggestion for all the makers of these HU's and that is to make the controls more user friendly. I know you trade-off advanced controls for ease of use but I beleive more could be done to make the HU's as easy to use as OEM HU's. But on a final note I am very happy with my purchase and would buy from Crutchfield again because of the price and their customer/technical service staff.

    Refurbished Beauty

    Written By Brandon, Maine on Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    I bought this refurbished. It came with a few scuffs, but not to bad. First out of the box it looked very nice. It was sharp looking and very attractive. It felt very sturdy. The RCAs were not loose and the screen was very nice quality. After I got it in and started it up it was amazing. Kenwood splashes across the screen. Sound quality is great, the 4 volt preamps are more than enough to jump start an amp with power. I had to turn my gains down much less than I had them before. The settings for your music are extensive and rather thorough. A nice feature is 24/DAC and hard to find in receivers around this price range.The lighting is gorgeous at night, and of course it has dimmer functions. The features are very nice, it will give you a few surprises that you would not expect a HU to have. Down side is this; instructions are useless really. You have to use the CD to figure any of the deeper controls out. The RCAs are on the drivers side so I had to re-run my wires. Navigation is easy after 10-15 minutes or just playing around I can dial through the features by memory. Overall I am pleased with this unit and glad I picked it. I am sure you will get as much enjoyment from yours as I expect to get from mine.

    love it

    Written By Anonymous, grand junction, co on Saturday, July 24, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The controls and navigating isn't bad once you get used to it. Took minutes and a few glances at the manual. Looks great, easy to read screen and sounds great. Currently just hooked up to my stock '99 civic speakers and it made a huge difference.!

    Good receiver, like the iPod controls - doesn't work with iPhone OS4

    Written By cryderman, San Antonio, TX on Thursday, July 01, 2010

    The Kenwood was easy to install and sounds good. The controls are easy to read and large enough to operate. You do have to use the knob to scroll through numerous menus to reach you favorite channels, however, the screen is large and easy to read. The iPod control works well with my Nano and it did work with my iPhone until I updated the iPhone to OS4. So, better check you iPhone software before purchase ANY remote control function for your iPhone.

    Great Sound and Easy to Install!

    Written By Anonymous, Kalispell, MT on Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this stereo in a 1996 Dodge Intrepid with the infinity sound system. Originally, with the factory stereo, I thought the speakers were going bad because the sound was so poor. This Kenwood made a world of difference. Sound is now clean and crisp! The controls and settings take a bit of reading to learn, but once set, everything else is a breeze. I plugged a 2GB USB stick into the stereo and it recognized the songs within a few seconds and plays great. I would highly recommend!

    Thanks Chuck for the Recommendation!

    Nice radio, great USB interface

    Written By Anonymous, TX on Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this radio in a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado. I used heat-shrinkable (and after I ran out of those, normal) butt splice connectors to attach the wiring harness. They worked pretty well, if you don't have a set of pliers specifically designed for crimping these connectors, a pair of large general purpose Channel Lock pliers will work as well. Just be sure to do the crimp with the teeth of the pliers held "perpendicular" to the connector, rather than parallel. Also, don't be afraid to apply plenty of pressure.

    The best part of the radio itself is probably the USB interface. Using the included remote control, you can easily navigate the directory structure on your memory stick and select music to play. The player automatically finds and plays every song in every directory if you just let it go. It also pauses and restarts playing exactly where it left off when you turn off the car and/or remove the face plate. The other features, CD/Radio, are pretty nice as well but honestly I don't use them much now that I have hundreds of albums available on a USB stick.

    Still learning...

    Written By KEVIN, Denton, Tx on Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Paper manual in the box not especially helpful. Looking at the manual on the CD , In the meantime, I can say that it has GREATLY improved the sound of my factory speakers in my Volvo (saving for Focal's now)... Can't wait to learn more in the CD manual on how to make sound adjustments to make it even better...

    I wouldn't recommend it

    Written By Anonymous, Livonia, MI on Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Controls are not intuitive. Difficult to adjust basic functions.
    Sound is not that great.

    new era of car stereos

    Written By kmh154, portland ,oregon on Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This radio is neat but not very easy to just start using. Had to read manual just to do radio presets. No preset buttons as well not easy to surf radio channels. Marries up to the ipod nicely. Manual does not explain what the audio adjustment features actually do. Easier to operate with remote.

