Excelon performance and plenty of options

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X797 CD receiver offers some of the latest smartphone integration features for your car, plus the security of a remarkable 2-year warranty. If you love local radio, you'll be knocked out by the improved reception provided by the built-in HD Radio tuner. Participating stations deliver FM that sounds more like a CD, while AM stations sound sharp and clear like analog FM. And it makes a pretty strong impression with its looks too — you can adjust the color of the button illumination to suit your tastes, while the 11-digit bright white display is easy to read in almost any lighting situation.

The advantage of Bluetooth®

This Kenwood's built-in Bluetooth frees up your hands and keeps your attention on the road when you take a call. Simple Secure Pairing makes pairing your phones easier and faster than ever. Pair up an iPhone equipped with Siri to the receiver, and you can use voice commands to look up and dial numbers without lifting a finger. Plus, you can stream audio from any smartphone source to the receiver without the clutter of wires.

More options, more music, more media

Kenwood designed the KDC-X797 to integrate with your up-to-date digital world.

  • Connect your iPod® or iPhone® to the receiver's front-panel USB input, and you'll blaze through your tracks and playlists, as dedicated "Search" and "Return" keys cut down on the need to work through menus when you're looking for a specific song.
  • Pandora Internet Radio, Aha Radio, and iHeart Radio users will appreciate this receiver's excellent built-in controls — you can scroll through your stations and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down right from the receiver's face. And you can enjoy them with your iPhone or Android.
  • If you store your music on an Android device, download Kenwood's free Music Control app and enjoy a variety of search and playback features when your phone is plugged into the front-panel USB. 
  • If you're in the mood to kick it old-school, slip in a CD and take full advantage of this receiver's 24-bit digital-to-analog converter. It converts the raw data on your disc, including MP3, WMA, and AAC files, to smooth, lifelike sound.
  • For satellite radio subscribers (or those who plan to be), the KDC-X797 works with SiriusXM's outboard tuner (not included), so you can enjoy coast-to-coast reception of your favorite talk, sports, and music programming.

Sound shaping controls

Wimpy bass and treble controls can't compare with the KDC-X797's 3-band parametric equalizer, high- and low-pass filters, and selectable bass boost, along with settings that let you adjust for your car's speaker setup. And if you're building a car audio system, one of the keys to the getting the most out of your amplifiers is a clean, powerful signal from your preamp outputs. All Kenwood Excelon receivers feature 4-volt preamp outputs that will give your amps the strong signal they need for top performance.

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

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

Note: Bluetooth compatibility of this device may vary, depending on your phone and service provider.

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

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with AAC, MP3, and WMA music files
    • Pandora, iHeartRadio, Aha radio control with iPhone and Android
    • works with Kenwood's Music Control app for Android devices
    • built-in HD Radio tuner
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • detachable face with white display and variable-color button illumination
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • EQ Pro (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer)
    • speaker size settings
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • 3-level bass boost
    • high- and low-pass filters; subwoofer level and phase control
    Expandability:
    • works with SiriusXM tuner (subscription required)
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB inputs
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

    Why replace your factory radio?

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

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X797 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    X797

    Written By Poriab, South Carolina on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Not any better than the versions half as much

    Pros: Good preset equalizers

    Cons: Very bad radio reception. Also keeps freezing and has to be reset.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X797

    Written By Anonymous, 60085 on Monday, August 11, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Poor sound for a kenwood product& no new support for apps

    Pros: cheap

    Best present for my daughter

    Written By Gonzalo, San Leandro, CA on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This was a present for my daughter and she loved it !(I also installed it for her) she couldn't believe how much more clear the sound was coming out of the stacked speakers (all I did was to replace the stereo )

    Pros: best value for the money !

    Cons: none

    Big fan of Kenwood

    Written By Anonymous, Louisville KY on Sunday, May 11, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Sub menus take a little to get used to but it keeps the face clean and easier than having to learn the location of other buttons for specific features.

    Love the USB and iPod and all other features.

    Great product would recommend

    Pros: Features, colors, and ease of installation.

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X797

    Written By Dunk, Lincoln, NE on Saturday, March 29, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I ordered this to replace my 12 year old radio in my 2002 Silverado. The kit included to install was perfect and made the install easy. The HD radio is great, only wish we had more stations in the area. The radio is easy to navigate, even for an old guy. I love the Blue Tooth connection with my cell phone as this is new to me and the hands free talking while driving is awsome. This is truly a great radio with all the features I will ever need, installation was quick and easy. The sound is awsome. Crutchfield has the best customer service I have dealt with in years.

    Pros: Great features. NIce appearance, and quality sound. High Def radio is really great.

    Cons: None that I have found.

    awesome radio

    Written By ashley, Birmingham, Al on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Very good radio. Everything is really good quality.I enjoy it very much.everything they sent to install it was really easy to install it took me like 10 minutes and i was done

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X797

    Written By Steve, Valatie,New York on Saturday, March 22, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great radio, very good value. Wonderful service. When a late Winter storm delayed the shipment, Crutchfield upgraded the service to UPS NextDayAir. Thanks.

