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Kenwood KDC-X998

CD receiver (New Stock)

Item #: 113KDCX998

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126 Reviews

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Kenwood 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.

HD Radio

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 KDC-X998 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    126 reviews
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    Kenwood KDC-X998

    Written By Holymackeral, Virginia on Monday, July 20, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great single DIN radio. Very easy to install in my daughter's 1996 del sol. Sound quality is outstanding even through stock speakers. There are so many features that I still haven't tried yet. Very sleek design.

    Pros: easy to install. Loaded with features. Great sound.

    Cons: Not completely user friendly. Needed to download the manual to understand all of the features.

    wonderful

    Written By sennaman, Indiana on Sunday, July 19, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I just love this. I had a little trouble working it at first, but was well worth the trouble when I got done. WOW! it sounds great. I could not have a better sounding unit. As far as learning how to use it, Crutchfield has been great. They listened to all my questions, and then told me what to do. I am very happy.

    Pros: sounds great

    Cons: none

    Great Product

    Written By Dylan19, Illinois on Monday, June 29, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I really like how straight forward the installation for this unit is. The wiring kind of scared me at first but once I labeled all the wires, it was a breeze, and I was able to double check everything. Sound quality is great, and there are many settings to go through; most of which seem too advanced for my knowledge.

    Expectations met, yet again!

    Written By brushforhire, Pennsylvania on Monday, June 29, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is my fifth head unit from Kenwood over the years. The last three have all been eXcelon series. I have loved everything about them all. This unit drives my garbage factory speakers in a way I didn't realize was possible. The audio adjustments options are fantastic. The control from the crossovers, speaker placements, equalizers, etc are all perfect for me. I am going to be running just a front stage component setup with two 8" subs in the back and this is perfect for what I was looking for. This is a great unit for the price. Simple, and to the point. What I wanted in my pursuit of a audio player and not some random eye candy for the dash.

    Pros: Sound quality, simplicity, looks, price, sturdiness.

    Cons: none

    Awesome

    Written By Dave, Mercer me. on Monday, June 29, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    5 stars all the way I love this radio

    Pros: Ease of use features are great sound great

    Cons: Couldn't find any so far

    Excellent upgrade

    Written By Hassi, California on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Haven't had it long, but I've been through all of the menus getting it dialed in. I've read reviews about the menu being difficult to navigate, I had no such issues, I found it simple and easy to use. I had already upgraded my factory speakers prior to this head unit install, and with this unit, the sound is noticeably better even before adjusting the outputs. Very quickly got the phone connected, station presets done with ease. Of course, as always, Crutchfield's installation kit worked flawlessly.

    Pros: Ease of use, sound quality.

    Cons: Difficult to read faceplate info in bright light

    Love it

    Written By MattyJo, Oregon on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I've always bought alpine for the longest time but i liked the look of this kenwood. I still love alpine, but i'm happy with this deck. I upgraded the four 6x8 in my ford f-350 and liked that this deck ran 22 watts rms to each speaker. I didn't want to put an amp in and all that so I am very happy. Sounds better than my stock speakers but not the loudest thing in the world. I debated going all out with amp and component speakers but i like keeping my truck as stock as possible.

    Pros: Bluetooth mic works great for my phone even in my diesel truck. Display is great( besides being dim in direct sunlight). Sounds great.

    Cons: Display is hard to see when the sun is shining. It's not alpine :)

    Really like it!

    Written By Jonas, Columbus ohio on Monday, June 08, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    This is a great unit and that there's many options two and put music as a ring or USB front USB Pandora and Bluetooth streaming. It was difficult to figure out how to attach the sub woofer through the system because you had to reset the default setting which I had to call Crutchfield support who helped us out. All in all fantastic system. sound quality is great. Really like the display on the front. It tells who's calling along as well as the phone number. the HD radio works fantastic and when you have USB it tells what folder and what music playing and it's really nice.

    Pros: Too many to list

    Cons: The manual is virtually useless. If you are needing to preset or change defaults you need to just get in there and play around with unit. Or call crutchfield.

    Not very well designed

    Written By Lingam, Los Gatos, CA on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I took a lot of time browsing on Crutchfield.com to ultimately choose this unit and at first I was happy, but over time I have become frustrated and disappointed with this head unit. I would recommend that people consider other decks as even having this one a year I have not become comfortable with it. My stock radio got much better AM / FM reception too!

    Pros: Good price, decent power, HD Radio included

    Cons: No clock when the unit is powered off and during certain audio modes, system locks up occasionally and I have to manually eject and replace controls, no easy station save buttons, generally inconvenient to navigate the USB drive for music songs.

