Aim high
Take it to the limit with the KDC-X996, the top-of-the-line Kenwood Excelon CD receiver for 2012. This great-looking car stereo features hands-free calling, HD Radio™ reception, and PANDORA® Internet radio control, along with some sophisticated sound controls.

PANDORA® Internet radio control with your iPhone®, Android, or Blackberry
If you stream Pandora® on your smartphone, you're not limited by a single platform. The KDC-X996 gives you iPhone control through the USB port, and control over your Android or Blackberry through the Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP). You can listen to and browse through your favorite stations whenever you're in range of your network.

HD Radio for superior sound and more
The receiver's built-in HD Radio tuner lets you enjoy HD Radio's superior sound quality and additional programming channels, all for free. You can also tag tunes for future purchase at the iTunes® store — all while you listen to FM that's close to CD quality, along with clear, static-free AM.

Kenwood KDC-X996

Hands-free calling
Bluetooth makes using your phone safer in the car. When a call comes in, just touch a button and then talk naturally like your caller is sitting next to you. Plus, you can stream audio from a compatible device to this receiver, so you can enjoy great music (and even control some functions) without any cables.

Enjoy your music media
You can plug in your iPod® to the rear USB port and scroll through your albums, artists, and playlists. Tools like Direct Search and Alphabet Search make it easy to find the tracks you want to hear. Of course, this Kenwood Excelon receiver renders all your favorite CDs in precise detail.

Great sound tops it off
If you're the kind of person who lives to tweak, you'll be happy with the extensive audio controls, including a 13-band equalizer, digital time alignment, and built-in frequency filters, that allow you to zero in on the precise sound you want to hear. Putting a full system together? The receiver uses three sets of preamp outputs to deliver a clean signal to your outboard amps.

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 the 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.

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

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • built-in HD Radio tuner
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • fold-down detachable face with selectable 5- or 3-line line display, plus variable display and control colors
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • 13-band equalizer
    • Sound Excellence DSP with speaker size settings, plus high- and low-pass crossovers
    • digital time alignment
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • subwoofer controls
    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: rear auxiliary and USB inputs
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

    Why replace your factory radio?

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

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    78 reviews
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    Awesome unit all around

    Written By Geno, MN 1998 tahoe on Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I love this unit. I can not believe i never removed the factory unit years ago. I have not replaced the factory speakers yet and I can not believe the sound improvement with just replacing the head unit. Speakers are next for sure. Crutchfield was simply the best to work with as always. Don't hesitate to by the refurbished unit. I have had mine a month and love it and it looks brand new. The blue tooth works awesome.

    Pros: Everything!!

    Cons: nothing at all.

    A big step up!

    Written By steve, sandy,ut on Saturday, November 16, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Good receiver, lots of adjustability for sound, display layout and color. But most adjustments involve opening multiple 'folders' to access them which can't safely be done will driving. This receiver really begs for quality speakers to take advantage of it's ability to tailor the sound to your liking. It has a sleek look to it and is a big step up from the factory unit and the Sony that this replaced. Installation was a snap and fit really well, and the master sheet was, as usual, really helpful to get the job done right the first time. I couldn't get the manual to download from Kenwood, but a quick call to Crutchfield and they were able to e-mail it to me. Thanks Crutchfield!

    Pros: Lots of adjustability to suit individual tastes, sleek looks, and ease of installation, and Crutchfield's phone support!

    Cons: Menus somewhat tedious to access

    Broke twice in a row

    Written By Eric S., Riverside, CA on Sunday, November 03, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    When working properly, this head unit is awesome. However, there is a major problem with the built-in signal processor. After 3 months, the head unit lost all output, turns out it was just the signal processor. You can bypass it and it works fine, but then whats the point of a high end unit? Crutchfield was great and replaced it, but then 5 months later, the SAME thing happened with the replacement head unit. You have been warned, if you use the built in signal processor, this unit WILL malfunction.

    Pros: Great features, packed with tons of awesome signal processing capability

    Cons: Display is not visible in daylight, and the signal processor WILL break.

    Great Radio

    Written By J. N, VA on Friday, October 18, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I was looking for a radio that mainly had B/T & USB. My car is a manual which makes it kind of hard to answer the phone sometimes. I found this H/U in scratch & dent section, great buy. I was optimistic at first but was completely blown away. There's so much tweeking that you can do, it's amazing. I read other reviews about not being able to see the screen. I changed the screen color to green (which understandably won't match alot of dash lights) but it seems to work ok. If you do get a refurbished radio don't forget Crutchfield sells warranties.

