Skip Navigation

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

CD receiver (Factory refurbished)

78 Reviews

Item #: 613KDCX996

This item is no longer available.

Original Price: $199.99

Shop all Car Stereos

Add to Cart

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

Overview

Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

Aim high
Take it to the limit with the KDC-X996, the top-of-the-line Kenwood Excelon CD receiver for 2012. This great-looking car stereo features hands-free calling, HD Radio™ reception, and PANDORA® Internet radio control, along with some sophisticated sound controls.

Aim high
Take it to the limit with the KDC-X996, the top-of-the-line Kenwood Excelon CD receiver for 2012. This great-looking car stereo features hands-free calling, HD Radio™ reception, and PANDORA® Internet radio control, along with some sophisticated sound controls.

PANDORA® Internet radio control with your iPhone®, Android, or Blackberry
If you stream Pandora® on your smartphone, you're not limited by a single platform. The KDC-X996 gives you iPhone control through the USB port, and control over your Android or Blackberry through the Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP). You can listen to and browse through your favorite stations whenever you're in range of your network.

HD Radio for superior sound and more
The receiver's built-in HD Radio tuner lets you enjoy HD Radio's superior sound quality and additional programming channels, all for free. You can also tag tunes for future purchase at the iTunes® store — all while you listen to FM that's close to CD quality, along with clear, static-free AM.

Kenwood KDC-X996

Hands-free calling
Bluetooth makes using your phone safer in the car. When a call comes in, just touch a button and then talk naturally like your caller is sitting next to you. Plus, you can stream audio from a compatible device to this receiver, so you can enjoy great music (and even control some functions) without any cables.

Enjoy your music media
You can plug in your iPod® to the rear USB port and scroll through your albums, artists, and playlists. Tools like Direct Search and Alphabet Search make it easy to find the tracks you want to hear. Of course, this Kenwood Excelon receiver renders all your favorite CDs in precise detail.

Great sound tops it off
If you're the kind of person who lives to tweak, you'll be happy with the extensive audio controls, including a 13-band equalizer, digital time alignment, and built-in frequency filters, that allow you to zero in on the precise sound you want to hear. Putting a full system together? The receiver uses three sets of preamp outputs to deliver a clean signal to your outboard amps.

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 the Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.

Bluetooth note: Use of this receiver's Bluetooth features will depend upon your phone's Bluetooth capabilities. Learn more in our article explaining Bluetooth profiles.

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.

Man this receiver has everything. The menu is easy to navigate. Plenty of preset controls and a ton of manual audio controls. This is a very intelligent receiver. Quick and easy install. I matched it with: Alpine KTP-445U amp Polk DB6501 6.5" component Kicker 40CS44 4"

Justin S, Indianapolis, IN

What's in the Box:

  • Refurbished AM/FM CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
  • Face (attached)
  • Trim ring (attached)
  • Sleeve (installed)
  • Wiring harness
  • Microphone with integrated bracketed (attached 10' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector)
  • 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
  • Quick Start Guide (Eng/Fre/Spa)
  • Warranty Card
  • Correction note

Product 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
    • built-in HD Radio tuner
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • fold-down detachable face with selectable 5- or 3-line line display, plus variable display and control colors
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • 13-band equalizer
    • Sound Excellence DSP with speaker size settings, plus high- and low-pass crossovers
    • digital time alignment
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • subwoofer controls
    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, Android, and Blackberry
    • compatible with Kenwood's Music Control app for Android phones
    • compatible with SiriusXM tuner
    • inputs: rear auxiliary and USB inputs
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:
    Reviews

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    78 Reviews

    Awesome unit all around

    Written by: Geno from MN 1998 tahoe on November 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I love this unit. I can not believe i never removed the factory unit years ago. I have not replaced the factory speakers yet and I can not believe the sound improvement with just replacing the head unit. Speakers are next for sure. Crutchfield was simply the best to work with as always. Don't hesitate to by the refurbished unit. I have had mine a month and love it and it looks brand new. The blue tooth works awesome.

    Pros: Everything!!

    Cons: nothing at all.

    A big step up!

    Written by: steve from sandy,ut on November 16, 2013

    1999 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Good receiver, lots of adjustability for sound, display layout and color. But most adjustments involve opening multiple 'folders' to access them which can't safely be done will driving. This receiver really begs for quality speakers to take advantage of it's ability to tailor the sound to your liking. It has a sleek look to it and is a big step up from the factory unit and the Sony that this replaced. Installation was a snap and fit really well, and the master sheet was, as usual, really helpful to get the job done right the first time. I couldn't get the manual to download from Kenwood, but a quick call to Crutchfield and they were able to e-mail it to me. Thanks Crutchfield!

    Pros: Lots of adjustability to suit individual tastes, sleek looks, and ease of installation, and Crutchfield's phone support!

    Cons: Menus somewhat tedious to access

    Broke twice in a row

    Written by: Eric S. from Riverside, CA on November 3, 2013

    2012 Kia Forte Koup
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    When working properly, this head unit is awesome. However, there is a major problem with the built-in signal processor. After 3 months, the head unit lost all output, turns out it was just the signal processor. You can bypass it and it works fine, but then whats the point of a high end unit? Crutchfield was great and replaced it, but then 5 months later, the SAME thing happened with the replacement head unit. You have been warned, if you use the built in signal processor, this unit WILL malfunction.

    Pros: Great features, packed with tons of awesome signal processing capability

    Cons: Display is not visible in daylight, and the signal processor WILL break.

    Great Radio

    Written by: J. N from VA on October 18, 2013

    2002 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I was looking for a radio that mainly had B/T & USB. My car is a manual which makes it kind of hard to answer the phone sometimes. I found this H/U in scratch & dent section, great buy. I was optimistic at first but was completely blown away. There's so much tweeking that you can do, it's amazing. I read other reviews about not being able to see the screen. I changed the screen color to green (which understandably won't match alot of dash lights) but it seems to work ok. If you do get a refurbished radio don't forget Crutchfield sells warranties.

    Pros: B/T, rear USB, HD radio, tons of tweeking whats not to like

    Cons: uuuuhhhhh I don't know ( it wasn't free, lol) still haven't found any

    What more could you want!?!?!?

    Written by: Justin S from Indianapolis, IN on July 14, 2013

    2002 Subaru Forester
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Man this receiver has everything. The menu is easy to navigate. Plenty of preset controls and a ton of manual audio controls. This is a very intelligent receiver. Quick and easy install. I matched it with: Alpine KTP-445U amp Polk DB6501 6.5" component Kicker 40CS44 4"

    Pros: BT streaming, BT phone connect + phone book, USB & Aux input, HD radio, CD, 6 channel pre amp outs, variable color display, detachable face. Software X-over control, remote

    Cons: It doesn't do you dishes.

    many feature...need some time to play with it

    Written by: PDubLA from LA on June 10, 2013

    2001 Mazda Miata
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great unit with many features and settings. Easy to install with the wiring harness and the dash kit. Supereasy! Also installed some dynamat on the doors and added new coaxials. Working on an amp and sub to add to the system. Will take a little time to play with all the eq settings.

    Pros: Many features and high quality unit

    Cons: Menu takes a little time to get use to

    So far so good

    Written by: Chris from Dallas, TX on May 25, 2013

    1999 Ford Escort ZX2
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Replacing and old Excelon that after 8 years of use the connector to faceplate interface became damaged. This so far is another good source for the price.

    Pros: Bluetooth, 4V pre amp outs.

    Cons: User interface was a little difficult to figure out at first mostly it was the zone control. Not used to having to read the manual to figure out how to work something.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: Anonymous from Savannah ga on May 23, 2013

    2004 Toyota RAV4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great product no issues with install or product quality.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    lboogie

    Written by: lboogie from Ypsilanti mi on May 2, 2013

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Iron Man 2 15 kicker l7 3 12 kicker cvr's of Industry to: pushing over 7000 watt this is the best radio I've purchased up to this point only problem I have is this ability when the Sun hits screen

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Good

    Written by: Anonymous from Huntersville, NC on March 30, 2013

    2008 Dodge Ram 2500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Not a bad unit. Need to spend some time adjusting the settings for the equalizer. Nice to have the Aux input in the back of the radio. Have Sirius home/car adapter hooked into it.

    Pros: Easy to figure out.

    Cons: Sunlight glare is a bit of a problem.

    2005 Dodge Ram Quad Cab

    Written by: Rich from Justin, Tx on March 27, 2013

    2005 Dodge Ram 2500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I purchased my Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 in November 2012, installed it as outlined in the directions that accompanied the product. At first I thought I had made a good purchase, the sound quality and ease of use was remarkable. Then I noticed that once I turned the radio on, it wouldn't work until I removed and re-installed the face plate. after this went on for over a month,On the 21st of Jan 2013 I sent it back to Crutchfield for an exchange of the same model. I installed the new unit on the 25th of Jan 2013 and it worked without incident until the 22nd of March 2013, when it just decided it would not power up. I have removed the second unit and will send it back today (3/27/2013) and await for crutchfield to process it back into the system before I can receive a store credit. Then I can order a different unit and wait until it arrives. Looks like weeks without a radio. I have been a crutchfield fan up until Today. Why should I pay a restocking fee on a unit that is still under warranty?? Why do I get to wait a couple of weeks before I get a replacement radio??? Not Happy!

    Pros: Great sound, easy to use

    Cons: cannot see display during daylight hours as sun glare make it difficult to see. radio seems flimsly, this is the second unit I have had that has failed.

