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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

CD receiver (new stock)

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  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    A mobile audiophile's dream single-DIN receiver

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

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  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

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  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

by Dave Delamere
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.

Kenwood Excelon quality

Kenwood Excelon receivers are all about sound quality, with powerful 4-volt preamp outputs for your amps and super-clean CD playback. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998 CD receiver features a built-in HD Radio tuner for crystal-clear radio broadcasts, along with Sound Excellence DSP – Kenwood's most impressive set of sound-sculpting tools. And Kenwood backs up this versatile receiver with a 2-year warranty.

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, you pay no subscription fees. If your iPod's hooked up to the KDC-X998, 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-X998 gives you full Siri Eyes Free control with compatible Siri-equipped iPhones.

Pair your compatible phone to the KDC-X998 and you can talk hands-free by simply touching the dedicated "phone" button when a call comes in. An external Bluetooth microphone can be placed in an optimal location within the vehicle for improved hands-free communication.

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998 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.

Two versatile USB ports

Here's a cool feature from Kenwood — Drive Change allows you to connect a memory card reader or USB hub to the Kenwood's USB input and select music from up to five memory cards or USB flash drives. The receiver's front and rear USB ports also allow you to access and control the music stored on your iPhone or Android phone. With your iPhone, you also have control over iHeartRadio and Pandora Internet radio stations. And if you have MP3, WMA, AAC, or WAV music files on a thumb drive, the USB ports can handle those too.

Multi-line display

The KDC-X998'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 mood -- 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. You can jazz it up with the bouncing graphics of the spectrum analyzer, or tone it down to just show the clock or a blank display. Dust covers conceal and protect the CD slot, aux input, and front USB port.

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.

iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.

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 Eyes Free control capability
    • detachable face with selectable 2- or 3-line display, plus variable color display
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • 13-band equalizer and bass management
    • Sound Excellence DSP
      • speaker size and car type settings
      • high- and low-pass crossovers
      • digital time alignment
      • 3-level bass boost
    • subwoofer level and phase control
    Expandability:
    • built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control
    • 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)
    • front and rear USB ports compatible with MP3, WMA, AAC, and WAV audio files
    • Drive Change lets you select audio from multiple flash drives or memory cards in a connected USB hub or memory card reader
    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
    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 (10A fuse)
    • 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
    • Face-fixing screw
    • 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
    Disc & USB Playback
    iPod/Android/Aux Integration
    HD+Internet+SiriusXM Radio
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X998 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), plus a two-year warranty - Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with long-lasting dependability.

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-X998 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-X998 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-X998 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-X998 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-X998'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, 120Hz, 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-X998 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 7-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.
    • Drive EQ: You can boost a certain range of sound that becomes hard to hear due to road noise.
    • 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 KDC-X998 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 KDC-X998. Visit Kenwood's Support Site for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    Secure Simple Pairing (SSP) + Auto Pairing (for iPhone): With Secure Simple Pairing (SSP), you can easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone to the Kenwood KDC-X998 without having to enter pin codes or go through complicated settings. When a paired Bluetooth device is in close proximity to the receiver, the auto connection function automatically pairs the two units. You can pair up to five Bluetooth-enabled devices to the Kenwood head unit with a maximum of two Bluetooth phones and one Bluetooth audio player connected at one time (but only one can be used at a time). You can even pair your Apple iPhone by simply connecting it to the Kenwood head unit via USB and following a single prompt on the head unit's display.

    Hands-Free Communication w/ External Mic: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-X998 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 1-30 seconds. The KDC-X998 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-X998, 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-X998. 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.

    Note: 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).

    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-X998 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-X998 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-X998 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 Eyes Free Control: When paired and connected with an iPhone 4S or 5/5C/5S via Bluetooth (not USB), the Kenwood KDC-BT958 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-X998 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 KDC-X998; 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.

    Disc & USB Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio 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 KDC-X998 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 OS 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.

    Note: When a mass-storage class (MSC) compatible smartphone is connected to the head unit's USB input, the unit's Drive Change features lets you select its internal memory or external memory (such as an SD card) for stored music playback. The Drive Change feature also lets you switch between multiple memory cards (up to 5) in a USB multi-card reader or multiple USB thumbdrives (up to 5) connected to a USB hub.

    MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The Kenwood KDC-X998 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-X998 will display MP3/WMA/AAC 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 + Direct Search: The Kenwood  CD receiver features a Music Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your MP3/WMA music folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using the head unit's rotary knob. The supplied IR wireless remote control (RC-406) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    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 + Auto Reload: 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. 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 KDC-X998 supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite Kenwood's Music Editor Lit (v1.1.0). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3/WMA music files to your USB thumbdrive from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB thumbdrive 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 (v1.1.0) Windows-based software can be downloaded for free from Kenwood's website 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)
    • Windows 8
    Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Zune, or Android

    iPod/Android/Aux Integration

    iPod Direct Connection: The Kenwood KDC-X998's front-or rear-panel USB port can be used to connect your 30-pin dock connector or Lightning-connector iPod/iPhone to the head unit. The KDC-X998 supports audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of your compatible Apple device.

    • 30-Pin Dock Connector: If you have an older iPod/iPhone with a 30-pin dock connector, you can use Kenwood's dock connector-to-USB cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the dock connector-to-USB cable that comes with your Apple device to connect your iPod/iPhone to the KDC-X998.
    • Lightning Connector: If you have a newer iPod/iPhone with the Lightning-connector, you can use the Lightning-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect your iPod/iPhone to the KDC-X998.

    Note: 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 (if your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it).

    iPod Audio Playback w/ DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's stored music and music apps 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 stored music, podcasts, audiobooks, and music apps on your iPod or iPhone. You can choose to operate your iPod/iPhone through the Kenwood head unit's front-panel controls or from your Apple device's clickwheel/touchscreen.

    • Head Unit Control: 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%). The head unit also supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone. During Head Unit Mode, the KD-AR755 will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information; such as Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album label. Newer iPod/iPhones with iOS 6.0+ allow you to continue to access your Apple device's touchscreen in this mode in order to access other applications; older iPod/iPhone devices will be locked during connection.
    • iPod/App Mode: The iPod/App Mode lets you control your older iPod/iPhone (iOS 5.1.1 and earlier) from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You'll still have access to basic playback controls (like Play/Pause & Previous/Next Track) from the head unit, but advanced navigation functions will be locked. No song/artist information is displayed in this mode. The unit will simply display "App & iPod Mode".

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-X998 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 1/30/2014):

    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 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
    4S 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5C 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5S 7.0.4 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 7.0.4 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 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    3 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    4 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y N
    mini 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    air 7.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N 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 Google Play App Store. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS Froyo or Gingerbread (2.2+). 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.

    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 head unit 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 three aux input modes.

    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 (75 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.

    • Receive Mode: You can setup the KDC-X998 to receive both analog and digital radio stations (Auto), only HD Radio stations (Digital), or only analog radio stations (Analog).
    • Seek + Direct Tuning: 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. You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.
    • Tuner Presets: The KDC-X998'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-X998 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.
    • Station Text + Multicasting: AM/FM digital stations can offer text and data such as artist names and song titles.  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 KDC-X998 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-X998 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 KDC-X998. 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 KDC-X998 using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+) or Bluetooth paired Android/Blackberry smartphone. The Kenwood KDC-X998 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 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 KDC-X998 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-X998 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 KDC-X998 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 w/ Category Search: The Channel list displays a list of all available channels. You can also search and list channels in specific categories. In addition, you can register channels you want to skip.
    • Song/Artist Information: Displayed Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's LCD.
    • Presets & Direct Tuning: Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets can be stored. You can also tune to a station directly via the numeric keypad on the included remote.
    • Replay w/ Smart Favorites: Supports the SiriusXM Instant Replay function, so you can pause, rewind, and replay up to 60 minutes of current channel. You can also store six of your favorite channels that will automatically be buffered in the background, so when you select one of the Smart Favorite channels, you'll be able to rewind and replay the last 30 minutes of content.
    • Tune Start & Alerts: Tune Start allows you to choose whether to start a song from the beginning or from its live point when tuning to a Smart Favorite channel. Song/Artist Alert notifies when your favorite songs or artists are being broadcast on any SiriusXM station.
    • iTunes Tagging: The iTunes Tagging feature lets you Tag songs you hear on SiriusXM and stores the info on your iPod/iPhone (connected to your head unit via USB). The next time you connect your iPod/iPhone to iTunes, you will be able to preview your selections and then purchase and download them directly from iTunes.
    • Parental Control: The SiriusXM Parental Control feature allows you to control access to channels that you consider inappropriate for younger listeners. When enabled, The Parental Control feature requires you to enter a 4-digit passcode to tune to the locked channels.