    Pros: B/T, rear USB, HD radio, tons of tweeking whats not to like

    Cons: uuuuhhhhh I don't know ( it wasn't free, lol) still haven't found any

    What more could you want!?!?!?

    Written By Justin S, Indianapolis, IN on Sunday, July 14, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Man this receiver has everything. The menu is easy to navigate. Plenty of preset controls and a ton of manual audio controls. This is a very intelligent receiver. Quick and easy install. I matched it with:

    Alpine KTP-445U amp Polk DB6501 6.5" component Kicker 40CS44 4"

    Pros: BT streaming, BT phone connect + phone book, USB & Aux input, HD radio, CD, 6 channel pre amp outs, variable color display, detachable face. Software X-over control, remote

    Cons: It doesn't do you dishes.

    many feature...need some time to play with it

    Written By PDubLA, LA on Monday, June 10, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great unit with many features and settings. Easy to install with the wiring harness and the dash kit. Supereasy! Also installed some dynamat on the doors and added new coaxials. Working on an amp and sub to add to the system. Will take a little time to play with all the eq settings.

    Pros: Many features and high quality unit

    Cons: Menu takes a little time to get use to

    So far so good

    Written By Chris, Dallas, TX on Saturday, May 25, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Replacing and old Excelon that after 8 years of use the connector to faceplate interface became damaged. This so far is another good source for the price.

    Pros: Bluetooth, 4V pre amp outs.

    Cons: User interface was a little difficult to figure out at first mostly it was the zone control. Not used to having to read the manual to figure out how to work something.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Anonymous, Savannah ga on Thursday, May 23, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great product no issues with install or product quality.

    lboogie

    Written By lboogie, Ypsilanti mi on Thursday, May 02, 2013

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

    Iron Man 2 15 kicker l7 3 12 kicker cvr's of Industry to: pushing over 7000 watt this is the best radio I've purchased up to this point only problem I have is this ability when the Sun hits screen

    Good

    Written By Anonymous, Huntersville, NC on Saturday, March 30, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Not a bad unit. Need to spend some time adjusting the settings for the equalizer. Nice to have the Aux input in the back of the radio. Have Sirius home/car adapter hooked into it.

    Pros: Easy to figure out.

    Cons: Sunlight glare is a bit of a problem.

    2005 Dodge Ram Quad Cab

    Written By Rich, Justin, Tx on Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I purchased my Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 in November 2012, installed it as outlined in the directions that accompanied the product. At first I thought I had made a good purchase, the sound quality and ease of use was remarkable. Then I noticed that once I turned the radio on, it wouldn't work until I removed and re-installed the face plate. after this went on for over a month,On the 21st of Jan 2013 I sent it back to Crutchfield for an exchange of the same model. I installed the new unit on the 25th of Jan 2013 and it worked without incident until the 22nd of March 2013, when it just decided it would not power up. I have removed the second unit and will send it back today (3/27/2013) and await for crutchfield to process it back into the system before I can receive a store credit. Then I can order a different unit and wait until it arrives. Looks like weeks without a radio. I have been a crutchfield fan up until Today. Why should I pay a restocking fee on a unit that is still under warranty?? Why do I get to wait a couple of weeks before I get a replacement radio??? Not Happy!

    Pros: Great sound, easy to use

    Cons: cannot see display during daylight hours as sun glare make it difficult to see. radio seems flimsly, this is the second unit I have had that has failed.

    Great radio

    Written By Nick, Lockport, NY on Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great stereo for price, lots of features

    Pros: Sounds great, looks great, very customizable, and has 3 outputs

    Cons: Screen has little bit of glare on very sunny days

    Great unit, but not without flaws

    Written By Corey, Slidell, LA on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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

    I bought one of these about six months ago to replace the Pioneer DEH-510UB I had in my car. I loved the pioneer, but I wanted bluetooth, and to be able to stream music from my phone to the radio via Bluetooth. This fit the bill perfectly. It's got tons of equalizer, time correction, crossover, etc. settings to fine tune the output to your liking. For me, this was excellent. However, it's a LOT of tuning, and some people might not want to get into all of that. The sound quality is superb, and I haven't run into many issues with playback from USB. I love the unit overall.

