About the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494
Quality sound and sound-shaping tools
Quality sound and sound-shaping tools
The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494 CD receiver is built for quality sound reproduction, with a 24-bit digital-to-analog converter, 3-band parametric equalizer, and a host of other soundshaping tools. But while outstanding sound is reason enough to put the KDC-X494 in your dash, check out some of the other features offered by this versatile receiver.
The KDC-X494 will play your regular store-bought and home-burned discs, of course, and also discs you've loaded with MP3 and WMA files. If you're also into digital music, plug a thumb drive into the receiver's USB input to enjoy all the MP3 and WMA files you want. Finding the right tracks is no problem grab the big jog dial and skip through your files in 10% jumps, or search alphabetically the choice is yours.
Built for iPod®
The convenient front-panel USB input serves double duty in the KDC-X494. When your iPod is connected, you'll enjoy easy control from the receiver, with dedicated Search and Return buttons that make it easy to find just the right song when you're behind the wheel.
Once you've plugged in, the KDC-X494 bypasses the iPod's digital-to-analog converter, utilizing the receiver's superior 24-bit DAC for improved sound reproduction. The Supreme Setting restores high-frequency information that's lost when files are compressed.
The KDC-X494 boasts a 3-band parametric equalizer that gives you extensive control over your mids, highs, and lows. You'll also be able to optimize the sound for different speaker size setups, as well as store your tone settings for different sources, like CD, USB, auxiliary input, and radio.
If you're building a full system, the three sets of preamp outputs send a strong 4-volt signal to your amps for superior sound quality and low noise levels. Kenwood's System E's crossover feature allows you to trim some of the lows out of your front and rear speakers and adjust the low frequencies going to your powered sub, so your equipment plays more efficiently.
Connect an optional satellite radio to the KDC-X494, and enjoy the mix of news, sports, entertainment, and commercial-free music. Kenwood's HD Radio® tuner lets you access the superior fidelity and extra programming offered by participating stations in your area. You'll also find an auxiliary input on the front panel for MP3 players and other audio sources.
Kenwood's optional Bluetooth® adapter allows you to make hands-free calls with your compatible phone. When a call comes in, the KDC-X494 mutes the music so you can converse over the car speakers.
Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?
In most vehicles, you can use this adapter to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Kenwood stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and the Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls.
Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check Hands-on Research for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver or its optional iPod adapter.
- CD player with built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
- plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs, including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files
- detachable face with 2-line fluorescent display
- remote control
- System Q EX Sound Control (6 EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer)
- high-pass filters (speaker and preamp outputs), low-pass filter (sub preamp output)
- speaker settings that let you tailor the sound to the size and type of speakers in your car
- iPod direct control via USB input no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
- compatible with Kenwood's satellite radio, CD changer, Bluetooth adapter and HD Radio tuner
- inputs: front USB and auxiliary inputs
- outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, subwoofer)
Other features and specs:
- compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required)
- warranty: 90 days
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # KDC-X494
What's in the box:
Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494 owner's manual
- Refurbished AM/FM/CD receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis
- Face (attached)
- Sleeve (attached) Trim ring (attached)
- Wiring harness
- RC-405 Wireless remote
- CR2025 3V Lithium-cell battery (installed)
- Soft fabric face case
- 2 Removal tools
- 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
- 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
- Instruction Manual CD-ROM
- Quick Start Guide (Eng/Fre/Spa)
- "Correction" note (Eng/Fre/Spa)
- Warranty Card (US/Canada)
Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494 reviews
Thanks for submitting your review
This review was collected as part of a promotion
More details on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494
Features & specs
|AUX Input||Front and Optional Rear|
|USB Port Power||---|
|Backup Camera Input||No|
|Second Camera Input||No|
|Alexa Voice Control|
|Memory Card Slot||USB memory|
|Satellite Radio Ready||Both|
|RMS Power (CTA-2006)||N/A|
|RMS Power (Manufacturer)||---|
|Peak Output||50 watts|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||20-20kHz|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||Yes|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||No|
|Navigation App Compatible (iOS)|
|Navigation App Compatible (Android)|
|Preamp Voltage||4 volts|
|Key Button Color||Blue|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||Yes|
|Parts Warranty||90 Days|
|Labor Warranty||90 Days|
|FM Sensitivity||9.3 dBf|
|Radio Data System||No|
|Music File Playback|
Overview: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 AM/FM CD receiver features a detachable face, front auxiliary and USB input, three pairs of 4-volt preamp outputs, CD changer and Satellite radio controls, and built-in iPod operation, as well as MP3/WMA playback via CD-R/RW or USB. The unit also supports Bluetooth via an optional adapter sold separately. In addition, the CD player comes with an IR wireless remote control. The unit's amplifier is rated at 22 watts x 4 channel RMS and 50 watts x 4 channel peak.
Detachable Face: The unit features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. The CD player comes supplied with a soft black fabric, draw string face case to protect the detachable face when you have it off the chassis.
LCD Display: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 is equipped with a dot-matrix LCD display with white backlit text and a black background.
