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Kenwood Excelon XR900-5

5-channel car amplifier — 60 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 600 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms (New Stock)

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon XR900-5

by Buck Pomerantz
Kenwood

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.

Super-slim profile, big-time power

Car amps have come a long way. Kenwood's Excelon XR900-5 car amplifier can power your entire audio system while taking up an astonishingly small amount of space — it's about the size of a piece of computer paper, and it stands only 2" tall. But this compact 5-channel workhorse will send 60 watts RMS to each of your front and rear speakers, along with up to 600 watts RMS to your subs. You could also use the XR900-5 in 3-channel mode to drive a pair of high-performance speakers or components with 150 watts RMS each, while still feeding 600 watts RMS to your sub.

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Designed for optimum efficiency

Kenwood packed this amp with space-saving features. Class D technology reduces the size of the power supply, while the internal heatsink is tilted to reduce height without compromising the amp's cooling system. Recessed power and speaker wire terminals help to further reduce the amp's footprint, protect the connections, and give your installation a neat, professional look.

Controls for the best sound

You can contour the sound with high- and low-pass filters so your full-range speakers play efficiently and sound their best. The front and rear channels have separate gain and filter controls so you can adjust for different types of speakers. The subwoofer channel features its own low-pass filter that'll send the correct frequencies to your sub and enclosure, with an adjustable bass boost that adds some low-end punch when you want it. And Kenwood protects this sharp-looking amp with its Excelon 2-year warranty.

Highlights:

  • 5-channel amplifier
  • 60 watts RMS x 4 + 400 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms
  • 75 watts RMS x 4 + 600 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • 150 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms + 600 watts RMS at 2 ohms
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • variable high- and low-pass filters on front and rear channels (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • variable low-pass filter on subwoofer channel (50-200 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • Class-D amplifier design
  • cooling fan
  • frequency response: 20-20k Hz
  • preamp inputs
  • fuse rating: 40A x 3
  • 4-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 10-1/4"W x 2"H x 8"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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

Features and Specs
Performance
RMS Power Output (Watts x Channels) 60 x 4
400 x 1
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels) N/A
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels) 75 x 4
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels) 150 x 2
Minimum Impedance Bridged 4
Minimum Impedance Unbridged 2
Best Frequency Response 20-20k Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power 1%
Signal to Noise Ratio 78 dB
Input Voltage 14.4v
Features
Amplifier Class D
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency 50-200 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave) 24 dB/octave
High-Pass Crossover Frequency 50-200 Hz
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave) 12 dB/octave
Bass Boost 0-18 dB
Bass Boost Frequency 40 Hz
Fan Cooled Yes
Fuse Rating 120
Speaker Level Inputs No
Preamp Outputs No
Width (inches) 10-1/4
Height (inches) 2
Depth (inches) 8
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 5-Channel amplifier
  • Three 40-amp ATO fuses (installed)
  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • 2.5mm Allen wrench
  • 2mm Allen wrench
  • Four 5/8" Self-tapping screws
  • Instruction manual (English/ French/ Spanish)
  • Warranty card

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

CEA-2006 Compliant: CEA-2006 is a system of testing and measurement methods for mobile audio amplifiers. This voluntary standard advocates a uniform method for measuring an amplifier's RMS power output and signal-to-noise ratio. The criteria for measuring power uses a DC input voltage of 14.4 volts and the RMS power output is measured into a 4-ohm load, with 1% or less Total Harmonic Distortion plus noise (THD+N), and over a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, when applicable. Signal-to-Noise ratio is measured in weighted absolute decibels (dBA) at a reference of 1 watt into 4 ohms. CEA-2006 allows consumers to compare car amplifiers and receivers on an equal basis. Using CEA-2006 criteria, the Kenwood XR900-5 is rated at 60 watts RMS x 4 plus 400 watts RMS x 1 (subwoofer) with a 78 dBA signal to noise ratio.

