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Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System

Add Kenwood gear to your factory stereo

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  • Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System

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Item #: 113KOSA300
 

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Our take on the Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System

by Zak Billmeier
Kenwood

Why would I need an iPod® adapter?

An iPod adapter allows you to connect your iPod to your car stereo, then access your playlists with your stereo's controls - a great idea for several reasons. One, you can scroll through your song titles on your stereo's larger display, instead of squinting down at your iPod. Two, you can route the adapter cable to your glove compartment or center console, so your iPod stays safely out of sight. Three, the iPod adapter keeps your iPod fully charged, so it's ready to rock when you leave your car. And last of all, some adapters bypass your iPod's internal digital-to-analog converter, using your stereo's superior DAC to turn your files back into music.

Kenwood's KOS-A300 radio upgrade system lets you add sources to any factory radio with a 3.5mm auxiliary input. There's no complicated installation — all you have to do is connect its hideaway box to your auxiliary input and start plugging in new sources. No matter what sources you add, you'll see relevant info on the included dash-mountable, 5-line display. The wired multi-control wheel makes it easy for you to access all system functions. And you can even change its illumination color to match your interior lighting.

KOS-A300

Add Kenwood gear to your stereo

You can connect Kenwood components, so you can choose from the entertainment variety of a satellite radio, the extended play of a multi-disc CD changer, or the enhanced sound quality and programming of HD Radio™. The KOS-A300 also allows you to use optional Kenwood adapters with your factory radio. You can add Kenwood's Bluetooth adapter to make hands-free calls with your compatible phone through your stereo system.

Easy to add other gear, too

Included gear The box gives you a stereo RCA auxiliary input that lets you connect a portable MP3 player or almost any audio source. And you'll gain a USB slot, which lets you connect your iPod or iPhone™ using its standard docking cable or Kenwood's rugged automotive-grade iPod cable. You'll enjoy great sound quality, plus keep your iPod charged as you drive, and you can navigate through your albums, artists, and playlists using the included control wheel. The USB input also plays the MP3 and WMA files you've saved on a thumb drive.

Satellite radio

You can add the SC-C1 satellite radio tuner for only $39.99 when you buy it with this Kenwood. This tuner, along with your subscription, allows you to enjoy satellite radio in just about any vehicle. How great is it to tune into your favorite music channel and listen for hours as you drive from state to state? Ask any truck driver.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • factory radio upgrade system
  • package includes hideaway connection box, dash-mount 5-line display, and wired multi-control wheel
  • add sources to any radio with a 3.5mm auxiliary input
  • add Kenwood adapters and components to your stereo
  • plugs into your stereo's auxiliary input
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
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iPod Compatibility
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Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • External media controller hide-away box
  • LCD display unit with attached 10' cable terminated by a proprietary connector
  • Rotary controller with attached 6.5' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector
  • 8' Power/ground harness
  • 10' stereo minijack-to-RCA audio cable
  • 58" USB cable (with a male USB type-A connector on one end and a female USB type-A connector on other end)
  • LCD display unit flush-mount bracket
  • LCD display unit self-adhesive stand
  • Self-adhesive stand's mounting bracket
  • Rotary-knobs surface mount bracket
  • 2 Angled spacers
  • Four 2mm x 5mm machine screws
  • Six 2mm x 10mm machine screws
  • Two 2mm x 11mm machine screws
  • Six 3mm x 14mm machine screws
  • Two 4mm x 7mm mounting screws
  • Two 4mm x 16mm mounting screws
  • Two 4mm x 16mm self-tapping screws
  • 3.5" x 1.625" plastic removal tool
  • Two-side self-adhesive pad
  • 2 Velcro strips
  • 2 Wire ties
  • Instruction Manual (English)
  • Instruction Manual (Fre/Spa)
  • Warranty Card
  • 2 Correction notes
  • "Attention!" note
  • Display template

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.

Features
Dimensions

Features

Overview: The Kenwood KOS-A300 External Media Controller is a factory radio upgrade solution which allows you to add an iPod or Zune portable digital music player, advanced Bluetooth hands-free phone operation (via optional Bluetooth module), and Satellite or HD Radio (requires optional tuner) to your existing factory audio system (which must include an auxiliary input). The KOS-A300 also includes an Auxiliary input for connection of any portable audio device. The Kenwood KOS-A300 is a 3-piece device which includes a LCD Display Unit, Rotary Control Knob, and Hide-Away Module.

