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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

CD receiver (New Stock)

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Item #: 113KDCX997
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

by Jon Paulette
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.

The top of the food chain

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 lets you enjoy the latest in car audio entertainment. Built-in HD Radio™ is just one highlight of this top-of-the-line CD receiver, which also plays music from your iPod® and features built-in Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming. Audiophiles will appreciate added features like digital time alignment, a 13-band equalizer, and a full complement of 4-volt preamp outputs, complete with onboard high-pass and low-pass filtering. 

HD Radio for awesome sound

When you tune in a local station broadcasting an HD Radio signal, you'll hear FM that's close to CD quality or AM that comes in clear and static free. And unlike satellite services, there are no subscription fees. If your iPod's hooked up to the KDC-X997, you can also tag songs that you hear on HD Radio, then buy them later online. And most participating stations send out secondary programming, giving you more choices when you're in the mood for radio.

Bluetooth lets you concentrate on driving

Bluetooth gives you hands-free calling convenience, plus a wireless connection to the songs stored on your compatible music player. If you're an Android user who's grown tired of your old radio's complicated Bluetooth pairing issues, you'll love this receiver's simple, secure pairing (SSP) technology. If you're an iPhone aficionado, the KDC-X997 automatically pairs with your iPhone via USB and gives you full Siri control.

Pair your compatible phone to the KDC-X997 and you can talk hands-free by simply touching the dedicated "phone" button when a call comes in. And the receiver can reply automatically to text messages to let your contacts know that you're busy driving. An external Bluetooth microphone can be placed in an optimal location within the vehicle for improved hands-free communication.

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 CD receiver

Use this Kenwood's controls to play your favorite Internet radio stations.

Stream radio from your phone

If you enjoy Internet radio on your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, you'll really enjoy playing music from Pandora®, iHeart Radio, and Aha™ radio on this great-sounding receiver. You can scroll through your stations, bookmark songs, and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down right from the receiver's face.

Play (almost) anything

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

You can also enjoy music from your local AM/FM stations or your CD collection. If you're a satellite radio fan, the KDC-X997 is SiriusXM-ready. All you need is a tuner and a subscription to enjoy stations that never fade away.

Multi-line display

The KDC-X997's text display gives you all the info you want, plus you can select display and illumination colors that match your car's dash or your moodt -- your choice. The 3-line display can be switched to a 2-line format with a larger font that makes it easier to read phone numbers, song titles, and source data.

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

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

Bluetooth note: Use of this receiver's Bluetooth features will depend upon your phone's Bluetooth capabilities. Learn more in our article explaining Bluetooth profiles.

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 or its optional iPod adapter.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in HD Radio
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC music files
    • automatic iPhone pairing with Siri control capability
    • detachable face with selectable 2- or 3-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
    • 3-level bass boost
    • low- and high-pass filters; subwoofer level and phase control
    Expandability:
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora, iHeart Radio and Aha control with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry
    • compatible with Kenwood's Music Control app for Android phones
    • compatible with SiriusXM tuner
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary input; front and rear USB ports
    • 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
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    No
    RMS Power Output
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    22 watts
    Peak Output
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    50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
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    20-20KHz
    Preamp Outputs
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    6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
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    Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
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    No
    Video Screen
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    No
    Preamp Voltage
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    4 volts
    Display Color
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    Variable
    Key Button Color
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    Variable
    EQ Bands
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    13
    Wireless Remote
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    Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
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    Adapter required
    Parts Warranty
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    2 Years
    Labor Warranty
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    2 Years
    Expandability
    AUX Input
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    Front
    USB Input
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    Front/Rear
    Memory Card Slot
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    USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible
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    Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready
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    SiriusXM
    HD Radio
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    Built-in
    Navigation
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    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
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    Classic/5Gen
    Nano
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    7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch
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    5/4/3/2/1
    Mini
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    No
    iPhone
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    5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
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    9.3 dBf
    European Tuning
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    No
    Seek/Scan
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    Seek
    Radio Data System
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    Yes
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-406)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • Microphone with integrated bracket (attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle male 3.5mm connector)
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Cloth pouch
    • Quick Start Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Card

    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+Internet+SiriusXM Radio
    iPod/Android/AUX Integration
    Disc & USB Playback
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X997 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-X997 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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-X997 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-X997 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-X997'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'Overs: 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 (or select Full-Range)
      • Rear High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz (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 (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°)

    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 13-band EQ).
    • 13-Band EQ: 13-Band frequency adjustment (-9 to +9 dB) for Front & Rear speakers using the following center frequencies; 62.5Hz, 100Hz, 160Hz, 250Hz, 400Hz, 630Hz, 1kHz, 1.6kHz, 2.5kHz, 4kHz, 6.3khz, 10kHz, 16kHz.
    Note: You can store EQ and tone settings for each source (Disc, Tuner, USB, iPod, Bluetooth, and Pandora).

