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PAC iPod® adapter for Kenwood stereos

Charges your iPod while sending the audio to your stereo

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  • PAC iPod® adapter for Kenwood stereos

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Item #: 127ICKENW
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the PAC iPod® adapter for Kenwood stereos

by Robert Ferency-Viars

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.

This PAC iPod adapter sends the music signal from your iPod to your Kenwood car stereo. You get the best possible sound from your playlists, and your iPod gets a fully charged battery. Your iPod stays powered up while connected, so you'll use the iPod's controls to select your tunes.

This 50" adapter cable works with any dockable iPod. Your Kenwood car stereo must have a changer port for optional Kenwood equipment, like a CD changer or satellite radio. Warranty: 1 year.

Note: This adapter does NOT provide control of the iPod from the stereo's faceplate and song titles are not transferred to the stereo's display. If you prefer to have these features, check out Kenwood's KCA-iP500 control interface.

Compatibility Note: Be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this iPod adapter.

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

Features and Specs
General
Adapter Type
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iPod audio in no iPod control
Vehicle Specific
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No
Brand Specific
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Kenwood
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
iPod Compatibility
Full-Size
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Classic/5Gen/4Gen/3Gen
Nano
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Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/
Touch
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Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/Touch1
Mini
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Mini2/Mini1
iPhone
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Phone4S/Phone4/Phone3GS/Phone3
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 50" iPod Interface audio/charging cable with a proprietary 13-pin Kenwood connector on one end and an iPod dock connector/a male stereo 3.5mm mini-plug/female RCA jacks on the other

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

Overview: Use this cable with a Kenwood stereo that has a CD-changer port to connect your iPod or another auxiliary source. Plug this cable into the back of the stereo and refer to the stereo's instruction manual to select the audio input. This cable provides audio for the Kenwood receiver and charges the iPod battery. The cable also features a male 3.5mm plug and female stereo RCA jacks for connecting an external audio source other than your iPod to your compatible Kenwood head unit. You will not be able to control the iPod from the Kenwood receiver, nor will the iPod information (song title, artist, etc.) appear on the display of the Kenwood receiver. All controls and display information will remain on the iPod.

Note: This adapter provides no control or radio display features from your iPod to your Kenwood receiver.

iPod Compatibility: The PAC iC-KENW is Made for iPod/iPhone compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features when connected to a compatible Kenwood head unit (as of Dec. 2009):

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
Audio Video Headunit iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Info Track Info
dock connector 3rd Y N N N N N Y
clickwheel
color
4th Y N N N N N Y
mini 1st Y N N N N N Y
2nd Y N N N N N Y
video 5th Y N N N N N Y
iPod classic 80GB Y N N N N N Y
120GB Y N N N N N Y
160GB Y N N N N N Y
nano 1st Y N N N N N Y
2nd Y N N N N N Y
3rd Y N N N N N Y
4th Y N N N N N adapter required
5th Y N N N N N adapter required
6th Y N N N N N adapter required
touch 1st Y N N N N N Y
2nd Y N N N N N adapter required
3rd Y N N N N N adapter required
4th Y N N N N N adapter required
iPhone 2G Y N N N N N Y
3G Y N N N N N adapter required
3GS Y N N N N N adapter required
4 Y N N N N N adapter required
4S Y N N N N N adapter required

Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the aftermarket radio and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available.

Power Supply: When the receiver is on and the iPod is connected, the iPod is supplied power for playback and to charge the battery.

Note: The iC-KENW will not charge the iPod touch (2nd/3rd/4th generation), iPod nano (4th/5th/6th generation), and the iPhone (3G/3GS/4) without the Scosche passPORT (142IFWA, sold separately).

Connections: The 50" input cable plugs into the iPod's dock connecter or another source's mini-jack or RCA cable, and into the back of the Kenwood receiver in the CD changer port.