    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.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face w/ Hidden CD Slot: The Kenwood KDC-X998 features a hidden CD slot behind a manual fold-down cover which blends in the front-panel of the head unit. The KDC-X998 also features a detachable face to deter theft (no face-case is provided). An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can 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-X998 offers 5 different display types:

    • 3-line display mode with 3 lines of text (which can include song/artist information, plus clock & date).
    • 2-line display mode with 2 lines of text (which can include song/artist information, plus clock).
    • Spectrum Analyzer display (no song/artist information or clock).
    • Clock display mode with clock & date (no song/artist information).
    • Display off mode which turns off the display and button illumination.

    Note: The Kenwood KDC-X998 offers English, French, and Spanish menu text.

    Variable Color Illumination: The Kenwood KDC-X998 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 KDC-X998 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.

    Clock/Date Display: The in-dash CD receiver features a 12-hour clock and date (M/D/Y) display. With your vehicle's key in the accessory or start position, the head unit continues to display the clock and button illumination during Standby mode. Pressing and holding the source button turns the unit off completely.

    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.

    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-X998 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?)

    Testing the Bluetooth® features of six car receivers

    Testing the Bluetooth® features of six car receivers

    by Alexander Hrabe
     
    Testing the Bluetooth® features of six car receivers

    Bluetooth compatibility has become a top priority for shoppers when deciding on a new car receiver. We tested six receivers in the Crutchfield Labs to find out which ones made the most of this...

     
    Quick impressions from the Lab

    Comment by Alexander Hrabe Copywriter,

    Single-DIN done right

    Written by Alexander Hrabe, Copywriter, on 3/27/2014 1:25:00 PM

    The first thing that struck me about the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998 was how good it looked. It's sleek while being understated. In a market where there's a lot of energy devoted to flashing lights, it's nice that there are still options for us simple folk who don't want a neon marquee blinking in our dash (although if you want this one to go strobe-crazy, it will do it). The Kenwood's button layout is straightforward, and the menus are easy to navigate thanks to a 3-line display. I also really liked the flip-down dust cover for the CD slot. It's a practical perk, and it enhances the overall look of the stereo too.

    Pairing via Bluetooth was quick and harmless, and it gave me simple scroll-through access to all my phone's contacts for hands-free calling. While my phone didn't transmit any metadata using Bluetooth Audio, I got everything but artwork when I used the Pandora, Aha, and IHeartRadio interfaces on the receiver. With CD, a USB iPod connection, and SiriusXM compatibility, I could probably live without a little track info that's already displayed on my phone.

    Overall, the KDC-X998's stylish look and clean function should make it a strong consideration for discerning drivers that want to maintain the understated appearance of their interior.

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    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    2 out of 5

    Almost Exchanged It, Should Have

    Written By AdamH., Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
     
    I'll start off with the good, the sound quality is really fantastic. It has a plethora of features for those who want to add on external devices.The front and back USB ports are also extremely nice to have.

    Now the bad side. I don't like that apps like Spotify don't show the artist playing when connected via cable, only Bluetooth, with its very noticeably inferior sound quality. Speaking of Bluetooth, the included microphone is so terrible, I don't use it. No one can hear me, even with the mic placed right next to me. I've even tried talking into it to no avail.

    This could just be me, but the iPod artist menu resets every time you turn your car off, and that annoys me. I had an Alpine previously, and it would save your location if you turned the car off.