    Great radio

    Written by: Nick from Lockport, NY on March 26, 2013

    2002 Toyota Celica GT
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great stereo for price, lots of features

    Pros: Sounds great, looks great, very customizable, and has 3 outputs

    Cons: Screen has little bit of glare on very sunny days

    Great unit, but not without flaws

    Written by: Corey from Slidell, LA on March 19, 2013

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I bought one of these about six months ago to replace the Pioneer DEH-510UB I had in my car. I loved the pioneer, but I wanted bluetooth, and to be able to stream music from my phone to the radio via Bluetooth. This fit the bill perfectly. It's got tons of equalizer, time correction, crossover, etc. settings to fine tune the output to your liking. For me, this was excellent. However, it's a LOT of tuning, and some people might not want to get into all of that. The sound quality is superb, and I haven't run into many issues with playback from USB. I love the unit overall. However, there ARE quite a few flaws in the X996. First, and most importantly, there's a flaw in the firmware in my particular radio. This flaw causes the unit to output no sound on any source, forcing you to press the reset button behind the radio to restore sound. This caught me off guard the first time it happened, and it spent HOURS re-tuning everything. I have all my settings recorded for when it happens again (Has happened three times in six months). Supposedly, Kenwood released an updated firmware to fix this and the slow Bluetooth sync issue. Second, the user interface sucks if you're not using the remote. In fact, some functions REQUIRE the remote. Not a huge deal, but definitely wasn't thought all the way through. Third, there's no button on the face to switch between folders. You need the remote to do this as well. Last, I STILL haven't found a way to jump to a specific song in a large folder

    Pros: -Beautiful -Excellent sound quality -Tons of source features -Tons of EQ/Time/Crossover settings

    Cons: -Buggy firmware -Remote required for certain functions -Confusing user interface -Slow Bluetooth sync

    Excelon KDC-X996 - Issues

    Written by: Kelvin from Kirkland, WA on March 15, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I was looking for a replacement for my Jeep Liberty Renegade factory radio and considered purchasing the Kenwood KDC-X996. Wiring was easy even with the steering wheel control adapter. Sound quality is nice with the factory powered Infinity speakers. A few annoying things: display is difficult to see with full sunlight, preset feature is not easy to use since it is a 3 step process, and of course I ran into the bug when I took a BT call and the X'over settings defaults to Flat. I tried to update the firmware numerous times using different discs, different CD/DVD writers, and using "mastered" format and it doesn't work. Kenwood won't send me an update disc.

    Pros: Nice sound quality! HD Radio is a great feature

    Cons: Preset is annoying, can't update firmware, and unable to see display with full sunlight.

    Great value!

    Written by: Anonymous from Everett, WA on March 14, 2013

    2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great deck for the money. A little slow on reconnecting my HTC One via Bluetooth but not bad. Tons of audio adjustments, enhancers, and settings.

    Pros: Easy install, great quality, awesome value

    Cons: Hate the screen effects when adjusting the volume. Slow Bluetooth reconnection

    When did I sign up to beta test Kenwoods garbage?

    Written by: mad from ok on March 14, 2013

    2008 Mazda MX5
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    On paper it looks like a great head unit. In practice it's certainly not the most polished unit you could get, but as long as it does what it says it can, I'll forgive a few extra menus to scroll through. Of course that's asking too much. First off I made the dumb move of not installing it as soon as the UPS truck drove off. If I had, the "possible wiring/cracked fuse (?)" excuse crutchfield gave to cover up the fail that is this unit would have been disproven and this would have gone right back to steaming pile it came from. Every 2-3 weeks the unit will suddenly not turn on. The red power light will turn on but the useless startup screen doesn't happen and none of the buttons on the display will revive it. The only fix this is to use a pen and hit the reset button under the face. You can imagine how convenient this is. So many ways to customize the unit and you get to reset it every 2 weeks. It like the movie Groundhog Day. As others have mentioned Kenwood staffs their customer support with the same level of incompetence that they demand in their product designers. I installed a Pioneer in the car which was still going when I took it out after 3 yrs. This unit is glossy, plastic coated, garbage. Do not buy this unit unless you like paying full price for someone's failed prototype.

    Pros: It's shiny.

    Cons: It's so shiny you can't really use it during the day. Paying for untested inoperable products.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: Anonymous from Archie mo on March 11, 2013

    2008 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This was my first kenwood item did get returned but not because it was junk. I had some issues like sometimes a button had to be pushed several times to get it to respond and track and folder would flash on the display when iPod was in shuffle mode but kenwood didn't think it was normal so I just exchanged for a different model but sound quality is great and tons of sound settings I also like the color and display options and although some people found it difficult to use I had no problems with the menu. I did think kenwood customer service could be better they didn't really do any thing wrong just wasn't as friendly and eager to fix any issues you have however that's the upside to using Crutchfield they are great and excellent service like what top notch company's normally provide. The prices are good but if your playing the best price game you can maybe find a cheaper price but that will also come with a sacrifice like if they are not authorized dealer you won't have a warranty or the piece of mind knowing that if there is an issue you don't like with the product knowing you have a company to stand behind what they sell plus Crutchfield also includes dash kit and wiring harness plus fast and free shipping so do your homework before you choose another company

    Pros: Display sound quality functionability fair price

    Cons: Had some glitches and kenwood support not as strong as some

    Best single den radio for the price

    Written by: Joe from Michigan on March 7, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Best single din radio on the market for the price. Sound options galore. Sound quality is awesome, better then pioneer in this price range. Can't ask for a better radio in this price range. Kenwood's double din that does what this does is a thousand dollars more just because its a touch screen that should tell ya the hole story. Only issue I have is its not user friendly.

    Pros: Sound quility

    Cons: Ease of use

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: Adam from Tampa, FL on March 5, 2013

    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great unit - incredible upgrade over factory unit in my 2013 Tacoma.

    Pros: infinitely adjustable.

    Cons: Lots of menus - some display colors get washed out in bright sunlight.

    n

    Written by: nicnico from burnsburns Oregon on March 1, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I think this is the best product for December come up with it's better than anything out there from what I seen it's a great head unit

    Pros: I really think it's awesome then sound and everything midrange tweeters sounds so clear and so perfect

    Cons: I really have anything negative to say about everything that I have put in too my truck from Kim what is great

    First-Time Kenwood Owner is Sold

    Written by: Zach P from Delaware on February 27, 2013

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    The Equalizer: That was the name of the game for me when in search of a new head unit for my coupé. I had just gotten over a bad relationship with a near-worthless Dual XDM6350, which had nothing more than a few preset EQ modes and only 3 adjustable EQ bands. The unit would not play any CDs and whenever I went over a bump, the signal would become incredibly unclear. The Kenwood KDC-X996 solved all of my problems. This thing has 13 adjustable EQ bands which is great for someone obsessed with sound quality on a budget. It has a cacophony of audio adjustment capabilities including surprising features like the ability to choose your speaker size and to set the seat in your vehicle (vehicle type is customizable too) where you want sound to be directed. The audio customization features are excellent. Radio is clear, color and display customization is intuitive and easy to adjust, and the Bluetooth feature has been very handy for me. Contrary to other reviewers, once I turn Bluetooth mode on via my phone, the head unit recognizes it immediately. The whole process takes less than 20 seconds for me, and I can still control all aspects of my phone and the head unit. The only issue I have run into is that the scroll feature for perusing through a device plugged in via USB is a bit slow and takes too many flicks of the main knob to speed up.

    Pros: - Great sound quality and audio customization for people with a relatively low budget - Bluetooth mode and supplied mic work fabulously once set up properly (took me 5 minutes to set up initially) - Display is visible in daylight, contrary to some other reviewers' claims, though colors are not as pronounced - Can't go wrong with all of the features for the price

    Cons: - Scroll speed when going through an external device's data leaves something to be desired

    my first Kenwood...and MY LAST!!

    Written by: Bill K from Huntington, Indiana on February 25, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This was my first ever purchase of a Kenwood product and my last. First off, before I start my thoughts about this product, I have to first off mention that Crutchfield "as usual" were totally awesome and extremely helpful. The amount of professionalism from them was outstanding, the best customer service on the planet hands down!! Now, After having the Kenwood installed I instantly noticed problems. The unit kept resetting it's xovers, when turning up the volume it would actually turn down or plateau, the display was blurry at times, the 10 spectrum analyzer bars were not accurate at all. They appeared about 0.05 seconds off which I noticed right away. I also noticed that the Kenwood was not charging my ipod or iphone even though both showed it as charging, and periodically the LEDs would stop working when playing music, and an error message popped up. All this.....after finding out the radio already had the update from the factory. Kenwood told me to try and install it anyway which was another problem because it wouldnt let me. Kenwood has awful customer service skills as I spoke with several different people over a few days and all of them gave me different answers not to mention I could not understand any of them. It sounded like they were at a call center in Indonesia or something. So, even with the 2 updated firmware updates, the radio still had tons of issues. My first Kenwood experience is my last!!!

    Pros: lots of options for fine tweaking

    Cons: too many problems, build quality feels cheap, Kenwood customer service is a joke~

    Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: Eric from Albuquerque on January 30, 2013

    2002 GMC Sierra 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Love this stereo. Paired it with a Sound Ordnance 8 inch powered sub. So many adjustments and the sound is great. IPhone 4 works perfectly with it. Instructions for setting up the digital delays are terrible and I had to go online to figure it out. The manual in general is poorly written. I leave the sound enhancements alone. They work okay but I prefer my music to be pure and flat. Same with the DSP positioning, I set it to front or all because if you select left or right the volumes get screwed up. EQ works well but the preset eqs are worthless. I have 4ways up front and 2ways in the back and the digital sources can sound tinny. This is a danger with high end units and compressed digital sources as imperfections are amplified. I plan on replacing the 4ways with two ways up front. With so many adjustments I spend a lot of time fiddling. I also changed the source selection method to 2 because I didn't want to step through each source to get to the one I wanted. Would also be nice for all manufacturers to include a pink noise test tone for each source.

    Pros: Sounds good, flexibility, plays everything you can throw at it.

    Cons: Complicated, wife couldn't figure it out without instructions so it is not intuitive. Can be a hazard on the road while selecting stations or making adjustments. A home button would be nice to back out of menus that are 4 and 5 levels deep.

    Great Stereo for not too much money

    Written by: Chris from Columbus OH on January 28, 2013

    1999 Volvo S70
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I bought this stereo so I could play my iPod, use my iPhone in Bluetooth mode, and I wanted to try out satellite radio. Everything hooked up together nicely and it all works. The operating system is a bit slow (there is a slight delay when you press a button, not too long, but noticeable) but other than that, it works great.

    Pros: So many input devices. I hooked up SiriusXM radio, my iPod, iPhone and an aux cable. Great equalizing capabilities and I can expand into having a powered sub and amped speakers if I wish.

