Kenwood Excelon quality

If you're into sound quality in your car, Kenwood Excelon receivers feature hot 4-volt preamp outputs for your amps and an impressive array of sound-sculpting tools. This Kenwood Excelon KDC-X598 CD receiver uses built-in Bluetooth® to bring hands-free calling and audio streaming to your vehicle. And Kenwood backs up this versatile receiver with a 2-year warranty.

Bluetooth lets you concentrate on driving

Bluetooth gives you hands-free calling convenience, plus a wireless connection to the songs stored on your compatible music player. If you're an Android® user who's grown tired of your old radio's complicated Bluetooth pairing issues, this receiver's simple, secure pairing (SSP) technology will make your life easier. If you're an iPhone® aficionado, the KDC-X598 gives you full Siri Eyes Free control with compatible iPhones.

Once you're paired up, you can talk hands-free by simply touching the dedicated "phone" button when a call comes in. And the receiver can alert you when you receive text messages, which you can read when you're out of the car. You can install the external Bluetooth microphone in a good spot inside your vehicle for superior hands-free communication.

Kenwood KDC-X598 CD receiver

Stream radio from your phone

If you listen to Internet radio on your iPhone or Android, you can use this receiver's controls to play music from Pandora® and iHeartRadio® Internet radio. You can scroll through your stations, bookmark songs, and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down right from the receiver's face. And speaking of radio, you can add a satellite radio tuner to this Kenwood, and get into the in-depth music and entertainment programming provided by SiriusXM.

The sound and the display

The KDC-X598's 3-band parametric equalizer lets you adjust the centerpoint of your treble, midrange, and bass controls. You can use the low-pass frequency filter and phase control to tune the bass going to your subwoofer. You can also adjust the variable-color display so this Kenwood looks right at home in your dash, while dust covers protect the CD slot, aux input, and USB port.

One versatile USB port

The receiver's front-panel USB port allows you to access and control the music stored on your iPhone or Android phone. And the port can handle MP3, WMA, or WAV music files on a thumb drive too. Here's a nice feature from Kenwood — Drive Change allows you to connect a memory card reader or USB hub to the Kenwood's USB input and select music from up to five memory cards or USB flash drives.

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 Excelon stereo. Connect a few wires, program the adapter for your car and this Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.

Bluetooth note: Use of this receiver's Bluetooth features will depend upon your phone's Bluetooth capabilities. Learn more in our article explaining Bluetooth profiles.

iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • one-button Bluetooth pairing with iPhone
    • Pandora and iHeartRadio Internet radio control with iPhone and Android
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • detachable face with 13-digit display and variable-color illumination
    • Siri Eyes Free control with select iPhones
    • wireless remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q-EX (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer)
    • speaker size settings
    • Sound Reconstruction improves the sound of compressed audio files
    • 3-level bass boost
    • high- and low-pass filters; subwoofer level and phase control
    Expandability:
    • built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control
    • Kenwood Music Control app enables playback of music files over USB from select Android devices
    • Drive Change lets you select audio from multiple flash drives or memory cards in a connected USB hub or memory card reader
    • compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB input
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

    Why replace your factory radio?

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

    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • CD receiver (10A fuse)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-406)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • Microphone with integrated bracket (attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle male 3.5mm connector)
    • 2 Removal tools
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Instruction Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Card

    Features and Specs

    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant No
    RMS Power Output 22 watts
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs No
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 4 volts
    Display Color Variable
    Key Button Color Variable
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    Expandability
    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input
    USB Input Front
    Memory Card Slot USB
    Bluetooth Compatible Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready SiriusXM
    HD Radio No
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano 7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch 5/4/3/2/1
    Mini ---
    iPhone 6+/6/5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity 8.2 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Audio Section
    Built-in Bluetooth
    Disc & USB Playback
    iPod/Android/Aux Integration
    AM/FM+Internet+SiriusXM Radio
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X598 CD receiver is part of Kenwood's Excelon series line-up. It incorporates the latest technologies and delivers the highest sonic performance. From advanced audio tuning capabilities, crossover and equalizer system, high-voltage preouts (4V), plus a two-year warranty - Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with long-lasting dependability.