    However, there ARE quite a few flaws in the X996. First, and most importantly, there's a flaw in the firmware in my particular radio. This flaw causes the unit to output no sound on any source, forcing you to press the reset button behind the radio to restore sound. This caught me off guard the first time it happened, and it spent HOURS re-tuning everything. I have all my settings recorded for when it happens again (Has happened three times in six months). Supposedly, Kenwood released an updated firmware to fix this and the slow Bluetooth sync issue.

    Second, the user interface sucks if you're not using the remote. In fact, some functions REQUIRE the remote. Not a huge deal, but definitely wasn't thought all the way through.

    Third, there's no button on the face to switch between folders. You need the remote to do this as well.

    Last, I STILL haven't found a way to jump to a specific song in a large folder

    Pros: -Beautiful -Excellent sound quality -Tons of source features -Tons of EQ/Time/Crossover settings

    Cons: -Buggy firmware -Remote required for certain functions -Confusing user interface -Slow Bluetooth sync

    Excelon KDC-X996 - Issues

    Written By Kelvin, Kirkland, WA on Friday, March 15, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I was looking for a replacement for my Jeep Liberty Renegade factory radio and considered purchasing the Kenwood KDC-X996. Wiring was easy even with the steering wheel control adapter. Sound quality is nice with the factory powered Infinity speakers. A few annoying things: display is difficult to see with full sunlight, preset feature is not easy to use since it is a 3 step process, and of course I ran into the bug when I took a BT call and the X'over settings defaults to Flat. I tried to update the firmware numerous times using different discs, different CD/DVD writers, and using "mastered" format and it doesn't work. Kenwood won't send me an update disc.

    Pros: Nice sound quality! HD Radio is a great feature

    Cons: Preset is annoying, can't update firmware, and unable to see display with full sunlight.

    Great value!

    Written By Anonymous, Everett, WA on Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great deck for the money. A little slow on reconnecting my HTC One via Bluetooth but not bad. Tons of audio adjustments, enhancers, and settings.

    Pros: Easy install, great quality, awesome value

    Cons: Hate the screen effects when adjusting the volume. Slow Bluetooth reconnection

    When did I sign up to beta test Kenwoods garbage?

    Written By mad, ok on Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    On paper it looks like a great head unit. In practice it's certainly not the most polished unit you could get, but as long as it does what it says it can, I'll forgive a few extra menus to scroll through. Of course that's asking too much. First off I made the dumb move of not installing it as soon as the UPS truck drove off. If I had, the "possible wiring/cracked fuse (?)" excuse crutchfield gave to cover up the fail that is this unit would have been disproven and this would have gone right back to steaming pile it came from. Every 2-3 weeks the unit will suddenly not turn on. The red power light will turn on but the useless startup screen doesn't happen and none of the buttons on the display will revive it. The only fix this is to use a pen and hit the reset button under the face. You can imagine how convenient this is. So many ways to customize the unit and you get to reset it every 2 weeks. It like the movie Groundhog Day. As others have mentioned Kenwood staffs their customer support with the same level of incompetence that they demand in their product designers. I installed a Pioneer in the car which was still going when I took it out after 3 yrs. This unit is glossy, plastic coated, garbage. Do not buy this unit unless you like paying full price for someone's failed prototype.

    Pros: It's shiny.

    Cons: It's so shiny you can't really use it during the day. Paying for untested inoperable products.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Anonymous, Archie mo on Monday, March 11, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This was my first kenwood item did get returned but not because it was junk. I had some issues like sometimes a button had to be pushed several times to get it to respond and track and folder would flash on the display when iPod was in shuffle mode but kenwood didn't think it was normal so I just exchanged for a different model but sound quality is great and tons of sound settings I also like the color and display options and although some people found it difficult to use I had no problems with the menu. I did think kenwood customer service could be better they didn't really do any thing wrong just wasn't as friendly and eager to fix any issues you have however that's the upside to using Crutchfield they are great and excellent service like what top notch company's normally provide. The prices are good but if your playing the best price game you can maybe find a cheaper price but that will also come with a sacrifice like if they are not authorized dealer you won't have a warranty or the piece of mind knowing that if there is an issue you don't like with the product knowing you have a company to stand behind what they sell plus Crutchfield also includes dash kit and wiring harness plus fast and free shipping so do your homework before you choose another company

    Pros: Display sound quality functionability fair price

    Cons: Had some glitches and kenwood support not as strong as some

    Best single den radio for the price

    Written By Joe, Michigan on Thursday, March 07, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Best single din radio on the market for the price. Sound options galore. Sound quality is awesome, better then pioneer in this price range. Can't ask for a better radio in this price range. Kenwood's double din that does what this does is a thousand dollars more just because its a touch screen that should tell ya the hole story. Only issue I have is its not user friendly.