    Not bad, but not great

    Written By Ethan P, Virginia on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I have mixed feelings about the X998. It has a very rich feature set, supporting nearly every imaginable digital streaming media type over bluetooth. It's also among the least garish single-din systems on the market (although that doesn't say much, given that almost every manufacturer makes these horribly garish glossy devices, with curved face plates and chromed-plastic buttons). Still, the looks of the thing really bother me - so much that I plasti-dipped most of the face plate. Really, I can't stand that this has a list of the features and streaming media types that it supports printed in chrome letters on the face. Seriously, I already bought the thing - I know what it can do.

    Although it has a rich feature set, the streaming media support is actually only so-so. The Pandora app only seems to work with my Android phone if I go through a ritual of starting Pandora on the phone, then switching to Pandora on the head unit, and then painting my headliner with a blood of a goat while uttering a secret mantra. The hands-free bluetooth does not work as well as Pandora - there just isn't much noise cancelling, and nobody can ever hear me speak when the car is moving.

    As with most modern head-units, scrolling through a playlist is aggravatingly slow. Not only that, but when the screen scrolls through long text fields, it blurs the text. The worst part is the glossy curved screen, which cannot be read in direct sunlight.

    That being said, the audio quality is very good.

    Pros: -Good sound quality -Rich feature set

    Cons: -Glossy, curved display cannot be read in direct or indirect sunlight -Bluetooth phone - insufficient sound cancelling means that callers cannot hear me while the car is moving -Ugly design, glossy finish is not appropriate for my car (subjective, I know...but this is an industry design trend) -Chrome buttons (cheap look) -Poorly designed interface -Slow user interface -Text scrolling blurs text -Quality (mine randomly crashes when skipping to the next song on the rear USB stick)

    Great SQ and functions, bad everything else

    Written By TB, Indiana on Friday, May 22, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I wanted 3 things in a stereo: sound quality, reliable bluetooth, and a bright display. This HU gave me good sound quality but none of the others. Bluetooth is slow to connect, it won't display artist/song in almost all of my music apps, and the screen is almost impossible to see with any daylight.

    SQ is great. I can get very clear audio just using the EQ and crossovers. The multi-line display and being able to see the full EQ band all at once makes those things a lot easier to set. The "elevation" sound enhancement and "bass boost" work pretty well, but most of the others make the sound worse. "Loudness" is the worst offender and makes the audio muddy even on the lowest setting.

    Bluetooth: Takes forever to connect. I'm usually a mile down the road before I start to hear anything. But usually I end up having to connect it manually in my phone's BT settings. Song/artist info won't display unless I'm using Pandora or Poweramp. I get nothing on the screen with Google Play Music or Amazon Prime Music. It usually drops the BT connection completely when ending a call. When connecting the first time, it defaults to only playing audio through front speakers. Have to go to Settings to change Bluetooth/HF Audio to "All".

    Screen: Way too dim. I've given up on trying to see it during the day. White and green are the only colors that are somewhat visible. But I guess that doesn't matter if the HU isn't displaying the song/artist in the first place.

    Pros: Great sound quality Many audio tweaks Some good "Sound Enhancements" Easy EQ Multi-line display

    Cons: - Screen not bright enough at all - Doesn't always go back to playing music after phone call - Can't adjust phone call alert volume - Most sound enhancements just make the sound very muddy - Takes a long time to connect to bluetooth after turning car on (~1 full minute or more) - Song information doesn't display for most audio players - EQ thins out at low volumes

    I want to love it......

    Written By Mike, Collinsville IL on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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

    I've owned this stereo for almost a year now, and we've developed a love/hate relationship. When this stereo works, it is one of the best I've owned, when it doesn't, not so much. The stereo has lots of audio options, which I like very much. It does take a bit of testing and tweaking, but once you get the sound where you like it, it sounds amazing.

    On the flip side, this thing has been the most finicky radio I've ever owned. The face occasionally stops responding or communicating with the rest of the radio. This results in either the face working like its supposed to without the radio responding ( when you change the station the numbers on the face show you're on a different one, but the music is still playing from your original) or the face locking up so no matter what you do nothing changes. Rebooting (turning the car off and on again) does fix it, but that gets very old very fast. The other thing is the usb ports are touchy. if I hit a moderate or major bump while driving often it stops reading from the usb device until you unplug it and plug it back in (which works most of the time, sometimes you need to "reboot").

