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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

CD receiver (New Stock)

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Item #: 113KDCX592
 

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

by Robert Ferency-Viars
Kenwood

Why replace your factory radio?

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

Kenwood geared the Excelon KDC-X592 CD receiver toward you iPod users. You can connect your iPod directly to the KDC-X592's USB input for fast, complete iPod control from the receiver's controls. Check out your playlist and song titles on the 3-line, fluorescent display, while the Multi Control Wheel's "iPod mode" provides fast file and folder navigation. Kenwood tops it off with cool, blue illumination that complements the receiver's stylish design.

The KDC-X592 packs a powerful amplifier along with a premium digital-to-analog converter, so you'll enjoy warm, detailed sound with plenty of punch. Take control of the audio with six preset tone curves, then make fine adjustments with the 3-band parametric equalizer. Kenwood's Supreme audio feature adds extra zing to your compressed music files.

If you have a larger system in mind, three sets of preamp outputs make it easier to connect your external amps and subs. You can manage your bass settings with the built-in subwoofer controls, and adjust the frequencies going to your various speakers with the high- and low-pass filters.

You get near-endless playback variety from discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC files, and the convenience of both auxiliary and USB inputs. The KDC-X592 works with Kenwood's Bluetooth® adapter for hands-free calling with a compatible cell phone — the receiver mutes automatically for incoming calls, so you can converse with both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

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

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD player with built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs, including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC files (will not play rights-protected music files on disc)
    • detachable face with a 3-line fluorescent display
    • dual-zone capability lets front and rear-seat passengers listen to different sources
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • 24-bit digital-to-analog converter
    • System Q EX Sound Control (6 EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer)
    • "Supreme" audio processing for better sound from your compressed music files
    • speaker settings that let you tailor the sound to the size and type of speakers in your car
    • System E's+ high- and low-pass filters
    Expandability:
    • compatible with Kenwood's Bluetooth adapter and satellite radio and HD Radio™ tuner
    • iPod direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • inputs: rear USB and auxiliary inputs
    • outputs: 6-channel, 4-volt preamp outputs (front, rear, sub)
    • compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required)
    Other features and specs:

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

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

    Download owner's manual

    • AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA/AAC/USB receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis
    • Face
    • Sleeve
    • Trim ring
    • Wiring harness
    • RC-547 Wireless remote
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • Soft fabric face pouch
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • USB mounting bracket
    • 2 Mounting screws for USB bracket
    • USB protective cap
    • 2 Zip-ties
    • Kenwood Music Editor CD-ROM
    • Instruction Manual (English/Spanish/French)
    • Warranty Card
    • Kenwood Car Audio Passport card
    • "Attention" note

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Features
    External Device Controls
    Software

    Features

    Overview: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X592 AM/FM CD receiver features a detachable face, rear 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/ACC playback. The unit also supports Bluetooth via an optional adapter sold separately. In addition, the CD player comes with an IR wireless remote control. The unit's amplifier is rated at 22 watts x 4 channel RMS and 50 watts x 4 channel peak.

    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.

    AAC/MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-X592 can play MP3, WMA and AAC files with ID3 tag information 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/AAC playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (Ver.1 or 2) information. The headunit will display up to 30 characters.

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-X592 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior CD sound quality.

    Supreme Setting: When MP3, WMA or AAC 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.

    AUX Input: The KDC-X592 is equipped with a rear panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input for connecting external portable audio devices such as an MP3 player or Tape walkman.

    Auxiliary Display: The KDC-X592 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.

    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.

    3-Sets of Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X592 features front, rear and subwoofer preamp outputs. The Subwoofer preamp output can be turned On or Off and adjusted independently. 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 all fixed to the rear chassis of the headunit.

    Built-In Amp Setting: If you are using external amplifiers to power all of your vehicle's speakers you can turn the unit's built-in amplifier off to enhance the player's preamp output quality.

    Front and Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X592 features an independent High-Pass Crossover for the front and rear channels when your front and rear speakers are connected to 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 preamp-output when the Subwoofer Output is "on". 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: Once you have switched the Subwoofer Output to "on" 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).

    Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 3-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 Balance, Fader, Bass, Mid, Treble and preset EQ settings.

    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).

    Note: The Speaker Setting affects the bass, midrange, and treble values of the System Q presets. The speaker setting should be selected first.

    System Q Sound Control: Six 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). The 6 preset curves with their respective bass, mid, and treble levels are as follows:

    • Rock: Bass +6, Mid +1, Treble +2
    • Pops: Bass +3, Mid +2, Treble +6
    • Easy: Bass +6, Mid 0, Treble -2
    • Top 40: Bass +3, Mid +1, Treble +8
    • Jazz: Bass +5, Mid +2, Treble +2
    • Natural (Flat):Bass 0, Mid 0, Treble 0

    Note: The above values reflect the System Q settings when the Speaker Setting function is turned off. When the Speaker Settings are selected, the System Q level settings are different.