    Cons: The button response is a bit slow, but not too bad. Small price to pay for everything else being great.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: RandyB from Longview, Wa on January 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Product is great. I took into account some of the other reviews and found only ability to view the screen in sunlight to be of any significance. Just down loaded the full manual and read up on the various problems. a couple pushes of the display button will bring up the time, which was one of the complaints. Adjusted display to show time in lower right of the satilite screen. Constant view of time on HD radio screen.

    Pros: Bluetooth is great. Total control of sound with crossover controls of 16 band equilizer and various other means is very good.

    Cons: Only complaint is being able to see the screen in the sunlight. I had to sacrifice some of the great colors to choose from to get somthing that I could see the best.

    Incredible

    Written by: Mr. Big from Columbus, OH on January 19, 2013

    2008 Honda Civic LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    In the past, I have had many high-end car radios. Alpine, Pioneer and Kenwood. They were all great. But, I have to say, this Kenwood is best the best unit that I have owned. This unit has great sound quality and a ton of functionality. I played around will all the features for 3 months. I finally decided the unit sounds best at flat equalization. As for sound settings, the only features I needed to use are the Digital Time Alignment, Subwoofer Gain and the Cross Overs. All the other features are nice but not needed for my setup which includes a subwoofer amp and a 4 channel amp to drive the 6.5 inch door speakers. The unit plays nice with the iphone 5. Pandora sounds good. The pandora sound quality is somewhere between analog fm radio and digital fm radio. I am sure Pandora compresses the audio signal.

    Pros: Great natural sound. Plays nice with iphone 5.

    Cons: The am/fm radio station storage and station retrieval is a bit different. For more details, read the user manual that Crutchfield provides.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: c r from columbia sc on January 16, 2013

    2008 Hyundai Veracruz
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    works and sounds good. fast shipping from crutchfield

    Pros: sound quality, options. blue tooth audio.

    Cons: complex menu for unit. has to use microphone for someone to hear user while using blue tooth. crutchfield did not have installation manual and dash kit for my vehicle. blue tooth did not sync with one of my phones. face plate removal/install odd and difficult. scared i might break..

    KDC-X996 Good, but not without annoying faults

    Written by: ChrisR from Albany, NY on January 13, 2013

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I have been using the X996 for 9 months now. First the Good: It sounds very nice. I have fully utilized the 4V outputs (Sub & Amp). If you aren't planning on adding a sub and/or amp, then you definitely will benefit from it's 50 watts (a bit more than the others out there). It is one of the FEW systems out there (single OR double din) that comes pre-configured with HD radio AND Bluetooth (major reason for my purchase). HD radio is great! Now the bad: The most annoying part with bluetooth, is that it takes 8 minutes..8 MINUTES! to sync with my phone each and every awful time I shut the car, phone, or radio off. During that time, my phone is locked. can't use it at all. There is a software (firmware) update from Kenwood, but it didn't help. The menu system is terrribly un-intuitive. If you find yourself deep in the menu system while a song is playing, and you have a sudden urge to lower the volume, you CAN'T because the volume button is controlling some other function than volume. The display itself is acceptable unless the sun is hitting it. The multi color display is nice, but most are not visible on a bright day (hint: choose green. It is most visible). Another annoyance is the inability to fast forward effectively through a long song. Most units have an intuitive increase in speed as you continue to hold the fast forward button. This will take you forever to forward through a 5 minute song. Simple things take 20 clicks, like changing to a pre-set radio station.

    Pros: I have been using the X996 for 9 months now. First the Good: It sounds very nice. I have fully utilized the 4V outputs (Sub & Amp). If you aren't planning on adding a sub and/or amp, then you definitely will benefit from it's 50 watts (a bit more than the others out there). It is one of the FEW systems out there (single OR double din) that comes pre-configured with HD radio AND Bluetooth (major reason for my purchase). HD radio is great!

    Cons: Now the bad: The most annoying part with bluetooth, is that it takes 8 minutes..8 MINUTES! to sync with my phone each and every awful time I shut the car, phone, or radio off. During that time, my phone is locked. can't use it at all. There is a software (firmware) update from Kenwood, but it didn't help. The menu system is terrribly un-intuitive. If you find yourself deep in the menu system while a song is playing, and you have a sudden urge to lower the volume, you CAN'T because the volum

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: Girtski from Carleton, Michigan on January 12, 2013

    2001 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Nice looking HU but have to agree with other reviews on the glare and the inexpensive "feel" of the controls. Love the sound and the ease of installation with this unit and the kitted parts that Crutchfield sent with it. No owners manual came with however I downloaded it (all 66 pages) so that someday I can learn all of it's full features. Noticed last night that when using Bluetooth for music from my iPhone there was a certain lack of tone. Particularly bass. I haven't taken the time to play with it but I'm hoping those tones return when using the USB or aux lines from my iPod and iPhone. Didn't know that many of the local stations around Detroit broadcast several HD signals. One for instance on HD1 was a lot of talking by the DJ's but HD2 and HD3 of the same frequency had 2 completely different songs playing at the same time. Kinda widens the choices a bit.

    Pros: Sound quality, nifty color choices on display, abitlity to utilize manual EQ or auto as with a few other features.

    Cons: Display glare, rifling through what seems like endless menus to find the setting you would like to manipulate.

    Kenwood Rocks!

    Written by: Blake from Keystone Heights, FL on January 5, 2013

    2005 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    WOW! This head unit has made a huge difference to my sound system. I have no buyer's remorse after installing this product. I already had polk audio speakers throughout, and a 6.5" Kicker sub in my center console with a kicker amp under the dash in my 05 Jeep Wrangler. This was running of my stock radio and sounded pretty good, but I wasn't completely satisfied. After installing this head unit though you would not believe the difference. I am beyond happy and didn't think my car would sound like it does. It took about an hour to install which was actually pretty easy once you get all the wires matched up. Then another hour playing around with the unit to adjust the audio settings. The blue tooth works great and I can stream all my music without wires. The display does have a glare during the day, but mess around with the colors and you will find one that you can see. There are so many features and is relatively easy to use after playing around with it. So far the phone calls were heard loud and clear through the Jeep which I was surprised because the soft top gives a lot of background noise. Overall, I have never been so excited about a radio and this is the best you can get for a single DIN! I will buy Kenwwod again.

    Pros: Sound quality, Blue tooth audio streaming with pandora, pro setup and customization (too many to list). Price wasn't too bad either for what all you are getting.

    Cons: glare

    Great Radio

    Written by: Eric from Albuquerque on December 29, 2012

    2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Great radio with tons of audio settings. Unit is hard to read when there is any glare on the face.

    Pros: Great sound

    Cons: The adviser picked the wrong installation kit for my car and had to get the correct one from a different website!

    Works for me!!

    Written by: DaysF1 from Reading, PA on December 20, 2012

    1997 Volkswagen Cabrio
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I really am enjoying my new headunit. I got a refurb unit so the value was exceptional for me. It sounds great, matches my factory lighting perfectly, and looks cool too. For everyone having a hard time reading the display, just switch to negative display and no problems. My phone (Galaxy S) pairs up a little slowly but no worse than other units ive paired to. Calls sound great and no complaints from those ive talked to. I recommend this unit highly.

    Pros: Looks Sound

    Cons: No hard button pre-sets

    Feels loose & cheap but an Awesome Unit! Love it!

    Written by: Evil G from Los Angeles, CA on November 28, 2012

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This unit has a ton of features. I won't even begin to list them. Besides, others already have... some in great detail. For the most part, they're all accurate. The only thing I want to address here is a bluetooth issue. Some one posted that there's no subwoofer signal when playing music via bluetooth. I remedied that by changing the bluetooth audio output (one of the units options) from "front" speakers only to "all" speakers.

    Pros: The 13band EQ sealed the deal. There are other units w/ the same features, but none have the EQ range.

    Cons: 1) The display is tricky to read in daylight. 2) The unit feels like it's poorly made... faceplate and buttons feel loose. 3) Features ppl would use most (EQ, Loudness, Boost, Sub mute, EQ preset, etc....) are hidden within the "settings tree." Should be right on top and easy to access. 4) Is a little pricey.

    Shiny. Needs a parametric EQ.

    Written by: dwc from Orlando, FL on November 14, 2012

    2003 Volkswagen Jetta
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Listen to the reviews concerning the glare on the face. I have changed the mounting position in my 03 Jetta to lower it. If there is anything light colored in the passenger seat, I cannot read the display. For all of the SQ features associated with the DSP, this thing needs a parametric EQ to really reach the next level. I've spent a couple of hours trying to tame an annoying peak around 1kHz, and even though the 13-band graphic EQ has a 1kHz band, it isn't precise enough to correct my problem. iphone and Pandora control work great. playing mp3s from a USB flash drive works relatively well, but on occasion some tracks will end after just a few seconds. After a week, I still haven't figured out the best way to select radio stations, and the HD tuning response time is very slow -- but I'm pretty happy with the HD Radio SQ. I chose this unit over others providing BT and HD because the faceplate isn't silly looking. In the end, I miss having preset station buttons. The BT works pretty well, and streaming audio is actually pretty good quality, but the time it takes to connect and "download" (whatever that means) is annoying. It is not as seamless as OEM BT integration, which was a little bit of a shock.

    Pros: Very good SQ. DSP for DTA is pretty solid. Faceplate doesn't look like it was made for a 12 year old.

