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Video: Kenwood Excelon DNX6960 Navigation Receiver

Heads up!

Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.

Get a quick overview of the Kenwood DNX6960 navigation receiver. In this Crutchfield video, we cover iPod® controls, Bluetooth® calling, and several other features of this great stereo.

Read video transcript

I'm here to tell you about the Kenwood DNX6960 navigation receiver. In my editorial role here at Crutchfield I get to handle a lot of car audio gear, and when I finally had the opportunity to put a new stereo in my car I chose a Kenwood for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is that I wanted a touchscreen interface. I have the space for it in the dash and a touchscreen makes the stereo so much easier to control it's really a no-brainer. Now the other two things I wanted were iPod® controls and hands-free calling, and I get that and more with the '6960.

The touchscreen interface makes it really easy to control your iPod. I could just plug the iPod into the stereo's USB input for audio alone but I went ahead and bought the optional iPod cable so I could see album art and video from the iPod. Now the other big feature I was looking for in a new stereo is Bluetooth® connectivity.

This stereo uses an external microphone which has adjustable gain and noise cancellation, and that makes it easier for callers to hear me better. Kenwood also lets you switch from hands-free talking to privacy mode with the push of a button so if I need to I can take the call off the car speakers and move it to my hand set like normal. Now there is one Bluetooth function that this stereo does not have, and that's the ability to stream audio from my phone or other Bluetooth device directly to the stereo. It's not a big deal to me. I would never use it, but I wanted to let you know.

I was glad to get navigation built into the stereo too, especially in a Kenwood because Kenwood uses Garmin navigation. Also, there's a line at the bottom that shows me what's playing on my iPod or CD.

The DNX6960 sounds good too. It has a 24-bit digital/analog converter to give you the best sound from your discs, your iPod or whatever else you have connected to the USB input. Sound control comes in the form of built-in high- and low-pass filters and a 3-band parametric EQ. It gives you a lot of adjustability. There's an auxiliary input right on the front and the button lighting is customizable. It was easy for me to match it to my cars' dash lighting.

Now one feature it has that I never really thought I'd use is dual-zone capability. Recently my family and I took a road trip. Our sons forgot to bring the headphones for their portable DVD player and luckily I had an audio cable in the car. So I connected it to the headphone output on their DVD player to the auxiliary input on the stereo, turned on Dual Zone, and they were able to listen to their movie over the rear speakers while my wife and I listened to music up front.

The DNX6960 gives me all the features I wanted in a car stereo and the great touchscreen interface makes it easy for me to use them. But one thing I almost forgot to mention: the '6960 is part of Kenwood's Excelon lineup. That means that it has a few extra features built in that the regular line doesn't have, but most importantly, so long as you're buying it from an authorized retailer like Crutchfield, you get a 2-year manufacturer's warranty, and that can be a big deal.

Now if you want to learn more about it, just go to and when you're ready for a new stereo, give us a call or shoot us an e-mail. One of our advisors can help find the stereo that's right for you.