Covering all the bases
The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 CD receiver not only plays music from your CDs, iPod®, and more, but it also comes equipped with Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming. And the built-in HD Radio™ tuner lets you tune in the very best in radio.

Kenwood KDC-X896

HD Radio™ for awesome sound
When you tune in a local station broadcasting an HD Radio signal, you'll hear FM that's close to CD quality or AM that comes in clear and static free. And unlike satellite services, there are no subscription fees. If your iPod's hooked up to the KDC-X896, you can also tag songs that you hear on HD Radio, then buy them later online.

Bluetooth lets you concentrate on driving
Pair your compatible phone to the KDC-X896. and you can talk hands-free by simply touching the dedicated "phone" button when a call comes in. And the receiver can reply automatically to text messages to let your contacts know that you're busy driving. Bluetooth audio streaming cuts the cord and lets you connect the receiver wirelessly to songs stored on your compatible music player.

You've got it, you can probably play it
This Kenwood is ready for your iPod, iPhone®, and even your Android. Once you connect your iPod or iPhone to the receiver's front-panel USB input, you can use the receiver's controls to search through your albums, artists, and playlists. If you've got your music on an Android device, you can download Kenwood's free Music Control app from the Android market to enjoy a variety of search and playback features. If you store your music on another device, you can plug into the handy front-panel auxiliary input.

Streaming radio from your phone
If you enjoy Pandora® Internet radio on your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, you'll appreciate the built-in Pandora® controls — you can scroll through your stations, bookmark songs, and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down right from the receiver's face.

Sharp multi-line display
You'll see information like song titles, artists, and albums on the KDC-X896's multi-line dot-matrix display, and you can personalize the look by choosing the display and control illumination colors.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?
In most vehicles, you can use an adapter 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.

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.

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 MP3, WMA, and AAC music files
    • built-in HD Radio tuner
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • detachable face with selectable 2- or 3-line display, plus variable display and control colors
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 preset EQ curves and 3-band equalizer)
    • speaker size settings
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • low- and high-pass filters
    • subwoofer level control
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora control with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry
    • compatible with Kenwood's Music Control app for Android phones
    • compatible with SiriusXM 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

    • AM/FM CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-405)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • Microphone with integrated bracket (attached 10' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector)
    • Cloth face pouch
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Instruction Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty Card
    • Correction note

    Features and Specs

    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
    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input
    USB Input Front
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready SiriusXM
    HD Radio Built-in
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano Nano7/Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/
    Touch Touch5/Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/To
    Mini No
    iPhone Phone5/Phone4S/Phone4/Phone3GS
    FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Audio Section
    Built-in Bluetooth
    HD Radio + SiriusXM Ready
    Disc Playback
    USB/Aux Inputs
    iPod/Android Control
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X896 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), and a two-year warranty - Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with long-lasting dependability.

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 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-X896 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

    3-Way 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. In addition, the rotary knob allows you to scroll through and select your music tracks when the Music Search function is activated.

    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).

    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/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).

    Preset EQ: Eight 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 (12.5kHz). You can choose from the following preset EQ curves - Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, Game, and User.

    EQ Pro: The Excelon KDC-X896 features independent Bass, Treble, and Midrange control when the Preset EQ is in User mode. EQ Pro allows you to adjust the following settings for the Bass, Treble and Mid frequency levels.

    EQ Pro
    Center Frequency Q-Factor Bass Extension Level
    Bass 60, 80, 100, or 200 Hz 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, or 2.00 On/Off -8 to +8
    Midrange 0.5k, 1.0k, 1.5k, or 2.5k Hz 0.75, 1.00, or 1.25 N/A
    Treble 10.0k, 12.5k, 15.0k, or17.5k Hz N/A N/A

    Bass Boost: In addition, the Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2 or Off).

    Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer at lower volumes. There are 3 levels (LV1, LV2, or Off).

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

    Supreme Setting: When MP3 or WMA 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.

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X896 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 front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs are fixed to the rear chassis of the head unit.

    Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X896 features an independent 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. 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.

    Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 offers the following subwoofer controls, when you have the unit's subwoofer preamp output activated.

    • 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.

    Tel Mute: The KDC-X896 features a cell-phone mute wire (tan) 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.

    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 Excelon KDC-X896 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth ver. 3.0 (powered by Parrot) 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. Bluetooth Technology is a short-range wireless radio connectivity technology that was developed as a cable replacement for mobile phones and other electronic devices. Bluetooth operates in 2.4 GHz frequency range and transmits voice and data at speeds up to 1 megabit per second.

    Bluetooth Profiles: 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 (Hands Free Profile), HSP (Head Set Profile), OPP (Object Push Profile), PBAB (Phone Book Access Profile).
    • Audio Streaming: A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).