 
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PAC iPod® adapter for Kenwood stereos Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Filter by rating:
4 out of 5

ipod adapter

Written By Anonymous, new jersey on Sunday, June 24, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Hooked it up in 5 minutes. Very easy install as long as you can access the rear of the radio.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
4 out of 5

Very satisifed

Written By Joe, New England on Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought this to play a 5th Gen iPod Nano on a Kenwood Excelon KDC-X491.

Cable I received differs slightly from picture. Like the photo, my cable has on one end a single connector to plug into the back of the Kenwood's auxiliary CD changer port. On the other end, there are the 3 connectors - but they are manufactured into the cable as the RCA connectors do NOT detach. However, this was not an issue to me.

Installation was quick and easy. The job took about an hour to complete. The cable's auxiliary jack plugged in nice and tight into the Kenwood. Using the 3.5mm audio jack, I plugged it into the Nano, turned on the Kenwood, cycled through the source button until it picked up the Aux/CD Changer option and the iPod played no problem. Sound is excellent. Some notes:

* This cable does NOT charge my 5th Gen iPod when using the standard iPod connector. (When plugged in, the Nano reads 'accessory not compatible for charging'.)

* You CANNOT control the iPod by the Kenwood head unit nor does it display song info. Everything is controlled from the iPod - which is what I prefer.

Overall, this cable is a good, low-priced alternative and I highly recommend.
Pros:
Simple to install and use; good price. Also like the length of the audio jack wire - makes using and viewing an iPod convenient.
Cons:
None
Crutchfield response on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
There was a change to this product, and the one pictured on the website is the most current version. We still have a mix of both versions in our stock. Both versions of this cable function the same.
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3 out of 5

Apple connector doesn't work with Iphone 4

Written By Paul, Huntsville Al on Thursday, April 07, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The cable works great for the generic audio connections, and price is much
better than other ipod cables. Unfortunately, the Apple connector is not
compatible with the iphone 4, so I can't benefit from the charging and upgraded
audio quality it offers, but the 3.5mm jack works just fine.
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5 out of 5

Does what it says.

Written By Craig, Knoxville, TN on Sunday, July 05, 2009
 
I bought this to allow connecting my iPhone to my boat stereo. It works perfectly. The round connector plugs right into the back of the stereo and the ipod connector works fine for my iPhone, when paired with the Scosche passPORT connector.
The auxiliary connector that allows other items to be connected is a nice touch.
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4 out of 5

PAC iPod® adapter for Kenwood stereos

Written By George, Lubbock, Tx on Saturday, April 11, 2009
 
Great product. Very easy to install and use. Thanks!!!
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3 out of 5

1st one not so much 2nd one okay

Written By Adam, Tampa, FL on Monday, April 06, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The first one sent to me didn't work so well. It only played on the left side of the car....subs and everything. The second one Crutchfield sent out worked just fine. I wouldn't recommend this to someone. You shouldn't have to buy two of these to get one to work.(Are you sensing a pattern in these reviews?) Crutchfield has excellent customer service and had another one out to me two days later.
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3 out of 5

PAC iPod® adapter for Kenwood stereos

Written By Lynn, Levitttown,PA on Sunday, February 01, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought adapter for ipod touch and was very disappointed to find that it doesn't charge the ipod touch it only plays music. I was left with using my nano because it will charge that. It works fine and I make do with it.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Simple, Perfect

Written By Daniel, Pittsburg, KS on Friday, January 16, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I love it when a product does exactly what it's supposed to. Not always the case these days, but this one does. No frills, it just works. Didn't need to control iPod from receiver, just needed a connection. The charging is an added bonus.
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3 out of 5

Better than the Kenwood alternative...

