1.888.955.6000
 
 
1-888-955-6000
crutchfield.com
Crutchfield

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

CD receiver (New stock)

Zoom
  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Front

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Back

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Remote

Item# 113KDCX996
 

Review Summary

DISCONTINUED
 
This item is no longer available to purchase.
 
Contact us for other options
 
Call   Email  
 
 
 
 
 

Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

by Ken Nail
Kenwood

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.

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.

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:
     

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

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant
    Loading...
    No
    RMS Power Output
    Loading...
    22 watts
    Peak Output
    Loading...
    50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
    Loading...
    20-20KHz
    Preamp Outputs
    Loading...
    6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
    Loading...
    Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
    Loading...
    No
    Preamp Voltage
    Loading...
    4 volts
    Display Color
    Loading...
    Variable
    Key Button Color
    Loading...
    Variable
    EQ Bands
    Loading...
    13
    Wireless Remote
    Loading...
    Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
    Loading...
    Adapter required
    Parts Warranty
    Loading...
    2 Years
    Labor Warranty
    Loading...
    2 Years
    Expandability
    AUX Input
    Loading...
    Rear
    USB Input
    Loading...
    Rear
    Memory Card Slot
    Loading...
    USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible
    Loading...
    Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready
    Loading...
    SiriusXM
    HD Radio
    Loading...
    Built-in
    Navigation
    Loading...
    No
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
    Loading...
    Classic/5Gen
    Nano
    Loading...
    7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch
    Loading...
    5/4/3/2/1
    Mini
    Loading...
    No
    iPhone
    Loading...
    5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
    Loading...
    9.3 dBf
    European Tuning
    Loading...
    No
    Seek/Scan
    Loading...
    Seek
    Radio Data System
    Loading...
    No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

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

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X996 CD receiver is part of Kenwood's Excelon series line-up. It incorporates the latest technologies and delivers the highest sonic performance. From advanced audio tuning capabilities, crossover and equalizer system, high-voltage preouts (4V), and a two-year warranty - Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with long-lasting dependability.

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KDC-X996 are as follows:

    • Full Bandwidth Power: 22 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20-20kHz, 1% THD)
    • Maximum Output Power: 50 watts x 4 channels

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X996 features front, rear and subwoofer 4.0-volt preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs are fixed to the rear chassis of the head unit.

    Note: You can turn the KDC-X996's built-in amplifier off to improve the quality of the sound from the head unit's preamp outputs.

    Sound Excellence DSP (Digital Signal Processing): In order to optimize the sound quality, you can use the unit's Sound Excellence DSP to set the type of vehicle, speaker sizes, distances and x-over points. The DSP settings include the following:

    • Car Type: Select your car type to automatically set the Delay Time of each speaker for timing adjustment of sound output of each channel to have the highest surround effect. Choose from Compact, Full Size Car, Wagon, Mini Van , Mini Van Long, SUV, or Off
    • Listening Position: For a better sound-stage you can select your optimal listening position. You can choose from All, Front Left, Front Right or Front. You can also select to manually fine tune the sound stage by selecting the distance for each individual speaker in the vehicle compared to your listening position.
    • Digital Time Alignment (DTA): Choose from 0.00 to 20' (0.07' steps) for the Front pair of speakers, Rear pair of speakers and Subwoofer distances in reference to the distance between your listening positioning and the locations of the particular speakers.
    • Speaker Location: You can set the location of your vehicle's Front and Rear speakers.
      • Front: Door, On Dash, or Under Dash
      • Rear: Door, Rear Deck, 2nd Row, or 3rd Row
    • Speaker Size: You can select the speaker size for your Front & Rear speakers, as well as your subwoofer.
      • Front: Small, Medium, or Large
      • Tweeter: None, Small, Middle or Large
      • Rear: None, Small, Medium, or Large
      • Subwoofer: None, Small, or Large
    • X'Over: The head unit features independent Front, Rear, & tweeter high-pass crossovers, as well as a subwoofer low-pass crossover.
      • Front High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or select Full-Range)
      • Rear High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or select Full-Range)
      • Tweeter High Pass Filter: 1, 1.6, 2.5, 4, 5, 6.3, 8, 10, or 12.5 kHz
      • Subwoofer Low Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or Select Full-Range)
    • Speaker Level: You can adjust the volume level (0 to -8dB) of the Front, Rear, Tweeter, and Subwoofer channels independently.
    • Subwoofer Phase: Choose either Normal (0°) or Reverse  (180°)
    • Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.
      • Supreme Setting: When MP3, WMA, and AAC files encoded at a low bit rate (less than 96 kbps, 44.1k, 48kHz) are played, the Supreme Setting function restores their high frequencies so the sound quality is closer to files encoded at a high bit rate; the processing is optimized for the compression format and the bit rate used.; when the Supreme Setting is Off, the unit plays the original sound stored in the audio file
      • Elevation Level: You can virtually raise the sound position heard from your speakers; the Elevation Level can be set to High, Low, or Off
      • Space Enhancer: You can set the Space Enhancer to Small, Large, or Off each setting value indicates the soundscape level
      • Sound Realizer: Virtually makes the sound more realistic using the DSP; can bet se to LVL1, LVL2, LVL3, or Off
      • Highway Sound: You can boost a certain range of sound that becomes hard to hear due to road noise; the Highway Sound level can be set to High, Low, or Off