    Pairing: Your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone must be paired with the KDC-X896 before hands-free operation. You can register up to five Bluetooth enabled cell-phones with the Kenwood head unit (only one paired phone can be used at a time).

    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 Excelon KDC-X896. See Kenwood's Bluetooth Compatibility List for the latest mobile device compatibility.

    External Microphone: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 includes an external microphone to carry on your side of your phone conversation and voice command dialing. The external wired microphone offers improved audio quality versus an integrated microphone, so you can be heard easier over noisy traffic and road noise. 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 1.485" (depth).

    Note: This unit does not offer an integrated front-panel microphone.

    Bluetooth Hands-Free Communication: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-X896 can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also features 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 1-99 seconds. The KDC-X896 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-X896, 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-X896. 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 Log: The Call Log 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. You can register up to 35 voice tags.

    SMS (Short Message Service): You can wirelessly download a SMS arrived at your cell-phone so that it can be read on the Bluetooth connected Kenwood head unit. Up to 149 already read and unread short messages can be downloaded. You can reply to a SMS by using the head unit's front-panel rotary knob or remote control to enter alphanumeric text. There is a limited amount of text that can be downloaded or entered. Your cell-phone must support SMS via Bluetooth for this feature to function.

    Note: Do not read incoming SMS or reply to SMS while driving.

    Wireless Audio Streaming: The Kenwood KDC-X896 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-X896 will be able to control basic playback functions of your Bluetooth device's stored music; such as Play/Pause, Next/Previous Track, 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-X896 also supports audio streaming of music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM,, Rhapsody, & Slacker), but without control or metadata. You will continue to use your Bluetooth enabled smartphone to view and control streaming music apps. 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.

    Note: The iPhone 5 only offers Bluetooth audio streaming without control or metadata display.

    Bluetooth Detailed Settings: The KDC-X896 offers the following Bluetooth Detailed Settings, so you can configure the unit to suit your needs.

    • Call Beep: You can choose to output a beep from your vehicle's speaker's when a call comes in, or you can turn this function off.
    • Speaker Output: You can select whether the call beep/caller's voice and streaming audio is heard through only the front speakers or all speakers.
    • Mic Gain: Adjusts the volume of the external microphone from -3 to +3.
    • NR Level: Reduces the noises generated by the surrounding environment without changing the mic volume. The NR Level can be set to -2 or +2.
    • EC Level: Adjusts the level of echo cancellation from -2 to +2.

    HD Radio + SiriusXM Ready

    Built-In HD Tuner: With its built-in HD Radio tuner, you can receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. HD Radio significantly improves AM/FM audio quality and reception, as well as includes information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display. HD Radio Technology will deliver high-quality digital sound. AM digital will have FM-like quality in stereo (70dB SN @ 40-15kHz), while FM digital will have CD-like quality (70dB SN @ 20-20kHz) with static free and clear reception. The unit's built-in HD Radio tuner allows analog AM/FM tuning as well.

    Note: HD Radio is the system for digital AM and FM broadcasting in the U.S. More than 2,000 radio stations are broadcasting their primary signals in digital HD Radio technology, as a free service. Go to to check for HD Radio stations in your area.

    Station Text: AM/FM digital stations can offer text and data such as artist names and song titles.

    Multicasting: In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 3 multicast programs (HD1 to HD3, and analog).

    iTunes Tagging: It is possible to save the song's information (tag) from and HD Radio broadcasting station to your USB-direct connected iPod/iPhone. The songs will show up in a playlist called "Tagged" in iTunes the next time you sync your iPod/iPhone. Then you can directly buy the songs you want from the iTunes Music Store. You can "tag" up to 50 songs.

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-X896's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 offers two preset modes.

    • Normal: You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets (total of 24).
    • Mix: A total of 6 preset stations can be stored, regardless of AM/FM band. This lets you recall a preset station without switching between bands.

    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.

    Seek Modes: You can choose one of three seek modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.

    Note: You can also setup the KDC-X896 to search only HD Radio stations.

    Direct Access Tuning: You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood KDC-X896 comes ready for SiriusXM programming with access to XM and Sirius Satellite Radio stations. Thanks to its proprietary SiriusXM Connect port, you can add the optional SXV200V1 SiriusXM Connect tuner and receive more than 150 channels of exclusive programming directly from SiriusXM, via the "SiriusXM All Access" package (subscription required). Visit for a complete list of subscription options and channel guide. Additional features of the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect tuner include:

    • Channel list displays a list of all available channels
    • Category Search searches for channels in a certain category
    • Displayed Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's LCD
    • Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets
    • Direct Tuning via included remote
    • Song/Artist Alert with visual notification of your favorite songs or artists
    • Supports the SiriusXM Instant Replay function, so you can pause, rewind, and replay up to 30 minutes of live content
    • iTunes Tagging for connected iPod/iPhone
    • Channels containing unsuitable content for children can be blocked
    Note: A separate SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription is required (operates on the XM Network). If you already have a Sirius Satellite Radio subscription, this radio cannot be added as a discounted second unit. If you have an existing XM Satellite Radio subscription, you can add this unit as a discounted second unit.