Display Patterns: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 offers 5 display patterns. You can choose from a single line of text, 2 lines of text, source status, clock display, or a spectrum analyzer.
Illumination Effect: This function sets whether the headunit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the key operation and volume level.
Text/Title Scroll: The eXcelon KDC-X494 will display CD text, Audio file text and Satellite and HD radio text. You can turn the scrolling feature "on" to scroll longer titles across the screen.
Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face/button illumination is "keyed." In addition, while the unit is in Standby mode, you can turn the clock display on or off. 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.
Dimmer: The dimmer function will dim this unit's display automatically when the vehicle light switch is turned On when you connect orange/white Illumination wire of this player.
Display Off: This function turns off the display when have not performed an operation for 5 seconds. This is effective for when you are driving at night.
Favorite Memory Control: The headunit's Favorite Control feature allows you to save six "Favorites" for easy access. You can select a "Favorite" playlist from your connected iPod, your favorite radio station from the unit's built-in AM/FM tuner or connected Satellite Radio or HD tuner (both sold separately), a favorite telephone number from your mobile-phone using the optional Bluetooth hands-free kit (sold separately), or an audio setting. This allows you to have instant access of your favorite Radio station, telephone number, iPod playlist, or audio setting from one list on the headunit's display.
Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned "on" or "off" within the menu.
24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior CD sound quality.
MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 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-X494 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
Rotary Volume Control: The CD receiver uses a 6-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 Bass, 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.
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), "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).
System Q Sound Control: Seven 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 (10kHz). You can choose from the following preset EQ curves - Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, Game, and User.
Detail Audio Control: The eXcelon KDC-X494 features independent Bass, Treble and Midrange control when the System Q Sound Control is in User mode. The Detail Audio Control allows you to adjust the following settings for the Bass, Treble and Mid frequency levels.
- Frequency: 40/50/60/70/80/100/120/150 Hz
- Q-Factor: 1.00/1.25/1.50/2.00
- Bass Extend: On/Off (when this feature is set to "On", the low frequency response is extended by 20%)
- Level: -8 to +8
- Frequency: 0.5/1.0/1.5/2.0 kHz
- Q-Factor: 1.0/2.0
- Level: - 8 to +8
- Frequency: 10/12.5/15.0/17.5 kHz
- Level: -8 to +8
Bass Boost: The Kenwood eXcelon CD receiver also features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels - BB1, BB2 or Off.
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.
Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store System Q bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (CD, Tuner, Aux, and USB).
3-Sets of 4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X494 features front, rear and subwoofer 4V 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 headunit.
Front and Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X494 features an independent High-Pass Crossover for the front and rear channels when your front and rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, or 180, 220Hz. 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.
Low-Pass Filter: The receiver features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the unit's subwoofer preamp output. You can select from 50, 60, 80, 100,120Hz or "Through". The "Through" setting allows your external amplifier's crossover network to do all the filtering for your subwoofer.
Subwoofer Level: You can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level from the CD receiver. You select levels between -15 to +15.
Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).
Audio Preset: You can register one audio setting into the unit's preset memory to be recalled at any time. The Audio Preset memory saves bass, midrange, treble, subwoofer, and high-pass filter settings.
Dual Zone: The Dual Zone mode allows you to output the Main source and the Auxiliary input separately for the front and rear channels. You can select whether the auxiliary input will play in the front or the rear.
Tel Mute: The eXcelon KDC-X494 features a cell-phone mute wire (brown) 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.
AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 features a built-in AM/FM tuner. You can choose one of three tuning modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.
Tuner Presets: The KDC-X494's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets.
Auto Memory Tuning: Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling.
Direct Access Tuning: You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.
Mono Mode: This feature reduces the noise (static) when a stereo broadcast is received as monaural (for FM band only).
Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio receiver to this receiver:
- SIRIUS Satellite Radio: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SIRIUS Universal Vehicle Tuner and the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface (package # 700SIRKENW, sold separately); or you can connect the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface and the SiriusConnect vehicle docking kit (package # 700SIRPKEN, sold separately), along with your compatible SIRIUS Dock & Play receiver.
- XM Satellite Radio: To receive XM Satellite Radio
connect the optional CNP2000UCA XM Tuner and the Kenwood CNPKEN1
adapter cable (package item number 700XMKEN2, sold separately).
Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.
HD Radio Ready (with iTunes Tagging): With an optional Kenwood HD Radio tuner (113HR300, sold separately), you will be able to receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. This new technology will significantly improve audio quality and reception, as well as include information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display. The Kenwood KTC-HR300 HD Radio tuner(113HR300) is also capable of iTunes tagging. iTunes tagging gives you the ability to tag a song (up to 50) and stores it to a connected iPod. The next time your iPod is connected to iTunes, the tagged songs are displayed with the option to purchase them from the iTunes Store.
Note: You will need the Kenwood KCA-S220A Dual-Source Switching Unit (113KCAS220, sold separately) to connect both a Satellite Radio Tuner and HD Radio Tuner to this headunit.
MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-X494 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc should have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder with a maximum of 512 files and folders. During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (Ver.1) information. The headunit will display up to 60 characters.
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.
Music Search: The Kenwood eXcelon AM/FM CD receiver features a Music Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your MP3/WMA music folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using the headunit's rotary knob.
Direct Music Search: You can search music tracks and files directly by entering the track/file number using the include wireless remote control.
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.
Off Eject: The KDC-X494 allows you to eject your disc for 10 minutes after switching off the vehicles engine.
CD Force: When there is a problem with playing a CD with a special format, this setting plays the CD by force. Some CDs still may not play in the CD Force mode.
USB Port: The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X494 features a front panel 2.0 USB type-A port that is hidden behind a sliding cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class device with MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with all USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. When your USB device is connected to this unit, it can be charged up provided that the KDC-X494 is powered on.
Note: You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.
iPod Direct: The KDC-X494'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 (113iP101, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X494.
- USB Connection: The USB connection allows your iPod's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the headunit and sound quality to be maximized through the headunit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 105dB.
- Audio Playback: The Kenwood headunit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone.
- Music Navigation: When your iPod/iPhone is connected to the KDC-X494, you can choose to operate your iPod/iPhone via the Kenwood headunit's controls or your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen. If you select to control your iPod/iPhone from the KDC-X494, the Kenwood headunit will allow you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast (your iPod's click-wheel/touch-screen will be locked in this mode). You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). You can also browse for music of the same artist or genre as the one being currently played (Related Search). In addition, you can create your own custom iPod playlist (up to 10 songs) from the headunit.
- Information Display: The KDC-X494 will also display your iPod/iPhone's music file information when you are controlling your iPod or iPhone from the Kenwood headunit. If you choose to operate your connected iPod/iPhone via its clickwheel or touchscreen controls, the KDC-X494 will not display your iPod's music information (the headunit will instead display iPod MODE).
- Charging: While connected and the ignition switch is set to ACC or ON, the headunit's USB connection will power and charge your iPod/iPhone.
Note: If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.
iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-X494 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of Feb. 2010):
|iPod/iPhone Model||Generation||Media Type||Control Type||Display Type||Charge|
|Audio||Video||Headunit||iPod/iPhone||Song/Artist Info||Track Info|
Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the headunit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available. Not compatible with iOS 4.0 for iPhone (3G/3GS) or iPod touch (2nd/3rd gen).
AUX Input: The KDC-X494 is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input for connecting external portable audio devices such as an MP3 player. The KDC-X494 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.
Rear Auxiliary Input "Ready": The unit already features a front panel auxiliary input, but if you need a second auxiliary input, one can be added to the rear of the unit. When used with an optional adapter, this unit can accept a rear input from an auxiliary source. When the CA-C1AUX adapter (113CAC1AX, sold separately) is used, you cannot connect a CD changer to the head unit because the adapter plugs into the DIN changer control connection on the head unit. When the KCA-S220A 2-changer switch (113KCAS220, sold separately) is used, you can connect a CD changer and an auxiliary audio source at the same time. When an auxiliary audio source is connected, you can choose from one of six names for the source: AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video or TV.
Bluetooth Ready: The unit is also Bluetooth compatible using the optional Kenwood KCA-BT300 Bluetooth adapter (113BT300, sold separately). Using this adapter you can make and answer phone calls from the Kenwood headunit. You can even download your Phonebook information from your compatible mobile phone into the headunit. You are able to register up to five compatible Bluetooth cell phones when using the KCA-BT300 adapter.
Note: Not all Bluetooth enabled mobile phones will be compatible with this unit. Please visit Kenwood.com for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.
Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X494 comes with the RC-405 IR wireless remote control with a full numeric keypad (0-9). The remote will control Audio, CD, Tuner, USB, and external device functions. The remote control allows direct access of your music tracks and discs loaded in a connected CD-changer (sold separately), as well as direct access to AM/FM radio stations. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).
Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The unit also features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with the optional PAC SWI-JACK Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (127SWIJACK, sold separately); or the optional Metra ASWC Steering Wheel Control Interface Adapter (120ASWC, sold separately).
Note: Please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.
Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood KDC-X494 supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.l.0 or later). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3 and WMA music files to your USB devices from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB device using Kenwood Music Editor Lite (ver.l.0) through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using the headunit's Music Search function.
Note: Kenwood Music Editor software can be downloaded for free from Kenwood.com to your PC. Kenwood Music Editor is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2 or later. Kenwood Music Editor (Ver.1.5.0 and later) are compatible with Windows Vista.
The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X494 replaces these items
- built-in iPod control
- compatible with Kenwood's satellite radios, HD Radio tuner, and Bluetooth
- front USB and auxiliary inputs
I ordered this signature product on Tuesday and it got here on Thursday. I just installed the radio today in toyota matrix, my first time ever. The instructions were easy to follow and everything fit perfectly. This receiver looks and sounds great. Thank you Crutchfield.
Pii from Hilo, HI