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.

Product 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:

    Why replace your factory radio?

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

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Written By Marc retana, Denver, CO on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I was absolutely happy with the receiver. I love that it has aux, cd, bluetooth, hd radio, and dual usb...what else could you ask for? While the menus are a little complicated at first, their easy to navigate once you get the hang of it. I'm a musician and audiophile and the pro audio options are just mind blowing. The unit will adjust the sound based on your input on car type, speaker sizes, and speaker location. After you get done tuning that, you can move onto the gain, Q factor, and 13 band parametric equalizer.

    Pros: 13 band equalizer, pro audio setup, dual usb, 3 line display. 6 preouts to run amps for front, rear, AND sub channels

    Cons: I wish the rear usb cable had been a little longer since I had to wire it from behind the receiver to my center console. Ran outta usb cable and had to buy an extension.

    Give some, take some

    Written By dmoynehan, Albany, NY on Monday, July 14, 2014

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

    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.

    Quality receiver, tough to read display

    Written By Dbones, Philly, PA on Monday, July 14, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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.

    Whole heartedly recommend

    Written By Phil R., Mandeville, LA on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

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

    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.

    Great head unit

    Written By Anonymous, Elkhart, IN on Saturday, May 10, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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

    Fantastic Car Stereo

    Written By WA, Clearwater, FL on Sunday, March 23, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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.

    Meh

    Written By Andrew, near Charlotte NC on Saturday, March 01, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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

    Works great

    Written By Car, Los Angeles on Sunday, February 16, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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 .

    First ever Kenwood. Always Pioneer but not anymore!

    Written By kyle m, GA on Saturday, February 08, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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.

    Great product, useless review since it's discontinued

    Written By EricW, Upland, CA on Friday, February 07, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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.

    OK head unit

    Written By BenS, Denver on Monday, February 03, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Feels cheap to the touch. Complicated use. However, far better sound than I was getting from the factory unit.

    KDC-X997

    Written By Ralph L., Hawaii on Saturday, January 18, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)