    Disc Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs.

    MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The KDC-X896 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and AAC (8-320 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc can have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder (512 maximum number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA/AAC playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (ver. 1.x/2.x) and WMA Tag information - up to 60 characters.

    Text Scroll: The KDC-X896 will display CD text or Audio file text. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto, Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.

    Music Search: The Kenwood AM/FM CD receiver features a Music Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your MP3/WMA/AAC music folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using the head unit's rotary knob.

    Direct Music Search: The supplied IR wireless remote control (RC-405) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 features the following Repeat, Random, and Scan playback modes.

    • Repeat Play: Track, File, or Folder
    • Random Play: Disc or Folder
    • Scan Play: Track or File (plays the first 10-seconds of each music track on a disc or music file in a folder)

    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.

    CD Read: This function sets the method for reading a CD disc. You can choose between two modes.

    • CD1: Automatically distinguishes between audio file disc and music CD when playing a CD or CD-R/RW disc.
    • CD2: When unable to play a special formatted CD, set this function to CD2 to force playing. Some music CD discs may be unplayable even when set to this mode.

    Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will automatically power up and begin playback.

    Auto Reload: If the ejected disc is not removed within 15 seconds, the disc is automatically inserted again into the loading slot to protect it from dust.

    USB/Aux Inputs

    USB Port: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device with MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and AAC (8-320 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 folder layers, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder - with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

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

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.1.1.0). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3/WMA music files to your USB (MSC) devices from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB (MSC) device using Kenwood Music Editor Lite through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using the head unit's Music Search function.

    System Requirements: The Kenwood Music Editor Light (ver.1.1.0) Windows-based software can be downloaded for free from to your PC. The Kenwood Music Editor Light is compatible with the following Windows Microsoft Operating Systems.

    • Windows XP Professional, Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit)
    • Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
    Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Zune, or Android.

    Aux In: The unit is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input that can be used to input audio from a portable audio source, such as a portable MP3 player. The Aux input must be turned on to function. The unit has 3 auxiliary input modes.

    • On1: Outputs the sound of the external unit connected to the Aux terminal when switched to the Aux source.
    • On2: Activates the attenuator function when turning on the power with the auxiliary source selected. This prevents the noise when no external unit is connected to the Aux terminal. Turn off the attenuator function when listening to output from an external unit.
    • Off: Disables the selection of the Aux source.

    Auxiliary Display: The KDC-X896 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.

    iPod/Android Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The KDC-X896's front-panel USB port also acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5; use the Lighting-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X896.

    iPod DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 110dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone, as well as music apps streamed to your iPhone.

    iPod Control: You can choose to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.

    • Head Unit: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). The head unit supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
    • iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM,, Rhapsody, & Slacker) from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Kenwood head unit and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode.
    Note: Access to your iPhone's downloaded applications will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet.

    Pandora Internet Radio Control: The Kenwood KDC-X896 CD receiver lets you playback and control the Pandora Internet Radio music service that is being streamed to your Apple iPhone, Android smartphone, or BlackBerry. While providing control over the Pandora music service, the KDC-X896 also displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list; you can sort the station list by date or alphabetically (A-Z). You can also skip song tracks within a station. In addition, you can also give songs a thumbs up/down and bookmark songs/artists.

    • Pandora App for iPhone: The Kenwood KDC-X896 lets you playback and control Pandora Internet Radio streamed to your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately) or the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora App from the Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.
    • Pandora via Android or BlackBerry: The Kenwood KDC-X896 also lets you playback and control Pandora Internet Radio streamed from your Android or BlackBerry smartphone, via Bluetooth (no hard-wired connection required). Your Android or BlackBerry smartphone must have the latest version of the Pandora App from the Android Market or the BlackBerry App World. Your Android or BlackBerry smartphone must also be Bluetooth A2DP/AVRCP/SPP certified and will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. In addition, you will need an active Pandora music service account.
    Note: Access to the Pandora service will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone or smartphone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    iPod/ Display: The KDC-X896 will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood head unit. The head unit will display Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album label. If you choose to operate your connected iPod/iPhone via its clickwheel or touchscreen controls, the KDC-X896 will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").

    iPod Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position. This unit does not charge the iPad.