    Detail Audio Control: The KDC-X592 features independent Bass, Treble and Midrange control. 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

    Loudness: The Loudness feature compensates for low and high tones during low volume. You can turn this feature either on or off. Only the low tone is compensated for when the tuner is selected as a source.

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

    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.

    Text/Title Scroll: The KDC-X592 will display CD text, Audio file text and Satellite radio text. You can turn the scrolling feature "on" to scroll longer titles across the screen.

    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-X592 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.

    CR-2 Advanced Tuner: This unit uses Kenwood's CR-2 Advanced tuner for clear radio reception. You can choose one of three tuning modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.

    Auto Memory Tuning: Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling. The tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank. You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets.

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

    Tel Mute: The KDC-X592 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.

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

    FL Display: The unit features a large black and white Fluorescent full-dot display with spectrum analyzer.

    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.

    Remote Control: The KDC-X592 comes with the RC-547 IR wireless remote control with a full numeric keypad. The remote will control Audio, CD, Tuner, Satellite Radio and Dual Zone functions. It is powered by 2 "AA" batteries (supplied). The dimensions of the remote are: L = 5.362", W = 1.962", D = 1.115".

    Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on the headunit as well as the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one touch of the button.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The KDC-X592 has a "steering remote control" lead on the back panel. When used with the optional SWI-JACK interface (item number 127SWIJACK), you can retain the use of your steering wheel and/or rear seat radio controls when replacing the factory head unit in select vehicles. The SWI-JACK is compatible with over 95% of the vehicles made from 1986 to the present. Compatible vehicles include many Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Please consult "What Fits My Car" to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    External Device Controls

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-X592 features a rear panel 2.0 USB type-A port that is attached to the headunit's chassis by a 39" pigtail. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class device. 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-X592 is powered on. The KDC-X592 comes supplied with a mounting bracket for the unit's USB port so you permanently mount it in your vehicle. The unit also comes supplied with a USB cap to place over the USB when not in use.

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

    iPod High-Speed Connection: The KDC-X592's rear-panel USB port also acts as an iPod high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113iP101, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that came with your iPod. Using either cable allows you to connect, control, and charge the following iPod models with the KDC-X592: iPod nano (1st/2nd/3rd/4th generation), iPod video (5th generation), iPod classic (80/120/160GB), iPod touch (1st/2nd generation), and iPhone/iPhone3G. You should update your iPod with the latest software version from Apple's website before connecting it to the KDC-X592. When your iPod is connected to the KDC-X592 the iPod's controls will be disabled and you will need to operate your iPod through the KDC-X592 controls.

    Note: All other iPod models not mentioned above are not compatible with this unit.

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

    • XM Satellite Radio: To receive XM Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional CNP2000UC XM Mini Tuner and the CNP-KEN1 Kenwood adapter cable (package item number 700XMKEN1).
    • SIRIUS Satellite Radio: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SIRIUS Universal Vehicle Tuner (607SCC1) and the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface (113KCASR50).
    • Auxiliary Input: A portable satellite radio receiver, such as the Delphi SkyFi3 or SIRIUS Sportster, can be connected to the head unit via the auxiliary input or a Kenwood Auxiliary Input Adapter, such as the CA-C1AX, CA-C2AX, or KCA-S220A.

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

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

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

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

    Rear Auxiliary Input "Ready": The unit already features a rear 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 (item 113CAC1AX) 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 (item 113KCAS220) 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 Ext, TV, DVD, Video, Game, or Portable.

    Software

    Supplied Software: The KDC-X592 comes supplied with the Kenwood Music Editor Version 2.0.0 CD-ROM. Kenwood Music Editor is a desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer music files to your USB devices from your PC.

    System Requirements:

    • Operating System:
      • Microsoft Windows XP Professional/Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit version)
      • Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit version)
        • Operation on Windows XP/Vista (64-bit version) is not guaranteed.
    • Other Programs:
      • Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0
      • QuickTime 7 or later (when using AAC file)
      • Windows Media Player 10/11
    • Hardware:
      • Hard disk with at least 100MB free space
      • CD-ROM drive (CD-R/RW drive when writing to CD-R/RW)
      • USB interface (2.0/1.1)
     
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    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    41 people say:

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    2 out of 5

    Good sound, bad controls.

    Written By Tillman, Springfield, OR on Saturday, July 25, 2009
     
    I installed this head unit into my 1997 Toyota 4Runner. It sounds good but the rotary joystick knobs are irritating. Where the stereo is positioned in my vehicle it makes it difficult to click directly in on the button/joystick/spinning knob without changing your selection in the process. I was also disappointed that the right-hand knob cannot be turned to change the radio stations, instead you push it left or right. I felt this was awkward given how well it could have worked. Overall I'm very happy with the sound, there are a good amount of sound and display tweaks to customize it to your tastes, but I personally find the knobs annoying and have ordered a JVC to replace this unit.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By whinkley9, Grants Pass, OR on Saturday, February 28, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Considering the last stereo I had in a car was just a little Kenwood, this is a huge improvement and I only paid $40 more. Its not the perfect stereo, but its good, especially for those of us that use digital media over CDs.

