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Kenwood KDC-255U

CD receiver (New Stock)

95 Reviews | 4 questions - 8 answers

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Our take on the Kenwood KDC-255U

Kenwood's KDC-255U CD receiver delivers solid performance and plenty of features at a pretty nice price.You get variable color illumination for the buttons so you can set the color to match your dash lighting perfectly. The front USB port allows you to control the music on your iPhone® or Android® phone through this Kenwood, and gives you access to SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, Pandora Internet radio, and other apps on your iPhone too.  

Variable color display and a USB port

Kenwood's KDC-255U CD receiver delivers solid performance and plenty of features at a pretty nice price.You get variable color illumination for the buttons so you can set the color to match your dash lighting perfectly. The front USB port allows you to control the music on your iPhone® or Android® phone through this Kenwood, and gives you access to SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, Pandora Internet radio, and other apps on your iPhone too.  

Kenwood KDC-255U CD receiver

You can adjust the color on this Kenwood's buttons to match your car's illumination.

Power packed

Kenwood built impressive amplification into this receiver. You'll notice a dramatic power boost and improved sound quality, even if you still have your factory speakers — with aftermarket speakers, the difference is even more significant. With a 3-band EQ and 3-level bass boost, you can tweak your music to your heart's content, while the Supreme Setting feature enhances the sound of MP3 and WMA files. If you add a powered sub to your system, you can use the sub level control, the low-pass crossover, and the phase setting to adjust your bass.

Feature friendly

The easily accessed front-panel minijack input offers a quick connection for portable music players and other audio devices. Or if CDs are more your style, this receiver delivers excellent sound quality, soundstaging, and stereo separation, whether they're produced by your favorite prerecorded CDs or discs that you loaded up with MP3 and WMA files. Your passengers can use the included wireless remote to change tunes, sources, and sound settings.

iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • iPod control (also compatible with Music Control app for Android phones)
    • Pandora control with iPhone
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • detachable face with 11-digit LCD display
    • variable color illumination for buttons
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 EQ curves and a 3-band equalizer)
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of heavily compressed music files
    • speaker size settings
    • bass boost
    • low-pass filter and subwoofer level control
    • iPod direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary input and USB port
    • outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs (2.5-volt, switchable to subwoofer mode)
    Other features and specs:

    What's in the Box:

    • CD receiver (with 10-amp fuse inserted into the chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-406)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Instruction Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Card

    Featured Video:

    Great product I've tried several car stereos in the past but this on is best by far.

    Scoe, Hagerstown, MD


    Kenwood KDC-255U Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (95 Reviews)

    Not what I was expecting

    Thomas from Rockwall, texas on 4/20/2014

    This unit was easy to install and sounds cleaner but quieter than my last unit, the lights work well but are too slow for my taste, the menus too complex, and the pandora refuses to link to my phones pandora, and the bass is way weaker than my last unit

    Pros: Cheap, pretty colors, installs well

    Cons: Pandora failed, bass sucks, quieter

    Kenwood radio

    Scoe from Hagerstown, MD on 4/17/2014

    2001 BMW 3 Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product I've tried several car stereos in the past but this on is best by far.

    Pros: iPod accessible,detachable face fits great into my car

    Cons: None

    Simply superb

    Cliff from Wake Forest NC on 3/18/2014

    1996 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I needed something to replace a stock radio/cassette player in my old F-150. The price was right, and the installation was relatively easy.

    Pros: Great price. Good features. Great sound.

    Cons: Features are a little difficult for an old-timer like me to figure out. Like programming a VCR.

    kenwood cd. player

    ben from Minneapolis, MN on 1/26/2014

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

    Awesome stereo for the Money

    Pros: Easy to use and install

    Cons: None

    Great Sound

    JohnV from Ville Platte, La on 1/20/2014

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

    Great radio - great value

    Pros: Ease of installation. Instructions easy to follow. Cool display. Works great with iPhone and Pandora.

    Cons: Takes a while to setup the radio. Display is not intuitive. Wish it would display time and station at same time. Have to select the one you prefer.

    Wow! So much for so little.

    SEUT from Moab, Utah on 1/14/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    So many features all for under $100. Set the sound to OEM and the 20 year old speakers on my F-150 sound great.

    Pros: Kenwood name and reputation, iPod/iPad compatability. Can light up to any color you choose. It's got a remote too.

    Cons: When it's playing I just want the clock to show up on the display and I don't think that is an option, or I'm too stupid to figure it out :-/

    Great receiver

    JS from Cucamonga, CA on 1/8/2014

    1998 Mazda 626
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have always liked Kendwood products. I have purchased 2 Kenwood units in the past and they still work fine after 10 years. I purchased this unit for my son's car as a Christmas gift. We installed it and the sound quality was beyond surprising despite using the factory speakers of a 12 year old car. (this is his first car, just got license to drive)

    Pros: Great initial quality and sound.

    Cons: None yet.

    Nice Receiver

    Snarf from Chicago,Ill on 1/5/2014

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

    Received. In a timely. Manner during Christmas holiday . Installed in 93 Honda Accord . I did not want a expensive radio Just a daily driver got on sale for the price sound quality very good and with stock speakers just the right option menu You will learn in about 20 min. Worth every penny simple and looks very nice with multiple color schemes that change all the time

    Pros: Easy to operate

    Cons: None

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Clyde from Hilo, Hawaii on 1/4/2014

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

    Deliver took only three work days. Easy to install with Crutchfields' s auto guide which was comprehensive and accurate configuration for my 2001 Tacoma pickup truck. It took only two hours to install.