    Note: If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/25/2012):

    iPod Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Pandora app iTunes Tagging Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod App mode Artist/Song Text Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    4th N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    2nd N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y N N Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y N N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    7th 1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    4th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    5th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

    Music Control for Android Smartphone: The Kenwood Music Control app for Android organizes your Android smartphone's music, while providing quick and easy search capability from the Kenwood CD receiver. The free Kenwood Music Control App for Android can be downloaded onto your Android smartphone from the Android Market place. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS 2.2 or later. Once the app is downloaded and has a chance to organize all the stored music on your Android smartphone, you can connect your Android smartphone to the Kenwood CD receiver via USB (your compatible Android smartphone must be recognized as a USB mass storage class device; not compatible with MTP protocol). The Kenwood Music Control app offers the following Android supported functions.

    • Song Management: Music stored in your Android smartphone can be navigated from the Kenwood CD receiver. Songs can be easily selected by searching for a Song title, Artist name, Album label, or Genre.
    • Song Information Display: Song information such as Artist name, Song title, and Album label are displayed on the connected Kenwood CD receiver.
    • Mood Playlist: Playlists can be created by classifying songs into categories by type of mood. Songs are analyzed and classified into the following categories of moods - High Energy (Active/Powerful/Core), Acoustic (Detailed/Simple/Smooth/Easy), Standard (Dynamic/Rockin/Vivid), Stylistic (Cool/Urban/Trance)
    • Intro Skip: This function allows you to choose and listen to only the hook-lines of songs stored in your Android smartphone.
    Note: When the Kenwood Music Control app is first downloaded it will require some time to populate all the music, so we suggest doing this overnight.

    Music Files Format Supported by Music Control app for Android:

    Codec Extension Bit Rate Sampling Frequency
    AAC .aac, m4a up to 160 kbps 8-48 kHz
    MP3 .mp3 8-320 kbps n/a
    PCM/WAV .wav n/a n/a

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The head unit includes a cloth pouch for storing the face-plate when detached. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Note: An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can also be purchased for this unit.

    Multi-Line Text Display: The 3-line full dot LCD makes it easy to navigate through your disc's music, radio presets, iPod music library, USB content, Bluetooth audio, or phonebook contacts. The KDC-X896 offers five different display types:

    • Type A: Displays 3 lines of text.
    • Type B: Display 2 lines of text.
    • Type C: Displays only the clock/date.
    • Type D: Displays motion graphics.
    • Type E: Display & button illumination is turned off (after 5 seconds of operation).
    Note: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 offers English, French, and Spanish menu text.

    Variable Color Illumination: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 features variable color display and button illumination. You can choose to use the same color for the LCD display and button illumination, or use a separate color for each one. You can choose from one of 24 preset colors, have the unit scan through all 24 preset colors continuously, or customize your own color (RGB; 0-9). The custom setting allows you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue (from 0-9) to better match your vehicle's interior lights. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain red.

    Note: You can switch the in-dash head unit's display between a positive or negative effect. You can also adjust the display's contrast from 1-30.

    Illumination Effect: This function sets whether the head unit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the key-button operation.

    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. You can also choose to dim the display manually. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain the same brightness.

    Clock/Date Display: The in-dash CD receiver features a 12-hour clock and date (M/D/Y) display. You can even set times for two different cities (dual clock display).

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face and button illumination is "keyed." 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.

    Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned On or Off within the menu.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X896 comes with an IR remote control (RC-405) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, Bluetooth, and Tuner functions. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).

    • Numeric Keypad: The wireless remote control features a numeric keypad (0-9) which allows direct track access of your music tracks & files (from CD or USB), as well as AM/FM presets. You can also dial a phone number using the remote's numeric keypad.
    • Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one touch of the button.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input wire (blue/yellow) within the included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    70 reviews
    Review this product
    Great Gear Giveaway

    Submit a review and then enter to win a $350 rewards card


    Review this product:

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences about this product. Please be sure to focus your comments on the product itself. Read our Review Guidelines for more information.

    Your email won't be visible. Please use the email address that is associated with your order.
    (e.g., JohnD) Your review will be signed using the display name and location
    (e.g., Charlottesville, VA)

    Click on a star to rate the overall product on a scale of 1-5
    Rate the following specific attributes
     Sound Quality
     Ease of Use
     "Coolness Factor"
     Build Quality
    1500 characters left
      Attach a YouTube Review
    Crutchfield Video Review Guidelines
    • Only submit videos that you made or are authorized to use.
    • Do not submit videos that contain music, video or visuals that are copyrighted and belong to someone else.
    • Please see our Review Guidelines for more information.
    500 characters left
    500 characters left

    Great Upgrade Refurbished product

    Written By AndyB, Salisbury, MD. on Sunday, August 18, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great value features -v- price. Removed OEM Miata radio and new radio slid right in. Was done in about 30 minutes and listening to Pandora radio. Glad I found this unit at Crutchfield and glad I got it at a refurbished price.

    Pros: Was easy to install in my 2000 Miata. Did not use the Crutchfield faceplate. It was a great fit without. Very nice features. Hands free phone mic works great! I have used several hands free phone devices. All of them stink compared to this one. Attached the mic to the "A" pillar.