    Pros

    -Sounds awesome, even with stock speakers in my 96 Explorer it sounds better than my last unit did with aftermarket speakers.

    -Good display, good size, not too big or small, easy to read and see and its dot matrix.

    -Easy to use with iPod. Ive seen a lot of reviews here saying the interface is horrible, well its not. It works a lot like the iPod does and its easy to switch sources.

    -Expansion; 3 sets of preamp outputs and expandable with bluetooth, sirius/xm, and HD radio, and of course the USB hookup and the AUX input, pretty much all the expandability you could want.

    Cons

    -Takes a long time to scroll through playlists and such, and when youre dealing with a totally full 30 gig or more ipod, that takes a while, and it doesnt remember where you left off sometimes.

    -Center button on the control nob is touchy, takes a while getting used to how to press it without turning the thing.

    -Sometimes takes a while to load, but not too bad.

    Overall good unit for any ipod user.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Awesome Radio In My Tahoe

    Written By Big Mike, Tallahassee, FL. on Thursday, February 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Outstanding radio, super features, easy install, great sound, along with 5-star Crutchfield support.

    "WOW"
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    4 out of 5

    Satisfied...

    Written By bowman, Little Rock, AR on Thursday, February 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I was not sure about getting this unit, because so many people found it hard to use. It IS hard to use - if you don't have opposable thumbs. Great sounding unit, very clean. No need for an equalizer since it's quite adjustable. Had to check the manual for more the radio for more than the basic radio operations. This thing is highly recommended. I wanted a unit that put out a good amount of power since I am running a 3.5" in the front due to stock limitations. Dropping a sub in later when I find something cheap, used. (Pre-wired during install....) This unit will do better than most to keep up with sub without exterior power. If it's on sale, get it. For the price=great.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By Mr. Martinez, Palm Springs, CA on Saturday, February 21, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a really nice stereo really easy to work interface, except that finding music in ipod mode takes to long it doesnt have the speed of the ipod search wheel all in all its a really good buy
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By Scott, Greenville, SC on Friday, February 20, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I will never use any other brand than Kenwood for my head unit, and this model proves my point. 4V pre-outs, mosfet power, easy controls, great looks, Kenwood is getting too good at this. Highly recommended!!
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    4 out of 5

    Too Bad they are sold out

    Written By Flyindog, , New Jersey on Tuesday, February 17, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I Like this head unit a lot! VERY easy install..... Thanks Crutchfield! After hooking up the wires inside on my table, I was up and running in about 10 min! (30-40 min total time) IPOD control very good, but could use a bit of fine tuning. Needs a way to jump to a different letter quickly. USB control not as good as I had hoped for, and having problems with larger hard drives. Fortunately my 6GB flash drive works fine and will hold 1500 songs.
    Almost all the "control" issues can be over come by useing the remote rather than the knobs. They are touchy, but not as bad as some say.

    ALL IN ALL A GREAT LITTLE UNIT FOR THE PRICE
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    5 so far

    Written By Brad, Salem, UT on Tuesday, February 17, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I installed this into my 1985 Jeep Wagoneer (they said it wouldn't fit) and it fit like a glove. Almost perfect installation using most of the original connectors and mounting plate on the old radio.

    I have own mostly Kenwood radios and this one is no exception. The display is bright and is alot like the X991. It is fairly easy to navigate (once you get used to it), the display options are nice (some are really nice if you are blind, as they are really big!), it sounds great (even on a pair of 5.25 inch pioneer speakers), and since I don't ever plan on buying an IPOD I won't be using this part, but I do use 4 and 8 gb thumb drives which work perfectly with this Kenwood (and many other Kenwood models).

    I have not yet used the CD Player, but hey I've been using Kenwood for over 15 years and they haven't failed me yet!

    The remote comes in handy too. And an optional connection to a steering wheel remote is a nice option. No color, just white display (I miss the color) but is readable in light conditions. No radio text :(
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    5 out of 5

    best stereo for the price

    Written By mike, phoenix, AZ on Monday, February 16, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    For the price, with every thing needed to install it, it is a steal. it works perfect havn't had any issues. I like the lights and menu contols are easy to learn.

    the only thing i didn't like was that scrolling down the list of songs on my ipod takes foever. i have hundreds of songs and artists and it needs a feature where you can hold down the knob to "fast forward" through the lists.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By Anthony, Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, February 14, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great deck for the price! I love the Ipod controls. The fact that the kit and wiring harness came with the deck, makes it a great buy. The master sheet installation instructions were right on the money, took less than an hour to install. Thanks Crutchfield.
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    3 out of 5

    Great sound, easy to install, difficult to operate

    Written By Dscotttammid, Nacogdoches, TX on Wednesday, February 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great sound, easy to install, difficult to operate.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    GREAT STUFF