    Bass Management: The KDC-X997 offers Bass Boost, Bass DC Extension, and Loudness.

    • Bass Boost: The unit features a four-step Bass Boost (Off/1/2/3) to enhance your music's lower frequencies.
    • Bass DC Extension: When turned on, frequencies lower than 6.25 Hz are set the same gain level as the unit's 13-Band EQ 62.5 Hz gain setting.
    • Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes.

    Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.

    • Supreme: When MP3, WMA, or 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.
    • 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

    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.

    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-X997 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth (ver. 2.1 + EDR) 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. 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 1.5 (Hands Free Profile), OPP 1.1 (Object Push Profile), PBAB 1.0 (Phone Book Access Profile).
    • Audio Streaming: A2DP 1.2 (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP 1.3 (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).
    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-X997. Visit Kenwood's Support Site for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    SPP (Secure Simple Pairing): With Secure Simple Pairing (SSP), you can easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone to the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 without having to enter pin codes or go through complicated settings. When a registered Bluetooth device is in close proximity to the receiver, the auto connection function automatically pairs the two units. You can register up to five Bluetooth-enabled devices with the Kenwood head unit. A maximum of two Bluetooth-enabled phones can be connected at one time, but only one can be used at a time.

    Bluetooth Hands-Free Communication: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-X997 can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also includes an external microphone (featuring adjustable gain), so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your vehicles speakers. During a conversation, you can switch between the Private Mode (talking directly on your cell phone) and the Hands Free Mode.

    • Answering a Call: When a call comes in, a ring-tone will be heard through your vehicle's speaker and the caller's name or phone number will be displayed. You can answer the call from the head unit's front-panel controls, or setup the head unit to automatically answer the incoming call immediately or after 1-99 seconds. The KDC-X997 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-X997, 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-X997. 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 History: The Call History 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.

    External Microphone: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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. You can adjust the volume level and noise cancellation of the microphone without affecting the other sources. 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 1.505" (depth).

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

    SMS: If your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone is compatible with SMS (Short Message Service), the Kenwood head unit will notify you when a message has been received. You must then use your phone to check the message. You cannot read, edit, or send a message through this unit.

    Wireless Audio Streaming (w/ Metadata Display): The Kenwood KDC-X997 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-X997 will be able to control basic playback functions of your Bluetooth device's stored music; such as Play/Pause, Skip Next/Previous, 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-X997 also supports audio streaming of music apps downloaded on your smartphone with metadata display and limited control. Advanced music control of your music apps will still need be done via your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. When an incoming call or outgoing call is in progress from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, audio streaming will be paused so you can take your call. Once the call is finished, your streaming music will resume.

    Siri Digital Assistant Control: When paired and connected with an iPhone 4S or 5/5C/5S via Bluetooth (not USB), the Kenwood KDC-BT55U has the ability to access Siri through its front-panel controls and external microphone. Simply press-and-hold down on the head unit's Answer Button to engage Siri and use the included microphone to communicate with Siri. Siri's voice will heard through your vehicle's speakers. All Siri functions including hands-free calling, music search, setting reminders, text-messaging, audible navigation, and more can be done through the KDC-X997 and its microphone. The head unit's display will only indicate hands-free calling and Bluetooth audio information (all other functions of Siri are only audible through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997; visual data will still need to be viewed from your iPhone device).

    Note: You can ask Siri to get directions to a destination and the turn-by-turn instructions will heard through your vehicle's speakers, while the on-screen map still displays on your iPhone 4S/5/5C/5S. The head unit's audio is attenuated while Siri provides audible directions.

    Bluetooth Detailed Settings: The KDC-X997 offers the following Bluetooth Detailed Settings, so you can configure the unit to suit your needs.

