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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

CD receiver (New Stock)

77 Reviews

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

Bluetooth® and HD Radio™ built in
Kenwood's KDC-X796 CD receiver looks great in your dash, with adjustable button lighting to match your dash colors. But it's more than just a good looker — this well-equipped receiver also features built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming, along with an HD Radio tuner for better AM/FM sound quality. Plus, you get the reassuring Kenwood Excelon 2-year warranty.

Bluetooth® and HD Radio™ built in
Kenwood's KDC-X796 CD receiver looks great in your dash, with adjustable button lighting to match your dash colors. But it's more than just a good looker — this well-equipped receiver also features built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming, along with an HD Radio tuner for better AM/FM sound quality. Plus, you get the reassuring Kenwood Excelon 2-year warranty.

Kenwood KDC-X796

Hands-free calls and audio streaming
Put your phone away. Just touch the dedicated "phone" button when a call comes in and talk hands-free. Text messages? No worries, the receiver will even auto-reply to text messages to let your friends know that you're busy driving. Bluetooth audio streaming lets you play the tunes stored on your mobile device without wires cluttering up your dash and console.

Experience HD Radio™
FM that's near CD-quality and AM that comes through clean and static-free. That's the advantage of HD Radio — just tune into your participating local stations and enjoy the programming with no subscription fee.

Enjoy your music
Your iPod® or iPhone® is at your command. Just plug into the receiver's front-panel USB input and start searching through your albums, artists, and playlists with the easy-to-use controls. If you're an Android user, head over the Android market and download Kenwood's free Music Control app. You'll enjoy a variety of search and playback features when your phone is plugged into the front-panel USB port.

Pandora® from your iPhone®, Android, or Blackberry
The built-in Pandora® controls let you scroll through your stations, bookmark songs, and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down right from the receiver's face. If you need more entertainment options, you can plug most audio sources into the front-panel auxiliary input, plus you can play all kinds of CDs, even discs that you've loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC files.

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

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 or iPhone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver.

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, WMA, and AAC music files
    • built-in HD Radio tuner
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • detachable face with adjustable button colors
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 preset EQ curves and 3-band parametric equalizer)
    • speaker size settings
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • low- and high-pass filters
    • subwoofer level control
    • 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
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB input
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and sub)
    Other features and specs:

    What's in the Box:

    • AM/FM CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-405)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • Microphone with integrated bracket (attached 10' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector)
    • Cloth face pouch
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Instruction Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty Card
    • Correction note

    Featured Video

    Sounds and works great. A slight learning curve, but once you understand how to navigate, it's easy.

    Troy, Lady Lake, FL


    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (77 Reviews)

    Good Features - Lousy UI

    Crutchfield customer from Rochester, NY on 3/15/2014

    2007 Kia Sedona
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this radio about 18 months ago. It has all of the features I wanted and functions well. The downside is its appallingly bad user interface. It is so bad that my wife gets so frustrated that she gives me grief for buying it. Simple things are hidden deep into a cryptic menu system. For example it takes no fewer than 6 user actions to simply get to the fader controls. The buttons operate differently when using Bluetooth for calls than during other operations. The button for changing radio bands is marked with an icon that looks like a magnifying glass (no text). Music on USB is listed only by folder number assigned by the radio. So if you labeled the folder to indicate the music it contains you will never see the text. The device is full of bad User Interface issues. However, I have to admit that once you have learned how to use it, it works well.

    Pros: It works well. Some nice features like it remembers the last volume level for each input device and automatically switches (e.g. the radio and bluetooth phone calls may have different levels).

    Cons: The product designers will never be employed by Apple.

    Nice Stereo

    Troy from Lady Lake, FL on 10/15/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds and works great. A slight learning curve, but once you understand how to navigate, it's easy.

    Pros: Looks and sounds great.

    Cons: Need to read manual, not the easiest to first.

    Good sound, bad UI and BlueTooth

    AndyFi from Mountain View, CA on 10/13/2013

    Overall this is a half-baked product that I find infuriates me more often than I find I enjoy using it. Kenwood clearly is adding technology without adding usability.

    Pros: Color changing LEDs are great, sound quality is solid, radio reception is good, easy to access USB and Aux ins

    Cons: HDRadio broke, BlueTooth phone sound quality is often awful, BlueTooth often drops or won't detect phone, the display sucks - there is no reason to use a modern display, no internal battery to save custom settings, and user Interface is terrible, particularly for USB stick (FF and REW are about 3x normal play which sucks for DJ sets, doesn't handle many normal MP3 files / tagging, doesn't recognise folder names, basically USB stick support is a prototype).

    Excelon KDC-X796

    Kodiak from CIncinnati on 4/30/2013

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

    Fantastic Head Unit. Only had it installed a couple weeks now. Great sound, great options. Still trying to figure out all the functions, which always takes time with something so options loaded. This was a scratch and dent buy, only thing missing was the microphone for the bluetooth, which Crutchfield sent out to me within 2 days.

    Pros: great value, exactly what I wanted. the Kit was the easiest, most perfect fitting kit I have ever used.

    Cons: none yet.

    Feature-rich headunit

    LORKesq from South Ozone Park, NY on 3/11/2013

    2002 Volkswagen Passat
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I picked up this headunit for an 02 VW Passat w/ monsoon system. The stock HU had CD/AM/FM radio, and a cassette player. I wanted to upgrade to something with an Aux input and HD radio, maintain steering wheel controls, and possibly some bluetooth integration. This fit the bill, and it was priced well because it was refurbished. This was my first HU install, and looking back, it's not complicated at all. So far, the HU works properly, and I believe sound is a little richer than the stock setup. Bluetooth is awesome, and it registers devices pretty quickly. There are 24 colors for buttons, so this unit would probably look good inside of most cars. A couple of disappointments: 1) radio stations go in and out - I get that HD technology is still evolving, but stations tend to go in and out. I purchased a longer antenna mast, so hopefully that helps. 2) microphone isn't built-in - the microphone that comes with this system isn't built into the unit, but has to be fixed somewhere in the car. It's not the biggest problem, but I didn't want to have a wire routed my dashboard. I ended up affixing the mic inside the dash kit.




    trey from watson la on 3/10/2013

    2003 Ford F-350
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great radio got it for my dad the sound is amazing the unit looks good the Bluetooth sounds good on both ends

    Pros: All of its features Works with android

    Cons: Have not found any

    Very Solid Deck with great head unit power

    PaulT from Danbury CT on 3/7/2013

    2003 MINI Cooper
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall I think this is a great head unit that has very nice power. I have it running a few of my mids and highs while my app handles the larger speakers in the rear. The display is clean and I am happy with the color options - was able to get it pretty close to my factory lighting. The menus give you lots of options for adjustments but they can be a little confusing at first - I guess I should have at least looked at the instructions ; ) My biggest complaint with the menus is the inability to adjust volume while in a menu. you have to back out of the section you are in until you get to the main setting to lower the sound. I bought this mostly to work with my Ipod playlists and Pandora - both work very well and I love how you can change Pandora stations from this unit. Only other complaint is that my radio reception has been poor since my install. havent figured out whether its the car or the kenwood because honestly I use the ipod and pandora options so much the radio issue hasnt been that much of a factor for me.