    Pros: Sound quility

    Cons: Ease of use

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Adam, Tampa, FL on Tuesday, March 05, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great unit - incredible upgrade over factory unit in my 2013 Tacoma.

    Pros: infinitely adjustable.

    Cons: Lots of menus - some display colors get washed out in bright sunlight.

    n

    Written By nicnico, burnsburns Oregon on Friday, March 01, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I think this is the best product for December come up with it's better than anything out there from what I seen it's a great head unit

    Pros: I really think it's awesome then sound and everything midrange tweeters sounds so clear and so perfect

    Cons: I really have anything negative to say about everything that I have put in too my truck from Kim what is great

    First-Time Kenwood Owner is Sold

    Written By Zach P, Delaware on Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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

    The Equalizer: That was the name of the game for me when in search of a new head unit for my coupé. I had just gotten over a bad relationship with a near-worthless Dual XDM6350, which had nothing more than a few preset EQ modes and only 3 adjustable EQ bands. The unit would not play any CDs and whenever I went over a bump, the signal would become incredibly unclear.

    The Kenwood KDC-X996 solved all of my problems. This thing has 13 adjustable EQ bands which is great for someone obsessed with sound quality on a budget. It has a cacophony of audio adjustment capabilities including surprising features like the ability to choose your speaker size and to set the seat in your vehicle (vehicle type is customizable too) where you want sound to be directed. The audio customization features are excellent.

    Radio is clear, color and display customization is intuitive and easy to adjust, and the Bluetooth feature has been very handy for me. Contrary to other reviewers, once I turn Bluetooth mode on via my phone, the head unit recognizes it immediately. The whole process takes less than 20 seconds for me, and I can still control all aspects of my phone and the head unit.

    The only issue I have run into is that the scroll feature for perusing through a device plugged in via USB is a bit slow and takes too many flicks of the main knob to speed up.

    Pros: - Great sound quality and audio customization for people with a relatively low budget - Bluetooth mode and supplied mic work fabulously once set up properly (took me 5 minutes to set up initially) - Display is visible in daylight, contrary to some other reviewers' claims, though colors are not as pronounced - Can't go wrong with all of the features for the price

    Cons: - Scroll speed when going through an external device's data leaves something to be desired

    my first Kenwood...and MY LAST!!

    Written By Bill K, Huntington, Indiana on Monday, February 25, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This was my first ever purchase of a Kenwood product and my last. First off, before I start my thoughts about this product, I have to first off mention that Crutchfield "as usual" were totally awesome and extremely helpful. The amount of professionalism from them was outstanding, the best customer service on the planet hands down!! Now, After having the Kenwood installed I instantly noticed problems. The unit kept resetting it's xovers, when turning up the volume it would actually turn down or plateau, the display was blurry at times, the 10 spectrum analyzer bars were not accurate at all. They appeared about 0.05 seconds off which I noticed right away. I also noticed that the Kenwood was not charging my ipod or iphone even though both showed it as charging, and periodically the LEDs would stop working when playing music, and an error message popped up. All this.....after finding out the radio already had the update from the factory. Kenwood told me to try and install it anyway which was another problem because it wouldnt let me. Kenwood has awful customer service skills as I spoke with several different people over a few days and all of them gave me different answers not to mention I could not understand any of them. It sounded like they were at a call center in Indonesia or something. So, even with the 2 updated firmware updates, the radio still had tons of issues. My first Kenwood experience is my last!!!