Written By Dan, CenVal, CA on Monday, November 17, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Regardless of my complaints, this is 200% better than the KCA-ip500 or whatever the Kenwood iPod controller is. This plug lets you control the ipod itself, and just pumps audio into the stereo, which is nice.
I intended to use this cord with the iPod plug (vice the 3.5mm jack) so it would charge the battery as well. Turns out the internal wiring to that plug is screwed up, and unless I bend the wire the perfect way, I only get sound out of the right speakers! But instead of pulling my dash apart AGAIN and returning it, I just started using the 3.5mm plug. The sound is fine, nothing special. And when I want to charge it, I just unplug the 3.5 and plug in the bottom plug.
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5 out of 5

Works Great

Written By Jim, Raleigh, NC on Saturday, November 01, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This item works great, have had none of the problems that others have had
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4 out of 5

Sounds great

Written By alex, Georgia kennesaw on Monday, September 15, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Installed on a Kenwood DPX701doubledin. I thought the only connector was the bottom ipod plug and when i found out i had to plug in the 3.5mm jack also, I was a little bummed. BUT! i got over it and It works great, sounds great and was an easy installation (due to my crutchfield mastersheets!). I have a windshield holder for it and the system is exactly what I wanted to do with it.

-1star for the initial let down of 2 plugs instead of 1. Just know that it has both plugs if you plan to purchase this. But if you have a kenwood unit, you might have to get one like it.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Simple and Effective, but quality issues

Written By Jereme, Eau Claire, WI on Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this because I wanted better sound quality than an FM transmitter, and I wanted to be able to use my iPod's native interface (the iPod became the king of MP3 players because of its interface, so why would I want to give that up?) On both counts this adapter fit the bill. The sound is great and I still get to use my click-wheel.

A couple of small annoyances are the 3.5mm mini-jack connector, which is not used with my iPod and dangles needlessly off of the adapter, and the fact that the iPod continues to play after shutting off my car (with my old FM transmitter, the iPod recognized the car shutting down, paused automatically, then went into standby mode).

My big complaint, though, is with the quality of the unit itself. A short-circuit developed due to a wire breaking free inside a connector on one end, thereby blowing the fuse in my stereo over and over again. I'm just glad I was able to replace the fuse rather than replacing my iPod like previous reviewers.

I did purchase a second one of these adapters after my first one developed the short, but only because I couldn't find another suitable option.
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5 out of 5

No Ipod death for me

Written By robmcl, Chicago,IL on Thursday, April 10, 2008
 
I read the reviews on this after a Crutchfield rep recommended this to me and I was nervous. However, I have been using it for 2 months with an Ipod 80 gig Classic and a KDC - MP238 with no problems. In fact I like it a lot as I can use the Ipod controls, which I think beat the heck out of most deck head controllers. I combined this with a holder to make a docking station in my car and it is great. Great sound too. Unless there was a short in the cable somewhere I tend to think the Ipod blowouts were more a function of the receiver than the cable making the connection.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

PAC iPod® adapter for Kenwood stereos

Written By Brad, Athens, GA on Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Works great with my head unit. Installation was a breeze, just had to re-position a few wires and I was in business. Head unit also recognized it as soon as it was turned on, which is what it should do. The hardest part of installation was figuring out where to run the wire to.

Would definitely recommend this product to anyone who wants to get fantastic sound from their iPod (Much better then any FM Transmitter I have ever used)
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Makes my iPod a remote control

Written By Ted, West Chester, PA on Sunday, September 02, 2007
 
I love this cable because it lets me use my iPod as a remote control for the car stereo, and I am completely familiar with the iPod user interface - no need to learn a new set of menus, squint at scrolling text on the head unit, or fiddle with my Kenwood's ridiculously touchy control knob. And it charges the iPod, too.

I fished it down the console and brought it out the little storage compartment in my 2006 Matrix, so my iPod can rest in there while driving, within easy reach whenever I want to change the selection. It was a pain to fish the wire, but what else is new? It's now where I want it and I am happily listening to podcasts and music in the car.

