Excelon Series: The KDC-X396 CD receiver is part of
Kenwood's Excelon series line-up. It incorporates the latest technologies and
delivers the highest sonic performance. From advanced audio tuning capabilities,
crossover and equalizer system, high-voltage preouts (4V), and a two-year
warranty - Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with
24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 utilizes a
24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.
MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 is equipped with a
MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET
amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased
power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More
power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not
pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the
KDC-X396 are as follows:
- Full Bandwidth Power: 22 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4
ohms, 20-20kHz, 1% THD)
- Maximum Output Power: 50 watts x 4 channels
3-Way Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 3-way rotary volume
control that increases and decreases the volume of the stereo from 0 to 35. The
rotary knob also controls other audio settings such as Balance, Fader, Bass,
Mid, Treble and preset EQ settings. In addition, the rotary knob allows you to
scroll through and select your music tracks when the Music Search function is
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
Speaker Settings: The Speaker
Setting function tailors the System Q Sound Control settings according to the
type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of 'SP-Off'
(flat/off), 'SP-OEM' (for OEM factory speaker systems), 'SP-6x9/6' (for systems with 6"
and 6"x9" speakers), or 'SP-5/4' (for systems with 4" and 5" speakers).
Preset EQ: Eight EQ curves are preset into
memory, allowing you to recall the best preset EQ curve for different types of
music. Each preset has its own level settings for bass (100Hz), midrange (1kHz),
and treble (12.5kHz). You can choose from the following preset EQ curves - Rock,
Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, Game, and User.
EQ Pro: The Excelon KDC-X396 features
independent Bass, Treble, and Midrange control when the Preset EQ is
in User mode. EQ Pro allows you to adjust the following
settings for the Bass, Treble and Mid frequency levels.
| EQ Pro |
Frequency ||Q-Factor ||Bass
Extension ||Level |
|Bass ||60, 80, 100, or 200 Hz ||1.00, 1.25, 1.50, or 2.00 ||On/Off ||-8 to +8 |
|Midrange ||0.5k, 1.0k, 1.5k, or 2.5k Hz ||0.75, 1.00, or 1.25 ||N/A |
|Treble ||10.0k, 12.5k, 15.0k, or17.5k Hz ||N/A ||N/A |
Bass Boost: In addition, the Kenwood CD receiver features a
Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2 or Off).
Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to
make the sound clearer at lower volumes. There are 3 levels (LV1, LV2, or Off).
Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store Preset
EQ and EQ Pro bass/midrange/treble tone settings for each source (CD, AM/FM, Aux, USB,
iPod, and Pandora).
Supreme Setting: When MP3 or WMA files encoded at a low bit
rate (less than 96 kbps, 44.1k, 48kHz) are played, the Supreme Setting function
restores their high frequencies so the sound quality is closer to files encoded
at a high bit rate. The processing is optimized for the compression format and
the bit rate used. When the Supreme Setting is Off, the unit plays the original
sound stored in the audio file.
6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X396 features front, rear
and subwoofer 4.0-volt preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs
are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The
front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs are fixed to the rear chassis of the
Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X396 features an
independent High-Pass Crossover for the front & rear channels when your front &
rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You
can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 100, 120, or 150 Hz. The
"Through" selection is a full-range setting. This feature is very helpful when
you have smaller-type speakers in the front and larger-type speakers installed
in the rear of the vehicle.
Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 offers the following subwoofer controls, when you have the
unit's subwoofer preamp output activated.
- Low Pass Filter: The receiver
features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the preamp-output, when the
output is set to Subwoofer. You can select from 85 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, or off.
- Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the
subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).
- Subwoofer Level: Once the Subwoofer preamp output is
activated, you can independently control the
subwoofer preamp output level (-15 to +15) from the CD receiver.
Tel Mute: The KDC-X396 features
a cell-phone mute wire (tan) in its harness that when hooked up to your car's
phone system mute wire will automatically mute the receiver's audio signal when
a call comes in.
Key Beep: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to
confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.
The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized
CD-R/CD-RW audio discs.
MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-X396 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps) and
WMA (32-192 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level
1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc can have a
maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder (512 maximum
number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any
recorded ID3 Tag (ver. 1.x/2.x) and WMA Tag information - up to 60 characters.
Text Scroll: The KDC-X396 will display CD text or Audio file
text. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto,
Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.
Music Search: The Kenwood AM/FM CD receiver features a Music
Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your MP3/WMA music
folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using
the head unit's rotary knob.
Direct Music Search: The supplied IR wireless remote control
(RC-405) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.
Playback Modes: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 features the following Repeat,
Random, and Scan playback modes.
