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
    Expandability:
    • 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.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    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: Bluetooth.you 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
      Value

    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

    KDC-X896

    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

    Disappointing

    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.

    Unit only lasted about 4 months

    Written By Mike T, Florida on Tuesday, November 06, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    After 4 months the display shuts off by itself and restarts constantly. For a detachable face radio that I never detach it's had a pretty poor lifespan.

    Kenwood excelon KDC-X896

    Written By Matt, North Conway, NH on Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This stereo is great works really good a little hard to set everything up but once you figure it out it works great

    Pros: Great deck fast fast fast shipping

    Cons: None

    Great, Reasonably Priced Head Unit

    Written By Rob, Ann Arbor, MI on Sunday, September 30, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This was a good purchase to replace a factory head unit. The price for the features that are included made this a very good value and so far the sound quality has been great. The ease of use is a little less than stellar but once you figure out how to use the menu structure with the buttons and controls, it's a little less confusing; but, I still find myself getting a bit lost in the menu structure and forgetting how to change a particular setting or performing a particular task, for instance. The installation was pretty easy with a small issue with my factory installed subwoofer. A quick call to Crutchfied tech support resolved my issue but it required me to go buy a voltage regulartor and soldering it in line with the subwoofer power line.

    Pros: Tons of features (ipod, bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, aux in,), looks great and compatible with my vehicle.

    Cons: Confusing and complicated menu structure.

    Display hard to read, no presets without remote

    Written By Steve77, El Paso Texas on Thursday, September 13, 2012

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

    Very disappointed in the visibility of the display which is completely washed out by the sun, no matter what color I choose. There is no-way to jump between pre-programmed channels from the face of the unit. To choose a pre-set you must choose a preset number from the Chiclet sized remote then you must press enter; a two step process just to change stations. Furthermore, to switch between radio and any other type of input, you must scroll through each option with a second delay each step. It may take me another couple weeks just to memorize the Chiclet remote so I don't crash while trying to drive and change stations. What is so wrong with OEM sized buttons on aftermarket stereos?

    Pros: BT and HD

    Cons: Display visibility, lack of direct inputs on head unit, Chiclet size remote control (required to actually use the radio).

    Awesome

    Written By James, Knoxville, TN on Monday, September 10, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great unit. The manual that comes with it doesn't explain everything...you will need to go download several other pieces of literature and if you plan to use it with an external hard drive there is some software on Kenwood's site that makes it work much better to index the music and make it searchable by artist, album, etc. If you are willing to spend some time learning how to use it....it's the best thing out there!

    Pros: Lots of options, settings and connection types.

    Cons: Very advanced. You must be willing to study some manuals and spend a little time getting it set up.

    Good unit. Easy install

    Written By Greg, Seattle, WA on Monday, August 27, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Unit was easy to install following the provided instructions. I put it in a 2000 Porsche Boxster S with the BOSE sound package. The special instuctions regarding 2 wires being swapped was especially nice. The HD radio has great sound, bluetooth phone is clear and audible, and bluetooth music streaming from my Lumia 900 is awesome.

    Pros: Clear instructions, provided harness, and tools

    A good buy

    Written By fonz99, Baltimore, MD on Friday, August 17, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    OK first off you will read some reviews that are not so favorable. I believe these people did not take time to read the manual or do not comprehend well. Everything the nay Sayers said I found a fix for by just reading. I found that this is by far one of the best head units I have ever owned or that of any of my friends. It is a stream line function that is a piece of art. Just remember reading is fundamental.

    Pros: Great sound, pick your color, multi in puts

    Cons: Crutchfield will not take food stamps :-)

    Disappointed

    Written By Ron C, New Mexico on Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Cannot see the display during the day light hours and control panel is worthless. I am very surprised and disappointed that Kenwood would release a product with these faults. I have to find a channel to listen to while I am stopped somewhere and have to listen to that or just guess at what I will be listening to until I can stop again to tune the station. I suppose when I get time I will learn how to use the remote and program some stations in. Bluetooth phone works great but have not figured out the iPhone connection yet either. Would like to send it back and choose another product...will look into that.