Specifications: The manual also lists these non CEA-2006 compliant specifications:

  • Power:
    • Full Range: 75 watts x 4-channels (into 2Ω at 1 kHz, with no more than 1% THD, 14.4 volts)
    • Subwoofer: 600 watts x 1-channel (into 2Ω at 100 Hz, with no more than 1% THD, 14.4 volts)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 100 dB (at rated power)

Class D Amplifier Design: The amplifier design is Class D, which uses digital switching power supplies. The result is much higher efficiency (less heat generated) than Class AB.

5-Channel Design: The XR900-5 is made up of three sections, two full range stereo amps (labeled A and B, typically used to power front and rear speakers) and a subwoofer amp (1-channel). The front and rear amps are independently bridgeable, meaning the XR900-5 can be used as a 5-channel, 4-channel, or 3-channel amp. The minimum impedance for each section is 2Ω, 4Ω when bridged.

Crossovers: The front, rear, and subwoofer amplifier sections have independent crossover controls. The front and rear crossovers can be set to high-pass or turned off (full range). The subwoofer crossover is low-pass only and cannot be bypassed. The crossover point for each is continuously variable from 50 to 200 Hz. The high-pass crossover slope is 12dB per octave and the low-pass crossover slope is 24dB per octave.

Bass Boost: The bass boost circuit for the subwoofer section is centered at 40 Hz; boost is variable from 0 to +18 dB.

Aluminum Heat Sink: The aluminum heat sink increases the amplifier's heat dissipation efficiency, increasing the life of the amplifier.

Controls:

  • Input Sensitivity: 200mV-5V; front, rear, and sub independently adjustable
  • Crossover: the front, rear, and subwoofer channels have independent controls for these crossover functions:
    • Mode: the front and rear crossovers can be set to high-pass or off (full range)
    • Frequency: each section is continuously variable; 50-200 Hz
  • Bass Boost: 0-18 dB; continuously variable (subwoofer section only)

Inputs and Outputs:

  • Signal Input: three pair of RCA preamp inputs; front, rear, and subwoofer (labeled A, B, and Sub)
  • Power: set screw terminal; accommodates bare wire up to 4-gauge
  • Ground: set screw terminal; accommodates bare wire up to 4-gauge
  • Remote Turn-on: set screw terminal; accommodates bare wire up to 10-gauge
  • Speaker Output: five pair of set screw terminals (left and right A channels, left and right B channels, and sub); accommodate bare wire up to 10-gauge
  • Fuses: three 40 amp ATO fuses
 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Video: Kenwood Excelon Reference Fit Amplifiers

Video: Kenwood Excelon Reference Fit Amplifiers

by Zak Billmeier
 
Video: Kenwood Excelon Reference Fit Amplifiers

The Reference Fit line of amplifiers from Kenwood Excelon packs a ton of power into a small chassis. These amps hit hard and can fit into tight spaces, if needed. And with mono, 4-channel, and...

 
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Kenwood Excelon XR900-5 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

11 people say:

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5 out of 5

Kenwood Excelon XR900-5

Written By Anonymous, Waynesboro, Va on Friday, August 08, 2014
 
Have it pushing my sub and speakers. Small so it's good for my use in truck.
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5 out of 5

Fantastic amp for the money

Written By Bobby3062, Watertown, Tn on Saturday, July 12, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchase this amp because it was on sale and also because it has a very small footprint since I will be installing in my GMC Sierra. Crutchfield shipped it extremely fast. I've not installed it yet but I know I'll be happy with it. All and all, I'm a very satisfied customer and will be making future purchases here.
Pros:
5 channel, small footprint, lots of power and finally the good Kenwood name behind it.
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