    16 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-X598 utilizes a 16-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-X598 is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KDC-X598 are as follows:

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

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs + Sub Control: The KDC-X598 features front, rear and subwoofer 4.0-volt preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The Kenwood KDC-X598 offers the following subwoofer controls, when you are using unit's subwoofer preamp output.

    • Low Pass Filter: The receiver features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the preamp-output, when the output is set to Subwoofer. You can select from 85 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, or off.
    • Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).
    • Subwoofer Level: Once the Subwoofer preamp output is activated, you can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level (-15 to +15) from the CD receiver.

    Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X598 features a High-Pass Crossover for the front & rear channels when your front & rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 100, 120, or 150 Hz. The "Through" selection is a full-range setting.

    Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the head unit's audio settings according to the type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of 'SP-Off' (flat/off), '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).

    EQ Pro: The KDC-X598 is equipped with Kenwood's EQ Pro. The integrated equalizer offers 8 preset sound modes (Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, Drive EQ, or User) suitable for the music genre of your choice. The Drive EQ mode is an EQ preset that helps reduce road noise. The User mode allows you to manually adjust the head unit's 3-band parametric EQ (Frequency, Level, and Q-Factor).

    EQ Pro
    Frequency Level Q
    Bass 60, 80, 100, 200 Hz -8 to +8 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 2.0
    Midrange 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.5 kHz -8 to +8 0.75, 1.0, 1.25
    Treble 10.0, 12.5, 15.0, 17.5 kHz -8 to +8 Fixed
    Note: You can store EQ Pro bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (Disc, Tuner, Aux, USB, iPod, and Pandora/iHeart Radio).

    Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.

    • Bass Boost: The Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2, BB3, or Off).
    • Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes. There are 3 levels (LV1, LV2, or Off).
    • Sound Reconstruction: When MP3 or WMA files encoded at a low bit rate (less than 96 kbps, 44.1k, 48kHz) are played, the Sound Reconstruction 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 Sound Reconstruction is Off, the unit plays the original sound stored in the audio file.

    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 (-8 to +8 for Aux source).

    Key Beep: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology: The Kenwood KDC-X598 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth (ver. 2.1 + EDR) allowing you to make and receive phone calls wirelessly through the receiver; as well as stream music wirelessly from your smartphone to the head unit. In order to use Bluetooth wireless technology, your phone must also be Bluetooth compatible and be able to interpret certain profiles. This unit is compatible with the following Bluetooth Profiles:

    • Hands-Free Communication: HFP 1.5 (Hands Free Profile), OPP 1.1 (Object Push Profile), PBAB 1.0 (Phone Book Access Profile).
    • Audio Streaming: A2DP 1.2 (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP 1.3 (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).
    Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the Kenwood KDC-X598. Visit Kenwood's Support Site for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    Secure Simple Pairing (SSP) + Auto Pairing (for iPhone): With Secure Simple Pairing (SSP), you can easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone to the Kenwood KDC-X598 without having to enter pin codes or go through complicated settings. When a paired Bluetooth device is in close proximity to the receiver, the auto connection function automatically pairs the two units. You can pair up to five Bluetooth-enabled devices to the Kenwood head unit with a maximum of two Bluetooth phones and one Bluetooth audio player connected at one time (but only one can be used at a time). You can even pair your Apple iPhone by simply connecting it to the Kenwood head unit via USB and following a single prompt on the head unit's display.

    Hands-Free Communication w/ External Mic: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-X598 can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also includes an external microphone (featuring adjustable gain), so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your vehicles speakers. During a conversation, you can switch between the Private Mode (talking directly on your cell phone) and the Hands Free Mode.