    Now for the major, every so often, usually once a week, sometimes twice, no sound emanates from the speakers. This is the case whether it's set on radio, iPod, CD, etc. The only fix is to turn it off and on again, which is quite frustrating. Tonight though, the radio never turned back on. At all. Once I get rid of this unit, I'm buying an Alpine and never looking back. I exchanged the unit the day after purchase, and I should have listened to my gut the first time around. Now I'm stuck without a radio until I get it fixed or a new one. Not a happy camper right now.
    Pros:
    Sound Quality
    Cons:
    Everything else.
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    5 out of 5

    Fantastic product

    Written By JamesM, Logan, OH on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Fantastic radio, checks every box for me. Love the look, the fact you can change the colors to match your dash, the rear usb cable was long enough to be routed into my glove compartment, over all a well thought out unit with awesome sound. Even from my stock speakers.
    Pros:
    Clear multi line display, great sound, long rear usb cable, HD radio. Intuitiive controls. Comes with a free microphone speaker for your phone which works great. Very happy with this unit.
    Cons:
    Does not come with a case but Crutchfield sell one for $10 with free shipping which looks way better than the nasty plastic ones you get so no big deal.
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    5 out of 5

    Great Product

    Written By lindsnetta, Audubon, PA on Sunday, July 13, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Purchased to replace stock radio in a 2000 Jeep Cherokee. Easy install overall. Definitely has the "cool factor" with the changing LED lights and it just looks nice. It doesn't come with instructions so I had to play with it a bit to figure out how to set pre-sets on the radio. It auto-connects to my iPhone 5s every time I get in the car so that is a plus, although it takes a minute to do so. Upgraded the sound quality a good bit, not factory speakers in the car though. Once you use it for about a week, you get the hang of it, I'm sure there are still features I haven't even attempted to use. Only downfall with my iPhone is that it doesn't show me what's playing if I use the Spotify app, only through Pandora does it show the track & Artist.
    Pros:
    Good quality, Good sound, Looks nice, iPhone 5s pairing, price
    Cons:
    No manual, doesn't connect with Spotify
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    5 out of 5

    A great product!

    Written By SeanR, Wappingers Falls, NY on Friday, July 11, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installed in my wifes SLK 230. A wonderful upgrade to get rid of the stock radio and be able to add Bluetooth and an Ipod hook up. Plugs into factory amps! Couldnt ask for anything more.
    Pros:
    Quality, sound, functions and Price
    Cons:
    Can be a little hard to see face when the top is down on a sunny day.
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    5 out of 5

    Great Unit

    Written By Robert, Leesburg, VA on Friday, July 11, 2014
     
    I purchased this a few weeks ago and installed into my 98 Lexus ES300. It made a significant difference even with the factory speakers. Three are a lot of options to customize the sound so it may take a little while to get the sound you prefer. Even with the improvement over the factory system (which BTW, the install kit was great), I knew I was going to want an aftermarket AMP and speakers incl. a sub. I acquired an all Rockford/Fosgate speaker and AMP system and installed it in a few hours. I had to re-run all new speaker wire to the doors because the stock AMP cannot be easily modified/reroutes to use the existing wires; a bit of a pain, but doable in an afternoon. All that said, I was having a hard time getting my music to sound the way I wanted it. After a lot of trial and error and getting close to where I wanted it, but still not quit there. I am an audio purest by nature so here is what I did and my system is now banging: I disabled the internal AMP under the (initial settings) when in Standby Mode I disabled the DSP "through" setting so no DSP is enabled. Note: this really limits any audio adjustments at the receiver, but since I purchased high-quality components, they should be able to re-create a high quality representation of the source (again, the audio purest in me speaking). Basically this leaves you; volume, balance and Fade controls at the Head Unit. I turned all the gains down on my RF amp and turned my volume up on the Kenwood to 26 (which is approx. ¾ max
    Pros:
    High Quality head Unit with a lot of options t customize your sound
    Cons:
    The display can be difficult to read if in bright light, but most after marked Single DIN units have that issue.
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    5 out of 5

    Complicated but worth every minute

    Written By Clean Sweep, River Edge, NJ on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installed in a 2003 Grand Marquis, works and sounds awesome. You MUST take the time to setup and learn how to use this head unit. Once setup up correctly you will not be dissappointed. If you are not willing to read the manual and learn how to set it up, buy a different head unit.
    Pros:
    Incredible sound with tons of features. Could not have asked for more.
    Cons:
    None
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent upgrade from Stock Receiver