Full system in small package

Written By BJ, Greenvile, AL on Saturday, June 28, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Wanted a single amp to power all the door speakers and subs in my 2013 gmc sierra crew. This nice little amp has lots of power for its size and is small enough to be mounted anywhere. Amp is power 6.5 alpine componants in the front doors and alpine 6.5 in the rear doors. The sub channel is powering 2 jl audio 10" w0 subs. Very clean sound and plenty of power on tap. The single amp made for a simple and clean install.
Pros:
Very small but enough power for complete system.
Cons:
Could use a remote bass input control
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5 out of 5

great amp

Written By Anonymous, Dacula GA on Sunday, May 18, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is the best amp for the money, hands down
Pros:
super clean sounds from the speakers, and strong, clean bass from the sub
Cons:
it does get hot, even w/ the internal fan - so be sure to mount where it can get plenty of air flow
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4 out of 5

Good amp (so far)

Written By Andy, Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 11, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This Kenwood replaced a JL Audio XD600 that developed intermittent issues with channel 1. So far it works just fine. Visually though, the Kenwood's physical construction is a bit underwhelming. The top is solid aluminum but the rest is sheet metal. The XD600 felt hefty through out in contrast. The Kenwood does depend on fan cooling & this probably allowed for the cheaper construction.... but still... I am glad I bought the refurbished model; if I paid the "new" price, I think I'd have been quite disappointed.
Pros:
Easy to install. Works just fine.
Cons:
Low budget construction... appears to be "less" than other older Kenwood Amps I've owned. Unit does run hot... hope the fan lasts a long time.
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5 out of 5

Quality

Written By Garrett, Pittsburgh, Pa on Sunday, March 30, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Best amp ive heard, may not be the loudest, but is sure great quality
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5 out of 5

Great Product After Crutchfield saved day

Written By T Neves, Panama City, FL on Thursday, December 26, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Product arrived with one of the posts bent from factory (it happens). Crutchfield expressed me a new one immediately and the product works great.
Pros:
Clean sound with great controls and form factor
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3 out of 5

It's Alright

Written By sirbOOm, Atlanta, GA on Monday, November 11, 2013
 
The sub channel of this amplifier, despite the similar amplification rating, does not produce the bass impact as does an Alpine PDX-M6, Kenwood XR-1S, or even the sub channel from a Kenwood XR-5s. My bass is muddy/not tight in comparison. I set gains with the SMD DD-1 on all amplifiers and the test was a direct A/B comparison when I had all of these amplifiers from previous systems. This was my experience.
Pros:
- Small
Cons:
- I question the rated output of the sub channel
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

AWESOME LITTLE AMP

Written By BAGWURX, CLEVELAND TX on Saturday, July 27, 2013
 
I HAVE THE FRONT AND REAR CHANNELS BRIDGED ON 1 SET OF Kenwood Excelon KFC-XP184C7" components AND THE SUB CHANNEL PUSHING 1 Kicker 40CWRT101CompRT shallow-mount 10" subwoofer with dual 1-ohm voice coil. This amp provides more than enough power for my '72 Chevy c10..... dynamat will be my next investment....!
Pros:
price, small in size, fits under just about any seat, more than enough power.....!
Cons:
no remote mount sub control but I won't deduct any stars for that. my headunit has sub control...!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Bang bang

Written By Jason G, Denver CO on Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a sweet amp. Class D digital with a very small form factor. Fits under the seat perfectly in my Fusion. My unit is powering a pair of 10 inch subs, a pair 6x8 components and a pair of 6x8 4-ways. It really sounds good, I couldn't be happier.
Pros:
Small size, big sound. One amp powers everything.
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great amp

Written By Vikingfan1997, Hillsboro oregon on Sunday, March 31, 2013
 
Great 5 channel amp. I have it running Rockford power series speakers and a old school kicker solo baric woofer. Great power and great sound
Pros:
Perfect power for all speakers and woofer
Cons:
None
4 out of 6 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Kenwood Excelon XR900-5, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_113XR9005/Kenwood-Excelon-XR900-5.html ).

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