    Note: You can also choose to bypass the head unit's DSP feature.

    Equalizer Control: Equalizer Control allows you to use one of the EQ presets, or set your own custom settings for the front and back speakers using the 13-band Equalizer. The EQ adjustments are as follows:

    • EQ Presets: You can select from Flat, Natural, Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Powerful, iPod (you can select from 22 EQ curve types within your iPod), or User (customized 7-band EQ).
    • 13-Band EQ: 7-Band frequency adjustment (-9 to +9 dB) for Front & Rear speakers using the following center frequencies; 62.5Hz, 100kHz, 160Hz, 250kHz, 400Hz, 630kHz, 1kHz, 1.6kHz, 2.5kHz, 4kHz, 6.3khz, 10kHz, and 16kHz.

    Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store EQ and tone settings for each source (Disc, AM/FM, USB, iPod, Bluetooth Audio, and Pandora).

    Bass Boost: The KDC-X996 features a four-step Bass Boost (Off/1/2/3) to enhance your music's lower frequencies.

    Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes.

    Volume Offset: The level of each source may be independently adjusted to prevent radical leaps in output volume when switching from one source to another. The available settings range from -8 to 0 (-8 to +8 for Aux source).

    Dual Zone: The Dual Zone mode allows you to output the Main source and the Auxiliary input separately for the front & rear channels. You can select whether the auxiliary input will play in the front or the rear. You can adjust the volume of the rear channels independently from the front channels (0-35). The head unit's audio settings have no effect on the second zone.

    Key Beep: The in-dash navigation-multimedia head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth ver. 3.0 (powered by Parrot) allowing you to make and receive phone calls wirelessly through the receiver; as well as stream music wirelessly from your smartphone to the head unit. Bluetooth Technology is a short-range wireless radio connectivity technology that was developed as a cable replacement for mobile phones and other electronic devices. Bluetooth operates in 2.4 GHz frequency range and transmits voice and data at speeds up to 1 megabit per second.

    Bluetooth Profiles: In order to use Bluetooth wireless technology, your phone must also be Bluetooth compatible and be able to interpret certain profiles. This unit is compatible with the following Bluetooth Profiles:

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

    Pairing: Your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone must be paired with the KDC-X996 before hands-free operation. You can register up to five Bluetooth enabled cell-phones with the Kenwood head unit (only one paired phone can be used at a time).

    Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996. See Kenwood's Bluetooth Compatibility List for the latest mobile device compatibility.

    External Microphone: The Kenwood KDC-X996 includes an external microphone to carry on your side of your phone conversation and voice command dialing. The external wired microphone offers improved audio quality versus an integrated microphone, so you can be heard easier over noisy traffic and road noise. The external microphone features an attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle 3.5mm connector which plugs into the mic input on the rear-panel of the head unit. The microphone offers an integrated mounting bracket which can be clipped to your vehicle's sun-visor or taped to your dash. The external microphone measures 0.525" (diameter) x 1.485" (depth).

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

    Bluetooth Hands-Free Communication: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-X996 can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also includes and external microphone (featuring adjustable gain), so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your vehicles speakers. During a conversation, you can switch between the Private Mode (talking directly on your cell phone) and the Hands Free Mode. 