    The last point is the user interface. The radio looks cool only having a couple buttons and one knob, but it makes trivial tasks take up concentration and time, which is bad while driving. To navigate through a menu just to change stations is ridiculous. I had to buy a third party remote adapter for the steering wheel just to make using it practical.

    Pros: Sound customization and quality

    Cons: reliability and day to day operating tasks

    Great head unit, with a few exceptions

    Written By JCinSeattle, Seattle, WA on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    Sound and feature wise, this is a great unit. Install was relatively easy. Tons of audio options if you like to tweak your sounds. Connecting Bluetooth devices is quite simple. I do have a few issues with it, however. In bright sunlight, I can barely see the display. I have tried several different colors, as well as switching between positive and negative. If the sunlight reflects off the display, I simply cannot see anything. Which leads me to my second issue. The lack of physical buttons. While it has a nice, clean look, I absolutely hate having to enter a menu, then scroll through a list just to go to my next preset radio station. Which is next to impossible when you cannot see the display. Also, I don't like that there seem to be few options for displaying the clock as well as song/station info. I lost my car's clock when I replaced the stereo, and would like to be able to see both the song info and the time on the same screen. Finally, it is NOT compatible with the iPhone 6 as Crutchfield states. It will stream Bluetooth from my phone, but will not recognize the phone if connected via USB.

    Pros: Great sound, lots of audio tuning options, lots of features

    Cons: Lack of iPhone 6 support, no buttons for station preset recall, display difficult to read in sunlight.

    Crutchfield response on Monday, May 25, 2015 Once we saw this review, our Tech Support team reached out to help the customer reset his iPhone 6 so it'd work with this Kenwood. We'll either help him get the receiver working the way it should, or help him return it for an exchange or refund.

    kenwood

    Written By nz, maquoketa iowa on Sunday, May 17, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Great unit dose everything I want it to

    Pros: Plenty of functions, sound quality is great having the eq and x-over built in is a great money saver

    Cons: Owners manual could be more detailed on how to use everything

    Worth the money

    Written By AllenK, Nebraska on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    The Kenwood KDC-X998 is a fantastic radio. It has a ton of bells and whisltes, short of a double din size face on it, has almost everything you could ever need. Installation was quick, clean and has so far operated as advertised. So far for me only one complaint in regards to the Bluetooth Audio - where BT Audio is only coming through on the front channel, and none of the rear at all. BUT - yet to find out if it is an issue with the deck itself, or due to the amount of options on the deck and it's an option that I just have not figured out how to adjust. Still working with Crutchfield to try and resolve. I would recommend this deck for anyone looking to get a lot of stereo for a decent price. This went into a 2004 Dodge Ram (4-Door) w/ Infinity System.

    Pros: Great quality, Great Price, BT Phone and Microphone are SUPER clean and clear, amount of options are ridiculous.

    Cons: A TON of options - and for the average user is extremely daunting to understand. BT Audio being one channel - but again - may not be a deck issue.

    Solid unit...with quirks

    Written By jeff, ct on Sunday, May 10, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    I purchased this unit to replace the stock stereo in my 2011 Jeep Wrangler. I read extensive reviews on multiple units before deciding on this one, and most were extremely accurate. The unit looks great...very sleek and packed with functionality I was looking for in a replacement. The sound, after a bit of tweaking, is great. Very powerful and crisp with little to no distortion through what I consider a comfortable listening volume. The cons in most reviews are also quite true...the display is nearly impossible to read on sunny days,especially with the top off. The tuner preset and scanning controls are buried to the point that if i didnt have steering wheel control i probably would have returned it. HD radio reception is quite nice though. I've also read sporadic reviews about the unit failing to deliver sound upon start up...this is happening frequently enough to be annoying with my unit. Quick fix is to detatch the face and reattach. ..corrects the issue every time. At this price point, this should not be an issue though. Overall its a solid unit, just not sure id buy it again knowing what I know now.

    Pros: Sound quality, stock power per channel, looks

    Cons: Apparent faceplate connection issues, not a user friendly UI

    Cool Dad!

    Written By chris, Round Rock, Texas on Thursday, May 07, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

    Installed in our 2000 Suburban that we use to transport many players on my son's baseball team to/from practice. The boys (and I) love it! Great sound and with the Pandora app and Bluetooth it is super easy to play the music you want. Installation was straightforward with the adapter kit and wiring harness Crutchfield included. Had it installed in ~1 hour. Wish I had upgraded the stock radio years ago now!

    Pros: Great sound, features and functions for the price. Adapter kit made it super easy to install.

    Cons: None at this time

    One of the worst...

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

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "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.