    Cons: Lack of a parametric EQ means this isn't a true SQ contender. Faceplate, as nice as it looks, is WAY TOO reflective. You might miss the lack of preset radio station buttons. BT connection works, but be prepared for a wait.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: jessica from fremont, CA on November 10, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    1. ease of use. it would have been a 5 star but it is not intuative, it takes awhile to get used to where to press for what. once you learn all of that it is pretty simple and offers many options for those at all levels. 2. the coolness factor, for what it is yes, it is cool. the display offers all the information you might want from your radio, or CD, and also streaming.. it stream really well from my adroid cell phone and make my music sound much better. you have all sorts of options in regard to lighting so you can go crazy if you like. sound quality. you have different settings for CD and the HD radio and they make whatever you play sound really good (at a certain volume range). go outside of the loudness you tuned your settings for such as much lower or louder in volume and you feel like you have to reset everything you just adjusted but if you do, then it does not sound great for the other volume you had. the unit has good poser but it helps many times over to have a separate amplifier, it really needs the boast as i experienced from with and without a separate amplifier. 3. build quality: i am really disapointed. this unit requires upgrades from both a cd and usb and even with Kenwood's help it could not be done and received all sorts of excuses from Kenwood support as opposed to solutions. be careful of what size USB to attach, it does not seem to work with anything over 1-2 gb, the smaller the better. The CD player scratches the cds unless you insert them very slow

    Pros: under ideal conditions and settings it looks nice and operates well enough, but never great. ideal condtions do not exist. i found it easy to operate once learned but there is a steep learning curve but those at crutchfield can easily and quickly get you up to speed. purchasing it at Crutchfield for a full warranty, Kenwood does not offer units purchased from non-authorized retailers. it come with all sorts of options like bluetooth, usb, cd, streaming, etc, but not all work well. separation of chann

    Cons: for the money it is a loser, i could have done much better. crutchfield does not discount prices but they do offer good support. i quickly learned it does not have the highs and lows as compared to pioneer products, such as my old pioneer which it replaced but most do not need to hear in that range. cd player scraches CDs if you are not 100% careful. only small size USB memory work, forget anything over 2 gb. in my opinion, the value is not even close, then again, everything seems to be disposab

    Solid Choice

    Written by: Alek from Grand Rapids, MI on November 9, 2012

    1996 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I spent a long time trying to find the best product at this price point. It was a difficult choice between this, a Pioneer, and an Alpine. After reading LOTS of reviews, this looked like the best choice. After almost six months, I'm not disappointed!

    Pros: DSP provides excellent options to enhance your sound-stage and correct for your vehicle's acoustics. Just about every feature you could ask for at this price point.

    Cons: Interface is a bit awkward. One strange point: it remembers radio presets when it loses power (i.e. if you disconnect your battery), but it forgets EVERYTHING ELSE. WHY!? You can enable/disable many of the inputs from the source menu, but you cannot disable the Sirrius/XM satellite tuner option. I find this particularly annoying, because I have no intention of installing a satellite radio tuner-I bought this for the Pandora options. Display isn't great in bright light.

    Good radio with lots of features

    Written by: chris from allentown, pa on October 24, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    First one had a inop menu button, but crutchfield customer service came through with a quick replacement, 2nd one works. Overall I like the features but I'm always amazed at the things not included in high end radios. Example: front buttons or a more convenient way of scrolling presets and channels at the same time when on sirius would be a big bonus. When I disconnect the battery the unit appently loses its settings and defaults back to "demo" mode... don't need the radio to default to demo mode. Default mode for bluetooth is front speakers only but the unit advertises bluetooth audio.. you need to manually configure that. There are tons of audio adjustment options, but no menu-customization options. When changing sources the source plays instantly, and you can't turn any but pandora and aux-in off, so you want to go from sirius to usb for example and you need to hear everything inbetween. Scrolling through folders is awkward.... that's not a bad radio, it's just bad attention to detail on programming. Overall though Great product and features, but the final details on delivery are a little rushed. I needed to buy this or the higher model Alpine to get the features I want in a single-Din. (Sirius, USB, good sound).... these top end units in single din are more of a matter of which one gives you the best compromise than which unit is vastly superior. My motorola Android bluetooth works great Good stuff: Sounds awesome, looks good, USB works well (but

    Pros: flip-down face works with my BMW 325xi (though Crutchfield it's not recommended for the car). adjustable colors, good sound, many features in 1 radio. Reasonably priced compared to double-din units. Very functional and a great features.

    Cons: programming and some detail oriented usability / functionality items could be smoothed out. Front face buttons and a SD card would be nice on the front.

    Not an SQ head unit

    Written by: Adam H. from OKC, OK on October 20, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This is a decent unit that is well built, but not a sound quality unit. Unfortunately, an SQ unit is what I was looking for. I was mislead to this unit because I want to raise the sound stage in my F150 W/O going to a 3 way active setup. The Crutchfield adviser told me this unit would do that. I asked him if HE had heard it, and if it REALLY worked. He said it worked great, which means he lied. All the unit does when you want to raise the sound stage is boost the 2khz band, and lower the 4-5khz band to add depth. All of this could have been done with the EQ. Additionally, the unit does not have a 3 way capability option that it claims it has. There is a tweeter option supposedly that I have no idea how to utilize. One reason would be that the unit doesn't come with an owners manual. What is that????? Crutchfield really let me down on this unit. I should have gone with the DEH 80PRS like I originally wanted to, but the wife has put an end to my audio purchases until after Christmas... :( This is a great unit if you like funny gadgets like bluetooth, HD Radio and all sorts of bass boost like options... not my thing. I use amps, sound deadening, and high end drivers. I know Crutchfield can't be right all the time, but when you claim to know all things sound quality make sure your advisers do as well.

    Pros: Build Quality, looks, ease of install, bluetooth is easy to use

    Cons: Sound quality, ease of use, remote, Crutchfield's knowledge base.

    Excellent

    Written by: SMW08003 from CT Shoreline on October 16, 2012

    2001 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Love it. The only reason I gave it a 4 build quality is because when you disconnect the leads to the battery you lose all your settings (ie no internal memory without power), not a big deal but kind of a pain in the butt. I feel like something this sophisticated should have a tiny little flash memory inside it to store at least some basic speaker and sub settings.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    I agree with all the good stuff... BUT

    Written by: Billyant from Boynton beach, FL on October 9, 2012

    1999 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I'm amazed at all the adjustments gear has nowadays. Speaker delays, other audio settings. I'm an electrical engineer, audiophile, so I love this stuff! I agree with all the good things others have said. They're true.

    Pros: Believe all the good things others have said. Sound quality, loads of sound tuning adjustments, etc.

    Cons: I can't see the screen at all in the daytime. It's way too dark. Every time I attach my iPhone 5, I have to re-pair the Bluetooth. Not completely sure if its an iPhone or receiver problem. Has anyone else experienced this? Whenever I plug in the iPhone, it switches to Pandora. It doesn't stay on the input previously selected. 30 seconds to setup, pair, etc. every time I enter the vehicle.

    Just as expected

    Written by: Myles S from PA on September 29, 2012

    2006 Mazda MX5
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    In my last vehicle, I used a Kenwood KDC-X693, one of this stereo's older siblings. I always liked that one, and I expected nothing less from this one. Most of the features are the same, many improved, and many more added. Overall, this receiver is of a much higher quality than most you will find in people's cars. It sounds great (When you get the settings right) and it looks great. The Sound Enhancements on here need some explaining. Here's what I've found... since they aren't totally explained. Supreme Setting is the first on the list. It enhances trebles to make MP3s sound clearer. This one is nice, and it seems to only have positive effects on all of my music. It may make some songs sound tinny. The Elevation Level adjustment is really nice, it helps make lower-door speakers sound like they're higher up, closer to ear level. It doesn't sacrifice accuracy much, and sounds pretty good. The Space Enhancer makes things sound as if your car's cabin is bigger than it really is. It sacrifices accuracy considerably, so I don't use it much The Sound Realizer seems like it slightly boosts dynamic range. It sounds as if it makes things a bit more punchy as best as I can tell. This one make require nicer speakers to really tell the difference, and I'm running on Stock speakers until I put in some new ones. Finally, Highway Sound. This one is my favorite. It helps boost trebles and mids to overcome road noise. Hope that helps, great stereo! Myle

    Pros: Excellent Sound. Lots of Sound tools. Great Looks. Decent Build Quality. Lots of nice sound enhancements (explained above). Makes Stock speakers sound a little more agreeable until you can put in some nicer ones.

    Cons: Only Decent Build Quality... good, but could be a lot better. As with most Kenwood's, the screen is impossible to see in the sun. Glares over in any amount of light.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: Anonymous from emporia va on September 8, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Awsome product! Best hu I've ever owned. The settings are endless and mindblowing. Sure it had a glare problem but you can adjust the illumination to fix that problem. Bt works great week, sound difference is unreal, and it looks beautiful. The eq and pro settings are superb. This thing is more of a cd player its an audiophiles tool.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Amazing product!

    Written by: Da Moose from San Diego on August 26, 2012

    2003 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Amazing sound. The HD radio is as good as, or maybe even better than, the CD playback. The best radio playback I have ever heard. I have four Pioneer TS-A6880R 4-way speakers in the doors with two Kicker 8" subwoofers in a molded ABS enclosure and a 300 watt mono amp driving them. There are a ton of settings so intial setup takes time but that's a good thing. Also, you will play around with some settings to optimize the output quality but again, that is also a positive. The HD radio is amazing and the bluetooth feature is outstanding. It easily connects with my antiquated HTC Thunderbolt every time and is a very cool feature. Now for some of the negatives I have read in other reviews. First the display can be tough to see in daylight but that is easily resolved by switching to a positive background and I selected color 16 but 14 and 15 provide excellent visibility also. The display can be set to a huge font display so even though I use reading glasses I can read the display. Second, my microphone works great. You will never get the same sound quality as if you use the phone itself from a hands-free setup so I don't get why people are complaining. My calls are always understood by the other party and that is really all that matters IMHO. Also, you need premium speakers for this puppy. OEM or cheap speakers will not provide optimum sound quality once you go over 25 (or ~70%) on volume. You have to invest in really good speakers to get full potential from this unit

    Pros: SiriusXM capable! I love not having a SiriusXM receiver clipped to my AC/heater vent! Awesome sound quality. Outstanding bluetooth compatibility with Android. Pandora tuner too! Bluetooth audio tuner also! Very good customization capabilities due to extensive settings available. Overall this unit is a great choice for any vehicle due to its customization capabilities. You can fine tune it to give optimum audio output for virtually any application. Hands-free calling will spare you from fines.