LCD Display Unit: The Kenwood KOS-A300 includes an external LCD display to indicate source information from your connected devices (such as iPod text, Satellite or HD Radio text, or Bluetooth text). The LCD display offers 4-lines of text, or 2-lines of text with graphics. The LCD display also offers variable illumination (10 colors) so your can customize the KOS-A300 to match your vehicle's dash lighting. In addition, the LCD display offers an adjustable contrast (1-10) and adjustable dimmer (Auto/On/Off). The LCD display can either be flush or surface mounted. The LCD display comes with a flush-mount bracket so the unit can be recessed in the dash for a more custom look. The LCD display also comes with a self-adhesive mount so it can easily be placed on your dash or console. The self-adhesive mount allows you to swivel the LCD display left/right and angle the display up/down. The LCD display features an attached 10' cable terminated by a proprietary connector which plugs into this system's hide-away box.

Rotary Control Dial: The Kenwood KOS-A300 includes a 7-way wired-remote rotary-commander with 3 additional push-buttons. This rotary controller provides complete control over the KOS-A300 and your connected audio sources (such as: iPod, Zune, Bluetooth, HD or SAT Radio). The rotary control dial comes with a surface-mount bracket to install the unit on your dash or console. The rotary control dial features an attached 6.5' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector which plugs into this system's hide-away box.

Hide-Away Connection Module: The Kenwood KOS-A300 includes a hide-away box which includes all the connections for the system. The hide-away module includes all the necessary audio inputs for connecting your compatible audio devices and an audio output to connect to your factory headunit. The hide-away box features integrated mounting flanges and can easily be installed under a seat. The hide-away module features the following connections.

  • Power: The KOS-A300's hide-away module features a 6-pin molex plug for connecting the supplied 8' power/ground harness which includes the following connections: 12V accessory (Red), 12V constant (Yellow), Ground (Black), Illumination (Orange/white), and Mute (Brown).
  • Display: This is a proprietary multi-pin port for connecting the LCD display unit.
  • Remote In: There is a 3.5mm jack for connecting the rotary control dial.
  • USB: The KOS-A300 features a USB type-A port for connecting a portable digital audio device such as an iPod or Zune.
  • KAB: This is a proprietary Kenwood port for connecting optional proprietary Kenwood sources, such as: Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM Radio, or Satellite Radio.
  • Aux In: The hide-away module features a stereo RCA auxiliary input for connecting a external portable audio source such as a CD player.
  • Line Out: The unit's stereo RCA line output connects to your factory radio's auxiliary input to deliver audio from connected audio devices.

USB Port: The Kenwood KOS-A300 features a USB type-A port for connecting a portable USB mass storage device. The KOS-A300 supports the playback of MP3 (8-320kbps), WMA (48-192kbps), and AAC (16-320kbps) audio files stored on a USB mass storage device formatted in FAT16 or FAT32. The unit can recognize up to 500 folders, 4096 files per folder, and 15000 total files. The KOS-A300 also supports basic playback operation (such as: Play/Pause, Folder Skip, File Skip, Random) and text display.

Note: This unit supports the PC application "Kenwood Music Editor Lite version 1.0 or later. When you connect a USB  mass storage device with database information added by the Kenwood Music Editor Lite 1.0, you can search a compressed music file by title, album, or artist name.

iPod/Zune Compatible: The KOS-A300's single USB type-A port is also compatible with select Apple iPods (using the Kenwood KCA-iP101 or standard USB/iPod dock cable) and Microsoft Zunes (using proprietary cable supplied with Zune). The unit supports audio playback, control, text display, and charging of select iPod and Zune models. You can choose to control your connected iPod from the KOS-A300's rotary controller or from the iPod's click-wheel/touch-screen (the Zune player's controls will be locked). The Kenwood KOS-A300 allows you to browse your iPod's music content by Artist, Album, Genre, or Composer in alphabetical order (offers only basic playback functions for Zune players). The Kenwood KOS-A300 External Media Controller supports the following Apple iPod and Microsoft Zune models.