    Pros: Bluetooth works USB front panel Remote control XM and HD

    Cons: Worthless display Useless user interface

    Customer service sold me on this one!

    Written By Tony, Harrisonburg, VA on Sunday, August 12, 2012

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

    I've bought many things from Crutchfield over the years, but the sales advisors in the Harrisonburg store went out of their way to make sure I was satisfied before I left with this great stereo. We tested almost every stereo to find one compatible with my generic android phone, and this one was one of the few that worked. The one I purchased came from the outlet, and we even tested it in the store to make sure it worked with my phone. After I installed it, bluetooth setup was simple, and works great in my truck. I can drive with the windows down and use the phone without any wind noise over the mic. I also installed the siriusxm tuner, and the sound quality is way better than my old plug and play receiver. The only downside is that it took a while to get used to not having preset buttons, especially with sirius. After I got this figured out, I'm completely satisfied with this stereo.

    Pros: Bluetooth phone sound quality, controls for Siriusxm, different color display options to match interior lights.

    Cons: took a while to get used to not having preset buttons on the face of the stereo. Once you get the presets programmed, set the tuner default to 'preset' and it will make changing stations much easier

    Awesome!

    Written By JimM, Idaho on Wednesday, August 01, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is one of the best head units I have personally used in any price range! It synchs with my phone without any problems, has great sound, and the multicolored LED back-lighting is just cool. The protective cover over the auxiliary in and USB port is a nice touch. My only real complaint is that they tried to reduce the number of buttons by making the knob do it all. It is way too easy to mess up your settings when all you wanted to do was turn the volume up or down because you hit a bump and moved the knob up, down, or to the side.

    Pros: Looks great. Allows the use of cell phones hands free. can use a thumb drive. Can plug your MP3 player into it. Great tuner. Great sound. Good price. High quality.

    Cons: Too many functions on the knob.

    So Disapointed

    Written By WAS a kenwood fan, VA on Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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

    terrible radio all around. refuses to work with android, connects maybe 7 out of 10 tries at best. will not read folders inside folders and if you listen to the music not hooked to the radio (as in use your phone as MP3) it will not play that folder again. You cannot leave blue tooth on or it will refuse to connect 95% of the time. before i made the connection about blue tooth being on it would take me around 10-15 minutes to get it to connect each time i got in the car. Now i have to leave bluetooth off, hope the phone connects, ( if it doesnt then be prepared for a 10 minute affair) and then turn bluetooth on,

    Now on to sound quality. This radio has so many controls and features that its pretty much like trying to code software from a linux computer. 95% of what this radio offers is lightyears above and beyond the above average user and out of the box it sounds terrible. be prepared to have to pay someone at a professional sound shop to tune this.

    this radio looks 10 times worse than any other radio ive had. its embarrassing to say this is the top of the line kenwood excelon cause it looks worse than a walmart sony special. i used to have a kenwood exelon x795 series from around 2005 with a color display and g meter in it, it was easy to read easy to use and i had it tuned in around 20 minutes. i would gladly trade this radio back and pay more to have the one from 2005 with the color display. i give one star because they will not let me give negative stars.

    Pros: sounds pretty good once you pay a NASA engineer to tune it correctly

    Cons: using it, reading it, looking at it, connecting devices to it. pretty much anything. its a horrible radio. id pay to have someone take it from me

    Kenwood KDC-X896

    Written By BobC, Wichita on Monday, July 30, 2012

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

    Sadly, my unit sounds fine but my CD player failed with the 2nd CD. I skips so I will be sending it back for a new one. One thing is disappointing is using the Radio. Without push buttons for channel selection it is a real pain to change channels. Fortunately for me I will use this for CDs and USB stuff but as a radio for HD or Sattellite this is a total failure.

    Pros: Great sound.