    Great Buy

    Written By Corey, texas on Monday, June 07, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was debating on buying a new radio or not for a long time, and this was well worth it. the included installation made installation a breeze, and saved me tons of money. i get much more boom from my 2 12" JBL subs, the sound quality is much better, and much louder. i just recently ordered 4 new kenwood speakers for my mountaineer, and with this new stereo, it will make quite the difference. i definantly recommend buying this if you're looking for a loud, crisp radio, that doesnt kill you bank.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By Jim, Irvine, Ca on Friday, June 04, 2010

    Not user friendly. I had to refer to manual to access even the simpliest features like adjusting bass, treble etc. Just setting to shuffle was a major effort required referring to manual if more that a week went but it was not in my memory. Great sound though, great features, just hard to access them. I would not buy this unit again.

    Great Value - Excellent Sound

    Written By miksich, Des Moines, IA on Tuesday, June 01, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This deck sounds fantastic and was a snap to install. I never thought I would use a feature like the USB input if I had the front-side aux input, but I use them both equally. When you're at your computer all day and want to throw a couple albums on a USB drive instead of burning a disc or syncing your iPod, you have that option.

    I replaced a stock VW deck and I'm blown away that the Kenwood really does put out a great deal of power to my stock speakers, and does an excellent job processing the sound. It gives you lots of options for tuning the sound to your preferences and vehicle, which I like.

    The only thing stopping this unit from receiving a 5-star review from me is the controls. It takes too much button pushing for simple activities like changing the input source. Other than that, it's a really great unit.

    great deal

    Written By michael, Lynchburg, VA on Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I recently installed this receiver in my '02 Dodge Dakota. Install was pretty simple for my first time. After having used it for a few weeks I can say with confidence that I love it. Sound quality and user friendliness are great. The USB function works great with my iPod Touch and also with a USB flash drive. I use my 8gb iPod as well as a 16gb flash drive. I found that some files on the flash drive would not play, but after converting them from m4a to mp3 they played perfectly.

    If you're using iTunes, converting is easy. Go to your preferences and to your import settings. Change them to import using "mp3 encoder". Now simply go to the album in iTunes that won't play, select all the songs and go to "advanced" on the menu bar and click, "create mp3 version" The new mp3 files will be located in the same folder as the original album in your iTunes music folder. Overall, I am extremely pleased with my purchase.

    Nice Buy

    Written By Tomas, Alexandria, VA on Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this reciever as a basic upgrade to my stock stereo. Crutchfield was top notch when it came to customer service and it came with everything i needed to install. I mostly use the USB port and can easily shuffle through songs and folders with the remote. Nice equalizer settings including the separate high/low filters which is great for the two Type R's in the trunk. Could get for cheaper elsewhere but after harness prices and shipping it's the same price. Hands down Crutchfield is the best and most secure way to order your stereo supplies.

    good buy

    Written By Anonymous, Ks on Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    first time buying a kenwood once you figure it out it is very nice usb setup works very easily would buy another


    Written By Scott, Wisconsin on Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    First off, Crutchfield's customer service is off the charts compared to anyone else! This Kenwood KFC-x494 has all the features a novice or audiophile would want. Front, Rear, and Subwoofer crossovers @ the hu is great in this day-n-age of compressed music files. 3 sets of 4-volt preouts is very helpful when installing a complete system. I gutted my 06 VW Golf so I only had "3" wires to connect to the new deck. Crutchfield sent all the needed tools and instructions along with including the new din adapter and trim pieces. The new deck is now connected to an "old school" 45rms@4ohms to Polk 651 comps in front and 651 full range in the rear. This Kenwood will not disappoint!

    Excellent buy

    Written By Drew, West Virginia on Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very good reciever for anyone trying to save a little money without sacrificing too much quality. It seems a little compilcated at first but doesn't take long to get the hang of the interface. I have not yet been able to try out the usb input, but the aux input works great. I like being able to turn the subwoofer on and off and being able to adjust the subwoofer gain directly from the receiver. The seperate high and low pass filters are also another great feature. Overall, very loud, great quality, and sounds awesome. I would definitely recommend this product.