    Pros: Nice clean design pandora and ipod controls blue tooth function amount of adjustment options with color display and audio settings

    Cons: menus can be confusing poor reception

    LOVE Kenwood

    babyduf from Philadelphia, PA on 3/6/2013

    2002 Acura RSX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am very happy with this product. I upgraded from the Kenwood X395 because I wanted bluetooth capability. It is a great product and very affordable.



    Love this HU

    Eddie from Knoxville, Iowa on 3/4/2013

    1992 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Put this in a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and couldn't be happier.. It's just as advertised. Made my OEM speakers sound much better.. Waiting for decent weather to finish my system. Love the USB front port as that's all I use for music. The search is great when used with the Kenwood music editor 1.1 .. HD radio is great,, You can really tell a difference between std. and HD radio.. Settings are fairly to use.. Don't use the phone or Apple products so I Can't comment on them.. Great unit.. I highly recommend it!!

    Pros: USB front port. Super music search.. HD radio.. Easy to install with Crutchfield supplied adapters.

    Cons: None

    nice radio

    G D. from michigan on 2/25/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I like the color skeem,very easy to operate,the blue tooth is grate.the sound is suprub with stock speakers.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Don from Rome,GA on 2/10/2013

    1997 Chevrolet S10
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I find this unit to be a great mid-level HU! The ability to custom tailor the sound profile for each source, really makes this model shine. No longer do I have to adjust the EQ for each individual source. Also, it has the capability to remove unused sources from the source selection menu, a plus, since I don't use the Aux, CD, or Pandora function. Nice tight sound with Polk Audio speakers and Sony X-plod sub and amp. Settings and audio controls, once learned, become intuitive. And, of course kudos to Crutchfield for super fast shipping and great support!

    Pros: BT streaming audio works flawlessly, remote mic for BT, Great Pro EQ settings.

    Cons: Some control buttons could use back lighting.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Scott from Henderson, KY on 2/7/2013

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

    bought for '03 F150, fit was good, directions were right on, like the blue tooth, sound is clear with the Polk speakers, does take some time to get it setup using the controls, but once done is very nice



    RDS Easter Egg - Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Randy from Morehead City, NC on 1/31/2013

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

    I purchased this stereo as an exchange for the first one that had many Bluetooth issues with my Droid 3. I can't say anything about the Bluetooth on this stereo other than it is infallible. After some research, I found that the Parrot BT system appeared to be the leader in the BT industry and getting this in my next stereo became a priority. This stereo has the Parrot V3 Bluetooth which I believe is what makes this stereo so great with my Droid 3. The Bluetooth always connects. It is so nice to listen to Pandora, turn the car off, turn the car on and Pandora starts up on its own right where it left off. I really wanted RDS but it was hard to find in combination with the Parrot BT as one of my top priorities. This stereo came with HD radio which is little use to me due to where I live. One discovery I found is that this stereo DOES HAVE RDS! I am not talking about station/song information on HD but on the other regular FM stereo channels, I can select station name, artist/song name and it all works, again I am not confusing regular FM and HD FM!

    Pros: Pros: Sound is excellent, Bluetooth always connects and every BT protocol on my phone work with this stereo (hands free, phonebook etc.). Despite what Kenwood says in its specs, this stereo does have RDS and I could not believe it when I saw it! check it out yourself, it's there and it works!!!

    Cons: Cons: I wish the display characters were a little bolder or brighter. Due to the location of the stereo in my Pathfinder, it suffers a lot of reflections since it is so low on the dash. This stereo is the third stereo and it has one of the best displays so far so I am very happy with it. If I had to pick something bad about this stereo, it would be the menu system but I believe every stereo of this type have similar menu issues. With so many features there really isn't a good way to make ge

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    BKC from Peoria, AZ on 1/19/2013

    2012 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice unit. The sound quality is typical Kenwood even with the factory speakers which is a stretch in a Wrangler with the top off. Bought this mostly for the blue tooth connection to the phone and it works very well. With the microphone mounted on the steering column, no one can tell I'm in the Jeep driving to work. The wife likes the different colors you can change the unit.

    Pros: Blue tooth audio with the phone and ipod is nice feature, no annoying wires to deal with. Hadn't used HD radio before this unit and is a pleasant surprise. The sound quality is very good even with the factory speakers. The front USB is nice to connect music sources to, usually a portable hard drive with all my music.

    Cons: The USB doesn't pick up the music on the Android phone. Really not a big deal. Sometimes won't connect to the phone and download the phone book.

    not what i expected

    SteveB from Socorro NM on 1/14/2013

    1999 Chevrolet Tahoe
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Basically, this unit is awesome. does everything it says it can do. great price for an awesome unit and Crutchfield service was immense. there are so many different ways to tweak the sound, I cant even begin to figure it all out.....the Bluetooth works great and I love the external mike.....HD radio is pretty cool but not what I thought it was gonna be..... the reception is stellar....if I can get hd in Socorro of course....and analog is not as good as factory radio was. not really the radios fault but wish I had better reception to really hear it for the new galaxy tab 7.0 plus does not work as a usb mass storage device on this unit like smartphones do. it has MTP protocol which is not the same and I cant choose to change it to mass USB storage...really bummed about this cuz all my music is in the tablet which is fine on Bluetooth... I can push all the music I want but I cant make calls with my tab and this unit only allows use of 1 Bluetooth device at a time. so that means no phone if I want music or no music if I want phone.. really sux unless of course u have an IPAD....not. so I had to move all the music to my phone so I can have a phone and music without sacrifice..cept I really wanted the tab to be my main entertainment center in my truck. I should've researched cuz it does show this info on the product page at Crutchfield but honestly thought that since these products were new that they could communicate by USB.

    Pros: all the settings and controls for your soundscapes are there and take a little time to learn but once u do then its all good sonically. Bluetooth works like an expensive cars dash nav units . HD radio is awesome if I can get reception. all about location I guess in rural NM. the color changing face is a nice touch and Crutchfield made sure I had all I needed to install this unit in just under an hour and a cutting no spicing... just perfect fit in my dash.. really nice and clean.

    Cons: USB will not work with any android least not a Samsung galaxy tab with 4.1 ICS which is stupid since this tablet is a year old and my Droid X2 with android 3.2 Gingerbread is a 4 year old system. I wonder if a hardware update for this kenwood is coming to fix this...if it is as simple as an update..mass storage and Media transfer protocol are not the same but seems like a software update could fix this....what do I know?