    Cons: No pushbuttons for saved channel selection. Far too many things going on for just one knob. No quick way to seach for channels that I have found. And the only manual is from a on line source.

    X896

    Written By AdrianM, Coachella Valley, CA on Monday, July 23, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Love this Stereo. I hooked it up to a couple Alpine Amps. One amp drives the Alpine component 6.75" doors speakers up front and the Polk Audio Coaxial I put in the rear doors. They sound great. The other amp is hooked up to 2 10" Kickers. The features on this stereo are the same as any stereo that comes with a new car, the different radio, xm, usb, aux, and bluetooth make for a lot of great listening options. The only problem I've found is when I updated Pandora on my iPhone, the radio doesn't seem to recognize it. Great stereo for the price and very easy to install with the included directions and accessories.

    Pros: Easy to install and features are self explanatory.

    Cons: The so called master sheet gives no optional hook up instructions for using amps vs the factory harness. Red, Yellow, Black, vs. Purple, Green, etc.

    Kenwood X896 - Great unit in a 2004 Dodge 1500

    Written By John R, Dallas TX on Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This head unit just took the technology in my 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 from basic to everything I want instantly. I still had the factory head unit which was a standard AM/FM CD player and now i can stream bluetooth from my phone, talk hands free through the stereo (very clear on both sides), HD radio, satellite ready, and a ton of other features. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but it was worth the step up on the display from the X796. The sound quality made a huge jump without even replacing speakers and the menus are pretty easy to navigate even without the instructions. I see what others have mentioned about daytime glare on the screen making it hard to read, but that is pretty minor and I'll probably cut a piece of anti-glare cover (for a smart phone) to fit. The display and button colors are fully adjustable too. With the preamp connections on the back I am already wired up to connect an amp and a small sub. All in all this is a great upgrade.

    - The best part is Crutchfield sends you EVERYTHING you need to install the unit...especially the wiring harness.

    Pros: Great technology uprade, easy pairing with bluetooth phone, quality music streaming and handsfree talking, easy to navigate menus, radio receiver is nice and clear, reads burned CDs no problem

    Cons: none so far - I can't say enough good about it right now

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896

    Written By Anonymous, NEW YORK on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    THE BEST RADIO. A LOT OF FEATURE ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE THE SOUND PERFECT THE WAY YOU WANT IT.

    Pros: PERFECT SOUND FOR ANY SPEAKERS. LOAD AND CLEAR.

    Cons: ADJUSTMENT VERY EASY

    Kenwood KDC-X896

    Written By Tom S, Duluth, MN on Tuesday, July 03, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Installing this stereo was a breeze. The sound is much better and the XM, Bluetooth, and iPod controls are great. Great value and great customer service from Crutchfield!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X896

    Written By RonJon, Slinger .Wi on Tuesday, July 03, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great receiver with great sound for a great value!

    Pros: Ease of instalation, removable face plate and great sound even with my stock speakers.

    Cons: manual is very difficult to understand. setting music stations is confusing and not used freindly

    As Advertised

    Written By Happy camper, Northern Illinois on Monday, July 02, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I really love this receiver. It does what it say it does and does it well. Installation was a breeze and now my 10 year old truck has all the audio bells and whistles I could hope for.

    Pros: Good value, quality product, easy install

    Cons: None so far

    Stop Looking, This Is The One

    Written By John B., Dallas Texas on Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I have been looking for this type of HU for a long time, It has everything I was looking for, and does what I want it to do, I have no problem changing the colors, and most of all I can plug my 160gig 2.5in external hard drive to it and have access to my whole music collection on the road, that is a great thing if you travel a lot, in order to play music from a large hard drive you need to do a few things: 1st- You need to format the hard drive to fat32 using "EaseUS® Partition Master Professional" http://www.partition-tool.com/ or Equivalent. 2nd- Download and install "Kenwood Music Editor Light" http://www.kenwood.com/cs/ce/music_editor_light/english/index.htmll you