    Crutchfield is 5 Star

    Written By Doug, Grand Junction, CO on Monday, May 10, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very pleased! Unit and all adapters arrived in good shape. Ordered Monday night, recieved Friday. Good email followup and tracking. Unit works very well. Satellite radio and I phone 3 g all sound great as does radio. Steering wheel controls. Programming radio straight forward using good manual (steering wheel adapter more trying due to manufacturer instructions). Lots of options on radio (for radio, cd, Iphone 3g and satellite). Crutchfield service very helpful and friendly in helping pick original order and parts. Tech support phenomenal helping during installation. Color coding on all adapters matched orginal wiring making wiring connections very straight forward. Everything needed included and most included without additional charge.

    Crutchfield rules ! Cheapest? Don't know, did not check. But sales and and tech support cannot be matched. First class all the way. Wish my cell phone company or cable company was half as good. What ever you are buying, if Crutchfield is selling it, buy it here. You won't be sorry.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By Ricky, Rogers, AR on Friday, May 07, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome Head Unit. I'm thinking about picking up another one. Good upgrade from stock.

    Amazing Excelon

    Written By Anonymous, Hattiesburg, MS on Thursday, May 06, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The Kenwood Excelon kdc-x494 is an amazing receiver. With Crutchfield you absolutely can't go wrong. I recieved the package at around 5 and finshed the install before 6. The sound quality is amazing with this unit, the high pass filter works flawlessly to help you achieve the perfect balance of frequence repsonse across the speaker setup. This unit not only sounds amazing but it is also extremely user friendly and easy to adjust to your desired output.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By montalvo, St Pete,FL on Monday, April 26, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very satisfied with the unit. Spend some time READING the MANUAL. It will HELP a lot =)

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By Anonymous, Pittsburgh, PA on Friday, April 23, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this receiver in my 2003 Ford Focus about one month ago, and I am very pleased so far. It has a USB port and Aux input on the front face, which is great for plugging in either a USB flash drive or a portable MP3 player. The sound quality is better with the USB drive, but I found that many of my songs cannot be played on the receiver because of DRM. The receiver plays MP3s and non-DRM files great. I also purchased the Sirius SCC1 tuner and Kenwood KCA-SR50 interface translator, and I love the satellite radio experience. The receiver will control the Sirius tuner just like you can control regular radio stations. Overall, the receiver functions well and looks good. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an aftermarket radio.

    I would give it a 4.5

    Written By 924guy, Terre Haute, Indiana on Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This stereo is very good for the price. It has many features, but not too much to overwhelm you. The clarity is top notch and I love the equalizer and audio settings it has. Has strong outputs for amps, and great wiring from the factory. The Ipod controls, however, are a bit sketchy and take time to get used to. It is surprisingly slow, and the jog wheel is too loose for my tastes. I like my alpine better in taht regard. The AM/FM tuner is awesome, and reception is good. CD's play well and do not skip, audio is very clear. Love the front usb and aux output, they light up, and have a sliding cover. The 22 watts is not as much as I expected, but not too bad, complemented with nice speakers such as my Infinity kappa's, which are 2 ohm, and it will sound nice.

    Clean looking and built nice
    Great audio settings, easy to tune your setup
    Good radio, CD player, and ipod port
    decent power. (more than average decks)
    great deal on price

    faceplate is a tad loose when connected and moves a bit when you use the controls
    22 watts seems a bit lacking for road noise, get an amp if you must
    music search for ipod is slow and a bit stressful

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By Pii, Hilo, HI on Saturday, April 17, 2010

    I ordered this signature product on Tuesday and it got here on Thursday. I just installed the radio today in toyota matrix, my first time ever. The instructions were easy to follow and everything fit perfectly. This receiver looks and sounds great.

    Thank you Crutchfield.

    Kenwood KDC-X494

    Written By flicker ridge, Canyon, CA on Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The original stereo in my 2001 Honda Civic stopped working. I looked at what was available at the Crutchfield site and decided to get the Kenwood KDC-X494 due to it's price and the fact that I am a ham radio operator that uses Kenwood gear over the years, and it generally is a very reliable maker of quality radio equipment. I like the fact that it has a CD and support for iPod. Since I am a long time Apple fan, I have my music collection on iTunes and the iPod makes transportable music very convenient. I received my order from Crutchfield in a very efficient manner with some of the tools and special hookups. It was a breeze (30 minutes) to install, after soldering the harness at home. It works great. Very happy with my purchase, and the service provided by Crutchfield. The head unit is plenty powerful for the old Civic!