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    John from Gaithersburg, MD on 1/6/2013

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

    The quality has been OK so far. But the radio is very difficult to use and enjoy. Buttons are small, poorly labeled, and require constant adjustment to get the station and sound quality you want. Would not recommend this radio to most people. Price does not meet expectations.

    Pros: Has Pandora and fits the dash!

    Cons: Tiny buttons and requires pushing and turning multiple times to make required adjustments all the time. Each button ha multiple functions which makes it difficult to use while driving!

    Great Car CD Radio

    Mr. Big from Columbus, OH on 12/22/2012

    2002 Ford Focus
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This Kenwood have a very nice warm natural sound at flat equalization. Has lots of adjustments available but as my opening remarks stated, I didn't need to make many adjustments. Plays nicely with the Iphone 5. Has bluetooth and HD radio. I give this radio high marks.

    Pros: Overall a very nice radio. Great sound with lots of features!

    Cons: None.

    Easy to install with crutchfield instructions

    FZ1 from Liverpool Tx. on 12/22/2012

    2002 Hyundai Sonata
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice radio for the price i will buy another one from crutchfield they had gret tech support since my in ternal amp fro the factory was blowing the fuse to the radio and i had no clue where the amp was and how to bypass the amp they told me now it has no problems working.

    Pros: Everthing so far

    Cons: None

    Lots of features for the money

    theflints01 from Ravensdale, WA on 12/21/2012

    2011 Ford F-150 XL
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This radio does what I wanted- no more commercials! As a bonus, the sound is much better through the stock speakers than with the Ford deck. My only complaint is that the radio reception isn't as good as the stock one which is confusing since I thought HD radio would be better. But, like I said before, I the reason I bought it was so I didn't have to listen to the endless stream of terrible commercials on the radio. Got pandora through my iphone onto the bluetooth audio feature and its crystal clear music all the time.

    Pros: Lots of features for the money Great sound quality

    Cons: AM FM reception not as good as stock

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Mike D from Seattle, WA on 12/11/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice HD receiver with CD player, Bluetooth, and Android Pandora. I selected this over the Kenwood KDC-BT752HD for two reasons: a two year v. one year warranty, and it included a remote microphone. The Crutchfield Car Selector helped narrow down the choices. Tech support answered my questions. I was going to replace the factory speakers, too, but it sounds great now. Maybe next month.

    Pros: Good sound, great features, nice fit.

    Cons: None.

    Great stereo and the best customer service ever

    JustinP from Fort Mill, SC on 12/6/2012

    1998 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I ordered this stereo from Crutchfield and received my shipment very quickly. After reading through the instruction packet sent by Crutchfield, reading the stereo manual, and doing some Internet searches on how to install into a Mustang with the Mach 460 sound system, I still had a lingering question. So, at 10pm at night I thought I would try Crutchfield tech support even though I figured they wouldn't be answering at this time of the night. I was wrong and quickly got through to an excellent tech support person who quickly and matter of factly answered my question. I will be making Crutchfield my sole source of stereo equipment. As for the stereo itself, it fits great, looks great and sounds great.

    Pros: Good fitment. Works as advertised. Great sound clarity.

    Cons: Bass is lacking compared to my OEM stereo but I may be able to fix this with the EQ. A bit of a learning curve for some of the cooler features like streaming audio over USB.


    MarkZ from Staten Island NY. on 11/20/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Think it's a wonderful! As usual The Crutchfield team has your back with installation. I'm quite impressed for all the features you get for your money here. It's almost to good to be true.

    Pros: Mega Features for IPod and Blootooth devices. Amazing powerful crisp sound.

    Cons: To Access all the features while driving can be tricky.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    MikeB from Tucson, AZ on 11/14/2012

    2007 Honda Fit
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I like it, when into my Jeep just fine, three questions came up, all were in the manual, great support from Crutchfield. Just ordered the same head unit for my other car. (I only want to lean one system)

    Pros: It works well, good documents for install

    Cons: None

    Great deck for use with android phone

    ph42 from Lincoln, NE on 11/14/2012

    2007 Chevrolet Impala
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Wow! This unit works great with my Samsung Galaxy S3. I use the bluetooth connection and talk crystal clear using the included microphone and pump in my music and podcasts via the bluetooth when I am not talking on the phone. This head unit turns your phone into the media control center for your car. Plus it's cool.

    Pros: Everything

    Cons: none

    Nice unit

    Mark from West Covina, Ca on 11/10/2012

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

    Nice unit great sound

    Pros: Ease of use

    Cons: It does not have a obvious on/ off button

    Replacement head unit

    Bob from Daytona Beach, FL on 11/4/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I replaced a Dual head unit with this kenwood. I cannot believe the difference in sound quality, volume and versatility of sound adjustment. This is the best automotive stereo I have ever purchased. All I can say is spend a little more to get more enjoyment out of your stereo. I am sure glad that I did. PS, I would like to add that I do run aftermarket speakers and a Bazooka powered sub in my Silverado, but this Kenwood brought them all to life.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Jon from NY on 10/18/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed the radio a couple weeks ago and it is AWESOME!!!! 100 times better than the RetroSound Radio bought a few months ago and never worked beyond the first day. The sound is perfect and the color changing display is a GREAT feature!!! Easy to install in my 68 Mustang. Installed with 2 6X9 Kicker speakers. Very happy with appearance and performance. Easy to use too.

    Pros: Diplay, Sound, Colored Lights, User Friendly, Remote

    Cons: None-Can't wait to add more upgrades to make this sound system complete!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    ChrisN from Colorado Springs, CO on 10/15/2012

    2006 Subaru Outback
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I like the Blue Tooth connection to my smart phone, but it can be frustrating at times. But, that could be the phone and its Pandora app. It would be nice if HD radio could be turned off or switched to only analog. My favorite local stations transmits in a hybrid mode; music analog and information digital. I get a lot of echo effects with it. Also, my reception for this station is not anywhere as good as it was with the OEM radio. I like the having the USB and auxiliary inputs and having a separate cover for those is cool. I love the Pandora, and Aux. modes for using my smart phone and ipod.

    Pros: Pandora, auxiliary, display modes for artist, album, etc. USB and auxiliary jacks.

    Cons: Would like an HD radio switch for going to analog only. (see review)

    Great Product

    Crutchfield customer from Chicago IL on 10/8/2012

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

    This is a great head unit, love the HD/USB/Pandora options, going to make the drive to work every day much better.



    Rav 4 2010

    Dave B from Northampton, MA on 10/4/2012

    2010 Toyota RAV4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very happy with this product. Was looking at a lower priced Kenwood, but someone point me in this direction. The external microphone was recommended over the internal one and was very easy to install. Very pleased with the sound through the factory speakers. We upgraded the radio because the stock Toyota radio (not JBL) sounded awful and no one in the family liked it. Bluetooth does work great with the 3 iphones. Like the ability to changed the background color to match the other lights on the dash. My wife, who is very hesitant to new things, loves the radio.