    Cons: A little difficult to learn all the features. Blu Tooth connection from the smart phone to Pandora takes awhile to connect. But is strong and sounds good after the connection.

    Discontinued... but simply amazing.

    Written By Kahbrohn, Guaynabo, PR on Thursday, August 01, 2013

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

    Ok... I was in a bind, and I didn't have time, so I bought it at a local shop. But, all my research was done here.

    Now, I went to this local distributor in search of the X597. Was told over the phone they had one left. By the time I got there, the attendant told me he had made a mistake and he was looking at an empty box when he was speaking with me. So, I asked for option. The X997 obviously was recommended to me. They were going to give it to me for $200 flat but I was still not convinced that was what I wanted to pay. Then I suddenly saw this solitary box in a corner and asked what was that X896. The guy didn't even know it had been delivered.

    He opened it and we took a look at it. Asked him What the deal was. He said it was an exchange that KW had made for them. I said that the box looked a little to banged up to be a new unit and we checked it out. Refurbed. So, I visually inspected it and then asked him what he wanted. After a minimum of haggling, was fiven to me for the same price as the X597 I originally wanted. An hour later it was installed and wow!

    Pros: Sound is simply spectaculat. I already had a KW KAC-8408 installed in my vehicle so it naturally plugged in nicely. I then pulled my phone out and instant recognition (I have the HTC One). Then I just knew what song I had to play to test this baby out... Suoertramp's "Cannonball". MAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNN, the fidelity was just awe-friggin-some! And that was without having played with the settings! I am not regretting my purchase and I am not looking back.

    Cons: Too much of a learning curve if you are not very patient to read instructions and such. Other than that... nothing else. Only issue I had but I am sure it was covered, I have no fader function between my Infinity 6x9's. Do have balance though. Maybe I am wrong. Only had this thing for 2 hours and haven't really played around with it to it's full capacity.

    Everything they said it was

    Written By jeff, San Diego on Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Installed easy and worked great right out of the box. Just follow the instructions. Live tech help was well informed and quick.

    Pros: Great price, does almost everything I wanted well

    Cons: Haven't found any yet

    Haven't had it long enough

    Written By Brendan, Congers, New York on Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I was first looking at the non-excelon version of this receiver, but when I saw the price of this I had no choice. It is an all around good receiver; great to have for anyone who needs a mid to high end receiver with many options. The color changing display is also a much bigger factor than some might think when buying a receiver.

    I've seen some reviews that bash it saying things about it being complex to calibrate sound or that the display turns off or it has problems with flash drives. I haven't had it long enough to discredit those reviews besides that if you want better sound and more calibration options, of course it's going to be more complex, and reading the manual is not really that hard. Mine sounds fine. I've also seen some reviews saying that it doesn't look good. If that is the case, then why would you buy it; the picture of it is right in front of you.

    I can't say 5 out of 5 because I know there are better stereos, but this one is great especially for the price. (I would have given it a 2.5 for ease of use)

    Pros: Front, Rear and Sub preamp outputs (all at 4V) Very good stand alone power output (22 watts) HD Radio and Bluetooth with Pandora Many audio configuration options Bluetooth car phone sounds great and is clear to the person on the receiving end as well. Color changing display

    Cons: Not as simple to use as I would have hoped. Many menus to navigate. Just saying, you should do it before leaving the driveway. Some parts are reused, none on the outside though. But I expected that from a refurbished. Some difficulty with Bluetooth pairing and Pandora sometimes as well as reconnecting automatically whenever I get in the car. Going through radio presets and normal things is more of a challenge since there are no preset buttons, just one button to bring you to a preset menu

    Nice, but mic jack in the wrong location

    Written By WaterWhipper, Los Gatos, CA on Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great sound, and features/functionality. The buttons (src, disp, etc) are a little small for me. I like the microphone for the bluetooth hands free feature, but the jack for it should have been located in the front, not the rear, IMO.

    Pros: Great sound; love the bluetooth phone connection

    Cons: microphone jack is in the rear, requiring either "trick" routing of the cord, or between the DIN and DIN sleeve, making it susceptible to damage

    Excellent deck....!!!

    Written By Landofeasyliving, Glen Rock Pa on Thursday, March 07, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great, simple, elegant....

    Pros: Great sound, simple installation....

    Cons: Made what was left of my factory speakers sound worse.... Now I need to replace them...!

    Great Head Unit

    Written By GregM, Southwest, mn on Saturday, March 02, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This headunit is as awesome as they come for a single din unit (in my opinion) This was a drastic improvement from my old KEnwood kdc-x6** series headunit I had previously sound is much more clear and "alive" or full sounding then before I like the level of controll over the sound settings though this isnt a "audio phile" level of controll it provides me with more then enough settings to get my stereo sounding the way I want it too.

