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Kenwood KDC-252U

CD receiver (New stock)

185 Reviews

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Our take on the Kenwood KDC-252U

Do you like listening to your iPod® in the car? You do? Great — but if you're just jacking it into an aux input, you're missing out on some nice features and better sound quality.

Do you like listening to your iPod® in the car? You do? Great — but if you're just jacking it into an aux input, you're missing out on some nice features and better sound quality.

Built-in iPod controls
Kenwood's KDC-252U CD receiver is the least expensive model with built-in iPod controls in their 2012 lineup. That means you can connect your iPod or iPhone® to the front-panel USB input and take charge of your playlists from the receiver. You won't have to fumble around with the player while you're scooting down the road or stuck in traffic. Your iPod or iPhone will even charge up when it's connected, too.

Kenwood KDC-252U

Better sound quality
And sound quality takes a bump for the better, too. When you're connected via the USB input, you bypass the digital-to-analog converter in your iPod and take advantage of the Kenwood's 24-bit D/A converter. Your music will sound fuller, richer, and more natural.

Good power with plenty of tone control
The KDC-252U is also a well-rounded sound machine, with a sturdy internal amplifier that kicks out a lot more power than most factory stereos. Plus, you'll have access to more sophisticated tone controls, including a 3-band EQ with a bevy of preset tone curves.

More connectivity
And even if you don't have your iPod on hand, you can keep the party going all day by loading in a disc full of MP3 and WMA files, or by jacking another device into the front-panel aux input. When you're ready to expand your system, a set of preamp outputs simplifies the job of adding an amp or a powered sub for some extra kick in your sound.

Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD player 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 and WMA music files
    • detachable face with 11-digit display and red button illumination
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band equalizer)
    • speaker size settings
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • low-pass filter, subwoofer level control, and phase switch
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora control with iPhone
    • compatible with Music Link app for Android devices
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB input
    • outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs (2-volt rear/subwoofer)
    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)
    • Cloth face pouch
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Instruction Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Warranty Card

    Featured Video:


    Kenwood KDC-252U Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (185 Reviews)


    HyerT from Helper, UT on 11/17/2013

    1994 Ford Ranger
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product for the money! I bought one factory refurbished and could not notice any defects or marks of work. This works great, I wanted a unit that would handle my plug ins without breaking the bank. It works well in my Ford Ranger. You get what you pay for, I hope everyone realizes this when they look at this product, it is good all around.

    Pros: Simple, easy to use.

    Cons: none yet.

    Kenwood stereo

    Travis from Arlington, va on 9/14/2013

    2002 Toyota Tundra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This inexpensive stereo was perfect for my goal to upgrade the stereo in my 10-year old single-cab pickup. I can now enjoy audiobooks stored on my iPhone. The kit/instructions were helpful but required a bit of intuition on my part. I think a few more detailed instructions would help many buyers. I enjoyed this experience with Crutchfield.

    Pros: Price. Features.

    Cons: None for my purposes.


    Anonymous from Denville, NJ on 8/19/2013

    1993 GMC K Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    it works amazing

    Pros: everything

    Cons: nothing

    Good, Inexpensive Upgrade

    Steve from San Diego, CA on 7/21/2013

    2003 Infiniti G35
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Replaced the OEM CD changer in our '03 G35 after suffering the dreaded CD-jammed-and-took-out-the-HVAC-too problem. 17yo son very happy with sound and iPod integration. Even with the stock speakers it sounds better than OE, in my opinion. Pretty easy install with supplied wiring kit and Metra dash adapter (half off!). Thanks Crutchfield!

    Pros: Good sound. Looks sharp.

    Cons: None

    Ken wood KFC 252u

    Chris from Commack ny on 6/10/2013

    2004 Honda Odyssey
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The receiver was easy To install. The receiver sounds and looks great.

    Pros: The wiring harness fits perfectly

    Cons: You lose steering wheel operation

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Burwell Nebraska on 6/9/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    good for the amount



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    AllanC from White House, TN on 6/3/2013

    2003 GMC Sierra 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great Product and it fits nicely in the truck.



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Joe from PA on 5/30/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Cool unit with good sound and features. Painless install with the kit. Delivered fast.

    Pros: Muti media capable. MP3 and CDR disc, aux input, USB and i Pod

    Cons: Can be to much to change sound profiles and folder options while driving.

    Good Deck for the price

    ds from St.Paul,MN on 5/30/2013

    I bought this deck at another store. But, I wanted to post a review on a site that is actually for folks that are interested in audio products. Installed pretty easily on my 2000 mazda protege. Sounded good. Loved having the USB port. Would have preferred to have a rear-attached usb port just to hide my thumb drive/ipod. But, for the price point, beggars cannot be choosers. Kenwood has made a customer for life with the quality of their products.

    Pros: Install ease, Ipod connectivity for price, removable face, IR remote for controlling unit.

    Cons: User interface not the easiest to use. But, that is noted on 99% of the reviews for this HU.

    Great Stereo

    sb from Winslow, ME on 5/26/2013

    2002 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I put this in my 2002 Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon and it made a huge improvement on my system. The installation was a lot easier than expected and didn't take me much time at all. Once that piece is done, the sound improved on my car a lot more than expected. The system does take a little bit to figure out with the controls, but once you do it is a great receiver. I also love that I can control Pandora through the stereo rather than my phone as it makes it much easier to use that way. The only problem that I have is when it takes control of my iPod. I have an iPod classic and it can be a little difficult to search through all the songs through the stereo and I usually just unplug it and find a playlist and then plug it in. Overall, I love this product and believe it includes a lot for the price.

    Pros: great sound value cool features iPod/Pandora control

    Cons: takes some time to figure out the controls

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    geon from south carolina on 5/24/2013

    2004 Ford Escape
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Needed an inexpensive radio to work with a factory subwoofer. Crutchfield made it very easy to select one that would work properly and their installation advice and extra products were a fantastic bargain. I won't shop anywhere else after finding out (and using) about their tech help and the discounts on all the stuff needed to install! I could buy a radio elsewhere for a good price but the install specifics for my vehicle from them were worth any difference!

    Pros: Sounds great and I can play MP3s now Easy to install with the Crutchfield extras

    Cons: Not as intuitive to operate as the factory radio but easy to figure out in a few minutes with the instructions

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Kevin from Philadelphia, PA on 5/22/2013

    2003 Mazda Protege
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is an awesome stereo for the price. Also, Crutchfield threw in all the necessary accessories for free, which was awesome. It sounds great in my car and allows me to hook up my phone or an mp3 player to play music. I think I would get more out of this stereo if I was an iPhone user, because some of the features are specific to iPhones. The only issue I had was that it kept flashing PROTECT on the screen after I installed. I thought that maybe I had wired something wrong, but after hitting the reset button (found on the front of the unit after removing the face plate), it started working.



    Kenwood 252

    jlinks from Fayetteville, NC on 5/21/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great product but does require some time to master but overall is an excellent product.

    Pros: Great features for our current electronic age.

    Cons: No power on or off but, just a standby position.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Aermacchiman from Liberty, MO on 5/20/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was pleased that the operator at Crutchfield suggested this radio after listening to me describe what I wanted in a radio. Also, the install was far easier than I thought it would be. I soldered the wires for best connectivity and used heat shrink tubing to protect all the joints. Wiring looked neat and reliable. All the connections were straightforward. I did have to strip off about half an inch on one set of wires. I have a wire striping tool, so it was easy to do. I am very pleased with the sound and look inside my Chrysler.

    Pros: Radio looks good in the car. The add-on piece that fills the opening in the dash is a perfect fit. Crutchfield thought of everything.

    Cons: None here.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    JimO from Lancaster, PA on 5/18/2013

    1997 Ford Taurus GL
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall a very good value.

    Pros: Excellent Sound Quality and ease of use.

    Cons: Marginal AM receiver sensitivity


    KillaPhi from Stone Mountain, GA on 5/18/2013

    1995 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I got this head unit because of the good price I guess. I later found out I could've gotten it cheaper somewhere else so meh..

    Pros: Really clean interface

    Cons: The equalizer is so elementary.

    Awesome Stereo

    Dave D. from Whitingham, VT on 5/15/2013

    2011 Dodge Caliber
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love the new Kenwood, better sound than the stock unit by far....the USB port is the way to go, no more CD's for me!



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Saginaw, TX on 5/14/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sounding stereo. Easy to use. Love the iPod interface.



    Perfect for my Wrangler

    Paul from New York on 5/13/2013

    2006 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    My stock wrangler's head unit needed to be replaced, it was putting out about 5 watts per speaker. I have alpine speakers all around and will be hooking this up to subwoofer soon. There are many great audio controls such as bass boost, mid levels, loudness and a couple EQs. It has a calm red glow and is not too overpowering at night. I can definitely hear a change in audio quality especially after the fine tuning. It has 22 watts rms per speaker which is more than most in its price range. USB input is a must these days, and the Pandora radio control puts the cherry on top. CD's and aux also sound great. Spend the extra money and purchase this unit, considering that crutchfield includes all the wiring and hardware for free. I will 100% buy from this store again.

    Pros: Great Sound, easy to use, iPod control, USB, aux, build quality, cool red colors, CD drive

    Cons: I sometimes have to turn it on manually when I start my car, but it might just be a jeep thing ;)


    twl1066 from Tucson, AZ on 5/13/2013

    1993 Chrysler Lebaron
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this to repelace an aging stock radio in a 93 Lebaron Convertible. My wife wanted to be able to listen to her iPod. I just wanted improved sound quality. I matched it to 5.25 Sony 3-ways in the doors and 5.25 Kicker coxials in the rear panel and boy does it sound great!