    Pros: Bluetooth music and calls. Installation was very easy with all that Crutchfield provided. Set up was very easy. Great sound even with factory speakers. Was able to turn off "beep." Also was able to adjust brightness so it is not annoying at night.

    Cons: Phone address book must download each time you restart the car. Kind of a pain at times. Sometimes have to reconnect my iphone if someone else's was used previously. Just have to go into settings (on the phone) and touch the connection button. Gave on 4 stars because of the address book issue. Otherwise, it is a 5 star unit.


    Crutchfield customer from ABQ, NM on 9/26/2012

    2002 Honda Accord
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great unit. Good interface with my iphone and quality seems great. No complaints



    Kenwood does not dissappoint here

    J Reid from Toronto, On, Canada on 9/19/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great Kenwood quality, even from the factory refurbished models. There are audio settings and parameters for everything. Hi pass filters, Lo pass filter, presets... you name it, it has a setting for it. The HD radio sounds like you're listening to a CD The 796 is a great alternative to those who do not have a budget for the Excelon 996

    Pros: Great Excelon Sound quality, parameters on parameters, great Bluetooth, sound quality for voice and streaming.

    Cons: You can only pair one Bluetooth device at time, steep learning curve to use the call feature.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    mikem from TX on 9/8/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    A lot of features for the money. The Bluetooth and HD radio features are cool. Fairly easy to use given that there's many multifunction buttons. The multi-color backlighting is not uniform across the unit. button backlighting could be clearer. The biggest disappointment is that the advertised bluetooth phone connection for SMS texting does not work with my phone (Samsung S2 Skyrocket). The features should better describe the limitations of this feature. The HD radio tuning has a delay before the HD multi-station tunes in.

    Pros: Bluetooth, HD features.

    Cons: BT limitation, HD radio tuning delay.

    Love it!

    Texan4Life from Texas on 8/22/2012

    2005 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great unit. The included microphone seems to be high quality since people think I'm on my cell phone instead of using hands free and have no problem hearing me clearly. No problems at all using bluetooth with my iphone 4s, didn't even need to read the manual. Just turn it on and selected it on my phone. It now connects and syncs automatically ready to play pandora or send/receive phone calls everytime i get in my truck. Whats cool is if you want the hand free phone calling, but dont feel like listening to music the stereo has a "standby" mode. This keeps the stereo on, thus allowing it to make a bluetooth connection with your phone. Since the bluetooth works so well I have yet to try the usb and aux ports, but I suspect they work just fine. Sounds great and unit puts out nice power even for upgraded speakers.

    Pros: High quality hands-free, good power output for non-amped systems, good quality all around

    Cons: navigation of the menus is a little clunky, but what stereo isnt

    nice reciever

    pat c. from bronx ny on 8/7/2012

    just got it today,and had to run to autozone for the right ant. adapter.other wise it was an easy install. just thing for ny phone connected on the first try. i was streaming my music in seconds.i needed a new stereo for my 99 blazer this was a perfect choice for the truck.

    Pros: easy to set up

    Cons: none so far

    Just fine

    Crutchfield customer from Madison, WI on 8/5/2012

    1995 Saturn SL2
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The radio works well, sounds nice, and relatively clean look. There is more screwing down into menues than I like.

    Pros: Clean look Easy to find buttons by touch Good sound

    Cons: Screen hard to see in sun light Amount of menue use Can't have clock and station displayedbat same time. Does not recognize Flac

    Love the sound KDC-X796

    TXLeeVee from San Antonio, TX on 7/30/2012

    2003 Toyota Camry
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The HD radio sounds great. I live in a fringe area though, and it would be very nice if there were a dedicated button for enabling and disabling the HD. Instead, you have to muddle through the less than mediocre navigation to turn it on or off. As I already own an older Kenwood receiver (KDC-X492), minus the Bluetooth and HD Radio, I was already aware of the poor menu navigation. Reception is pretty good, but that was one reason why I picked this unit. Reception improves when HD Radio is turned off. The CD sounds great with both CD audio and compressed file audio. The compressed file audio decoders are pretty good. Compressed files sound very good on USB, also. The Bluetooth is a little clunky, but works well overall. Have had some minor connection issues, but once properly connected, it stays connected and sounds good. Have had a couple of times when after using Pandora, the last song played, got stuck in memory for several days. It would show up continuously on any Bluetooth media connection as the song being played. As I had everything set up like I wanted I waited instead of doing a reset. Finally, I deleted all Bluetooth devices from the units memory and later reconnected them and that seemed to fix the problem.

    Pros: HD Radio. Great CD audio sound. Very good compressed file sound both on CD and USB. Fairly current Bluetooth firmware. High line out voltage for connecting to an amp. Kenwood got rid off the big knob joy stick.

    Cons: No dedicated HD Radio on/off button. Menu navigation is not intuitive. When listening to a jukebox CD, the unit remembers what song it was on, but frequently does not remember that random was selected. Occasionally, it will remember. As is often the case, random doesn't seem very random.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    JoshD from florida on 7/16/2012

    2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I like all the features that it has on it. the blue tooth is awesome. over all this is a wonderful unit.




    cliff from port huron mi on 7/15/2012

    2008 Chevrolet Colorado
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    If you have not upgraded lately you should, the KDC-X796 is amazing the blue tooth is quite excellent, the pandora is outstanding, I have a android incredible and the phone sinks effortlessly for hands free phone and the pandora. Installed myself but am a former installer for years be careful if you decide to install yourself. They provided addiquite hardware for job.

    Pros: lots of options for sound quality quite over wellming, but just follow directions and it works great. Had OEM than a dual unit this unit far exceed both formers.

    Cons: to many amazing features to crtitze I wish it was easier to update firmware have not done it yet but have down loaded the files you have to burn to CD.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    jt from Arkansas on 6/28/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Keep the manual handy. There are many "press", press and hold", turn" commands to execute functions and settings. Glad I won't be using Bluetooth or Pandora(what ever that is) anytime soon.



    Excellent Receiver

    MarkG from Cary,NC on 6/26/2012

    2000 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This receiver exceeded my expectations. I have had it a couple months now, and everything I have tried works great. Looking forward to getting a better phone to take advantage of the pandora features.

    Pros: Great HD where available. Love the auto connect to my phone. The sound quality of the microphone is like I was in my home (installed on the steering column).

    Cons: "Downloading" displayed while auto connecting to a phone through bluetooth takes a while sometimes. It does take a little time to get used to the controls/menus, but it is now easy.