Oh, that's a key differentiator -- watch out for cables that make you use the head unit to select what you're listening to on your iPod -- it appeared to me as I studied them that many only let you listen to music, and some only to playlists. If you like podcasts or audiobooks, you're out of luck. So far, I have not seen any connectors that are as easy to use as the iPod's built-in user interface, so why go with an inferior imitation instead of just using the real thing?
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Fried my 2GB Nano

Written By Thomas, St. Louis, MO on Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Well, I bought this while aware of the other 1 star reviewer's problem. But since that was outweighed by 3 good reviews, I thought I could get away with it. I was wrong. 10 minutes after turning my car on with my 2GB iPod Nano hooked up to this thing and my KDC-X491, the screen faded out. Then I heard a fizzle. Then I smelled burnt electronics. My iPod no longer works. I got PAC's number through a Crutchfield tech. PAC will reimburse me for the cost of the iPod and this cord, but it is a process that takes 3-4 weeks. What a huge inconvenience. Luckily, the KDC-X491 works well with mp3 CDs and my USB flash drive.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Only had for 1 month. Great so far

Written By danzen01, Denver, CO on Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've only had the cable for one month and I'll update this review if any problems arise. So far, the cable had been great. The person that reviewed it only 1 star kind of scared me, but I purchased the PAC cable anyway and my ipod hasn't gone dead and everything is great. Great choice if you still want control of your ipod. The cable is more than what the description states. The cable also comes with a headphone jack so you can play your music through there, but you lose charging cabilities. The cable also has 2 female RCA for AUX in case you don't want to connect to the CD changer plug. If you know how to remove your Head Unit/Deck then you'll have no problems installing. Very satisfied so far.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Worst possible item to purchase

Written By Meech, Milwaukee, WI on Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased two of these and had them shipped 2nd day air due to going out of town and wanting to get both installed into vehicles before that. I have gone through 3 30gb video iPods now due to the charger killing the battery. Everything has been hooked up properlly and was double checked prior to ever hooking up the iPod. Crutchfield did offer to have me return the product for a refund, however this does not satsify me completely as I'm still out an iPod or a warranty. Crutchfield suggested I contact the manafacturer. I just sent the e-mail to them and will see how that turns out. However, either way, I'm beyond extremely unsatisfied with the product and results so far. Never again will I purchase anything made by PAC.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great sound but....

Written By Patrick, Jax, FL on Tuesday, November 28, 2006
 
First off get this if you have a empty cd changer port to use. I have sirius hooked into mine so it wasnt as simple.

The sound is great and it gives you full control of your ipod in hand, unlike the Kenwood ipod Adapter which makes you use the head unit. Beware of that product because its not as simple to search for songs. Thats why I purchased the PAC for my Kenwood head unit (HU), only problem is when i plug it into my kenwood sirius tuner at the floor board my HU doesn't recognize it. The only way to use it is to unplug the tuner from the cd changer port on HU and then plug in the PAC ipod cable. Not very convient if your driving down the road.

I thought i fixed the problem when I purchase the Kenwood KCA-S210A 2-Changer Switch ($80). I figured i would use the manual switch to switch back in forth from port 1 to 2. It still didn't work and i tried everything. I mean every manual suggestion and every troubleshooting technique nothing. I even brought it to a car stereo installer locally. Nadda.

Finally I just returned the switcher and bought a new HU with a AUX input (not AUX "ready"). I kept the cable simply for charging my ipod. it looks cleaner than the ones that plug into your lighter socket and its ruffly the same cost. Now everything works great. Sirius, ipod, cd player.

Hopefully this long boring, drawn out review saves you the time I lost going the hard route. Crutchfield is the best, where else can you call customer service and actually talk to a real person.
12 out of 14 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Product

Written By James, Fairfield, CT on Friday, October 20, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I own a 99' Jeep Wrangler with a Kenwood KDC-MP4032 head unit. This has great sound quality and was very easy to install.
42 out of 58 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the PAC iPod® adapter for Kenwood stereos, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_127ICKENW/PAC-iPod-adapter-for-Kenwood-stereos.html ).