    Written By EDWARD, Ohio, USA on Wednesday, February 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is just a great unit, Looks good, Sounds good. With you I-Pod USB cord plug it in and play, control it from the head unit. Tons of features. I have owned Pioneer Premier and Sony ES. This unit In My Opinion is the Best By Far. Thanks Again to Crutchfield, Ed
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By Steve, Upland, CA on Tuesday, February 10, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I like the look of the stereo a lot. The iPod connection is great and doesn't sound lossy. I wish there were more variety of the equalizers however. Also when i started to use the knobs i wish that they were smoother to turn when i try to scan my ipod artists (it takes forever since i have a lot of artists). As well with the knobs its a little annoying pushing in to select something. You have to almost get a perfect push in haha. Overall i like it since you can always play around with it.
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    5 out of 5

    Awesome!

    Written By Nathan, Twin Cities, MN on Saturday, February 07, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this to replace the Mach 460 changer in my '02 Mustang. The only negative I can think of is it's a little hard to navigate. The sound quality totally makes up for it though. Definitely would by again, especially from Crutchfield, with their awesome customer service!!
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    4 out of 5

    Excellent except.......

    Written By Robert, Alden NY on Wednesday, February 04, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Love the display and sounds great but, for this price The Ipod controls could have been a bit more friendlly to find artists you have to first use the toggle switch and turn off random shuffle, then use the touchy toggle once again turning and turning to your selection. in this day and age I should be able to type a letter search or at least scroll backwards to start at the letter z which you can not. Excellent sound and display, terrible IPOD control
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Great Product and service

    Written By crew_cali, Fort Bragg N.C. on Monday, February 02, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    It was a little confusing at first as far as controls but once you start to play with it all becomes simplier. I even have my wife using it and she is not very strong at electronics. Great Price and the sound is amazing. I've hooked up my Ipod to it and the music lasts forever.
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By Will, Oxford, MS on Monday, January 26, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a great product. Crystal clear output and powerful enough to force a new speaker purchase in most cases. Installation was a breeze. The control knobs take a little getting used to but the unit has a remote control and once you have a feel for when to press and/or turn the knobs using the face controls is a snap. Great price on a quality unit.

    Deducted one star because there is no reason that the control knobs couldnt be designed to be a little more user friendly.
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By Pat, NC on Friday, January 23, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit would be perfect if the controls were not so hard to operate when driving. Select button (push in) is to hard to control when driving and trying to select a track or pause always end up jumping to something else. Otherwise unit is excellent, USB works fine an sound quality is great. Needs some pre-set buttons for radio.
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    1 out of 5

    Terrible

    Written By Eric, Atlanta, GA on Friday, January 23, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a really poorly designed unit. I'm not sure how anyone can think it is good. First, the navigation is terrible and the two big knobs have a poor feel to them. secondly, it's impossible to figure out to do simple things like seek a radio station or preset the stations that you want. The instructions were written by an asian guy who didn't know how to translate well and they're terrible to read. but MOST important is the iphone does NOT work well with this unit. every time I connect the phone it says that the phone is not compatible (even though Crutchfields said it was) and it asks if I want to go to airport mode. I have to click this every time I connect.
    4 out of 9 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Cruthfield is the best!!

    Written By Joshua, Indiana on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
     
    This CD player is great. Has clear sound with a good equilizer. and really easy to use. Also ipod control is nice and easy to use. No additional ipod cords needed, just a USB cord. Plus there is an auxilary input. Another good feature is the anti-theft password. I searched for this CD player at many websites and stores but nobody could beat the Crutchfield price! Also I love how Crutchfield supplies everything you need to hook up your new CD player for free! I will be a returning customer for life!
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    4 out of 5

    Great Radio, Small Inconveniences

    Written By RichJ, Reading, PA on Monday, January 19, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Overall this has turned out to be a great radio. I bought the thing to replace the factory CD/6 Disc Changer that my Focus has had for the last 7 years. Mainly I wanted the iPod jack. After trying several radios that could not connect to the newest iPod Nanos, I found this one, and it works with no problems.
    The sound out of the radio is certainly an improvement over the stock radio, but I wouldn't say hugely. I have after market speakers, however an amp would help out a lot. The radio itself is not difficult to run, at least after reading the instruction manual, but I have to say I enjoy the setup of it. It looks clean, and once you know what you are doing it is perfectly fine. I also like that you can turn off most of the lights around it, which was a big problem with me on some of the radios. Another positive is that you can connect the iPod through a dedicated jack, and there is an AUX jack as well.
    There are some small things. For example, while you can change the display a number of different ways, it is more limited than I thought it would be. It will only let you have a few different variations. I would also like it to dim better when the headlights are on, I don't understand why all radios have that blue light around the knobs.
    On the whole I rate this radio a 4 since it isn't perfect, but for my everyday use I love the thing.
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    5 out of 5

    amazing

    Written By DH, Texas on Friday, January 16, 2009
     
    this is definately the best headunit i've ever owned. the picture really doesnt cut it for how good this thing looks. the sound quality is the best and once you play with it for a little bit its fairly easy to get around.
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    3 out of 5