    Quality Product Quality Service

    Joe F from Bridgeport, PA on 6/13/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I utilize all of the features that the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 offers. For a head unit in this price range, it cannot be beat. I upgraded the factory head unit with factory speakers and the sound is a night and day difference. With the included microphone, all of my phone conversations are crystal clear. I have a Blackberry phone and callers have commented that they can hear me better in the car through the BT than on the actual phone. Furthermore, the navigation of the HU settings, including Pandora, iPod, and HD Radio, is daunting at first; however, after a couple of uses, the control becomes intuitive. Oh and did I mention, the sound quality is excellent! Also to note, I initially ordered a different HU and was unhappy with the product that I ordered. Crutchfield provided exceptional customer service and took care of my order in a timely and "customer-centric" manner. Because of the high-level of customer service that Crutchfield offers, I will continue to purchase all of my car audio and home audio from them.

    Pros: Sound Quality Features that work exactly as described 100% of the time BT calling is crystal clear Equalizer can even make factory speakers sound great

    Cons: There is no automatic dimmer - the unit does not come with the wiring to automatically dim the display when the vehicle's head lights are turned on. This is not really a problem though because the full brightness setting can be see clearly in daylight and is not too much brighter than the factory radio at night.


    JayF from Connecticut on 5/31/2012

    2005 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    All I can say is it is what the description says and it does it all well. - Radio reception is outstanding compared to the stock radio in my '05 Impreza. My only complaint (and this might be a radio station problem and not the unit) is that with one particular station 104.1, when it switches from digital HD to standard, the audio hiccups. You have to be actively listening to notice it, so it's no biggie to me. I hardly listen to the radio, never mind that station too frequently. - All digital quality is fantastic. I'm saving for better speakers now. :) - Bluetooth phone quality is great. I have gotten all positive remarks from people on the other end of the phone, and I can hear loud and clear on my end. iPhone 4s voice activation can be finicky - sometimes the listening sound doesn't play and so you don't know when to talk. But I usually don't call people in the car, it's more for when people call me. Bluetooth streaming works flawless, as does iPod/Pandora modes.

    Pros: Everything important works flawless. (Only minor things require a know-how, but ALWAYS work - see below.)

    Cons: Bluetooth takes a minute or two to connect and establish recent calls, contacts etc. If my iphone is plugged in before the bluetooth connection is established, it gets messed up. Unplugging and replugging (or waiting until bluetooth to connect before plugging in) solves the problem. Wish the buttons were larger and more clearly labeled. Some buttons have multiple functions that are not clearly displayed - keep your manual with you until you learn them.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    D. Woods from Phila. Pa. on 5/31/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Hooked up The Kenwood KDC x796 to four infinity speakers and i love the sound. Shaping the music is easy and the system is easy to look at. This is not the first time i have used crutchfield and they are great with technical help.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Crutchfield customer from Westwego, LA on 5/28/2012

    2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good Factory Replacement but with Factory Bose system in my Silverado it has way too much BASS, I have BASS turned down to zero and it still has base. But from my standpoint I don't think any stereo that was not built for the Chevy - BOSE system is gonna work perfect. Next truck will have factory stereo no special Amp'd stereo. But this is a qulaity made Stereo and I would recommend it especially to people whom have factory radios.

    Pros: Bluetooth Phone answering calls thru speakers, USB, Pandora - Cellphone compatible awesome, CD player is good, color changing and color selecting face illumination is pretty nice too.

    Cons: HD Tuner works but isn't worth getting unless there are alot of HD stations in your area, I have maybe 4 and they are the same as the stations on air on regular radio just clearer.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Crutchfield customer from modesto. CA on 5/24/2012

    2003 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Way better than i thought it would be. Features are easy to use, color matching display matches well with factory color. Mic used for hands free calling is clear. Wish I would have purchased this unit earlier.



    Excellent rating for Excelon

    Deacon from IL on 5/23/2012

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

    As always Kenwood has a solid product here. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars across the board is that there are cooler and better sounding products out there, just not for the price. This is a best bang for the buck IMHO. I liked mine so much that 2 days after I installed it I got one for my daughter for a graduation present. Thanks Crutchfield, your instructions and accessories are always exactly what is needed to do the job myself.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Crutchfield customer from san diego on 5/16/2012

    2005 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Would be five stars across the board except when using bluetooth audio there is no sound heard in rear speakers.

    Pros: Easy to install.

    Cons: No audio heard in rear speakers when using bluetooth audio.

    Civic 08 LX turned spaceship

    Yeti from Downers Grove on 5/5/2012

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

    This is the first time I have ever used crutchfield and I will be coming back again (Already placed another order). I have previously owned a pioneer HU which did an awesome job but cost me alot in extras, I.E. buying an ipod adapter and bluetooth separately which ended up costing about the same as this kenwood. "Coolness Factor" - Awesome features, Hands Free/Blue Tooth calling/Blue Tooth Audio streaming, Aux input, Usb/Ipod connectivity and you can set the colors to match your mood or pick from 24 preset. Build Quality - Very solid, withstood my abuse while trying to install it. Ease of Use - I consider myself a techie guy but I found it a little hard to navigate and it took some time to set up all the features like pairing the phone, setting up text response, and streaming audio. Ipod navigation is also a bit of a pain. Sound Quality - Pretty good quality, a little static when it goes past 23 but that could be my speakers. Value - for only 219.99 this was an awesome value!

    Pros: Awesome Bang for your buck, TONS of features

    Cons: rough learning curve

    Thank You Crutchfield

    PaulM from Daytona Beach, FL on 5/3/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    When I was looking to upgrade the system in my '02 VW GTI, I wasn't even considering the head unit, just the speakers and amp. Talking to Crutchfield convinced me that my undamaged factory speakers were strong enough to produce better sound and that all I needed was a better head-unit, which I could get equipped with Bluetooth, USB, a front Aux input as well as Android and iPod compatibility. The cost of upgrading my VW Monsoon system to incorporate these features was going to be more than the cost of an equipped head-unit plus I'd get HD radio. So I started looking for a head unit. I wasn't even considering a single din unit to fill my double din gap, but once more Crutchfield Tec Advisors provided the voice of reason and experience, recommending this unit for me. I ordered through which meant I could buy this with surprisingly few points but also meant that my vehicle type wasn't transmitted to Crutchfield. No metter though; upon receiving only the head unit and the loom adaptor, which I paid for, I simply called Crutchfield and they had the instructions, pocket kit, antenna adaptor and din removal tools out to me by next-day air, completely free of charge. I'll never buy an audio component from anyone else ever again. As for the unit, it's stellar. It's already improved the sound in my car 300% with stock speakers and I can only imagine it improving more when I do upgrade the speakers and add a powered sub, something else I couldn't do with the old unit.

    Pros: Super-easy install (thanks to Crutchfield), great sound, Pro EQ is fabulous for really dialing in my sound field preference, intuitive and easy bluetooth set-up, powered USB is powerful enough to charge 2 phones, a GPS and a camera all at once with a splitter, looks great, HD radio a revelation (buh-bye Sirius/XM)

    Cons: A little complicated at first, but easy to learn.

    very pleased.