    • Bluetooth Audio: You can allow Bluetooth audio to be heard from only the front-speakers or all the speakers in your vehicle.
    • 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.
    • Echo Level: You adjust the echo cancellation delay time until the least echo is being heard during a phone conversation.
    • Mic Gain: Adjusts the volume of the external microphone.

    HD+Internet+SiriusXM 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.

    • Tuning Methods: You can setup the KDC-X997 to tune both analog and digital radio stations (Auto), only HD Radio stations (Digital), or only analog radio stations (Analog). The CD receiver offers a variety of tuning options; including Seek, Presets, and Direct Access.
      • 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.
      • Tuner Presets: The unit's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. 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. The Kenwood KDC-BT952HD 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.
      • Direct Access: You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.
    • 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 8 multicast programs (HD1 to HD8).
    • 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 (7.4 or later) the next time you sync your iPod/iPhone. Then you can directly buy the songs you want from the iTunes Music Store. Your iPod/iPhone must have at least 50MB of free space to "tag" and transfer songs. You can "tag" up to 50 songs.

    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.

    Internet Radio Apps: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 allows you to access Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Aha Radio online music services through your USB-connected iPhone or Bluetooth-connected Android/Blackberry smartphone. Your Apple iPhone must be connected to the KDC-X997 via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 cable (sold separately, or the cable supplied with your iPhone. Your Android or Blackberry smartphone must support A2DP/ AVRCP/SPP Bluetooth profiles and be paired with the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997. Your iPhone, Android smartphone, or Blackberry device will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi.

    • Pandora App (for iPhone/Android/Blackberry): The free Pandora App (either from iTunes Apps, Google Play, or BlackBerry App World) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS5+) or Bluetooth paired Android/Blackberry smartphone. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). New stations can be created based on the current songs or artists playing. You can also save 3 Pandora stations as presets. You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down. An active Pandora account is required.
    • iHeartRadio Link (for iPhone/Android): The free iHeartRadio Link app for Kenwood (either from iTunes Apps or Google Play) lets you play music from the iHeartRadio music service through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+), or Bluetooth paired Android smartphone (2.2+). The iHeartRadio music service provides access to more than 1,500 live radio stations from coast-to-coast (including pop, country, urban, rock, talk, and sports). The KDC-X997 will provide control over the iHeartRadio Link app, as well as display station identification and song/artist information. From the head unit's front-panel controls, iHeartRadio stations can be searched by the following categories (Local, Genre, City, or My Stations). The Local selection provides a list of radio stations in your local listening area. The unit also provides over 22 Genres to choose from (including pop, country, hip-hop, jazz, etc.) to help you find the right radio station for you. In addition, you can search for radio stations by City. Cities can be searched alphabetically (A-Z). You can even store your favorite stations (My Stations) for easier, quicker access. An active iHeartRadio account is required.
    • Aha Radio App (for iPhone/Android): The Kenwood CD receiver offers compatibility with the free Aha Radio app for your USB-connected iPhone (iOS 4.3+) or Bluetooth-paired Android smartphone (2.2+); available from iTunes Apps or Google Play. Aha Radio provides you with up to the minute content made available from the convenience of Kenwood's front-panel controls and LCD screen. Listen to the latest Facebook updates or Tweets from your friends. Listen to thousands of stations that include internet radio, podcasts, and audiobooks. Receive traffic information, restaurants and coffee locations personalized to you instantly, safely, and easily. An active Aha Radio account is required.
    Note: Access to these Internet Radio services will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone or Android/Blackberry smartphone to connect to the Internet. Not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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
    • Tune Start allows you to choose whether to start a song from the beginning or from its live point when tuning to a preset music channel.
    • 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). However, you can easily add this SiriusXM tuner to an existing Sirius or XM account for a Multi-Radio Discount Plan.

    iPod/Android/AUX Integration

    iPod Direct Connection w/ DAC Bypass: The KDC-X997's front-panel USB port or rear-panel USB port can act 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 5/5C/5S; use the Lightning-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-X997.

    • DAC Bypass: This 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 105dB. 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.
    • Music Control: You can choose to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.
      • Head Unit: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). The head unit 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 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. 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.
    • Information Display: The KDC-X997 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-X997 will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").
    • Battery 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-X997 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/19/2013):

    Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Specific Apps Display Type Bluetooth iTunes Tagging Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod/App Pandora app iHeart Link Aha Radio Artist/Song Text Track Info Phone Audio Siri
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y Y N N Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y N Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
    4S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5C 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    4th 6.1.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    5th 7.0 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    7th 1.02 PC Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    2 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    3 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y N
    mini 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    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 Google Play App Store. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS Froyo or Gingerbread. 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 8-/16-bit n/a

    Aux In: The unit is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input that can be used to input audio from a portable audio source, such as a portable MP3 player. The Aux input must be turned on to function. The KDC-X997 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV. 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.