    EASY ON THE EYES BUT TOO COMPLICATED

    Written By JAMES, FT. WORTH, TX on Sunday, December 14, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I'M A MECHANIC AND I HAVE BEEN PUTTING STEREOS AND SYSTEMS IN FOR YEARS, I LIKED THE LOOKS OF IT BUT WHEN IT GOT DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY EVEN PRESETTING THE RADIO STATIONS WAS A PAIN. THE CONTROL KNOB WAS EASY TO GET USED TO, BUT IF YOU DIDNT PRESS IT RIGHT, IT WOULD TAKE YOU SOME PLACE ELSE. AND THE GRAPHICS WERE COOL AT FIRST, BUT IT GOT OLD AFTER A WHILE HAVING TO WAIT TIL THE SHOW WAS OVER. BUT I WAS IMPRESSED WITH ALL THE NEAT THINGS IT IS ABLE TO DO.

    FOR ALL OF YOU WHO LIKE TO DO THINGS THE COMPLICATED WAY, I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS.

    BUT IF YOU WANT TO KEEP IT SIMPLE I SAY NAY NAY.
    4 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    I love this stereo!!!

    Written By John, Albuquerque, NM on Monday, December 08, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I just installed this stereo into my '99 Explorer and am absolutely blown away by it. It was very easy to install (thank you so much, Crutchfield) and very easy to set up (thank you, Kenwood). The sound quality is excellent and totally surpassed my expectations. I never knew my old factory speakers could thump like that! I actually haven't turned the volume knob all the way up in fear that it will blow my factory speakers out before I can afford to get some nice speakers to match it....this stereo is LOUD!!! Heavy metal sounds absolutely awesome on this system. Don't think I'm gonna need to buy an amp any more. This stereo is plenty loud and clear as a bell. Beautiful display colors and lots of neat display graphics too. I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Fantastic for the money

    Written By TERRIE, Maryland on Thursday, December 04, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I got this unit from crutchfield - great price

    On to the unit.

    -Looks good

    -Sounds good

    -usb function is good - There is a noticeable difference in speed from drive to drive, though. One of my thumb drives is lightning fast, so I use that. I do not know if this issue lies in the kenwood or the drives. It is safe to say that it reads very fast with some drives.

    -It seems alot of people have trouble controlling the unit, I thought it was fairly straightforward - I have had an eclipse unit before that was far less intuitive.

    -Display is too bright at factory setting, but it can be turned down, so no worries there. you just have to have the unit in standby to get to that menu. (Same menu format as a pioneer that i had before - power off to get to clock and display settings)

    Seems to be made well, and there is no flip face to break. I have had trouble with them before.

    Remote is good. not just a brick with buttons - it is ergonomic.

    -Note that I have not tried the ipod function because i do not own an ipod.

    Overall -
    Definitely happy with the unit for the price.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By robert, sidney, oh on Thursday, November 13, 2008
     
    great sound and price! only problem is setting it up.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    3 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By Todd, Virginia on Tuesday, October 28, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Excellent sound quality, fantastic USB/iPod feature, and easy installation. However, the controls are difficult to use while driving. The right control knob feels flimsy and is difficult to depress to select or pause. Although, I do not regret purchasing the unit since it is far better than the factory unit.
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great USB functionality

    Written By MORG, Gaithersburg, MD on Wednesday, October 08, 2008
     
    This HU has many great points. First is the affordable price. Second is the
    sleek looks. And lastly is the standard 3 pre outs.

    I have a 2 GB thumb drive hooked up to it and it accesses my music FAST.
    The only problem, as someone else pointed out, is that is you have 1 big
    folder, it can take a while to scroll through the A artists all the way down to
    the S artists. Also there is no around the corner feature, so likewise, there
    is no quick way to scroll from the Z artists back to the A artists.

    However, the scroll knob is extremely easy to use and does scroll through
    your many artists/songs very fast. There is no pesky "banking" feature as
    many new Alpine units use.

    The 4 volt power pre outs is the main reason I bought this unit over the
    standard Kenwood version of the same unit, which has 2.5 volt preouts.
    Unless you care for this difference, you should save a few bucks and get
    the regular Kenwood version. The other SQ differences are minor.

    I wished Kenwood offered a different color instead of Blue, because my
    cars interior lights are orange/ampber. But the unit does look slick. Every
    girl in my car so far immediately comments on how they like the "blue".

    One last thing about this unit is it has the CD slot always exposed, which I
    think is a good thing since I always worry about sliding/motorized face
    plates malfunctioning later on down the road.
    7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Could be better, could be worse

    Written By Dean, South Central PA on Sunday, September 14, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I installed this unit in my brother's jeep. I have the older x591 in mine. I can say the differences are striking.

    What I like: I like the looks of this one over the older unit. Cleaner, not as "busy" and more balanced. Once you figure out the organization, the dials are much easier to use than the older dial/stick combo of the older unit.

    What I don't like: I don't like the new user interface. Very similar to the old one, but now without the 6 "hot buttons" across the bottom, it's very hard to switch back and forth between functions like "shuffle" and setting presents (the only real ones I use). Navigation between sources, presets and stations is the same for me since I always use the remote.

    I only ever listen to Sirius, CDs and my USB drive (all of which work nicely aside from the above mentioned nitpicks about setting presets and suffle mode). I am sure my bro will have a fre comments about the iPod controls once he gets back to the states.

    I would recommend this unit to anyone looking for a "basic" unit that has some umph to it (also, if you do plan to expland the system, it does have 3 presets, and built in features to make that a nice deal).
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Realistic1

    Written By David, San Jose, CA on Tuesday, September 02, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I really hate it. I have never seen such unnecessary complication in the basic interface. Truly an over-engineered junker. Nearly all functionality of the interface is combative of convenience. Ironically it was their plan to simplify with two dials. They failed. Easy enough to install with a few guesses on wiring. I am exchanging for something else.

    Note: USB interface means cut a hole somewhere in your dash for the cable or run it into your glove box.
    4 out of 13 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Gadget-filled radio

    Written By lektric dan, Norman, OK on Wednesday, July 16, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this unit to replace an aged Kenwood KRC-408 AM/FM/cassette. The package from Crutchfield is great, including the harness necessary to hook up to the existing car wiring. I didn't need this as the new unit plugged right in place of the old one, including the Kenwood CD changer, but it's great to know they include the harness.

    I bought this unit because it has MP3 capability from CD and USB, and has an AUX input to hook up to other devices (MP3 players, sat radios, etc.)

    The unit has many features adjusted by the front panel knobs. And this is the unit's main weakness. It's very difficult to make adjustments while driving. Almost every time I try to adjust the volume, I end up adjusting the subwoofer output instead because I pushed in on the volume control knob accidently. Adjusting/choosing a radio station is difficult as well because the control knob must be pushed straight in without the slightest sideways motion. This is almost impossible while driving down a road that has any bumps. There are no other knobs or ways to change the channels or select a track other than by using the AUD and Control knobs. It takes a lot of attention from driving to make sure you're operating the unit correctly. The manual is hard to understand and poorly written with several mistakes.
    11 out of 12 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Good headunit for the money

    Written By Steven, DFW TX on Monday, July 14, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I don't use an IPOD, just USB sticks and CDs.

    PROS: Setup was relatively painless. MP3s sound better than most other units. The menu-driven interface is easy and fast to navigate. It fast-forwards quickly. The remote is a good size and easy to operate without looking at it. The non-fold-down face saves wear and tear when you want to switch cds often and doesn't detract from screen real estate. It looks clean and simple. The radio tuner locks in weaker stations nicely and the preset scrolling is fast and easy. The knobs are easy to work and don't feel cheap or "clicky". Scrolling through filenames is pretty fast. When you insert an MP3 cd, it only takes a few seconds to read it and start playing. The USB dongle is long enough to put anywhere. The signal-to-noise and output voltage is hard to beat in this price range.

    CONS: No radio preset scrolling/picking from the remote. No fast filename scrolling from the remote. No fast-forward/rewind from the remote. Limited visibility in direct sunlight. The dimmer doesn't work like OEM, there are only 2 settings: very bright and just a bit less bright (terrible for long night trips). If you turn the volume knob fast, it doesn't work too well.

    Overall I'm happy with the headunit. It sounds good and is fast and easy to use. Most of the cons listed are probably vehicle specific: mine is high in the dash where it gets more sunlight and is harder for me to reach, which is why the remote is lacking to me.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    just what i needed

    Written By cheta, E. oregon on Tuesday, July 01, 2008
     
    It took me along time to find a new HU for my Jeep Liberty. I compaired so
    many different HU's. The kenwood is the best choice for what i needed. It
    has all the features that i was looking for. the install was simple. For now i
    am using my stock speakers and boy does this HU put out some power. As
    for the knob controls that people are saying are kind of difficult to use,
    there not. If you read the instructions and follow the directions for the
    controls, its pretty simple. love the deck, my buddy is going to get the same
    deck and put it in his car. If you want a deck that looks good then you cant
    go wrong with the kenwood...
    4 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Just Okay

    Written By Tony, Chicago on Tuesday, June 24, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Bought this unit to replace my MP7028 that I had stolen from me. First I will say that the sound quality and built in features are 2nd 2 none. I like the display and even the knobs that people are complaining about are okay. My problem is with the Ipod functions. As you switch to Ipod (USB) mode it resumes playing the last song that was played. No problem. BUT...You cannot switch playlists with the remote without FIRST scrolling with the knob on the unit itself. Very un-user friendly!