    Moonboots from Crete, Il on 5/2/2012

    2005 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'm blown away with how cool this radio is. I love the fact it will answer my texts while driving letting the sender know to quit bugging me, I'm driving. The full function remote is nice too. Thanks Kenwood and thanks Crutchfield.



    Great stereo

    Mel from Mountain Home, ID on 4/28/2012

    2006 Subaru Outback
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy controls, great look, and easy to install. I love the bluetooth with my phone. The mic picks up your voice well and sounds great through the speakers.

    Pros: Great look and sound

    Cons: None

    bluetooth and Navigation audio

    Jim from Bloomingdale, mi on 4/24/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Disappointed that when I turn on bluetooth for hands free use I cannot hear navigation commands unless I have the radio tuned to BlueTooth Audio. If I want to listen to HD radio stations and use navigation on my phone I cannot use hands free use of my phone.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    CJ from Houston, TX on 4/23/2012

    2004 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Really nice head unit. With the GM install Kit and harness, the unit really "factory" in my 04' Trailblazer, even though I was replacing my double din factory unit with this single din. Really like the streaming bluetooth capability. I made sure the microphone for the bluetooth handsfree was mounted as close as possible to my head while sitting in the driver's seat. I think this is essential to keeping clarity while talking on my iPhone 4s.



    Nice Raddio

    Crutchfield customer from Harrisburg, Pa on 4/22/2012

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

    Installed in to a Jeep Liberty in less than 1 hr. Just follow the diagrams. I solder all wires and then covered with shrink tubing. No problems with setting up this unit. Even the Bluetooth connect to my Smartphone quickly

    Pros: Great sound, Easy to use

    Cons: None

    Very Happy With This Receiver/CD Player

    Frank L from Cincinnati Ohio on 4/21/2012

    2005 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed this in my 2005 Nissan Altima today. Took about 2 hours all together. The only issue I had was not connecting the blue wire in the harness which said it was for power antena. What I thought they meant by power antena was an antenna that went up and down when you turned the radio off or on. Well it really meant a power boosted antena, which helps with reception. The radio reception was lousy without it, one call to Crutchfield Tech Support, they told me what I did wrong and once I corrected it the reception was excellent. The sound quality is excellent, my ipod touch sounds great played through this receiver using the USB connection, so much better than on head phones. The bluetooth hands free set up was very easy after reading the instructions and works great.

    Pros: Great sound quality, great radio reception

    Cons: Navigating the settings etc on the radio is going to take some getting used to but that is probably more on me than it is on the receiver.

    Still learning

    Dave from Chicago on 4/17/2012

    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is my first "smart" CD player so I don't want to judge too harshly but lets say the controls are not as intuitive as they might be. They can be downright distracting when you are driving (not good). I'm sure with use they will become second nature but Kenwood could learn something from smart-phone manufacturers, this thing should be simpler to operate.

    Pros: Very good sound, the blue-tooth sounds great while playing Pandora or music files from your phone. The install was pretty easy. It has a lot of nice features for the money. It's a very attractive unit.

    Cons: The controls are distracting. The price was nice but you might think about spending more for something with a touch screen.

    Very impressed

    Clew from South Fla on 4/15/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This receiver has it all. There is a learning curve to operate, but thats because It has so much to offer. You won't be disappointed. A few years ago I up graded to Alpine speakers and amp. Pandora made me finish the project. Vlad was so helpful in helping me decide which one to buy. The install was easier than I imagined. Crutchfield has made this so easy from shopping to install. The bluetooth is as clear as all the other sources.

    Pros: BT, USB, HD, Pandora, color changes

    Cons: I had to burn a lot of gas running my amp while I set this up, but it was enjoyable.

    Good for the price

    Rickp from Boston, MA on 4/14/2012

    1994 Chevrolet C Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought it for the iPhone connectivity, which works well. I love the Bluetooth for calls, and that voice recognition keeps my hands on the wheel. The radio turner is very weak and the hd is pretty much a gimmick because my old Honda pilot radio factory tuner was better by far. There are a lot of features on the unit that are all controlled by on knob, so that can be dangerous and distracting while driving. Since a tiny button controlls scrolling between the song name and the clock, i cant get the display i would like. Auto scrolling would be nice to have! That being said, iPhone ound is great, and it pumps out plenty of volume.

    Pros: iPhone integration and sound quality, Bluetooth

    Cons: Complex to operate, poor radio tuner, power antenna installation instructions were wrong, can't autos roll between displays

    Still haven't finished 'setup, but so far very impressed

    MikeP from Kirkland, WA on 4/11/2012

    1995 Subaru Legacy
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    When my cassette adapter stopped working reliably, it was time to do a big upgrade for my 1995 Subaru Legacy. I started looking for something cheaper, but was attracted by all the features for my Motorola Droid. Crutchfield helped with the choice - confirming functionality - and minor installation issues. The biggest problem with installation was having to remove the gearshift - not mentioned in the instructions. The radio quality is good, even on the one AM station that I was bothered about. Bluetooth phone, audio (including Pandora) and USB. The biggest problem I've had is that the phonebook and history isn't downloading. I think that's because I have more than 600 contacts, but it isn't too big a deal as the Droid cradle makes it easy to control from the phone. I built a switch box to allow the microphone to be used with the voice recorder that I often use in the car. That was one bonus from the external microphone.

    Pros: Bluetooth functionality, external mic, HD radio

    Cons: Can't download full phonebook, history doesn't show up.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    JaredZ from Toledo, IA on 4/2/2012

    2005 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this in my 05 Dodge Ram 1500. Installation was a breeze with the supplied Crutchfield instructions and mounting kit. It was up and running (and a vehicle specific sub and amp) in under 4 hours. I love all the features of this, be it Pandora radio, the USB port I use for a flash drive of all my music (Must download Kenwood Music Editor to convert files to be readable by this unit), and the sound settings are amazing as well. My stock speakers have never sounded so great.

    Pros: Features, Price, Sound

    Cons: Settings are a little over the top, but more is always better for customization.

    Great Product

    StephenL from Tulsa, OK on 3/28/2012

    2008 Nissan Xterra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I wanted an economical replacement for the factory deck in my '08 Xterra. My primary concerns were integrated Bluetooth, HD Radio, and of course sound quality. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 delivered on all my criteria. It's a great value.

    Pros: Generally easy to operate, Great sound quality, Color matching display

    Cons: Can't find a way to delete call history.