    Pros: Easy of use and improved sound. Wiring harnesses and dash adapter provided by Crutchfield simplified installation.

    Cons: newer models have more features, but I went for a unit on special with free installation accessories.

    Kenwood KDC 252-U installed in 97 Mustang GT conv

    Mike from Raleigh, NC on 5/10/2013

    1997 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice unit for a very reasonable price. Controls are not very intuitive but a little time with the manual works that out. ipod connectivity works great! Sound is very clear, moderately loud and a big BIG upgrade from my old factory unit.

    Pros: Price, iPod connectivity, looks nice

    Cons: None really. Controls took a bit of study and time to master but are fine


    Huck from TN on 5/9/2013

    1999 Ford F-250 Super Duty
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have been looking to upgrade my truck's factory stereo with an Ipod ready unit. This Kenwood fit the bill to a T. Easy to use and to set up. Great sound quality!

    Pros: Ease of use and Setup. Sound quailty

    Cons: none

    1995 Bronco

    FT from Eliz. City NC on 5/9/2013

    1995 Ford Bronco
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy install (less than 30 min) . Makes 18 yr old speakers sound like new!



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Leroy B from Columbus, GA on 5/8/2013

    2000 Daewoo Leganza
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good sound

    Pros: Good price

    Cons: Not easy to use at first

    Kenwood Stereo

    AYoung from Sacramento, CA on 5/6/2013

    1994 Volvo 940
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great value for the price and a good stereo all around

    Pros: Great sound Great price Easy to install with wires already pre-crimped

    Cons: Not many options Can't change color on the deck itself

    Better than expected

    Tran from Denver, co on 5/5/2013

    1999 Mercedes-Benz ML430
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sound better than expected for a low end receiver.

    Pros: Pre-amp, USB, Aux input

    Cons: N/a

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from valley center on 5/4/2013

    1992 Dodge D Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great deck great price great everything

    Pros: Good sound nice layout of menu

    Cons: none


    Jeff from Port St Joe, FL on 5/3/2013

    2004 Pontiac Grand Prix
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent receiver for the price.

    Pros: Aux and USB inputs very accessible, plenty of power, easy to adjust controls.

    Cons: none

    kenwood kdc-252u

    Nathen from olympia,wa on 5/2/2013

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

    Love the new deck. Went in no problem.

    Pros: Looks great easy to use

    Cons: Doesnt have a very good antenna signal

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Virginia Beach, VA on 4/29/2013

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

    Outstanding radio



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Charles from Calhoun, Ga. 30701 on 4/28/2013

    2001 Toyota Camry
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great Value, Sound Great, and Looks Great



    Excellent Product

    rqui from Manchester nh on 4/27/2013

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

    This stereo was originally more expensive and I got it and the adapter and the installation kit for a great deal. Couldn't have asked for a better experience. Went to the local big box store and they told me that it would be $150 plus installation cost. So glad my Uncle recommended Crutchfield. Any electronics will now be checked out here before I go anywhere else.

    Pros: I now have Iphone compatibility in my 05 camry.

    Cons: I didn't read the instructions to put in the installation kit and had to have one of my workers put it in for free. So none.

    Kenwood ipod cd player

    Chichskibby from East bend nc on 4/27/2013

    1992 Honda Prelude
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Works great and extremely capable of finding all you sings on your ipod

    Pros: Cheap price and easy to program and install

    Cons: None

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Kyle from Bowling green, ky on 4/24/2013

    2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great head unit

    Pros: Easy to use

    Cons: Very reliable

    Great head unit

    ldrmanbgft from Stuarts Draft, VA on 4/21/2013

    Great head unit. I can hook up my ipod to it!! Will probobly never use the CD player, as all my music is in my ipod. Fits very well in my 98 Volvo V70 XC AWD. I also like the niffty little storage pocket underneath it, I can put my ipod and remote in there!! After I got it adjusted (sound settings) I am very pleased.



    Gets the job done.

    Anonymous from Mentor, OH on 4/19/2013

    2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This Kenwood unit is a great upgrade over a factory system. It works seamlessly with my iPod touch and iPhone 4S. I don't listen to Pandora, so I can't comment on those controls. I went for the low-buck upgrade of my 2004 Silverado, so I got this unit combined with a set of JVC 4x6's, and a Bazooka amplified sub. For the price, my system blows the factory system out of the water!

    Pros: Great value, no distortion at high volume levels, seamless iPod integration.

    Cons: No Bluetooth, controls can be a little confusing at first.

    great upgrade

    helio c from charlottesville va on 4/16/2013

    this unit replaced the 13 year old OEM radio (cassette/receiver) and a failing 13 year old 6 disk CD changer (speaking of which, also bought from crutchfield and i am amazed it lasted 13 years in the harsh conditions of the car). so while i am greatly pleased and amazed at what it does for so low a price, the baseline is is very low here. that said, the sound is better, it is great to have a huge amount of music available without necessarily going the iPod route (i like music in the car but not elsewhere), and i like the flexibility of CD / RCA mini-jack / USB port.

    Pros: USB input, remote, red LEDs match my car's dash lighting.

    Cons: like many electronics today, a bit too much feature bloat. would be nice if the unit would read the folder names on the USB rather than giving them numbers (but perhaps this is something i just don't know how to fix


    dtj from Richmond, Va. on 4/12/2013

    2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit was easy to install and the instructions were right on. Looks good and sounds good. Love the built in IPOD hookup. Everything works great and will deal with Crutchfield in the future.

    Pros: Easy to install and to use. Looks great in the dash and functions great.

    Cons: None

    Great value

    Zman from Crystal Lake, IL on 4/6/2013

    $89.99 for a nice unit with tons of features and installation kit included is great!! Installed it in my daughters 2000 Maxima and I can't believe how good those stock speakers sound over the stock radio.

    Pros: Price, iPod and Pandora controls

    Cons: None

    great product/ great price

    kevin h from ca. on 4/6/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    ken kdc 252u ...purchased this deck for my 2001 honda accord. very easy install and perfect fit.

    Pros: everything..great fit for hondas

    Cons: none

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    John from Vermilion Ohio on 4/6/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds and looks great !!

    Pros: usb

    Cons: none

    Really Nice Unit

    sduke from Lubbock, TX on 4/5/2013

    1997 Toyota Celica GT
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice receiver/CD player. Nice button layout and the USB connection is very handy. Lot's of features for a very good price and the Kenwood name.

    Pros: Button layout, usb outlet, great price, easy set-up

    Cons: none for the price

    Easy to install

    ukw from Seattle, WA on 4/4/2013

    1992 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this unit for two different vehicles and it was fairy easy to install on both. I had a question on one of the installs and called customer service who were able to help out very quickly on a question of what wire on the unit connects with whayt wire on the harness

    Pros: This is a great unit with good sound quality for an affordable price, with great customer service that helps you install correctly

    Cons: The unit controls are not the most intuitive in terms of their overall design but I'm sure I'll get use to them the more I use the units

    great reciever

    robert from fairmont,wv on 4/1/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This was put in a custom console for a Polaris ranger with a marine cover it dose very well playing cd's without skipping over rough terrain has plenty of features.

    Pros: Ipod controls Pandora compatible aux input

    Cons: None I have found

    Good product

    RickAG from Erie, PA on 4/1/2013

    2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great Sound at an affordable price. I replaced the factory stereo, that had a broken CD player and A tape player that said needed cleaning every time I would put in the adapter for my MP3 player. Now I jest pulg in a USB jump drive and I have over 3000 songs to listen to. Easy to install with the instructions that were included. in my 2004 silverado

    Pros: Good sound. USB and AUX connections along with CD, AM and FM

    Cons: Buttons are small and took some time to get the hang of the controls.

    Kenwood KDC-252U- 2003 Jeep Wrangler

    Gina W from Wauwatosa WI on 3/31/2013

    2003 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am comparing to a stock radio- so 5 stars across the board. I wanted to replace the entire system in my 2003 Wrangler and had NO IDEA where to start. I have ZERO knowledge in this area. I decided to do this one day and within 3 hours I found the Crutchfield website, researched my specific car, realized I had 7 speakers instead of 4 based on their website tutorial, chose this receiver and had it on the way to my home. It was delivered within 3 days! My husband was extremely skeptical because my current system sounded SO BAD. He installed this today and the sound it 1000 times better! I still plan to replace the sound bar and console speakers with marine speakers (had no such knowledge of such a thing until finding this website) and maybe an amp. Before all I could do is listen to radio as there was not aux input for mobile devices and CD's would just skip if I hit the slightest bump. I now have it all and my husband is super impressed and he's a hard nut to crack. Great bang for the buck and a huge thank you to Crutchfield for making me a smarter person!

    Pros: Replaced a factory system and sound is million times improved. Price is great for what you get.

    Cons: None really but we had to add a shim to make the system fit- not a big deal though.

