Hear the difference with HD Radio

Remember how amazing it was to see HDTV for the first time? You'll feel the same way when you hear what HD Radio sounds like in your car. If you're a frequent radio listener and you've been thinking about giving HD Radio a try, the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 features a built-in tuner that allows you to hear your favorite songs and music in crystal-clear HD Radio clarity. Whether you're into talk radio or your local alternative rock station, the static-free sound quality is remarkable.

Plenty of media options

If you're a Pandora® Internet radio fan, this receiver is wired for you. Hook up your iPhone® to the USB input and you'll have control of your favorite stations, with thumbs-up, thumbs-down, and bookmarking. iPod® or iPhone users can plug into the convenient front-panel USB input, and enjoy outstanding control right from the receiver. When you're connected via USB, the KDC-X497 bypasses your iPod's internal circuitry, sending the digital data to the Kenwood's superior 24-bit digital-to-analog converter. Your favorite songs will sound better than ever. 

If you store your music on an Android device, Kenwood's free Music Link app allows you to enjoy a variety of search and playback features when your phone is plugged in via the front-panel USB. You can also liven up your drive by jacking another device into the front-panel aux input, or by loading in a CD or a recordable disc full of music files.

Kenwood Excelon quality

All Kenwood Excelon receivers are built for great sound and outstanding quality. This receiver features 4-volt preamp outputs that give your amps the signal they need for top performance. You'll also find an impressive array of sound-sculpting tools. You can use the 3-band parametric equalizer to adjust the centerpoint of your treble, midrange, and bass controls, while the frequency filters trim unwanted low bass out of your full-range speakers and adjust the bass going to your subwoofer. The variable color display looks right at home in your dash and makes it easy to see what's playing. And Kenwood backs up this versatile receiver with a 2-year warranty.

Kenwood KDC-X497 CD receiver

You can adjust the button illumination on this Kenwood to match your dash lighting.

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

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

Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in HD Radio tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC music files
    • gloss black detachable face with variable color button illumination
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 preset 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 location of speakers in your car
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    Expandability:
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora control with iPhone
    • compatible with Kenwood's Music Control app for select Android phones
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB input
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

    Why replace your factory radio?

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

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    Awesome unit!

    Written By Omar, fresno california 93722 on Sunday, September 21, 2014

    • rating
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    Awesome radio, hd radio, 4 volt output crisp sound is delivered..i would recommend this unit to anyone!

    Pros: Cool looking high output h/u

    Cons: None so Far

    Good value

    Written By Anonymous, Tarpon Spgs,FL on Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Nice economy HD radio.Cool color display. Cramped buttons.Manual could be better written.

    Great Stereo

    Written By PS, Corpus Christi,TX on Monday, February 17, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I replaced my factory stereo in my Toyota Corolla, wanted something different. Installation was easy since Crutchfield provided the necessary harness and install kit free. Considering replacing the speakers next, I know the rear speakers require pulling panels to get to but doesn't seem that difficult. I would recommend Crutchfield when ordering what ever you decide as they take the guess work out of your purchase.

    Pros: Easy to install, remote, ability to change color display, front aux and USB, detachable face.

    Cons: None so far

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By angler22, tarpon springs fl. on Saturday, January 25, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I installed in my 1989 toy 4x4, installation was simple, I had the original mounting bracket, fit perfect. set up was no problem, you must be able to understand what you read in the manual. sounds great, had to cut back a bit on the bass, if I had a sub it would be incredible. very happy with purchase!!! colors are great too, I did not set the color yet, kinda like the color changing frequently.

    Cons: none

    Excelon? Excellent!

    Written By John C, Lacey, WA on Monday, January 20, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I dropped this into my 2007 Hyundai Accent hatchback, and am very pleased with the results. I had previously upgraded the rear speakers to the Pioneer TS-G6844R but was a little underwhelmed by the performance I got. After some posts on an Accent blog, I found that Hyundai factory head units are set to push most of the sound frequencies to the front, no matter what fade adjustment you use. After putting the Kenwood in, the Pioneers really came to life. The HD radio is fantastic. Scrolling digital readout of song title/artist is great. Setting the EQ Pro seems a little complex. It does take some time on initial set up to get all of your settings the way you like them, as you can really fine tune this thing in many ways.

