You can add a dose of potent power to your system, thanks to the special design of the Kenwood Excelon XR-1S amplifier. Its dual power supplies and efficient Class D design let this amp deliver massive amounts of power to your subwoofer from a compact chassis that'll fit in more places than traditional amps can.

The built-in low-pass filter lets you tailor the amp's output so you can dial in just the right bass for your vehicle, while optimizing the subwoofer's performance. A built-in infrasonic filter keeps your sub from wasting energy trying to play frequencies that you can't hear. Kenwood's Dual Sigma Drive extends the amp's control over cone movement for tighter, punchier bass. And the onboard fan and dual vents help keep this amp cool as it pumps out impressive power.

If you're looking to build a larger system, preamp outputs give you the chance to add more amps without having to run another set of cables to the back of your stereo. For easy control, the optional wired remote allows you to adjust the bass boost from the front seat.

Product Highlights:

  • mono subwoofer amplifier
  • 600 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms (700 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms)
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • variable low-pass filter (50-200 Hz at 24 dB/octave)
  • variable infrasonic filter (15-40 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • optional remote bass boost
  • Class-D amplifier design
  • frequency response: 20-200 Hz
  • preamp inputs and outputs
  • fuse rating: 30A x 2
  • 4-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 9-1/4"W x 2-1/16"H x 8-9/16"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

My system has plenty of power. Who needs an amp?

You might think you don't need an amp because you have a 400-watt system in your car, or because your new stereo puts out 50 watts a channel. But those are peak wattage ratings, which may boil down to 15 or 20 watts per channel, using the more realistic RMS rating. An amp sends your speakers the power they need to deliver your music with clarity and impact, whether you're using factory speakers or high-performance components. And low-frequency reproduction requires lots of power, so an amp is an absolute must if you're adding a sub to your system.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Mono Excelon amplifier
  • Two 30-amp fuses (installed)
  • 4 Self-tapping screws
  • Rubber terminal cover
  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • 2.5mm Allen wrench
  • Instruction Manual (English/ French/ Spanish)
  • Warranty Card

Product Research

Features
Controls
Connections

Features

CEA 2006 Compliant: The XR-1S's power ratings are measured according to the strict standards dictated by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These standards allow you to accurately compare the rated power output of all CEA 2006-compliant amplifiers. Manufacturers who adhere to the standards can display the CEA 2006 logo on their products and packaging. The amplifier features the following power specifications:

  • 4-Ohm RMS Power Rating: 600 watts x 1-channel into 4-ohms, measured from20-200Hz, with no more than 1% THD+noise
  • 2-Ohm RMS Power Rating: 700 watts x 1-channel into 2-ohm at 100Hz with 1% THD
  • Max Power Output: 1500 watts x 1-channel Peak

Mono-Power Amp Design: The Kenwood XR-1S is designed with specific features to power your subwoofers with a frequency range between 20-200 Hz. This amplifier is not designed to power a full-range speaker.

Class D Amplifier: Class D amps are very efficient and their small size offers installation flexibility. Class-D amplifiers overcome the inefficiencies of traditional Class-A or AB amplifiers. Class-D amplifiers transform very little power into heat, so a higher percentage of the power supply is transformed into the load. This results in a very compact amp which needs less input power to produce very high output power.

Dual Sigma Drive: This advanced negative feed back circuit improves damping factor and increases accuracy and sound quality. When a signal is passed to a subwoofer, like a 50Hz note, the speaker will move and create the note. However, because the speaker has mass and a suspension, it will not stop moving instantly once it's in motion. This extra movement (sound) creates a type of distortion that is not part of the original signal. The negative feedback circuit senses this unwanted movement and send out an opposite pulse to stop the speaker like an electronic brake.

Dual Power Supply: This design provides one power supply for positive current and one power supply for negative current. The result is a cleaner voltage source, fewer failures due to short circuit, less power loss due to variances in transformer tolerances, and less transformer noise even when the positive and negative loads are unstable.

Cooling Fan: There is a cooling fan and vents on each side of the amplifier to help dissipate heat and ensure cool, reliable operation. Make sure not to block these vents or the fan when you install the amplifier.

Protection circuitry: The XR-1S features protection circuits that will turn the amp off in case of the following events:

  • Speaker wire short-circuits
  • Speaker output contacts ground
  • Amp overheats
  • Unit malfunctions and DC is sent to speaker output

Controls

Gain Control: The XR-1S features a gain control with input sensitivity adjustable from 0.2 volts to 5.0 volts.

