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Crutchfield

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

CD receiver (Factory refurbished)

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  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Front

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Back

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Remote

 

Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

Why replace your factory radio?

Two good reasons - sound quality and cool features. A new car stereo offers power that's superior to most factory radios, along with more sophisticated tone controls. And most car stereos offer built-in or optional features that add safety and fun to life in your car, including inputs for your iPod or MP3 player, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free cell phone calls, satellite radio or HD Radio reception, and connections for building an audio system in your car.

Step into Kenwood's Excelon lineup
Kenwood Excelon receivers are a great choice if you want to push the sonic boundaries of your system, and enjoy reliability that's backed with a 2-year warranty. The KDC-X396 CD receiver kicks off the Excelon lineup with a nice blend of audio features and styling. And thanks to its selectable color feature, you can pick a button color that matches your vehicle's illumination so the receiver will look perfect in your dash.

Kenwood KDC-X396

Better sound from your iPod or iPhone
If you're an iPod® or iPhone® user, you won't miss a note of your favorite songs. Just plug your player into the convenient front-panel USB input, and you'll enjoy outstanding control right from the receiver. When you're connected via USB, the KDC-X396 bypasses your iPod's internal digital-to-analog converter, sending the digital data to the Kenwood's superior 24-bit D/A converter. Your music will sound more natural and lifelike.

If you're a Pandora® Internet radio fan, you can even pick from your favorite stations when your iPhone's connected. You've got more options, too. You can liven up your drive by loading in a disc full of music files, or by jacking another device into the front-panel aux input.

If you store your music on an Android device, download Kenwood's free Music Link app and you can enjoy a variety of search and playback features when your phone is plugged in via the front-panel USB.

Kenwood Excelon sound quality
If you're building a car audio system, one of the keys to the getting the most out of your system is a clean, powerful signal from your preamp outputs. All Kenwood Excelon receivers feature 4-volt preamp outputs that'll provide your amps with the strong signal they need for top performance.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?
In most vehicles, you can use an adapter to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Kenwood stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and this Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.

Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • detachable face with 13-digit display and variable-color button illumination
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band equalizer)
    • speaker size settings
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • low-pass filter and subwoofer level control
    Expandability:
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora control with iPhone
    • compatible with Music Link app for Android devices
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB input
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

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

    Features and Specs
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant
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    No
    RMS Power Output
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    22 watts
    Peak Output
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    52 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
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    20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs
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    6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs
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    Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
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    No
    Preamp Voltage
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    4 volts
    Display Color
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    Bluish white
    Key Button Color
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    Variable
    EQ Bands
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    3
    Wireless Remote
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    Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
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    Adapter required
    Parts Warranty
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    90 Days
    Labor Warranty
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    90 Days
    Expandability
    AUX Input
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    Front
    USB Input
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    Front
    Memory Card Slot
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    USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible
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    No
    Satellite Radio Ready
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    No
    HD Radio
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    No
    Navigation
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    ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
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    Classic/5Gen
    Nano
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    Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/
    Touch
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    Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/Touch1
    Mini
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    No
    iPhone
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    Phone4S/Phone4/Phone3GS/Phone3
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity
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    11.2 dBf
    European Tuning
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    No
    Seek/Scan
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    Seek
    Radio Data System
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    No
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Refurbished AM/FM CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-405)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • Cloth face pouch
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Instruction Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • 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.

    Audio Section
    Disc Playback
    iPod/Android Control
    USB/Aux Inputs
    Radio Functions
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KDC-X396 are as follows:

    • Full Bandwidth Power: 22 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20-20kHz, 1% THD)
    • Maximum Output Power: 50 watts x 4 channels

    3-Way Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 3-way rotary volume control that increases and decreases the volume of the stereo from 0 to 35. The rotary knob also controls other audio settings such as Balance, Fader, Bass, Mid, Treble and preset EQ settings. In addition, the rotary knob allows you to scroll through and select your music tracks when the Music Search function is activated.

    Volume Offset: The level of each source may be independently adjusted to prevent radical leaps in output volume when switching from one source to another. The available settings range from -8 to 0 (-8 to +8 for Aux source).

    Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the System Q Sound Control settings according to the type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of 'SP-Off' (flat/off), 'SP-OEM' (for OEM factory speaker systems), 'SP-6x9/6' (for systems with 6" and 6"x9" speakers), or 'SP-5/4' (for systems with 4" and 5" speakers).

    Preset EQ: Eight EQ curves are preset into memory, allowing you to recall the best preset EQ curve for different types of music. Each preset has its own level settings for bass (100Hz), midrange (1kHz), and treble (12.5kHz). You can choose from the following preset EQ curves - Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, Game, and User.

    EQ Pro: The Excelon KDC-X396 features independent Bass, Treble, and Midrange control when the Preset EQ is in User mode. EQ Pro allows you to adjust the following settings for the Bass, Treble and Mid frequency levels.

    EQ Pro
    Center Frequency Q-Factor Bass Extension Level
    Bass 60, 80, 100, or 200 Hz 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, or 2.00 On/Off -8 to +8
    Midrange 0.5k, 1.0k, 1.5k, or 2.5k Hz 0.75, 1.00, or 1.25 N/A
    Treble 10.0k, 12.5k, 15.0k, or17.5k Hz N/A N/A

    Bass Boost: In addition, the Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2 or Off).

    Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer at lower volumes. There are 3 levels (LV1, LV2, or Off).

    Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store Preset EQ and EQ Pro bass/midrange/treble tone settings for each source (CD, AM/FM, Aux, USB, iPod, and Pandora).

    Supreme Setting: When MP3 or WMA files encoded at a low bit rate (less than 96 kbps, 44.1k, 48kHz) are played, the Supreme Setting function restores their high frequencies so the sound quality is closer to files encoded at a high bit rate. The processing is optimized for the compression format and the bit rate used. When the Supreme Setting is Off, the unit plays the original sound stored in the audio file.

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X396 features front, rear and subwoofer 4.0-volt preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs are fixed to the rear chassis of the head unit.

    Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X396 features an independent High-Pass Crossover for the front & rear channels when your front & rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 100, 120, or 150 Hz. The "Through" selection is a full-range setting. This feature is very helpful when you have smaller-type speakers in the front and larger-type speakers installed in the rear of the vehicle.

    Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 offers the following subwoofer controls, when you have the unit's subwoofer preamp output activated.

    • Low Pass Filter: The receiver features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the preamp-output, when the output is set to Subwoofer. You can select from 85 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, or off.
    • Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).
    • Subwoofer Level: Once the Subwoofer preamp output is activated, you can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level (-15 to +15) from the CD receiver.

    Tel Mute: The KDC-X396 features a cell-phone mute wire (tan) in its harness that when hooked up to your car's phone system mute wire will automatically mute the receiver's audio signal when a call comes in.

    Key Beep: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    Disc Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs.

    MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-X396 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc can have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder (512 maximum number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (ver. 1.x/2.x) and WMA Tag information - up to 60 characters.

    Text Scroll: The KDC-X396 will display CD text or Audio file text. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto, Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.

    Music Search: The Kenwood AM/FM CD receiver features a Music Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your MP3/WMA music folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using the head unit's rotary knob.

    Direct Music Search: The supplied IR wireless remote control (RC-405) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 features the following Repeat, Random, and Scan playback modes.

    • Repeat Play: Track, File, or Folder
    • Random Play: Disc or Folder
    • Scan Play: Track or File (plays the first 10-seconds of each music track on a disc or music file in a folder)

    Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to the tuner mode while a CD is playing, the next time CD is selected as the source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.

    CD Read: This function sets the method for reading a CD disc. You can choose between two modes.

    • CD1: Automatically distinguishes between audio file disc and music CD when playing a CD or CD-R/RW disc.
    • CD2: When unable to play a special formatted CD, set this function to CD2 to force playing. Some music CD  discs may be unplayable even when set to this mode.

    Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will automatically power up and begin playback.

    Auto Reload: If the ejected disc is not removed within 15 seconds, the disc is automatically inserted again into the loading slot to protect it from dust.

    iPod/Android Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The KDC-X396's front-panel USB port acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X396.

    iPod DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 105dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone, as well as music apps streamed to your iPhone.

    iPod Control: You can choose to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.

    • Head Unit: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). The head unit supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
    • iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker) from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Kenwood head unit and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode.

    Note: Access to your iPhone's downloaded applications will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet.

    Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 using your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately), or the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. The Kenwood KDC-X396 provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.

    Note: Access to the Pandora service will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    iPod Display: The KDC-X396 will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood head unit. The head unit will display Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album label. If you choose to operate your connected iPod/iPhone via its clickwheel or touchscreen controls, the KDC-X396 will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").

    iPod Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position. This unit does not charge the iPad.

    Note: If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 1/5/2012):

    iPod Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Pandora App Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod/App Artist/Song Text Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N N
    clickwheel
    color
    4th N/A N N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N N
    2nd N/A N N N N N N N N
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N Y Y N Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N Y Y N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    3rd 5.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    4th 5.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 4.3.5 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 5.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 5.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 5.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N

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

    Music Control for Android Smartphone: The Kenwood Music Control app for Android organizes your Android smartphone's music, while providing quick and easy search capability from the Kenwood CD receiver. The free Kenwood Music Control App for Android can be downloaded onto your Android smartphone from the Android Market place. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS 2.2 or later. Once the app is downloaded and has a chance to organize all the stored music on your Android smartphone, you can connect your Android smartphone to the Kenwood CD receiver via USB (your compatible Android smartphone must be recognized as a USB mass storage class device; not compatible with MTP protocol). The Kenwood Music Control app offers the following Android supported functions.

    • Song Management: Music stored in your Android smartphone can be navigated from the Kenwood CD receiver. Songs can be easily selected by searching for a Song title, Artist name, Album label, or Genre.
    • Song Information Display: Song information such as Artist name, Song title, and Album label are displayed on the connected Kenwood CD receiver.
    • Mood Playlist: Playlists can be created by classifying songs into categories by type of mood. Songs are analyzed and classified into the following categories of moods - High Energy (Active/Powerful/Core), Acoustic (Detailed/Simple/Smooth/Easy), Standard (Dynamic/Rockin/Vivid), Stylistic (Cool/Urban/Trance)
    • Intro Skip: This function allows you to choose and listen to only the hook-lines of songs stored in your Android smartphone.

    Note: When the Kenwood Music Control app is first downloaded it will require some time to populate all the music, so we suggest doing this overnight.

