Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

CD receiver (new stock)

Item #: 113KDCX998

In Stock

80 Reviews | 9 questions - 57 answers

Free Installation gear for most cars

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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.

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 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:

    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.

    Hands-on 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

    Features and Specs

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

    Product Research

    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 with Siri 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 with Siri. 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 9/30/2014):

    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 7.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
    4S 8.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5/5C/5S 8.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    6/6+ 8.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    4th 6.1.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    5th 8.0 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    7th 1.02 PC Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    2 8.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    3 8.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    4/air 8.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y N
    mini 8.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

    Music Control for Android Smartphone: The Kenwood Music Control app for Android organizes your Android smartphone's music, while providing quick and easy search capability from the Kenwood CD receiver. The free Kenwood Music Control App for Android can be downloaded onto your Android smartphone from the Google Play App Store. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS Froyo or Gingerbread (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.

    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.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998 Reviews

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    Buy It For Sound, Not Looks

    Written By Ian S, Housatonic, MA on Sunday, November 23, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    First of all, this unit sounds excellent, and after all that's the primary function of a head unit. That said, I've got a few gripes. Coming from the KDC-X990 the display looks like a 9 year jump backward rather than forward. Most colors other than green are barely visible in full daylight, the text is anything but smooth, and the analyzer lags so much as to not bear any resemblance to what's happening sonically. The UI also leaves something to be desired, with just a few buttons barely covering the typical functions you'd like to access.

    On the software side of things, it's a mostly positive report, with comprehensive EQ, crossover and delay settings, and the typical Kenwood cabin-type/speaker-size enhancements. The Drive EQ leaves something to be desired though, applying a static offset rather than using the included mic to compensate for cabin noise. Speaking of the included mic, call quality has been good and I've gotten no complaints from callers, most not even realizing I'm in the car. The display frequently shows incoming caller numbers as opposed to names, even if they're in my phone's address book.

    A few nice surprises were the ability to play music from one source (say rear USB) but pause and switch to bluetooth when a navigation app needed to give directions, and the ability to customize the info display per source.

    At the end of the day though, I'm thoroughly pleased with this head unit as the sound quality is excellent. After all, that's why I bought it

    Pros: - Excellent sound quality - Automatically switches between USB and Bluetooth sources to play GPS announcements - Display can be customized by source - Comprehensive EQ, crossover, delay, cabin, and speaker settings - Very good call quality for incoming and outgoing audio - Wirelessly updates firmware (let's hope they capitalize on that ability!)

    Cons: - Display barely visible in bright light unless color is set to green - Functions such as radio tuning, and play/pause are less than obvious from the front panel - Graphic analyzer and Drive EQ are all but useless - Aha, iHeartRadio, and Pandora integration, while functional, is mediocre

    Excellent replacement of factory system

    Written By DC, Cleveland, OH on Thursday, November 06, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Bought this system with an adaptor kit. Most of the install time it took was on me as I was fairly careful to verify and re-verify the connections. Sound clarity is fabulous, the power is okay to good, closer to good. Bluetooth functionality and 2 USB connectors are really great to have.

    Pros: easy install, affordable, great sound quality

    Cons: I wish I could disable some of the sources I never use, but I do have to cycle through them

    Kenwood KDC X998

    Written By Mike R, Arlington, WA on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    After installing an X998 in our car in July, my wife and I were so impressed by the sound quality, virtually infinate adjustability and easy to follow instructions that I'm now installing this second X998 in my truck.

    Pros: Crutchfield's price along with the free shipping, installation gear and 'spot on' instructions make up a value that is next to impossible to beat!

    Cons: None.

    may not be the best choise for older people

    Written By Anonymous, san mateo ca. on Monday, October 20, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I don't recommend this type of radio in a vehicle like a jeep because its difficult to adjust sound wile driving.

    Pros: good sounding and adjustable sound.

    Cons: display not very bright and a danger to adjust sound control wile driving. h d radio signal loss seems to lock up tuner and you need to switch radio off and back on to change channels again.

    Better than factory!

    Written By Anonymous, St. Louis, MO on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    So far so good. Its just installed and works great. I can't even tell I have the refurbished version as there are no visible or performance defects. I started installing amps to go full active, but right now it has made the stock speakers sound much better. I may update the review once the full install and tuning is complete and I get the chance to really put it through its paces, but so far so good.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By Steve, Michigan on Saturday, October 11, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Very nice unit, would be even better if it had direct button tuning.