    All in all, it's just okay. Kenwood has really stepped up it the last year with all of their products. I'm not sure why they chose to "shortcut" the ease of use with this model. Buy the X692 instead
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592

    Written By Mark, Springfield, MO on Wednesday, June 11, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have owned my KDC-X592 for a week now and as the learning curve arcs
    in my favor I really like this unit. As previously reviewed the control knob is
    difficult to use in regard to the up/down/side to side/in especially in my 3/4
    ton truck but I am becoming skilled with the knob so to me this is a non
    issue.

    As I get familiar with the interface I like this unit more and more, the sound
    is clean and powerful into my off-board amps.

    Absolutely no regrets with this unit!
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Not the best iPod solution

    Written By Coleman, Stone Mountain GA on Friday, June 06, 2008
     
    I bought this from Crutchfield but returned it as the iPod control is very clumsy. It is advertised to provide full iPod control via the hardwired USB support but I as having difficulty figuring out how to work it. I called Crutchfield for some clarity on it and was ultimately refered to Kenwood and their tech support was not very good. This is not a slam on Crutchfield at all because even the Kenwood guy didn't know what was going on!

    Any standard iPod cable will work if you know how to operate the unit because I later stopped the Kenwood outlet near my home and found a guy to show me how to work it but as I said it was just way too clumsy.

    Also the unit is overly flashy. There are too many animations and flashing lights and while I can see this being appealing in a car geared more to a younger, hipper demographic it really looked out of place in my Jeep Wrangler.

    As a side note, I exchanged this for a Sony unit with built in iPod contol and it works just like an iPod with a click wheel and I am very pleased with that unit and it was $40.00 cheaper.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Remarkable sound, a few minor flaws

    Written By Threecurl, McKinney, TX on Monday, May 12, 2008
     
    I was about to pull
    the trigger on a
    Pioneer DEH-5000UB
    for my 2007 Toyota
    Tundra. I chose the
    Kenwood because of
    its far superior
    power (22 watts per
    channel versus 14 on
    the Pioneer),
    greater sound
    control adjustments,
    easier to navigate
    menu system and
    better tactile feel
    on the knobs.

    The Kenwood offers a
    great selection of
    sound adjustments
    and I have mine
    dialed in where I am
    getting so much bass
    that it sounds like
    I put in a small
    sub. The improvement
    on the factory
    speakers is
    astounding.

    The Kenwood works
    very well with my
    MP3, but
    be aware that if you
    use a
    subscription-based
    music service such
    as Napster or
    Rhapsody, the
    subscription music
    files you download
    from those services
    will NOT work with
    this head unit.

    The startup graphics
    are a total
    non-issue. It takes
    about three seconds
    from turning the key
    to the time the unit
    is fired up and
    ready to rock. You
    won't be able to get
    your sunglasses on
    in the amount of
    time it takes for
    the radio to fully
    boot up.

    Of all the units I
    tested, this
    Kenwood's sound is
    as good as it gets
    at this price point
    and is as good as
    many head units
    costing $100 more.
    It's a fantastic
    product and I am
    very, very happy
    with my purchase.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    Elegant yet aggravating

    Written By David, Port St. Lucie, Florida on Wednesday, April 09, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit looks really nice, and the symmetrical knobs are a sweet touch, but it is Extremely difficult to push the knob straight in, which is the 'Enter' or 'OK' on this unit. 9 times out of 10, your attempt to push the knob 'straight in' results in the unit treating it as a left, right, up, or downward push... Very frustrating.... Couldn't they have slid in a little 'OK' button somewhere on the faceplate??? It can be very dangerous when you're driving and trying to select a song at the same time, and the darn thing goes up a folder instead of playing the song you wanted. You have to devote way too much concentration to getting that knob to go straight in. Had I actually tested this unit in a store first, I would not have bought it. The cheesy graphics are unnecessary and take much too long to get 'out of the way' so you can continue to operate the thing. ....Boo.... OK OK on a positive note, the iPod interface is promising, and the sound quality is top-notch, which is expected with Kenwood, as I have had older models and they all rock out pretty wicked-like :) I am sure good ol' Kenwood will bring out a follow-up model soon, and hopefully they'll fix those useless knobs. Oh and the display is NOT black and white, it's purple and white. What is supposed to be a black background is that 'electronic' dark purple looking stuff. ...Boo...
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    great concept, no low end

    Written By Marc, Lafayette, LA on Saturday, April 05, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I agree with the first reviewer in that the animations were too time-consuming, the multi-function control was difficult to accurately use, and many of their other points.

    More important to me, though, was the sound quality. I have a 2001 toyota camry, and the stock stereo had fuller sound. I say fuller, because the aftermarket kenwood was cleaner (as to be expected with any aftermarket receiver). However, I lost nearly ALL bass. I had infinity references all around that I was using with the stock head unit. With the kenwood I was blown away by the treble, but absolutely disgusted with the bass and lower mids. If you have subs, then by all means buy this. However, other buyers beware of the sound range.

    On a good note, it is wonderful to have full ipod control without buying any extra controllers or cables (yes, you can use the cable that came with your ipod). It is easy to use, with the exception of pressing in the multi-function button.