    Pros: lots of options for fine tweaking

    Cons: too many problems, build quality feels cheap, Kenwood customer service is a joke~

    Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Eric, Albuquerque on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Love this stereo. Paired it with a Sound Ordnance 8 inch powered sub. So many adjustments and the sound is great. IPhone 4 works perfectly with it. Instructions for setting up the digital delays are terrible and I had to go online to figure it out. The manual in general is poorly written. I leave the sound enhancements alone. They work okay but I prefer my music to be pure and flat. Same with the DSP positioning, I set it to front or all because if you select left or right the volumes get screwed up. EQ works well but the preset eqs are worthless. I have 4ways up front and 2ways in the back and the digital sources can sound tinny. This is a danger with high end units and compressed digital sources as imperfections are amplified. I plan on replacing the 4ways with two ways up front. With so many adjustments I spend a lot of time fiddling. I also changed the source selection method to 2 because I didn't want to step through each source to get to the one I wanted. Would also be nice for all manufacturers to include a pink noise test tone for each source.

    Pros: Sounds good, flexibility, plays everything you can throw at it.

    Cons: Complicated, wife couldn't figure it out without instructions so it is not intuitive. Can be a hazard on the road while selecting stations or making adjustments. A home button would be nice to back out of menus that are 4 and 5 levels deep.

    Great Stereo for not too much money

    Written By Chris, Columbus OH on Monday, January 28, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I bought this stereo so I could play my iPod, use my iPhone in Bluetooth mode, and I wanted to try out satellite radio. Everything hooked up together nicely and it all works. The operating system is a bit slow (there is a slight delay when you press a button, not too long, but noticeable) but other than that, it works great.

    Pros: So many input devices. I hooked up SiriusXM radio, my iPod, iPhone and an aux cable. Great equalizing capabilities and I can expand into having a powered sub and amped speakers if I wish.

    Cons: The button response is a bit slow, but not too bad. Small price to pay for everything else being great.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By RandyB, Longview, Wa on Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Product is great. I took into account some of the other reviews and found only ability to view the screen in sunlight to be of any significance. Just down loaded the full manual and read up on the various problems. a couple pushes of the display button will bring up the time, which was one of the complaints. Adjusted display to show time in lower right of the satilite screen. Constant view of time on HD radio screen.

    Pros: Bluetooth is great. Total control of sound with crossover controls of 16 band equilizer and various other means is very good.

    Cons: Only complaint is being able to see the screen in the sunlight. I had to sacrifice some of the great colors to choose from to get somthing that I could see the best.

    Incredible

    Written By Mr. Big, Columbus, OH on Saturday, January 19, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    In the past, I have had many high-end car radios. Alpine, Pioneer and Kenwood. They were all great. But, I have to say, this Kenwood is best the best unit that I have owned. This unit has great sound quality and a ton of functionality. I played around will all the features for 3 months. I finally decided the unit sounds best at flat equalization. As for sound settings, the only features I needed to use are the Digital Time Alignment, Subwoofer Gain and the Cross Overs. All the other features are nice but not needed for my setup which includes a subwoofer amp and a 4 channel amp to drive the 6.5 inch door speakers. The unit plays nice with the iphone 5. Pandora sounds good. The pandora sound quality is somewhere between analog fm radio and digital fm radio. I am sure Pandora compresses the audio signal.

    Pros: Great natural sound. Plays nice with iphone 5.

    Cons: The am/fm radio station storage and station retrieval is a bit different. For more details, read the user manual that Crutchfield provides.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By c r, columbia sc on Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    works and sounds good. fast shipping from crutchfield

    Pros: sound quality, options. blue tooth audio.

    Cons: complex menu for unit. has to use microphone for someone to hear user while using blue tooth. crutchfield did not have installation manual and dash kit for my vehicle. blue tooth did not sync with one of my phones. face plate removal/install odd and difficult. scared i might break..

    KDC-X996 Good, but not without annoying faults

    Written By ChrisR, Albany, NY on Sunday, January 13, 2013

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

    I have been using the X996 for 9 months now. First the Good: It sounds very nice. I have fully utilized the 4V outputs (Sub & Amp). If you aren't planning on adding a sub and/or amp, then you definitely will benefit from it's 50 watts (a bit more than the others out there). It is one of the FEW systems out there (single OR double din) that comes pre-configured with HD radio AND Bluetooth (major reason for my purchase). HD radio is great! Now the bad: The most annoying part with bluetooth, is that it takes 8 minutes..8 MINUTES! to sync with my phone each and every awful time I shut the car, phone, or radio off. During that time, my phone is locked. can't use it at all. There is a software (firmware) update from Kenwood, but it didn't help. The menu system is terrribly un-intuitive. If you find yourself deep in the menu system while a song is playing, and you have a sudden urge to lower the volume, you CAN'T because the volume button is controlling some other function than volume. The display itself is acceptable unless the sun is hitting it. The multi color display is nice, but most are not visible on a bright day (hint: choose green. It is most visible). Another annoyance is the inability to fast forward effectively through a long song. Most units have an intuitive increase in speed as you continue to hold the fast forward button. This will take you forever to forward through a 5 minute song. Simple things take 20 clicks, like changing to a pre-set radio station.