    Pros: Features

    Cons: No direct access tuning

    Good unit

    Written By Patrick, Arizona on Monday, October 06, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Have always been a fan of Kenwood Excelon but with this unit it's hard to see in daylight even with tinted windows and early morning hours. The sound is excellent once you figure out from the 5 tier menu of where to go. This unit features a pro setup which helps tuning your speakers.

    Pros: 4 volt peamps, multitude of sound settings.

    Cons: Dim display in light. Menu isn't simple to use.

    Nice Unit

    Written By pushrod140, Portland, Oregon on Monday, October 06, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I generally like this unit but there are some things I was a little frustrated with. I can't get the iHeart or Pandora to work. The receiver doesn't see it. Generally the unit is pretty slick and intuitive on how to change settings etc but it's tricky to figure out how to set any radio presets. I wish there were preset buttons on the faceplate. I was also hoping I could use iHeart and Pandora without having to plug in the ipod. I'm still learning how to use the unit but it's generally a nice piece but there is definitely a learning curve.

    Pretty cool.

    Written By Seiji R, Colorado on Sunday, September 28, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    The interface is pretty simpllistic--lacking the numbered preset buttons on your typical head unit--but looks pretty nice. Some users seem to dislike the CD slot cover, but it think it's kind of nice to keep out dust and to hide that cosmetic feature, as I do not normally play CDs in my car anymore. Takes some time to get used to the features and how to quickly navigate all of the settings.

    Pros: Cool design. Changable illumination colour(s). USB and aux input on front of unit. 13-band EQ.

    Cons: Lacks numbered radio preset buttons. Navigating menus take some practice.

    Not great

    Written By RafA, Lawrenceville, NJ on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Bought this for my 2014 Wrangler to replace the factory unit. Not a bad unit, but I wish I bought a different one. Not 100% happy. The display is too dim. Although it has plenty of presets, cycling through them is a pain. Big volume swing going from SAT to HD Radio. Sound is quite good, but takes a while to get it right. Radio reception is also not great.

    Pros: Good sound. BT audio and phone work well. A lot of presets.

    Cons: Display too dim with top down. Cycling through presets is a hassle especially if you only needed a few. Big swing in volume when switching between HD radio and SAT. Radio reception not great.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By MikefromMass, MA on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Not much others haven't already said but I felt had to be confirmed for those who value present users' reviews when buying. For some reason, Kenwood has gone with the "less is more", minimalist angle on marketing this Excelon product. Unfortunately, this means very few buttons for a slick look but those buttons must serve multiple purposes or you have to navigate through menus for EVERYTHING! I mean, no station preset buttons?? On top of those buttons being preset radio stations, they could have also served other uses in other modes like iPod, USB, or Bluetooth operations. What a waste. Because of the menu overuse, your eyes are constantly taken off the road to see where you are in the menus. There are many times it took my eyes off the road for too long and became dangerous to the point I had to simply force myself to stop fiddling with the radio and wait until I came to a stop sign or red light to do what I needed to do. Not fun or safe! Making matters worse, when you ARE trying to look at the menus on the display, it is washed out by any daylight. I am doubly cursed by a convertible AND a light colored interior. Top down, forget it. The high gloss display badly needs a flatter finish to eliminate this. The display is unreadable by day. Also as stated by others, the volume level is not very linear. Single increments between 0-17 do very little, but from 18-26, it ramps up very quickly.

    Pros: Great tuning and adjustment capabilities you expect from the Kenwood top-shelf head unit. Owned many in the past and I'd still use them but Bluetooth (for hands-free driving and streaming talk radio podcasts) and HD radio are a must for me, rendering the old ones obsolete. Good, clean, loud 4-speaker power from head unit (a must for convertible wind/road noise plus a V8 with performance exhaust) allowed me to keep the system wiring simple and only have to run wiring for a small sub and amp.