    Excellent value

    Written By Thomas, Raleigh NC on Friday, March 26, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Pro: Great sound, good reception, easy to read display.
    Con: Controls could be more intuitive - I'm not a big fan of the joystick dial for use while driving.

    One of the main reasons I got this unit was the front USB jack and WMA support. I keep four 8GB flash drives in the car with about 150 CDs ripped to each at 192kbps resolution. The decoder does a nice job keeping the WMA sound clean - it is SO much better than MP3 at 128kpbs.

    One catch - default navigation of the USB folder structure stinks. The good news is that Kenwood provides a music database building application that lets you search your music by artist, album, genre, track, or playlist. It is quick and easy to use, though I would like to see a few more features and better support for bigger flash drives. (It only allows a limited number of playlists, and at one per album, even an 8GB drive can exceed the limit.)

    I love the USB drive search capability and would recommend this unit for that feature alone. For some reason, though, Kenwood doesn't include a copy of the app in the box. I had to go digging around on their website before I found it. To save you that hassle, the name is Kenwood Music Editor Lite. Enjoy!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By Russell, Lima, Ohio on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    first time ordering & Installing my own headunit, what a breeze this was to
    install in my 2005 Neon. hardest part was just waiting for the UPS truck. with
    the instructions, and parts included, installation was 1-2-3. only thing that
    took any time was making the connections between the harnesses.

    I gave it 4 stars only because it's taking me a bit to figure out the OS.

    only installed it this afternoon, so not much usage yet,
    but, so far, so excellent!
    thank you Crutchfield!

    Great product for the money

    Written By daleh, Palmer Alaska on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Controls and menu well laid out, easy to use. Buttons large and easy to press. Display easy to read. I listen to talk radio, AM reception is awesome. This is rare. Of all the aftermarket devices I have owned, this has the best AM reception. Better than my factory radio. The USB port is a feature LONG over due in car audio. Audio quality for IPOD, CD and FM all very good. Have not installed my amps and speakers yet but I expect they will sound great. I used to install high end car audio, long long ago.... yes before cd's Anyway this unit was a breeze to install,kit was complete. Kenwodd hit a home run with this one.

    Excellent Value

    Written By Rudy, Greeley, CO on Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Purchased this receiver although there were few reviews (because it was new). I've had it my Jetta for a few days now and I couldn't be more pleased. Very surprised at the sound quality and features for this price point. Built in crossovers, selectable bass, mid, treble ranges, solid MP3 support including very versatile search function. USB interface and above all very tight and solid sound from the built in amp. Price point is excellent. The conservative look and style suits me better than other receivers that try to look like toys. Doesn't have all the radio station memory buttons, but I couldn't be more pleased about that. Looks like manufacturers finally figured out that radio preset buttons take up too much real estate for the amount of time that they are likely used. Now the face has a much cleaner look. Nice! Great job Kenwood!

    All in all a very solid receiver with all the functionality (and none of the gimmicks) that I could possibly want. I would absolutely recommend.

    awesome deal!

    Written By Anonymous, Ohio on Monday, March 15, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    First time ordering any audio by myself and for myself... it was super easy on the Crutchfield web site... It took exactly 3-5 days like they said it would for shipping and the best part was shipping was FREE!! I got everything I needed to install and set up it was incredibly easy. The greatest thing is the quality, I looked at TONS and TONS of stereos at some local shops and couldnt find anything as good a deal as this... i would definitely deal with Crutchfield again... also like a week later I got a "Thank you" note personalized and thanking me for being a customer!!! I was literally like "WOW!" My overall experience as first time buyer was great! Thank you Crutchfield for everything!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By LEVI, Plantation, FL on Sunday, March 14, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great choice for a car receiver i got mines really fast. Installed it the same day and I'm loving it. Takes a little getting used to but its worth every minute because the capabilites are endless. If you are looking at this kenwood receiver you should purchase it and you soon too, shall become a believer!!!!