    Music Files Format Supported by Music Control app for Android:

    Codec Extension Bit Rate Sampling Frequency
    AAC .aac, m4a up to 160 kbps 8-48 kHz
    MP3 .mp3 8-320 kbps n/a
    PCM/WAV .wav n/a n/a

    USB/Aux Inputs

    USB Port: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device with MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 folder layers, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder - with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

    Note: You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.1.1.0). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3/WMA music files to your USB (MSC) devices from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB (MSC) device using Kenwood Music Editor Lite through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using the head unit's Music Search function.

    System Requirements: The Kenwood Music Editor Light (ver.1.1.0) Windows-based software can be downloaded for free from Kenwood.com to your PC. The Kenwood Music Editor Light is compatible with the following Windows Microsoft Operating Systems.

    • Windows XP Professional, Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit)
    • Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)

    Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android, or Zune.

    Aux In: The unit is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input that can be used to input audio from a portable audio source, such as a portable MP3 player. The Aux input must be turned on to function. The unit has 3 auxiliary input modes.

    • On1: Outputs the sound of the external unit connected to the Aux terminal when switched to the Aux source.
    • On2: Activates the attenuator function when turning on the power with the auxiliary source selected. This prevents the noise when no external unit is connected to the Aux terminal. Turn off the attenuator function when listening to output from an external unit.
    • Off: Disables the selection of the Aux source.

    Auxiliary Display: The KDC-X396 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.

    Radio Functions

    AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-396 features a built-in AM/FM tuner. You can choose one of four tuning methods: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), Manual Tune, or Direct Access (via remote).

    Tuner Presets: The Excelon KDC-X396's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 offers two preset modes.

    • Normal: You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets (total of 24).
    • Mix: A total of 6 preset stations can be assigned to the head unit's 6 preset buttons, regardless of AM/FM band. This lets you recall a preset station without switching between bands.

    Auto Memory Tuning: Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling.

    Direct Access Tuning: You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.

    Mono Mode: The Mono mode improves the radio's FM reception, but the stereo effect will be lost.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The head unit includes a cloth pouch for storing the face-plate when detached. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Note: An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can also be purchased for this unit.

    Fluorescent Display: The Kenwood head unit features a single-line, 13-character, bluish-white backlit fluorescent display.

    Variable Button Illumination: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 features variable color button illumination. You can choose from one of 24 preset colors, have the unit scan through all 24 preset colors continuously, or customize your own color (RGB; 0-9). The custom setting allows you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue (from 0-9) to better match your vehicle's interior lights. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain red.

    Illumination Dimmer: The head unit's fluroescent display has two dimmers settings to adjust the brightness of the display according to the surrounding illumination. You can switch the display dimmer setting On or Off. The head unit's button illumination has an independent dimmer setting from the display which lets you set the button illumination dimmer to LVL1, LVL2, or Off. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain the same brightness.

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face and button illumination is "keyed." When the Clock Display is turned on and the unit is in Standby mode, the Clock Display is also "keyed." Pressing and holding the source button turns the unit off completely.

    Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned On or Off within the menu.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X396 comes with an IR remote control (RC-405) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, and Tuner functions. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).

    • Numeric Keypad: The wireless remote control features a numeric keypad (0-9) which allows direct track access of your music tracks & files (from CD or USB), as well as AM/FM presets.
    • Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one touch of the button.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit also features an OEM steering wheel remote control input wire (blue/yellow) within the included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with the optional PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (541SWIRC, sold separately);  or the optional Metra ASWC Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (120ASWC, sold separately).

    Note: Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

     
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    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 Reviews

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    1 out of 5

    Problem

    Written By Lecair, Northern California on Monday, October 21, 2013
     
    My experience has been that the connection points between the detachable face and the in-dash portion are faulty. Every press of any button on the left side of the face causes a momentary loss in contact between the face and the in-dash portion. Very frustrating. It has gotten progressively worse.
    Pros:
    Not worth the con
    Cons:
    Faulty connection between face and in-dash portion
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Anonymous, Coosada, AL on Saturday, September 21, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Very good unit. Sounds great with my factory speakers
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    "Coolness Factor"
    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
    Sound Quality
    Value
     
    5 out of 5

    Kenwood deck

    Written By edgeonein, 47715 on Tuesday, June 11, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great deck, easy to install, all the features needed when upgrading from factory radio and not needing a competition sound system.
    Pros:
    Great sound. Perfect balance of power.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Anonymous, Cullman, AL on Friday, May 03, 2013
     
    Great sounding, simple, well designed, easy to use, no bull****, good looking head unit! For the PRICE you can't beat it!
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    5 out of 5

    Great value and big improvement over the factory system.

    Written By Mike, Wake Forest on Saturday, March 09, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 is an excellent value and a real upgrade to my factory CD receiver. Aux input works great with my IPod and I've loaded up a 8 Gig USB thumb drive with tons of music which provides many hours of music. Easy to use, plug in the thumb drive, put it on 'random' and forget about it.
    Pros:
    Good quality and a lot of features for the price (value). The experience of purchasing from Crutchfield and the confidence you gain by having the right tools and support to do the install yourself.
    Cons:
    Takes a little while to figure out how all the options work (menu and set-up), but if you spend a little time it becomes pretty intuitive.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent

    Written By John, Clifton, Oh on Tuesday, March 05, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Excellent head-unit, great sound quality and very easy to use. Crutchfield supplied everything need to make it a very easy install.
    Pros:
    Easy to use, good sound, customizable display.
    Cons:
    None so far.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent!

    Written By Rev. Beth, Nashville TN on Friday, March 01, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is the second KDC-X396 that I've had. When I find a product that performs, I stick with it!
    Pros:
    USB input works great with my iphone 5 music. Even without adding an aftermarket amp, the Excelon KDC-X396 has an extra boost of amps that improves the rest of the system - many radio/CDs don't have as much amp output. Easy to operate & stands the test of time!
    Cons:
    None
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Rob J, noblesville in on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    the unit fit well in the dash with the color changes looks cool too
    Pros:
    cool colors sound great
    Cons:
    cant find how to get the clock to show
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Billy R., Boonville, NC on Tuesday, February 26, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Button are to small, other than that it is a great stereo for the money.
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    5 out of 5

    Like it

    Written By vikingwayne, Santa Cruz, Ca on Sunday, February 17, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Works great. Sounds great--easy to use. some have complained about the buttons being too small, but I manage with my 3XL hands.Took a while to install--some of the vernacular I wasn't used to. The installation kit instructions are a bit clumsy. Love charging my devices though the USB--when I sed a cigarette lighter adapter, I got fedback thru the old radio. Not now.
    Pros:
    Coolness. kenwood quality
    Cons:
    It could be easier to turn off.
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    5 out of 5

    Great Radio

    Written By Goat, Kawkawlin, MI on Monday, February 04, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 is a great stereo. I was looking for something with as many sound/eq settings/filters as possible. I listen to a wide range of music so versatility is a must. No need for bass blockers to be wired in before the speakers. You can change the frequency cutoff to your liking. I have had a lot of high end expensive stereos in my time and this is by far the best stereo I've had for a small amount of coin. The remote can do everything so you never really have to touch the unit itself.

    I think the best added feature is the usb port. I took an 8G thumb drive and put a bunch of music on it and plugged it in. Works great. No need to mess with cd's or aux cable for that matter. You can search the drive for the song you want before changing the current song as well.
    Pros:
    Everything is great especially for the price.
    Cons:
    None
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    It's great!

    Written By Anonymous, Grand isle vermont on Monday, January 28, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This head unit is nice. Very easy to use once you play with it a little bit. Lots of options it's perfect.
    Pros:
    Lots of options.
    Cons:
    None that I see
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    5 out of 5

    Perfect for S10

    Written By Volksmark, Ft. Wayne, IN on Wednesday, January 16, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Definitely an upgrade from the stock radio. It sounds great with the stock speakers in my truck, but I plan to add a set of speakers this spring. It would have been a nice touch for this deck to have a rear USB port, but it's a great unit as is.
    Pros:
    USB / AUX connectivity Infinite choice of backlighting colors Easy to install in 2003 S10
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By rd, middle TN on Friday, January 04, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great product with good sound quality and easy to use. Good buy.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Anonymous, Wallingford,ct on Friday, January 04, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    excellent product, I am very happy
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    3 out of 5

    Mediocre for the price

    Written By DJ, Lancaster, CA on Friday, January 04, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This unit was recommended by the Crutchfield staff and I wished I hadn't listened to them... For the price, this unit is an underperformer in my book. It seems that Kenwood focused on a bunch of 'ooh-aww' features that really don't improve the sound quality and 'use-ability' of the unit (I don't care if it changes color when it plays). For all the programming menus (to include selecting speaker size), the sound is mediocre - especially bass response. I know, you're saying..."Buy a subwoofer". I shouldn't have to...in order to get decent sound. I don't enjoy vibrating while going down the road. I tried 3 different speaker manufactures, and all gave me the same mediocre sound. "Hey Kenwood...you've lost yest another customer!"
    Pros:
    Decent readout and easy to access menus.
    Cons:
    Poor reception (my crappy OEM radio picked up stations better), poor quality small buttons (apparently, Kenwood thinks we all have mouse hands). Even though I was assured this, the unit was never able to interface with my steering wheel controls (many days with Crutchfield tech support, several control units and no luck).
    4 out of 8 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Wife Loves It

    Written By Dempsey, Summerville, SC on Thursday, January 03, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this as a Christmas present to replace my wife's stock stereo in her Toyota Sequoia and it was just in time. The CD changer on her stock car stereo failed 2 days before Christmas so she was hoping I had gotten her this.

    The installation was pretty straightforward and took less than an hour. Sound quality is really good, even though I didn't replace the stock JBL speakers in her SUV. It sounds much better than before. The radio picks up stations more cleanly (less static) and all the digital features work great. The big draw for me with this radio was the USB hookup and linking it to your phone. If you're an iPhone person you'll absolutely love this radio because it was designed with you in mind - control Pandora from the radio, iPod controls on the panel, etc. We use Android so there aren't as many features integrated for it but you can use the auxiliary adapter to plug your phone in and play your songs from the phone using your headphone jack (you'll need to buy your own cable though). There's no static and the sound quality is good. The Kenwood app for Android is pretty weak in comparison to what they offer the iPhone crowd but that was the only drawback.
    Pros:
    Good sound quality, easy installation using Crutchfield's instructions, great value for the cost
    Cons:
    Android app is really weak
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Anonymous, Oklahoma on Tuesday, January 01, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Love it! Great value, great sound quality & functionality. Booming power without need for amp or sub.. Really cool visual color fades on illuminated front facia.
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent Sound

    Written By David40, St Pete Florida on Saturday, December 29, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Fantastic sound, solid bass without the need for a sub. CD and USB mp3's play clear as a bell. (Beats the Sony CDXGT660UP hands down. The Sony has no bass response and mp3's play distorted.) I am very happy with this Kenwood. I received the wrong harness but Crutchfield sent out the correct one ASAP. Installation was simple, but then I have the shop manuals for my vans with the wiring diagrams. In my case the speaker wire colors all matched exactly.
    Pros:
    Superior sound quality.
    Cons:
    None I can think of.
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    5 out of 5

    Love it!

    Written By RC, Huntsville, AL on Saturday, December 22, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I am no expert or anything and I don't have any experience at all with any other car stereos, so I am not qualified to make any comparisons and say that this one will blow away some other one. However, I can say with certainty that I am completely satisfied with my Kenwood Excelon KDC X-396. I can also say that in the confusing world of car stereo shopping, there is probably no better place to do business than Crutchfield. The instruction sheet they authored for my car was the bomb! And though I didn't need it, (only because of their fine illustrated instructions), it was great to know during installation that an expert was just a phone call away. I was very apprehensive about doing this myself, but Crutchfield supplied the know-how. If you are an averade do-it-yourselfer and have a few tools you should have no problems either. Also, the simple one-piece dash unit they supplied for free was very nice - much better than all the expensive, complicated, 10-piece ones I had been looking at online. It fit like a glove and went in exactly like the discarded factory one. It didn't require a single extra screw.

    The unit itself has all the functions I wanted and it looks great. It is WAY more powerfull than the factory unit and the FM tuner picks up at least twice as good so there is now no need to install that new antena I was certain would be necessary. And though I may be wrong about the importance here, I also like the 4 watt amp outputs compared to everyone else's 21/2 watts.
    Pros:
    everything
    Cons:
    none yet
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great stereo!

    Written By Stephen, Murfreesboro, TN on Friday, December 21, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great stereo. Very easy to install, especially if you get a new wiring harness for your car. Basically just wire it up at your kitchen table then plug it in to car and radio and done.
    Pros:
    Ease of use Lots of functions High quality
    Cons:
    Takes a few to figure out the controls. No rear connection for ipod.
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    5 out of 5

    cool radio

    Written By Soul8Death, Wisconsin on Thursday, December 20, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I luv how the face plate removes and that u can hook up the iphone. and change colors.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Good head unit

    Written By Nick, Jamison,pa 18929 on Friday, December 14, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great head unit easy to install, sounds much better then my 5 year old head unit. Lot of extra features equalizer wise and more
    Pros:
    Easy iPod hook up, lot of features
    Cons:
    No pause button
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    1 out of 5

    Not what I expected

    Written By tgflag, Michigan on Thursday, December 13, 2012
     
    A radio should be a radio. How hard is that? Especially with today's technology. This "radio" part of the unit is terrible. My OEM radio picked up AM stations as clear as FM. This radio not only will play AM stations, the FM stations fade and have static. I am and have been a GM tech for over 32 years at a dealership. It's NOT an antenna issue. I have checked everything, and double-checked everything. Would NOT purchase this unit again, nor do I recommend it. The other playing aspects of the unit are okay. The menu's, sub-menu's, sub-sub-menu's is a bit too much. No need for this much complexity in a unit with limited buttons. I purchased this because of the "pre-set" buttons. Not too many units offer it anymore. But it has a bible for the instruction manual. And NO WHERE in the manual does it explain how to just have the clock displayed. I just started pushing buttons to figure it out. AND finally, Crutchfield sent me the wrong wiring adapter. Needed to return and I had to pay for return shipping. Will not purchase from Crutch anymore.
    Pros:
    USB and AUX on the front of the deck. Has radio station pre-sets.
    Cons:
    No AM reception and poor FM reception. Would not purchase again.
    2 out of 6 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By ricky m, outer banks n.c. on Monday, December 10, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    first review ive done but couldnt resist, called my crutchfeild advisor to find out what would be the best products for me and they nailed it , my kenwood receiver is awesome and the sound is totally crisp, my amp adn sub plus the info to connect was flawless, best customer service ive had ever , will gladly buy from this company again thanks once more
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood KDC-X396

    Written By Barneymc, Ramona, CA on Sunday, November 25, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is my 2nd KDC-X396, and I love them. I play USB sticks with MP3 files, and this unit supports 8GB, which holds a lot of music.
    Pros:
    front-panel USB port
    Cons:
    does not have an "OFF" choice, only standby until the switched power is turned off.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Could not have worked out better!!

    Written By Charlie, Williston, ND on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Installed easily! Excellent instructions! Great sound quality! I could not be happier!
    Pros:
    Every aspect!
    Cons:
    None
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    5 out of 5

    Perfect Unit

    Written By grayson1, Gray, TN on Monday, November 12, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I wanted a simple, quality unit for my son's old '87 Porsche 944 Turbo. It has all that he needed, radio, cd, pandora and iPod use. Considering you can only use 4X6 speakers in this car without modifications it's bass and overall sound it amazing. Surprising depth of sound. You can adjust the "EQ" for each function which really helps with the iPod. For the price, EASY installation and features you can't get much better. Yeah the different colors are kinda cool. When Crutchfield said the install kit would be specific to the car...I rolled my eyes. Now I have to apologize, it was perfect. I haven't installed a stereo since the 80's...units get more technical but install gets easier!
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Great system!

    Written By Tom - Orlando, Orlando, FL on Friday, November 09, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I love this new stereo. It's great having a CD player and connectors for my iPod, etc. It is weird not having an on/off switch and my car doesn't have a mute button, so the music is basically always on. Also, going through the settings menu can be burdensome when trying to get back to the top. My 2000 Ford Mustang Mach 460 system also requires only 6V whereas this stereo outputs 12V. I wasn't sure if the really annoying sound when the stereo came on was normal or not. In the end, I had to buy a 7805 power regulator from a different retailer and solder it in the power control line. Now there's no annoying sound and all is well.
    Pros:
    iPod connector
    Cons:
    No on/off switch, menu system, too much output voltage.
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    4 out of 5

    Great Receiver, tricky install

    Written By JimboC, Albuquerque, NM on Tuesday, November 06, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Overall this is an excellent receiver with great sound from CDs, Radio and MP3/WMA audio stored on USB. The system uses digital dynamic boosting for audio files that actually makes the sound much better than the sampled quality. Tricky part was the installation. Our 2003 VW Jetta required a special converter harness (~$60) to connect and take advantage of the very good Monsoon sound system. After a trip to the auto parts store, this involved soldiering (unclear in instruction that this was required) about 25 color coded wires (and sealing with heat-shrink tubing) between the harness plug in (that fits exactly) and the plug-in to the radio. A couple of the wires are left out and a couple are 2-to-1 connections and this is fairly well (but occasionally ambiguously) documented, and it took three support calls and about 3 hours to resolve questions before successful. Thanks to Crutchfield's most excellent telephone support (on a Sunday no less) it worked perfectly and looks great with an excellent dash fit. When done, I actually felt like I knew what I was doing. Four-star rating is mostly because this was a LOT more work than I expected.
    Pros:
    Incredibly good sound from all sources, excellent integration with the VW Monsoon sound system, looks good and (mostly) well configurable.
    Cons:
    This is my wife's car mostly and she finds the array of configuration options daunting coming from the very simple VW system. Also the MP3/WMA play functions from USB are difficult to figure out -- hard to tell how to set a random track/folder setup from a straight play setup. Installed for 4 months now and we're still figuring out all the tricks.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great upgrade for my 95 Jeep YJ

    Written By StudentDoc, Lexington, KY on Monday, October 22, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great product. Simple install, has preouts for subs, and awesome hookup for iPhone/iPods. Can launch my MLB at Bat, iHeartRadio, or Pandora app and then plug in and will play through my iPhone. Only qualm I have is that it will not play songs that are "in the cloud" with iTunes Match. I only have a 16 GB iPhone and it will play the songs I have actually downloaded, but not those I stream. However, Pandora and others make up for it. Also love how it scrolls the title and artist (from Pandora as well).
    Pros:
    Great value, intuitive controls, front side USB for easy hookup
    Cons:
    None
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    5 out of 5

    great for the price

    Written By Anonymous, SW FL on Thursday, October 18, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    great price for the money; not high end HIFI, but good; need to study manual to understand operating unit - not super intuitive
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    5 out of 5

    Affordable Quality

    Written By Mike, Ohio on Tuesday, October 02, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great price for Kenwood sound. Controls can be a bit cumbersome but overall pretty self explanitory. Not much in the way of graphics like my old Pioneer. If you don't need Bluetooth or HD radio this head is pretty close to perfect in this price range.
    Pros:
    Good sound and quality at a low price.
    Cons:
    Controls a little awkward.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Awesome stereo. great price

    Written By Charlesp, Merrimac, MA on Monday, October 01, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I put this stereo in my ford explorer yesterday. easy hook up and sounds and look great in the car. i highly recommend this stereo
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Anonymous, hebron, in on Friday, September 28, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Outstanding head unit, takes a little to get down where all the controls are for like the audio settings but thats only because it has so many. You can tweek your settings the to the exact way you want them. very fairly priced, and well worth it. I would recommend this product to anyone that is looking for a decent priced head unit with all the bells and whistles. Good job Kenwood!!
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    4 out of 5

    I like the KDC-X396 better the more I use it.

    Written By Marty, NE Ohio on Monday, September 24, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Not having bought an aftermarket car stereo for a long time, I needed to replace an old Concord cassette unit in a 1987 Camaro IROC-Z and this one would fit the mounting space. The sound quality is not as good as the stereo it replaced but I needed to get more modern features and the new hardware is a lot less expensive than the old stuff. As I use the KDC-X396 more, I discover thoughtful features such as tactile bumps on certain buttons to help you find them while driving, yet they have really packed too many functions onto too few buttons and it can be cumbersome to get to the function you want. Buttons wasted on Pandora thumbs up/down could have been better used, IMHO. I must be too old and do not understand why one needs a remote control for a car stereo. The Kenwood Music Editor Lite software can be downloaded for free and is used to index songs on your USB device but it is not very flexible. Apparently there is a "full" version of this program but they do not give it to you and apparently do not offer it for sale either. It seems to have been included with certain model stereos in the past. I was unable to find this software on the Internet but would like to try it. In spite of certain complaints I do like this stereo and am pleased with my purchase,
    Pros:
    Lots of features, separate front, rear, sub outputs. Adjustable display color via RGB values is kind of cool. Good flexibility on tone controls, user-defined EQ program via 3-band parametric EQ is nice. Sub control includes low & high pass filters. The documentation covers the basics but could have included more about actually *using* the stereo, such as how to quickly get back to the top of the function hierarchy (volume control) from way deep in a sub menu.
    Cons:
    Have to use special Kenwood software to index the songs on USB device. I wish it could handle M3U playlists. The limit of 999 songs is restrictive given modern media capacities. After making adjustments, too many button presses needed to get back to volume control - dangerous while driving. Buttons wasted on stupid Pandora thumbs up/down could have been used for this function. The display is difficult to read in sunlight. +/- 8 db on the tone controls could have been more. Does not play MP4.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Excellent product. Works as advertised

    Written By Ian F., New York, NY on Friday, September 21, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I purchased this radio for my wife's 2004 Ford Focus. With the installation kits and instructions, I went in without any issues. The display is easy to read and intuitive. Sound quality is better than the factory radio. Overall very pleased with the item.
    Pros:
    Auto connects to the I-phone. Excellent sound quality
    Cons:
    Menus could be a little easier to navigate
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    5 out of 5

    Awesome

    Written By Joe, Jenison mi on Wednesday, September 19, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This receiver just plain awesome for the money it blows my alpine out of the water the 4volt sub outlet really kicks the bass i will recommend it to all i know
    Pros:
    The affortabiliy is great no different from hi- end stuff
    Cons:
    I have no complants
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    5 out of 5

    Great deck

    Written By GregF, Lone Tree, CO on Wednesday, September 12, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great replacement for factory deck in Dodge Dakota. Got it primarily because factory deck did not have inputs for iPod, plus I liked the option to use Pandora. Very impressed with Crutchfield's tech support and instruction manual. I called three times and they answered the phone immediately and answered my questions quickly.
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    3 out of 5

    Is this unit flaky?

    Written By s2kvan, Houston, TX on Monday, September 10, 2012
     
    OKay, this is not going to be a full-fledged review. I like the unit and its features. The price was also very, very good-it cost less than the USA Spec iPod interface I added to my OEM head unit in another vehicle. However. Is anyone else experience "flaky" operation with this unit? What I mean by that is the steering wheel control adaptor only occasionally doesn't respond to a command (and I have to repeat the command/button push), sometimes the Kenwood can't read my iPhone (even though I use the same cord and iPhone every day), and sometimes the Kenwood beeps when I give it commands, even though I have turned that feature off. Oh, and it's constantly nagging me to download Pandora (which I don't currently use) and then when I did, it wouldn't play my iTunes music at all. I had to put the HU in "iPod" mode two times every time I'd plug it in.

    Also, I'm underwhelmed with the sound quality. It seems as if it's all over the map from song to song. My factory head unit was more stable. Lastly, I wish that menus would "time out" on this thing. For example, if I"m adjusting the treble or bass and then don't back out of the menu, it stays in that menu until I turn the car off. Which means I cannot use my steering wheel control to change tracks, etc. until I back out of the menu on the HU. Seems dangerous to me.
    Pros:
    price and appearance
    Cons:
    performance
    1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Good head unit

    Written By SamuelB, Conway, AR on Sunday, September 09, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is an awesome head unit for the price every feature you could possibly need. HPF works great, 4v preamp outputs are fantastic. Overall just a great purchase.
    Pros:
    All
    Cons:
    None
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Ron H, rush valley ut on Monday, August 27, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    was easy to install had one speaker gone to ground after finding the problem worked great
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    5 out of 5

    Great for the price

    Written By Paul A., Clinton, MS on Wednesday, August 15, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought the Excelon KDC-X396 for its value, CDs, MP3 CDs, and its ability to play music from the iPhone, which is what my daughter uses most of the time to listen to music.
    Pros:
    This was my daughters first time to install a car stereo (with me looking over her shoulder to help her with any difficulties), and everything worked perfectly. I actually had my daughter perform the installation, and it took about an hour.
    Cons:
    None.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    "Coolness Factor"
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By jeramie74, Sheffield Lake, OH on Sunday, August 12, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    urge at overall value for the level of technology you receive
    Pros:
    plenty of connections plus pandora control
    Cons:
    pandora comes on regardless of just wanting to listen to music stored on my iPhone
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    5 out of 5

    Nice for the price

    Written By Mike L., Vidor, Tx on Monday, July 30, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Very nice unit and easy to use. Didn't notice it didn't have bluetooth. My fault. Otherwise good buy.
    Pros:
    Easy to install
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    Build Quality
    Ease of Use
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Chris A., Hiram,GA on Friday, July 27, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Love this stereo. Installed one in my sons truck about a year ago. Liked it so well that I bought the same model to put in my wifes car when her radio crashed. Kind of hoping the stereo in my truck will take a dive so I have a reason to install this model in it.
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Anonymous, Adelanto, CA on Friday, July 27, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I like the product for the value, sound, quality, the looks on the car it self, one of the best deals I always get from Crutchfield. Homero.
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    5 out of 5

    Great head unit

    Written By WKD, Blacksburg, VA on Tuesday, July 24, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Buy this receiver, you'll love it.

    I comparison shopped for a while, trying to find the unit with the most features and most power at the lowest price. I came upon this baby, and it hit the nail on the head. Works great with my Infinity Basslink. Even without the sub, it makes my factory car speakers sound much better. It is a seriously awesome receiver. I have 2 small issues with it. 1. I wish I could use the big knob to change radio stations rather than having to use the > buttons. But maybe there is a way to do this and I just haven't figured it out yet. 2. In direct sunlight, you can't see the screen. But this is a problem with all of these I guess, and I can only remember one time in 3+ months of use where I noticed it for longer than 3 seconds.
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    5 out of 5

    Easy to use

    Written By Pat S, Chapel Hill, NC on Friday, July 20, 2012
     
    Took a trip to the store and the customer service was great. They explain all the features and gave me all the information for install on my 2002 Tahoe, which was very easy. Pick this model because all controls were easy to see and functions were easy to use. Like the ability of using music off my flash drive alot. Also added new Pioneer speakers at the same time (factory speakers were dead).Plan to buy the same reciever this fall for our Honda. Recommending Crutchfield to everyone.
    Pros:
    Easy to use and sound is great
    Cons:
    Haven't figure out the Kenwood Music Editor software for the flash drive yet.
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    5 out of 5

    Good Find

    Written By Nick, DE on Thursday, July 19, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Once I got used to the controls, This thing is awesome for the money! First radio I've bought in years, really cool how you can control your Ipod with the head unit controls. I drive a jeep with the doors & top off allot. I lock my ipod in my glove box and plug it into the radio, without worring that I might loose my ipod on a turn. Sounds much better than my previous Kenwood also. Don't know what they did, but they did it right
    Pros:
    Every radio I've bought has been from Crutchfield, Due to the package you get for a complete install, and they didn't fall short this time either. Mounting kit, harness, and instructions were all perfect for a VERY fast install. No yanking on dashboard pieces or cracked trim for me :-)
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By NS custom sound, IL on Monday, July 16, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    You can not go wrong with this unit! It has everything you want in a head unit besides blue tooth.it can even hook up with your factory stearing wheel controls witch is very nice!
    Pros:
    you can customize the look of the unit.
    Cons:
    non
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    5 out of 5

    Great quality receiver!

    Written By BrianW, Franklin, TN on Monday, July 16, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought this receiver based on the positive reviews here at Crutchfield, and the Kenwood reputation. I am very pleased with this unit! My son and I installed it in his 1999 Chevrolet Prizm using the Scosche IM2122B Installation Kit and the wiring harness that Crutchfield included with my order. We kept the stock speakers, since his car had the upgraded sound system from the factory. It sounds fantastic - much better than the receiver it replaced! There are several equalizer options for each source (radio, CD, iPod, etc.), and the unit has plenty of power to get a great-quality sound. In this price range, I don't think there is a better receiver. The build quality is very good, with buttons that have a good feel to them. Also, the Excelon series has a 2-year warranty. Bottom-line, I would definitely buy this again!
    Pros:
    Solid, quality feel. Plenty of power from the built-in amp to drive 4 speakers. Controls are fairly intuitve - a little bit of a learing curve, but probably no different than any other newer receiver.
    Cons:
    Manual could be better.
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    4 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Anonymous, tampa,FL on Saturday, July 14, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    excellent value, great car stereo, easy to use
    Pros:
    easy to install, easy menu to navigate around and set up
    Cons:
    no complaints,
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    2 out of 5

    broke so many times

    Written By Anonymous, Sheffield MA on Friday, July 06, 2012
     
    every thing kept failing with it. it would not play out the right side of my car and i changed the speakers and wire to find out it was the stereo. next it would not play my ipod through the usb. then it would not read any cd and then it just quit and turns off when it wants. sick of it. not the coolest looking one on the market either. defiantly not buying another kenwood sorry
    Pros:
    sound quality was decent and easy to use when it worked
    Cons:
    build quality was awful not to cool either there are better ones out there
    2 out of 8 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By Kyle, San Luis Obispo, CA on Saturday, June 30, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great reciever, has a ton of equalization features and sounds great. The changing colors also looks pretty cool at night.
    Pros:
    Easy enough to use, just read through the manual so you know where all the features are. Changing button colors is a cool feature. Sounds great.
    Cons:
    A little hard to navigate through all the equalization options at first, but allows you to get the sound to exactly how you want it
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396

    Written By DA, Mountaintop,PA on Sunday, June 24, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Love this radio. It has the modern look and all the bells ans whistles to satisfy. This unit replaced my factory stereo unit and has cool functions and a great sound. Sound can be modified easily to the listeners taste. Depsite what some may feel is dificult to naviaget thru to vary sound, once you are used to the controls it is very easily done.
    Pros:
    Great unit all pro's
    Cons:
    none at this time
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    5 out of 5

    nice

    Written By ShayS, middlesex, nj on Sunday, June 24, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is my first car audio purchase and im glad I went w Crutchfield. My dad has been a fan for years and he helped me w the install. It wasrelatively simple, the install took two hours ( because we stopped to hit the store for wire crimpers) but wasnt time consuming, although it would have taken me, a novice, about twice the time if I had to do it alone. The device feels solid and sounds spectacular. Speakers that I hadn't even realized were in the car before came alive w depth and clarity. The ipod control worked better than expected but there is a learning curve. My two complaints about the install would be that the trim that comes w the head unit doesnt fit properly when squeezed between the console trim on my Galant but i've glued it in a bit until i can sand it to fit. I also really wish that the device would display the time as a default display setting because now i'll have to add an aftermarket clock to my car just to avoid checking my phone for the time.
    Pros:
    sound and quality