    • Answering a Call: When a call comes in, a ring-tone will be heard through your vehicle's speaker and the caller's name or phone number will be displayed. You can answer the call from the head unit's front-panel controls, or setup the head unit to automatically answer the incoming call immediately or after 1-30 seconds. The KDC-X598 also supports the Call Waiting function, so you can answer another incoming call while suspending the current call you are on. Your compatible cell-phone must also support this feature.
    • Dialing a Number: Using the KDC-X598, you can dial a phone number in one of the following ways:
      • Entering a Phone Number: Allows you to directly dial a phone number up to 32 digits from the head unit's control knob or remote control.
      • Speed (Preset) Dialing: Allows you to register up to 6 phone numbers for quick dialing. The preset numbers can be accessed from the head unit's Control Knob.
      • Phone Book: You can dial by using the downloaded phone book. You can download phone book data from your cell phone to the KDC-X598. Up to 600 numbers can be stored for each registered cell phone. Each number can be up to 32 digits long and each name can be up to 50 characters long. Stored phone numbers can be categorized by General, Home, Office, Mobile, or Other. You can search each category of the phone book in alphabetical order.
      • Call History: The Call History is a list of calls that have originated from and were received by this unit that you can dial. You can select Outgoing, Incoming, or Missed calls.
      • Voice Dialing: If your mobile phone supports voice recognition, then you can dial out by voice command. Simply speak into the included microphone.

    Note: The external wired microphone offers improved audio quality versus an integrated microphone, so you can be heard easier over noisy traffic and road noise. You can adjust the volume level and noise cancellation of the microphone without affecting the other sources. The external microphone features an attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle 3.5mm connector which plugs into the mic input on the rear-panel of the head unit. The microphone offers an integrated mounting bracket which can be clipped to your vehicle's sun-visor or taped to your dash. The external microphone measures 0.525" (diameter) x 1.505" (depth).

    SMS: If your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone is compatible with SMS (Short Message Service), the Kenwood head unit will notify you when a message has been received. You must then use your phone to check the message. You cannot read, edit, or send a message through this unit.

    Wireless Audio Streaming (w/ Metadata Display): The Kenwood KDC-X598 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-X598 will be able to control basic playback functions of your Bluetooth device's stored music; such as Play/Pause, Skip Next/Previous, Fast Forward/Rewind and Random/Repeat. The head unit will also display your stored music's song information; such as Artist name and Song/Album title. The KDC-X598 also supports audio streaming of music apps downloaded on your smartphone with metadata display and limited control. Advanced music control of your music apps will still need be done via your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. When an incoming call or outgoing call is in progress from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, audio streaming will be paused so you can take your call. Once the call is finished, your streaming music will resume.

    Siri Eyes Free Control: When paired and connected with an iPhone with Siri via Bluetooth (not USB), the Kenwood KDC-BT858 has the ability to access Siri through its front-panel controls and external microphone. Simply press-and-hold down on the head unit's Answer Button to engage Siri and use the included microphone to communicate with Siri. Siri's voice will heard through your vehicle's speakers. All Siri functions including hands-free calling, music search, setting reminders, text-messaging, audible navigation, and more can be done through the KDC-X598 and its microphone. The head unit's display will only indicate hands-free calling and Bluetooth audio information (all other functions of Siri are only audible through the Kenwood KDC-X598; visual data will still need to be viewed from your iPhone device).

    Note: You can ask Siri to get directions to a destination and the turn-by-turn instructions will heard through your vehicle's speakers, while the on-screen map still displays on your iPhone with Siri. The head unit's audio is attenuated while Siri provides audible directions.

    Disc & USB Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs. The unit also supports playback of MP3/WMA music files loaded onto CD-R/RW discs. The CD slot is hidden behind a manual fold-up cover which blends in the front-panel of the head unit.

    Front-Panel USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-X598 features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover. The USB port enables connection of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device; such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives. The USB ports support audio playback and control of MP3/WMA/WAV audio files stored on these portable USB mass-storage class devices. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB ports (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

    Note: When a mass-storage class (MSC) compatible smartphone is connected to the head unit's USB input, the unit's Drive Change features lets you select its internal memory or external memory (such as an SD card) for stored music playback. The Drive Change feature also lets you switch between multiple memory cards (up to 5) in a USB multi-card reader or multiple USB thumbdrives (up to 5) connected to a USB hub.

    MP3/WMA Playback: The Kenwood KDC-X598 supports the following types of MP3, WMA, & WAV files recorded onto CD-R/RW disc or loaded onto a USB mass storage class device.

    Media Type CD-R/RW USB Storage Device
    File System ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, Long file name