    Written By MikeJ, Jackson, TN on Monday, July 07, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Got the receiver and put it in pretty darned quickly. I only needed a sharp blade to cut off 2 mounting ear tabs that weren't needed on the included adapter kit frame for my Expedition. Good sound, good quality. Excellent unit for the price. Sound is not too bad, but there are a lot of settings you can go in an customize to vastly improve it. Also, be sure to plug your iThingy in via USB to automatically setup bluetooth. With out it, it's kind of goofy to sync. Also found with the right display setting, it overcomes the issue of not being able to see it. I suggest you read the manual when setting up: 100 page operators manual can be found online.
    Pros:
    Price, quality, sound
    Cons:
    Display is kind of cagy Phone audio needs a little tweaking - sounds a little 'muffled'.
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    4 out of 5

    A Lot of Receiver for Not a Lot of Money

    Written By christer, Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 03, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This receiver installed easily in my 2001 Mercedes-Benz E430. The supplied harness adapter made the install pain free. The sleeve for the chassis supplied by Kenwood slid easily into my existing factory's sleeve perfectly. A peculiarity of my car is that the 12V to the head unit is not switched - it is live all the time. Crutchfield supplied instructions for an alternate source of switched power . This took a little time as I had to disassemble the console a little to get to this source, but it wasn't difficult. Had I not had to do this extra step, the installation would have taken 10 minutes.

    In Kenwood's efforts to keep the look of the radio clean, there are very few buttons; power, source, a Back button (gets used a lot), Telephone (answer and hang up are one and the same), Thumbs up and down for Pandora, and a seek rocker. Notably, there are NO radio station presets. These and everything else is menu driven using the Volume/Control knob and the Back button. There are endless menus for adjusting things you never imagined.

    One of the more useful features is the flexibility in setting up the display. A dozen or more color schemes, 1,2.or 3 lines of information can be displayed. Varying types of information can be dealt up for the content you are listening to.

    Bluetooth works very well. Phone book is pulled across without any fuss. You can use different search criteria - menu driven.

    Unit sounds great. Even came with a remote.
    Pros:
    Relatively low cost. High feature content. Ease of installation. Strong Bluetooth - both phone and audio. Pandora works great.
    Cons:
    No radio preset buttons. When listening to the radio, you press the Back button and it launches the presets. Takes a second, you then scroll through using the Volume/Contro knob. Menus are a little overwhelming.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By BA, Loveland CO on Monday, June 30, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Sounds good. Set up is OK.
    Pros:
    Good value for the price.
    Cons:
    Set up takes time, and go be more user friendly.
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    "Coolness Factor"
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    2 out of 5

    not the best

    Written By walt md., Clarksburg, MD on Thursday, June 26, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Not the best. Put in my 2007 jeep liberty with an amp and new speakers. CANNOT see the display unless you are in a dark environment. At min volume poor quality sound even with an amp you have to crank it up to about 16 to have the sound great.
    Pros:
    Ummm not yet
    Cons:
    Bad display Weak sound Confusing controls
    Crutchfield response on Monday, June 30, 2014
    We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By Tristan1172, United States on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
     
    Heck yea nice receiver.. looks really nice. Sound quality excellent I have nothing negative to say. All good here!
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    "Coolness Factor"
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    5 out of 5

    Great unit

    Written By Richard, sacramento, ca on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a great unit.easy to use and can customize visual and audio settings
    Pros:
    13 band equalizer, front and rear USB, dust covers for front USB and cd tray. Great sound.
    Cons:
    Not as big as double din so little harder to read some things. Sometimes in bright light harder to see screen.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-X998

    Written By Brian, Collegeville, PA on Monday, June 23, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I have only been using it a week and love it! sound quality is excellent
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    5 out of 5

    Nice Head Unt

    Written By FJG, Hamburg,Mi. on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Awesome sound, tons of features, well built. Install was a snap, thanks to Crutchfield. Owners manual is, as usual, very vague, but one call to Crutchfield solved all of my concerns. You'll be hard pressed to find a better quality unit for anywhere near this price.
    Pros:
    Sound quality, build quality. Tons of features.
    Cons:
    Manual is very vague on operation. There will be a learning curve, but it's worth it.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    great unit at a better price.

    Written By Anonymous, Kiel, Wisconsin on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Everything is easy to use. Very nice cosmetics. Super nice controls and sound processing. Only downside is that if you have your iPod plugged into the rear and your phone in the front to charge it keeps flipping out of iPod mode. Not really a big deal. Just should use my 12v instead. Sounds amazing. Tons of controls. Great price. No Brainer.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Fantastic Head Unit

    Written By SteveG, Marietta, GA on Monday, June 09, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is a fantastic head unit. I purchased it to replace the stock radio in my Jeep Wrangler. The original stereo was under-powered and couldn't compete with the wind and road noise. The KDC-X998 is a huge step up in power and quality.

    The installation of this unit was a breeze. It'd been a while since I installed a car stereo so I was expecting a problem or two to pop up. Didn't happen. The radio dropped right in, and out-of-the-box without any configuration, the sound quality was a great improvement over the stock radio, driving the stock speakers. Configuring the audio setup further improved the sound quality.

    The options for configuring the audio setup are overwelming. There are so many, and, unless you're an audiophile it's difficult to grasp what the various settings do or how they alter sound. If you don't know what you're doing, stick with those options that you are familiar with and educate yourself on the others before attempting to adjust them. That's what I did - starting with things like the speaker sizes and positions; equalizer, x-over, etc. After a little research I dove deeper into the options.

    While the audio configuration may be overwelming, basic configuration (station presets, display, Bluetooth parings, etc.) is easy and day-to-day use of the stereo is straight-forward. I particularly like the HD radio and dual USB ports. I keep a thumbdrive with audio books connected to the rear port (cable runs into the glove box) and use the front one for my phone.
    Pros:
    HD Radio, detailed audio configuration, two USB ports.
    Cons:
    Audio setup is overwelming; display brightness/contrast not great for top-down, daily convertible use.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Great

    Written By Evan, Oshkosh,wi on Sunday, June 08, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    It's a great sounding unit that has a lot of features. Fairly easy to navigate after getting use to but the direct find feature on my remote doesn't work for some reason.
    Pros:
    Good sound with a lot of features. The pandora app works really well
    Cons:
    Hard to read in sunlight, direct find feature on remote doesn't work
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    exceeded expectaions

    Written By Leonbones, Columbus, oh on Saturday, June 07, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great unit. Honestly just wanted to be able to use my iPod with my factory stereo, but paying $100 to just do that didn't make sense if I could get iPod, android, and pandora. Great sound also
    Pros:
    connectivity, sound
    Cons:
    learning curve to use, doesn't come with a faceplate case.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Faithful

    Written By c. hendo, El segundo, CA on Friday, June 06, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Absolutely love this stereo would recommend this to all audiophiles. Built in cross over and auto connect blue tooth is such a nice quality that this beautiful head unit offer.
    Pros:
    Built in bluetooth Crossover Dta 2 USB plugs Smooth interface Best output of any single din to date (rms) 3 RCA outputs for mid, tweeters and subs. Hands free Built in mic for calls on the road which works beautifully might I add. Pandora app
    Cons:
    Takes a while to figure out all the awesome features this stereo offers. Kenwood android control app could use an update
    1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Head Unit!

    Written By DanH, Anaheim, CA on Thursday, June 05, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I haven't purchased an aftermarket head unit in quite some time so when I purchased this top of the line single DIN from Kenwood for around $250, I thought it was a steal! It comes with everything you need from a head unit and then some.

    There are so many features that it can be overwhelming and the instructions manual doesn't go into details on how to properly set up your system. Google and Youtube are your friends here. There might not be model specific instructions but you can get a good understanding on how to set it up from comparable models.