    Pros: Great customization options, great sound quality, adequite audio controll

    Cons: The menus take a little getting used too but once you get the hang of it they are very easy to navigate just takes time to adjust and i only consider this a con because some users dont want to sit down and read a operators manual or sit in the car for an hour messing with the stereo they expect it to be plugged in and worked intuitivly.

    I feel like I ripped off Crutchfield!

    Written By ChrisT, Milwaukee, WI on Thursday, February 28, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This radio (as a refurb) is an outstanding value for all the features you get. As I mentioned in the title, I almost feel guilty for paying so little!

    Installation was a snap, though I think the instructions could be a little better on the double-din mount, and everything came up right the first time.

    I specifically bought the unit for HD Radio, and it didn't disappoint. I easily pulled in the HD stations in my market and the audio sounded great. What I hadn't given much thought to was Pandora, but it's a nice feature and works well. If you have an iPhone, this radio has fantastic integration.

    All around, positive marks. I've always liked Kenwood's Excelon line, and this has been no exception. Again, this radio is loaded with great features at a truly unbelievable price.

    Pros: iPhone integration, HD Radio, great variety of colors to make it easy to match your interior lights.

    Cons: There is a learning curve, especially if you haven't used a similar radio. I have, so it was easy for me to figure out. I can see how you could easily get frustrated.

    love it

    Written By joey, texas on Thursday, February 28, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This stereo sounds awesome, looks almost perfect in my bmw e46.the kenwood app for android is a bit clunky so I dont really use it. Unit is pretty simple to use. When you install this unit pay attention to the blue and white wire.big improvement over the stock stereo.

    Pros: can use bluetooth while chargeing your device via the usb port.

    Cons: Downloads your phonebook from bluetooth everytime you hook up. If you have alot of contacts this can take a while.

    Very Disappointed

    Written By Robert, Longview on Monday, February 25, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The manual is impossible to understand and it must be used to tune the radio. I am very unhappy with this unit.

    Pros: None

    Cons: The tuner is hard to use. Engine noise is excessive in the am mode

    Crutchfield response on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896

    Written By Josh, Moscow, ID on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This deck meets every one of my standards when it comes to car stereos. It's in a 2001 Jeep Cherokee. The biggest thing I required from any stereo was user friendliness. If you're looking for a user friendly stereo, then look no further. Every Kenwood deck I checked out was easy to use and I've never handled an aftermarket deck before. Every rig I've owned had the factory head unit in it. The next thing i required was the variable color illumination. I like the fact that I can change colors whenever I feel like it. But Kenwood didn't just stop at variable display color. No, they made it so you can change the key color, LCD display color, and the auxiliary port color. I can have three different colors showing if I so choose. One thing I was very impressed with was the bluetooth. I didn't really think I'd need bluetooth, but after having it and making use of it, my mind was quickly changed. The sound is clear on both ends. I haven't heard any complaints about how I sound on the other end of the line (my mic is mounted on the steering column.) I've had no problems with this deck whatsoever, nor do I expect any problems. My only complaint is with the install manual Crutchfield included. It's very vague, but as long as you can match colors, you'll be fine hooking up the wiring harness. And if you have any questions, call Crutchfield. They were extremely helpful when I called them with questions. I was on the phone for maybe 5 minutes and had all my questions answered.

    Pros: Everything so far. Bluetooth, display, user friendliness, I could go on.

    Cons: Install manual is vague. User manual seems incomplete. The full manual is online though

    2006 Impreza and Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896

    Written By Augie, Boone, NC on Monday, February 18, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Wonderful stereo! However, the bluetooth will kick off sometimes if you are using pandora at the same time. This requires you to accept the connection on your phone each time. Otherwise, the sound quality is wonderful, even with the stock Subaru speakers.

    Pros: Nice sound quality, features, and compatibility with other devices. If you are technology savvy, this stereo is for you. Many, many features and settings.

    Cons: Bluetooth is unreliable and some of the features would remain unknown for the length of the ownership if you didn't read the instructions. It is NOT a easy stereo to use (to its full potential). It is simple to play basic radio, CDs, and USB/iPod. But when you try to play with the settings or find a specific setting, you should be pulled off the road to find it.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896

    Written By Ron, Varnville, SC on Monday, February 18, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Have not had much time to enjoy yet. Very happy so far!

    Pros: Enclosed mounting kit and wiring harness made installation a breeze! Bluetooth works well with my Android phone.

    Cons: None so far

    Ford Focus

    Written By Anonymous, Mont Belvieu, TX on Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Very nice single din unit.

    Pros: A week of use; used all aspects of the features, including Android and Iphone 5. No troubles in install, setup or use. Works great.