    • Answering a Call: When a call comes in, a ring-tone will be heard through your vehicle's speaker and the caller's name or phone number will be displayed. You can answer the call from the head unit's front-panel controls, or setup the head unit to automatically answer the incoming call immediately or after 1-99 seconds. The KDC-X996 also supports the Call Waiting function, so you can answer another incoming call while suspending the current call you are on. Your compatible cell-phone must also support this feature.
    • Dialing a Number: Using the KDC-X996, you can dial a phone number in one of the following ways:
      • Entering a Phone Number: Allows you to directly dial a phone number up to 32 digits from the head unit's control knob or remote control.
      • Speed (Preset) Dialing: Allows you to register up to 6 phone numbers for quick dialing. The preset numbers can be accessed from the head unit's Control Knob.
      • Phone Book: You can dial by using the downloaded phone book. You can download phone book data from your cell phone to the KDC-X996. Up to 600 numbers can be stored for each registered cell phone. Each number can be up to 32 digits long and each name can be up to 50 characters long.  Stored phone numbers can be categorized by General, Home, Office, Mobile, or Other. You can search each category of the phone book in alphabetical order.
      • Call Log: The Call Log is a list of calls that have originated from and were received by this unit that you can dial. You can select Outgoing, Incoming, or Missed calls.
      • Voice Dialing: If your mobile phone supports voice recognition, then you can dial out by voice command. Simply speak into the included microphone. You can register up to 35 voice tags.

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

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

    Wireless Audio Streaming: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-X996 will be able to control basic playback functions of your Bluetooth device's stored music; such as Play/Pause, Next/Previous Track, Fast Forward/Rewind, and Random/Repeat. The head unit will also display your stored music's song information; such as Artist name and Song/Album title. The KDC-X996 also supports audio streaming of music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker), but without control or metadata. You will continue to use your Bluetooth enabled smartphone to view and control streaming music apps.

    Note: Apple devices with iOS 6.0+ support Bluetooth audio streaming, but without control or metadata display.

    Bluetooth Detailed Settings: The KDC-X996 offers the following Bluetooth Detailed Settings, so you can configure the unit to suit your needs.

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

    HD Radio

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

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

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

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

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

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-X996's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 offers two preset modes.

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

    Auto Memory Tuning: Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling.

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

    Note: You can also setup the KDC-X996 to search only HD Radio stations.

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

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 comes ready for SiriusXM programming with access to XM and Sirius Satellite Radio stations. Thanks to its proprietary SiriusXM Connect port, you can add the optional SXV200V1 SiriusXM Connect tuner and receive more than 150 channels of exclusive programming directly from SiriusXM, via the "SiriusXM All Access" package (subscription required). Visit SiriusXM.com for a complete list of subscription options and channel guide. Additional features of the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect tuner include:

    • Channel list displays a list of all available channels
    • Category Search searches for channels in a certain category
    • Displayed Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's LCD
    • Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets
    • Direct Tuning via included remote
    • Song/Artist Alert with visual notification of your favorite songs or artists
    • Supports the SiriusXM Instant Replay function, so you can pause, rewind, and replay up to 30 minutes of live content
    • iTunes Tagging for connected iPod/iPhone
    • Channels containing unsuitable content for children can be blocked

    Note: A separate SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription is required (operates on the XM Network). If you already have a Sirius Satellite Radio subscription, this radio cannot be added as a discounted second unit. If you have an existing XM Satellite Radio subscription, you can add this unit as a discounted second unit.

    Disc Playback

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

    MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The KDC-X996 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and AAC (8-320 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc can have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder (512 maximum number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA/AAC playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (ver. 1.x/2.x) and WMA Tag information - up to 60 characters.

    Text Scroll: The KDC-X996 will display CD text or Audio file text. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto, Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.

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

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

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 features the following Repeat, Random, and Scan playback modes.

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

    Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to the tuner mode while a CD is playing, the next time CD is selected as the source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.

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

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

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

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

    USB/Aux Inputs

    USB Port: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 features a rear panel USB (type-A) port that is attached to the unit's rear-chassis via a 35" pigtail. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device with MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and AAC (8-320 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 folder layers, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder - with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

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

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.1.1.0). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3/WMA music files to your USB (MSC) devices from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB (MSC) device using Kenwood Music Editor Lite through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using the head unit's Music Search function.

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

    • Windows XP Professional, Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit)
    • Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)

    Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Zune, or Android.

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

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

    Auxiliary Display: The KDC-X996 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.

    iPod/Android Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The KDC-X996's rear panel USB port also acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5; use the Lighting-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X996.

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

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

    • Head Unit: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically (A-Z) or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). In addition, the head unit offers Related Search, which allows you to play songs related to the currently playing song. Related Search lets the head unit create an album list of the currently playing artist, a song list of the currently playing album, a artist list of the currently playing genre, or a album list of currently playing composer. The head unit also supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
    • iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker) from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Kenwood head unit and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode.

    Note: Access to your iPhone's downloaded applications will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet.

    Pandora Internet Radio Control: The Kenwood KDC-X996 CD receiver lets you playback and control the Pandora Internet Radio music service that is being streamed to your Apple iPhone, Android smartphone, or BlackBerry. While providing control over the Pandora music service, the KDC-X996 also displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list; you can sort the station list by date or alphabetically (A-Z). You can also skip song tracks within a station. In addition, you can also give songs a thumbs up/down and bookmark songs/artists.

    • Pandora App for iPhone: The Kenwood KDC-X996 lets you playback and control Pandora Internet Radio streamed to your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately) or the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora App from the Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.
    • Pandora via Android or BlackBerry: The Kenwood KDC-X996 also lets you playback and control Pandora Internet Radio streamed from your Android or BlackBerry smartphone, via Bluetooth (no hard-wired connection required). Your Android or BlackBerry smartphone must have the latest version of the Pandora App from the Android Market or the BlackBerry App World. Your Android or BlackBerry smartphone must also be Bluetooth A2DP/AVRCP/SPP certified and will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. In addition, you will need an active Pandora music service account.

    Note: Access to the Pandora service will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone or smartphone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    iPod/ Display: The KDC-X996 will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood head unit. The head unit will display Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album label. If you choose to operate your connected iPod/iPhone via its clickwheel or touchscreen controls, the KDC-X996 will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").

    iPod Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position. This unit does not charge the iPad. If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 2/22/2013):

    Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type iTunes Tagging Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod/App Pandora app Artist/Song Text Track Info
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    4th 6.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    5th 6.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    7th 1.01 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    4 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    mini 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

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

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

    Note: When the Kenwood Music Control app is first downloaded it will require some time to populate all the music, so we suggest doing this overnight.

    Music Files Format Supported by Music Control app for Android:

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

    Display Features

    Detachable Fold-Down Face: The Kenwood KDC-X996 features a fold-down, detachable face to deter theft. You must manually fold the face down before inserting or ejecting a disc. The fold-down face requires 1.75" of open space in front of the unit to open. The CD player comes supplied with a soft black fabric, draw-string face pouch to protect the detachable face when you have it off the chassis.  A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

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

    Multi-Line Text Display: The 5-line full dot LCD makes it easy to navigate through your disc's music, radio presets, iPod music library, USB content, Bluetooth audio, or phonebook contacts. The KDC-X996 offers six different display types:

    • 5-line display mode with 4-5 lines of text.
    • 3-line display mode with 2-3 lines of text.
    • iPod-like display mode for iPod and Pandora only.
    • Spectrum analyzer display mode with 1 line of text and spectrum analyzer.
    • Clock display mode with clock & date.
    • Display off mode which turns off the display and button illumination.

    Note: The Kenwood KDC-X996 offers English, French, and Spanish menu text.

    Variable Color Illumination: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 features variable color display and button illumination. You can choose to use the same color for the LCD display and button illumination, or use a separate color for each one. You can choose from one of 24 preset colors, have the unit scan through all 24 preset colors continuously, or customize your own color (RGB; 0-9). The custom setting allows you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue (from 0-9) to better match your vehicle's interior lights. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain red.

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

    Illumination Effects: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 offers two unique key-button illumination effects.

    • Illumination Operation Sync: This function sets whether the head unit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the key-button operation.
    • Illumination Music Sync: This function set whether the head unit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the system's sound & volume level.

    Dimmer: The dimmer function will dim this unit's display automatically when the vehicle light switch is turned On when you connect orange/white Illumination wire of this player. You can also choose to dim the display manually. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain the same brightness.

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

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face and button illumination is "keyed." When the Clock Display is turned on and the unit is in Standby mode, the Clock Display is also "keyed." Pressing and holding the source button turns the unit off completely.

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

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X996 comes with an IR remote control (RC-405) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, Bluetooth, and Tuner functions. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).

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

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

     
    Review this product
    Great Gear Giveaway rewards card

    Submit a review and you will be entered to win a $150 gift card

    Crutchfield Great Gear Giveaway Official Sweepstakes Rules

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    78 people say:

    Review this product:

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

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

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

    Awesome unit all around

    Written By Geno, MN 1998 tahoe on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    A big step up!

    Written By steve, sandy,ut on Saturday, November 16, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    2 out of 5

    Broke twice in a row

    Written By Eric S., Riverside, CA on Sunday, November 03, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Great Radio

    Written By J. N, VA on Friday, October 18, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    What more could you want!?!?!?

    Written By Justin S, Indianapolis, IN on Sunday, July 14, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

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

    Written By PDubLA, LA on Monday, June 10, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    So far so good

    Written By Chris, Dallas, TX on Saturday, May 25, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Anonymous, Savannah ga on Thursday, May 23, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great product no issues with install or product quality.
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    lboogie

    Written By lboogie, Ypsilanti mi on Thursday, May 02, 2013
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Good

    Written By Anonymous, Huntersville, NC on Saturday, March 30, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    3 out of 5

    2005 Dodge Ram Quad Cab

    Written By Rich, Justin, Tx on Wednesday, March 27, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    4 out of 6 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Great radio

    Written By Nick, Lockport, NY on Tuesday, March 26, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Great unit, but not without flaws

    Written By Corey, Slidell, LA on Tuesday, March 19, 2013
     
    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
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    3 out of 5

    Excelon KDC-X996 - Issues

    Written By Kelvin, Kirkland, WA on Friday, March 15, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Great value!

    Written By Anonymous, Everett, WA on Thursday, March 14, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    1 out of 5

    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?)
     
    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.
    4 out of 7 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    3 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Anonymous, Archie mo on Monday, March 11, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Best single den radio for the price

    Written By Joe, Michigan on Thursday, March 07, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Adam, Tampa, FL on Tuesday, March 05, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    n

    Written By nicnico, burnsburns Oregon on Friday, March 01, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    First-Time Kenwood Owner is Sold

    Written By Zach P, Delaware on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
     
    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
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    1 out of 5

    my first Kenwood...and MY LAST!!

    Written By Bill K, Huntington, Indiana on Monday, February 25, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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~
    4 out of 9 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Eric, Albuquerque on Wednesday, January 30, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    3 out of 5 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Great Stereo for not too much money

    Written By Chris, Columbus OH on Monday, January 28, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By RandyB, Longview, Wa on Sunday, January 20, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Incredible

    Written By Mr. Big, Columbus, OH on Saturday, January 19, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    5 out of 5 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By c r, columbia sc on Wednesday, January 16, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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..
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    3 out of 5

    KDC-X996 Good, but not without annoying faults

    Written By ChrisR, Albany, NY on Sunday, January 13, 2013
     
    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
    6 out of 7 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Girtski, Carleton, Michigan on Saturday, January 12, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Rocks!

    Written By Blake, Keystone Heights, FL on Saturday, January 05, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Great Radio

    Written By Eric, Albuquerque on Saturday, December 29, 2012
     
    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!
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Works for me!!

    Written By DaysF1, Reading, PA on Thursday, December 20, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

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

    Written By Evil G, Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, November 28, 2012
     
    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.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    3 out of 5

    Shiny. Needs a parametric EQ.

    Written By dwc, Orlando, FL on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    3 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By jessica, fremont, CA on Saturday, November 10, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Solid Choice

    Written By Alek, Grand Rapids, MI on Friday, November 09, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    Good radio with lots of features

    Written By chris, allentown, pa on Wednesday, October 24, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    3 out of 5

    Not an SQ head unit

    Written By Adam H., OKC, OK on Saturday, October 20, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    2 out of 10 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Excellent

    Written By SMW08003, CT Shoreline on Tuesday, October 16, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    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.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    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?)
     
    I'm amazed at all the adjustments gear has nowadays. Speaker delays, other audio settings. I'm an electrical engineer, audiophile, so I love this stuff! I agree with all the good things others have said. They're true.
    Pros:
    Believe all the good things others have said. Sound quality, loads of sound tuning adjustments, etc.
    Cons:
    I can't see the screen at all in the daytime. It's way too dark. Every time I attach my iPhone 5, I have to re-pair the Bluetooth. Not completely sure if its an iPhone or receiver problem. Has anyone else experienced this? Whenever I plug in the iPhone, it switches to Pandora. It doesn't stay on the input previously selected. 30 seconds to setup, pair, etc. every time I enter the vehicle.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Just as expected

    Written By Myles S, PA on Saturday, September 29, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    In my last vehicle, I used a Kenwood KDC-X693, one of this stereo's older siblings. I always liked that one, and I expected nothing less from this one. Most of the features are the same, many improved, and many more added. Overall, this receiver is of a much higher quality than most you will find in people's cars. It sounds great (When you get the settings right) and it looks great.





    The Sound Enhancements on here need some explaining. Here's what I've found... since they aren't totally explained.

    Supreme Setting is the first on the list. It enhances trebles to make MP3s sound clearer. This one is nice, and it seems to only have positive effects on all of my music. It may make some songs sound tinny.

    The Elevation Level adjustment is really nice, it helps make lower-door speakers sound like they're higher up, closer to ear level. It doesn't sacrifice accuracy much, and sounds pretty good.

    The Space Enhancer makes things sound as if your car's cabin is bigger than it really is. It sacrifices accuracy considerably, so I don't use it much

    The Sound Realizer seems like it slightly boosts dynamic range. It sounds as if it makes things a bit more punchy as best as I can tell. This one make require nicer speakers to really tell the difference, and I'm running on Stock speakers until I put in some new ones.

    Finally, Highway Sound. This one is my favorite. It helps boost trebles and mids to overcome road noise.





    Hope that helps, great stereo! Myle
    Pros:
    Excellent Sound. Lots of Sound tools. Great Looks. Decent Build Quality. Lots of nice sound enhancements (explained above). Makes Stock speakers sound a little more agreeable until you can put in some nicer ones.
    Cons:
    Only Decent Build Quality... good, but could be a lot better. As with most Kenwood's, the screen is impossible to see in the sun. Glares over in any amount of light.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written By Anonymous, emporia va on Saturday, September 08, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Awsome product! Best hu I've ever owned. The settings are endless and mindblowing. Sure it had a glare problem but you can adjust the illumination to fix that problem. Bt works great week, sound difference is unreal, and it looks beautiful. The eq and pro settings are superb. This thing is more of a cd player its an audiophiles tool.
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Amazing product!

    Written By Da Moose, San Diego on Sunday, August 26, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Amazing sound. The HD radio is as good as, or maybe even better than, the CD playback. The best radio playback I have ever heard. I have four Pioneer TS-A6880R 4-way speakers in the doors with two Kicker 8" subwoofers in a molded ABS enclosure and a 300 watt mono amp driving them. There are a ton of settings so intial setup takes time but that's a good thing. Also, you will play around with some settings to optimize the output quality but again, that is also a positive. The HD radio is amazing and the bluetooth feature is outstanding. It easily connects with my antiquated HTC Thunderbolt every time and is a very cool feature. Now for some of the negatives I have read in other reviews. First the display can be tough to see in daylight but that is easily resolved by switching to a positive background and I selected color 16 but 14 and 15 provide excellent visibility also. The display can be set to a huge font display so even though I use reading glasses I can read the display. Second, my microphone works great. You will never get the same sound quality as if you use the phone itself from a hands-free setup so I don't get why people are complaining. My calls are always understood by the other party and that is really all that matters IMHO. Also, you need premium speakers for this puppy. OEM or cheap speakers will not provide optimum sound quality once you go over 25 (or ~70%) on volume. You have to invest in really good speakers to get full potential from this unit
    Pros:
    SiriusXM capable! I love not having a SiriusXM receiver clipped to my AC/heater vent! Awesome sound quality. Outstanding bluetooth compatibility with Android. Pandora tuner too! Bluetooth audio tuner also! Very good customization capabilities due to extensive settings available. Overall this unit is a great choice for any vehicle due to its customization capabilities. You can fine tune it to give optimum audio output for virtually any application. Hands-free calling will spare you from fines.
    Cons:
    Menus can be complicated. Preset buttons on the display would be cool especially with SiriusXM. Menus are complicated and some are not very intuitive. Not a good selection for the technically-challenged among us. Display must be customized for optimum daytime viewing but auto feature turns down illumination at night. The sheer amount of menu settings can make initial setup very time consuming. You will also be playing around with various menu settings well after the initial setup.
    7 out of 7 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    to all reviewers

    Written By Alex, VA on Friday, August 17, 2012
     
    The kdc-x996 is a great radio as far as the people complaining about turning it up to 25, the reason it sounds muffled is probably because you need to invest in some new speakers. Factory speakers are junk and the cone is made up of a paper material, which is inevitable going to distort. There are adjustments in order to turn the contrast down so that you can see it during the day. There are also mic. settings for the oh so awesome Parrot Bluetooth. This receiver blows any alpine jvc, sony or clarion out of the water. If you want an amazing sound it starts at the head unit, and ends with amplifiers speakers subs etc.
    6 out of 6 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    5 Stars!!! Even though the included Scosche car kit was garbage!