Low Pass Filter (LPF): The built-in, continuously variable LPF (50-200Hz) allows you to adjust the frequency range of the amp. The filter slope is 24 dB/octave.

Infrasonic Filter (ISF): The infrasonic filter eliminates inaudible ultra low frequencies that can cause unwanted distortion in the audible range. The filter can be adjusted between 15Hz to 40Hz to match the subwoofer and enclosure being used. The filter slope is 24 dB/octave.

Optional Wired Remote: An optional wired remote (item number 113KCAWR10, sold separately) allows bass boost level (0-18dB) and frequency adjustments (40-100 Hz) adjustments from the driver's seat. Multiple XR-1S amps can be controlled using one wired remote.

Line Out Filter: The Line Out Filter switch changes the audio signal output to the Line Out terminals on the amplifier:

  • Off: the line output signal doesn't pass through the XR-1S crossover, gain control, or optional bass boost circuitry
  • On: the line output signal is adjusted using the XR-1S crossover, gain control, and optional bass boost circuitry

Connections

Power And Ground Terminals: The amplifier features Allen head set-screw Power and Ground terminals that will accommodate up to 4 gauge wire. 6 gauge minimum is recommended.

Remote Turn-On Terminal: The remote turn-on is an Allen head set-screw terminal that will accommodate up to 8 gauge wire.

Speaker Terminals: The amplifier is equipped with two pair of gold-plated speaker terminals for easy parallel subwoofer connection. The speaker terminals are Allen head set-screw terminals that will accommodate up to 8 gauge wire. 12 gauge minimum is recommended.

RCA Inputs: The amplifier features one pair of gold-plated RCA input connections.

RCA Outputs: The amplifier has a set of line level outputs for feeding a stereo audio signal to another amplifier. The line output can be effected by the gain control and crossover using the Line Out Filter switch.

Fuse: The amplifier contains two 30-amp fuses.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Kenwood Excelon XR-1S Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Awesome Amp

Written By A lot of power for a little amp, Kentucky on Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I got a sweet deal on a factory refurbished model of this amp and it's pretty amazing. I'm using it with a 12" FUBAR (4 ohms wired down to 2 ohms, rated for 800w RMS 1800w peak) in a sealed box, and it bangs pretty hard. I feel like the sub will fail before the amp does. I plan on getting a little better sub and box for this, the sub doesn't handle the higher bass notes as well as I'd like. The bass could be a little louder, but if you know how to tune and EQ your stuff right this amp will sure do the trick. You hit the right note and the review mirror just looks straight to the floor. I'm happy with the little guy is all I'm saying, and if you can find a good deal on this amp it is absolutely worth it.

Pros: Small size, big power.

Best Upgrade I've Made!

Written By Dana C., Ocala, Fl on Monday, May 13, 2013

I purchased this and wired it to a sealed 12" EarthQuake Magma DVC. Each coil is worth 3.2 ohms so in parallel the amp is sees 1.6ohms. I did not realize how much power I was missing. I had a 520 (peak) amp previously wired and thought that was ok. It runs very cool and though I'm running a .5 farad cap it doesn't dim the lights as much as I thought it would. A lot of my friends still can't believe that it produces a peak of 1500 watts with it's small size. I will definitely say the "feedback circuit" works wonders. With the previous amp the sub would sometimes bottom out on a specific song note and caused concern because the new amp had so much more power but with this one it hits a lot harder but still doesn't bottom out regardless of the song. Definitely worth the money.

Pros: Strong and Clean, Negative feedback circuit, Infrasonic filter for cleaner lows

Cons: No onboard bass boost but it's not needed in my situation

Definitely has the WOW factor

Written By kronbts, Southern CA on Friday, February 17, 2012

I bought this amp because i have tried the xr-5s and that was a great amp. I have the xr-1s hooked up to 3 12" efx pro comp subs in a vented box. wired at 4ohms they are getting 200w rms each. the head unit is also a kenwood excelon x994. the sound is top notch. bass is so loud it hurts your ears and presses on your chest. WOW. Dont know why other people are not liking this amp, but maybe if they wanted more bass they should have gotten more or better subs. a nice amp and cheap or only one sub isnt going to wow anybody. fyi i have owned many amps. fosgate bd-2500, jl slash, etc and this setup has been the loudest.

Pros: small, amazing sound and power. WOW factor for sure. very reliable, high quality

Cons: cant think of any

Ignore Negative Comments

Written By JohnnyDeluxe, Miami, Fl on Wednesday, June 01, 2011

If you're considering this amp, don't hesitate...BUY IT!!!!