    My Kenwood KDC-252U

    Mr L from Somewherein, Va on 3/30/2013

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

    Love the price and overall quality of the Kenwood KDC-252U

    Pros: Looks great in the car

    Cons: I wish it had more easy to use balance/equalizer controls


    SamS from Maryland on 3/29/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    KENWOOD IS KENWOOD, THEY ARE GREAT UNITS! Some people may say other wise because thay are used to using one brand of head unit and the way it functions. I have had sony, pioneer, clarion, jvc, dual, aiwa, and of course kenwood head units and can tell you kenwood is a great company for making head units! Im NOT saying that other brands are bad at all, but I am saying KENWOOD is better than most people think. I know i was surprise when I gave my first KENWOOD head unit a try about 5 or so years ago. This KENWOOD unit here 1st off was a great deal! It has "USB" port as well as "AUX" port "PANDORA CONTROL" all for UNDER $90 with FREE shipping, FREE install gear, FREE "do it your self master sheet", and FREE lifetime tech support! ( I should just stop there, lol ) 2nd, it has a sleek mature savvy look to its face. It is very professional, and with todays vehicals getting more tech inside them as well as the vehical "dash" becoming more of "cockpit" this unit will look like it belongs. In my opinion KENWOOD has always done a great job at styling head units 3rd, the unit is simple and simple to use/navigate unlike some other brands i have used. You say "up", its go's up, you say "menu", its gives you menu, ext. It is the type of unit that you can open out of the box and use with out reading the manual. 10 mins to familiarize yourself with it and your done. "user friendly" in an unit is very important if not the most important feature. 4th, sound is crisp, pure, and true to point!



    Works Great in 2000 Chrysler 300m

    C300m from Washington on 3/29/2013

    2000 Chrysler 300M
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Works great! Fits perfectly and works well. Be careful when putting it in as some of the metal can get bent the wrong way and it will jiggle around but once you bend it back if you messed it up then it should be great!




    Anonymous from ST PETE FL on 3/27/2013

    2002 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very easy install


    Cons: Confusing setting radio stations up for memory.

    Very Good Product

    Ej from Dublin, IN on 3/25/2013

    1991 Dodge D Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very happy with this product. I have owned several Pioneer stereos, and this one does not disappoint. A very good value.

    Pros: Inexpensive, well built quality.


    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Cedar Rapids,IA on 3/25/2013

    1998 Saturn SC2
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Simple design and was an easy install with the kit provided.



    Too Many Things To Control, Too Few Controls...

    DanS from Chicago area on 3/24/2013

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

    This unit promises to do a lot of things--play CDs, receive radio, control an iPod, play music from flash devices, etc. Trouble is, it tries to do all these things, plus some fairly elaborate setup and configuraton stuff, through a grand total of about three buttons and one knob. As a result, anything beyond adjusting the volume or skipping to the next track requires navigating through multiple levels of menus, using only the one knob and a sparse, single-line display... which means you'll be taking your eyes off the road a LOT to operate this unit. I didn't like that. Would it really raise the price that much to put a couple more controls on the front panel? Also, while this unit can be installed in my car (a Ford Crown Vic Interceptor) using a (supplied) dash bracket, I suspect the installation would be permanent--the bracket, once installed, does not appear to be removable other than by breaking it, and there is very little space for wiring behind the unit; the excess wires have to go on top. This is easy enough on initial installation (when the bracket and unit go in as an assembly), but looks like it'd be somewhere between difficult and impossible to re-install the unit once the bracket is permanently in place. After a dry run (connected but not physically installed), I decided to send this one back.

    Pros: Sounded pretty good

    Cons: Controls require taking your eyes off the road to do much more than adjust the volume. Somewhere between difficult and impossible to R&R after initial installation.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Greg C from Cape Coral, FL on 3/23/2013

    1990 Chevrolet G Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This was just what I was looking for, easy to use.........not a bunch of extra gadgets to figure out. Sound quality is way better than I expected, considering that I am using my factory stock speakers. I wish that I had not waited so long to replace my radio. Great value for the investment.



    Great little unit

    JeremyJ from Georgia on 3/19/2013

    Great unit that installed in about an hour from start to finish. The installation gear and guide were clear and helpful. The sound is way better that my old stock CD player. It was also surprisingly easy to set the functions on it too. You can't go wrong with Crutchfield.

    Pros: Great unit for the cost. Sure there are better headunits out there but this one won't break the bank.

    Cons: none

    Kenwood receiver

    chevy6416 from Frederica, Delaware on 3/17/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Not being too used to new stuff, some friends reccomended Kenwood would do everything that I would want it to do and more. They were right. It does everything and even some things I don't even need.

    Pros: The price, looks and sound adjustments it makes. Just great!

    Cons: Non yet.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Springfield, NJ on 3/11/2013

    2010 Hyundai Accent
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am very happy with the functionality of the stereo. The faceplate doesn't pop in as easily as it should. The sound isn't quite as good as i'd like, but I need to upgrade the speakers to get the most out of this stereo. Overall I have happy with my purchase and with Crutchfield in general.



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Kathy W. from Grand Junction, CO on 3/9/2013

    2002 Jeep Liberty
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    We've enjoyed this stereo very much. Even before we installed new speakers, the sound was so much better! Thank you!




    SS from IL on 3/2/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I love this unit. I put the marine version of this in my boat over the summer and loved it, so I put this one in my car. My stock GM radio didnt have an aux input and I keep all of my music on my iphone. Plug the iphone in with the standard USB cord and have full control of your music at the unit or with the remote. Once you get used to the search functions it is painless. Your playlist names and song titles are displayed on the unit. Plus your iphone is charging while you drive.

    Pros: Ipod / Iphone controls. This is why I bought it. I keep my music on my Iphone. Plug the phone in with the USB and have completed control from the deck or with the remote. Push search, Choose playlist, artist, song, etc. Your playlists and song titles are displayed. Once you get used to the search procedure it is so simple. Sounds quality is sooo much better than using the generic aux jack. The red display matches my Pontiac instruments.

    Cons: Only one set of outputs so expansion is limited.... but I knew that when I ordered it so I'm not complaining. Just something to keep in mind

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Mchenry ms on 3/2/2013

    2000 Volkswagen Jetta
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Simple and easy to use



    Good value

    David from Huntsville Alabama on 1/31/2013

    2007 Hyundai Accent
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Some controls are not intuitive, especially the FM Tuner. Besides that I am very happy.

    Pros: iPod connector.

    Cons: Clumsy controls


    Greer from Portland, Maine on 1/20/2013

    2006 Ford Focus ZX4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Pretty good, sounds great, and does its job

    Pros: Looks cool, has USB and AUX, i charge my phone and use it as an mp3 player at the same time

    Cons: Mounting gear did not fit with the locking brace for the HU in my car, doubt anyone will steal it though because of where i live.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Wyatt N from Richmond, VA on 1/18/2013

    2001 Saab 9-3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product has amazing sound quality


    Cons: Only problem is when I plug an iPod into it it will sometimes freeze and won't play anything


    MeGotRice from Philadelphia, PA on 1/14/2013

    1999 Audi A4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Car: 1999 Audi A4 w/ Bose System The Kenwood KDC-252U is a very simple receiver to use. Your main options are available by clicking the volume knob once to go into the menu then clicking it once more to select. However, at the same time, it's very limited in what it can do. For example, you have the option to rename the 'AUX' source, but only to what it allows you to (TV, Portable, DVD, etc) The red color scheme matches my 1999 Audi A4's dash 1:1, it's amazing. The USB features don't work with my Samsung Galaxy S3 and although the charging icon shows up on my phone, whatever power that's coming through isn't enough to actually charge the phone at all. The auxiliary port works as expected; just plug in a male 3.5mm in the receiver and another 3.5mm male into your device. The free installation gear works, but ONLY if you install it right. I only had front left audio until the Crutchfield tech support rep noted one wire that wasn't connected. If your car doesn't have an amplifier, chances are, you won't get your rear speakers to work. I only have front and subwoofer working in my car since I had to use 2 female to 1 male RCA splitters. I decided to replace the unit through Crutchfield because of the lack of preamps in the back (RCA ports) and I got a much nicer unit. For the price, It doesn't have all the nice features of more expensive receivers, but if you're getting this for a non tech-savvy person, it's great because you don't have to go through any menus to get to your music.

    Pros: Simple and easy to use; Nice colors, easy to read text and menus.

    Cons: Lack of features; lack of preamps; doesn't support Android phones through USB nor does it charge phones.

    so far so good!

    Errol M. from Huntington Station, NY on 1/13/2013

    1995 Volkswagen Golf III
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    so far so good! install was as easy as any other head unit- nothing exceptionally different. i bought this SPECIFICALLY for iphone 4 compatibility and charging. i rarely listen to the radio, but it does come thru as clear as the crappy aftermarket antenna on my car allows. this head unit DOES allow you to control the iphone thru the iphone itself, not just thru the head unit. i have not tried the cd/mp3 cd player so i cannot comment on that. all in all a great bargain for the price shipped to NY with all the install accessories included! thanks again crutchfield. -Errol

    Pros: it's all good. no problems at all other than what's listed below, which isn't really a 'con'; more like a quirk.

    Cons: there is a slight delay for the head unit to power up from being completely off. there's no indication that you actually pressed the 'power/source' button. the unit remains off for like 3 or 4 seconds until it fully powers up. however... if i leave the head unit on, remove the key from the ignition (which shuts the unit off), then later return to my car and key on to start the car, there is no delay in the unit powering up; it's on instantly when the ignition turns on.


    David from Los Angeles on 1/8/2013

    2006 Hummer H3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Looks good and sounds nice. Not the easiest to program.

    Pros: sounds good, looks nice. easy ipod hook-up.

    Cons: Can't get the clock to display.

    Same as the other one

    Rainer from Colorado Springs on 12/27/2012

    1985 BMW 635CSI

    This was a replacement unit which was even worse! Took a while to warm up and stay on.

    Pros: easy install, great sound (when it does play)


    Great replacement

    AdamC from San Jose, CA on 12/26/2012

    2003 Mazda Protege5
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this as a Hanukkah present for my sister. After I placed the order, I immediately had second thoughts. What if she didn't like it? What if I ruined her car? Well, Hanukkah has come and gone, the radio is installed, and a week later she absolutely LOVES it! She drives a lot and told me it has absolutely changed her life. With just ten minutes sitting together in the car I was able to figure out how everything works and show her how to do it. I didn't think that just replacing the head unit could improve sound quality, but let me tell you, it totally did! Somehow this thing is getting deeper bass and fuller sound out of the stock speakers.

