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Our take on the JVC KD-R820BT by Crutchfield's Zak Billmeier
Tired of fumbling around with your phone in the car? JVC's KD-R820BT CD receiver includes a small USB Bluetooth® adapter that'll let you talk hands-free while you're on the road. And this receiver features two USB inputs, so you can still keep one free for connecting your iPod® or playing music from a thumb drive.
Talking hands-free when you drive lets you keep both hands on the wheel, all the more important as more and more localities enact hands-free laws. But Bluetooth isn't all about making and receiving calls. You can also stream music to the KD-R820BT if your phone or another device supports it.
Bring PANDORA® Internet radio on the road
PANDORA® lovers, you can play all your stations through this JVC. Just download a free app for your iPhone®, connect it to one of the USB inputs, and enjoy. Plus you can play audio from other apps right through the stereo, giving you tons of listening options on your next trip.
Customize your look
With JVC's Separated Variable-Color display, you can pick from over 30,000 possible colors to match the KD-R820BT to your vehicle's dash lighting. You can also assign separate colors to the left and right sides of the control panel for a style that's all your own. If that seems like too many choices, you can also tell the stereo to continually cycle through all the colors for a truly unique look.
JVC uses a Burr-Brown 24-bit digital-to-analog converter in this receiver. That sounds impressive, but what does it really mean to you? A digital-to-analog converter takes the digital information stored on your CDs and in your music files, and turns it back into music. Burr-Brown converters are universally recognized for their smooth, superior sound, and you'll usually find them only in expensive home CD players and top-of-the-line car stereos. You'll really be knocked out by this receiver's sound quality, especially if you're building a full audio system in your vehicle.
Want to keep your steering wheel controls?
In most vehicles, you can use an adapter to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this JVC stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and the JVC, 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.
I bought this primarily so I could stream music from my bluetooth phone and make calls. For those purposes it works wonderfully well. The controls are a bit close together but I guess that is understandable given the form factor.
MarcM, Houston, TX
What's in the Box:
- AM/FM CD receiver (with 10-amp ATC fuse inserted into chassis)
- Face (attached)
- Sleeve (installed)
- Trim ring (installed)
- Wiring harness
- Hard plastic face-case
- Wireless remote control (RM-RK52)
- CR2025 3V Lithium battery (installed)
- Microphone (with attached 9.75' cable terminated by a right-angle male 3.5mm connector)
- Visor clip
- Self-adhesive bracket
- 2 Radio removal tools
- Face-fixing screw
- Instructions (Eng/Fre/Spa)
- Installation/Connection Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
- USB Bluetooth Adapter Instructions
- US Warranty Sheet
- Canadian Warranty Card
- Product Registration Card/Questionnaire
- Face security clip note
- "Caution!" note (attached to wiring harness)
- Bluetooth Caution note
- CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
- built-in MOSFET amplifier (20 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
- included Bluetooth® adapter for hands-free calls and music streaming
- variable-color display with over 30,000 choices per side
- PANDORA® control (requires an iPhone and a free app)
- app mode for playing audio from iPhone apps
- plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs and MP3/WMA files on disc
- detachable face (carrying case not included)
- remote control
- iEQ 3-band equalizer with six preset tone settings
- high-pass filter and subwoofer level control
- Burr-Brown 24-bit digital-to-analog converter
- compatible with JVC's satellite radio tuner
- inputs: front-panel and rear USB inputs, front-panel auxiliary input
- outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (2.5-volt front, rear, sub)
JVC KD-R820BT Reviews
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Features and Specs
|AUX Input||Front and Optional Rear|
|USB Input||Front and Rear|
|Memory Card Slot||USB memory|
|Satellite Radio Ready||Both|
|RMS Power Output||20 watts|
|Peak Output||50 watts|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||20-20kHz|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||Yes|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||No|
|Preamp Voltage||2.5 volts|
|Key Button Color||Variable|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||Yes|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|FM Sensitivity||9.3 dBf|
|Radio Data System||No|
Detachable Face: The JVC KD-R820BT features a detachable face to deter theft. A hard-plastic face-case is provided. 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.
3-Line LCD: The head unit features a three-line, alphanumeric-text LCD with adjustable color, contrast, brightness, and dimmer settings.
Variable Color LCD & Key Illumination: The JVC KD-R820BT features 29 color presets for the LCD and button illumination. You can choose one of these color presets or select the ColorFlow mode which scrolls through all 29 color presets. Additionally, there is a User preset, allowing you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue from 0 to 31; resulting in approximately 30,000 custom color options. The chosen color preset or custom color can be applied to the display panel and the backlighting for all the buttons except the Display, Brightness, & Eject buttons (they remain red). You can choose to use the same color for the LCD display and button illumination, or use a separate color for each one. You can also select a different color for daytime and nighttime in regards to the unit's LCD and button illumination.
LCD Type: You can select between a Negative or Positive pattern for the display. You can also set the unit to automatically switch to a Positive LCD pattern during the day and a negative LCD pattern during the night.
Brightness/Contrast: The unit offers an adjustable display and button illumination brightness level (0-31) for day and nighttime driving. You can also adjust the display contrast (0-8) to make the display clearer and more legible.
Display/Button Illumination Dimmer: The display/button illumination dimmer can be set to Off (normal brightness at all times), On (display/button illumination is always dimmed), or Auto (display dims when 12-volts is applied to the orange/white illumination lead).
Clock Display: The JVC CD receiver features a 12/24-hour clock display. You can switch between the head unit's source information and clock display when the unit is powered on. When you power the unit off, you can press the "display" button to temporarily view the clock display.
Burr-Brown 24-bit D/A Converter: The JVC KD-R820BT utilizes a premium TI/Burr-Brown 24-bit digital-to-analog converter for superior CD sound quality.
MOSFET Amplifier: The KD-R820BT 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.
CEA2006 Compliant: The power specifications for the KD-R820BT are compliant with the CEA2006 Mobile Amplifier Power Testing and Measurement standards from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These standards were developed as a way to equitably compare power specs from model to model and between manufacturers. The power output specs for the KD-R820BT are as follows:
- CEA2006 Specs: 20 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
- Maximum Power Output: 50 watts x 4 channels (200 total watts)
Volume Adjust: The input level of each source (other than FM) is adjustable relative to the FM radio volume, so there isn't a significant volume difference when changing sources. Each source is individually adjustable from -5 to +5.
Amplifier Gain Control: When you are using the KD-R820BT with factory speakers (or those rated to less than 50 watts peak), the Amplifier Gain Control can limit the amount of power being sent to those speakers. When the Amp Gain Control is set to "low," the volume control ranges from 0 (minimum) to 30 (maximum). When using speakers rated higher than 50 watts peak, you can set the Amp Gain Control to "high," and the volume control will range from 0 to 50.
2.5V/6CH Preamp Output: The KD-R820BT is equipped with three pair of 2.5V preamp outputs (Front/Rear/Subwoofer). The front and rear preamp outputs allow fader control, while the subwoofer preamp output is non-fading.
Subwoofer Level: You can adjust the head unit's subwoofer level between 0 and 8.
Built-in Crossovers: The JVC KD-R820BT features a built-in high-pass filter for the unit's front & rear speakers and a low-pass filter for the unit's subwoofer output.
- High-Pass Filter: You can activate a variable high-pass filter for the unit's front & rear channels (speaker- or preamp-level), so low frequency signals are cut off from your system's front & rear speakers. You can set the cutoff frequency of the high-pass filter at 62Hz, 95Hz, or 135Hz.
- Low-Pass Filter: You can set the cutoff frequency of the subwoofer output's low-pass filter to 55Hz, 85Hz, or 120Hz.
Pro EQ: The KD-R820BT is equipped with JVC's Pro EQ. The integrated equalizer offers 7 preset sound modes (Flat, Natural, Dynamic, Vocal Boost, Bass Boost, User) suitable for the music genre of your choice. The User mode allows you to manually adjust the head unit's 3-band parametric EQ (Frequency, Level, and Q-Factor).
|Bass||50, 100, 200 Hz||+/- 12 dB (-6 to +6)||0.7, 1.0, 1.4, 2.0|
|Midrange||0.5, 1.0, 2.0 kHz||+/- 12 dB (-6 to +6)||0.7, 1.0, 1.4, 2.0|
|Treble||5, 10, 15 khz||+/- 12 dB (-6 to +6)||0.7, 1.0, 1.4, 2.0|
Loud (Loudness): This feature boosts low and high frequencies to produce a well-balanced sound at a low volume level. You can turn this feature on or off.
Key-Touch Tone: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.
AM/FM Tuner: The JVC KD-R820BT features a built-in AM/FM tuner with manual, seek, and preset tuning.
Preset Tuning: You can store a total of 18 FM stations presets and 6 AM station presets. The radio allows you to set your AM/FM stations manually or automatically.
Note: This unit does not offer front-panel preset buttons. You will need to access your saved presets through the receiver's menu.
Title Assignment: You can assign titles (up to 8 characters) for up to 30 AM/FM stations.
IF Filter: You can also switch the tuner's IF filter to Wide or Auto to increase/decrease the sensitivity.
Mono: If an analog FM stereo broadcast is hard to receive, you can manually switch the tuner to Mono operation.
US/European Tuning: You can set the built-in AM/FM tuner between US standard and European tuning spacing.
Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio receiver to this receiver:
- SIRIUS: The JVC KD-R820BT is compatible with the
SiriusConnect Universal Tuner and Plug & Play Dock.
- SiriusConnect Tuner: Connect the optional SC-C1 SiriusConnect vehicle tuner (item number 607SCC1) and the JVC KS-SRA100 SIRIUS adapter (item number 105KSRA100) - package # 700SIRJVC1, sold separately.
- SiriusConnect Dock: Select dock-and-play and portable SIRIUS radios can be controlled using the JVC KS-SRA100 SIRIUS adapter (item number 105KSRA100, sold separately) and the SC-VDOC1 dock (item number 607SCVDOC1, sold separately).
- XM: To receive XM Satellite Radio connect the optional CNP2000UCA XM Direct2 tuner and the JVC CNP-JVC1 adapter cable (package item number 700XMJVC2, sold separately).
Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.
Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs.
Note: The unit features a fold-down face, so the face must be folded-down manually before inserting or ejecting a disc.
MP3/WMA Playback: The KD-R820BT can play MP3 (5-320 kbps) and WMA (5-320 kbps) audio files that have been recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs. The disc must be recorded in one of the following formats: ISO 9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, or Romeo. The head unit can recognize a total of 20,000 files and 2,000 folders (999 files per folder). The unit also supports IDTag3 (version 1.0, 1.1, 2.2, 2.3 or 2.4) for album and artist information from MP3/WMA files (up to 128 characters).
Track/Folder List: The Track/Folder List displays a list of MP3/WMA folders and tracks on a loaded CD, so you can easily access your music. The Track/Folder List will also display the list of track titles on a CD Text disc. If the MP3/WMA disc contains a lot of tracks, you can fast search (+/-10, 100, 1000) through the disc by turning the unit's control dial quickly.
A-Z Search: For MP3/WMA discs, you can also use the A-Z search function to scroll through the track/folder list menu.
Random/Repeat Modes: The JVC KD-R820BT offers the following Repeat and Random playback modes for your audio CDs.
- Repeat: Track Repeat (plays the current track repeatedly), Folder Repeat (plays all tracks of the current folder repeatedly), Off (cancels repeat function)
- Random: Folder Random (plays all tracks of the current folder, then the tracks of the next folder in random), All Random (plays all tracks of the current disc at random), Off (cancels random function)
Disc Resume: If you change the source, playback also stops (without ejecting the disc). Next time you select CD for the playback source, the disc will start from where it has been stopped previously.
Off Eject: A CD disc can be ejected with the power off. The unit must be powered on to insert a disc.
Disc Protection: 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. The source will change to CD, and the disc will begin playback, even if you have another source selected at the time.
Mounting: For proper disc playback you must install the unit within 30-degrees of horizontal.
Dual USB Ports: The JVC KD-R820BT features a front-panel USB 2.0 type-A port (behind a sliding cover) and a rear-panel USB 2.0 type-A port (attached to a 45" pigtail) for connection of USB mass-storage class devices. The USB ports enable audio playback and control of MP3 (32-320 kbps), WMA (5-320 kbps), and WAV (705-1411 kbps) audio files stored on portable USB mass-storage class devices formatted in FAT 12/16/32. The head unit can recognize a total of 20,000 files and 2,000 folders (999 files per folder). The unit also supports IDTag3 (version 1.0, 1.1, 2.2, 2.3 or 2.4) for album and artist information from MP3/WMA/WAV files (up to 128 characters). The unit offers the same playback functions for its USB connections as its disc player.
Note: Both of the USB terminals can be connected to USB devices at the same time. You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.
iPod/iPhone Direct: The JVC KD-R820BT's front-panel or rear-panel USB port can also act as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the USB/iPod cable that came with your iPod/iPhone. An additional iPod cable is available (469USBPOD, sold separately) so you can leave one at home and one in the car. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the JVC in-dash head unit.
iPod/iPhone Audio Playback: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the JVC head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 24-bit D/A converter (bypassing the iPod/iPhone's DAC), allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 102dB. The JVC KD-R820BT supports audio playback of music files, podcasts, and apps stored on your iPod or iPhone.
iPod/iPhone Control: You can choose to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.
- Music Browsing: From the head unit's front-panel controls you can search your iPod/iPhone's music by Category (Playlist/Artist/Album/Song/Genre/Composer). If the selected category contains a high number of tracks, you can fast search (+/-10, 100, 1000) through the music tracks in that particular category by simply turning the head unit's control dial. You can also use the A-Z search function to search your music alphabetically.
- Repeat & Random: The KD-R820BT also supports Repeat (file/all) and Random (album/all) playback functions of your iPod/iPhone.
Note: You can listen to apps stored on your iPhone through the JVC head unit when controlling the iPhone via its touchscreen (cannot access apps via head unit control mode).
iPod/iPhone Display: The KD-R820BT will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information, regardless of control mode. The head unit will display Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album label.
Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the JVC KD-R820BT using your connected Apple iPhone, via the USB/iPod connector cable (included with your iPhone). The JVC KD-R820BT provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list, and skip song tracks within a station. You can also give songs a thumbs up/down and bookmark songs/artists. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.
Note: Access to the Pandora service will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.
iPod/iPhone Charging: While connected and the ignition switch is set to ACC or ON, the head unit'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 JVC KD-R820BT is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of November 2011):
|iPod/iPhone Model||Generation||Tested Version||Media Type||Control Type||Display Type||Pandora App||Charge|
|Audio||Video||Head Unit||iPod/iPhone||Song/Artist Text||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 head unit 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 a newer software update is available.
Auxiliary Input: A front-panel stereo minijack is provided to allow the connection of a portable audio source. Simply connect your portable digital music player to the unit's front-panel auxiliary input, and you can listen to the audio from the portable player through the speakers in your mobile audio system.
Optional Input Adapter: An optional JVC Line Input Adapter (105KSU57 or 257KSU58, both sold separately) may be used to provide an additional auxiliary audio input on this unit. This feature allows you to connect a portable audio player, such as a portable MP3 player, to this unit as an additional audio source. The adapter connects to the J-port on this unit.
USB Bluetooth Adapter: The JVC KD-R820BT comes supplied with a USB Bluetooth Adapter (KS-UBT1) which is pre-installed into the head unit's rear-panel USB input, making the KD-R820BT Bluetooth 2.0 certified. The KD-R820BT supports Bluetooth hands-free communication and wireless audio streaming.
Note: The USB Bluetooth Adapter (KS-UBT1) can also be installed in the head unit's front-panel USB port.
Bluetooth Technology: Bluetooth is a two-way wireless communication system allowing you to make and receive phone calls wirelessly from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, as well as wirelessly stream audio from your Bluetooth enabled portable music player using the JVC in-dash multimedia receiver. Bluetooth wireless technology operates on a 2.4GHZ frequency band within a range of approximately 10 meters (about 33 feet).
Bluetooth Profiles: The JVC KD-R820BT supports the following Bluetooth profiles:
- HFP 1.5 (Hands-Free Profile): Hands-free communication with your Bluetooth enabled cellular phone in the vehicle (incoming/outgoing calls supported).
- OPP 1.1 (Object Push Profile): Phonebook transfer from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone to the head unit.
- PBAP 1.0 (Phone Book Access Profile): Phonebook access from your Bluetooth enabled cell-phone to the head unit.
- A2DP 1.2 (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile): Music streaming from your Bluetooth enabled phone or audio player to the head unit.
- AVRCP 1.3 (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile): Basic music playback control of your Bluetooth enabled phone or audio player from the head unit.
Pairing: Your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone or digital audio player must be paired with KD-R820BT before hands-free & wireless operation. You can register up to five Bluetooth enabled devices with the JVC head unit. You can keep two phones connected at all times (only one can be used during a call).
Note: Not all Bluetooth devices will be compatible. Visit http://www.jvc-victor.co.jp/english/car/bluetooth/ for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled devices.
Bluetooth Hands-Free Communication: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KD-R820BT can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also includes an external microphone (with mounting bracket) featuring adjustable gain, so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your vehicles speakers (front or all).
External Microphone: The JVC KD-R820BT 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. You can adjust the level of the microphone without affecting the other sources. The external microphone features an attached 9.75' 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 0.545" (diameter) x 1.105" (depth).
Note: This unit does not offer an integrated front-panel microphone.
Answering A Call: When a call comes in, a ring-tone will be heard through your vehicle's speaker, the head unit's display will flash (Ring Color), and the caller's name or phone number will be displayed. You can answer the call from the KD-R820BT's front-panel controls, or setup the head unit to automatically answer the incoming call. You adjust the head unit's ring color from the unit's 29 preset colors or 30,000 custom colors.
Dialing A Number: Using the KD-R820BT, 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 front-panel rotary dial.
- Phone Book: You can dial by using the downloaded phone book. You can download phone book data from your cell phone to the KD-R820BT. If you phonebook contains a lot of contact numbers, you fast search (+/-10, 100, or 1000) through the phonebook by using the unit's control dial. You can also do an A-Z search to scroll the downloaded phonebook. Up to 5,000 numbers can be stored for each registered cell phone. Each number can be up to 32 digits long.
- 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 (up to 50 each).
- Voice Dialing: If your mobile phone supports voice recognition, then you can dial out by voice command. Simply speak into the included microphone.
SMS: You can wirelessly download the short message (SMS) arrived at your cell-phone so that is can be read on the Bluetooth connected JVC head unit. Your cell-phone must support SMS for this feature to function. The SMS downloaded to this unit is cleared when this unit is turned off.
Note: You cannot send text messages using this unit (read only).
Private/Hands-Free Mode: During a conversation, you can switch between the Private Mode (talking directly on your cell phone) and the Hands Free Mode.
Bluetooth Audio Streaming: The included Bluetooth adapter also allows audio playback and control of a Bluetooth enabled audio player through the KD-R820BT. The KD-R820BT will be able to control basic playback features, such as - Play/Pause, Track/Folder Select, Fast Forward/Reverse, Skip Next/Previous and Random/Repeat.
Wireless Remote Control: The KD-R820BT comes supplied with a wireless remote control (RM-RK52). The remote contains Power, Attenuator, Sound, Source, Tracking, and Volume functions. The remote operates off of a single CR2025 3V Lithium-cell battery (included).
Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit also 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 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.
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