    Kenwood Excelon X796 - AMAZING

    Paul from Port St. Lucie, FL on 3/28/2012

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

    This is the best radio I've ever had. I travel 110 miles every week day. The car's orginal stock radio's CD drive would constantly skip tracks like an old record LP of yester-year. It would not play .mp3 files either. I wanted a radio that would do all of that, plus, with all of my driving and not wanting to pick up my cell phone in my hands and answer calls while driving on the highway, this Kenwood X796 took care of that with the Bluetooth connection to my Android phone. It was VERY easy to connect the two, wirelessly. The radio also downloads my cell phone address book, so it identifies, on the radio screen, the person that is calling me - "SWEEEET"!!! I also have the I-Heart radio app on my cell phone, which now plays through this radio, wirelessly. I thought that I'd need to replace my Toyota stock speakers... but this radio sends wonderful sound to the speakers, so no need to change them.

    Pros: Bluetooth wireless phone calls, hands-free. Playing music from my phone to the radio. The sound coming from the radio is full and deep, without being overbearing at all. The HD radio is great!

    Cons: none

    2002 Tahoe Install

    Kevin from Indianapolis, IN on 3/28/2012

    2002 Chevrolet Tahoe
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great bang for your buck! Researched for a new unit for several weeks, and found this one. I looked into buying locally and have it installed, but soon found out I could save over $125 thanks to and installing it myself. Ordering was easy, no shipping, came with all needed parts as identified. Instructions were not as detailed as I had expected for 2002 Tahoe and factory amp system. Hooked everything up and had a lack of sound issue. Called tech support while I was sitting in my truck, and they were spot on with the troubleshoot. Apparently it is a very common oversight. Regardless, the support I received was awesome and it was a pain free process. I do have an issue with the cutout in the kit, it looks a tad bit crooked in my dash. Once I had everything running, it did take some time to read through the manual while figuring out all of the different features. I'm sure it will be a bit of a challenge for many initially. Really seamless once I figured out how to navigate the menu. Bluetooth paired up easily. People on other end of the calls claim to hear me clearly. The sound streaming via the Bluetooth is one of my favorite features. Comes in very clear. I'm very pleased with the over all look, feel, capability and features of this unit. It's currently hooked up to my factory system, but I like that this unit is ready to support all of the upgrades I have planned.

    Pros: lots of features and capabilities, highly rated, well reviewed and easy on the budget

    Cons: was a little challenging to figure out all the settings at first


    A.C. from Austin on 3/24/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I do not find this unit user friendly. To get it to do what you want it to requires considerable finger action, and distraction. To deal with only one line of information is difficult for me. It is necessary to go several layers deep to make adjustments to settings. I don't use Pandora because of the data charge. I do like the sound quality, and the hands free Bluetooth phone is handy, though I haven't called anyone yet. I gave it four stars overall only because I rounded up the average.



    Awesome stereo

    Troy from Fl Lauderdake, FL on 3/23/2012

    The radio is great. Everything is crisp and clean. Sound quality is great. Color transition is really pretty. Bluetooth works great, easy pairing. HD Radio is clear but I cant say there is a vast difference from regular radio (that could just be me though). Has tons of features and possible audio adjustments. I upgraded from an older model Kenwood and everything plugged right in, which was really awesome. Not need to fiddle with any wires at all. I would definitely recommend this radio, especially if you plan on using a bazooka type self-amplified subwoofer.



    very good receiver

    Craig from Abbeville, AL on 3/20/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I researched several different CD receivers over the last few months and this one fit exactly what I was looking for. Bluetooth connects easily with my Iphone, and control is very user friendly. The external mic for phone calls is good. The party on the other end of the line has no problem hearing me. The wiring adapter for my GMC Z-71 used to keep all the factory chimes was a bit intimidating but with a call to Lefty at Crutchfield, I was able to wire it without problems. He was an immense help. Overall, a very good receiver and does what it is supposed to.

    Pros: Ease of pairing with Iphone, hands free works very well

    Cons: Depending on the vehicle being used, the wiring can be problematic.

    Excellent Product

    Glen R from Seattle, WA on 3/19/2012

    1999 Subaru Legacy Outback
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed last weekend on my 1999 Subaru Outback Legacy station wagon. Aside from the easy install, I am thrilled with the performance of this excellent product. I am not great with user interfaces, but I was able to set the radio stations and synch my Bluetooth without opening the manual. HD radio clarity is great as is the quality of the Bluetooth reception/transmission. Also like the look & feel of the radio presets as they are easy to use at night while driving, along with changing inputs. Very happy with this product - have ordered 4 new speakers to get the best out of this unit. I am not an audiophile, but enjoy music from a quality system; great factory replacement unit.

    Pros: HD and Bluetooth ready, ease of user interface and use.

    Cons: minor, but the time to synch to the Bluetooth and download the phone book seems a little long

    2001 Beetle install tricky but it fit

    nat9o from Fayetteville, AR on 3/14/2012

    2001 Volkswagen Beetle
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Just installed this past weekend so I haven't been using it long. Replaced my old 6 CD changer that skipped. Nice to be able to answer my phone hands free and to use a USB drive for tunes. It does Pandora too but I don't use that. The install info was great and could not have done it withoput the install kit. You will need to be able to solder or will have to crimp the wires to the harness. We had to take a piece off under the dash to pull the existing wires and the new harness undernerath because there isn't enough room in the cavity for all the wires and the unit to fit. Just do it and save yourself some time!!

    Pros: Looks awesome, has all the new features bluetooth, USB port and you can use MP3 player too from the front.

    Cons: VW was tricky to install but with all the info and install kit it was doable.

    Excellent Radio Kenwood KDC-796

    Linux from Midwest on 3/12/2012

    2000 Jaguar Van Den Plas
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a very nice 1 DIN sized radio, with many features such as Bluetooth (auto download your phone directory from your smartphone), HD radio, thumbdrive input, CD, Aux in, and selectable panel color, just to mention a few. This radio has very good seperation on FM and HD, along with good freq resp, and low noise and distortion. Teamed with a subwoofer and amp, it really sounds impressive. One cool feature is being able to make calls and answer calls through a Bluetooth connection to your Bluetooth smartphone.

    Pros: As above

    Cons: None

    awsome center peice

    CoreyC from Rochester, Nh on 3/11/2012

    Installed in ford f250 kingcab. First this unit looks perfect and of high quality. The blue tooth takes forever to sinc up though and if you get in after say warming up your vehicle you almost have to power the radio down so it will sinc. once connected it sounds amazing, The phone calls are crystal clear. The radio tuner could be better, once the station even begins to get weak, it will go to silent, so its either full signal or nothing at all. Ease of use, nope none. This thing has all the features and can tweak to your hearts content, but If you are techno challenged at all, you will never be able to use this radio and keep your eyes on the road. The lowest setting on the hp crossover is 100hz. I run my alpines down to 50 hz so I have to go through my amp on that one. Having said all that I would still buy this thing again, I have spent 3 times as much on other stereos for the sound and finished look, and once synched, I play all my songs off of my android phone and again sound is perfect. only for stars on the build quality, because the face plate could fit better, especially on the left side.

