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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

CD receiver (new stock)

Item #: 113KDCX998

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109 Reviews

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Factory Refurbished: $179.99

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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 satellite radio 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.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    One of the worst...

    Written By JK, Kentucky on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

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

    Sound quality is the only thing this product has going for it. If you only drive on cloudy days or at night this radio will be fine. The display is almost impossible to see on a sunny day. After reading previous reviews that stated this was an issue I decided to give it a try. Exchanged it for the KDC-X799 within 14 days with high hopes that this updated model would not have this issue. (See my KDC-X799 review)

    Pros: Sound quality.

    Cons: Display is not visible on sunny days.

    Awesome

    Written By dboyrusky, Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

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

    Good stereo the only thing I am having trouble with is saving radio station to a preset.

    2004 Corvette HU upgrade

    Written By Ace, Ohio on Monday, April 27, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Have always been a fan of Kenwood and this unit doesn't disappoint. Got this because of it's rich feature set. I wanted connectivity to music players and digital music. Looks and sounds great. I'm using this with the existing Bose amps and speakers. Finally brought my system into the 21st century.

    Good Upgrade for my Harley

    Written By Eddie, Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This unit is an upgrade to my Harman Kardon factory system on my 2013 Street Glide. I wanted something with Bluetooth capabilities and a bit more functionality than the factory unit. The Kenwood pairs great with my iPhone5s and works flawlessly with the handlebar control adapter I purchased separately from Crutchfield. the supplied Scosche installation kit and wiring harness work perfectly and installation made a breeze! The unit has many color and display options and looks great going down the road at night. During the day, however, it is very difficult to see the display. It cannot compete with the sun nearly as well as the stock unit. Also, you MUST deactivate the road noise equalizer or you will hear almost nothing out of the speakers at highway speeds. Also, the controls are ok but a little sluggish when trying to adjust settings like EQ and display options but only barely enough to mention. Overall, I am pleased with the upgrade and would recommend it.

    Pros: Lots of features, works great with iPhone and iPods, sounds awesome

    Cons: Display is not the best for motorcycle, marine, or convertible use. Ease of use could be a little better

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By Njlcane, Florida on Sunday, April 19, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    A big upgrade in sound quality over the original Bose head unit on my 2006 MX-5, even with the original speakers. The display is difficult to read in the daylight with the top down. The menu system is a little tricky and cumbersome, but after the set up it's ok. Installation was smooth with the help of Crutchfield technical support to lean on for guidance.

    Pros: Sound quality, Bluetooth streaming and phone connection, iPod integration, rear and front usb ports. Display colors can be changed.

    Cons: Display is difficult to read in bright daylight. Menu can be frustrating.

    2015 Jeep wrangler Unlimited

    Written By 2015 jeep, Colorado on Monday, April 13, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    decent deck.

    Pros: Usb port cover and huge bonus for jeepers is there is a flip down cover for the cd slot to keep the dust out! Works great with my Android phone.

    Cons: A tad bit glitchy at times but the fix that works for me is turn radio off before shutting the jeep off.

    KDC X998

    Written By Mike S, New York on Friday, April 10, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is an excellent Head Unit for the money. The installation was very easy and quick. This receiver has a lot of bells and whistles on it. The built in equalizers do a great job of shaping the sound. This deck also features DSP which you wouldn't expect at this price. The sound quality is very high. Built in Blue Tooth and HD radio as well as having a CD player gives you all the options you will need.The included remote is more useful than expected in that it operates not only the choice of mode and the radio channels but also allows you to jump tracks from a smart phone hooked up by Blue Tooth. This deck also controls apps for Pandora, I Heart Radio and AHA. I-Tunes tagging is supported as is I Phone and I Pad control and it is Sirius Radio ready. Overall I am very satisfied with this unit and would definitely recommend this to others as a great balance of features vs. price.

    Pros: Great value, Lots of useful features, Blue Tooth, HD Radio, I-Tunes Tagging, DSP and many others.Having a CD player as well as HD Radio is one of my favorite abilities. Almost everything about this is a pro, it would take too long to list every one so please just look at the all the abilities when you compare with other receivers.

    Cons: My only con (and this is industry wide not just with this receiver) is that it only allows total control of Apple products. There are a lot of us Android users out there and more coming along all the time. We would really appreciate the same abilities with our digital music files that Apple gets.

    Pretty good product

    Written By DW, Woodstock, GA on Thursday, April 09, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This unit was the better looking unit that I could find. I did not want a unit that looked out of place but rather one that blended with the dash like a factory unit would. This one looks the best, have the best features I could find and simple to install.

    Pros: looks good, iTunes plays through Bluetooth, excellent reception

    Cons: difficult to program radio stations into the preset

    Quality you expect

    Written By Ted, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great buy for the price!