    Pros: I have been using the X996 for 9 months now. First the Good: It sounds very nice. I have fully utilized the 4V outputs (Sub & Amp). If you aren't planning on adding a sub and/or amp, then you definitely will benefit from it's 50 watts (a bit more than the others out there). It is one of the FEW systems out there (single OR double din) that comes pre-configured with HD radio AND Bluetooth (major reason for my purchase). HD radio is great!

    Cons: Now the bad: The most annoying part with bluetooth, is that it takes 8 minutes..8 MINUTES! to sync with my phone each and every awful time I shut the car, phone, or radio off. During that time, my phone is locked. can't use it at all. There is a software (firmware) update from Kenwood, but it didn't help. The menu system is terrribly un-intuitive. If you find yourself deep in the menu system while a song is playing, and you have a sudden urge to lower the volume, you CAN'T because the volum

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Girtski, Carleton, Michigan on Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Nice looking HU but have to agree with other reviews on the glare and the inexpensive "feel" of the controls. Love the sound and the ease of installation with this unit and the kitted parts that Crutchfield sent with it. No owners manual came with however I downloaded it (all 66 pages) so that someday I can learn all of it's full features. Noticed last night that when using Bluetooth for music from my iPhone there was a certain lack of tone. Particularly bass. I haven't taken the time to play with it but I'm hoping those tones return when using the USB or aux lines from my iPod and iPhone. Didn't know that many of the local stations around Detroit broadcast several HD signals. One for instance on HD1 was a lot of talking by the DJ's but HD2 and HD3 of the same frequency had 2 completely different songs playing at the same time. Kinda widens the choices a bit.

    Pros: Sound quality, nifty color choices on display, abitlity to utilize manual EQ or auto as with a few other features.

    Cons: Display glare, rifling through what seems like endless menus to find the setting you would like to manipulate.

    Kenwood Rocks!

    Written By Blake, Keystone Heights, FL on Saturday, January 05, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    WOW! This head unit has made a huge difference to my sound system. I have no buyer's remorse after installing this product. I already had polk audio speakers throughout, and a 6.5" Kicker sub in my center console with a kicker amp under the dash in my 05 Jeep Wrangler. This was running of my stock radio and sounded pretty good, but I wasn't completely satisfied. After installing this head unit though you would not believe the difference. I am beyond happy and didn't think my car would sound like it does. It took about an hour to install which was actually pretty easy once you get all the wires matched up. Then another hour playing around with the unit to adjust the audio settings. The blue tooth works great and I can stream all my music without wires. The display does have a glare during the day, but mess around with the colors and you will find one that you can see. There are so many features and is relatively easy to use after playing around with it. So far the phone calls were heard loud and clear through the Jeep which I was surprised because the soft top gives a lot of background noise. Overall, I have never been so excited about a radio and this is the best you can get for a single DIN! I will buy Kenwwod again.

    Pros: Sound quality, Blue tooth audio streaming with pandora, pro setup and customization (too many to list). Price wasn't too bad either for what all you are getting.

    Cons: glare

    Great Radio

    Written By Eric, Albuquerque on Saturday, December 29, 2012

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

    Great radio with tons of audio settings. Unit is hard to read when there is any glare on the face.

    Pros: Great sound

    Cons: The adviser picked the wrong installation kit for my car and had to get the correct one from a different website!

    Works for me!!

    Written By DaysF1, Reading, PA on Thursday, December 20, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I really am enjoying my new headunit. I got a refurb unit so the value was exceptional for me. It sounds great, matches my factory lighting perfectly, and looks cool too. For everyone having a hard time reading the display, just switch to negative display and no problems. My phone (Galaxy S) pairs up a little slowly but no worse than other units ive paired to. Calls sound great and no complaints from those ive talked to. I recommend this unit highly.