    Cons: Menus can be complicated. Preset buttons on the display would be cool especially with SiriusXM. Menus are complicated and some are not very intuitive. Not a good selection for the technically-challenged among us. Display must be customized for optimum daytime viewing but auto feature turns down illumination at night. The sheer amount of menu settings can make initial setup very time consuming. You will also be playing around with various menu settings well after the initial setup.

    to all reviewers

    Written by: Alex from VA on August 17, 2012

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    The kdc-x996 is a great radio as far as the people complaining about turning it up to 25, the reason it sounds muffled is probably because you need to invest in some new speakers. Factory speakers are junk and the cone is made up of a paper material, which is inevitable going to distort. There are adjustments in order to turn the contrast down so that you can see it during the day. There are also mic. settings for the oh so awesome Parrot Bluetooth. This receiver blows any alpine jvc, sony or clarion out of the water. If you want an amazing sound it starts at the head unit, and ends with amplifiers speakers subs etc.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    5 Stars!!! Even though the included Scosche car kit was garbage!

    Written by: BobbyD the man to see from Chicago, IL on August 12, 2012

    2011 Nissan Versa
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I replaced a stock double din receiver with navigation/ipod hookup for this...and I am so glad I did! I was debating whether to get this or the kenwood 7 inch dvd receiver. I've had a dvd player before and I never watched movies, so I opted for sound quality and settings. My stock Versa 6 speaker sound system sounds twice as good as it did before...and this receiver lets you tweak every last detail and makes me want to buy new speakers and an amp right away!

    Pros: Crutchfield...instructions were perfect!

    Cons: The Scosche kit that came with this was flimsy and cheap and overall - junk!

    I like it but its costly...

    Written by: DonnyM from Maryland on August 7, 2012

    2002 GMC Sonoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This is an awesome head unit, but I have two problems. One, its hard to see in the day time, if the sun hits it, there's no way youll be able to read it. and two, When i listen to music between 25-30 for more than about 20 minutes at a time, I lose my speakers, as if it was turned down to 15, but i keep my bass. My speakers are not amped but my subs are. So here i am buying the makings of a new system to have amped speakers to avoid this problem.

    Pros: Looks awesome, easy to use, lots of customization. Pretty colors awe passengers

    Cons: The treble cuts out to almost nothing while the bass stays!! sounds like im underwater trying to listen to the music after about a half hour. screen isnt bright enough

    Thought this was the ONE

    Written by: Ben from St Louis on August 5, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    First off I want to say that this was my second unit for my car from this site and compared to the JVC I bought, this one is magnificent. The BT on the unit is great. I can use my new Galaxy S III and it sounds much better than my Evo 4G ever did with the unit-- distance is really great too, I could walk around the car while in my camp site and not lose reception. But on reception, the BT was about all that was good with it. I could not get all the stations in my city, but the digital stations were just fine. Never played a CD in it so I cannot give a review on that, nor was I able to use the XM radio either. Now for the bad stuff... or really bad stuff. The mic on this unit sucks. It worked for a day and then no one could hear me anymore. Granted, I do have a Jeep Wrangler but even at stop lights I could not be heard. That was the first thing to go. I liked the menus... but I am a techie so these things just work easily for me. My issue does lie with the illumination though. At night the screen was great, the little equalizer bars at the bottom were a nice touch, but in the sunlight, this unit is not just hard to see, you simply can't see anything on the screen at all. But now, the stereo broke on me. I have no sound coming out of the speakers (yes they are hooked up, no fuses are blown, etc, etc). I have gotten fed up with this thing simply because it is expensive and it has no build quality. I really hope Crutchfield can help me out with this one.

    Pros: Sound, BT, Menu

    Cons: Build quality, mic, illumination

    Good for a week, and then...

    Written by: LCL from Stafford, VA on July 27, 2012

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Bought in store and installed, worked awesome for about a week. Then I started getting muffled music when I turned the volume up to 23 or more, but subs would work fine. Called to get a replacement. Got it next day, and again about a week later it happened once again. Maybe it is my speakers, but my Sony XPLOD never did this, and I had it for a year and a half. Pretty disappointed with that flaw, but everything else is awesome on this headunit. If it wasnt for that one thing I would keep it because it is an awesome headunit but sad to say that Im going to return both of them (replacement and original) and get a refund and get something different.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    smooth head unit

    Written by: todd t from chillicothe, ohio on July 8, 2012

    2001 Chevrolet S10
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I love everything about this unit, user friendly, looks good, every feature you can think of, tons of software features and adjustments you can make to create your own music system.

    Pros: everything about it

    Cons: glare on the screen during the daytime, but this can be different for each user. in my truck i cant seem to get away from the glare on the screen. it would be better if it was a non-glare front display......but it doesnt make me not want this head unit......still a great product overall.

    Poor receiver capture and poor display

    Written by: AreGee from Lancaster, PA on July 3, 2012

    2007 Subaru Legacy
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Truly great audio quality but very poor radio reception. It's only capturing about 1/3 of all the available stations. Display is hard to see without stopping in the shade. Could live with it but I need a receiver that actually receives.

    Pros: Audio quality, features

    Cons: Dismal reception. Poor display legibility.

    good sound

    Written by: Rocket250 from waynesboro va on July 1, 2012

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    this hu sound great , very easy to use (compared to my son's pioneer ) , blue tooth and ipod controls are very good. has good base in my ram 1500 with kicker 6x9's and no amp or sub.

    Pros: good sound , easy to use

    Cons: weak display

    2 weeks experince

    Written by: mike from So Cal on June 9, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    i have had this Kenwood system for 2 weeks now and have most of the features working. the only think that i dont like now is that the screen is shiny and reflects whatever light is coming into the car. This makes the screen impossible to read frequently when it is sunny.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Excellent upgrade with a few opportunities

    Written by: SillySoviet from New York, NY on May 22, 2012

    2003 Honda CRV LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Excellent overall upgrade with incredible sound processing. The HD Radio, the Bluetooth audio streaming, the great in-car phone integration and sound quality both ways, the iPod capabilities are all terrific. Really made the sound quality on my '03 CRV come alive -- and that's after replacing a JVC HD radio that already improved on the factory unit. The absence of easily accessible preset buttons and a clunky knob/forward/rewind design leave some room for improvement, and the constantly changing face colors are fun but irrelevant. Overall very happy with this upgrade.

    Pros: Sound quality, bluetooth / HD / iPod features, phone integration

    Cons: - Clunky knob design, making fast-forward button a bit tough to get to - No preset buttons makes getting to various radio stations difficult

    Great except for the screen

    Written by: InvisiBill from Michigan on May 18, 2012

    2009 Chevrolet Cobalt
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I've always loved the Excelons, and this one is loaded with features. There are a ton of options, so it may take a while to get everything set just right. I might even go so far as to say that there are too many options for the average person. If you update the firmware (there's already an update available), the process includes resetting the unit so you'll have to set everything up again. My only real complaint is with the screen. At least in my car, the curved, glossy screen results in horrible reflections. More often than not, I can't see the display. Even if I try to shade it with my hand (as I've occasionally had to do on other head units with glossy screens), I just end up seeing a reflection of my hand. In the shade or at night, it's great. If there's any ambient light though, the display is worthless to me. My friend has a KIV-BT901, which I considered buying instead. I assumed the video screen would be a novelty that would wear off quickly, plus it cost more than the X996 and was missing features (HD Radio, audio options, standard iPod cable, etc.). After trying out the X996, I've decided I can live without those extra features, and have replaced the X996 with a KIV-701 (and the special iPod cable), as the video screen is simply much easier to see. I don't especially need it, but I'm thinking about adding a rearview camera as well, since the unit supports it.

    Pros: Tons of features Extremely customizable Great audio

    Cons: Display hard to see Possibly too many options for some people

    WOW!!!

    Written by: BANDANA from Abilene, TX on May 18, 2012

    2009 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Outstanding product!!! Great challenge to learn all the adjustments. If you have glare issues try swithing the color to Pos or Neg. I am very happy for the price. I have a 10 speaker Alpine stereo system in my Dodge ram and 2- 12's on top of that. This made it all sound even better.

    Pros: Bluetooth is clear as can be. No Echo Remote is awesome. Customizing features are endless.

    Cons: Almost too techy. After a phone call the X'overs reset to default. About to call about this and find a solution. just fyi. Having the 12 speakers total in my truck, I can only adjust for : Front, Back, Subwoofers, and Tweeters.

    Great radio

    Written by: redneckbuba from Texas on May 12, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Easy to install in my 2004 Silverado HD.

    Pros: Cool colors, lots of features

    Cons: Non so far

    KDC-X996

    Written by: blarghile from Middle River, MD on May 10, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Very nice head unit. I had a Kenwood KDC-MP922 and it was a pretty nice radio. I stepped up to the Excelon and it has a good bit of features too. I love the ability to connect my iphone 3GS to the radio. It sucks having to do it everytime I get in the car though. I still haven't figured out a way to streamline that process. I'm still figuring out the crossover but it's a very nice interface. Very easy to use. Also, I read a few people had problems with visibility in the daylight, yet I don't seem to have the problem. Even with the sun glaring directly on the unit I can see the LCD perfectly fine. I'm still trying to figure out how to view the text messages of my phone on the head unit. It doesn't seem to work but I'm able to see the phonebook. I also have a problem with everytime I enter the car, I plug in my Iphone to the dock and then the bluetooth makes a connection, then I have to go into the ipod application and switch from the bluetooth connection to the dock connection. I noticed the sound quality suffers when using the bluetooth. All in all, the radio is great. I have yet to use the Pandora radio. The HDTuners seems to work great. It's very easy to use. I think this head unit needs 8V preouts. The remote works very well. I think this is a great head unit. Would recommend to others.

    Pros: Bluetooth, built in crossover.

    Cons: Unable to view text messages; phone has to pair everytime you get in the car; IPhone defaults to bluetooth audio transmission even after phone is plugged in and connected using dock connection.