For more information on why, read my review, right here on Crutchfield for the XR-4S at:

http://www.crutchfield.com/s_113XR4S/Kenwood-Excelon-XR-4S.html?tp=115&nvpair=FFBrand|Kenwood

Returned amp... HUGE Disappointment

Written By Dennis H, Toms River, NJ on Friday, January 14, 2011

I really became a huge fan & believer of Kenwood after installing a KDC-X494 head unit. So I went & bought this amp to power my Kicker 12" L5. It sounded & felt like my L5 was half asleep. It has a nice chassis... but nothing else. Needless to say... I went and installed a JL Slash 500/1. If you can spend more money... do it.

Good things do come in small packages

Written By Chris, Montclair, NJ on Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I really like this amp. It is beautifully designed. Very high quality. it compares very favorably to the PDX amps by Alpine and the compact Class D amps by Kicker, JL Audio and Pioneer. Only it's smaller and has a fan. It made my inexpensive subwoofer sound like one that cost so much more, with proper tuning. Only detraction, for an amp at this price, the remote should be included. I already own the XR-4S so it was a no brainer to get this model too. This way I can stack them.

Small in size but no Wow Factor (I agree)

Written By thomas, Seattle Wa on Monday, July 05, 2010

I agree with the previous review. I had to replace a failing 400 watt amp that out performed this amp by far. Also it uses a 24db crossover (the previous amp gave me a choice between 12db and 24db) it has 200 watts more power than my previous amp, cost $100 more, with weaker performance.

Small in size but no Wow Factor

Written By Todd, Redmond, WA on Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In my 2001 Audi S4 I'm running an Alpine CDA-9885 deck with a single 12 inch Alpine Type R (SWR-1242D) subwoofer wire to run at 2ohms in a seal 1.2 cubic foot box.

I am running at 2ohms so I would think the extra 100 watt rms difference vs my old amp would make a difference but not so.

The negative feed back circuit which is supposed to improve sound quality is not working or I can't tell the difference. The sound quality is good, but no wow factor.

I do like the small design. so I'll give credit there.

I do not like how the knobs to adjust frequency and voltage is so small you need a tiny screw driver to make adjustments. It's just annoy when I want to make a quick adjustment.

The amp does stay pretty cool. It's warm to the touch but not burning hot. I haven't been on a long drive running it hard so can't say for sure how warm it gets. I used 1/2 inch thick washer to allow some air flow under the amp and between the box which might be helping. Either way it hasn't gone into protection mode. It does start clipping if I push it toward it's limits, which I thought was a grounding issue but I had the ground wire connect directly to the battery and the problem was still there. I don't run the subwoofer that hard so it's really not a major problem for me.

My final thoughts is... at this price you likely can get a better amp at a better price. unless you need an amp small in size. At this point the size is the only thing its got going for it.

Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Kenwood Excelon XR-1S

You'll need an amp wiring kit to install your new amplifier, as wiring is not included.
Bring the music from your amp to your speakers.
Patch cables take the music from your stereo to the amplifier. Most amp wiring kits don't include them.
For multi-amp systems, you'll need a separate fuse holder.
Helps protect your car's charging system and improves power handling. Required power and ground wires not included with cap.
The right tools will make the installation easier.
Have your new amplifier put in by a qualified professional in your area.
EFX PA4BX Wiring Kit

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Rockford Fosgate RFK4

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Rockford Fosgate RFK4X

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T-Spec 16-gauge Speaker Wire

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T-Spec 12-gauge Speaker Wire

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Stinger PRO Series Speaker Wire

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T-Spec 2-Channel RCA Patch Cables

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EFX 17-foot RCA Patch Cable

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EFX 2-Channel RCA Patch Cables

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EFX 2-Channel RCA Patch Cables

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Elite Series Braided Multi-Core RCA patch cables — available in 5 different lengths (3-foot)

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EFX 2-Channel RCA Patch Cables

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Core Series Twisted RCA patch cables — available in 5 different lengths (25-foot)

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EFX CFHG4 Fuse Holder

EFX CFHG4 Fuse Holder

In-line AGU fuse holder accepts 4- to 8-gauge wire

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Rockford Fosgate RFFAGU Fuse Holder

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Platinum-plated AGU fuse holder
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T-Spec Capacitor

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1.5-farad capacitor with red LCD meter

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Metra Crimp Tool and Connectors

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S&G Wire Cutter/Stripper Tool

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S&G Tool Aid 87650

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Skewdriver Pro SPK4042

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Install Bay 3320

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Install Bay IB35400

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InstallCard: Amp or Equalizer

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