    Pros: Looks Sound

    Cons: No hard button pre-sets

    Feels loose & cheap but an Awesome Unit! Love it!

    Written By Evil G, Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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

    This unit has a ton of features. I won't even begin to list them. Besides, others already have... some in great detail. For the most part, they're all accurate. The only thing I want to address here is a bluetooth issue. Some one posted that there's no subwoofer signal when playing music via bluetooth. I remedied that by changing the bluetooth audio output (one of the units options) from "front" speakers only to "all" speakers.

    Pros: The 13band EQ sealed the deal. There are other units w/ the same features, but none have the EQ range.

    Cons: 1) The display is tricky to read in daylight. 2) The unit feels like it's poorly made... faceplate and buttons feel loose. 3) Features ppl would use most (EQ, Loudness, Boost, Sub mute, EQ preset, etc....) are hidden within the "settings tree." Should be right on top and easy to access. 4) Is a little pricey.

    Shiny. Needs a parametric EQ.

    Written By dwc, Orlando, FL on Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Listen to the reviews concerning the glare on the face. I have changed the mounting position in my 03 Jetta to lower it. If there is anything light colored in the passenger seat, I cannot read the display.

    For all of the SQ features associated with the DSP, this thing needs a parametric EQ to really reach the next level. I've spent a couple of hours trying to tame an annoying peak around 1kHz, and even though the 13-band graphic EQ has a 1kHz band, it isn't precise enough to correct my problem.

    iphone and Pandora control work great. playing mp3s from a USB flash drive works relatively well, but on occasion some tracks will end after just a few seconds. After a week, I still haven't figured out the best way to select radio stations, and the HD tuning response time is very slow -- but I'm pretty happy with the HD Radio SQ.

    I chose this unit over others providing BT and HD because the faceplate isn't silly looking. In the end, I miss having preset station buttons. The BT works pretty well, and streaming audio is actually pretty good quality, but the time it takes to connect and "download" (whatever that means) is annoying. It is not as seamless as OEM BT integration, which was a little bit of a shock.

    Pros: Very good SQ. DSP for DTA is pretty solid. Faceplate doesn't look like it was made for a 12 year old.

    Cons: Lack of a parametric EQ means this isn't a true SQ contender. Faceplate, as nice as it looks, is WAY TOO reflective. You might miss the lack of preset radio station buttons. BT connection works, but be prepared for a wait.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By jessica, fremont, CA on Saturday, November 10, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    1. ease of use. it would have been a 5 star but it is not intuative, it takes awhile to get used to where to press for what. once you learn all of that it is pretty simple and offers many options for those at all levels. 2. the coolness factor, for what it is yes, it is cool. the display offers all the information you might want from your radio, or CD, and also streaming.. it stream really well from my adroid cell phone and make my music sound much better. you have all sorts of options in regard to lighting so you can go crazy if you like. sound quality. you have different settings for CD and the HD radio and they make whatever you play sound really good (at a certain volume range). go outside of the loudness you tuned your settings for such as much lower or louder in volume and you feel like you have to reset everything you just adjusted but if you do, then it does not sound great for the other volume you had. the unit has good poser but it helps many times over to have a separate amplifier, it really needs the boast as i experienced from with and without a separate amplifier. 3. build quality: i am really disapointed. this unit requires upgrades from both a cd and usb and even with Kenwood's help it could not be done and received all sorts of excuses from Kenwood support as opposed to solutions. be careful of what size USB to attach, it does not seem to work with anything over 1-2 gb, the smaller the better. The CD player scratches the cds unless you insert them very slow

    Pros: under ideal conditions and settings it looks nice and operates well enough, but never great. ideal condtions do not exist. i found it easy to operate once learned but there is a steep learning curve but those at crutchfield can easily and quickly get you up to speed. purchasing it at Crutchfield for a full warranty, Kenwood does not offer units purchased from non-authorized retailers. it come with all sorts of options like bluetooth, usb, cd, streaming, etc, but not all work well. separation of chann

    Cons: for the money it is a loser, i could have done much better. crutchfield does not discount prices but they do offer good support. i quickly learned it does not have the highs and lows as compared to pioneer products, such as my old pioneer which it replaced but most do not need to hear in that range. cd player scraches CDs if you are not 100% careful. only small size USB memory work, forget anything over 2 gb. in my opinion, the value is not even close, then again, everything seems to be disposab

    Solid Choice

    Written By Alek, Grand Rapids, MI on Friday, November 09, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I spent a long time trying to find the best product at this price point. It was a difficult choice between this, a Pioneer, and an Alpine. After reading LOTS of reviews, this looked like the best choice. After almost six months, I'm not disappointed!