    Also, it has a sleek, simple look in a market that increasingly clutters faceplates with buttons and decals. I recommend this receiver to those putting in a whole system.
    2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    simplicity has its price

    Written By william, nyc on Thursday, April 03, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    As the owner of the typical 100 or so micro-scopic button radios I was happy to see this new Kenwood. I was tired of always trying to hit the correct button and almost always missing.



    This new Kenwood unit had the promise of simplicity and looks. With my recent purchase of a new ipod touch, I got the Kenwood.



    Installation - The Crutchfield kit worked perfectly. Some soldering and heat shrink was all it took. The DIN style is a snap (literally) to install.


    Looks - Clean simple lines, beautiful "piano black" finish. The only problem is that it makes the rest of my dash look bland which is a sort of matt-black. The lighting on the unit is beautiful, but a user selectable color change to orange (would have matched my cars gauge back lights) would make it perfect. The unit also works with my night light dimmer so its not overly bright in the dark.


    Connectivity - The unit comes with a usb-2 connector and hard mount. You would need to cut a hole in the dash. I opted just to snake the cable to my glove box. You will need to either get a second ipod cable or use the one that came with your ipod. So I drop the ipod touch in there and the Kenwood recognized it fine.


    Functionality - with the two simple knobs and only two buttons you would think "how do you get all this to work properly"? Well it works but is confusing, expecially at first. Not that my old unit wasn't confusing though - so time will tell. As the earlier reviewer stated it the right knob rotates, moves up,down,left, right and pushes in. Several times I have pushed it in to make a selection only to find that the unit mistakes it for a left. Practice by me seems in order....


    Display - Yea the disco graphics are stupid looking. You can customize the display to show time, station, ipod song, etc so I'll tolerate a glitzy startup. There is a slight delay when scrolling ipod songs but its not a real issue.



    Overall - I'll tolerate the minor flaws with this unit to gain the simple controls and clean look. If i-tunes songs were 10cents a piece then life would be perfect.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Imperfect

    Written By cbk, San Francisco, CA on Wednesday, March 26, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Rarely is a car
    stereo designed to
    look good. They
    usually look like
    they are designed
    for teenagers, with
    flashing lights,
    crazy animations,
    and oddly placed
    buttons. So this
    Kenwood unit seemed
    like a promise to
    return to the ideals
    of good design, and
    away from the
    cheap looking
    aesthetics.



    This unit looks
    fabulous, and mostly
    dignified in our
    2000 Miata. But
    it's a long way from
    perfection. Funny
    that the Kenwood
    website features a
    sexy British couple
    zipping around in a
    topless roadster
    enjoying the sounds
    on their Kenwood.
    No mention that a
    splash of that sun
    renders the display
    completely
    unreadable, as it
    does in our Miata.

    Kenwood still
    couldn't resist the
    idea of adding a
    little animation to
    the volume control
    and select control
    knobs. The
    animation is not
    bad, really. Mostly
    tastefull, but a
    little cheap looking
    because the display
    is not really that
    high of a
    resolution. Too bad
    there is no way to
    turn off the
    animation entirely.
    I find myself
    waiting too long for
    the animation to
    complete it's little
    dog and pony show
    before I can get to
    the matter at hand,
    like selecting a
    radio station
    preset, or looking
    at the CD track
    list.



    Were you planning on
    using a USB drive
    instead of an Ipod?
    Great
    implementation,
    except you won't
    find a way to
    randomize your
    entire collection.
    Random is limited to
    a single folder at a
    time for USB drives.



    Ipod implementation
    via USB is quite
    good, and very fast,
    but I am surprised
    that one must turn
    off the random
    feature prior to
    moving to another
    Ipod folder.
    However, with an
    Ipod you can
    randomize your
    entire collection.



    Truly, the user
    interface is better
    than most
    electronics these
    days, but it is very
    easy to think of
    ways they could have
    made it even better,
    with only different
    programming.
    Setting radio
    presets involves a
    lot of rigmarole,
    and titles of menu
    items could have
    been thought
    through.



    The multi-control
    wheel that is the
    revelation that
    allows the unit to
    look so clean is
    also hard to use.
    It requires too much
    concentration to
    push the control
    straight in without
    accidentally pushing
    it to one of the
    four sides.



    It seems like they
    did not test the
    interface with real
    people, and instead
    let the engineers
    dictate the design.
    Car stereo
    engineers don't
    really know how to
    design user
    interfaces, I guess.



    Oh well, I'm not
    about to return it
    or anything rash.
    It sounds great, and
    I doubt anything
    short of a $$$ unit
    would do much
    better. I tried
    some of the Alpine
    stereos at a store,
    and they seemed to
    have a better
    interface, but not
    the clean look of
    this Kenwood. This
    Kenwood certainly
    beats anything at
    its price, but only
    because the
    competition isn't
    really trying.

    38 out of 44 people found this helpful
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