    Disc & USB 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. The unit also supports playback of MP3/WMA/AAC music files loaded onto CD-R/RW discs. The CD slot is hidden behind a manual fold-up cover which blends in the front-panel of the head unit.

    Dual USB Ports: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover and a rear-panel USB (type-A) port attached to the rear-chassis by a 38" cable. The USB ports enable connection of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device; such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives. The USB ports support audio playback and control of MP3, WMA, & AAC audio files stored on these portable USB mass-storage class devices. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB ports (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On. You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.

    MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 supports the following types of MP3, WMA, AAC, & WAV files recorded onto CD-R/RW disc or loaded onto a USB mass storage class device.

    Media Type CD-R/RW USB Storage Device
    File System ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, Long file name FAT 12/16/32
    Playable File Types MP3: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WMA: bit rate of 32-192 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    AAC:
    bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    MP3: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WMA: bit rate of 32-192 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    AAC:
    bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WAV: bit rate of 16-bit w/ sampling rate of 44.1 kHz
    Maximum # of Folders/Files 500 folders/500 files (500 files per folder) 999 folders/20,480 (999 files per folder)
    Tags ID3 tags (ver.1.0/1.1/2.2/2.3/2.4), WMA tags, AAC tags

    Text Scroll: The KDC-X997 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-406) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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.

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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/AAC music files to your USB (MSC) device 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. 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

    Display Features

    Detachable Face w/ Hidden CD Slot: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 features a hidden CD slot behind a manual fold-down cover which blends in the front-panel of the head unit. The KDC-X997 also features a detachable face to deter theft (cloth pouch for storing the face-plate included). An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can also be purchased for this unit. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Multi-Line Text Display: The 3-line full dot LCD makes it easy to navigate through your disc's music, radio presets, iPod music library, USB content, Bluetooth audio, or phonebook contacts. The KDC-X997 offers 5 different display types:

    • 3-line display mode with 3 lines of text.
    • 2-line display mode with 2 lines of text.
    • 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 Excelon KDC-X997 offers English, French, and Spanish menu text.

    Variable Color Illumination: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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-X997 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.

    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-X997 comes with an IR remote control (RC-406) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, 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.
    • 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.

     

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Video: Kenwood Excelon 2013 In-dash CD Receivers

    Video: Kenwood Excelon 2013 In-dash CD Receivers

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    Video: Kenwood Excelon 2013 In-dash CD Receivers

    Watch this video for a quick overview of the 2013 line of Kenwood Excelon CD receivers at Crutchfield. A Kenwood Excelon receiver gives you outstanding sound, whether your music is stored on your...

     
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    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 Reviews

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    4 out of 5

    Give some, take some

    Written By dmoynehan, Albany, NY on Monday, July 14, 2014
     
    Why take away the optional 5 - line display from the 996? I upgraded because of the Android control, but now I feel like I'm looking at a large - print book. I'm 40. This display's text is ridiculously large. Annoying.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Quality receiver, tough to read display

    Written By Dbones, Philly, PA on Monday, July 14, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Quality receiver with good sound. installed easy and easy to understand how to operate and fine tune. HD radio and Bluetooth work great. It controls my iPod through USB but won't control my Samsung galaxy s5 through usb. My advice would be to check the manufacturer site to see if it is compatible with your phone before purchase. My biggest gripe is that the screen can't be read in direct sunlight. This is helped slightly by adjusting the color and contrast and also by switching the display from negative to positive which inverses which LEDs light up.
    Pros:
    good sound. fairly easy to use.
    Cons:
    Can't read the display in direct sunlight. Couldn't control my phone through USB.
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    5 out of 5

    Whole heartedly recommend

    Written By Phil R., Mandeville, LA on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
     
    I'll start off by saying that with few exceptions, I'm a serial Kenwood Excelon buyer. This KDC-X997 marks my fourth head unit installed in my fourth vehicle. I have also had brief flings with Pioneer, JVC, and a few other brands but I keep coming back to Kenwood for their rock solid build quality, great sound, and value. The X997 isn't one I'd recommend for the casual listener, as the shear options available can be overwhelming for the average person that just wants to pop in a CD and go, but if you're looking for a single din that has the goods and you have a discerning ear, this one's for you. Having correctly set the gain, crossovers, set the time alignment with a tape measure (yes, I'm that picky about it), and used an RTA to set the manual eq, this unit has brought what was originally a decent audio system hamstrung by a cheap head unit screaming to it's full potential.
    Pros:
    Build quality, sound, options (13 band eq, crossovers, digital time alignment), the only thing this unit won't do is make you breakfast.
    Cons:
    single din, not much to look at, setup for an audiophile grade head unit can be daunting if you take full manual control.
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    5 out of 5

    Great head unit

    Written By Anonymous, Elkhart, IN on Saturday, May 10, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I usually buy JVC but I did some reviews for the best stereo for the price . Kenwood got the best rating .
    Pros:
    Looks, easy to use
    Cons:
    None yet
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    5 out of 5

    Fantastic Car Stereo

    Written By WA, Clearwater, FL on Sunday, March 23, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    An incredible value for a car stereo with HD radio, two powered USB connections, BlueTooth audio and a very well-done hands-free BT phone connection. Ideal for an technically sophisticated audiophile with access to the "Pro" setup. I was able to use the 13-band manual equalizer with my CD of test tones and SPL meter to tame a nasty +8dB spike at 6.3KHz that my speakers have and bring up a -7dB dropout at 400Hz and generally shape the sound response. Suddenly my car became a wonderfully listening environment!
    Pros:
    HD radio, lots of input, clean look, Pro setup features, excellent BT hands-free, good Android support.
    Cons:
    Display text selection is a bit limited. When listening to the radio I can't get both the frequency and clock as well as the artist and title. The only option to get the clock also has an annoying "frequency graph" that I don't care about. It is a bit too dim in full sunlight and too bright at night.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Meh

    Written By Andrew, near Charlotte NC on Saturday, March 01, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have had several Kenwood decks in the past, and this one should blow them all away...but it falls flat. The unit keeps freezing up, and it doesn't respond to any of the buttons...even taking the faceplate off doesn't help, only hitting the reset button. Which means that you have to reset everything like you just installed it....which wouldn't be so bad if I had not had to do this 10-15 times in the last 2-3 months....I'm really wishing I had picked up a Pioneer at this point. Also, while using the USB input for my ipod, it loses sound every 30 secs or so...like it drops the signal or something...Anyway, I hope this helps anyone considering the purchase of this unit. P.S. All my wires are soldered to the harness, not crimped, so I know they are solid.
    Pros:
    Amazing features for the money
    Cons:
    Execution lacks quality Kenwood is known for
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Works great

    Written By Car, Los Angeles on Sunday, February 16, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installation was straight forward. I really like the sound and features. Get all the Crutchfield harnesses for sure. A couple of things I don't like.
    Pros:
    Cost is great for features you get. Only takes up one DIN slot.
    Cons:
    You have to manually open the CD door. Input select using remote works differently from unit. Some colors are hard to see in sunlight. Reverse display works better here. If you are using your smartphone as a navigation you can only hear the voice navigation when in Bluetooth mode. This means you can't hear it while listening to music. I guess it you want this feature you have to spend $500 more on a deck with built in navigation .
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    First ever Kenwood. Always Pioneer but not anymore!

    Written By kyle m, GA on Saturday, February 08, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I researched head units for about a month. This was hands down the best sounding head unit I've heard. I even compared this to many Alpine andn Pioneer units at another retailer and this crushed them. And the price was outstanding.
    Pros:
    13 band EQ, 6V preouts, front and rear usb
    Cons:
    Too many color combinations.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Great product, useless review since it's discontinued