    Pros: Looks great - fit's right in with the rest of the car's interior (a Protege5) Sounds great - Even with stock speakers Easy to use - Controls have good tactile feel and nothing is too confusing

    Cons: By default it connects to the iPhone in accessory mode, which means you can't control your music from the iPhone, just through the unit itself, which is tedious. I am pretty sure there is a way to turn this off as my unit used to do this too and I figured out how to change it. Assuming i can turn it off this is a mild inconvenience. But I still dropped a star for it.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Pleasant Hill, Iowa on 12/26/2012

    1991 Chevrolet S10
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Seems to work great.



    Sounds good, looks good.

    Acer from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on 12/16/2012

    2001 Honda CRV
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Perfect for our vehicle. Very easy and intuitive controls.



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    RICHARD J from Covington, Ga on 12/3/2012

    2012 Nissan Frontier SV
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great Radio Very Easy To install And Operate



    Great radio for the price.

    Tony J. from Florida on 12/1/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good sound, good value for the price. Fairly simple to install and all the correct parts were delivered. I would like to have had the clock display all of the time but it is a minor issue. Crutchfield staff very friendly and helpful. Thanks for a good value receiver. It actually looks more expensive than it is. Great gift for someone.

    Pros: Easy to install,looks great,sounds great, very good price.

    Cons: Clock not displaying all of the time.

    Great upgrade

    Dave in PC from Panama City, FL on 11/29/2012

    After running my Dodge 2500 for more than 10 years with a factory am/fm/cassette stereo, I figured it was time to do something different. Crutchfield has been great in the past for both my and my family, so I cruised their website and found the "high power" stereo I was looking for at a good price. The deal at the time included free installation kit, so I picked up this stereo. After a couple of nervous calls to tech support because what I saw didn't seem to make sense (I don't do this every day).... and a couple of quick and very easy solutions to my questions.... the stereo went in very easily. Initial impressions are very good, and while I just tested it sitting in my driveway, I can already tell there is a great improvement. Using the audio in cord for my satellite stereo is much better than using the FM adapter. While the radio doesn't seem to like my Sansa Clip player, it may be just a glitch, but it is a simple fix to put the songs on a flash drive and plug that into the USB connector. Looking forward to my next road trip with this unit.

    Pros: First impression is good porduct quality. GREAT customer / tech support. Good sound for a "non-audiophile" looking for an upgrade from the OEM set. Great price from Crutchfield.

    Cons: Initial look at the "menu" and settings are a little vague. More time will tell. Minor issue and should not be a deal breaker for anyone looking to purchase one of these.

    big bang for the buck

    Tom from Newton, IL on 11/28/2012

    2003 Dodge Intrepid
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice looking and sounds great. Easy to use and love the ipod control in a unit of this price.

    Pros: Good quality, sharp looking, great sound and price


    Happy with this purchase

    Juan M from North Carolina on 11/27/2012

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

    I bought this to replace the OEM unit in my '97 Blazer and the sound quality is definitely better and the radio grabs many more channels than the OEM unit did. Installation was pretty straightforward but I already had the tools and basic know-how. I rated it kind of low on the coolness factor because it sticks out of the dash so much. But I know that is due to the Blazer design, not the radio unit. My cons are numerous but my nitpicks, and I still can't complain for the price.

    Pros: Good sound quality, fairly easy install.

    Cons: The display keeps going back to the frequency setting instead of staying on clock as I have selected, the secondary control features don't light up at night, the removable face is kind of hard to remove and re-install with quite a bit of jiggling required to get everything lined up and snapped in or out, no clock unless entire unit is on, navigating through the menus is kind of tedious. There doesn't appear to be a seek feature for the mix CDs I have. Hitting forward skips to start of the CD.

    kenwood head unit

    ambrose from malta, MT on 11/16/2012

    1991 GMC Sierra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great replacement from stock

    Pros: great look and sound quality


    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Benny from 70461 on 11/12/2012

    2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    very good



    Kdc 252u

    Anonymous from Wichita ks on 10/31/2012

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

    Nice sound for the price, iphone control is convenient

    Pros: Easy controls,

    Cons: Not a big fan of the red backlighting

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Joe from Marshfield WI on 10/29/2012

    1997 Pontiac Sunfire
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Kenwood has always been about quality and Crutchfield always always delivers quality...

    Pros: looks good and sounds good...

    Cons: none

    Kenwood KDC-252U Amazing unit!

    JaredC from Marion, IL on 10/29/2012

    1998 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    All I can say is WOW. This CD receiver is brillant! I can't get over the sound quality this receiver puts out. It was pretty easy to install in my car, I have a 98 Honda Civic and it took about an hour, not bad at all. I def. do not miss my old factory CD player!! Since the installation of this Kenwood and experiencing the sound quality, I realized I have been missing out!!!!!!!! I should have installed one of these sooner. What amazes me the most is the fact that I still have my factory speakers in my car and the receiver makes them sound much much better. For example, I set the EQ to 'Rock' and then I turned the Bass Boost to Level 3.....dear god....epic! I listened to 'Sail' by Awolnation, and some Korn, sounds like I have a sub in my car! Really! My sister was riding with me and I had my music on and she looked over and asked me "Do you have a sub in your car?" lol I said no, it's my new Kenwood receiver! I don't know how they did it, but they definitely accomplished it. Having incredible sound quality and the sound of a sub coming from your speakers is an ear orgasm. The pandora feature is really cool!! You can even select "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" on the faceplate. Anyone that is looking for a GREAT CD player with all of the amazing features, a cheap price, amazing sound quality, I highly recommend this! Buy it now!! Best of all Crutchfield included everything I needed in my order (Wire harness, Dash kit, Very detailed instructions-all FREE)

    Pros: -Sound Quality! -Ipod/Android compatible -Pandora -Ease of use -Installation -Variety of settings (EQ) -Instant access to ALL of your music/videos (No more CDs!!) -Deep bass, sound of a sub woofer

    Cons: -Absolutely NONE!!!!!

    Good stuff

    Dirty Dave from Michigan city, IN on 10/25/2012

    1999 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This was a replacement for a touch screen that broke. This radio does what it's supposed to do. I dig it.

    Pros: I like the USB do to the fact that it charges my phone while playing. Also I can use a flash drive to.

    Cons: I wish there was a USB on the back so I didn't have a cord comming out the front... Oh we'll.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Vic from Los Angeles on 10/23/2012

    2003 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This stereo was perfect for my wife's car.



    Solid Unit

    M H from Bradford, MA on 10/22/2012

    2004 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great little unit, and delivers where it counts! Sound is great, display is clean, a little confusing to use. For the price it is a steal!

    Pros: Bargin!!

    Cons: A little confusing to use.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from lakewood, nj on 10/20/2012

    1994 Mazda RX7
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this just to replace the broken factory head unit in my car. Not an audiophile guy so I just wanted something inexpensive that looked good and had good reviews. The fact that Crutchfield stands behing everything they sell and included the wire harness and tools free of charge was the reason I bought here.



    great purchase

    N.A. from Salt Lake City, Ut on 10/13/2012

    1969 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    price was driving factor- because I still own and use Kenwood equipment in Two other vehicles, I knew the quaility and sound is there. I always use "Crutchfield" for purchasing vehicle sound equipment.



    Good for price

    John from Paragould, AR 72450 on 10/5/2012

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

    Good stereo, but not very user friendly. Hard to navigate ipod control.

    Pros: Looks great. Great Price.

    Cons: Ease of use.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Ohio on 10/1/2012

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

    Good radio for the price an the features I wanted when I replaced the old factory radio in the car.



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Iuka,MS on 9/28/2012

    1987 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    One of the best I've ever owned crutchfield never fails



    No issues

    SG from CT on 9/26/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product. Solid design.

    Pros: Nice when illuminated at night.

    Cons: Sometimes when ipod button is pressed display continues to read pandora and pandora sometimes continues to play.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    CB from South Carolina on 9/21/2012

    2002 Mazda 626
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great stereo especially for the price. This one was for the wife's car, but I'm thinking about putting the same one in my truck.



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from houston tx on 9/17/2012

    2001 Mitsubishi Galant
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    this good to go!



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Rockin once again! from Kansas City, MO on 9/12/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    My factory CD player went on the fritz and I wanted something to use with my iPod and iPhone. This unit does the trick! I can listen to my iPod while it's charging in the USB jack and the sound is awesome even on my old factory Ford Focus speakers! With my iPhone I can play music through the aux jack and it will pause for incoming phone calls or GPS directions that are hands free and amplified through the stereo. The face comes off easily for security. I like that the display can show the playlist, album, song or if I'm running late, I can switch to the clock mode. AND it works great with Pandora; even has a thumbs up or down to rate the songs. Did i mention it was less than $100? LOVE IT!

    Pros: Highly affordable, great sound, convenient, easy to use looks great and easy to install. Just to name a few!

    Cons: Isn't satellite ready but if it was it would bring the cost way up.

    very good bang for your buck.

    jay from san diego on 9/10/2012

    i purchased this after returning a clarion cz200 that had numerous problems, and very poor sound quality. i am very happy with this unit. the all around look and feel is very nice. controls are reasonably intuitive, sound quality is excellent, ipod and pandora interface perfectly-even better than i expected. has a great looking display, though i wish i could pick a lighting option besides red....something a bit "softer" would be nice, not a big deal though. would recommend to anyone needing a good reasonably priced head unit with a front usb and "pandora ready". if the display colors could be customized, i would have given it an easy five stars.

    Pros: looks good, sounds great, user friendly, all functions integrate seamlessly. hard or impossible to beat for the price.

    Cons: nothing really, except for the inability to change the lighting colors.


    PJ TIERNAN from SPARKS, NV on 9/9/2012

    2001 Ford Explorer Sport
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)





    Haasone from Altamonte Springs, FL on 9/9/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This was everything I thought it would be. The Techs were very helpful when I was making my purchase. Was very easy to install and had absolutely no problems.



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Tom from Lansdale ,PA on 9/9/2012

    2005 Ford Focus ZXW
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Thank you ! Blake was very helpful and I am thrilled with this product!!!!!!



    car stero

    Kenwood KDC-252U from orange, ca on 9/6/2012

    2004 Ford Focus
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    was easy to set up and use. liked the aux ans usb options



    Can not get any easier than this

    Kevinc from Az on 9/4/2012

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

    Solid, basic audio unit for the price. Replaced factory unit Ina Toyota tundra. Major improvement in sound quality. Install was a breeze- less that 45 minutes beginning to end.

    Pros: Price, features, power

    Cons: Buttons are small

    Excellent Value

    Dan from Guam on 9/4/2012

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

    Needed a relacement for my stock jeep rubicon unit; this one was very easy to install and the sound is unbelivable for the price paid!! Shipping was quick as usual from Crutchfield!!

    Pros: Easy to operate, great sound for price!!

    Cons: None

    Solid Unit! Superb Sound Quality!

    stallion from Honolulu on 9/3/2012

    Amazing little unit. I don't care for bluetooth b/c BT tech is still hit or miss, so for the pricepoint, I chose this one over jvc or sony b/c I was looking for a unit that had subwoofer level control, subwoofer crossover AND the ability to control lows, MIDS, and highs AND was nice looking. Most units at this price point don't have either capability. Heck some more expensive units don't even have those capabilities, and that to me means everything. I'm all about sound quality, and this unit has that in spades. The built in EQs are fantastic. I like the Top 40 and Pop setting which make the music sound crisp, full and tasteful. The unit looks beautiful in my dash. The usb charges your devices while controlling song selection from the deck. I have an iPod Mini that I use, and NO unit is compatible with that model iPod through the USB these days so I conveniently use the Aux input which is just fine w/ me b/c the iPod Mini has the best sound quality of all the iPods so it sounds great through the aux esp when using my Monster icable 800. Overall, a quality unit. I had a Kenwood KDC-137 CD player for a couple of years before I sold the car that deck was in. I wanted to take that unit out and put it in my next car, but it helped to sell the car b/c it sounded really good. So this is like having the older sibling of that unit, and it sounds even better and has even more features than KDC-137. I don't have an iPhone so I can't comment on the Pandora feature, but I'm sure it's gr8.

    Pros: Subwoofer crossover, subwoofer level control, ability to control bass, mids and highs

    Cons: nothing

    Works good

    mATTY from Boston on 8/27/2012

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

    Powerful, clean, easy to install in a 03 tacoma. have a sub. Stock speakers-still sounds great. Good settings...on unit but dont like how 1 button changes sources.. have to pass through all of them to change fm, cd, aux, pandora. There is an ipod button. happy. charges phone, links easy.



    Customer Review

    Eddie from Carlsbad, Ca. on 8/24/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It is very simple, I installed it turned it on, plugged in my IPOD and wala, instant music. I am actually using this player in my outdoor kitchen and the sound and ease of use is #1.

    Pros: Easy installation, easy to use.

    Cons: None


    happycamper from texas on 8/22/2012

    2008 Ford Ranger
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    ordered this and got it 6 days later. included everything i need so installation was easy(first time ever installing one and first time soldering). had a question on the ground wires so i called support and had an answer in a minute. put it in and everything fit fine. onto the head unit itself. it is amazing and increases the bass an insane amount when all bass settings are turned up. no need to buy subs. it looks really good, functions decently (there are a lot of options. itll take a little bit to get used to but radio and ipod stuff is really easy). overall a great experience and i would recommend crutchfield for sure

    Pros: everything; customer service

    Cons: made my old radio look?sound like garbage. i will never like a stock head unit again


    ShawnJ from St. George, UT on 8/20/2012

    1996 Geo Prizm
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sound is great. put it in a geo prism and left the stock speakers in and the sound is inpressive. i didn't relize how awful the stock stereo was


    Cons: the stereo doesn't seem to be able to display more than one feature at a time. for example, you can't display the time and the track number at the same time.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Chicago on 8/20/2012

    2000 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great. Works perfect. Very easy to install with kit did it myself




    Tom from New York on 8/20/2012

    Great stereo! Be warned though, installing it is pretty tough if you are a newbie like me when you buy it. the harness doesn't just plug in, you have to connect wires from the included harness to the wires in your car, for me it was somewhere around 15 different wires. I wouldn't say that's a con though, because that is just how stereo units are installed. And to owners of this who think it doesn't have a clock display, press the button with a dot on it by the preset buttons, that is a toggle button between frequency/input and clock display.

    Pros: Cool, great sound

    Cons: None

    Best in class

    Dan M from Huntington Beach, CA on 8/12/2012

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

    I love that everything needed to install this stereo was included with my order. Not messing around and fidgeting. The wiring harness provided by Crutchfield was a direct match, down to the last wire. I soldered it up, and didn't have to worry about a thing once i got to my car. The master install instructions were close but didn't account for the fact that my model varied slightly from others of same year, and I had to deviate from instructions and youtube'd it. The part that I love is that this stereo allows me to control the music either via the Ipod itself or from head unit. When using the Stereo's DAC there is a marked difference in the sound quality. I would recommend going with it when possible over using the Ipods. The menu while at first is a little cumbersome, easily becomes second nature. I can browse my ipods library with relative ease from head unit. Overall there is a remarkable difference over the stock head unit found in my nissan. Although the speakers are as of now still stock the fullness to the music is very noticeable. With the bass boost feature the speakers do a better job of creating the perception of fuller bass. As of now I do not regret purchasing the stereo.

    Pros: inexpensive reputable brand ease of integration with ipod

    Cons: Only one USB port on front part of deck. Pandora feature requires phone with Android 3.0 or greater

    Awesome stereo!

    Jim from Albuquerque, NM on 8/11/2012

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

    This is an awesome stereo! It was easy to install and works great in my 2003 Tacoma. Great stereo for the money! Made a huge difference even keeping my stock speakers. Can only imagine what it will sound like when I upgrade those.

    Pros: Pretty easy to use, great display, great sound quality even with the stock speakers. Made a world of difference just changing stereos.

    Cons: Remote is nice addition, just need more practice using it with iPod and Pandora controls.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Mount Hope, KS on 8/10/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great stereo for the money!

    Pros: Simple to operate, easy to adjust the settings.

    Cons: None

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Franklin, NC on 8/10/2012

    1999 Ford Explorer
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This product is great for the price, it was recommended by a friend and it was within my price range. Easy to use, easy to install as everything came with it.



    Always liked Kenwood

    F from Florida on 8/9/2012

    2012 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Same easy and good feature as before, this is my 3rd unit in various new cars



    Great value - good sound

    Anonymous from Carroll, IA on 8/7/2012

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

    Very happy with purchse.

    Pros: Good sound, nice features

    Cons: A bit confusing to use - but that seems true of all similar models.

    Awesome unit great price

    John M from Old town Florida on 8/6/2012

    1996 Ford Escort LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit is great and has a great price the only thin I don't like it the clock display because it's never showing

    Pros: Looks good, sounds great,

    Cons: No clock display that much

    A Great value- Kenwood KDC-252U

    allag3 from Enfield, CT on 8/2/2012

    1993 Honda Accord LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit installed just as it suppose too.

    Pros: iPod feature allows user to navigate device. A more expensive Alpine unit(136BT) in my wife's car, does not have this feature.

    Cons: function symbols above buttons are hard to see.

    Great Radio

    JD from Beverly Hills, MI on 8/2/2012

    This radio is great! it has great sound and easy to use. I would definitely recommend this to a friend.

    Pros: Cool-looking Easy to Use Great Sound Charges iPod Aux outlet Remote Just about everything else!

    Cons: When you plug in your ipod you cant change the song on your ipod it has to be through the radio itself

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Frederick MD on 8/1/2012

    2003 Chrysler Sebring
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Another great Kenwood product. Great price for a basic head unit. Another reason why i consistently recommend Kenwood.



    Worth every penny

    Colin B from Roosevelt, UT on 8/1/2012

    2001 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    For the price out the door this is a great stereo. With the wiring harness, instructions, & conversion kit it fit perfectly in my 2001 Ford F-150. It sounds so much better than my stock CD/radio deck. Everything used to be rather muffled sounding on my stock deck & now all the highs & lows are cystal clear. I originally considered buying a replacement stereo because my stock stereo started to fail to read many of my CDs, some of which were brand new. Same CDs in the Kenwood stereo are read every time. The remote control that comes with this is a real nice touch along with the ability to hook in your iPod or iPhone & play downloaded songs or just stream through Pandora. Bass Boost also puts some noticable boom out of my stock speakers. Thanks Crutchfield!



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Manny from Dublin, CA on 7/30/2012

    1996 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Crutchfield provided all needed components to install which made it very easy. I had an older Kenwood in previously before it was stolen. Came back based on price and quality. Overall very happy with purchase, I am a returning customer. Did not need additional help but it is nice to know Crutchfield is always there to help.

    Pros: CD/WMA/MP3/USB/AUX

    Cons: No Rear USB/AUX??? Not really a con but wish it had one to route cables behind dash into glove compartment. I haven't gotten Pandora to work on my Android through the USB defaults to my music files. BUT for the money it really is a great value.

    Great Receiver for the money

    Anonymous from Spokane WA on 7/23/2012

    1997 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Just wanted a receiver to update the pickup a little wanted the usb and aux input. This has both works great with my Iphone and sounds excellent, everything included and the instructions make for as easy install

    Pros: features, price

    Cons: none so far


    Hgk from Glide, Oregon on 7/22/2012

    1997 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice the USB Port. Now it's a jump drive not a CD. Easy to install.

    Pros: Works great...Love the aux jacks

    Cons: There's no cover for the CD Port. This is in a Jeep. Have to see if this becomes a problem.


    Matt from Stansbury park utah on 7/20/2012

    Had my wife drive down and pick a stereo last minute to have installed before a trip. Not something u normally would do as I'm pretty picky, 2004 carolla. Had a 10 inch sub installed when she was there. She sald when she picked it up several other customers couldnt believe how well it sounded.

    Pros: Super clear. Good fm reception. Price. Well built

    Cons: Only one preout. Hard to navigate. Can't interface picking songs on deck

    Nice Unit for the price

    Don from Chicago, IL on 7/19/2012

    2005 Ford Escape
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice replacement for the factory unit, Ipod features are very nice and easy to use! Nice fit with iphone4!

    Pros: Excellent fit, looks professional installed, and came with everything needed. Controls aren't too bad once you get used to them!


    Great sounds on long road trips

    GlazingGrace from Douglass Ks on 7/18/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The unit was very easy to install we are very happy with the sound quality you can hear all the voices very clearly unlike the previous piece of junk that was in there. we take very long road trips and the Kenwood just worked out great! We have just recently been introduced to Pandora and it is a lot of fun darn sure beats the heck out of trying to find a radio station when you're out in the middle of nowhere

    Pros: Nice display very easy to use nice remote control

    Cons: Still trying to utilize Pandora . Cannot figure out how to change it when it's in the USB port.

    Great Product and a Great Value

    1995 BMW 325i from San Diego, CA on 7/18/2012

    1995 BMW 325I
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The stereo looks great and all of the features are great. I also really like the simple design. No silver accents, not too many buttons, just a nice, simple, black stereo. My interior is all black and the stereo fits right in. Great sound quality too. My car sounds way better than with the factory unit, and I enjoy using all the eq settings to get the perfect sound.

    Pros: This stereo has great sound quality, it looks great, and I enjoy all of the options to customize the sound. It's also great to have the USB and auxiliary plugs right on the face. There are a lot of features for the price and it is a very solid choice. I highly recommend it.

    Cons: This stereo talks about how it works with android phones, but it took a lot of work and research to make my android phone work. You have to download the Kenwood app, the songs must be on the external memory card, and you also have to get the Kenwood music experience app for your computer before it will work. It's way more difficult than it should be.

    Kenwood reciever

    Keith M from Lancaster, NH on 7/17/2012

    1992 Honda Accord LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    A great sound from this unit especially for the price, would definately recommend and have to friends and co-workers

    Pros: Great sound, a little bit of a PIA to set the tone and balance,etc. Once you figure it out, no problem

    Cons: None

    Great Receiver

    Anonymous from Cedar Hills, UT on 7/16/2012

    2001 Honda Civic LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am extremely pleased with this receiver! I left the same factory speakers in my Honda Civic, but this receiver sure makes them sound much better than they probably are. If I didn't think that my car was going to die sooner rather than later, I would upgrade the speakers and put in an amp as well. Guess I will save that for another vehicle. I love being able to change the different settings to how I want to hear the different songs. I also love being able to just plug in my iPhone and listen to my playlists and/or Pandora.

    Pros: Easy Installation Great Sound


    Great user experience, USB, iPod great!

    RyanD from Denver, CO on 7/15/2012

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

    Love this unit - easy install, great connectivity with iPod - can control from iPod directly or from head unit - highly recommend!



    Great radio!

    tberry from Texas on 7/13/2012

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

    My favorite part of this radio is the ability to play music directly from a flash drive. A $15 16 GB flash drive held something like 3500 songs. You must put the music in folders with no more than 256 songs per folder. I connected the audio jack on my Android phone to jack on the radio. Now I can use the phone as a speakerphone through the stereo. Navigation instructions from the phone can also pass through the Kenwood. The functions of the radio are something less than intuitive and the fact that the manual is for multiple radios made learning to use the radio a challenge. There are still some functions that I haven't figured out, and I am a tech guy. Overall, I am thrilled with the radio.

    Pros: Sound, flash drive music, audio input jack for Android connectivity. Price price price!

    Cons: The manual, controls not intuitive, lack of clock display.

    Kenwood CD Reciever

    leleon from Bishop,CA on 7/13/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent Reciever for the price, from over 20 years of Car Audio experience Kenwood has always been a great product line.

    Pros: Accessorie input capabilities ( USB & Aux ) , removable Face.

    Cons: would like to see Front & Rear outputs for the same price point , in leiu of a remolt control.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Hampton VA on 7/11/2012

    1994 Toyota Pickup
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I put this radio in my sons 1993 Toyota pickup truck. It went in just perfect. The factory dash speakers wre junk so they were replaced with 5 1/4 speakers in the door.



    $ for $ a great buy

    Anonymous from Maine on 7/11/2012

    1999 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy hookup and it plays fine.. For the money I paid it is a great buy. Looks good in my pick-up and sounds fine...

    Pros: Looks nice, sounds nice, easy to install

    Cons: None

    Great Radio for the money

    Taylor from Dyersburg Tn on 7/9/2012

    This is a great radio for the money. It looks nice, works well and sounds great. I have had it for about three months and have had no problems. The additional wattage of this radio (versus factory) will make your vehicle sound much better. Even with factory speakers. There is one thing annoying about this radio. If you want to see the clock it will not show any other info such as track or radio station *Take note that this model does not support factory steering wheel controls or change colors. However I like the red and whitish-blue buttons and display. *If you want more then one pre-amp you need the higher end model. (It has three pre-amps,supports factory wheel controls and has variable color display)

    Pros: Nice Design Easy to use Lots of features Great sound

    Cons: Clock cant be displayed at the same time as other info.

    Just what I was looking for!

    Anonymous from Marion, NC on 7/9/2012

    2006 Kia Optima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Product is super easy to use and looks great in dash. For the money, it is well worth it in my opinion. I love it.



    Great Product

    Kyle CCTX from On a boat on 7/1/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I needed a deck that shared the same wiring harness as the old deck. This one did just that. Great product and priced right.

    Pros: USB and headphone jack in front

    Cons: Not a setup for today's big amps

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from New York on 6/30/2012

    2000 Ford Contour
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great Radio



    Exactly what I was looking for!!!

    Anonymous from McDonough, Ga. on 6/29/2012

    1999 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Recently purchased this head unit to replace a factory unit in a 99 Honda Civic. I was looking for a simple inexpensive unit that had both the USB port and Aux plug. This unit fit the bill and Im glad I picked it up! My only complaint with the unit is the clock feature. While the head unit is playing music it either displays the song information or the clock. Other than that minor detail the unit functions great and is easy to use.

    Pros: Value Features Ease of use

    Cons: Clock display feature

    Great Player

    marks from Cary, NC on 6/27/2012

    2004 Toyota Camry
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I given 5 stars for it. I have camry 2004 with jbl and i installed my self this system. Crutchfield customer service is excellent. They helped me a lot to connects the cables and everything. This radio sounds great and it has all things that you need, like USB Ipod Iphone controls. Great radio for money. Must buy.....

    Pros: sound, easy to use, features, price

    Cons: aesthetic, should give multi-color light display to match dash lighting.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    JimT from Cumming,Ga on 6/20/2012

    I was thinking about having the original stereo refurbished but looked at replacement at half the price and newer features. Received the unit in 2 days and installed it in 30min give or take an hour due to dumbness.on my part. Gave a quick call to Mike at Tech support who got me pointed in the right direction. This was to replace the original unit in a 1990 300E Mercedes. It was really easy and most important the wife loves it Thanks Crutchfield!

    Pros: Ease of installation- the wiring harness and instructions were right on.

    Cons: None

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Greg L from Bucyrus, OH on 6/20/2012

    2000 Chevrolet S10
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The value at Crutchfield is amazing. With the receiver kit, wire harness, antenna adapter and the mastersheet, installation is near foolproof, anyone could do it. I will never mess with a factory stereo again.



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    John from Puerto Rico on 6/19/2012

    2004 Hyundai Accent
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very good, attractive and easy to manage

    Pros: Good sound, great idea to charge thru the USB

    Cons: Should have the option to show clock when off

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Kealakekua, HI on 6/18/2012

    1993 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I love that I can directly plugin my iPhone through a USB cord.



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    steve from el cajon, ca on 6/15/2012

    cant beat it for the money

    Pros: Itsa Kenwood

    Cons: It would get 5 stars EXCEPT ...The usb conection wont work without a OPTIONAL cable That really sucks.. to advertise the "USB plug in" and not include it a component for its use ... Sony doesnt have that issue on there head units just plug in your thumb drive and play your tunes

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Farmington Hills, Michigan on 6/11/2012

    2003 Pontiac Grand Prix
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love it. Great price, Great features. Great value. Sounds awesome even with factory speakers. The red illumination matches the Pontica read interior illumination exactly.



    kenwood is on top of it's game

    Dwayne T from Cocoa, FL on 6/6/2012

    1993 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This head unit is awesome for the price. The sound is absolutley top notch for a middle of the road stereo. I own kenwood head units in both my vehicles and this one is the best of the two and the other one is a higher priced head unit. Kenwood is on top of their game. I only deal with crutchfield and they also are on top of their game from the tech sheet they provide to the free wiring harness's they provide , I believe anyone with a little mechanical ability can install their own stereo equip with the items crutchfield provides you.



    Quality item for the price

    Anonymous from Madison, WI on 6/3/2012

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

    I was looking for a new car stereo with USB and AUX ports. I picked this one because it seemed like a pretty good value. Build and sound quality are just fine for my tastes. The install kit that Crutchfield provided with the stereo worked great, and installing was pretty easy - even though I have never installed a car stereo before. The only real complaint I have about the unit is that the controls/interface are not the most intuitive. I had to look through the manual to find out how to do certain tasks, like turn shuffle on and such. Also, fast forwarding through long tracks on my MP3 device is slow. Hold down the skip button to FF, but it doesn't speed up too fast, which is frustrating if you listen to podcast or audiobooks like I do. Other than that, this is a good stereo for the money.



    awsome stereo

    john from northridge, california on 6/3/2012

    2003 Kia Spectra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    easy to use , easy to install cause of crutchfield detail installing information,, i just say awsome to crutchfield staffs,, thank you



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Nashau NH on 5/31/2012

    2004 Ford Econoline
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have never gone wrong with Kenwood or Crutchfield.



    Love this Kenwood

    Mark H from Oneonta, NY on 5/30/2012

    2007 Chrysler Town and Country
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was looking for a receiver that was nicely laid out and easy to use. Kenwood and Alpine seemed the best to me but the Kenwood felt a bit more solid. I replaced the factory unit in a Chrysler Town & Country and the mostly black features matched the dash area perfectly. I am running 6x9 speakers front and rear and this unit plays them cleanly with lots of detail and bass. Very impressive from a $100 unit. My niece uses the ipod feature.She just plugs it in and controls everything from her ipod and is happy with that. FM comes in as good as the old radio which I use on my commute to work. I also decided to install a subwoofer and the head unit makes this east to control and sound fantastic.

    Pros: Solid, good looking, east to use, superb sound


    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Reading, PA on 5/27/2012

    2000 GMC Sierra 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'm not an audiophile, but, for me, the unit is fantastic for the price. Install in a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 was relatively easy. The most challenging thing was connecting the wiring harness adapter to the unit. I bought it specifically so that I could just plug my iPod or iPhone into the unit to play music since I don't listen to the radio or CDs anymore. Works great for that. Pandora feature is a big bonus. The one thing that I hate is having to take the face plate off every time I park the truck--but that's a consequence of having anything other than a factory stereo in a world full of thieves. For some reason, I do find it sometimes difficult to put the face plate back on. Could just be me. Although you could get the unit cheaper elsewhere, you can't beat the fact that it comes with everything you need to install it into your particular vehicle. That's more than worth the price difference, if you ask me.

    Pros: Price, iPhone connectivity


    Nice unit...

    Eddie B from Snellville, GA on 5/19/2012

    2009 Nissan Versa
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice radio for the price. Wish you could have the clock visible with other information....such as station or song title.

    Pros: Lots of functions. USB port is awesome as well as aux port.

    Cons: Does not have other info while displaying clock. Not a fan of the station buttons sharing a rocker type system.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Chris R from Hazelwood, MO on 5/12/2012

    1998 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    A good receiver for the price and crutchfield including master sheets and installation kits makes it a great choice!

    Pros: Good Sound Quality

    Cons: When not playing music the unit has to be in Standby mode to view the clock.It will not show the time when it is powered off :( Sometimes I have to push the power button several times to power the unit on and is a little slow on power up.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    AugDog from Greenville on 5/9/2012

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

    I am thrilled about the quality for the price, plus the cables and installation kit came free with purchase. The kit made it super easy to install to factory wires. No cutting of wires. Easy snap in kit.

    Pros: Price. USB port, MP3 player input plug.

    Cons: Manuevering through the sound settings. Takes some getting use to. I am use to a bass knob and a treble knob. Old school.

    Excellent receiver

    MikeMc from Baltimore, MD on 5/1/2012

    2005 Chrysler Town and Country
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sound, good quality hardware. Well worth the price for the multitude of features.


    Cons: The only thing I'd change: ability to change display colors...

    Great sound

    Blend one from Ansonia ct on 4/30/2012

    1998 Dodge Dakota
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great radio, has all the features I want, iPhone 4s works with receiver.

    Pros: All

    Cons: None

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Smyrna, TN on 4/25/2012

    2001 Pontiac Grand Am
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy to use, sounds great



    Absolutely worth the money!!!! Love it!

    Bean from Pennsylvania on 4/21/2012

    2001 Honda Civic LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Well worth the price!!! I absolutely love it!!!! Have nothing bad to say.

    Pros: Easy to use!! Works perfect! Has aux and usb port!

    Cons: Cant say anything bad

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Ashley from New Castle DE on 4/17/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice radio for the price



    2001 Millenia w/Bose

    BA from Co on 4/16/2012

    2001 Mazda Millenia
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Was told this would not work as a replacement for my factory Bose system, from the Crutchfield crew. Well it does and makes my stereo sound alot better. Will definitely upgrade the factory speakers to make it sound even better. Make sure you hook up the blue/wht remote for the Bose amp or you get no sound!

    Pros: USB on front and nice cheap replacement for a 01 Millenia.

    Cons: Menus take a while to adjust to.

    Nice deck, nice price

    Dave from Conway, AR on 4/15/2012

    2001 Nissan Xterra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice price, great sound.

    Pros: IPOD controls

    Cons: Would be nice to have bluetooth function.

    Great Value

    Mike from Germany on 4/14/2012

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

    Great value in this Kenwood. Installation was a breeze and the sound is great (too much power for my stock Jeep speakers - good thing). Mess around with the preset EQ or make your own custom settings. Crutchfield did a great job with the wiring harness, adapter and trim. Looks very professional in about 15 minutes.

    Pros: Power, detachable plate, USB with charge capability

    Cons: User control functions are a pain the first couple of times, but you get used to it.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from orland park,il on 4/2/2012

    1991 Toyota MR2
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    great value for the money



    Kenwood got me hooked

    Sean from Jersey baby on 4/2/2012

    1999 Jeep Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Cheap and easy to use. If you can't figure this radio out then go back to cassettes..

    Pros: Cheap easy very nice

    Cons: To easy to use

    Great deck

    Chris from Tulsa, Ok on 3/28/2012

    2003 Volkswagen Jetta
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great deck, especially for the money. Decently easy to work and sounds pretty good after you tweak it to your sound preferences. I bought it for my daughters car and she loves it.

    Pros: USB and auxiliary and easy to work.


    Great unit

    Dave from RI on 3/24/2012

    2006 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great Stereo installed it today. Installation was Easy and took about 10 minutes. I soldered the wire harness before hand so all i had to do was connect it to the harness in my car was so easy. Kodos to crutchfield for the detailed installation instructions for my model vehicle and for a great product. Will defintely buy from you again



    It's worth it.

    Jp from Dyersburg, TN on 3/22/2012

    2000 Ford Escort ZX2
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I recently purchased the Kenwood KDC-252U and it is definitely worth the price. You won't make a mistake on one of these.



    Great sound!

    OhMan from Cupertino, CA on 3/19/2012

    1993 Mercedes-Benz 300E
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I found that at this price range, Kenwood really has the best Build Quality. Just look at the USB port and compare it to JVC, SONY, Alpine, and others and you will know what I meant. My car is a 1993 Mercedes W124 so I really want to preserve the "classic" look of the interior, and this inexpensive unit really fit with my need (only have blue and red two colors, instead of other units that look like Las Vegas or super-hi-tech). Anyway. the head unit sounds great compare to the original Becker 1432 system, and the price is really reasonable. Highly recommend it

    Pros: Build quality, sound quality, somewhat conservative design for the look, and very easy to use

    Cons: would love to also have bluetooth feature on this unit..

    Great bang for the buck!

    Wolfboy1 from Central Ohio on 3/19/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The sound is fantastic and my ipod does sound great through the internal converters. I found set-up to be fairly easy but working with my ipod is more of a challenge. I have an older ipod and when plugged all control shifts to the Kenwood and I can no longer control song/album selection with my ipod. It takes some time to understand and be comfortable with the Kenwood's ipod interaction. I really appreciated my salespersons help in deciding on a model. I am very happy with his recommendation. Very easy to install and the free harness stuff was a bonus!

    Pros: Absolutely outstanding value and sound quality. Even though the lights aren't changeable the looks are still pretty nice. The basic controls are fairly user friendly and all the options are sweet at this price.

    Cons: The remote is intermittent and kind of useless.

    Excellent Stereo

    J W from Austin, TX on 3/19/2012

    2006 Nissan Frontier
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I read dozens of reviews online about this stereo and other comparable models and decided to purchase the Kenwood KDC-252U because Crutchfield had a great price and included the free installation accessories. The stereo and accessories were very well packed and arrived extremely quickly. The instructions were very easy to understand. The installation instructions with pictures far exceeded any that I have had previously. The install took a couple hours. It would have taken most people less time but I had less experience and had to work with different wire connectors therefore it took me 2-3 hours for full install. The look of the unit is very appealing. It looks well built and the backlight colors are great. I really like the pandora feature. Trying to adjust the features on the radio was easy even without instructions. The sound is much better than my factory radio. So far I have no complaints and for the price I am completely amazed at the features and quality. I would recommend this unit to anyone looking at a stereo for under $200.

    Pros: Look, features, quality, sound, pandora, USB,

    Cons: I wish this had a rear USB. That is the only Con I have found

    Great radio!

    payndew from parlinnj on 3/11/2012

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

    great radio and to top it off came with the dash kit !! 2 birds with not even half a stone :D

    Pros: great color matching for a 2003 Honda Civic LX sedan. Keys dont feel cheap like most aftermarket radios. Are quiet yet firm and have a rich response to them. Great power and clean power

    Cons: Radio signal seems to lag behind after 2 or 3 times of trouble shooting. Initial menu setup is a complete headache for the first 5 minutes. you will love it afterwards Remote that comes with it is garbage. Dotn even bother using it

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Dave G from East Farmingdale , NY on 3/7/2012

    2001 Chevrolet S10
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome! Can't beat the price, sounds great. Install kit made it as simple as can be. Had one issue with the search feature. Would only play one iPod song and couldn't get it to change. Reset the unit and it's fine. Bought for the iPod/iPhone interface. Very happy.

    Pros: Excellent iPod/iPhone/pandora interface


    Sounds great but navigation got a ways to go!

    Bob D from Telluride, CO on 3/5/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have an android phone and an iPod, both connected through the USB have many issues. I chose to just use the auxiliary port rather USB, much easier than trying to figuring out the awkward navigation of this stereo. Other than that this is a good value.

    Pros: Cost and sound quality

    Cons: USB navigation and control

    Kenwood KDC 252U

    Aaron from Michigan on 3/5/2012

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

    I put this into a 1994 Chevy Silverado. A Bit overkill in technology for that year truck, but I ahve a radio once again. Also check your "Courtesy Fuse" as it does effect the radio. Even though replacing that fuse, corrected my old radio, and it worked, it was easier ot put the new one in thatn to place the old one back into the factory locations.

    Pros: Easier to install than to put the old one back into the truck.

    Cons: Checke you fuses, I really didnt need a new radio, but put it in anyway after finding the fuse was blown. The only odd thing is that the lights on the radio are Red, and the rest of the onboard lights are green. So I have a dualling in cab lights sceanrio.

    nice radio for price

    Rob S from carleton, mi on 3/3/2012

    1995 Ford Ranger
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    great radio for the the price



    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Va beach, VA on 3/1/2012

    2002 GMC Yukon
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sound for the value



    kenwood kdc252u

    mike from fairbury,il on 2/27/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    very worthwhile for the money,plugged in the new droid phone,it started to play right away,when you turn it off then on it picks up in the same spot it left off......only sometimes will just quit playing what you have on your phone. I believe it may be a glitch with kenwood music app,and not the radio.The service bfore and after the sale was quite good,

    Pros: lots of features for low bucks.......sound quality is great,multiple adjustments with basss treble mids,loudness ,built in eq.

    Cons: not much to complain about well spent

    Good product

    Ryan from Texas on 2/24/2012

    2007 Ford Focus ZX4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love this face plate. Fairly easy to use, looks cool and sounds great. Plenty of sound-edit options and the Pandora option is awesome. I'd def. recommend this product. Can't beat it in this price range.




    Ruebuilt from 29 Palms,CA on 2/22/2012

    2003 Mazda Protege
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awsome sound awsome price

    Pros: Price

    Cons: none

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Newton, IL on 2/14/2012

    2006 Ford Taurus SE
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a powerful stereo for the money! I love the sound quality from just my stock speakers, though I will eventually get aftermarket I am sure. For an introductory Unit, I am not disappointed. I also like being able to browse my Ipod music through the receiver's controls.

    Pros: Fairly easy to use. Great sound for the money.

    Cons: Some of the menu functions are confusing and redundant. Can only display clock by itself.

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Telo from Montana on 2/14/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Looks Nice and sounds nice. Just had 2 problems one seems to be standard on all car stereos when it gets below 0°F outside then the stereo won't turn on until the vehicle is warmed up a bit. The other problem is that the clock doesn't display when the stereo is off even though the truck is on. I think this may just be a setting that I have to find and turn on.

    Pros: Sound is great and it is easy to use. Plays and charges iPod at the same time. Lots of settings to set the sound just like you like it.

    Cons: Clock doesn't display when the stereo power is off even though the truck is on. This could be because of hook up or settings. Still working on this.

    It does everything you want it to at a great price point.

    beecharmer4 from Hamden, CT on 2/8/2012

    2005 Ford Focus ZX4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a nice quality stereo that allows you to play music any which way you can think of, radio, ipod, memory stick, cd. It lights up in red and the display titles are in white blue. Wish it were all in the blues. Controlling the stereo is not quite as intuitive as I am used to. Over all I am pleased; a very affordable stereo that provides lots of options.

    Pros: This is a nice quality stereo that allows you to play music any which way you can think of, radio, ipod, memory stick, cd.

    Cons: contols not that intuitive

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from Inwood, WV on 2/8/2012

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

    Like the fact that it plays and charges your Iphone, didn't know that and it's at a good price




    Jagdish from Sayville NY on 2/6/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It is good

    Pros: Good quality.

    Cons: track number cannot be selected manually by pressing

    great deck for Apple users

    2007 F250 from somewhere, TX on 2/4/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sound, and plenty of audio adjustments. The i pod/phone usb works great. The only drawback is if you have multiple playlists, it seems to play them all, and wants to turn off the random playback feature for no apparent reason.



    Not quite android ready

    Mommymarlo from Waialua, HI on 2/2/2012

    2007 Nissan Xterra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am quite happy with the sound and functions on this stereo. Got some new speakers which makes life better. iphone users will undoubtedly be happy with this system but the app for android needs some improvement. No problem though. I just plug my android in through the audio jack and away I go with Pandora and my programmed playlists. The app is new for android so I am sure it will get better and be more user friendly to find the files in the phone when you plug it into the USB port. But otherwise the stereo itself is great.

    Pros: Easy to use. Sounds good.

    Cons: not quite android ready yet

    Kenwood KDC-252U

    Anonymous from hawaii on 1/30/2012

    2005 Mercury Mariner
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    really like the pandora function, the main reason that I bought the deck




    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 Yes
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible No
    Satellite Radio Ready No
    HD Radio No
    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 2-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs Yes
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2.5 volts
    Display Color Bluish white
    Key Button Color Red
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible No
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    FM Sensitivity 11.2 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    iPod/Android Control
    USB/Aux Inputs
    Disc Playback
    Audio Section
    Radio Functions
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    iPod/Android Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The KDC-252U's front-panel USB port acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-252U. 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.

    iPod DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 105dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone, as well as music apps streamed to your iPhone.

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

    • Head Unit: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). The head unit supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
    • iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as 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 App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood KDC-252U using your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately), or the USB/Dock cable supplied with your iPhone. The Kenwood KDC-252U provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.

    Note: Access to the Pandora service will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    iPod/ Display: The KDC-252U 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-252U 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 KDC-252U is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/25/2012):

    iPod Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Pandora app Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod App mode Artist/Song Text Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N N N
    4th N/A N N N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N N N
    2nd N/A N N N N N N N N N
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    7th 1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    4th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    5th 6.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is 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

    USB/Aux Inputs

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-252U features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device with MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) music files. The USB port is compatible with USB mass storage class devices that support the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 folder layers, 255 folders, and 255 files per folder - with a maximum of 65,025 files and folders. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

    Note: You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood KDC-252U 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-252U allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.

    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 Playback: The KDC-252U can play MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc can have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 50 folders, and 255 files per folder (512 maximum number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (ver. 1.x/2.x) and WMA Tag information - up to 60 characters.

    Text Scroll: The KDC-252U will display CD text or Audio file text. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto, Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.

    Music Search: The Kenwood AM/FM CD receiver features a Music Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your MP3/WMA music folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using the head unit's rotary knob.

    Direct Music Search: The supplied IR wireless remote control (RC-405) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood KDC-252U 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.

    Audio Section

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-252U utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior CD sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-252U 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-252U 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.

    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 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.

    Selectable 2.5V Preamp Output: The KDC-252U features a 2.5-volt stereo preamp output that you can be adjusted from a full-range rear speaker preamp output to a low-pass subwoofer preamp output.

    Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood KDC-252U 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-252U 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.

    Key Beep: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    Radio Functions

    AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood KDC-252U 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-252U's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood KDC-252U 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.

    Mono Mode: The Mono mode improves the radio's FM reception, but the stereo effect will be lost.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The Kenwood KDC-252U 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.

    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, 11-character, bluish-white backlit fluorescent display with red button illumination.

    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.

    Display Dimmer: The display has two brightness settings to adjust the brightness of the display according to the surrounding illumination. You can change this setting within the menu from On or Off.

    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-252U comes with an IR remote control (RC-405) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, and Tuner functions. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).

    • Numeric Keypad: The wireless remote control features a numeric keypad (0-9) which allows direct track access of your music tracks & files (from CD or USB), as well as AM/FM presets.
    • Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one touch of the button.

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Staff Reviews

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

    Simple EQ Controls

    Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 1/17/2012 9:37:00 AM

    I had an opportunity to try out this receiver in the Labs. I tend to fiddle with EQ settings a lot, and was glad to find out that it was easy to do with the KDC-252U. Press the volume knob to enter, and use the back button to, well, go back.

    I also liked having the option to save individual user settings. I share a car with another family member who has decidedly different tastes in music (and what music should sound like). Not having to reset the EQ every time I get in the car is a huge convenience.

    What are the Labs?