    Frustrating experience

    Written by: Steve L from South Central PA on May 5, 2012

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This is my second Kenwood head unit. Installing the unit was a snap, getting it to function correctly was not! 3 calls to tech support to find out how to update the firmware since it shipped with the old version 3.0 and wouldn't work the Pandora app on my Android phone without it. Total time spent almost 3 hours. The unit sounds great and is amazingly flexible. The HD works great and once learned the controls are reasonably easy to use. I've decided to send it back for a strange quirk in the operation of the unit. I can't believe it but to use Pandora via Bluetooth you must first unplug your Ipod. It says so right in the manual!!! The USB is rear only and I had the USB connection installed in the glovebox to keep IPod and wires out of sight. This means every time I want to switch sources between the IPod and Pandora I have to open the glovebox. You have to be kidding to be required to do this, on their top of the line radio. If you only use Ipod and not Pandora or vice versa this is a great unit, but it's time consuming to setup. I still can't believe the quirky operation on such a high priced head unit. Get real Kenwood.

    Pros: Great Sound, Customization, Great Reception

    Cons: Setup is way too involved and time consuming. Multiple sources interfere with the operation of each other.

    All Around Great Radio

    Written by: Ray from Cape Coral on May 5, 2012

    2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    A little pricey, but I would say worth it. This does everything well. After a little menu tweeking, I am very happy, Thanks

    Pros: Great Looking Great Sound Does Everything

    Cons: A little learning curve for menus

    punching sound and good output

    Written by: Rabi from Dayton Ohio on April 30, 2012

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    nice and something new specially Bluetooth everything is very nice but not easy to use we need some base control in front

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: Dave C from Ct on April 30, 2012

    2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Menu system is awkward. Reception is not so good.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Good HU for price

    Written by: Joe from Philadelphia, MS on April 30, 2012

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Once you get the thing installed, it will take a while to get the sound settings just where you want them. I have had no issues with screen glare, however the remote was made for munchkins. Had an issue with the corssover losing its settings every once in a while, but a software update solved this issue

    Pros: Decent Power, loads of features, ease of use is good

    Cons: no individual preset buttons, echo with bluetooth, micro mini remote sucks

    The best radio for extreme systems with good loudness

    Written by: pekita from san juan ,pr on April 22, 2012

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    My suv has Infinity Reference 6830cf front, Infinity Reference 6822cf rear, Rockford Fosgate R600-5 Prime amplifier and TS-VR15 Audiopipe in enclosure.With X996 i got everything,Audio Streaming,Bluetooth,13 EQ,Pandora radio,many colors in the display. I really like this radio because by powerful EQ preset is awesome has increase the volume.The audio streaming is incredible,just on the radio and connect Bluetooth automatically in my evo 4G Pandora Radio,calling and the voice mail.The sound is best now because all features than got this radio are unique in your category.ill buy for years Kenwood my last kdc-x995 is good but kdc-x996 has more,more and more.I read many reviews and i think than the people is wrong in many areas for example choose the correct radio,which speakers is helpfully for your system,which amplifiers are correct for your speakers or subwoofers and last the enclosure.Create good sound by less money is the clue not for savings but for audiophiles like me is the unique way for resolve a good sound.thanks again.

    Pros: everything for 1din

    Cons: no motorized,remote control is tiny and few times many cells paired the radio not recognized

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996

    Written by: LarryB from Munford,tn on April 20, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    The sound quality is great, but it's a little difficult to see in the daylight

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Super improvement over prior version

    Written by: LouW from Salt Lake City on April 16, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    The KDC-X996 is a vast improvement over last year's KDC-X995. The hands free Bluetooth is way better. I had a X995 and almost everyone complained about hearing an echo of themselves. Since I replaced the X995 with the X996 I have asked everyone if they are hearing an echo and so far all have said, "no"! I also really like the slight modification to the buttons. The sound is great! I would totally buy another one.

    Pros: Bluetooth works very well.

    Cons:

    Good Product, but some improvements to be made

    Written by: CraigJ from Gaithersburg, MD on April 13, 2012

    2000 Chevrolet Tahoe
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I installed this in my 2000 Tahoe a few weeks ago. Installation was very easy thanks mostly to all the extras that Crutchfield provides. I do think that the USB lead, which is hard wired to the back of the unit, could have been a bit longer. There was barley enough to route it through my dash down to my console. Pioneer warns not to use an extension cable (probably cause cheaper cables do not support all of the pins) I have not yet tried to see if it works anyway...but I will. There are some great features on this unit. Head control of my iPod, Pandora over Bluetooth from my Droid phone and BT calling from my Droid are my favorites. The iPod search features are excellent. I have several thousand albums on my iPod. Finding any one of them is quick and easy with the search feature. No more spinning through a hundred artists to get to my Led Zeppelin collection :D. Sound quality is very good. I am no audiophile but I appreciate crisp, clear & full sound. This unit delivers. I am driving a simple setup of 4 after market door speakers and 10 inch powered sub. The display does have a lot of glare. Given the shape of my dash this make it very hard for the passenger to read the display full daylight. The display could also be a bit brighter and/or provide better contrast settings. I have yet to figure out how to configure the audio options for the phone so that I can shape the tone for specifically for phone calls.

    Pros: Sound quality, Bluetooth, iPod, Droid Support, Pandora Control, Configuration Options

    Cons: Too much display glare. Apparently no separate EQ controls for phone calls.

    Awesume

    Written by: Mrk from NC on April 11, 2012

    2004 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    All I can say is this unit is awesome. I have always bought kenwood head units and they are the best, and this unit will not let you down. Some of the controls are for more techie people, but when you get it set up right it makes your system. Great features!!!

    Pros: Great product!

    Cons: None

    So close to perfect, but...

    Written by: Tdogg from Fairfax, VA on April 10, 2012

    2003 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Installed this head unit on a 2003 Ford F150 and it sounds great with Infinity Kappa 682.7cf 6x8 speakers in all four doors. The install was easy, especially with the harness provided by Crutchfield. Just a side note: if you're debating if the orange or orange / black wire connects to the "Illum" orange / white wire on your head unit; go with the orange one; the black / orange does nothing for you. You will spend hours (literally) figuring out the right sound settings, but it's worth it in the end. It's debatable whether you need an amplifier or not. the quality of sound is that good. There has to be a more efficient way of finding your presets than hitting the preset button, find the station, then push the button for that station; all while driving. I wish the designers would have found a way of putting preset buttons (min 1 thru 6) below the LCD screen; oh well. Everything else on the unit is fairly intuitive to find (funny considering how many functions and options it has). My Droid X syncs up perfect ever time and the hands free Bluetooth sounds great and is flawless. I almost purchased the Kenwood KIV-BT901 for the coolness factor, but ultimately decided to go with the sound quality of the X996. If I had to do it again, I probably would have looked around more (because of the preset issue) but may have ultimately ended up in the same place.

    Pros: Sound quality, options, detachable face, lighting, Bluetooth.

    Cons: Too many steps for presets. The glare is unacceptable for day time driving. Design seems a bit 1980's considering where screen technology is today.

    Kenwood KDC-x996

    Written by: Tommy from Long Island,NY on April 9, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Everything on the radio is fine,,

    Pros:

    Cons: The screen is super hard to see in the daytime,the combination of the screen being so glossy and the lighting makes it difficult to see while standing still let alone while you are driving.Other than that it is working out OK.

    Why all the negatives?! This is thing is AMAZING!

    Written by: US Beef from Chicago, IL on April 8, 2012

    1995 Mazda Miata
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I read all the reviews on here and wherever I could before buying, and I was almost scared off. So many complaints. Then, I went to Fry's and played with one. I set up some presets, I played with the screen colors, I connected my phone and listened to Pandora, made phone calls, changed stations, etc. I decided I loved it. Yes, there are no presets on the front panel, but it's at all hard to set it up so you can reach a preset with a couple of taps, and I don't see why you'd need to look down to activate a preset -- when was the last time a preset had a labeled station on it anyway? And yes, it can be annoying that the first thing the radio does when you turn it on is try to synch your phone book -- this is especially annoying to me because my Motorola Photon Droid does not play well with the phonebook download anyway, so there's never any phonebook info on the unit once it finishes the download. The negatives out of the way -- let's now dwell on the amazing and infinitely adjustable sound quality, the relatively clear menu structure (put your mind in the frame of using an iPod, and you should have no trouble navigating this baby without thinking too hard after a few days). Some people have also complained that it's hard to see the display in direct sunlight. Hello?! It's impossible to see almost any display in direct sunlight. I have a convertible, and I'm just going to put a piece of anti-glare film on it and it will be fine.

    Pros: I have a Miata and only have two 6.5" Alpine R-type speakers with component tweeters and a Rockford Fosgate Amp wedged behind the passenger seat, so I need an impressive head unit to make the system sound good with so few speakers. I had a 5 year old Alpine head unit which was fine for 2006, but NOT so fine for 2012. This unit was the perfect call -- the pro settings allowed me to expand the soundstage and "lift it" to ear level so the amazing sound wasn't trapped in the footwells of my car.

    Cons: Presets take a few keystrokes, phonebook synching appears to happen every time you turn on the radio, and there is no way to suppress it. You can still operate the radio, but it keeps saying "downloading" on the first line of the display and obscuring what data would have been there otherwise. Otherwise, this unit is AMAZING for those who want to customize it to their liking. Not an out-of-the-box, push-and-play wonder, but rather something you can customize to be AMAZING FOR YOU.

    Little Disappionted but Great Unit

    Written by: Dam One Roc NY from Rochester, NY on April 6, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    ok I had to wait awhile to see what the Kenwood x996 was all about before writing this... well I must say I truely do like the KDC X996. it has great sound qualities, and all of its adjustment I truely enjoy. I am running it right to a five channel KICKER amp 700.5 with two sets of KICKER KS 6.5 components and a single ROCKFORD FOSGATE HO2 12" sub. Kenwood has always been my favorite in car head units.

    Pros: so much more control over the sound.. the 13 band eq.. the HD radio.. and the input selection so may options...