    Pros: 1. fast delivery; 2. easy installation; 3. the sound is great. 4. easy to understand instructions on how to program the buttons for my needs. 5. I like the colorful lighting. 6. best of all, can't beat the price for this great sounding radio with Apple ipod hookup as advertised. Thank you, Crutchfield!

    Cons: 1. Although buttons are small, I am now used to them after a week of trial and error.

    Nice stereo

    Anonymous from San Clemente, Ca. on 1/3/2014

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

    Bought this for my 16 year old son and it looks and sounds fantastic in his 07 Accord. Easy install and the kit fit perfectly. Wiring was easy as well. Highly recommended.

    Pros: Simple to understand and easy to manipulate. Great quality product.


    Kenwood KDC-255U

    YogieBear from Alamogordo, NM on 1/3/2014

    2006 GMC Sierra 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am 76 & not a very good NERD. Having problems setting things. I'll get it.

    Pros: Very good looking. Sounds good.

    Cons: Confused initial setup

    Great inexpensive option

    Chris from Jonestown, PA on 1/3/2014

    2005 Honda Odyssey
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this unit because my OEM CD player died, and my wife wanted something to play CDs on. Since I wanted something inexpensive, this fit the bill. It came with a free "in dash kit", so that was a great bonus. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but once you play around a bit, you'll get the hang of things. My reception for one of my local channels doesn't seem to be quite as good, so the antenna adapter might not work as well the OEM setup.

    Pros: Looks great, sounds great

    Cons: The controls aren't super user-friendly


    fanastas from Jasper GA on 1/3/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    this was what my son was looking something with a USB port. After install stero work great sounded good.

    Pros: was what i was looking for extra cable and plugs a big benefit.

    Cons: After install placed dash back together radio work all was good accept when he went home no dash lights. We did not hook up the dimmer wire to anything because there was no place or direction on where it needed it to go. Had to take all a part and we found a hot wire when key switch was turned on for dash lights to work. after thatt all is good.

    Great Experience - Decent Radio

    holinessprchr from Florida on 1/3/2014

    2001 Dodge Dakota
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Crutchfield's Customer Service Is Second To NONE.... I had an issue on the install when I had no sound coming out of the speakers. I called their customer service and turns out that even though nothing in the vehicle said "Infinity" it was. Needless to say, I had to bypass the amp or connect the blue amp wire. They even emailed me a copy of the bypass wiring diagram. Also, I have installed many radios over the years and Crutchfield's dash kits have been superior with detailed instructions. I will buy again and recommend to my friends.. Thanks With Exception of the volume knob, I would rather have purchased the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 which I purchased previously for the same price. It has much more customization. Over all this is still a decent head unit.

    Pros: Great value, solid unit, USB works exceptionally, Fair amount of sound customization

    Cons: Sound gets a tad distorted when turned loud. I wish that the color that you choose from the selection also changed with the color of the display info. For example, green unit face color with white/blue display info color doesn't look good together. Not near as much sound customization as my previous purchase of the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397. However, this units volume knob is not slick and I do like that much, much better

    Great CD Receiver

    BJM from TN on 1/2/2014

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

    I am a fan of the Kenwood products and this one did not disappoint. I purchased it for Christmas gift for me mom. After a few what does this mean and how did you do that she was off and going. The ability to change the color of the background was a neat favor for her. sounded great with factory speakers, she listens to books on CD a lot. For the money I am very happy with it.



    Got it done

    Tom P from Chesapeake VA on 1/1/2014

    2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product. I purchased this receiver to upgrade the factory radio. I wanted to stay in a budget and reviewed plenty of units. From others personal reviews and a great customer service chat with Crutchfield I installed this unit and it has done everything it stated, installation was very simple.

    Pros: Overall great product... A box full of pros.

    Cons: I got nothing..

    Great stereo for a great price

    jostertag from Waco, TX on 12/30/2013

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

    As with anything new, it took me a little getting use to the extra functions that this stereo offered me and how to operate it. I ran into a few problems with installing it undoubtedly due to my ignorance in almost everything electrical, but those were resolved within 3 minutes of calling Customer Service to walk me through the issues! I didn't purchase new speakers with this stereo but it automatically cleaned the sound up and made me feel like the speakers were new as well - great sound! Stereo looks amazing in the car and I LOVE being able to play my own playlists from my iPod through the USB port. A+

    Pros: Ease of Installation (I did it) Improved sound of standard speakers Looks great Features everything I need in a stereo

    Cons: If I had to pick something it would be the time it takes to get use to new things, but honestly this is no deterrent.

    Kenwood Receiver

    Kenwood KDC-255u from Spring Lake, Michigan, 49456 on 12/28/2013

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

    Very easy to install and the sound is great. It has all the hook ups I was looking for. Very Happy with my purchase of this receiver/CD player.

    Pros: Easy to install, great sound, and USB connections make it easy to use IPhone 5. Looks cool too.

    Cons: None yet

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    mike from lockport il on 12/24/2013

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

    This is an all around good product

    Pros: Too many to list

    Cons: Havent had any yet

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Kenwood KDC-255U from Anniston, AL on 12/19/2013

    1996 Dodge Dakota
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    NICE radio! Great AM/FM radio functions. I REALLY like being able to plug my digital Sony Walkman into the USB port and listen to music and audiobooks that I have loaded onto the Walkman when we hit the road! Easy installation with the installation wire harness and faceplate, though there are some spare wires that I do not need in my old Dodge Dakota with a fixed antenna.