    Pros: blue tooth sound, coolness factor,

    Cons: remote control is tiny, no ease of use, tuner is weak.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    Crutchfield customer from Austin, TX on 3/8/2012

    2001 Jeep Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Pretty awesome all around. The bluetooth connection to the phone is very cool - it's slightly annoying that it has to 'download' the phonebook and other info from the phone for 2 minutes every time I start the car - you can't make calls straight away. That's a minor annoyance in an otherwise awesome unit. Sounds much better than my older JVC HD head unit it replaced with no other changes to my system. Pandora, tagging, bluetooth audio / hands-free calling all very cool and very easy to install with Crutchfield's great guide.



    Really Nice Stereo

    Crutchfield customer from Texas on 3/8/2012

    2000 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased the KDC-X795 for my son's car. I have owned several Kenwood stereos and have the KDC-X895 in my truck. The KDC-X795 is one of the best heads Kenwood has made. The six 4 watt pre amp hook ups are awesome. CD player does not get used with all of his music on flash drive.

    Pros: Loaded with features. Bluetooth, HD. Pre set buttons. Kenwood made another awesome product.

    Cons: I have not found any.

    Satisfied, however instructions could be Improved

    L. Lee from Bowling Green, Ky on 3/7/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I will be contacting Crutchfield today to get help in tuning the radio to various stations, too sophisticated, it is locked on certain FM Bands (FM1) and will not permit a search. Also Bluetooth works sometimes, other times it does not.



    Sounds good

    mbood82 from Lewiston, ME on 3/7/2012

    2006 Dodge Magnum
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The stereo sounds great (relative to the stock radio at least) and has tons of nice features. The interface is a little confusing at first, I don't know if my wife will ever understand it but I can make it do what I want now and am pleased with the output. The bluetooth connection is great, I use it for streaming music and phone calls frequently.

    Pros: Lots of great features for the price

    Cons: More confusing than my wifes Alpine, therefore she doesn't use it as much.

    Good equipment

    Terry from Decatur, AL on 3/5/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I would recommend this receiver and is a good value for the money. Crutchfield tech service is outstanding and better than Kenwood themselves. Crutchfield staff is amazingly knowledgeable and very helpful, friendly, etc. Crutchfield was the key to this purchase being a success.

    Pros: Easy to navigate, great features, quality product. BT handsfree is great as well as Kenwoods free app for Droid BT music control, don't even need Pandora.

    Cons: No phonebook download available for Droid Bionic or Motorola voice handset W755. External mic adjustment needs to be available during actual conversation for ease of fine tuning.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796

    John C from Ewing Twp NJ on 2/24/2012

    Just installed radio and it was a breeze. Crutchfield's directions were good and clear. The radio is clear and works well with my factory speakers. Have not had time to really try the HD radio yet but for $ 40.00 more felt it was worth it to try out. The Bluetooth sync with my phone was easy and my voice is clear. My wife couldn't tell I was using the radio over my phone.

    Pros: Sounds great love the BT

    Cons: Little completed to set up and use. Will have to get use to the different functions


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input Front
    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 No
    HD Radio Built-in
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano Nano7/Nano6/Nano5/Nano4/Nano3/
    Touch Touch5/Touch4/Touch3/Touch2/To
    iPhone Phone5/Phone4S/Phone4/Phone3GS
    RMS Power (CTA-2006) N/A
    RMS Power (Manufacturer) ---
    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
    Screen Size ---
    Display Color Bluish white
    Key Button Color Variable
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System Yes
    High-res Playback ---

    Product Research

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

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X796 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 long-lasting dependability.

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 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-X796 are as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

    EQ Pro: The Excelon KDC-X796 features independent Bass, Treble, and Midrange control when the Preset EQ is in User mode. EQ Pro allows you to adjust the following settings for the Bass, Treble and Mid frequency levels.

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

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

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

    Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store System Q bass, middle and 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-X796 features front, rear and subwoofer 4.0-volt preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs are fixed to the rear chassis of the head unit.

    Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X796 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-X796 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-X796 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.

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 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-X796 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-X796. Visit for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    External Microphone: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 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-X796 can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also features an 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-X796 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-X796, 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-X796. 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 KDC-X796 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-X796 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-X796 also supports audio streaming of music apps (such as iHeartRadio, SiriusXM,, Rhapsody, & Slacker), but without control or metadata. You will continue to use your Bluetooth enabled smartphone to view and control streaming music apps. 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.

    Note: The iPhone 5 only offers Bluetooth audio streaming without control or metadata display.

    Bluetooth Detailed Settings: The KDC-X796 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 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-X796's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 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-X796 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.

    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-X796 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-X796 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-X796 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-X796 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), 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-X796 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, Zune, or Android.

    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-X796 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-X796's front-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. 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 unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X796.

    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 iPhone, as well as music apps streamed to your iPhone.

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

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

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

    Pandora Internet Radio Control: The Kenwood KDC-X796 CD receiver lets you playback and control the Pandora Internet Radio music service that is being streamed to your Apple iPhone, Android smartphone, or BlackBerry. While providing control over the Pandora music service, the KDC-X796 also displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list; you can sort the station list by date or alphabetically (A-Z). You can also skip song tracks within a station. In addition, you can also give songs a thumbs up/down and bookmark songs/artists.

    • Pandora App for iPhone: The Kenwood KDC-X796 lets you playback and control Pandora Internet Radio streamed to your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately) or the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora App from the 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.
    • Pandora via Android or BlackBerry: The Kenwood KDC-X796 also lets you playback and control Pandora Internet Radio streamed from your Android or BlackBerry smartphone, via Bluetooth (no hard-wired connection required). Your Android or BlackBerry smartphone must have the latest version of the Pandora App from the Android Market or the BlackBerry App World. Your Android or BlackBerry smartphone must also be Bluetooth A2DP/AVRCP/SPP certified and will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. In addition, you will need an active 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 or smartphone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    iPod/ Display: The KDC-X796 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-X796 will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").

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

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

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 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 iTunes Tagging 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 N
    4th N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    2nd N/A N N N N N N N N N N
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y N N Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y N N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    7th 1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    4th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    5th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0 Y N Y 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 available.

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

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

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

    Music Files Format Supported by Music Control app for Android:

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

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The head unit includes a cloth pouch for storing the face-plate when detached. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

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

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

    Variable Button Illumination: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X796 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 fluorescent display has two dimmers settings to adjust the brightness of the display according to the surrounding illumination. You can switch the display dimmer setting On or Off. The head unit's button illumination has an independent dimmer setting from the display which lets you set the button illumination dimmer to LVL1, LVL2, or Off. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain the same brightness.

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

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

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X796 comes with an IR remote control (RC-405) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, Bluetooth, 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. You can also dial a phone number using the remote's numeric keypad.
    • 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 Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

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