    KENWOOD X494

    Written By jerry, polo il on Thursday, March 04, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)


    Top quality kenwood car stereo

    Written By Anonymous, Hartselle,AL on Wednesday, March 03, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This Head unit is worth every penny you spend on it.....for a deck that cost this much, you would think kenwood would cut corners. yes if you want bluetooth or hd radio or any other accessory you will have to spend more for the adapters...but its nice when a company will give you a high quality product just like all the other head units they make for people like me that have an ipod and a Sirius InV Satellite radio I have the Auxiliary and usb direct connect for those items and love every feature that this deck has to offer....Crutchfield service is the best out there and I will be using them in the future for the continue of my car audio upgrades......

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By David, Dothan, Alabama on Tuesday, March 02, 2010

    Great head unit! I put this in my 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport. Paired with Polk Audio speakers and a Bazooka powered sub and it provides awesome sound!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494

    Written By Anonymous, candler,nc on Monday, February 22, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Ive owned a few kenwood receivers n my time n love them. it takes a bit to get a hang of the
    controls of everything but it wont take u long n there is plenty of stuff on the receiver. you cant
    go wrong with this receiver.

    Very Good System For The Price

    Written By Geo P., Lubbock, TX on Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The first thing you notice about the stereo once its turned on is that the display is bright and easy to read, despite its relatively small font size. You can control how much information is displayed through the Functions menu.

    Actually, that's one of the best things about this system: there are a huge amount of options. Would you rather control your iPod through the stereo or the player itself? Do you want it to automatically scroll the text or not? And when you're using the radio tuner, would you rather it auto-scan, or manually flip through stations yourself? Then there are the audio options. There are a multitude of options to change, including the basic Low/Mid/High-range adjustments, balance, fader, and a slew of advanced options to really get the most of it. The preset 6 EQ settings sound fairly good, though admittedly I've heard better (I've also heard a lot worse).

    The inclusion of both an ENTER button and a BACK button make navigating really easy. Also, I find the exclusion of a center button on the joystick a VERY good thing. Things tend to work much smoother without that annoying center click that other systems tend to over-utilize. It took me 10 minutes of playing around with it to get used to it.

    All in all, for the price, this is an excellent receiver. Kenwood did a great job making things easy for even the most novice user, and giving audiophiles plenty of options to play with. I would recommend it to anyone looking for functionality on a budget.

    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • AM/FM/CD receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis
    • Face (attached)
    • Sleeve (attached) Trim ring (attached)
    • Wiring harness
    • RC-405 Wireless remote
    • CR2025 3V Lithium-cell battery (installed)
    • Soft fabric face case
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Instruction Manual CD-ROM
    • Quick Start Guide (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • "Correction" note (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty Card (US/Canada)

    Features and Specs

    CEA-2006 Compliant No
    RMS Power Output 22 watts
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs No
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 4 volts
    Display Color White
    Key Button Color Blue
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Yes
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    AUX Input Front and Optional Rear
    Audio/video Input
    USB Input Front
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Optional
    Satellite Radio Ready Both
    HD Radio Optional
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/
    Touch Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/Touch1
    Mini No
    iPhone Phone/Phone3G/Phone3GS
    FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Overview: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 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 via CD-R/RW or USB. 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
    Radio Functions
    Disc Playback
    Aux/USB/iPod Connection
    Bluetooth/Remote Control
    Optional Software

    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.

    LCD Display: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 is equipped with a dot-matrix LCD display with white backlit text and a black background.

    Display Patterns: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 offers 5 display patterns. You can choose from a single line of text, 2 lines of text, source status, clock display, or a spectrum analyzer.

    Illumination Effect: This function sets whether the headunit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the key operation and volume level.

    Text/Title Scroll: The eXcelon KDC-X494 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.

    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.

    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.

    Display Off: 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.

    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), a favorite telephone number from your mobile-phone using the optional Bluetooth hands-free kit (sold separately), or an audio setting. This allows you to have instant access of your favorite Radio station, telephone number, iPod playlist, or audio setting from one list on the headunit's display.

    Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned "on" or "off" within the menu.

    Audio Section

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior CD sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KDC-X494 are as follows:

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

    Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 6-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, Game, and User.

    Detail Audio Control: The eXcelon KDC-X494 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 eXcelon 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-X494 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-X494 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).

    Audio Preset: You can register one audio setting into the unit's preset memory to be recalled at any time. The Audio Preset memory saves bass, midrange, treble, subwoofer, and high-pass filter settings.

    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 eXcelon KDC-X494 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.

    Radio Functions

    AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 features a built-in AM/FM tuner. You can choose one of three tuning modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-X494's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets.

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

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

    Mono Mode: This feature reduces the noise (static) when a stereo broadcast is received as monaural (for FM band only).

    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.
    • XM Satellite Radio: To receive XM Satellite Radio connect the optional CNP2000UCA XM Tuner and the Kenwood CNPKEN1 adapter cable (package item number 700XMKEN2, sold separately).

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

    HD Radio Ready (with iTunes Tagging): With an optional Kenwood HD Radio tuner (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. The Kenwood KTC-HR300 HD Radio tuner(113HR300) is also capable of iTunes tagging. iTunes tagging gives you the ability to tag a song (up to 50) and stores it to a connected iPod. The next time your iPod is connected to iTunes, the tagged songs are displayed with the option to purchase them from the iTunes Store.

    Note: You will need the Kenwood KCA-S220A Dual-Source Switching Unit (113KCAS220, sold separately) to connect both a Satellite Radio Tuner and HD Radio Tuner to this headunit.

    Disc Playback

    MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-X494 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc 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 60 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.

    Music Search: The Kenwood eXcelon 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.

    Direct Music Search: You can search music tracks and files directly by entering the track/file number using the include wireless remote control.

    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.

    Off Eject: The KDC-X494 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.

    Aux/USB/iPod Connection

    USB Port: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 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 (32-192 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-X494 is powered on.

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

    iPod Direct: The KDC-X494's front-panel USB port also acts as an iPod/iPhone 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/iPhone. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X494.

    • USB Connection: 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 to 105dB.
    • Audio Playback: The Kenwood headunit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone.
    • Music Navigation: When your iPod/iPhone is connected to the KDC-X494, you can choose to operate your iPod/iPhone via the Kenwood headunit's controls or your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.  If you select to control your iPod/iPhone from the KDC-X494, 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 browse for music of the same artist or genre as the one being currently played (Related Search). In addition, you can create your own custom iPod playlist (up to 10 songs) from the headunit.
    • Information Display: The KDC-X494 will also display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood headunit. If you choose to operate your connected iPod/iPhone via its clickwheel or touchscreen controls, the KDC-X494 will not display your iPod's music information (the headunit will instead display iPod MODE).
    • Charging: While connected and the ignition switch is set to ACC or ON, the headunit's USB connection will power and charge your iPod/iPhone.

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

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-X494 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of Feb. 2010):

    iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type  Control Type Display Type Charge
    Audio Video Headunit iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Info Track Info
    dock-connector 3rd N N N N N N N
    clickwheel/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
    6th 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
    4th 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
    4 N N N N N N N

    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the headunit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available. Not compatible with iOS 4.0 for iPhone (3G/3GS) or iPod touch (2nd/3rd gen).

    AUX Input: The KDC-X494 is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input for connecting external portable audio devices such as an MP3 player. The KDC-X494 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.

    Bluetooth/Remote Control

    Bluetooth Ready: The unit is also Bluetooth compatible using the optional Kenwood KCA-BT300 Bluetooth adapter (113BT300, 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-BT300 adapter.

    Note: Not all Bluetooth enabled mobile phones will be compatible with this unit. Please visit for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X494 comes with the RC-405 IR wireless remote control with a full numeric keypad (0-9). The remote will control Audio, CD, Tuner, USB, and external device functions. The remote control allows direct access of your music tracks and discs loaded in a connected CD-changer (sold separately), as well as direct access to AM/FM radio stations. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The unit also features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with the optional PAC SWI-JACK Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (127SWIJACK, sold separately); or the optional Metra ASWC Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (120ASWC, sold separately).

    Note: Please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    Optional Software

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood KDC-X494 supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.l.0 or later). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3 and WMA music files to your USB devices from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB device using Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.l.0) through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using the headunit's Music Search function.

    Note: Kenwood Music Editor software can be downloaded for free from to your PC. Kenwood Music Editor is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2 or later. Kenwood Music Editor (Ver.1.5.0 and later) are compatible with Windows Vista.

    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 verify what’s in the box, 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.