Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X615

CD receiver with CD changer controls

  • Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X615


Item# 113KDCX615
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Our take on the Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X615


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.

"Real value" is Kenwood's unofficial motto, and that's certainly true with the KDC-X615. This Kenwood eXcelon receiver's sonic performance is first-rate, thanks to the powerful new KEX Sound Control. KEX gives you the 5 EQ curves of ec4 combined with a digital parametric EQ and 6 user presets! You can even add some extra bottom end punch with Bass Extension after you've adjusted the KEX Q-factor for a "boomy" or "tight" sound. System E's+ Advanced Crossover includes a high-pass and low-pass filter to get more volume and clarity out of all your system's speakers.

The multicolor display is highly visible for your viewing pleasure, and the new detachable D MASK faceplate can also pivot manually to become a blank panel. Looking for MP3, MD, or cassette access? You can convert the CD changer control plug into an auxiliary input with an inexpensive adapter (#113CAC1AX, see accessories). It's easy to expand to external amplifiers with two sets of preamp outputs. You can switch the rear outputs to non-fading operation with level control — great for driving a subwoofer.

For long-playing entertainment, add a Kenwood 6- or 10-disc CD changer. Buy a receiver and changer together and save $$$$ with Crutchfield's package discount. A wireless remote is included.


  • D MASK revolving, detachable faceplate
  • KEX equalization with six user presets (adjustments include bass center frequency, bass Q, bass extension, and treble center frequency)
  • multicolor fluorescent display
  • adjustable contrast
  • dimmer level adjustment
  • 2 sets of 1.8-volt preamp outputs (rear outputs can be switched to non-fading with level control)
  • CD Text (with compatible changer)
  • System E's+ Advanced Crossover — for better performance from all your speakers, and independent crossover control/customized output from the driver's seat, whether you use the built-in amp or external amps
  • CD changer controls (100-disc naming with compatible changer)
  • Bass Management System (with a 1999 or later Kenwood eXcelon amplifier) for in-dash control of amplifier's bass boost
  • PowerSlide control (with a 1999 or later Kenwood eXcelon amplifier) for in-dash control of amplifier door and cooling fan
  • Memo Mode lets you input a message (up to 30) and set the date when the message will appear on your display
  • wireless remote included
  • 22 watts RMS/45 peak x 4 channels
  • CD frequency response 10-20,000 Hz
  • CD signal-to-noise ratio 96 dB
  • FM sensitivity 9.3 dBf
  • 2-year warranty

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

Features and Specs
CEA-2006 Compliant
RMS Power Output
22 watts
Peak Output
45 watts
RMS Power Bandwidth
Preamp Outputs
Sub Preamp Outputs
Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
Preamp Voltage
1.8 volts
Display Color
Key Button Color
Red or Green
EQ Bands
Wireless Remote
Steering Wheel Control Compatible
Parts Warranty
Labor Warranty
AUX Input
USB Input
Memory Card Slot
Bluetooth Compatible
Satellite Radio Ready
HD Radio
iPod Compatibility
Full size
FM Sensitivity
9.3 dBf
European Tuning
Radio Data System
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • AM/FM/CD/Changer Controller
  • 1 Faceplate
  • 1 Hard face case
  • Sleeve
  • Harness with in-line noise filter (10-amp blade fuse inside noise filter)
  • Trim ring (size "E" installs)
  • Trim ring (size "I/J" installs)
  • RC-520 remote
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • 2 Radio removal tools
  • 8 ISO mount screws (4 panhead and 4 countersunk)
  • 1 Backstrap
  • 1 Screw with 1 flat washer and 1 lock washer
  • 1 Face security screw
  • Manual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Warranty card
  • Kenwood SmartCard (product registration card)
  • Car Audio Passport (required if face replacement becomes necessary)

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.

Warranty Note

Changer Controls
Manual Correction

Warranty Note

2 Year Warranty: This unit comes with a 1-year warranty card, but the actual warranty is 2-years. The 2-year warranty period has been confirmed and authorized by Kenwood.


D MASK Removable Faceplate: This unit is equipped with a detachable MASK faceplate. When you press the release button the faceplate manually slides down and forward, revealing the CD loading slot behind the faceplate. When the faceplate is in the release position, you may flip the faceplate upward, locking it in place, so only a blank panel is visible, or, if you prefer additional security, the faceplate may be detached from the unit. When the faceplate is in the stealth position, the panel can be flipped open to reveal the display and controls by pressing and releasing the top portion of the blank panel. Once the controls and display are visible, the faceplate can be put into it's normal viewing position by pushing the lower edge of the faceplate downward, then forward, until it locks in place. 