  • iPod: iPod video (5th gen), iPod classic (80/120/160GB), iPod nano (1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th gen), iPod touch (1st/2nd/3rd gen), iPhone (2G/3G/3GS/4)
  • Zune: V2 Zune (80GB), V2 Zune (4/8GB), V1 Zune (30GB)

Bluetooth Ready: The Kenwood KOS-A300 is Bluetooth compatible using the optional Kenwood KCA-BT300 Bluetooth adapter. Using the KCA-BT300 and the adapter's supplied microphone you can make and answer phone calls using the KOS-A300's wired remote-control knob and LCD display, as well as listen to audio files stored on a Bluetooth enabled audio player through your factory audio system. You can make and answer calls from your cell-phone using the KOS-A300 using the unit's wired-remote commander and LCD display; you can dial a number directly, dial from your downloaded Phonebook information (up to 1,000 numbers), or dial out from an outgoing/incoming call list. This unit all supports Voice Recognition if your mobile-phone is Voice Recognition compatible (the unit supports up to 35 voice-tags). In addition, the unit features SMS (Short Message Service) so you can read short text messages that were delivered to your cell-phone on the KOS-A300's LCD display. When your cell-phone is called, the KOS-A300 mutes your factory audio system automatically (you will need to hook-up Brown Mute-Wire of the harness). The KOS-A300 also supports Call Waiting (subscription required) so you can answering an incoming call with your current call suspended. You are able to register up to five compatible Bluetooth cell phones, but only one compatible Bluetooth cell phone can be connected when using the KCA-BT300 adapter.

Note: Visit Kenwood.com for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

HD Radio Ready: The KOS-A300 is HD Radio ready. HD Radio provides FM broadcasts that are equal to CD sound quality and AM broadcasts that are as good as analog FM stereo broadcasts. With an optional Kenwood HD Radio tuner (item # 113HR300), you will be able to receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 8 multicast programs (HD1 to HD8 and analog). There are also data programs for each program. This new technology will significantly improve audio quality and reception, as well as include information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the KOS-A300's LCD display. You can store 18 FM and 6 AM stations in the unit's preset memory.

Note: You cannot connect the HD Radio tuner along with a Satellite Radio tuner. You can only connect one or the other.

Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio tuner to the KOS-A300

  • Sirius: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SIRIUS Universal Vehicle Tuner (607SCC1) and the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface (113CASR20V); package # 700SIRKENV; or you can connect the optional CA-SR20V Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface and the SiriusConnect vehicle docking kit (607SCVDOC1); package # 700SIRKENP, along with your compatible SIRIUS Dock & Play receiver.  SIRIUS Satellite Radio features more than 120 streams of original programming beamed coast-to-coast, including 65 streams of commercial-free, digital-quality music, and news, talk, sports, entertainment, and children's programming.
  • XM: A portable XM Satellite Radio receiver can be connected to the headunit via its auxiliary input.

Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.

Auxiliary Input: The KOS-A300 External Media Controller features a stereo RCA auxiliary input for connecting an external portable audio device, such as a CD player. The unit's auxiliary input's name can be set to AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV. You can adjust the input level of the auxiliary input from -8 to +8.

Favorite Control: You can register the operation procedure to select your favorite Satellite or HD Radio, broadcast station, iPod Playlists/Artists, or Bluetooth phone number, allowing you to find your favorite selections quickly.

Dimensions

LCD Display Unit:

  • Width = 3.9375"
  • Height = 1.625"
  • Depth = 0.875"

LCD Display Flush-Mount Bracket:

  • Overall:
    • Width = 4.875"
    • Height = 2.5625"
    • Depth = 0.9375"
  • Cut-Out:
    • Width = 4.145"
    • Height = 1.815"
    • Depth = 0.875"

Rotary Control Dial:

  • Width = 2.365"
  • Height = 2.635"
  • Depth = 1.765"

Hide-Away Connection Module:

  • Width = 6.875"
  • Height = 1.25"
  • Depth = 5.795"
 
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Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System Reviews

Average Customer Review:

27 people say:

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2 out of 5

Not "Easy intallation"

Written By IreneA, Miami, FL on Friday, August 30, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this product because my car is very new and I am planning to trade in soon so I didn't want to spend money on a head unit. I have installed head units before in previous cars. Has always been easy and quick. And if I have questions crutchfield technical support is always available. Product is featured as easy to install. "Not complicated installation requiered". Absolutely false. It is actually easier to install a head unit. After 2 tries, 5 hours and $12+ wasted in adapters I got no results. Can't get it working. Perhaps is my car. Who knows. There is not detailed instructions on how to install. No much on the internet and pretty much no info from technical support. Nobody knows exactly how to install it. No instructions specific for a car model or any kind of guide other than connect ground, then "X" cable and finally "Y" cable. I give it 2 stars because I cannot rate product functionality since never worked.
Cons:
No easy installation Not detailed instructions
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5 out of 5