    Pros: Good sound Ease of use Phone sound quality is clear Easy to install

    Cons: None so far

    Replaced Factory Radio

    Written By Carson, Nevada on Sunday, April 05, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Overall, this is a great choice for replacement or upgrade of a factory radio. Installation was easy, and the fit-up is an exact match. Using the guide for 'fits' is they way to go. Selection of this model was made to support installation of sat. radio capability. That was a great deal as it saved by buying the converter along with the radio. This is a great all purpose system with a number of features that make its application very flexible for whatever the installation may be. Recommended for the everyday car audio listener.

    Pros: Flexibility of features, simplicity of uses - once you know how to use them, ease of installation, better than expected sound quality (matched with Kenwood speakers), no clutter and excessive glitz on the faceplate, remote is easier to use for functions/channel selections than the controls on the radio, clean and easy to read display, removeable faceplate

    Cons: There is no protective sleeve or box for the faceplate when removed - not so great as it is the central element of the system, microphone and rear USB accessories seem to be after thoughts but are not well designed for easy fit-up (off my install list as they don't add to the radio performance), features are well more than expected and they do work, but the user has a lot to learn before they are all useful - SAFETY ISSUE: could cause loss of focus on the road while trying to use functions

    Satisfied

    Written By _level_, OKC on Thursday, April 02, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I haven't purchased an aftermarket HU in 10 years or so. At that time I was accustom Pioneer. After some reviewing here, seemed this Kenwood was all around most featured and best bang for your buck at the price point. Installed this in a 2002 Sierra and using for roughly a week. Lots and lots of sound options, maybe too many, so takes time and learning. Menus and options are setup in tree/folder style. Easy to get lost or forget how to find a specific setting.

    Unit appears to have strong clarity and sound power. Some mentioned software issues which I have not experienced, however just recently I did notice while using the SXM, the sound randomly stopped. Powering the unit off and back on seemed to bring it to working order. Have not used the BT much, but seems has been connecting to the phone without issue. Just a few short calls over the system. Other party did mention sounded "far away" using external mic. Has gain adjustment which seemed to help.

    Truck dash is well protected from light. I haven't had an issue seeing or reading the display which, by the way, I'm not overly impressed with. Seems a little too "8bit" and archaic considering the times, but doesn't bother me by any means. Overall still learning how to use it effectively. At this point I think it was a fitting choice. Good power, simple to use at interfacing level (menus can be complicated), lots of source options and customization.

    Pros: Seem well made with strong audio power and clarity, many source options, potential software updates, quick boot to sound time.

    Cons: Menus can be confusing or difficult to access, overwhelming sound adjustment options. Remote response appears slow. Display has good info but GUI may leave one unimpressed.

    Awesome deck!

    Written By Mike, Lakeville mn on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    One of the better decks ive had. Sound quality is awesome. And lots of great features.

    Pros: All the pre outs and multiple USB ports is great.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By J. D., USA on Sunday, March 29, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is a great head unit for the money. Lots of features, some I don't use, others I wouldn't live without from an after market deck. The 13 band EQ is my favorite feature. I was able to get a pretty flat output with the frequency bands of the equalizer. I didn't find the full manual in the box but a PDF of the manual can be found on Kenwood's web site. If you're looking for a single DIN head unit I would highly recommend this one. Get some speakers while your at it.

    Pros: 13 band EQ 5V preouts WAV audio support Delay time control Digital crossovers Rear USB has a fairly long coord

    Cons: No FLAC support There are no radio preset buttons. Setting and scrolling through your radio presets is a chore compared to other head units.

    Meh

    Written By TheOldDude, New York on Saturday, March 28, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    As several have already stated, the display is too dim in the daylight. I run the display inverted (white background with dark blue lettering) so that it can be seen in the daylight. Accessing the radio station presets is a tedious menu driven process which requires you to take your eyes off the road for way too long. I have a USB stick taped to the rear USB lead and the lead taped down behind the dash. Every 20 minutes of play from the rear USB results in 'no device' being displayed and no music. Switching sources to HD radio then back to the rear USB resumes play. That's a pain. I called Kenwood and they had no fix for the USB issue other than to suggest I use the front port instead. Imagine that. The other major issue I have with it though is lockups. The music keeps playing but none of the buttons respond to any action. Removing the faceplate and reinstalling seems to fix the problem. I've had the unit install about a week and it has locked up on me 6 times. Called Kenwood and they say that they have not had this problem reported but if you google it, this is common enough with this model. This has occurred while listening to the radio, playing off the USB, and while BT streaming. I'm guessing it's the connection between the faceplate and the rest of the HU. The audio quality is nice but I'm Really ready to send this thing back now. Too bad, I really likes all the features but I can't live with these issues.