Security Code: You may program the unit with a 4 digit security code. Once the unit has been programmed with a security code, the code must be entered to use the unit after it has been disconnected from power.

Display Illumination: This unit has a multi-colored display.  The main display color is white (Radio frequencies, CD track, CD track time, tuner band, clock). The "LOUD", "ATT" (attenuator), "ST" (stereo) and clock indicators are displayed with amber illumination. The spinning CD/tuning indicator is displayed with light blue illumination. 

Button Illumination: The SRC button is backlit with medium blue illumination. The button illumination for all of the buttons, except the SRC button, may be set to green or red. Changing the button illumination color changes only the button illumination (except the source button which remains blue), it does not change the display illumination. 

1.8-volt gold-plated front and rear/non-fading preamp outputs

Rear/Non-fading Preamp Outputs: The rear preamp outputs can be switched to non-fading. When this is done, you can adjust the non-fading output level from -15 to +15 in increments of 2 (-15, -13, -11 etc.).

System E's+ Advanced Crossover System: The System E's+ system allows you to select a high pass filter for the front and/or rear preamp and speaker outputs. The high pass filter frequency may be set to 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180 or 220Hz. You may set the low pass filter for the non-fading preamp outputs to 50Hz, 80Hz, 120Hz or "through" and select the phase for the non-fading RCA of normal or reverse.

KEX/ec4 (Sound Coordinate System): 5 EQ curves are preset into memory, allowing you to recall the best preset EQ curve for different types of music. The preset curves are named "Flat", "Rock", "Top 40", "Jazz" and "Easy". Each preset has it's own bass center frequency, bass level, bass quality factor, bass extension, treble center frequency and treble level settings. This system allows you to select a bass center frequency (60, 70, 80, 100 or 150Hz), the bass "Q" (1.0, 1.25, 1.5 or 2.0), the Bass EXT mode (on/off) and the treble center frequency (10k, 12.5k, 15.0k or 17.5kHz) for more precise control of your system's sound. You may modify the preset curves and enter up to 6 of your custom curves into preset memory. If you store a custom curve in preset memory, the new curve overwrites the factory preset curve. The preset curves are recalled using the audio control menu and the preset buttons.

Volume Offset Control ("VOL 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.

External Amp Control: Kenwood also calls this "B.M.S." (Bass Management System). When used with a compatible, Kenwood eXcelon amplifier, you can adjust the bass boost level of the amplifier through this head unit. You may select Flat, or boost the bass of the amplifier by +6 or +12dB.

Black Mask Display Setting: If you desire a less cluttered display appearance, you may turn off the lower part of the display. With the Black Mask function set to "on", only the main display line illuminates.

Display Dimming: When the illumination wire of this unit is connected to the headlamp circuit of your vehicle, and you turn your lights on, the display will dim to a preset level. The display brightness is not affected by the vehicle's dimmer control.

Contrast Adjustment: The display contrast may be adjusted from "1" up to "10" for optimum readability.

Auxiliary Input "Ready": When used with an optional adapter (KCA-S210A or CA-C1AX) or with the KDC-CX82 or KDC-CX85 CD changers, this unit can accept input from an auxiliary source. This unit cannot accept input from an auxiliary source unless the appropriate adapter or CD changer is also purchased and connected. When the CA-C1AX adapter (item 113CAC1AX) is used, you cannot connect a CD changer to the head unit (the CA-C1AX plugs into the DIN changer control connection on the head unit).

CR2 advanced clear reception tuner

CRSC (Clean Reception System Control): Eliminates multi-path distortion. It can be turned off for better reception when a  multi-path situation is not present.

SNPS (Station Name Preset): You can assign names (up to 8 characters) for up to 32 FM stations and 16 AM stations. After a name has been assigned, you can press the DNPP button on the remote to display the name of each preset station for 5 seconds. When the name of the desired station appears, you can press the OK button on the remote to select the station. If a name has not been entered for a preset, the frequency will display. As the station names are cycled, you hear the station that was tuned in prior to the DNPP button being pressed, you do not hear the stations as their names are displayed.

Selectable Tuning Spacing:

  1. turn the unit completely off
  2. hold down preset buttons 1 and 5
  3. press the SRC button (while holding down preset buttons 1 and 5)
  4. after the SRC button is pressed, the unit will turn on and you can release the SRC, preset 1 and preset 5 buttons.