    Great product

    Tina from Tulsa Ok on 12/18/2013

    2004 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Would recommend to anyone


    Cons: None


    doug from reading,pa on 12/17/2013

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

    easy install great value and sounds good too



    Good Kenwood

    hobbylobby from Asheville, NC on 12/12/2013

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

    The Kenwood KDC-255U is a great radio and CD player. It integrates very well with my iPod. I had a little trouble installing the receiver because the wiring diagram was less than helpful. But great quality and a good price.

    Pros: Great quality and iPod integration.

    Cons: Bad Wiring Diagram

    Pretty colors, Great sound

    AJ from Chicago, IL on 12/12/2013

    1995 Chevrolet S10
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This little radio puts out a ton of sound for a great, low price. The one feature I love though, is the color changing lights on the face. Sure I'm easily amused, but it's just cool. The receiver seems to pull in a ton of stations my old radio could not. One flaw I don't like though, is the lack of a tuner knob. Not a big gripe, but it is one. It also installs easily with the Crutchfield parts it comes with, with minimal work. If you need to replace or upgrade the radio in your old Chevy, yoiu can beat this one.

    Pros: Changes colors, great reception, easy to instal, looks sharp, pretty easy to use.

    Cons: No tuner knob (a small little con)

    Awesome Unit!

    Adam B from Fort Campbell, KY on 12/10/2013

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

    Bought this to go in my 2003 Kia Spectra, it works amazingly and it is lightyears ahead of the factory unit. Would purchase again!

    Pros: Great value Great sound Looks great Superior build quality

    Cons: Menu is a little tricky at first but it only takes a few minutes to adjust.

    worked as expected

    chuck from Antigo, WI on 12/9/2013

    1990 Buick Park Avenue
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Works great as expected. Real easy to use

    Pros: Easy function, versatility, customizable



    Louie from Roostown, Oh on 12/8/2013

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

    I'm still learning this unit.

    Pros: looks good in the miata.

    Cons: power antenna stays up when playing cd-not all Crutchfield techs know it. after calling and rewiring three times. I did get correct answer-the power antenna goes up once unit powered on.

    Nice stereo!

    David from Lake Wylie, SC on 12/8/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome stereo unit for the $! The sound is great and the looks of this model is really neat with the changing colors on the front panel. You won't be sorry with this stereo!

    Pros: Easy to install! Looks and sounds great!

    Cons: Didn't fit exactly perfect.......but that could have been my dash, I'm talking only off by a fraction......not a big deal!

    Very nice.

    Danny T. from Avella,PA on 12/7/2013

    The head unit works great. Really like the color changing on it. Makes my normal stock speakers sound great, plus my sub a nice boost. I like how it has it's own subwoofer setting. Overall for the price I think this is a wonderful buy.

    Pros: Works great!

    Cons: I'm satisfied.

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    craigel from Rockford, IL on 12/5/2013

    2000 Saturn LS1
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    A nice, affordable deck with all the needed basic features, and then some. My wife loves the changeable colors.

    Pros: Looks, sound quality, features, and price.

    Cons: Can be difficult to navigate all the selections possible on this deck, but that's par for the course, anymore.

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    matlas from Tucson,AZ on 11/26/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great value for my application and needs. Replaced OEM radio in 1999 diesel truck with new speakers as well. 1000X improvement in sound. No longer have to use a cassette tape to use my ipod. Has Pandora capability etc. Sound is really good. Only negative is small buttons. Install instructions were great and everything I needed to have a finished product was included. Plus free shipping. Love the purchase and love Crutchfield-they are a great company.


    Cons: small buttons

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Anonymous from Taos, NM on 11/24/2013

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

    Nice unit, wish it had a mute button and auto return to function if turned off and on.



    Kenwood KDC255U

    jasperisa from Tinian MP on 11/14/2013

    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Totally Awesome! Sound quality was off the charts, love how the displays lights changes colors..Can't beat the price, so worth every penny..



    doesn't work with android

    seiteka from destin, Florida on 11/4/2013

    2004 Nissan Sentra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Claims to work with android. The app you download so that it will control from your android does not work with the radio. You plug it in and it registers as having no music on the device. When you select music it plays through your android not through the head unit.

    Pros: sound quality is solid Settings are straight forward

    Cons: Does not work with android, that was the whole reason I bought it.

    Crutchfield response on 11/6/2013 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Wayne from Chesterfield VA on 11/3/2013

    2000 Mazda Protege
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy to install and good sound.



    Everything i was looking for!

    Anonymous from Indianapolis,IN on 11/3/2013

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

    Great product at a value price. Easy to install with all the features I was looking for. Good quality and looks very nice installed.



    Great Stereo

    Lorie R from Campbellsville, KY on 11/2/2013

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

    Another great Kenwood product. This stereo makes my old speakers sound better and living out in the country, it has better reception and picks up more stations. The wiring harness that came with the stereo made it easy to install. Great Tech Support from the guys at Crutchfield.

    Pros: Love the Pandora feature and the fact that the LED display changes colors.

    Cons: probably should have ordered a better mounting kit. The one that came free with the stereo caused the stereo to be a little loose. I rigged it for a tighter fit.

    Love it!

    Adam from PA on 10/29/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It took a little bit for me to get used to but once I did I was golden! What I like most about this unit is that it has a built in sub. I may not even have to hook my old sub-woofer back up I am getting that good of bass from this thing! The guy that helped me pick this one was really cool about everything, helped me select down to the last detail. Now all that's left is to give it new speakers as the factory ones are taking a major beating! lol Thank you Crutchfield!!

    Pros: Bass and overall good sounds quality!

    Cons: Adjusting to the controls.

    Great radio!

    Brandon from SC on 10/28/2013

    2003 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It is a great product and was pretty easy to install. Plus you can't beat it coming with all of the needed supplies. The only separate thing I bought were some POSI connectors.

    Pros: Looks great; changing colors, and overall style Decently Quick Install Good instructions All supplies were included Good price Quick Shipping

    Cons: The sound quality is not as good as my stock radio. Everything is high pitched

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Anonymous from nj on 10/28/2013

    2005 Honda Odyssey
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    nice sound quality.

    Pros: color changing face plate. ipod integration (usb).

    Cons: the control buttons are little small.

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Zach from Lake mills, ia on 10/23/2013

    2005 Honda Accord LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall great radio. Could use a little more detailed installation sheet but was pretty easy to figure out with what was provided.

    Pros: Easy to use, looks good.

    Cons: When first plugging phone in to play regular music it automatically opens pandora.


    Levi from Fargo, ND on 10/18/2013

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

    The thing is sharp as hell feels like your in a spaceship. Sounds a lot better then the factory one. I really enjoy it.

    Pros: the colors

    Cons: Nothing yet

    Good deal to me!

    RobY from California on 10/17/2013

    Very easy to install with the Crutchfield installation kit. Schematics and diagrams made wire connections simple. I soldered/shrink tubed the harness and it went flawlessly after using the suggested wiring verification test for my F250. I wanted something that I could plug my satellite radio into using an auxiliary jack, instead of the window suction cups junk holding the unit antenna output wire. Need to figure that out so as to not mess with FM station interference. Stereo works great and sounds awesome compared to the old burned up ford factory radio that liked eating cassettes (what are those again... :)... ).

    Pros: Easy radio set up and install. Like the color selection to match the trucks normal dash light color.

    Cons: To bad the scrolling display doesn't match the color selection... can't have everything for $100... :)

    Love my new car stereo!

    SueW from West Warwick, RI on 10/16/2013

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

    I purchased my factory refurbished Kenwood KDC-255U recently and couldn't be more happy with it. Installing it into my Honda CR-V was not the easiest process thanks to the design of the Honda, but it looks great, sounds great, and the USB input terminal makes playing my iPod in the car a piece of cake. I wasn't sure what to expect, buying a factory refurbished product, but this one looks brand new. Now I wish I had replaced the stock radio in my car years ago!

    Pros: Sounds awesome and I love the color display. A great value for the price!


    Kenwood car stereo 02 civic ex

    Melissa from Tampa, FL on 10/16/2013

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

    I'm fully satisfied with it. my brother recommended it to me and he has been happy with his for over five years as well...same model just newer

    Pros: everything is a pro. let's not forget installation kit was FREE

    Cons: no cons

    A good choice.

    Boomer from Ft Worth, TX on 10/10/2013

    2000 Nissan Frontier
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The sound is great. I really like the inputs for the USB and the jack for the MP3 player. There are plenty of presets, however the buttons for them are a little difficult to select. They also feel a little fragile. I'm not a fan of all of the colored lights, so I was happy to see that the unit allowed me to pick one single display color.

    Pros: Good sound. USB and MP3 inputs. Color selection.

    Cons: Preset buttons feel fragile.

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Anonymous from Palmyra, MO on 10/8/2013

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

    For the money you send it is worth every dime and then some!

    Pros: Worth every dollar


    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Anonymous from cocoa beach fl on 10/7/2013

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

    Was easy to install in my the usb input. Works seamlessly with Pandora.Iphone...Crutchfield rocks!



    Great Sound

    GijzetteS from Mount Dora, FL on 10/4/2013

    2007 Ford Taurus SE
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sounding radio. The ability to pick a color to match your mood is a plus.

    Pros: Great sound.


    Kenwood KDC-255U

    ernie from California ky on 10/3/2013

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

    Easy to install and use




    TOM W from FAIRFIELD, CT on 10/1/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)




    Kenwood KDC-255U

    papasmurfer from Van Nuys, CA on 10/1/2013

    1981 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Xlnt value for the money



    Good Deal!

    bird from Lancaster, Pa. on 10/1/2013

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

    Has just what I wanted, plus a few extras. Great tech support and it looks like it's a factory install, what more can you ask for? Crutchfield's supper fast shipping is also a big plus, I ordered the receiver mid afternoon and the next day it was on my door step!

    Pros: Price/Quality, ease of the install, looks and sounds problems.

    Cons: none


    James's mom from Boone, IA on 9/29/2013

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

    The stereo has given us great sound even when we have the windows down! Nice quality for the money!



    Kenwood KDC-255U

    James from Orlando Fl on 9/29/2013

    2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent unit, only problem I had was matching the wiring in my 2001 Mercedes.



    New car stereo

    Anonymous from Braselton, GA on 9/25/2013

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

    Good radio for the price. Super easy installation.



    Nice receive

    Nick from Anchorage Alaska on 9/25/2013

    2006 Chevrolet Aveo
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Really nice receiver for the first time builder

    Pros: Great sound. Easy to install. Easy to use

    Cons: Haven't found any yet

    Great features at a low price

    Mike from Berea, KY on 9/24/2013

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

    Bought this radio as a replacement for the factory Bose radio in my 03 Silverado. Love the radio. I got this primarily for the aux in, USB drive, and the CD player. An extra converter was needed for the Bose, but it was simple to wire up. It allows for 24 different color choices. Course having the Master Sheet made the job of taking the dash apart easier. Setup was half way easy since I have had Kenwood radios before.

    Pros: cost features USB drive aux in selectible colors

    Cons: None that I have found so far

    Kenwoods are all I buy

    Kevin from South Brunswick , NJ on 9/16/2013

    1999 Pontiac Grand Am
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is the third Kenwood I have bought to replace radios in three cars. The first two have worked great and so far the KDC-255U is no different. This one is to replace a "Cheap" DUAL Radio that was actually more expensive than this Kenwood. The Dual was very flimsy, wherease the Kenwood is very sturdily built. The controls are well laid out and easy to figure out within a few minutes of using them. Sound is great and the IPOD controls work great. Like any radio this size some buttons are small but spacing in between is good so hitting the wrong button is minimized. Will continue to buy Kenwoods and especially from Crutchfield, where the pricing is great. Most systems include all the Installation hardware and instructions. I have not been able to find anyone with lower pricing and better service.

    Pros: Well laid out controls. IPOD controls work great. Sound is great.

    Cons: None

    kenwood kdc 255u

    Ray in sc from NINETY SIX, SC on 9/15/2013

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

    Easy to install, support staff was great answered my questions in several minutes, sounds much better than original unit even though I still use stock speakers will but from Crutchfield

    Pros: easy to install, sounds great

    Cons: none

    Good Player

    Digger from Kyle, TX on 9/7/2013

    2003 Chrysler Town and Country
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Everything works as it is supposed to. The unit is easy to operate and appears to be well made. I am pleased. Crutchfield Customer service is excellent. the lights change colors and give some nice eye candy.




    Anonymous from Boise, ID on 9/6/2013

    1998 Acura Integra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Best bang for my buck! It's easy to use and comes with most of the bells and whistles I wanted!

    Pros: Comes with USB and aux setup. Can change colors to match custom lighting.


    Great car stereo!

    JimF from Tustin, MI on 8/31/2013

    2002 Buick Century
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great sounding stereo. I bought the previous version of this for my Jeep, then this model for my 92 F150 I'm restoring as well as our 2002 Buick Century. It's a beautiful piece of hardware with plenty of power for my old ears. I don't use a subwoofer, but find I really don't need it for the classic rock I listen to. Great value, too, from Crutchfield!

    Pros: Great sound, plenty of power, attractive design.

    Cons: Sometimes a bit difficult to find a track or folder when using an mp3 disk or usb drive.

    Great value

    Tony p from Phoenix az on 8/27/2013

    2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice unit for the price. Everything needed to install was included. Tech support was awesome when i ran into a problem with the install.

    Pros: Good sound for a good price.

    Cons: Display difficult to get used to.

    Great for the price

    Lew from Montana on 8/26/2013

    1994 Subaru Legacy
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good for the price. It's kind of a pain to scroll through all of the options, but once you get the initial set up done, it's not too hard to change the audio controls. It's not the coolest deck, but I wanted something I could enjoy that others didn't want to steal and if they do, I'm only out a bill. I wish I would have upgraded to one with at least 2 line outs. When you add an amp and run all of your speakers through it, you cant fade. I didn't plan on adding an amp when I bought this but Crutchfield had such a good deal on one I couldn't pass it up. It's that whole hind sight thing.

    Pros: looks great, easy to install with the free wiring harness

    Cons: only one line out but that was my fault for not thinking ahead

    Nice radio/cd player

    TF from Oskaloosa KS on 8/23/2013

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

    Pandora will not work with an Android phone. I phone yes. It can be done in AUX with a cable. That was not listed in the sales or user manual. Otherwise this radio tuner / CD player etc is an excellent device that I hope works for a long time.

    Pros: See Above

    Cons: See Above


    Scott L from Douglasville, Ga. on 8/23/2013

    1993 Chevrolet Lumina
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Affordabley priced and easy to install. A great bang for the buck. I am a highly satisfied Crutchfield customer .

    Pros: What a great sound ! Even with the 20 year old Z-34 factory speakers to back up this new receiver, it sounds awesome. Easy to navigate through out

    Cons: NONE


    Jeff from Port St Joe, FL on 8/21/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy install, works like a dream. Could not be happier.

    Pros: Everything

    Cons: Nothing

    Great system, great price

    KD from Waco, TX on 8/19/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great system, easy to use, great sound! 2nd Kenwood that I've installed in a couple of months (put a KMR-355 in my boat) and I'm very pleased with the product. I put this KDC-255U in my son's truck, we're both very happy with the outcome. Will be putting this same deck in my truck in a couple of months. The sales support at Crutchfield is excellent.

    Pros: USB input and 1/8" input, display, sound.


    As good as it gets for the price

    David B from Glenshaw PA on 8/15/2013

    2002 GMC Sierra 2500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought a used truck with speakers that were falling apart. While ordering speakers I decided to add on a "budget" stereo. I could not be happier with what I got for the price. It came with everything I needed to install. Looks great in my dash and beats the sound of the factory unit. My past Crutchfield purchases came with vehicle specific install instructions. This did not. Not a big deal, not my first time installing.

    Pros: Sound quality is good, great unit for the money.

    Cons: Limited display, only one line.

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Rob from Asheville, NC on 8/14/2013

    2003 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Pick up truck needed tunes inasmuch as CD player was defunct. Great choice for simple install & listening, though now I listen more to broadcast radio out of habit born from previous necessity...



    No problems

    DHenry from Accokeek, MD on 8/11/2013

    2003 Hyundai Sonata
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Instructions easy to follow, had one problem after installing with antenna not coming up. Call support and got a quick response. Everything works great!



    Simply amazing!!

    Nathaniel from Topock, Arizona on 8/11/2013

    2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 Class
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    One of the best stereo I have bought so far from Crutchfield. Mainly because the price with all the installation parts and the quality and features of the Kenwood KDC-255U. Only down side not CEA compliant so not sure about the true 22 rms each channel, besides that love this stereo!

    Pros: Looks Sound Features

    Cons: Not CEA


    Liz from Indianola, MS on 8/9/2013

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

    Simple to install with the wire harness



    Great unit at a great price

    Mark from Yantic, CT on 8/4/2013

    2004 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed in a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500. Shipping was fast and arrived when expected. The instructions were easy to follow and installation was a breeze. The receiver boosted the output of the stock speakers and everything sounds great.

    Pros: Price, features, ease of use, easy to install

    Cons: none

    Couldnt ask for more for the low price!

    Marcos from Pearce, Arizona on 8/3/2013

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

    Works great, easy to adjust and program. Great value, couldnt ask for more in the price range.

    Pros: Cruchfield gives you the hardware and good instructions. Unit is self explanatory, compact and light.

    Cons: Dont really have a con in my review.

    Girlfriend's Upgrade

    D. Martin from Richmond, VA on 8/2/2013

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

    I purchased the Kenwood Receiver as a birthday present for my girlfriend, and she absolutely LOVES IT. She drives a 1998 Honda Civic EX, which only had a bare bones receiver w/o a cd player, and definitely not a MP3/Aux compatibility. A buddy and I installed the receiver, and the only thing that we did wrong was not leaving in the factory radio which works the keyless entry. We spoke to a Crutchfield rep the day while installing the receiver, and unfortunately he was not very knowledgeable however; he did email me some older install pics which he hoped would help. They did not. I've since seen a Youtube video demonstrating how to install the new receiver with the old one still inside, so we will attempt to correct our mistake soon. Again, my girlfriend loves her new receiver. Thanks Crutchfield!

    Pros: Price. Compatibility. Functionality. Ease of use. "Coolness Factor."

    Cons: The instructions could have been tailored specifically to the keyless entry model, which is what I specified at the time the order was submitted.

    Nice for the money

    Jeff from New York on 7/31/2013

    2007 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice stereo for the money, and it arrived quickly.

    Pros: Good price

    Cons: Some of the buttons are a bit small and hard to get to.

    Very Pleased!

    honu1919 from Honolulu, Hawaii on 7/26/2013

    2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed in 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara. Improved the sound quality of the factory speakers. Settings and functions are easy to pick-up on. Love the color display options as well as the Ipod compatibility. Great value and love the free (and fast) shipping to Hawaii.

    Pros: Ipod compatibility and sound quality.

    Cons: None.

    Nice unit

    Anonymous from Minnesota on 7/26/2013

    2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice unit.

    Pros: Easy to use. Easy to install


    Amazing Stereo, Amazing Service

    Anonymous from Florida on 7/20/2013

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

    Installed in my 95 toyota avalon with ease and it provided a great sound upgrade. Comes with all the wiring needed which is a great deal, I saw the same Kenwood receiver at other stores for $145 and up which does no include wiring or the customer service Crutchfield provides. Looks great, sounds great and was an easy project for someone with little car experience. Quality stereo.

    Pros: Nice audio adjustment sounds, easy to navigate. The stereo is easy to install and Cruthfield's customer service is remarkable.

    Cons: None.

    Great unit! Easy install! Exceptional price

    TomD from O'Fallon, IL on 7/20/2013

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

    Excellent Kenwood quality for the price point. Great sound. Easy install thanks to Crutchfield!

    Pros: Great value and great sound. Easy install on a 2001 Civic 4Dr

    Cons: None

    great radio, great price!

    Max from Oak Park, IL on 7/19/2013

    1995 Volvo 850
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This radio is great. It is nothing extravagant but I wasn't looking for that (those get stolen!). This radio does exactly what it says. Plays CDs, iPod, radio, and has an aux input too! And to boot, it has awesome sound. I just have stock speakers for now and they rock with this reciever. I just have to be careful not to crank passed 25 or it could blow them out. The presets add some good sound enhancements and the bass booster does wonders. Took me while to figure out the iPod setting. The trick is to hold the iPod button on the received and then you can control the music via the iPod rather than the head unit. The only semi negative thing I can say is that the unit buttons and face feel slightly cheap. Its plastic, you just can't be rough with it. No big deal. Also, I don't like the way these units are secured...the tabs on the mounting bracket...some screws would be might also just be my car.

    Pros: Great sound, aesthetically pleasing, lighting feature.

    Cons: Buttons are a little flimsy, securing system is marginal

    NIce replacement for stock radio

    Doug G from Seattle, WA on 7/18/2013

    1997 Saturn SL2
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Purchased this unit to replace the stock radio/CD player in my '97 Saturn SL2 after the CD unit gave up. I wanted something that was iPod-capable and this unit fit the specs I was looking for. Installation was straight-forward, and using the adapter Crutchfield supplied for connecting the wiring to the stock harness worked beautifully. I was going to purchase the KDC-155U but for $10 more you get the option of selecting the panel colors on this unit. (The bonus was that I got the mounting kit for free with this unit and it ended up costing less than I would have spent for the -155U and mounting kit combined.) The unit sounds great!!! For whatever reason, the door speakers that used to rattle with bass notes now sound clean, and the 6.5" Kicker speakers in the rear deck sound much better than with the stock unit. Probably just more power being delivered contributes to that. Overall, the controls are fairly straight-forward. Radio and CD playing is simple. Setting the EQ and other sound controls is easy to do. Controlling an iPod takes a little more getting used to when doing so through USB via the head unit. Searching artists and albums could be a little more linear like the iPod interface, but overall the features work. Probably best to build a selection of playlists in iTunes for on the road, as trying to search through artists, albums and songs will take your eyes off the road. Definitely a worthy replacement for a stock radio!

    Pros: Can change highlight colors on the unit. Works with iPods/iPhones, Android and other music players. Improved sound quality over stock units.

    Cons: iPod/iPhone navigation could be improved.

    excellent radio, excellent price

    restlessrustler from hopewell nj on 7/16/2013

    2001 Ford Focus ZX3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Works well, many changeable colors, easy to use out front ports for usb and jack, easy to use

    Pros: as said above

    Cons: none yet


    Mike A from Elmwood Park, il on 7/13/2013

    2002 Isuzu Trooper
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    AWESOME, price, function, looks. Took no time to install, very easy. Sounds great. Pandora feature is the best. And best of all my order was shipped fast, arrived on time. I had question, called the help line, did not wait on hold, he knew the item I purchased, helped me with my question and the tunes were loud n clear in no time. THANKS

    Pros: Looks, sound, features, pandora, iPhone & aux inputs.

    Cons: NONE

    nice upgrade for 2004 prius

    tla from bay area on 7/10/2013

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

    lots of bang for the $. stock prius cd unit died, and this was a way better option than buying a used unit on ebay. relatively easy to install, called tech support and had no waiting and they helped me with my wiring questions asap. taking the dash apart was harder than installing the unit and wiring it, youtube the dash removal video before attempting this install on a prius. this kenwood unit sounds noticeably better than the stock prius unit, with sharper sound, crisper highs and tighter lows. a little too much bling on the face, I like a simpler interface, but they're all like that these days. I would buy this again, and probably will for my toyota tacoma.

    Pros: sound upgrade over stock great value

    Cons: prius install a little tricky ,but that's the car, not the Kenwood unit


    JIM from NEWPORT, TN on 6/17/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This radio was a breeze to put in. It looks nice and neat in the mounting kit crutchfield sent with the radio. It sounds great. I have to order some door speakers soon, as mine are staticky,. I have had a lot of radios installed professionally, and this is the first one i put in since bought one way back in '83 very crutchfield mail order. Great produsct and great service...thanks

    Pros: Looks nice, sounds great, easy to install.

    Cons: NONE

    Great choice

    Anonymous from Phoenixville, pa on 6/12/2013

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

    Great buy. Only problem is that the face is highly reflective and is hard to see during day time, but the may be due to the angle of the HU as well.



    Kenwood KDC-255U

    CNC from Greenville, SC on 6/9/2013

    2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this in a 2002 Chevy 2500HD. The main reason for installation was to have the use of the iPod jack. This unit has very good quality and is easy to use. I does everything that I wanted it to do. Installation was quick and painless with the mounting kit and wiring harness.

    Pros: good sound, quality, dimmer, color options, iPod input, many options, easy to use

    Cons: none

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Rey from Pensacola, FL on 6/8/2013

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

    Awesome look and sound was best quality and price range

    Pros: Price, sound and quality

    Cons: None

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    AndreV from Indianapolis, IN on 5/18/2013

    2009 Hyundai Sonata
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product and an even better value. Sound quality is much better than the OEM radio. Love all the input options- CD, iPod, thumb drive,and AUX input. There is nothing you can't connect with this unit! Easy to follow menu tree and clear graphics make it simple to use. Very happy with it, would recommend it highly.



    Amber display matches BMW interior, subtle design, easy menus.

    TT from NC on 5/8/2013

    1995 BMW 318I
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was looking for an inexpensive iPhone-compatible head unit for my 1995 BMW convertible. It works great with my iPhone 5 running iOS 6, and the unit itself looks very good inside the E36 interior (most car stereos are way too flashy looking for the stoic old BMW interior, so I liked the plainness of this one). Overall I would buy this stereo again.

    Pros: -Menus are very easy to navigate, much better than the 2-year-old Sony head unit I replaced this with. -Bass, treble and midrange controls aren't buried under a bunch of navigation menus. They are easy to find. -iphone connectivity is easy and you can control from the head unit or the iPhone, although I haven't tried it from the phone yet. -Variable color backlight can match BMW amber exactly. -No ads on pandora when I use this stereo (??)

    Cons: -It doesn't have bluetooth, but I prefer having my iPhone plugged into it so the phone can charge. -I have a convertible so the display completely washes out in the sunlight when the top is down (and has a purple tint) but pretty much every car stereo is going to wash out in a convertible except for the stock BMW stereo. -Sometimes the pandora has a "Connect error". It's infrequent and unplugging/replugging the phone fixes it. It may be due to my cellphone signal dropping as I drive around.

    Kenwood KDC-255U

    Anonymous from Bronx, NY on 4/29/2013

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

    Awesome stereo. Very user friendly with excellent sound and controls.

    Pros: Value, Sound, Ease of installation.

    Cons: Didn't come with a face plate case.

    Great system

    LeeS from Baton Rouge, LA on 1/13/2013

    1997 Toyota 4Runner
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed this system in my son's 97 4Runner, and the immediate difference in sound quality from the factory stereo was huge! Hooking up my iphone/ipod was easty, though the Kendwood app on my son's droid phone isn't quite working well - we still can't get the system to recognize the music on it. Minor setback with the aux plug, but still wish we had the advertised feature. Regardless, very happy....good bang for the buck




    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 7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch 5/4/3/2/1/
    iPhone 5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    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 Variable
    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

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

    USB/Android/Aux Integration

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-255U 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; such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives. The unit supports playback of MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) music files stored on a compatible USB memory device formatted with 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 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 Google Play App Store. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS Froyo or Gingerbread. 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

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood KDC-255U 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) device 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. 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 KDC-255U allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV. 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.

    iPod/iPhone Control

    iPod Direct Connection w/ DAC Bypass: The KDC-255U'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. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5/5C/5S; use the Lightning-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-255U.

    • DAC Bypass: This 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.
    • Music 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 also 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. 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.
    • Information Display: The KDC-255U 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-255U will not display your iPod/iPhone's music information (the head unit will instead display "APP/iPod").
    • Battery 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. If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it.

    Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood KDC-255U using your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately), or the cable supplied with your iPhone. The Kenwood KDC-255U 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). New stations can be created based on the current songs or artists playing. You can also save 3 Pandora stations as presets. 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 (iOS5 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.

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

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-255U is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/13/2013):

    iPod Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod/App Pandora app Artist/Song Text Track Info
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5C 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4th 6.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5th 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    7th 1.02PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    mini 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    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.

    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-255U 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-255U 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-406) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood KDC-255U 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-255U utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-255U 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-255U 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

    Selectable 2.5V Preamp Output: The KDC-255U 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-255U 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.

    Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the head unit's audio 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.

    Note: You can store bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (CD, AM/FM, Aux, USB, iPod, and Pandora).

    Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.

    • Bass Boost: The Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2, BB3, 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).
    • 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.

    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).

    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-255U features a built-in AM/FM tuner. You can choose one of four tuning methods: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), Manual Tune, or Direct Access (via remote).

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-255U's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood KDC-255U 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.

    Direct Access Tuning: You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.

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

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The Kenwood KDC-255U features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. There is no protective face case included. An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can be purchased for this unit. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Fluorescent Display: The Kenwood head unit features a single-line, 11-character, bluish-white backlit fluorescent display.

    Variable Color Button Illumination: The Kenwood KDC-255U features variable color button illumination. You can choose from one of 24 preset colors, have the unit scan through all 24 preset colors continuously, or customize your own color (RGB; 0-9). The custom setting allows you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue (from 0-9) to better match your vehicle's interior lights. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain red.

    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.

    Illumination Dimmer: You can manually dim the LCD and button illumination to better suit the time of day. The Kenwood logo and eject button do not dim.

    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-255U comes with an IR remote control (RC-406) 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.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    4 questions already asked

    Thanks for your question. I'm sorry, no. Most vehicle receivers no longer provide that option. With the surrounding cage and plastic, shock is usually not an issue. If you have further questions I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer any questions you may have. [ Kenny  Apr 07, 2017 ]  Staff
    Yes [ RASHEEN J  Nov 17, 2013 ]
    My truck windows are lightly tinted and the stereo is read very easily in the day light. [ SIDNEY  Nov 16, 2013 ]
    No problem seeing the display. You can set it to any color you like. I'm very happy with this unit. [ COLAN L  Nov 15, 2013 ]
    Yes. It's decently bright and on a sunny day you can see/read it as long as there's no glare directly on the face. [ LEVI  Nov 15, 2013 ]
    I've never used it on an audiobook before. The Ipod control is mainly meant for pandora and apps such as that. That being said, it does allow the ipod to remain in an unaltered state when paused. I have used an audio file on the pod so this should work the same way. As long as the file recognizes as an MP3 or mp4 it should make a difference as the ipod has no idea the difference between the two. I'd bet that it would work. [ Jerry  Dec 17, 2014 ]
    It will do the same as if you paused it while listening on headphones or anything else. I would highly recommend making sure your iPod/iPhone is compatible though, my iPhone 5s and my wife's 6 are not...can only listen through an audio jack, so no iPod/iPhone control thought the unit. [ CHAD  Dec 15, 2014 ]
    If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They will be able to help you determine the best way to wire your system. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer. You can also post your question in our forums: Or try our online support center: [ Jeff  Feb 26, 2014 ]  Staff