    Written By BobbyD the man to see, Chicago, IL on Sunday, August 12, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I replaced a stock double din receiver with navigation/ipod hookup for this...and I am so glad I did! I was debating whether to get this or the kenwood 7 inch dvd receiver. I've had a dvd player before and I never watched movies, so I opted for sound quality and settings. My stock Versa 6 speaker sound system sounds twice as good as it did before...and this receiver lets you tweak every last detail and makes me want to buy new speakers and an amp right away!
    Pros:
    Crutchfield...instructions were perfect!
    Cons:
    The Scosche kit that came with this was flimsy and cheap and overall - junk!
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    4 out of 5

    I like it but its costly...

    Written By DonnyM, Maryland on Tuesday, August 07, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is an awesome head unit, but I have two problems. One, its hard to see in the day time, if the sun hits it, there's no way youll be able to read it. and two, When i listen to music between 25-30 for more than about 20 minutes at a time, I lose my speakers, as if it was turned down to 15, but i keep my bass. My speakers are not amped but my subs are. So here i am buying the makings of a new system to have amped speakers to avoid this problem.
    Pros:
    Looks awesome, easy to use, lots of customization. Pretty colors awe passengers
    Cons:
    The treble cuts out to almost nothing while the bass stays!! sounds like im underwater trying to listen to the music after about a half hour. screen isnt bright enough
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    2 out of 5

    Thought this was the ONE

    Written By Ben, St Louis on Sunday, August 05, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    First off I want to say that this was my second unit for my car from this site and compared to the JVC I bought, this one is magnificent. The BT on the unit is great. I can use my new Galaxy S III and it sounds much better than my Evo 4G ever did with the unit-- distance is really great too, I could walk around the car while in my camp site and not lose reception. But on reception, the BT was about all that was good with it. I could not get all the stations in my city, but the digital stations were just fine. Never played a CD in it so I cannot give a review on that, nor was I able to use the XM radio either.

    Now for the bad stuff... or really bad stuff. The mic on this unit sucks. It worked for a day and then no one could hear me anymore. Granted, I do have a Jeep Wrangler but even at stop lights I could not be heard. That was the first thing to go. I liked the menus... but I am a techie so these things just work easily for me. My issue does lie with the illumination though. At night the screen was great, the little equalizer bars at the bottom were a nice touch, but in the sunlight, this unit is not just hard to see, you simply can't see anything on the screen at all. But now, the stereo broke on me. I have no sound coming out of the speakers (yes they are hooked up, no fuses are blown, etc, etc). I have gotten fed up with this thing simply because it is expensive and it has no build quality. I really hope Crutchfield can help me out with this one.
    Pros:
    Sound, BT, Menu
    Cons:
    Build quality, mic, illumination
    3 out of 4 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    2 out of 5

    Good for a week, and then...

    Written By LCL, Stafford, VA on Friday, July 27, 2012
     
    Bought in store and installed, worked awesome for about a week. Then I started getting muffled music when I turned the volume up to 23 or more, but subs would work fine. Called to get a replacement. Got it next day, and again about a week later it happened once again. Maybe it is my speakers, but my Sony XPLOD never did this, and I had it for a year and a half. Pretty disappointed with that flaw, but everything else is awesome on this headunit. If it wasnt for that one thing I would keep it because it is an awesome headunit but sad to say that Im going to return both of them (replacement and original) and get a refund and get something different.
    4 out of 6 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    smooth head unit

    Written By todd t, chillicothe, ohio on Sunday, July 08, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I love everything about this unit, user friendly, looks good, every feature you can think of, tons of software features and adjustments you can make to create your own music system.
    Pros:
    everything about it
    Cons:
    glare on the screen during the daytime, but this can be different for each user. in my truck i cant seem to get away from the glare on the screen. it would be better if it was a non-glare front display......but it doesnt make me not want this head unit......still a great product overall.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use