Tuning Modes: Besides manual and auto (seek) tuning, there is an Auto 2 mode which cycles through the presets when you press the >> or << buttons.

CD Text: This unit will display CD Text for CDs encoded with CD Text. The display is capable of showing 8 characters at a time, and can be set for auto or manual scrolling of titles longer than 8 characters.

CD Changer Control: This unit can control up to two compatible Kenwood CD changers. To connect two changers, a switching adapter (item 113KCAS210) is needed; item 113KCAS210 is sold separately.

DNPS (Disc Name Preset): The DNPS feature can be used to enter names, up to 10 characters long,  into memory for up to 30 discs. When a CD changer with disc naming memory is connected, names may be entered for CDs in the changer (see CD changer control functions below). The number of names that may be entered for discs in a changer depends on the changer model. 

CD Pause: You can pause the CD player without having the tuner come on.

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.

Source Tone Memory: You can store bass and treble settings for each source (CD/FM/AM/CD changer).

Calendar Function: The date may be set into memory and displayed. 

Memo Mode: You may input a text message (up to 32 characters) and set the date when that text will appear on the display. The message you select automatically appears on the chosen date when the unit's power is first turned on. You may enter up to 30 separate text messages into memory.  

Weather Band Tuner Compatible: This unit is compatible with the Kenwood KTC-WB100 weather band tuner (sold separately).  The optional tuner box allows you to tune in weather band radio stations. There is about 480 weather band radio stations in the United States, and this option allows you to tap into the information needed to prepare for outdoor activities such as sporting events, camping trips and days at the park. 

Heads-up Display Compatible: Kenwood's KPA-HD100 heads-up display (sold separately) may be connected to this receiver and placed on the dashboard, or overhead. The heads-up display can give a readout of the information from this receiver's display, allowing you to monitor the radio without the inconvenience and danger of taking your eyes from the road to look down at the radio location. 

Disc Changer Control Functions

  • 2 changer control: when used with item 113KCAS210 (sold separately), this unit can control two changers
  • Pause
  • Audible search forward/reverse
  • Track search forward/reverse
  • Disc search forward/reverse
  • Direct track search: using the remote, you can directly input the track number of the song you want to hear
  • Direct disc search: using the remote, you can directly input the disc number that you want to hear
  • Repeat track/disc
  • Track scan: scans each track on a disc for 10 seconds.
  • Disc scan: scans the first 10 seconds of each disc in changer.
  • Random play: plays all tracks on one disc randomly, when all tracks on that disc have been played it will start randomly playing tracks on next disc in changer.
  • Magazine Random Play: randomly plays tracks on all discs in changer.
  • DNPS (Disc Name Preset): The DNPS feature can be used to enter disc names into memory. The number of characters per name and the number of names that may be entered depends on the changer model; with the KDCC715 and 665 CD changers, you can store up to 100 names. 
  • DNPP (Disc Name Preset Play): Once a disc has been named, you may press the DNPP button on the remote to display the name of each disc for 5 seconds. When the name of the desired disc appears, you can press the OK button on the remote to select the disc for playback.
  • CD Text/MD Display: when connected to a CD Text capable CD changer (or an MD changer) with an "O-N" switch set to "N", this unit can display disc and track titles for discs encoded with disc/track information. The unit can be set to manually or automatically scroll text information. CD Text Display with CD Text compatible changer can be set to auto or manual scroll.

Remote Control Functions

RC-520 Remote: Kenwood's RC-520 infrared remote control is included with this unit.

Remote Dimensions: L = 5.695", W = 1.961", H = 0.941"


  • Volume +/-: a rocker button used for volume control
  • SRC: selects source (Tuner, Tape, CD, CD-MD changer)
  • Tune/Track |<</>>|
  • ATT button: attenuates output
  • Play/Pause 
  • AM/Disc- 
  • FM/Disc+
  • "*" (asterisk button has no function with this unit)
  • DNPP/SBF: Allows you to display all discs name which have been preset in the changer and to select any of these discs to play.
  • Direct/OK 
  • 0-9/A-Z alphanumeric keypad


Note: Please allow at least 1.25" in front of the face for the stealth mechanism to retract.

Manual Correction

CD S/N Ratio: The original version of the manual listed a CD S/N ratio of 93dB. There was a running change made to the unit which increased the signal-to-noise ratio to 96dB.  Kenwood will correct the manual and include the corrected version with future manufacturing runs of this unit. 

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