    Pros: HD radio. Excellent power output (22 watts RMS). Variable colors.

    Cons: Buttons are a little on the small side. The round control dial is very thin and lacks any texture at all. This make is very slippery and hard to use...impossible to use while wearing gloves. The lowest brightness setting is still bright at night, could go a little lower.

    Another Great Kenwood product

    Written By Mark, Cape Cod Mass on Monday, January 20, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I replaced a brand new Alpine with this Kenwood unit because I like them that much.

    Pros: 3 sets of RCA Pre amp outputs front, rear and sub. Easy to use button lay out and remote. Color changing feature is great! and I love the RDS, Lets you know the Radio station song and title the Alpine did not

    Cons: The main volume control button is slippery (the Alpine had a rubber surround) and it's easy to accidentally pull it off, but just as easy to replace. You will find using the remote more convenient but accidentally changing to AM band instead of preset 1 is annoying and its difficult to see at night.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By Anonymous, Los Angeles, CA on Monday, January 06, 2014

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

    I bought this Kenwood head unit and a pair of 5 1/2" focal speakers. CDs and iPods sound very good on this unit, and if you know how to tweak the EQ Pro - I didn't - and if you add an amp to this unit and a subwoofer, I'd imagine that the system would sound even more amazing. But as for the radio, this Kenwood unit's HD radio is not as good as I'd expected. The radio tuner is much worser than my old 2007 Subary Impreza factory radio. I get fewer channels. On AM, I hardly can tune any channels at all, so if you're someone that listens to the news and sports news a lot on AM, then I don't recommend this head unit. On FM, I do get some HD Radio channels, but they are too few to offset all the channels that I used to get. This was a major disappointment. Lastly, the main control dial is too small and slippery. Kenwood should have made it larger and added some grip texture to the surface.

    UPDATED 1/13/14: This weekend I tried connecting the blue/white wire from the head unit to the blue wire from the harness like you suggested, and when I turned the radio back on, the radio reception was...splendid. It's awesome now. Thanks for the tip.

    Pros: Audio sounds good and powerful, but you need to know how to adjust the EQ. Illumination display is neat.

    Cons: HD Radio is a major letdown. Very bad tuner. I couldn't get any AM channels, and I received less FM channels than my old head unit. Setting is not for the novice. And the manual is thin. There's no instructions how to use EQ Pro. Control dial is too small and slippery. This head unit is not cheap.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By Bill, Birmingham Al. on Saturday, January 04, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great price, good sound,great tech support

    Pros: Price, sound

    Cons: none

    Score!

    Written By Janice, Baytown, TX on Saturday, January 04, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I got this radio for my boyfriend for Christmas. He loves it! Love the Crutchfield website! It was very easy to use and when I added the radio it suggested all the things I needed for installation. I didn't have to figure it out.

    Pros: Functionality, Crisp Sound, Plug & Play, Bass...oh the Bass!...Ease of Use, Options...options...options!

    Cons: The digital wording (station name, titles of songs, etc.) on the radio does not change with the many (24) different colors you can choose for the radio. What's up with that? All these awesome colors and they do not match the wording. It's a big down side.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By bill b, ohio on Monday, December 30, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    this stereo lives up to kenwood name and quality

    I like it

    Written By matt, Minnesota on Monday, December 30, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I purchased this unit to replace the failing factory head unit in my '02 Explorer Sport trac. I'm no audiophile, nor am I that knowledgable about vehicle electronics and stereos. The deck installed as easily as any other deck I've installed with a few phone calls to tech support to help connect some dots in reference to the factory subwoofer and the oddity of my vehicle. Tech support was great! This deck powers my factory system quite well, the adjustments are all quite nice, and I've figured out how to use most of the features without using the owners manual that I've misplaced. All in all I like it. I think the only thing I dislike about this unit is the way the menu requires to to physically push the "back" button through all the layers until you exit the settings. I would much prefer there was a shortcut.