    Written By EricW, Upland, CA on Friday, February 07, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I must have purchased the last one. It sounds great and has a bunch of sound adjustments I'm too lazy to figure out. I set the vehicle type to SUV and speaker sizes and adjusted the EQ, which seems to work great. I'm currently running the internal amp on 6X8 Infinity Kappas and the factory ('02 Explore Sport) subwoofer amp and enclosure with a replacement woofer (Kicker 8" shallow mount), but plan to switch over to my ancient MTX Thunder amps (4300X & 2150X) as soon as I'm finished wiring. This unit pushes the factory sub amp way better than the factory radio did, I'm assuming because of the 4v pre-outs. It's making me contemplate just using it instead of the MTX amp with old JL Audio Pro-wedge dual 10" box, although the 8" doesn't have very good low notes. This radio seems to adequately power the Infinity Kappa's, which makes me not want to hassle with the amps at all, but the speakers are 2-ohms, so I'll go through with it so the internal amp doesn't fry. My main reason for the upgrade was for the bluetooth audio and hands free. It's works pretty good so far, but the USB connection seems to allow more flexibility when playing audio from the iPhone 4S. HD radio sounds great if you have good reception. Not good near the foothills. I would have preferred separate buttons for the presets, but that's only available on lower-end units or expensive 2-din units (with my required features). The one button method isn't so bad. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with this unit.
    Pros:
    Sounds way better than factory radio. Way more audio adjustments than I'll ever use and all the features I was looking for (bluetooth audio & handsfree, three sets of 4V preouts, HD Radio). Made the factory sub/amp (with replacement woofer) sound better. Wireless remote saves a couple menu steps for certain functions.
    Cons:
    I don't know if it's my phone's problem, but sometimes, if I switch to the next track in bluetooth audio mode, the next song is displayed on the screen, but doesn't start playing. Also, takes a while to link to the phone when powered up. Best to be parked to make any audio adjustments due to how deep they are in the menu and 13 bands of eq condensed into small screen. I wish you could display the clock and something other than the spectrum analyzer on the top line.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    OK head unit

    Written By BenS, Denver on Monday, February 03, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Feels cheap to the touch. Complicated use. However, far better sound than I was getting from the factory unit.
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    5 out of 5

    KDC-X997

    Written By Ralph L., Hawaii on Saturday, January 18, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this one for the crossovers. It has all kinds of customization capacity. The display options are cool. I use CDs still and like the manual style eject button better than my old one.
    Pros:
    This HU takes my car audio where I've wanted. I'm real happy.
    Cons:
    owners manual is online only. does have "quick start" guide booklet.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Written By DJ, Amarillo, TX on Saturday, January 18, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Bought this radio after searching through a number of different brands. Settled on this unit after reading about all the options it has. Installed it yesterday to replace my factory unit. It was very easy and the sound is great with my Infinity so speakers. Very easy to setup. I thought it was very intuitive in the use of the controls. Didn't need to look at the manual. This is a great choice f.
    Pros:
    If you want streaming, multiple USB ports, iHeart radio, Pandora, He radio and blue tooth, this your radio.
    Cons:
    Can think of any
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    So Far So Good

    Written By Daniel G., Carleton, MI on Monday, January 13, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Holding out on a 5 star rating so as not to jump the gun. SEEMS, light years better than its 996 predecessor. We see how the build quality is!
    Pros:
    Stable functionality
    Cons:
    None yet.
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent Stereo

    Written By GregL, Katy, TX on Sunday, January 12, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Nice sounding head unit with plenty of ports on back for later expansion. I had the bluetooth synced to my iPhone 5 in a matter of just a few minutes - very easy to do. Now once I'm in my car I can make phone calls and receive phone calls hands free. Very nice feature. Head unit has great sound and looks good. Only knock I can give this unit is you'll have to take some time and figure out all of the multiple features this unit offers. Of course, that isn't any different than what you would have to do with any other new electronic you purchase that has multiple features. Buy this and you'll be glad you did once you have it installed.
    Pros:
    Looks Good, sounds good, lots of cool features
    Cons:
    Some features not very intuitive to use
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Written By Chris E., Margaret, AL on Saturday, January 11, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a very nice receiver from Kenwood. Cool features using Bluetooth. Works great with iPhone 5. Sound quality is good, but fine tuning is a little complicating. So many eq curves and different ways to adjust the sound, it's a bit overwhelming. I will add that I've only had this radio 2 weeks. So, I'm slowly figuring it out. With all that said, for the money, it's a good radio to put in your vehicle.
    Pros:
    Bluetooth features are awesome! Sleek design as well.
    Cons:
    I'd say the biggest con is display isn't easy to read in daylight. And maybe a little to many sound adjustments.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Written By Chris, Maryland on Friday, January 10, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Overall this head unit was a great purchase and I love driving around just to use it.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Written By Anonymous, Kansas City, MO on Thursday, January 09, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Well priced, easy operation, cool features
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    "Coolness Factor"