A lot for the money

Written By James, FL on Thursday, August 15, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The only downside to this product is mounting the display and controller. This isn't a fault of the product, however. This unit provides extreme bang for the buck. The display leaves something to be desired but chances are it is better than what one had before. For what this cost and all it does you just can't beat it.
Pros:
Major functionality at a very low price
Cons:
Display could be improved and I'd be willing to pay for a better one.
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5 out of 5

Excellent solution to my problem

Written By Ba, Beards Fork, WV on Monday, July 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Installation was a breeze. Followed the instructions and custom installed it in my 2012 'Chevy Impala. Looks great and works wonderfully.
Pros:
Ability to customize the installation. Different installation solutions. Easy to operate.
Cons:
Can't get the controller to stop changing colors.....but that's sort of cool......no biggie.
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4 out of 5

Good but not great for '08 Civic

Written By GeneK, South Bend, IN on Sunday, July 07, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I installed this unit into a 2008 Honda Civic and use it 100% of the time as my Sirius radio tuner (additional device required). Crutchfield included instructions for installing into a Civic but it primarily consists of how to take the factory radio out. It would have been nice if there were more specific instructions for this device because the Civic has limited options because of the interior design, especially the mounting of the control knob and display.

The display colors can be customized but it could be brighter for me. It takes more than just a glance at the screen during the day light hours to read it.

The control knob is used to do everything. I don't like it that to change channel you rock the knob like a joy stick. The intuitive thing to do is turn the knob, but turning is reserved for cycling through the set up menu and choosing between devices, which is done much less often then turning channels.

I love the sound quality over my previous Sirius radio. I also like the cleaner installation over the older Sirius radio which had cords strung all over the dashboard. There are still cords, but they can be run from below the dash which keeps a cleaner look.

I'm hoping the quality of the product makes it worth the extra effort to install this and the Sirius tuner over the stand alone tuner device. I've found those devices to be of poor quality and need to be replaced way too often for the price.
Pros:
Sounds Great. Display customizable.
Cons:
Screen brightness. Control knob functions.
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5 out of 5

Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade

Written By JohnW, Vicksburg, MS on Monday, June 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy install. Sounds great. Good price. What more could you ask for?
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5 out of 5

One for me and One for her!

Written By Juan R., District Heights, MD on Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I installed the KOS-A300 in my stock 2007 Chevy Malibu Maxx SS system. A friend of mine checked it out and asked me to install one her truck. Turned it into a birthday gift! ... I am interested to checking out the Bluetooth add-on (KCA-BT200).
Pros:
Simple install, includes all the mounts and adapters needed for a custom install and is priced well. Can use with iPod and Other devices.
Cons:
Cannot preset the back-light color of the control knob but you can set a preset for the display's back-light.
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4 out of 5

Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System

Written By Blackcherry6, Chelmsford, MA on Friday, May 24, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Decent product. I didn't want to loose the factory radio on my 2009 Mazda 6 so I had this solution wired into the aux input. I have the display taped above the a/c controls and the control knob at the cupholder. The screen works for me as I used to have a Kenwood Head unit with similar a display for my IPod this unit is from that generation. dates back to 2007
Pros:
can't beat the price. Devices like these are no longer common
Cons:
the screen is not as shallow as it looks
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

i love this product,

Written By Anonymous, Fort Washington, MD on Thursday, May 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a wonderful product, it works as it says, the box hides away easily, and I love the rotary dial.
Pros:
All pros!!!!
Cons:
No cons.
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5 out of 5

BMW essential

Written By consorsix, Bellbrook, OH on Thursday, May 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The cleanest way to install Sirius in your BMW as an aftermarket option.
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4 out of 5

Works with iPhone5

Written By SC, Martinez, CA on Thursday, May 09, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I took a chance on this unit thinking it may not work with my iphone5, I must say what a surprise... Not only works with it, it also streams Pandora as well. I own a 09 Toyota Matrix xrs with JBL sound system and Bluetooth connectivity, this unit does not interfere with any of my factory installed options it's like if it was part of my OEM system. For the price it beats any other interface module in the market. I wish I could use my steering wheel mount controls to control my music on my iPhone but for the price I can't complaint.
Pros:
Iphone5 compatibility, low price
Cons:
Perhaps the control knob could be a bit slimmer, after its mounted it kinda sticks out a bit much.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Works as advertised.