    Pros: Nice audio

    Cons: Lockups Spotty USB connectivity Dim display Difficult to access radio presets

    IT'S JUST OK BUT SQ IS PERFECT

    Written By Jrhaat, New York on Saturday, March 21, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Since the objective was mainly SQ: I do not have any regrets whatsoever. How ever, I would say it's just ok. One would assume that all the features in this product actually contributed in the price tag and would also expect them to work just fine. It's easy to use, but easier if you synchronize it with your steering wheel control like I did for my 2011 Camry (About $50 more) for the accessories. I was able to match the display with my dash board's lights. I had no difficulties to see display in day light. The bluetooth will over ride any other process. This is semi-pro device. the FM sucks big time, the CD player only plays brand new discs lol But I like it overall. Just set your priorities before purchase.

    Pros: Great sound quality and powerful output. I like the DPS mode option a lot, I don't even need to use the EQ.

    Cons: Bad CD lecture, Bad FM tuner. HELLO KENWOOD!!!!!!

    Very nice unit!

    Written By Dat Kustom Bronco, West Jordan, utah on Thursday, March 19, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Very impressed with this unit, sounds amazing even threw stock speakers! The functions are great, having three auxs on it is great aswell!! Especially when you can decide what to listen to!!

    Pros: Great unit, great sounds, very easy to learn.

    Cons: My phone won't stream pandora threw Bluetooth:

    Excellent head unit

    Written By Zac, Nebraska on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Excellent, excellent head unit. Superb sound quality and controls of sound parameters. A bit complex to use at first but like anything, with a little more familiarity and use, it becomes easier to use. Excellent product at a good price point.

    Pros: Excellent price point, excellent sound quality, precise sound level controls

    Cons: None that I can think of

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X998

    Written By Anonymous, san antonio on Thursday, February 19, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I would've liked to have seen more options for a custom feel. For example i personally listen to pandora or music on my phone. I have no need for aha, iheart radio, or even the am/fm tuner and would like to remove those from source menu.

    Pros: Sounds great. Install was easy.

    Cons: Pandora doesn't always work perfect. its a little difficult to fix something that goes wrong while driving.

    Nice!

    Written By JohnS, Fremont, NE on Thursday, February 19, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Sounds great and it's easy to program. One thing that's a big downside is the display. At night the display looks great, but if the sun is out you can't read anything on the display. Overall it's a good stereo.

    Pros: Sounds good and looks great at night.

    Cons: Can't read anything on the display if it's a sunny day.

    Nice equipment

    Written By LC, SJ, PR on Sunday, February 15, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I put this in a 2000 Durango and install was smooth. The sound with this unit is fantastic. One drawback of the display is it gets washed out in bright sunlight and hard to see it.

    Wonderful unit, but a few quirks

    Written By Louieography, Colorado on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I bought this unit and this is my first install. As a refurb unit it came with the quick start guide, but not the full manual so I had to download it. Not a big deal, but frustrated I had to do that. I put this in a 2006 4Runner and install was smooth for my first DIY install. Glad I did it. Save me a lot of money over going to Car Toys for this unit. The sound with this unit and my JBL system is fantastic. Much better than from the factory unit. I was able to adjust display color to match the lighting in the 4Runner perfectly. One drawback of the display is it gets washed out in bright sunlight and hard to see it. I wish it had more buttons. It's all from mostly a central control knob and it's frustrating to have to go through multiple menus when you want to change common functions, such as seek method (going from manual, to auto seek to seek by program button) and storing favorite channels, adjusting levels levels, etc.

    Overall I'm very happy with the unit! The reception and function is great! The price was great and love not having to pay Car Toys to install this. Bluetooth works great and overrides the stereo when call comes in or when GPS function needs to talk. I bought this so I could plug in an iOS and Android device as well. The front and rear USB is a nice feature. It will be perfect for using my Motion X Offroad Maps on my iPad Mini hooked into this unit for offroad TOPO maps.

    I highly recommend this unit.

    Pros: Great Sound, full featured unit with USB, bluetooth, HD radio and optional Satellite capabilities. Love it has 18 channel FM memory capability. I can now store analog and digital channels. Hard to see display in bright sunlight.

    Cons: Too many levels on some of the menus. No dedicated function buttons for changing sound range levels, storing stations and search functions need multiple steps.

    Love it, but having issues

    Written By Adam T., Butler, PA on Saturday, December 27, 2014

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

    Read the instructions first and foremost. You will save a ton of heartache in the long run. There is only 1 issue I am having with this. I loaded up a thumb drive full of music, and its not reading the drive. Im not sure if its because I formatted the drive NTFS or not. I redid it and am going to try using the FAT32 file system to try to get it to work. 1 thing that would be nice would be voice commands like Fords SYNC system.

    Pros: Fairly easy to use. There is very rarely static. Good price.

    Cons: Not voice activated

    Perfect

    Written By Anonymous, Naples, FL on Friday, December 26, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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