    Cons: See above, but the biggies are: -washed out display in bright light -not enough buttons -menu-based radio tuning and iPod navigation -would have paid significantly more for voice-activated operations similar to the Microsoft SYNC system in my Ford truck (once you get used to it, SYNC really is THAT good!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By Mr sparkie, Denver, Co on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    A disclaimer needs to be inserted at the top of appropriate areas saying to check compatibility for your cell phone. I gave this product one star because I can't use it for it's "advertised" intended purchase. If manufacturers and retailers had this information up front, instead of being buried like contact information on some obscure web page, they could walk away at the end of the day maintaining their integrity.

    Pros: It is worth buying if your phone is compatible, as it has many other nice features.

    Crutchfield response on Tuesday, September 02, 2014 We're sorry to hear the stereo doesn't work as expected with your phone - it really IS a great stereo! Smartphone integration is one of the primary reasons to buy a new stereo these days. On every car receiver page, we remind customers that they should double-check the compatibility of the receiver and their phone on that page's "Details" tab. Of course, there's so much information to review, it's easy to miss any given detail. That's also why we have such a friendly, 60-day, no-hassle return policy. We know that some things just don't work out the way we all hope they will.

    Really Nice

    Written By BigBrutal64, Huntington Beach, Ca. on Monday, August 25, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I just finished installing this little gem. Very Happy with the outcome. People talked about the ease of use. I found it fairly simple to figure out. Took a little time but now it is second nature to use. The supplied Remote is very useful and makes changes very simple and easy while driving. The sound is.....just great. The adjustablity for the sound thru the unit is easy and intuitive. Blue Tooth is easy and quick to pair with my HTC M8. HD FM is great and clean sounding. Pandora is simple and works good with Blue Tooth or USB. CD's sound great and work perfectly...even in my hard sprung truck. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to spend the money. Any questions, I will be happy to answer.

    Pros: Great sound and very easy to use. I consider this unit a great deal at this price. Remote makes things easy to change while driving.

    Cons: This has nothing to do with the Stereo itself....has to do with the install kit....mainly the wiring harness adapters supplied with the Kit. Both wiring adapters fit the stock wring plugs fine. The one for the speakers is color coded for my 1990 F150 WRONG. I've been installing Stereo's for years. This problem was not that bad for me, BUT, anyone with little knowledge of auto wiring would fine this issue a BIG problem. Be warned.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By Merle, Ellis, KS on Monday, August 11, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I've used Kenwood head units in the past and always liked them and this one is no exception. It sounds great, there are more adjustments and features than I can ever hope to use.

    Pros: Too many to list

    Cons: No FM preset buttons on the front panel.

    Pretty nice head unit

    Written By KenM, Wilmington, IL on Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Put this unit into a 2001 Malibu and it sounds WAY better than the factory radio. My intent was just to get the Bluetooth and USB connectivity and I was greatly pleased by how much better it sounds. The flexibility this head unit provides in tailoring the sound to the vehicle can be a bit intimidating at first but is definitely worth the effort. Even with the factory speakers, which are next on the replacement list. The rear USB cable was long enough to be easily routed into the glove box. The provided microphone has about 2 - 3 times the length of cable I needed and I can't see it being too short to route in any vehicle.With the included Crutchfield installation hardware and instructions, installing it was a breeze. I use this predominately with an iPhone connected either via Bluetooth or via USB. The USB connection sounds better but the Bluetooth is adequate for short trips wher plugging in the USB seems to be more effort that it's worth. The hands free phone works great, and works reasonably well with Siri. Have some issued using Voice control with the windows and sunroof open. Probably is to be expected and don't think I would blame it on the head unit. Like the large number of options in the display programming and that you can have different displays for different sources.

    As for the down sides, the display is not very bright. It's fine at night but is easily washed out on bright days. Also, if you need the complete owner's manual, you have to download it from Kenwood

    Pros: Sounds great Extremely flexible sound tailoring to your vehicle / likes Reasonable price for all the features

    Cons: Display not very bright Complete owner's manual not included (must download from Kenwood) The large number of configuration setting can be intimidating. Case for detachable face would have been nice.

    Almost Exchanged It, Should Have

    Written By AdamH., Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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

    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.

    Fantastic product

    Written By JamesM, Logan, OH on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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.

    Great Product

    Written By lindsnetta, Audubon, PA on Sunday, July 13, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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

    A great product!

    Written By SeanR, Wappingers Falls, NY on Friday, July 11, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    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.