    Pretty good unit

    Written By Alan, Colorful Colorado on Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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

    I replaced the factory unit in my 1999 GMC Yukon with this unit based on a discussion with an advisor. I should say that this was the advisor's second option, with the first being a JVC unit as I recall. I like the Kenwood brand, so I went with them.

    The good: the sound quality and features are great. It's pretty easy to switch between sources and adjust the sound quality. The sound does cut out when you change the EQ presets between types. Not for long, but annoying if you're listening to songs. The Bluetooth connection to my iPhone 5C is very fast at startup and it's easy to change songs and place phone calls. You can disable the sources that you won't be using (Pandora, Aha in my case). This makes switching between sources faster.

    The bad: you can't set the display to cycle between the clock (my truck doesn't have one) and the frequency or song title. When making a phone call, the callers name is displayed but sometimes the display will continue to show other things mixed in. For instance, I think it shows the clock intermixed with the current contact from the phone. I wish it had a dedicated EQ button.

    Overall a great unit. Maybe a firmware update will fix the display issue. I'd recommend it regardless.

    KDC-X797

    Written By MickM, Boston,Ma. on Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I bought this receiver to be able to play my iPod without an adapter. I got so much more than I was expecting. Easy to install and came with everything I needed. The Bluetooth is great to have also. No more missed calls from cranking up the favorites. Good sound for the price. Overall a great deal.

    Pros: You get a lot for your money. Happy customer so far.

    Cons: Could pump out a little more volume but wasn't expecting more for the price.

    Great Stereo

    Written By Chris, Toney, AL on Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Easy install with everything supplied by Crutchfield, great sound, great look, love the features of Bluetooth, Sirius Radio, and HD Radio. Major improvement over OEM radio.

    Pros: Installation

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X79

    Written By JoeB, Norcross, GA on Monday, February 10, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    The unit is very nice and has a lot of pluses. I did find the manual lacking a bit trying to do some of the setups. It keep referring to the Operation manual, which is what I thought I had. I Will pursue to find a full manual. The install kit (plastic face plate) seems to be angled the wrong way. The radio appears to be facing upward and the trim exaggerates that even more. I tried the one that came with the kit and it did not make it any better. I took the radio out to see if it was all flush and it was. Using the remote is difficult due to the angle. The one from the radio seems 180 out to make it seem flat in the mounting.

    The BT is nice as when you get in the car, start the car and do nothing to have the BT running within about 30-45 seconds. SOOOO nice not have a cable connection.

    Pros: Great sound, easy BT setup, A high degree of detailed setups to really fine tune the sound.

    Cons: The Operation Manual Trim

    pretty good

    Written By brick8, Minneapolis, MN on Sunday, February 09, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Installed this last weekend in my volvo xc70. It has nice sound but several ergonomic shortcomings. To change modes (radio to cd, for example), You have to repeatedly hit the power button, which is tiny and hard to find when driving. Can't figure out how to make outgoing calls using voice control. The manual that comes with the radio is almost useless. I can't get some of the apps to work but that could be user error. Also, as far as I can tell (I guess I should have checked but never even thought it possible) there doesn't appear to be an AM radio.

    Pros: Easy install, great sound.

    Cons: Terrible ergonomics. Useless manual.

    Nice unit until it dies.

    Written By waterfront, West Jordan, UT on Tuesday, February 04, 2014

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

    Purchased last spring. Worked great for about 6 months. Then started displaying "HF Error 68" on the display screen and blue tooth wouldn't function. Nothing worked to correct the problem. Became unusable because it would only display the error. Contacted technical support. They would not send out a new unit but referred me to a service center. My unit has been in the service center for 3 weeks while waiting for a part to arrive. I am not happy.

    Pros: Great sound.

    Cons: Poor quality and dependability.

    Bluetooth Radio

    Written By Ramon B, Zebulon, NC on Saturday, February 01, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I'm really impress with this radio it was an easy install with the kit that Crutchfield provide for free and the cool colors, easy to set up bluetooth, settings, etc. Will recommend this product to anyone that have an old car without the bluetooth feature.

    Pros: Quality and easy to use.

    Cons: None!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X797

    Written By Darrens, phoenix AZ on Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great sound and features. big improvement over stock. Added the kenwood speakers to match after the deck worked out so well.

    Pros: Sounds awesome and has some great sound tuning features. Can select Q factor, frequency adjustment for bass treble, and mid adjustment. Remote is cool and the wife loves it.

    Cons: Block like lettering on display, and in direct sun, the display washes to purple.

    Kenwood excelon kdc-x797

    Written By robp7, Wilmington, DE on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is an awesome starter upgrade with the capabilities to add on amps and it gives you total control of the sound. The Bluetooth feature is awesome for music and talking.