- Repeat Play: Track, File, or Folder
- Random Play: Disc or Folder
- Scan Play: Track or File (plays the first 10-seconds of each
music track on a disc or music file in a folder)
Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to
the tuner mode while a CD is playing, the next time CD is selected as the
source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.
CD Read: This function sets the method for reading a CD
disc. You can choose between two modes.
- CD1: Automatically distinguishes between audio file
disc and music CD when playing a CD or CD-R/RW disc.
- CD2: When unable to play a special formatted CD, set
this function to CD2 to force playing. Some music CD discs may be
unplayable even when set to this mode.
Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with
the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will
automatically power up and begin playback.
Auto Reload: If the ejected disc is not removed within 15
seconds, the disc is automatically inserted again into the loading slot to
protect it from dust.
iPod Direct Connection: The KDC-X396's front-panel USB port acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct
connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102,
sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. If you
have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5; use the
Lighting-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head
either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and
charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X396.
iPod DAC Bypass: The USB
connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded
instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the
head unit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to
105dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts
stored on your iPod or iPhone, as well as music apps streamed to your iPhone.
iPod Control: You can choose
to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's
clickwheel or touchscreen.
- Head Unit: The Kenwood
head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists,
Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories
alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%).
The head unit supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of
your connected iPod/iPhone.
- iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the
stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can
also listen to your favorite music apps (such as
Slacker) from your iPhone (iOS 3.0+) through the Kenwood head unit
and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's
touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App
Note: Access to your iPhone's downloaded applications
will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for
purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet.
Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from
the Pandora music service through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 using your connected
Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold
separately), or the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. The Kenwood
KDC-X396 provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist,
Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station
list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). You can also skip song
tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down. To
access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest
version of the
Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone
will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G,
EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.
Note: Access to the Pandora service will depend on the
availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your
iPhone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and
only available in the United States.
iPod Display: The KDC-X396
will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are
controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood head unit. The head unit will
display Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album
label. If you choose to
operate your connected iPod/iPhone via its clickwheel or touchscreen controls,
the KDC-X396 will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will
instead display "APP/iPod").
iPod Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of
current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's
ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position. This unit does not charge
Note: If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge,
then the unit will not recognize it.
iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart:
The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the
following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/25/2012):
| iPod Model || Generation || Tested Version || Media Type || Control Type || Display Type || Pandora app || Charge |
| Audio || Video || Head Unit || iPod || App mode || Artist/Song Text || Track Info |
| dock connector || 3rd || N/A || N || N || N || N || N || N || N || N || N |
| clickwheel |
| 4th || N/A || N || N || N || N || N || N || N || N || N |
mini ||1st ||N/A || N || N || N || N || N || N || N || N || N |
|2nd ||N/A ||N ||N ||N ||N ||N ||N ||N ||N ||N |
| video || 5th || 1.3 || Y || N || Y || N || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| classic || 80GB || 1.1.2 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 120GB || 2.0.1 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 160GB || 2.0.4 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| nano || 1st || 1.3.1 || Y || N || Y || N || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 2nd || 1.1.3 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 3rd || 1.1.3 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 4th || 1.0.4 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 5th || 1.0.2 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 6th || 1.1 PC || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 7th || 1.2 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| touch || 1st || 2.2.1 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 2nd || 4.2.1 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 3rd || 5.1.1 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 4th || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| 5th || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y || Y || N || Y |
| iPhone || 2G || 3.1.3 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y |
| 3G || 4.2.1 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y |
| 3GS || 5.1.1 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y |
| 4 || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y |
| 4S || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y |
| 5 || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y |
| iPad || 1 || 5.1.1 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || N |
| 2 || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || N |
| 3 || 6.0 || Y || N || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || Y || N |
Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change
functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may
need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If
this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is
Music Control for Android Smartphone: The Kenwood Music
Control app for Android organizes your Android smartphone's music, while
providing quick and easy search capability from the Kenwood CD receiver. The
Kenwood Music Control App for Android can be downloaded onto your Android
smartphone from the Android Market place. Your Android smartphone must be
running Android OS 2.2 or later. Once the app is downloaded and has a chance to
organize all the stored music on your Android smartphone, you can connect your
Android smartphone to the Kenwood CD receiver via USB (your compatible Android
smartphone must be recognized as a USB mass storage class device; not
compatible with MTP protocol). The Kenwood Music Control app offers the
following Android supported functions.
- Song Management: Music stored in your Android
smartphone can be navigated from the Kenwood CD receiver. Songs can be
easily selected by searching for a Song title, Artist name, Album label, or
- Song Information Display: Song information such as
Artist name, Song title, and Album label are displayed on the connected
Kenwood CD receiver.