Written By PaulF, Charlestown, RI on Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent deal for the price, I purchased on clearance. I have a 2005 Subaru with auto climate control so I have no options for for the factory head unit. I was able to add my XM and ipod thru my AUX port. Sounds much better than the FM modulator I had the XM on before. Only complaint is using the menu is complicated and the display is slow to respond. I like being able to customize the backlight in the display to match my car's dash.
Pros:
Price, added flexibility to your existing factory radio, easy install.
Cons:
Navigating the ipod menu is cumbersome, and the display is slow to change.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great Add-Ob to Factory Radio

Written By DougA, Philadelphia, PA on Monday, January 07, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy install, and makes a great addition to a factory radio with only a 3.5mm AUX input only. I bought it on clearance, so its worth whatever little quirks come with it considering I had nothing before.
Pros:
Full iPod control at your finger tips. Flexible mounting options, Color changing to match vehicle.
Cons:
Changing tracks, is sometimes a bit troublesome, and it often skips the first few seconds of a song. Navigation is cumbersome, should be customizable to allow easier track control.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Good product overall

Written By Benoit, Placerville, CA on Thursday, September 13, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The construction is very good (all small parts and accessories fit well and many details were well planned for a good fit in the car). I like that most features are programmable (like the display color, text scrolling, output volume, etc). It needs quite a bit of elbow grease if you want to do a clean installation (I don't like dash top holders, I installed the display permanently above the radio), but once in place it looks custom. For USB, you need to use the Kenwood proprietary program for creating the mp3 library. It is very easy to use and reliable. Sound is good. The only issue I have at the moment is that apparently, with a large number of files (~5000 mp3's on a 32G thumb drive), the initialization at power-up takes about 1 minute. This is kind of annoying... But once it starts it works just fine.
Pros:
Clean, custom look. Good construction. Very flexible and programmable. Good sound. Access to large number of files on USB.
Cons:
USB access time is long for large USB size.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great Ipod control if you have aux in jack

Written By Rhino, Cedar Springs, MI on Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have previously used Harmon Kardon dp1us drive and play. That system worked alright but was missing some features that this Kenwood unit has. I love the fact that this unit can be matched to the stock dash illumination. With the dp1us you are stuck with blue. The display on the Kenwood unit is pretty good, a little hard to see in sunlight though. As far as controls the only change I would suggest to Kenwood is to make the control knob smaller and make it so that when you turn the knob it changes the track. Currently you have to push the know to the right or left to go forward or back which is a bit cumbersome.
Pros:
switchable illumination
Cons:
Size of control wheel, control layout
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

A good alternative for factory upgrading

Written By Mitch, Atlanta, GA on Friday, February 10, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I wanted to somehow get bluetooth calling in my wife's Honda Odyssey. She also listens to SIRIUS radio 95% of the time while driving. I saw this package and figured it was something that could fit my needs for both. For the price, it was worth a shot. Got it, installed it and it works great. We already have an AUX port on our radio so that made it pretty simple.

Keep in mind that while 3 accessories can be used with it (bluetooth, SIRIUS & HD radio), only 2 can be hooked up to it at once and one has to be the bluetooth kit (for a passthrough port). I hooked up the BT-300 and SIRIUS VDOC1 adapter (w/ Starmate 6). Was able to get it all working good. I was even able to use an older SIRIUS windshield mount to use with this Kenwood display unit. It fit perfectly & is mounted in a good/stable area.

The only slight tricky part (& reason for losing a star) was wiring it up. I decided to wire it directly to the Honda fuse box. Easier and no need to splice or cut factory wiring. Can also remove it easier if needed. Be sure to have a good ground (black wire) connection as well. I initially didn't have the black wire connected to a good source and all my accessories didn't work at first. Talked to a Crutchfield tech and as usual, they were great. Found a better ground (floor seat bolt) and it all then worked perfectly.

My wife now loves having hands-free bluetooth calling (& its safer). The USB port & bluetooth audio are a bonus and great too. For the price, can't be beat
Pros:
Great alternative for adding accessories to a factory radio (if you have an AUX port). SIRIUS and bluetooth work good. Now have an available USB port & bluetooth audio if needed.
Cons:
Installing can take some time & be tricky if you are not familiar with it. Be sure to have a good ground (black wire) connection. Otherwise, won't work properly
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Inexpensive way to add to a complicated system

Written By JoeB, Concord, NC on Sunday, February 05, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was looking for a way to add my existing Sirius plug and play to a 2008 BMW 328i without having to use an ugly bracket. This made it simple and since you can change the display colors it made it look pretty darn close to factory. This also gave me an easy way to add bluetooth (via the separate BT-300). Install was pretty painless. The hardest part is getting used to navigating. Much like BMW's iDrive, navigating the menus is not always intuitive but the more I use it the happier I am.
Pros:
Factory look, endless mounting options, flexibility in adding different pieces.
Cons:
Navigating menu is not intuitive. Getting colors to match and stay matched between display and wheel is not clear at all from the instructions. Thank goodness for Google....
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Good idea in theory...

Written By BobB, Irwin, PA on Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Thought this would be a good way to integrate a few inputs into my 97 Acura RL factory HU; after some research, found out it only lets you do 2 choices from iPod, HD radio unit, Bluetooth, or Sirius/XM. It really doesn't make this clear in any advertising, unless you download the manual. It also has RCA line inputs, so you really have a choice of 3 inputs, but this lack of choices is a drag! I went with an iPod and HD radio choice; the HD unit is OK, but if you jump between different sources there is an OBVIOUS sound quality difference between iPod and anything else (not the units' fault). It also won't always recognize my iPod, nor will it charge it. Very frustrating! Way too many menus to customize settings, tough to learn. The control knob feels like it's going to break off at any moment. The display is nice, but not enough lines to be effective. Too many negatives to recommend to anyone.
Pros:
Good way to hook up a few more inputs to your factory stereo
Cons:
Way too complicated; many options with a tiny little display. Doesn't always recognize iPod, nor will it charge it.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

reduced for a reason

Written By miguelito, hawaii on Tuesday, November 08, 2011
 
Well lets just say you get what you pay. I attempted to install in my 2003 BMW and immediately thought what a remarkable gadget. The looks and feel of the wheel control seems flawless and the display unit looks great. I managed to fit all that stuff in pretty good and fired up the unit. Only to find out that my factory's auxiliary input never picked up the source. Frustration sat in after many hours of troubleshooting to only "guess" that this unit simply will not work in my car. So I am back to using my 2nd gen Touch in my hand yet again. This unit looks very promising but simply is incompatible in my car's factory stereo. I am not sure if it was a defective unit but I was not going through with this again and decided to go a different route.
Pros:
the display colors
Cons:
its incompatibility
5 out of 12 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Very difficult installation, cuts out every 30 seconds

Written By ASG, Michigan on Sunday, October 02, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I had my brother install this in my 2010 Mustang. He's installed stereos for a local stereo shop and knows what he's doing. 4 hours later, we were finished. Not an easy installation at all... When it works, it sounds great. Unfortunately, it cuts out every 30 seconds. Very annoying. I've been searching online for anything about this problem, but no luck so far. It happens when my ipod touch is connected. Time to troubleshoot. I'll try another cable, I'll try a USB stick, I'll keep looking...

I would not purchase this for full price. At this price, it's a borderline decision.
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Has Potential....

Written By Method9, Philadelphia, PA on Monday, September 19, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have a 07 Mazda 3 and have been looking for a solution to use a flash drive. This was the only product I could find that would keep the factory system. The KOS interface between a flash drive and a Ipod are a little off. The controls are not intuitive and take some time to get used to. It is also is a little hard to find a place to mount the product. I ended up using two sided tape for the display. The control knob is still not mounted, as I do not want to have to drill into the factory console. Again, two sided tape may be the best option. I was hoping to be able to have my ipod and a usb thumb drive or two all connected at the same time, but the product does not work with a usb hub (despite two contradicting statements in the manual). Overall, a relatively good priced product, I just wish their was something better. If you are going to add in the hd radio, bluetooth or satellite radio then this would be a great product. For the rest of us, I may keep waiting and save your money.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Good Value and concept but not quite there

Written By Don, Knoxville, TN on Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The concept of the KOS-A300 combined with the price was too good to pass up. My Mazdaspeed 3 had an auxillary input in the console so I could use that, keep my mp3 capability, use the aux in for the dvd on trips, not have to spend $300 for the factory Mazda Sirius tuner and maintain all the factory head unit functions. Installation was VERY simple using the normal constant, switched and ground leads. The functionality is where I had to knock a couple stars off. The imitation I-Drive (for those that might know BMW's) is normally glitch-free but it seems like you need to repeat motions just after powering it up. After that, it works well. The only thing truly missing is an output level adjust. This is needed in the worst way. The output is so high that it distorts at very low volumes. The display is very clear and easy to hide should you feel the need. READ THE MANUAL before you attempt setup. All in all, a good unit for those that want all the modern functionality of an upgraded head unit but want to maintain factory looks.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Work Great

Written By Boyce, Dalton, GA on Thursday, March 17, 2011
 
I have 2008 VW Jetta, VW salesman told me that to add USB connection would require a $300 modulator, but my advisor Andy said that if I had an auxillary jack then it should be fine. Andy was correct. Installation was a little more involved than anticipated, no where in my Jetta to install the controller, so I made my own panel on which to mount the controller and it looks great. My only problem now is that I would like to change the controller and display to a different color, but the instructions in the manual do not work, all I can accomplish is to vary the hue of the color (between dark blue and light blue). Otherwise I am very happy with the unit.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Honda Pilot installation is not a DIY project

Written By Igor, San Francisco, CA on Monday, February 21, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
(!) To upgrade the OEM audio system on my Honda Pilot 2006 (no GPS /DVD) I had to use an adapter (USA Spec iPod Interface Honda PA15-HON2 , item number 581PA15HON). The original stereo system doesn't have an AUX connection. An extra unplanned cost $$, it's also made the installation not as easy as I was expecting and I had to use the proffesional services.
6 out of 12 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Product!!!!!

Written By julius5555, New Jersey on Monday, January 17, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great Product!!! Works well for those that want to use their Ipod or use a USB Flash Drive!!! Unfortunately, the output on the Kenwood BT-200, used to allow for handsfree conversation and which has a port to add a CD changer or Kenwood Music Keg, becomes inoperable when added to the KOS-A300. Despite this minor setback, the unit is great and easy to install and use!!!!
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great solution to add functionality to OEM systems

Written By wscott, Bay Area, CA on Monday, November 01, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have a 2006 BMW 330i (e90) with a very non-friendly OEM system for upgrades. I have been looking around for months to add Sirius and iPod functionality to my system without buying the BMW OEM upgrade which would have cost $500 - $800.

While it does take a bit of planning if you want a stealth install, the Kenwood is a great solution and one I would recommend. I mounted the controller near the shifter and the display in my converted ashtray. Sound is good, the functionality is great, and the flexibility to add on more units later is great.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Kenwood KOS-A300

Written By Chris near Seattle, Seattle Wa on Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I recently had the Kenwood KOS-A300 installed by a local shop on my 2009 Chev Impala LTZ. I was worried on how the wires would be installed to the screen, aux in plug and remote knob. The installer did came up with an excellent plan of "pinching" the screen wire between the dash and outside edge of the radio trim piece, then using double sticking tape on the screen. The Aux in plug was also "pinched" between the radio and inside edge of the radio trim piece. The control knob was mounted in the console shifter tray with the wire ran through the gap at the bottom of the dash and top of the console tray. The USB cable was ran the same way to the head box (both out of sight) which was put inside the console void under the dash with Velcro tape.
The unit was more heavy duty than I expected and the USB worked great on my recent 500 mile road trip. The USB menu was the same as the Kenwood HD545U radio in my other car. The sale price was right on and free shipping from Crutchfield. I would not pay the regular price, may as well buy a new radio. Another Five Star deal from Crutchfield. Love it.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System

Written By GaryA, Centreville, VA on Saturday, October 09, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
We have used it a few times and very happy with the functionality

The installation was not that easy. It just required that you do a LOT of planning. I like to make sure that all add-ons look like they were original equipment. This took a lot of work. The controller is not the prettiest device, and requires very specific installation planning. The display is easy to mount and part of the fun is watching the colors change (keeps the kids occupied!).
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_113KOSA300/Kenwood-KOS-A300-Factory-Radio-Upgrade-System.html ).