    Pros: Ease of use Bluetooth Sound quality

    Cons: No built in wifi

    Great!!

    Written By Ja, indiana on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Everything installed great into the 2003 mitsu outlander.. The only thing that was not working was while using the streaming blue tooth only the front speakers work.. there is a setting to turn on all speakers.. Other than that awesome sounding radio with the factory stuff..

    Pros: Works with android phones..

    Cons: The manual

    Quirkier than expected for a flagship product

    Written By BrianP, Metro Atlanta, GA on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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

    The Excelon KDC-X797 is extremely capable and configurable, sometimes at the expense of ease of use. It doesn't *look* special which may make it less attractive to thieves. It sounds great, which is of greatest importance to me, and with that, I can forgive its shortcomings, and the many hours I spent parked, learning to use and personalize this beast.

    Pros: Good sound quality with almost infinite adjustment possibilities and support for most media & formats. HD Radio works extremely well. Complicated menu structure is logically arranged, shortening the learning curve.

    Cons: Difficult to read display in daylight, and insufficiently dimmed at night. Mediocre quality - first unit had a DOA remote. Unit gets wanky -- does not respond to controls -- in cold temperatures below 20F. CD player has problems with burned CDs that work fine in other devices. Minimal number of panel controls means that some frequently used operations (like radio presets) are buried in sub-menus. Display updates are sometimes delayed. Documentation, even on-line, leaves much to be desired.

    Kenwood KDC-X797

    Written By Allen, Cumming,Ga on Monday, January 20, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    A lot of Bang for the Buck!

    Pros: Easy to use, sounds great, cool looking, with more options than I will ever use!

    Cons: None

    KDC-X797

    Written By Tosh, Rochester, NY on Sunday, January 19, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    All in All a good head unit. Easy to use and set-up.

    Pros: Many Display Color options. Remote, Bluetooth Audio and Control, Sirius and HD Radio. Front USB and Aux in.

    Cons: Sometimes will not turn on, and Needs to be reset and user setup is lost.

    Kenwood head unit

    Written By mzootie, wilmington, de on Friday, January 17, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Best car stereo I've ever owned. It has all the bells and whistles you'll ever need. Great sound and power even with out an amp and almost didn't buy one. I just wanted just a little extra. The reception HD radio isn't as good as I thought it should be but have not played with it enough to know if there is something that i have not set up right. Good buy for the money.

    Pros: All the fuctionality

    Cons: Manual you get in box is a quick start guide. You need to download the full manual to fully understand how to set up the unit

    Unit does not turn on sometimes.

    Written By KenY., Deltona FL. on Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Unit needed software update in less than 90 days .Crutchfield did not know or did not want to know it needed it.Tech had me take it out of truck check pwr. ok but would not replace,this is the third time not first.He said I have to call Kenwood now. He said our replace is 60 days. I said the cheapest people in the world has 90 days so why should I buy it from you. Did the update, WAITING TO SEE.

    Pros: Good sound Like the HD radio a lot

    Cons: Need to make system easier to use. No one knows everything but they should have Kenwood said it was a problem on this radio.

    Most Bang for your buck

    Written By John M, Lake Jackson, TX on Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This Kenwood product was bought for my daughters car. She absolutely loves it. The sound quality is great and installation was a breeze.

    Pros: Great Sound, Color Change Options

    Cons: none

    could be better!

    Written By JeffC, Ohio on Tuesday, January 07, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Good unit. I'd buy again, but I wish I could have bought something with simpler buttons. There is too much navigating around to switch from CD to radio to whatever.

    Pros: Sounds good, but has trouble reading dirty or marred CD's.

    Cons: Needs to be simplified. It was purchased for my son and takes to much attention to use which is time with eyes off the road.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X797

    Written By Anonymous, vashon, wa on Friday, January 03, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Nice unit - clear installation - the BT connection works great with my Android, streaming music and making calls - although it does take a minute or so to gain the connection and begin playing music when I first enter the car. Another nice feature is the fully controllable RGB display - I was able to match the display color to my GTI's color scheme with ease.

    Ken wood stereo

    Written By Tim, Jeffersonville on Thursday, January 02, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great stereo, crutchfield made install simple with instructions and all necessary hardware. I will not buy electronics anywhere else from now on.

    Pros: Great shopping expierience.

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X797

    Written By Max, San Antonio on Thursday, January 02, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Decent receiver. I bought this for my girlfriend for christmas and don't get me wrong, it's much better than her factory stereo, but it's lacking. I bought the Kenwood X9 for my car and it's much easier to use. The volume knob has a nice rubber "grip" for easy tuning while driving. The X7 does not. Scrolling the X7 for audio control and settings is a pain. The bluetooth streaming works well though, and that's why I bought it. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to stream bluetooth from your phone to your receiver.

    Pros: Bluetooth streaming, hands free phone

    Cons: No grip on the volume knob, the menu is a pain to adjust settings and audio