    Cons: None

    Great Head Unit

    Written By smokeyfan1000, Whitsett, NC on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I am quite impressed with the performance of my Kenwood Excelon X896. It has many nice fetaures and is an improvement over my Kenwood MP 538-U HU. The X896's radio reception is much better than my old KW HU, the HD radio sounds rspectacular. And the ability of being able to use my cell phone's Pandora app is a nice touch also. The Bluetooth phone app is very handy feature, and works very well, and it comes with a microphone to place on the sunvisor. I love the fact this HU works with either I pod or Android cell phones too. And while I do not have SeriusXM receiver, it's nice to know I can add it later, if I so desire. I have this HU wired to a 2 channel JX360/2 JL Audio amp powering the two Kenwood 6982ie 6x9 5 ways speakers in my rear window package tray panel, and the HU is powering my 2 Kenwood 3 way 4" front door speakers. The sound quality is crystal clear, even at high volume levels. The X896's bass, mid & treble adjustments, and it's frequency range adjustments are quite impressive features themselves . The individual screen, USB and Aux port color adjustability is also a great feature.. I love the positive and negaitve screen display abilities .. The BlueTooth feature accepts both Ipod and Android cell phones, and the microphone comes included. The Pandora radio ability is a great touch too. This HU is really easy to operate but you MUST download the 83 page manual online to use all this HU's features. Buy this HU and you'll not be disappointed !!

    Pros: Has all features one could want. The very small remote is a huge plus,(takes up very little room, and fits places larger ones won't), and it allows for all adjustments on the fly.X896 radio reception is exceptional & is easy to use,remote's full audio adjustments let you tailor the music to your liking. Nice all gloss black HU face makes for a factory appearing install. Is well worth the price. A truly great head unit in my opinion

    Cons: I wish the full Instruction Manual had come with the HU, in the box. But was easy to download online.

    Great stereo, excelent bluetooth services

    Written By Fernando, Phoenix, AZ on Monday, January 21, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is a great stereo. The sound is very good, the bluetooth connectivity is better than on Sone products, Pandora works beautifully from my Android phone. I love this new radio and the way it looks on the dash.

    Pros: Android phones connectivity. HD Radio sounds spectacular!

    Cons: No quick radio station buttons.

    Works great with Ipod Touch

    Written By KennyIndiana, Fort Wayne, IN on Saturday, January 19, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I installed this player in my car last week and paired in with an 8 year old (still goin strong) Kenwood Excelon 4 channel 50wattsx4rms and 4 Infinity 5x7's and wow I am seriously impressed with how powerful it sounds and I haven't even put my second amp and subs in yet. I had an older Kenwoon deck before with the same setup and this one sounds WAY better. Also the quality is better than my old one too. It is a little tricky to figure out, but if you've always had Kenwood decks like I have and are familiar with how to use the EQ to make it sound good you will not be disappointed. People are giving really bad reviews on this for some reason about how hard it is to tune("sounds flat", well that's because it is everything is basically set to 0 out of the box). I have not had a problem with viewing the display either it is glossy but I like the look it makes it look like it's higher quality. People looking for fancy players with bells and whistles may look elsewhere, but if you are truly looking for a good sounding system and are going to be hooking amps up, this deck is awesome. Excelon isn't about fancy, it is about awesome sound quality and this one delivers. I can't wait to hook up my 2 Infinity Kappa 12 inch subs with my Rockford 2400 watt amp it is going to sound awesome.

    Pros: Second to none sound quality clear highs and sounds great with Ipod Touch.

    Cons: I wish you could turn off the internal amplifier as I am using an external amp for the inside speakers, droid phone won't work through USB but will through BT but sounds pretty bad that way, not a biggee in you only use your ipod like me.

    Just OK

    Written By MK, Denver, CO on Saturday, January 12, 2013

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

    Just purchased this stereo, the blue tooth is not voice activated. Make calling kind of hard to use.

    Pros: Sound quailty is great, with Alpine speakers.

    Cons: No voice dialing, why have blue tooth

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896

    Written By lou, North babylon , NY on Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Difficult to figure out controls, especially with such small , not clear manual


    Written By Ernesto, San Juan PR on Friday, January 11, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Nice radio, easy to use and very good sound. My friend is crazy with my radio and says that if buy a radio this is the indicate.

    Not happy with this radio

    Written By MikeP, Hawkins, Texas on Monday, January 07, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I am not happy with this radio as it is very hard to use and move around the options. The display is hard to see.

    Pros: Nice looking

    Cons: Very hard to drive and change anything with the radio


    Written By MOster, Oxford, CT on Monday, December 31, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This item didn't meet my expectations given its price. I purchased it primarily for the bluetooth support, and this is where it fell behind the curve the most. Pairing was not intuitive and not consistent; and connection to a paired device took almost 30 seconds when a good headset will do it in 3. The phonebook download happened every time I re-connected my phone, and functionality playing music from my phone, a fairly modern Galaxy SII, was limited to only random playing.