- Mood Playlist: Playlists can be created by classifying
songs into categories by type of mood. Songs are analyzed and classified
into the following categories of moods - High Energy (Active/Powerful/Core),
Acoustic (Detailed/Simple/Smooth/Easy), Standard (Dynamic/Rockin/Vivid),
- Intro Skip: This function allows you to choose and
listen to only the hook-lines of songs stored in your Android smartphone.
Note: When the Kenwood Music Control app is first
downloaded it will require some time to populate all the music, so we
suggest doing this overnight.
Music Files Format Supported by Music Control app for Android:
|Codec ||Extension ||Bit Rate ||Sampling Frequency |
|AAC ||.aac, m4a ||up to 160 kbps ||8-48 kHz |
|MP3 ||.mp3 ||8-320 kbps ||n/a |
|PCM/WAV ||.wav ||n/a ||n/a |
USB Port: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 features a front panel
USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover. The USB port
enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device
with MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) music files. The USB port is
compatible with USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or
FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 folder
layers, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder - with a maximum of 65,025 files
and folders. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be
charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition
switch is set to ACC or On.
Note: You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or
Multi-Card Reader to this unit.
Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 supports the
PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.1.1.0). Kenwood Music Editor Lite
is a Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer
MP3/WMA music files to your USB (MSC) devices from your PC. When you playback audio
files that have been stored on your USB (MSC) device using Kenwood Music Editor Lite
through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using
the head unit's Music Search function.
System Requirements: The Kenwood Music Editor Light
(ver.1.1.0) Windows-based software can be downloaded for free from
to your PC. The Kenwood Music Editor Light is compatible with the following
Windows Microsoft Operating Systems.
- Windows XP Professional, Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit)
- Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
- Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad,
Android, or Zune.
Aux In: The unit is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm
minijack auxiliary input that can be used to input audio from a portable audio
source, such as a portable MP3 player. The Aux input must be turned on to function. The
unit has 3 auxiliary input modes.
- On1: Outputs the sound of the external unit connected
to the Aux terminal when switched to the Aux source.
- On2: Activates the attenuator function when turning on
the power with the auxiliary source selected. This prevents the noise when
no external unit is connected to the Aux terminal. Turn off the attenuator
function when listening to output from an external unit.
- Off: Disables the selection of the Aux source.
Auxiliary Display: The KDC-X396 allows you to select the
source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX,
DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.
AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-396 features a built-in
AM/FM tuner. You can choose one of four tuning methods: Auto 1 (seek tuning),
Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with
each button press), Manual Tune, or Direct Access (via remote).
Tuner Presets: The Excelon KDC-X396's tuner features 3 FM banks (1,
2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 offers two preset
- Normal: You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank
giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets (total of 24).
- Mix: A total of 6 preset stations can be assigned to
the head unit's 6 preset buttons, regardless of AM/FM band. This lets you
recall a preset station without switching between bands.
Auto Memory Tuning: Not only does the CD receiver's tuner
allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit
automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks
automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling.
Direct Access Tuning: You can directly access an AM/FM
station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote
Mono Mode: The Mono mode improves the radio's FM reception,
but the stereo effect will be lost.
The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis
to deter theft. The head unit includes a cloth pouch for storing the face-plate when
detached. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if
Note: An optional soft face case (142DFC1X,
sold separately) can also be purchased for this unit.
Fluorescent Display: The Kenwood head unit features a
single-line, 13-character, bluish-white backlit fluorescent display.
Variable Button Illumination: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X396 features
variable color button illumination. You can choose from one of 24 preset colors,
have the unit scan through all 24 preset colors continuously, or customize your
own color (RGB; 0-9). The custom setting allows you to individually adjust the
intensity of Red, Green, and Blue (from 0-9) to better match your vehicle's
interior lights. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain red.
Illumination Dimmer: The head unit's fluroescent display has two
dimmers settings to adjust the brightness of the display according to the
surrounding illumination. You can switch the display dimmer setting On or Off.
The head unit's button illumination has an independent dimmer setting from the
display which lets you set the button illumination dimmer to LVL1, LVL2, or Off.
The Kenwood logo and eject button remain the same brightness.
Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face and button illumination
is "keyed." When the Clock Display is turned on and
the unit is in Standby mode, the Clock Display is also "keyed." Pressing and
holding the source button turns the unit off completely.
Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be
turned On or Off within the menu.
Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X396 comes with an IR
remote control (RC-405) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will
control Audio, CD, USB, and Tuner functions. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V
lithium-cell battery (supplied).
- Numeric Keypad: The wireless remote control features a
numeric keypad (0-9) which allows direct track access of your music tracks &
files (from CD or USB), as well as AM/FM presets.
- Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on
the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one
touch of the button.
Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features
an OEM steering wheel remote control input wire (blue/yellow) within the
included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering
wheel remote controls when used with an optional
steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult
Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.