    Pros: Easy to use, easy to instal, nice colors, plenty of features

    Great value

    Written By xman. intalled in Nissan maxima, Castro Valley, CA on Monday, December 23, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great price. Very good sound quality. Well made unit. Plenty of power for me.

    Nice product

    Written By JoeB, Worden,IL on Friday, December 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Installed this to replace the OEM cassette player in my 97 Jeep. Sounds great. Easy installation. The HD radio sounds really good but fades in and out. Probably caused by my location. Set up instructions could have been more informative.Buttons very small.

    Pros: All the whistles and bells.

    Cons: Instruction manual

    Great Unit

    Written By Jason, Westminster, MD on Tuesday, December 17, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Very Happy. The features are awesome and it is nice because I can change tthe color of the display to match my dash. I would buy this headunit again in a heartbeat.

    Pros: The features are awesome and it is nice because I can change tthe color of the display to match my dash.

    Cons: None

    great

    Written By jozaan, ny, ny on Monday, December 09, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    The hd worked great after an aftermarket antenna was install...still cuts out on foggy days but good enough for me

    Pros: Hd, lots of sound tuning

    Cons: Volume knob comes off

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By EdK, Meridian, ID on Tuesday, December 03, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is an awesome receiver. Very easy installation with everything included. Excellent reception, plenty of power, great tone adjustments. Ipod works great with it. Color displays look awesome.

    Pros: Good sound, Ipod imput, good value

    Cons: None

    great all around head unit

    Written By Dug, Lucasville, Oh on Saturday, November 30, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Have used Kenwood products in the past. This unit, so far, has not let me down. I am very pleased with the performance. Excellent radio reception, very good tone adjustments. Thumb drive works great! Amp puts out plenty of power for the Kicker speakers I have in my Avalanche. Was going to install a subwoofer, but after listening to this for about two weeks, don't need to. Sounds fine like it is. I would recommend this unit to anyone looking for more than just a radio and CD player. It has all the bells and whistles you could ask for. And then some. I'm glad I bought it.

    Pros: Good strong amp, lots of tone adjustments, has 24 different color combinations to match your vehicle's dash lights.

    Cons: owners manual could be a little easier to understand on how to set up the unit.

    I could kick myself!

    Written By Lyle, Port Saint Lucie, FL on Monday, November 25, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I have been driving my Miata for years and didn't realize just how bad the OEM head unit was. This Kenwood unit has wonderful, rich sound, with all the necessary settings for a personally customized sound.

    Pros: Sound quality, IPod access, HD radio.

    Cons: Controls took a little time to learn.

    good replacement

    Written By Mike, FL on Saturday, November 23, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Good radio but does not pick up a HD radio station that I wanted but I may just be to far away. I like the usb and aux inputs.

    Pros: extra inputs so you do have to listen to just radio stations

    Cons: might not pick up a hd station that you think it will

    Great Product

    Written By Joe C, Fresno, Ca on Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    It did everything I wanted.

    Pros: Easy

    Cons: None

    great hd radio

    Written By shep p, indian trail nc on Saturday, November 02, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    so i got this kenwood for my work truck the hd radio is great and i dont have any reception problems where i live, ipod sounds great also nice to be able to control it through the radio. i also added a kenwood powered sub also and it really frees up the other four speakers to handle the mids and high notes,nothing fancy here couple of pioneer two ways in the front doors and a couple of 3 way pyle 4x6 i got off ebay cheap in the back doors once i got all of the levels dialed in it sounds awesome. wife has a new caddy with a bose system and a factory sub plus god only knows how many speakers but i swear this set up in my old gmc sounds every bit as good or better! get one of these you wont be dissapointed!

    Pros: everything

    Cons: none so far

    Great radio at a great price

    Written By boondog, Houston on Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    installed in a 2006 Durango that has the Alpine system and wanted iphone control and to be able to stream. I had wanted HD radio but never wanted to spend the money. Well, with this radio the money's not a factor and I wish I had spent it sooner. The HD sounds so much better than analog and the extra channels are a huge bonus. The stock Alpine speakers are decent especially now with the HD. I also installed an adaptor for the steering wheel controls and video system, The steering wheel control buttons now have a slight delay but it's no big deal. There really is a lot to like about this radio, especially for the price. And as always, when calling Crutchfield technical service, it's as though they're sitting in the front seat with you.

    Pros: HD sound, variable color keys, front usb, excellent reception, Crutchfield technical service.

    Cons: None so far

    I love the KDC-X497!!!

    Written By Robert A, Taylor, MI on Saturday, October 26, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I really like the KDC-X497! I upgraded my factory stereo and it sounds great even with the factory speakers. I also added 4 new door speakers and it sounds better than I imagined because I was going to run my 5×7's with my 4 channel amp but there's no need. I love the HD radio because the clarity of the digital stations have cd like sound and it compliments my subs because I can tune the sound directly from the receiver. Also the variety of color options made it easy for me to match it to my dash. The price and sound quality is great and I recommend this to anyone searching for a HD receiver.

    Pros: Price, available options, and power.

    new kenwood deck

    Written By Anonymous, bozeman, MT on Sunday, October 13, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I just recently bought a new kenwood stereo and installed it in my 98 chevy pickup. it sounds excellent and I love the way it changes colors and its ease of use. Im very happy with my purchase and it was a good price.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By Dennis L, Little Rock, AR on Tuesday, October 08, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Radio sounds great. The HD radio is a nice feature. Was a breeze to install.

    Pros: Great set of features and sounds great!

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By Anonymous, Cheektowaga, New York on Tuesday, October 01, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great receiver, it was quite an upgrade from my factory unit!

    KDC-X497

    Written By CARL S, PORTLAND OR on Sunday, September 29, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    very good receiver

    Pros: The USB Port

    Cons: The blue display is a little brite for night driving

    Great Stereo

    Written By ScottH., Gardner,KS. on Sunday, September 29, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great stereo, very crisp sound with hd tuner. Great value for the price.

    Pros: Is of good quality for the price of the unit. Crutchfield included everything needed for the install.

    Cons: Master sheet installation diagrams need more detail.

    Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By CarlosO, Ponder, Tx on Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Istalled this bad boy in my '99 4runner. Wow! I am very satisfied with the sound quality and all the functionality that comes with it. I got confused with the wiring and called Crutchfield a couple of times. They were life savers. Great place to buy a great stereo for not much dinero.

    Pros: Super sound quality, a ton of functionality, very cool light color options, Crutchfield technicians are VERY good, great price!

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By Anonymous, Carmel, IN on Sunday, September 15, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Easy to use and install, great update from the stock unit.

    Nice HD Radio Deck

    Written By iP, Baltimore, MD on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I absolutely love this deck so far and I've only had it about two weeks! I was torn as to go with this or an Alpine Deck and, after calling Crutchfield, Levi helped me make the decision based on what I was looking for and I couldn't be happier! This thing rocks! It has great audio quality, iPod/iPhone/Pandora control through USB, Aux input, sleek design, multicolor display options, and HD Radio. My iPhone works perfectly and without any problems when connecting and I can use the deck to browse, search, and control all of the music from my phone. The HD Radio feature is just as great - if you haven't heard HD Radio before, you're missing out! I only hope that more stations make the transition soon! I only gave it 4 stars for "ease of use" because it has a LOT of features and it takes a bit of playing to get used to everything that you can do.

    Pros: HD Radio, iPhone/iPod control and connectivity, Aux input, multicolor display, remote, great sound

    Cons: It can do a lot - maybe even too much!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By Kenwood, Rio Rancho, NM on Monday, September 09, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Product works as described and a great buy, the best part is the technical support.

    Pros: Free Accessories and tech support

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By Anonymous, Denver, CO on Thursday, September 05, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I replaced the OEM stereo in my '07 Subaru Forester, and what an immediate difference in sound quality! The only downside were the instructions to remove the factory stereo, as they seemed to have skipped several steps that I had to perform. After a little fuss and muss, I successfully completed the install. The stereo is a terrific value for the improvement in sound quality.

    HD

    Written By Mike, Acworth, GA on Tuesday, September 03, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Love the HD radio. The wife loves the sound quality compared to her stock radio

    Great radio

    Written By sfry88, Harrisburg, PA on Monday, September 02, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I am really pleased with this receiver. It works as advertised and has a cool look. I like the ability to customize the display.

    What a GREAT little Car Stereo Receiver

    Written By Dardle, LI, NY on Monday, September 02, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I recently had my VW GTI in for repair at a local VW dealer. Prior to buying this Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 the stereo in my car was a VERY expensive Alpine unit..as I recall way back was about $700 was the unit where the face was motorized actually would hide INTO the radio..looking like the faceplate was removed..I loved that Alpine. I bring this up only because however it happened, the VW dealer destroyed my Alpine radio..never to work again. My car has a lot of miles on it so I searched Crutchfield for a lower priced unit with overall great reviews and specs for the money. Long story short so I installed this Kenwood and then WOW! I was expecting it to be rather inferior to my older trusty $700ish Alpine but NO, This Kenwoood actually blows away my old car stereo in every area. I mean as to radio reception, CLEAN sounding audio, how customizable from EQ to colors to almost everything. Mostly I am so impressed with how the unit sounds. VERY clean..the amp seems well made with lots of power...I don't hear any clipping at all just nice clean powerful sound and bass I never heard before in my car. Really love the front USB jack..I put a 32 gig flash drive in it and it can play days of music...reads folders of mp3s instantly..real easy to navigate..I am in love with this Kenwood and VERY surprised at it's overall quality vs it's price point vs ANY price point really. Buying this unit from Crutchfield was an ultra pleasure, Crutchfield is GREAT! I'll leave it at that.

    Pros: Sound, Customizability, amp power, front usb input..works GREAT with a flash drive full of mp3s, detachable faceplate, Powerful useful EQ, Looks really nice.PRICE!

    Cons: NONE!

    Nice Unit

    Written By Mike, Baltimore, MD on Saturday, August 31, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Replaced stock unit in Subaru Forester. I used the Posi-ProductsT Car Stereo Connectors which made hooking up the wiring VERY easy. Contorting my middle-aged self to fit in the foot-wells to reach under the dash- trying to disconnect and reconnect climate control cables...not so easy.

    Love the improved sound quality. The variable color options are cool (I like to let the display slowly cycle through all the colors). Additional stations via HD radio are also nice to have, but seem to somewhat remind me of the "diminished bandwidth sound" of satellite radio, but not nearly as bad. Regular FM sounds great , but I don't seem to pick up as many stations as before.

    My stock unit couldn't play mp3's burned to a CD, so I am very happy to have this capability. I haven't used the additional input options (USB or aux) yet, but I like how they are behind a little door.

    Controls are small and less than intuitive, but I guess that is to be expected with so many features.

    Pros: Great sound Cool HD stations

    Cons: Small buttons Controls feel insubstantial FM sensitivity

    Very good receiver for the money

    Written By EBM, Roan Mountain, TN on Saturday, August 31, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This unit has all the bells and whistles I needed. HD sound ( limited in my mountainous area but WETS in Johnson City great sub stations). Has USB and AUX and good sounding CD player that I also wanted. The Excelon series for Kenwood IMO is worth the extra price in build and sound qualities. Very pleased with purchase so far.

    Pros: HD sound, Good bang for the buck

    Cons: Digital readout hard to see in direct sunlight

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By strompler, Stillwater, OK on Wednesday, August 28, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    The kenwood looks good and has a really good sound effects to the speakers and powered sub.

    Pros: Looks great, really good sound

    Cons: Its hard to use at first.

    Very pleased so far

    Written By DanielM, Twin Cities, MN on Sunday, August 18, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    So far, I really am liking this stereo. I have owned my Chevy truck since new (12 years), and although I still have the factory speakers, the sound quality is greatly improved. I don't have an iPhone or Android device, so haven't tried those features. My only complaints are the tiny buttons, which will be especially challenging come winter, and losing the dimming feature with the rest of the dash lights. I did set the unit to the dim setting, but I have always kept the dash lights rather dim. I am surprised that it doesn't read artist and song title when playing CDs. Overall though, loving the HD Radio. I still haven't figured out how to turn the thing off without shutting down the truck.

    Pros: Great sound and ability to tailor it to your likes. Front panel USB and Aux inputs.

    Cons: Tiny button controls, and lack of information on powering on/off.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By MrLuke, Kansas City, MO on Friday, August 16, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Updated my 03 Avalanche and has never sounded better. Install was a easy. Lots of color opitions. Easy to use and even comes with remote. And the remote works from a distance. (at least 15 feet) Great for drive in movies.

    Pros: Unit is easy to function and has tons of good fetures. The Pandora built in is a great add on, with thumbs up and down buttons. Puts out a good amount of power for my 4 door speakers without a amp for them. And still sounds great with a 700 watt sub in the back.

    Cons: No cons to report at this time.

    Love it

    Written By Jeff, Overland Park, KS on Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Was looking for a head unit for installation in my motorcycle fairing, with plenty of power to compensate for road and engine noise. Drawn to the Kenwoods for their 22w RMS output. Paired with 4 Polk DB521 5.25" speakers, and have not been disappointed. Wanted HD Radio & RDS, Bluetooth would have been nice but KDC-X797 a bit out of my budget. USB and AUX inputs work fine for my needs. Volume knob a little cumbersome to operate from a motorcycle due to location & size, but this wouldn't be a problem in a car. Volume adjustment is a frequent need on a bike as you don't want it blaring out at highway volumes when you slow down or come to a stop. I wound up mounting the remote with Velcro to the trim piece on my fuel tank, aimed at the unit. Works like a charm and gives me much easier control of the unit.

    Pros: Good power and sound quality.

    Cons: Display is difficult if not impossible to see on bright days, but that shouldn't be a problem when mounted in a car or truck.

    KDC-X497

    Written By my94truk, nc on Sunday, August 11, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    nice Kenwood hu, lots of adjustments to customize your sound

    Pros: for the money (on sale) is a great buy, lots of custom settings for everyone's ear

    Cons: not a lot of bass, but sufficient for now, will add sub lata

    Great value

    Written By KeithT, Randleman, NC on Wednesday, August 07, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great value for the money. Varying color options enable system to complement the interior. With the amp required for the bose system the sound quality is at least as good as the factory bose system.

    Pros: Multiple options for sound source. Easy to operate. Handy remote. Easy to install.

    Stereo Performs Well Kenwood KDC-X497

    Written By TomMtnMan, Brunswick, GA on Tuesday, August 06, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This replaced my old Pioneer and does a great job with sound quality even though there are better, but for the money it's quite good. Picks up stations very well from a distance and HD is definitely a plus. Like the USB and AUX port for a MP3 player. Easy to figure out how to make adjustments. Faceplate attachment and detachment is not so great. Neither is the trim plate that will not stay put-very very cheap design. Knocked off two stars on "build quality and ease of use" because of trim plate and faceplate.

    Pros: Amp sound quality Easy learning curve for adjustments

    Cons: Faceplate trim plate

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Written By Anonymous, sidney ohio on Saturday, August 03, 2013

    Crutchfield Custo