    The user interface is not intuitive, with the back button having different functions in different modes, and the selection function available from a press of the selector or a turn to the right. Functions available from the remote were lacking.

    Pros: Easy to install, multi-color display

    Cons: Bluetooth support, user interface

    Kenwood KDC-X896 and BMW E46 2003

    Written By ClausB, Atlanta, GA on Monday, December 31, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Bought this unit to replace a factory HU in a BMW 325i (2003). One criteria was to match interior illumination of the BMW (orange) and to upgrade to BT, hands-free calling, Pandora, etc. Additionally I bought the Steering-Wheel-Control adapter. The installation was easy in terms of matching wires, etc.; the space in the BMW dashboard to fit all new wires however is very limited - had to take upper vents out to pull some wires and the steering-wheel control unit on top of HU. When connecting the wiring harness from the car to the one from the radio, you need to connect the blue (ANT) wire from the car to the blue-white (p-cont) of the Kenwood unit and not to the blue (ANT) wire. Blue to blue wires lets only the radio signal thru to the speakers. Neither installation instructions mentions this very clearly, but a call to Crutchfield tech support clarified this within 30 seconds. Result: perfect color match of illumination between BMW and HU / full steering wheel controls active / updated HU with all currently available features short of navigation. iPhone 5 streams music and Pandora wireless thru BT settings of HU (control is thru iPhone) and it works excellent thru USB with control thru HU remote, direct, and steering wheel. Sound has improved tremendously vs factory HU. Advice: download manual for HU from Kenwood as PDF - supplied manual is very limited.

    Pros: - color match illumination to E46 - BT streaming wireless - full steering wheel control with additional steering wheel control adapter - excellent sound vs factory HU

    Cons: none

    great tunes !

    Written By Mike, Central Fl on Friday, November 16, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Love my new head unit but I am still trying to figure out some of the features. Tech support was a lot of help when I needed it. This was my first experience with Crutchfield and I would recommend them to anyone !

    Pros: Iphone controls input options

    Cons: not exactly easy to learn how to use once you get beyond the basics

    Dont Bother

    Written By Ex-Kenwood fan, Hampton Roads VA on Thursday, November 15, 2012

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

    Disappointed doesn't begin to describe what i feel. I have owned several sets of component speakers, i currently own a kenwood amp and this is my second excelon deck. The first i bought back in about 2004 and i must say it was and still is, the best radio i have ever owned. This radio might as well be made by Jensen its so different. the screen is HORRIBLE, its very high gloss so you wont be able to read it at all if its daylight and it looks like it was made during the mid 90's. No personality and honestly not very nice to look at. My excelon from 2004 had a full dot matrix color display and had a car that would follow my actually movements in the car and a accelerator meter and all sorts of stuff. This has NONE of that, in fact it looks like it came factory in my 95 Volkswagen. you will Never, Ever fully understand how to properly tune this radio and out of the box it sounds horribly flat. Here is the biggest thing. It DOES NOT WORK WITH HARDLY ANYTHING USB. What they mean is it works with apple, it WILL NOT WORK CONSISTENTLY WITH YOUR DROID. it also will only read SMALL usb drives from just a FEW manufactures most are under 2 gigs but it will read a few at 4 gigs. NOTHING LARGER THAN 2-4 GIGS WILL PLAY. All in all i have to say im not going to be purchasing any more Kenwood devices, Android makes up a huge portion of Cell phones nowadays and failure to support them makes me take my business elsewhere. I will be selling this radio at a loss.

    Pros: It does sound really nice after you pay a audio installer to properly tune it. No, you will not be able to do that yourself. there are plenty of radios that cost as much or less that sound as good or better thought.

    Cons: Screen is outdated, horrible looking, technology from the 90's and all wrapped up in an extra glossy package to make sure if your car has windows and you experience daylight you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO READ IT. Also absolutely does not work with any sizable USB drives or ANY android devices. Takes hours to configure, tune and setup properly. I wish i could give Zero stars honestly.

    Nice rig

    Written By Clint G, Asheville, NC on Monday, November 12, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I read all the reviews before buying this and was a little worried about the "single knob" complication issue. I haven't had any problems figuring out how to operate the unit. Some of the more advanced things required a look at the full user manual, but those things are mostly set and forget; not like you have to tend to them frequently. This unit replaced a high-end unit of another brand (over $300 at the time), and this one performs very well. The other brand had problems with locking up my i-pod and always defaulting to the i-pod. The Kenwood works well and is packed with features. I didn't think I would use the BlueTooth, but it was very easy to set up and I am using it now.

    Pros: Kenwood quality, great performance

    Cons: Glare on screen makes it difficult to see in bright sunlight.