    All in all, you are purchasing a very good head unit with a lot of features. Do your research and set it up properly. Improperly using the audio settings can make your stereo sound worse but that's the price you pay for having a very capable head unit.
    Pros:
    Quality, features, good value
    Cons:
    None so far.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By whynot136, Conyngham, PA on Tuesday, June 03, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Connects to my LG G2 phone for Pandora every time....HD radio great!!! Custom sound and more then enough to power my Alpine speakers....Love it!!
    Pros:
    Everything about it I love...Take your time and with the sound settings....
    Cons:
    None
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    3 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By Anonymous, Evansville, In on Sunday, June 01, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great head unit, just wish it was easier to use. It won't recognize the music stored on my phone when connected to the usb.
    Pros:
    Looks cool, sounds great, chicks dig it
    Cons:
    Doesn't play nice with the music stored on my phone via usb connection, only works with bt connection.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By Jeff N, Smithtown New York on Friday, May 30, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installed this receiver in 2000 Ford Explorer. What a difference from the factory radio. Very impressed with the service I received from Zac, who talked me through systems install and services available to me if more help was needed. Great company and personel to do business with.
    Pros:
    Great sound and ease of installation for a novice.
    Cons:
    Can't find any
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    kenwood kdc-x998

    Written By shaun, price on Sunday, May 25, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great product sounds great really brought the factory alpine system in my jeep alive. Wow what a difference
    Pros:
    blue tooth
    Cons:
    cant find any
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    5 out of 5

    I LOVE this receiver!!!

    Written By David F.H., Bowie, MD on Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I LOVE this unit! I matched it with my existing Infinity speakers and the performance is out of this world. Prior to this every place I had gotten estimates from said that my speakers were sub-standard compared to current offerings, but I've found that this Kenwood has brought out the best in them. I admit there is a learning curve to learn the menu structure, but once you get the hang of it this unit can be tailored to fit almost any needs, you can have different displays for the various modes etc. The radio is so sensitive I'm gettting stations I never knew were there. I also like that it has two USB ports I have music on the usb drive as well as my phone. I also love the 13 band EQ and the digital sound processor. I higly recommend this set-up.
    Pros:
    Blue tooth XM ready FM HD front and rear USB inputs CD Highly customizable Great sound curve 13 band EQ Digital music processor
    Cons:
    None at this time
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    2 out of 5

    It's ok

    Written By Doug, Nashville TN on Friday, May 16, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The sound quality is not as good as I had hoped.
    Pros:
    Very adjustable. 13 band eq, variable crossovers etc make it possible to tailor your sound, although it is not easy to do. The bluetooth work nicely.
    Cons:
    The sounds gets distorted easily at low volumes. No radio preset buttons. Difficult to navigate all of the menus and sub menus. Makes me wish for a simple bass knob and treble knob.
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Best Deck I've Ever Owned

    Written By PDW, 33477 on Friday, May 16, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Switched to this deck and was amazed by it quality, features, and sound output is crystal clear.
    Pros:
    Bluetooth Music & Phone Calls
    Cons:
    Haven't had time to tweak it yet but microphone isn't very loud when talking to people on phone
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Works great

    Written By Cole, Spokane Washington on Friday, May 16, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This head unit works flawlessly! The pro setup works wonders and is very easy to use. I would recommend this deck if you are willing to pay the price for all of the adjustment.
    Pros:
    All of the settings and adjustments
    Cons:
    Nothing
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By JonD, Marion, IA on Wednesday, May 14, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought mine refurbished for around $80 less than the "new" price and am very pleased with the purchase. There are multiple inputs to get your music/podcasts to the reciever and each work well. Some may be bothered with the lack of buttons for radio presets, etc., but I prefer the clean look. Great value for all the options you get.
    Pros:
    Sleek/Simple design Multiple EQ settings and customization 2 USB inputs Bluetooth works well for phone calls and music streaming
    Cons:
    Screen can be hard to see on sunny days Navigating menus can be somewhat tedious
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    beauty and beast

    Written By Anonymous, round lake, IL on Saturday, May 10, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This stereo is very capable, it's possible to do a lot of adjustments to reach the very precise sound you want. Probably this potential in sound adjustments is its best Presentation card, but... I think is hard to find that point: the perfect sound you would like to hear; at least it was for me. This stereo has features as 2 usb inlets, aha, Pandora, 3.5 mm aux and Bluetooth. I'm a very addicted to spotify, so, unfortunately to me, there is not specific function in the stereo for use the like/unlike buttons with spotify. I use Bluetooth to reproduce music taking advantage of free hands calls, but! I have problems constantly when I return to my car and I try to connect my phone through the BT,