Video: Kenwood DDX514 DVD Receiver
I've written about car audio for Crutchfield since 2003, after four years as Crutchfield Sales Advisor, and 10 years as a music teacher. I'm an avid music listener, with a real love of classical and film music. I love having a great system in my car, and I'll still match the system in my 98 Ford Ranger (may it rest in piece) up against anything else I've heard for great SQ. I attended West Virginia University, where I received a Master's Degree in Music Performance and a Bachelor's Degree in History. Let's Go Mountaineers!
More from Ken Nail
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Ken demonstrates how the Kenwood DDX514 DVD receiver's touchscreen display makes it easy to take advantage of all of the great features that Kenwood built into this stereo.
Hi. I'm Ken, and we're here today at the Crutchfield video studios with the Kenwood DDX514 DVD receiver. Now this is a double-sized receiver, it fits great in lot of the newer cars. If you're like me, you listen to your music in a lot of different ways. Now, the DDX514 has got you covered.
It'll play your regular CDs, it'll also play CDs you've burned with MP3s, WMAs, or AAC files. It's also got a handy USB input on this rear cable, so you can load up a thumb drive with as many tunes as you want. It has a front panel auxiliary input here so you can plug in a plug-and-play satellite radio or an iPod. There's also an optional iPod cable available. You can connect that and control your iPod right from the screen, even watch videos when you've got the car parked.
Now, good sound comes in the package too. There's a strong amp in the DDX514, and more importantly a 24-bit digital-to-analog converter. The D/A converter will take those music files and really make them sound life-like. Now, if you want to indulge your inner audiophile a little bit more, you can tap into the 3-band EQ. It'll let you adjust the mids, highs and lows or choose from one of seven preset curves. The receiver also features speaker matching and high- and low-pass filters, so basically you can take the output of this receiver and match it to the speakers and the acoustics of your car.
Now, the DDX514 will play what you want and it'll sound good doing it, but let's face it, it's that color touchscreen here that really catches your eye, so let's take a closer look at it. The DDX514 has one of the easiest-to-use graphic interfaces I've seen.
It starts with source selection, when we get up to here, we can examine all the different options you could have. If you want, you can customize it to your three favorites. It's your choice what you put there. When you go into your source, you can see you've got a lot of information. I like this 2-line display a little bit better. Here we've got the song title and a simple, easy-to-use set of controls. Want to go to the next track? There we are. You can also change things like go to random play or repeat play just with a touch of the screen.
The audio controls are very easy to use. First we have a balance and fade control here that's easy and instinctive. You simply press the button to where you want to center the sound. Next we can get into the EQ and adjust any of the frequency bands, treble, mid-ranges or bass. We can choose which frequency we're going to take up or down. You can even adjust the Q-factor, or slope, of the sound on the EQ.
Finally, there's a zone control with the audio. If you've got a monitor in the back, you can set it up so the front will play one source while the rear plays the video. That's great when your kids want to watch a movie and you want to listen to music.
Finally, set up covers everything else, and they're all easy and instinctive to use. Just like the clock. Most receivers I've had, I've gotta get the manual out at Daylight Savings Time. Here we just change the time with a couple of button presses. Finally, when you're done, you just step right back to where you were.
Well as you can see, with the DDX514, the performance really matches the looks. And that's not all it does. If you want to add on to the DDX514, you've got some great options. You can add a satellite radio tuner and tap into all of their great programming variety. You can get a Bluetooth adapter and do hands-free calling while you drive. Or you can add a navigation module on and have a full-featured navigation receiver right in your dash.
If you want to learn more about the DDX514, visit us at crutchfield.com/ddx514, or give us a call at 1-800-555-9408.