    Cons: the bluetooth is good but it has to always need adjustments. THE X-OVER IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IT KEEPS RESETTING AFTER A DAY OR TWO. The BT audio lacks the ability to play the subs when connected. and there is no easy way to go through CD folders(only go forward no rev.) lack of old security feature (power disconnect password)

    best car stereo on the market for android users

    Written by: PCFrustration from Deerfield Beach, FL on April 3, 2012

    It's a bit pricey, but oh wow is it worth it! If you have an Android phone this is the stereo you must have. Say goodbye to paying for SiriusXM subscriptions and hello to free customized Pandora radio on the go. You also get Kenwood's top of the line product quality and tons of power to boost those speakers you payed so much for. Just a note for everyone: I can confirm that this head unit fully controls your Pandora App on your Android phone. I use a Droid 4 with it and the thumbs up/down feature works perfectly. Even the .pdf manual says this only works on iPhones but it's wrong.

    Pros: 1. Bluetooth audio streaming from Android phones with full control of the Pandora app 2. cool design and limitless colors and font types for the display 3. audio elevation setting to boost sound in high placed door tweeters 4. auto reply SMS (text messaging) while your driving 5. it really is easy to use but first time setup is time consuming because of so many options. that's a good thing though. 6. the screen is not dim if you pick a better color (like light blue on black)

    Cons: hard to reconnect your Android device if you leave the car on and get too far from the car (more than 33 feet or bluetooth limit) This problem is solved by hitting the pause button before leaving the car while it's running. when you hit pause the stereo and phone never check to see if they are still in range, so no audio disconnect problems.

    Crutchfield response on April 9, 2012 Thanks for the update on Pandora. We have confirmed the control capabilities with Android phones, and have updated our product information.

    I hope you don't need reading glasses.

    Written by: Tom J from Auburn, CA on April 2, 2012

    1998 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I wanted a unit that would allow me to use my iPod and get better reception. The problem is that the easy to push buttons were replaced by a screen menu which is hard to read without glasses and dangerous to try to change while driving. Instead of plugging your iPod into the console you must use a usb wire out of the back of the unit which is run to your glove compartment or hangs from under the dash.

    Pros: Can use with iPod

    Cons: Hard to read screen for anyone over 40 who need reading glasses and thus unsafe to change channels while driving. The display needs to be larger and brighter.

    The Head unit is nice, the interface and remote could be better

    Written by: Nak from Raleigh NC on March 31, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Over all I am happy with the unit It is a Kenwood Excelon, what can I say.

    Pros: Quality hardware, easy installation ( I was replacing an older Kenwood Excelon) so I did not have to mess with replacing the wiring harness. I love the hands free dialing.

    Cons: In order to use my Ipad with it, I can only use it through pandora, which for me, is an issue. The tiny remote is horrible and it is hard to skip albums on the usb thumb drive. ( Moving between tracks is easy). I am using my older Kenwood remote with the unit with better luck. Kwoods navigation would be easier on the head unit, but I guess with single din, they are limited to what they can do with the display. My phone has a better display and it is full color and touch screen

    Great Head Unit

    Written by: sshogrin from Wellsville, KS on March 27, 2012

    1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    I upgraded from an HD492U receiver. One of the great things about this upgrade was ease of installation since my old harness worked with the new unit. Since I was familiar with the settings from how I set up the old unit, going in and setting these was a snap. The only thing extra I had to install was the mic for the hands free calling. This unit has more customizable settings than my old unit, has Pandora control built in, BT audio, USB/iPod control, HD radio, AUX in, and Sirius control built in. I have some more tweaking to do (mainly with the cell phone stuff), but it has better overall sound than the old unit. The custom display color setting is nice, you can tweak it to match your car's dash, choose a different color for keys and display, or put it into a color changing effect. I will say that when doing the Pandora thing with my Blackberry, I have to use the AUX in for the audio from the phone, but the head unit controls the Pandora app on the phone. iPod controls are a little better than my old unit (can fast search thru playlists by letter). I can't say how the internal amp sounds as I'm running thru an external amp and sub, you can easily turn the internal amp on/off, and have total control over channel settings.

    Pros: Everything you need (except GPS), total customization for audio and display, easy install

    Cons: Would like BT audio streaming when using Pandora

    Good Sound Quality, Okay Ergonomics

    Written by: Audio-G from Fremont, CA. on March 27, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This is my first Kenwood deck since being strickly an Alpine consumer. Let me start with the looks ergonomics and function controls. As for the looks it's not as impressive as Alpine. The ergonomics can be much better. The main knob is not easy to grasp and function buttons can be laid out better use better design. The main complaint is the glare from the face and hard to read the during the day. I really think the lighting can be much better to be able to read during day time. As for the sound quality it is a very good deck after much time tweeking the adjustments. The HD radio sound is very nice. CD & IPod music sound quality is awesome after tweeking the Pro settings (DTA, X-over Tec.). Overall, for the price and all the features like HD Radio, Bluetooth and a bulit in DAC it's a great deal. I am pleased with the purchase.

    Pros: 1) Features for the price. 2) Great sound quality (after much tweeking time) 3) Built in DAC

    Cons: 1) Bad lighting & Glare 2) Radio Preset & Station Changing Awkward 3) Looks, Layout & ergonomics 4) Manual is very brief & does not cover all features/settings

    Great unit

    Written by: MonsterP from Colorado on March 18, 2012

    2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    This is my first Kenwood radio and I am very happy with the choice. My main goal was to hopefully benefit from the 4v Sub out as my current unit has 2v. I have the JL10" box/amp and this radio seriously woke up that subwoofer, so I'm very pleased with the result. The preset EQs, eh, they don't sound as tight as I had wished, but maybe it's just my speakers (Pioneer 6x9s in 4 door truck) however, that's easily dialed in with the 13 band manual EQ. The unit's power still seems clean and consistent, so overall I'm very happy with the sound. Oddly, under the vehicle type setting, they don't have "Truck" as an option. There are many other sound settings that are excellent and fun to fiddle with. Fyi, the USB is strictly on the back, none on the front. Also note that you do get a cloth pouch with it to store the detachable face. It's just a cloth pouch though, so I'm glad I also ordered the good case from Crutchfield. The display info is great and I love the HD radio. I wish the display was brighter and had more color choices. The keys get bright, but the main display could be brighter. Remote works well, although there are settings with arrows telling you to click right/left and you have to click up/down. Odd. One more thing, I wanted to be able to advance radio stations easily with the remote and the press of just one button instead of taking my eyes off the road. Once you set your presets, choose Auto2 for seek mode and you'll be set. Overall, I'm very happy.

    Pros: Sound options, coolness factor. Pretty intuitive - I figured out every setting w/out the manual except how to preset stations (go in to Preset, select which preset number to set the station you're on, then push knob in for 2 seconds).

    Cons: Needs brighter main display and more color options. Looks like you can make your own colors, too, so will have to explore that.

    Kenwood Rock's

    Written by: G4 from Alabama on March 17, 2012

    2007 Chevrolet Silverado (New Body Style
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    • "Coolness Factor"
    • Build Quality
    • Ease of Use
    • Sound Quality
    • Value

    Another rocking product from Kenwood. The 996 is packed with features and performance. There are a lot of functions that can be fine tuned by the user and can be time consuming to get set up. This is why I gave a 4 for the "ease of use" catagory. Best advise here is to take your time and get everything set like you want before hitting the road. The price is why a gave a 4 for "value". Really should be a 4.5 here but the features and functions make it worth it.

    Pros: ANDROID...Kenwood is the only manufacture to incorporate this function in its 2012 line up.

    Cons: Set up...time consuming

    Details

    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 manual

    • Refurbished AM/FM CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Microphone with integrated bracketed (attached 10' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector)
    • 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
    • Quick Start Guide (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty Card
    • Correction note

    Features and Specs

    Expandability
    AUX Input Rear
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input Rear
    CarPlay No
    Android Auto No
    Siri Control No
    Android Control USB MSC + Bluetooth A2DP/AVRCP + Pandora
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready SiriusXM
    HD Radio Built-in
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/Nano2/
    Touch Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/Touch1
    iPhone Phone4S/Phone4/Phone3GS/Phone3
    General
    CEA-2006 Compliant No
    RMS Power Output 22 watts
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20KHz
    Preamp Outputs 6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs No
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 4 volts
    Display Color Variable
    Key Button Color Variable
    EQ Bands 13
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 90 Days
    Labor Warranty 90 Days
    Tuner
    FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Audio Section
    Built-in Bluetooth
    HD Radio + SiriusXM Ready
    Disc Playback
    USB/Aux Inputs
    iPod/Android Control
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 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-X996 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

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X996 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.

    Note: You can turn the KDC-X996's built-in amplifier off to improve the quality of the sound from the head unit's preamp outputs.

    Sound Excellence DSP (Digital Signal Processing): In order to optimize the sound quality, you can use the unit's Sound Excellence DSP to set the type of vehicle, speaker sizes, distances and x-over points. The DSP settings include the following:

    • Car Type: Select your car type to automatically set the Delay Time of each speaker for timing adjustment of sound output of each channel to have the highest surround effect. Choose from Compact, Full Size Car, Wagon, Mini Van , Mini Van Long, SUV, or Off
    • Listening Position: For a better sound-stage you can select your optimal listening position. You can choose from All, Front Left, Front Right or Front. You can also select to manually fine tune the sound stage by selecting the distance for each individual speaker in the vehicle compared to your listening position.
    • Digital Time Alignment (DTA): Choose from 0.00 to 20' (0.07' steps) for the Front pair of speakers, Rear pair of speakers and Subwoofer distances in reference to the distance between your listening positioning and the locations of the particular speakers.
    • Speaker Location: You can set the location of your vehicle's Front and Rear speakers.
      • Front: Door, On Dash, or Under Dash
      • Rear: Door, Rear Deck, 2nd Row, or 3rd Row
    • Speaker Size: You can select the speaker size for your Front & Rear speakers, as well as your subwoofer.
      • Front: Small, Medium, or Large
      • Tweeter: None, Small, Middle or Large
      • Rear: None, Small, Medium, or Large
      • Subwoofer: None, Small, or Large
    • X'Over: The head unit features independent Front, Rear, & tweeter high-pass crossovers, as well as a subwoofer low-pass crossover.
      • Front High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or select Full-Range)
      • Rear High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or select Full-Range)
      • Tweeter High Pass Filter: 1, 1.6, 2.5, 4, 5, 6.3, 8, 10, or 12.5 kHz
      • Subwoofer Low Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz; slope of -6, -12, -18, or -24 dB per octave (or Select Full-Range)
    • Speaker Level: You can adjust the volume level (0 to -8dB) of the Front, Rear, Tweeter, and Subwoofer channels independently.
    • Subwoofer Phase: Choose either Normal (0°) or Reverse  (180°)
    • Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.
      • Supreme Setting: When MP3, WMA, and AAC 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
      • Elevation Level: You can virtually raise the sound position heard from your speakers; the Elevation Level can be set to High, Low, or Off
      • Space Enhancer: You can set the Space Enhancer to Small, Large, or Off each setting value indicates the soundscape level
      • Sound Realizer: Virtually makes the sound more realistic using the DSP; can bet se to LVL1, LVL2, LVL3, or Off
      • Highway Sound: You can boost a certain range of sound that becomes hard to hear due to road noise; the Highway Sound level can be set to High, Low, or Off

    Note: You can also choose to bypass the head unit's DSP feature.