    Pros: DSP provides excellent options to enhance your sound-stage and correct for your vehicle's acoustics. Just about every feature you could ask for at this price point.

    Cons: Interface is a bit awkward. One strange point: it remembers radio presets when it loses power (i.e. if you disconnect your battery), but it forgets EVERYTHING ELSE. WHY!? You can enable/disable many of the inputs from the source menu, but you cannot disable the Sirrius/XM satellite tuner option. I find this particularly annoying, because I have no intention of installing a satellite radio tuner-I bought this for the Pandora options. Display isn't great in bright light.

    Good radio with lots of features

    Written By chris, allentown, pa on Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    First one had a inop menu button, but crutchfield customer service came through with a quick replacement, 2nd one works. Overall I like the features but I'm always amazed at the things not included in high end radios. Example: front buttons or a more convenient way of scrolling presets and channels at the same time when on sirius would be a big bonus. When I disconnect the battery the unit appently loses its settings and defaults back to "demo" mode... don't need the radio to default to demo mode. Default mode for bluetooth is front speakers only but the unit advertises bluetooth audio.. you need to manually configure that. There are tons of audio adjustment options, but no menu-customization options. When changing sources the source plays instantly, and you can't turn any but pandora and aux-in off, so you want to go from sirius to usb for example and you need to hear everything inbetween. Scrolling through folders is awkward.... that's not a bad radio, it's just bad attention to detail on programming.

    Overall though Great product and features, but the final details on delivery are a little rushed. I needed to buy this or the higher model Alpine to get the features I want in a single-Din. (Sirius, USB, good sound).... these top end units in single din are more of a matter of which one gives you the best compromise than which unit is vastly superior.

    My motorola Android bluetooth works great Good stuff: Sounds awesome, looks good, USB works well (but

    Pros: flip-down face works with my BMW 325xi (though Crutchfield it's not recommended for the car). adjustable colors, good sound, many features in 1 radio. Reasonably priced compared to double-din units. Very functional and a great features.

    Cons: programming and some detail oriented usability / functionality items could be smoothed out. Front face buttons and a SD card would be nice on the front.

    Not an SQ head unit

    Written By Adam H., OKC, OK on Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is a decent unit that is well built, but not a sound quality unit. Unfortunately, an SQ unit is what I was looking for. I was mislead to this unit because I want to raise the sound stage in my F150 W/O going to a 3 way active setup. The Crutchfield adviser told me this unit would do that. I asked him if HE had heard it, and if it REALLY worked. He said it worked great, which means he lied. All the unit does when you want to raise the sound stage is boost the 2khz band, and lower the 4-5khz band to add depth. All of this could have been done with the EQ. Additionally, the unit does not have a 3 way capability option that it claims it has. There is a tweeter option supposedly that I have no idea how to utilize. One reason would be that the unit doesn't come with an owners manual. What is that????? Crutchfield really let me down on this unit. I should have gone with the DEH 80PRS like I originally wanted to, but the wife has put an end to my audio purchases until after Christmas... :( This is a great unit if you like funny gadgets like bluetooth, HD Radio and all sorts of bass boost like options... not my thing. I use amps, sound deadening, and high end drivers. I know Crutchfield can't be right all the time, but when you claim to know all things sound quality make sure your advisers do as well.

    Pros: Build Quality, looks, ease of install, bluetooth is easy to use

    Cons: Sound quality, ease of use, remote, Crutchfield's knowledge base.

    Excellent

    Written By SMW08003, CT Shoreline on Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Love it. The only reason I gave it a 4 build quality is because when you disconnect the leads to the battery you lose all your settings (ie no internal memory without power), not a big deal but kind of a pain in the butt. I feel like something this sophisticated should have a tiny little flash memory inside it to store at least some basic speaker and sub settings.

    I agree with all the good stuff... BUT

    Written By Billyant, Boynton beach, FL on Tuesday, October 09, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)