    Equalizer Control: Equalizer Control allows you to use one of the EQ presets, or set your own custom settings for the front and back speakers using the 13-band Equalizer. The EQ adjustments are as follows:

    • EQ Presets: You can select from Flat, Natural, Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Powerful, iPod (you can select from 22 EQ curve types within your iPod), or User (customized 7-band EQ).
    • 13-Band EQ: 7-Band frequency adjustment (-9 to +9 dB) for Front & Rear speakers using the following center frequencies; 62.5Hz, 100kHz, 160Hz, 250kHz, 400Hz, 630kHz, 1kHz, 1.6kHz, 2.5kHz, 4kHz, 6.3khz, 10kHz, and 16kHz.

    Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store EQ and tone settings for each source (Disc, AM/FM, USB, iPod, Bluetooth Audio, and Pandora).

    Bass Boost: The KDC-X996 features a four-step Bass Boost (Off/1/2/3) to enhance your music's lower frequencies.

    Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes.

    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).

    Dual Zone: The Dual Zone mode allows you to output the Main source and the Auxiliary input separately for the front & rear channels. You can select whether the auxiliary input will play in the front or the rear. You can adjust the volume of the rear channels independently from the front channels (0-35). The head unit's audio settings have no effect on the second zone.

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

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth ver. 3.0 (powered by Parrot) allowing you to make and receive phone calls wirelessly through the receiver; as well as stream music wirelessly from your smartphone to the head unit. Bluetooth Technology is a short-range wireless radio connectivity technology that was developed as a cable replacement for mobile phones and other electronic devices. Bluetooth operates in 2.4 GHz frequency range and transmits voice and data at speeds up to 1 megabit per second.

    Bluetooth Profiles: In order to use Bluetooth wireless technology, your phone must also be Bluetooth compatible and be able to interpret certain profiles. This unit is compatible with the following Bluetooth Profiles:

    • Hands-Free Communication: HFP (Hands Free Profile), HSP (Head Set Profile), OPP (Object Push Profile), PBAB (Phone Book Access Profile).
    • Audio Streaming: A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).

    Pairing: Your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone must be paired with the KDC-X996 before hands-free operation. You can register up to five Bluetooth enabled cell-phones with the Kenwood head unit (only one paired phone can be used at a time).

    Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996. See Kenwood's Bluetooth Compatibility List for the latest mobile device compatibility.

    External Microphone: The Kenwood KDC-X996 includes an external microphone to carry on your side of your phone conversation and voice command dialing. The external wired microphone offers improved audio quality versus an integrated microphone, so you can be heard easier over noisy traffic and road noise. The external microphone features an attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle 3.5mm connector which plugs into the mic input on the rear-panel of the head unit. The microphone offers an integrated mounting bracket which can be clipped to your vehicle's sun-visor or taped to your dash. The external microphone measures 0.525" (diameter) x 1.485" (depth).

    Note: This unit does not offer an integrated front-panel microphone.

    Bluetooth Hands-Free Communication: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-X996 can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also includes and external microphone (featuring adjustable gain), so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your vehicles speakers. During a conversation, you can switch between the Private Mode (talking directly on your cell phone) and the Hands Free Mode. 

    • Answering a Call: When a call comes in, a ring-tone will be heard through your vehicle's speaker and the caller's name or phone number will be displayed. You can answer the call from the head unit's front-panel controls, or setup the head unit to automatically answer the incoming call immediately or after 1-99 seconds. The KDC-X996 also supports the Call Waiting function, so you can answer another incoming call while suspending the current call you are on. Your compatible cell-phone must also support this feature.
    • Dialing a Number: Using the KDC-X996, you can dial a phone number in one of the following ways:
      • Entering a Phone Number: Allows you to directly dial a phone number up to 32 digits from the head unit's control knob or remote control.
      • Speed (Preset) Dialing: Allows you to register up to 6 phone numbers for quick dialing. The preset numbers can be accessed from the head unit's Control Knob.
      • Phone Book: You can dial by using the downloaded phone book. You can download phone book data from your cell phone to the KDC-X996. Up to 600 numbers can be stored for each registered cell phone. Each number can be up to 32 digits long and each name can be up to 50 characters long.  Stored phone numbers can be categorized by General, Home, Office, Mobile, or Other. You can search each category of the phone book in alphabetical order.
      • Call Log: The Call Log is a list of calls that have originated from and were received by this unit that you can dial. You can select Outgoing, Incoming, or Missed calls.
      • Voice Dialing: If your mobile phone supports voice recognition, then you can dial out by voice command. Simply speak into the included microphone. You can register up to 35 voice tags.

    SMS (Short Message Service): You can wirelessly download a SMS arrived at your cell-phone so that it can be read on the Bluetooth connected Kenwood head unit. Up to 149 already read and unread short messages can be downloaded. You can reply to a SMS by using the head unit's front-panel rotary knob or remote control to enter alphanumeric text. There is a limited amount of text that can be downloaded or entered. Your cell-phone must support SMS via Bluetooth for this feature to function.

    Note: Do not read incoming SMS or reply to SMS while driving.

    Wireless Audio Streaming: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-X996 will be able to control basic playback functions of your Bluetooth device's stored music; such as Play/Pause, Next/Previous Track, Fast Forward/Rewind, and Random/Repeat. The head unit will also display your stored music's song information; such as Artist name and Song/Album title. The KDC-X996 also supports audio streaming of music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Rhapsody, & Slacker), but without control or metadata. You will continue to use your Bluetooth enabled smartphone to view and control streaming music apps.

    Note: When an incoming call or outgoing call is in progress from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, audio streaming will be paused so you can take your call. Once the call is finished, your streaming music will resume.

    Bluetooth Detailed Settings: The KDC-X996 offers the following Bluetooth Detailed Settings, so you can configure the unit to suit your needs.

    • Call Beep: You can choose to output a beep from your vehicle's speaker's when a call comes in, or you can turn this function off.
    • Speaker Output: You can select whether the call beep/caller's voice and streaming audio is heard through only the front speakers or all speakers.
    • Mic Gain: Adjusts the volume of the external microphone from -3 to +3.
    • NR Level: Reduces the noises generated by the surrounding environment without changing the mic volume. The NR Level can be set to -2 or +2.
    • EC Level: Adjusts the level of echo cancellation from -2 to +2.

    HD Radio

    Built-In HD Tuner: With its built-in HD Radio tuner, you can receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. HD Radio significantly improves AM/FM audio quality and reception, as well as includes information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display. HD Radio Technology will deliver high-quality digital sound. AM digital will have FM-like quality in stereo (70dB SN @ 40-15kHz), while FM digital will have CD-like quality (70 dB SN @ 20-20kHz) with static free and clear reception. The unit's built-in HD Radio tuner allows analog AM/FM tuning as well.

    Note: HD Radio is the system for digital AM and FM broadcasting in the U.S. More than 2,000 radio stations are broadcasting their primary signals in digital HD Radio technology, as a free service. Go to HDRadio.com to check for HD Radio stations in your area.

    Station Text: AM/FM digital stations can offer text and data such as artist names and song titles.

    Multicasting: In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 3 multicast programs (HD1 to HD3, and analog).

    iTunes Tagging: It is possible to save the song's information (tag) from and HD Radio broadcasting station to your USB-direct connected iPod/iPhone. The songs will show up in a playlist called "Tagged" in iTunes the next time you sync your iPod/iPhone. Then you can directly buy the songs you want from the iTunes Music Store. You can "tag" up to 50 songs.

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-X996's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 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.

    Seek Modes: You can choose one of three seek modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.

    Note: You can also setup the KDC-X996 to search only HD Radio stations.

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

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 comes ready for SiriusXM programming with access to XM and Sirius Satellite Radio stations. Thanks to its proprietary SiriusXM Connect port, you can add the optional SXV200V1 SiriusXM Connect tuner and receive more than 150 channels of exclusive programming directly from SiriusXM, via the "SiriusXM All Access" package (subscription required). Visit SiriusXM.com for a complete list of subscription options and channel guide. Additional features of the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect tuner include:

    • Channel list displays a list of all available channels
    • Category Search searches for channels in a certain category
    • Displayed Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's LCD
    • Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets
    • Direct Tuning via included remote
    • Song/Artist Alert with visual notification of your favorite songs or artists
    • Supports the SiriusXM Instant Replay function, so you can pause, rewind, and replay up to 30 minutes of live content
    • iTunes Tagging for connected iPod/iPhone
    • Channels containing unsuitable content for children can be blocked

    Note: A separate SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription is required (operates on the XM Network). If you already have a Sirius Satellite Radio subscription, this radio cannot be added as a discounted second unit. If you have an existing XM Satellite Radio subscription, you can add this unit as a discounted second unit.

    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/AAC Playback: The KDC-X996 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and AAC (8-320 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/AAC 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-X996 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/AAC 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-X996 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.

    USB/Aux Inputs

    USB Port: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996 features a rear panel USB (type-A) port that is attached to the unit's rear-chassis via a 35" pigtail. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device with MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and AAC (8-320 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-X996 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, Zune, or Android.

    Aux In: The unit is equipped with a rear 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-X996 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.

    iPod/Android Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The KDC-X996's rear panel USB port also 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-X996.

    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 110dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhon