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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

CD receiver (New Stock)

111 Reviews | 7 questions - 17 answers

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 CD receiver will expand your sonic boundaries with a nice blend of audio features and sophisticated styling. Thanks to its selectable color feature, you can pick a button color that matches your vehicle's illumination so the receiver will look perfect in your dash. 

Step into Kenwood's Excelon lineup

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 CD receiver will expand your sonic boundaries with a nice blend of audio features and sophisticated styling. Thanks to its selectable color feature, you can pick a button color that matches your vehicle's illumination so the receiver will look perfect in your dash. 

Better sound from more sources

iPod® or iPhone® users can plug into the convenient front-panel USB input, and enjoy outstanding control right from the receiver. When you're connected via USB, the KDC-X397 bypasses your iPod's internal circuitry, sending the digital data to the Kenwood's superior 24-bit digital-to-analog converter. Your favorite songs will sound better than ever. If you're a Pandora® Internet radio fan, you can even pick from your favorite stations when your iPhone's connected.

  • If you store your music on an Android device, Kenwood's free Music Control app allows you to enjoy a variety of search and playback features when your phone is plugged in via the front-panel USB.
  • If you're a satellite radio subscriber (or plan to be), the KDC-X397 works with SiriusXM's outboard tuner (not included), giving you coast-to-coast reception of your favorite talk, sports, and music programming.
  • You can liven up your drive by jacking another device into the front-panel aux input, or by loading in a CD or a recordable disc full of music files.
Kenwood KDC-X397 CD receiver

You can pick a button color that matches your dash illumination, so this Kenwood will look right at home.

Kenwood Excelon sound quality

If you're building a car audio system, this receiver features 4-volt preamp outputs that'll provide your amps with the strong signal they need for the best possible performance. And you'll find an impressive array of sound-sculpting tools built into this receiver. You can use the 3-band parametric equalizer to adjust the centerpoint of your treble, midrange, and bass controls, while the frequency filters trim unwanted low bass out of your full-range speakers and adjust the bass going to your subwoofer.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?

In most vehicles, you can use an adapter (not included) to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Kenwood stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and this Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab to see all compatible adapters. 

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 receiver 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 13-digit display and variable-color button illumination
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • EQ Pro (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer) speaker size settings
    • speaker size settings
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • 3-level bass boost
    • high- and low-pass filters with subwoofer level and phase controls
    • iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input — no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional connecting cable lets you leave your iPod cable at home
    • Pandora control with iPhone
    • Music Control app enables limited control over select Android devices
    • compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB input
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    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
    • Cloth pouch
    • Instruction Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Card

    Featured Video:

    This is a great radio for the money. It installed very easily and has a great sound.

    mb, Arizona


    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (111 Reviews)


    mb from Arizona on 9/25/2014

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

    This is a great radio for the money. It installed very easily and has a great sound.

    Pros: Easy to operate. Good sound.

    Cons: Cycling colors are annoying.


    Grace from Lewiston, NE on 9/21/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    EZ install, EZ set up, Excellent radio!

    Pros: EZ all radio

    Cons: None yet!

    Very good unit for the price

    Matt from Pa on 9/20/2014

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

    At first when i ordered i got an email telling me that it was on back-order and it would be shipped in a week, this kind of bummed me out. I was very surprised and excited to receive an email two days later telling me that my item has shipped and even more surprised when i received my package only two days after that. Me and my father got the old unit out and installed the new one in about 2 hours. It worked perfect i am very pleased with my purchase.

    Pros: -Tons of settings -The constant color changing is cool if you enjoy something a little different -works great with my ipod (the whole reason i replaced stock unit) -cant even tell its a factory refurb -improved sound quality -picks up alot more radio stations then my stock unit -im not sure why one would need a remote for a car stereo, but it comes with one and it works great -good price

    Cons: -might be a little confusing changing settings for some but the manual explains everything -sound quality is improved although gets distorted at high volumes (this is certainly caused by inferior stock speakers but i was anticipating this before i even bought the unit)

    Regret buying

    NESkier from Boston, MA on 7/1/2014

    2004 Toyota 4Runner
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this to get integrated Sirius and iPod functionality in my car but I regret it. The sound quality is terrible, (tinny) worse than my stock receiver. The unit is slow to steering wheel controls (2-3 second delay). The scrolling info display is inadequate for quickly finding a good Sirius station. i regret moving away from the standalone Sirius receivers for this reason alone. The buttons are cheap and flimsy and the dial feels like it will be broken after a few years, if I can stand it for that long. Overall, I regret buying this and paying to have it installed in my car.

    Pros: Connectability

    Cons: Sound quality, info display (Sirius), response time from steering wheel controls


    Miguel MTZ from Amarillo, TX on 3/22/2014

    1998 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good for the price. I checked online at other places nothing can compare. Yet people were still asking top dollar for dated products. More bang for your buck.

    Pros: Price for all the features. Slick look.

    Cons: Would have liked a Bluetooth feature.

    great price

    tom from pittsburgh pa on 3/19/2014

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

    this was a factory refurbished model at a great price. it is a little difficult to change settings and adjust audio levels in the menu on the fly. there are so many different options in the menu. but it sounds n works good so I am happy with it. with the dash panel and wire harness from Crutchfield always easy installation.


    Cons: just the settings are a little tough to change on the fly.

    piece of cake

    Anonymous from cleburne, Tx. on 1/24/2014

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

    Installed it myself with no problems at all. Love the sound and the looks.



    Great Sounding, Nice looking And All At A Affordable Price

    Joe from Louisville, KY on 1/13/2014

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

    Sounds MUCH BETTER than my old stock radio that came in my 1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ and I feel I made the right choice buying this radio / cd player for my needs, plus it has some extra features that I don't currently use but if I decide I want to then they are literally at my fingertips, plenty of power and with my Alpine SPS510 speakers I installed I get a sound quality that I enjoy a lot. I told the person at Crutchfield what I was wanting in a car stereo and gave a few options to choose from that would do as I wanted ( Thank You Ringo )

    Pros: Sound Quality Plenty of features 2 Year Warranty Came with everything that I needed to install my radio at No Extra Cost ( and the install kit looks nice even though my original radio was a 1.5 DIN in size. Affordable I thought personally that figuring out the settings and such was fairly easy even though I'm from a time when radios had 2 knobs, maybe a couple of preset buttons and a single speaker.

    Cons: Can't think of any at all.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Lorna from Hampton Cove, AL on 1/9/2014

    2000 Mitsubishi Montero Sport
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this Sirius car radio for my husband for Christmas. He absolutely loves it!!

    Pros: It's awesome.

    Cons: None

    great unit

    Buddy D. from Willow Springs NC on 1/9/2014

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

    This is my second 397, I have one in another vehicle, It does everything well at a great price.

    Pros: great sound, adjustability, and price

    Cons: none

    Kenwood Excelon Car Stereo - Great Product

    BigCRC from Philadelphia, PA on 1/7/2014

    2002 Saab 9-3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I replaced a Pioneer unit that I purchased from Crutchfield awhile ago with this Kenwood, not because of the sound quality, which was fantastic, but because of the overall operation of the unit. Other than a slightly better sound from the Pioneer, the Kenwood is much easier to operate, has numbered presets, a big display, and a really good remote, with numbers, which the Pioneer didn't have. I have a similar Kenwood unit in another car, and am very happy with their products and features. I installed their products into a 2001 Saab 93 4 door hatchback and a 2002 Saab 93 convertible, and everything I needed to make a clean and easy installation was included from Crutchfield. Very happy with this recent purchase and the ease of installation.

    Pros: Easy to use, looks good, and has good sound quality.

    Cons: The Pioneer I replaced with this Kenwood unit had richer sound, but that is the only downside that I have noticed.

    Great radio in this price range!

    Todd from SC on 1/7/2014

    2006 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great radio for the price. Easy to install and it sounds so much better than the stock radio (still using the factory speakers). The lights are a really nice touch for teenagers. Set with one color or have them change. If you're not a crazy audiophile, it's a great bargain for someone who just wants a better sound and an accessible USB.

    Pros: Noticeable improvement in sound quality over the factory radio.

    Cons: Learning the interface will take some reading.

    Kenwood KDC-X397

    Kyle from Little Rock, AR on 1/2/2014

    2005 Volkswagen Passat
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is the first aftermarket car stereo I have ever installed myself. With Kenwood's and Crutchfield's instructions provided, it was a piece of cake to install. I've always been a fan of Kenwood for their quality and this unit reassures me why. The sound quality is definitely better than the stock unit that was in the vehicle. The only thing I don't like (but I don't know if this is the standard with aftermarket stereos) is that you have to adjust the audio equalizer settings for every input. I wish the settings picked would carry over to all the inputs.

    Pros: USB on the front, xm capable, price, easy installation, easy to use

    Cons: settings button is the volume control also, so it's easy to accidentally change settings

    Kenwood KDC- X397

    Anonymous from Conway, AR on 1/1/2014

    2004 Kia Sorento EX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great unit for price. Many features and easy install.



    Kenwood KDC-X397

    ScottJ from Santa Clarita, CA on 12/26/2013

    2000 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy to install with vehicle specific instructions provided, looks factory only better.

    Pros: Variable lighting, USB, Aux jack and ease of use.


    Awesome upgrade over OEM

    Sam from Corinth VT on 12/23/2013

    1997 Ford F-250 Heavy Duty
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Put this in my 1997 f250 after the stock radio quit working. This is soooo much better the sound quality is way better. Its incredibly easy to use. Installation was extremely easy it took me almost no time and i dont have any previous experience the supplied instructions are great.

    Pros: Ease of use Sound quality Easy to install

    Cons: none

    Excellent for the price

    LesS from Hilo, HI on 12/20/2013

    1996 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 is a very excellent unit for the price. The faceplate lights is a great feature and the first thing I noticed because it's like a light show. I've just started to adjust the unit but haven't gotten the sound down just right yet. It's a little complicated and it takes constantly using the unit to learn all the functions and adjustments. What I can tell about the sound is that it has enough power for what I need, I just have to fine tune the unit. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 is an excellent buy for this price.

    Pros: Faceplate light show, ease of installation

    Cons: It's a little complicated to figure out all the functions and to adjust the sound of this unit.


    Brian from Dallas on 12/19/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Crutchfield Support picked this unit for me as my vehicle, steering wheel, and connection- best for my money. All the accessories and sides to get XM, chimes, and remote working wonderfully. Tech support sat me down at my kitchen table and connected everything. Went to the car and had unit installed and operational in 24 mins!!!!

    Pros: Crutchfield, Kenwood, and all the needed cables. Tech support is 6 stars! Unit runs great!!!

    Cons: I have to take the face plate off so someone will not break into my car! Guess I could sit and listen with my Glock!!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Brandon from Shreveport, LA on 12/19/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This Kenwood CD player has been the best radio I have ever purchased. The sound is outstanding, so many functions for your system, its like your practicing to be a d.j. The changing of colors constantly gives you a different look.

    Pros: A full list of choices for everyone's acquired taste of sound.

    Cons: Patients will be needed to learn about all functions this deck has to offer.

    Great receiver

    Oscar from Bethesda, MD on 12/18/2013

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

    Excellent sound and overall quality. iPhone 5 works great with Pandora and charge it at the same time.

    Pros: sound, look and feel, usb, aux

    Cons: none


    Ted from Roanoke, VA on 12/16/2013

    2004 Scion xB
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very easy to use. Easy to learn all the functions. All of the features I wanted in 1 unit and the capabilities to expand later, if I wanted to!!

    Pros: Amazingly easy to set up and use and ALL of the features I wanted in 1 receiver!!


    Great Stereo

    Anonymous from Spartanburg, SC on 12/7/2013

    I've read many reviews on this stereo and wanted to throw in my 2 cents since I'm a serious review reader before purchasing and hope this helps someone down the road. First off, I don't like a lot of fluff, this stereo had exactly what I wanted at a very affordable price with tons of features. It looks good without being TOO much. Many users have complained about the learning curve associated with this stereo, however, I feel this is one of the easiest to learn. All the functions are built into the main knob. You click the knob, and turn it to the setting. Once you find the setting you want to change, you click the knob and rotate it to your preference. It's always a click rotate pattern, much like how you would use a mouse on a computer.

    Pros: The sound is STUPID good! I replaced an older Alpine system, and this one blows it away.

    Cons: only con is it's about an 1/8 inch taller than my old system, so the face plate doesn't fit. No biggy, still looks good, and if I ever want to modify my dash, it won't be difficult.

    Great Headunit!

    Anonymous from west chester, pa on 12/4/2013

    2009 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This headunit replaced my factory 2009 Toyota Corolla S with no issues at all. It made the acoustics in my car sound so much better! I plan to get an amp and a subwoofer added to my car's stereo system in the near future! But this is easy enough to install with the included instructions and manual!



    Great value, features, sound

    Ken B. from Texas on 11/25/2013

    I purchased and installed this unit to replace a similar Sony unit that failed partially after 3 years. The KDC-X397 is a fantastic value and I would not hesitate to buy it again.

    Pros: Great value, attractive design. I love the 24 color illumination either user selectable, or the unit will slowly scroll through all the colors. I like the 3 built-in pairs of RCA jacks. I love the parametric EQ and the multitude of settings for crossover and subwoofer. The removable faceplate design is easier to put on than Sony's. For the price, this is a fantastic unit. The unit plays flawlessly from a USB flash drive, which is my main source of music while driving. AM/FM reception are great!

    Cons: I have only minor complaints: The user interface takes some time to get used to, especially going through the settings, but it's nothing that you can't learn. The remote control is too small and the volume buttons on it are really too small. The high pass and low pass crossovers need to offer a couple of additional frequencies, however I doubt that most users will care about this. The volume knob could use a rubbery grippy perimeter rather than the smooth plastic that it has.

    Excellent Head Unit

    1NT3GR4 from San Antonio, TX on 11/19/2013

    1996 Acura Integra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed this KDC-X397 today with some kicker speakers and WOW! My car has life again. This has amazing sound quality and is worth every penny. Very easy install with instructions. My old deck I would turn the volume all the way up and it still wasn't loud and sounded like my speakers were broke or something, when I removed my old speakers I could believe the cheapness of them. Anyway, if you owned the x396 you will like the more detailed equalizer in this one. Overall 4.5/5

    Pros: Everything


    Impressed still

    Brian J from Decorah,Ia on 11/18/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Been buying kenwood products for years. Not going to stop now! Should have bought this sooner!

    Pros: Great value! All the connections I needed for multiple amp system.

    Cons: Didn't have ATT button on head unit to to reduce volume like my previous kenwood.

    Great Stereo

    JesseS from Idaho on 11/17/2013

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

    Love the stereo. Easy to use. Great price for a five star product.

    Pros: Many different color options. Separate setting for base of speakers and subwoofer setting.

    Cons: None

    Great Stereo!

    JohnM from Port Richey, Fl. on 11/15/2013

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

    Great unit and easy to install. I love that I can plug in my iPod and control it from the head unit. Music sounds so much better than the stock unit and I haven't even changed out the speakers yet.



    Great head unit

    Hunter from Baton Rouge, LA on 11/10/2013

    2005 Volkswagen Passat
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is my second 300 series from Kenwood. Very easy to install with the included kit/wiring harness. Feature-packed, and aesthetically pleasing. Enslaves my iPhone for iPod playback and charges the phone while I'm this feature! The color-changing buttons are a little much for my tastes, but my 12 year old niece thinks they're "neat". Would definitely buy again and recommend to anyone who wants features at a great price.

    Pros: Value, features, function, easy install

    Cons: None

    kenwood excelon kdc x397

    James T from fortcollins, co on 11/8/2013

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

    I love it. The color illumination is awesome and sound is great just from own power.

    Pros: Color. Power

    Cons: Doesn't work with my android phone

    kenwood kdc-x397

    M. F from West Jefferson, NC on 11/6/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Realy great cd player for the money!

    Pros: Alot of features, remote, and built in amp power.

    Cons: None

    Very satisified

    KevinK from St. Michaels, AZ on 11/5/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I took a step back and evaluated what I needed out of a player. I didn't want to spend too much money. I don't need bluetooth calling. Satellite radio isn't necessary, my past experience with it: during a 4 hour drive I'd only hear a few songs I actually like and I don't want to pay a subscription, plus all Kenwood Excelon units require an addition tuner plug in $50-$70 so I said forget satellite radio. Mainly I load music into my ipod touch and this unit runs my ipod well. I have an android phone (GSIII) but I don't plan on using Pandora on this player. My phone is my phone for calling and navigation. My ipod is my music player. This is a great player for the budget minded real world reasonable person that isn't interested in paying extra for added features that they are not planning to use. I'm very happy with this player!

    Pros: Cost, power, rca preouts, easy to install. Also installed 2 amplifiers, wiring, component speakers and subwoofers/box. Sounds kickass and player looks cool! :D

    Cons: Built in satellite radio would have been cool or a free tuner as an option. But in the end I'm still not going to pay a subscription for satellite radio. I don't drive enough to justify the cost. And I drive everyday lol.

    Great Value - Crutchfield's Website is a Great Place to Buy Car Stereo

    Mansur from Baltimore, MD on 11/5/2013

    2006 Toyota Sienna
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    When my factory CD changer started acting up, I decided to install a radio with SiriusXM capability. This unit was very reasonably priced and the Cruthfield web-site allowed me to select all the parts I needed to make sure I had the right wiring kit and the frame/bezel kit to fit my cars. I was so impressed with the first one I installed, that I ordered a second one for my older car. Both work beautifully with a separate SiriusXM tuner that I bought (also from Crutchfield). All the wires in the kit were color-coded and the instructions were easy to read. So I had no problem installing the radios in both cars. It took a while to figure out how to route the antenna wire for the satellite tuner - my recommendation is to run the wire first and then connect to the tuner as the last step. Crutchfield customer service was great since they shipped the unit out right away. The web-site had made a small error in my second order by not including the free car wiring kit - a call to Crutchfield fixed this right away and everything arrived together.

    Pros: Great value for all the functions you get. I like the changing colors. Several pages of stored stations possible on this unit.

    Cons: The display button in the front is hard to find and it took me a while to figure out that this is what I needed to press to see the Artist and Song Title. The button for removing the face plate can be accidentally pressed - not a big deal though. On/off button is also very small.

    Stellar CD Performance

    Steve from Eureka, CA on 11/3/2013

    1996 Mercury Villager
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased the Kenwood Excelon KCD-X397 to replace an older Kenwood player that quit working. I must say upfront that the sound quality of the CD player in this unit is excellent, and approaches audiophile-grade quality. The Excelon series is clearly a step above the regular Kenwood line when it comes to CD performance. The FM tuner in this deck is about average. It pulls in stations relatively well, but the overall fidelity is not outstanding. Another must have feature on this deck if you have a multiple-amplifier system in your car, is the three sets of 4-volt RCA outputs. It's awesome to be able to control front to back fading, as well as setting the crossover frequency and volume of the sub, without having to leave the driver seat. The four-volt RCA outputs really send some punch to the Sound Ordnace amps I am using. All in all, this Kenwood is an absolute bargain. I do not listen to MP3 or any of the other low-quality audio formats, so I cannot comment on how well this deck works in conjunction with an IPOD or external MP3 player. I bought it strictly for high quality CD playback, and Doug, I cannot thank you enough for recommending this player to me.

    Pros: Stellar CD playback that approaches audiophile grade. Three sets of 4-volt RCA outs send solid punch to a multiple-amplifier system.

    Cons: A little to much glitter for my taste with all the color and display settings. FM sound quality is not outstanding. The deck has almost too many features, so expect a learning curve when you first start out with it.


    don from michigan on 10/28/2013

    2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great customer service easy install cool display color change



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Chris from Oak Island NC 28465 on 10/23/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Arrived on time / easy to install / sounds great / came with everything needed

    Pros: ease on installation and use

    Cons: none

    Buy This!

    Sean from Seneca, SC on 10/19/2013

    2012 Dodge Avenger
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is one of the greatest units you can buy for the price! Installed easily and quickly. Make sure you buy whatever adapter it is that Crutchfield says is required. This stereo unit works great with iPhone 5 and Pandora. It is Siruis ready (which we will installed in a few months) and is all ready for a subwoofer expansion as well. The detatchable face, variable color display, and remote control adds major coolness factor. The 22W RMS kicks out more power than the average user really needs. If you're in the market for a quality multi-function unit with a built in amp and room for growth, this is the unit for you. I will be buying one for each of my other 3 vehicles.

    Pros: Very easy to install when you get the recommended adapter. Easy to use. Great output!!!

    Cons: none

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    richard from Clinton, IA on 10/17/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    What a great sounding deck love all the features very pleased

    Pros: great sound, easy to use,great features

    Cons: hard to see display in sunlight

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    JoeyW from Metter Ga on 10/16/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Just awesome and easy to operate, thanks CRUTCHFIELD adviser for the recommendation.

    Pros: all around great unit

    Cons: none

    Great Radio

    wjcjr from Altoona Pa on 10/16/2013

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

    Great radio and installing it was breeze, always order the proper adapters required it is so much easier.

    Pros: Entire radio, ease of operation outputs for system expansion

    Cons: none

    So Far So Good!

    Neil C from Atlanta, GA on 10/16/2013

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

    I've only had this product installed for about a week or so but so far so good. I installed in a 2000 Taurus Wagon. Pretty easy install. Per usual, running wires was the most time consuming. Love the frequency and eq adjustments on this one. For the price I'm not sure it could be beat. Also install the XM adapter with it. It definitely has a nice boost with levels and pretty lights to boot. Was happy to see it in an email from Crutchfield as the best rated thus far for the price.

    Pros: Good sound, Good EQ options for the price. Easy install. XM Ready. USB and Aux inputs.

    Cons: Slight learning curve but nothing that can't be figured out!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Frank A from Ravena NY on 10/16/2013

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

    I've installed a number of stereos, but Crutchfield and Kenwood made this one laughingly simple! An ease to install, a pleasure to listen to, both FM and for the USB connection for my iPod. Great sound, and a great product all around.

    Pros: Ease of installation, great sound quality, versatile functions.

    Cons: None that I can see.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Anonymous from Elwin, IL on 10/6/2013

    1999 GMC Sierra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I took a risk and bought my first Kenwood and I couldn't have asked for anything better

    Pros: Perfect

    Cons: None

    Good radio - Great Price

    Z-SDAD from Greenville, NC on 10/5/2013

    2004 Kia Amanti
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very good sound quality at a great price.

    Pros: Quality and price.

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Anonymous from Little Rock, AR on 10/3/2013

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

    Absolutely love this radio! Purchased it with 2 pairs of Infinity Reference 6832cf speakers for my 2002 Ford Focus and it sound great. Has all the audio adjustment options you could need. Take a little time to "dial it in" and enjoy

    Pros: Full range of inputs and Pandora and iPod, iPhone ready.

    Cons: Initial setup can be a bit much but lets you get the sound you want but will take a little time.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Tim from Ridley Park, PA on 9/30/2013

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

    Crutchfield recommended this model to replace the non-working OEM CD player in my 2004 Dakota. I found an excellent video on Utube that demonstrates exactly how to remove the dash panel and install the player. I used crimp connectors to attach the wiring harness--not too difficult. Everything was complete and fit perfectly. Everything was included from Crutchfield, no unpleasant surprises. One call was made to Crutchfield tech support about where the orange wire went--it isn't used on my install. Crutchfield's website is a very good source for comparison shopping and gave the sort of details I wanted about the products. People tell me Kenwood is a good brand. The sound quality is excellent, and if you can figure out the complex setup instructions and spend the time, you can fine tune and balance your vehicle's sound in great detail. I play a wide range of music on CD format. If the Kenwood was available without ipod or mp3, etc capability, I would still have bought it; I don't need those features. My criticism has to do with "ergonomics" in that I think the controls could be more intuitive to use. For example the OEM player had thin knobs that I could adjust for tone and balance without looking at them and while driving. I wouldn't even attempt to adjust anything on the Kenwood while driving. You have to look at the display to see what is going on. It takes some getting used to finding the on button in the dark--until the player is powered on, I can't find the

    Pros: Great sound, almost infinite adjustability of balance, tone. Easy to install, kit from Crutchfield is complete and everything fits.

    Cons: Once I accidently hit the lower left of the player trying to find the on button in the dark and the face came off. That is where the button to unlock the face is located. As mentioned, the controls being digital and complex, lack an intuitive feel and I think are not meant to be adjusted while driving (at least not by the person doing the driving) There is a small remote control with this player. I haven't messed with it yet; maybe that would help with adjustments but likely I will lose it

    Happy with my Kenwood

    Danonthebike from Des Moines, IA on 9/28/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought the product on the recommendation of the Crutchfield customer service agent. The car stereo was my first install, and it went relatively easily. I am more than satisified with the features, the performance, and the value. When I first tried it, the subwoofer didn't work. The fellow at customer support was very helpful when I called. The blue and white wire from the Kenwood got connected to the subwoofer power, and voila, it worked.

    Pros: The car stereo has good reception, plays my CDs, attaches easily with my iphone, and looks good.


    Nice receive but lacking some functions

    RandyB from Morristown, TN on 9/27/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this as a replacement for my factory HU in an Audi A4. The sound quality is very good. Using the EQ and separate controls for the sub, I am able to dial in the sound that is best for the radio, iPod, or whatever function I am using at the time. The EQ has only 1 custom user setting. It could benefit by having at least two. Connecting and mounting the unit wasn't too difficult. There were several factory functions that did not work with this Kenwood HU. It doesn't have RDS, doesn't adjust the volume up/down with the speed of the vehicle, doesn't display information on the center console of the car, doesn't turn down the sound from the last time it was used, and does not have an accessory setting (my car does not have an ACC setting on the ignition switch). So in many ways my factory stereo from 1999 had A LOT of features this new one does not. But there is absolutely no comparison in sound quality. The Kenwood is far superior and that's was my main reason for purchasing. If I were buying again, I think I would want the USB connection on the back. Don't like having the wire sticking out of the front all the time. If you are looking for good sound and a reasonable amount of sound adjustments, this is a good choice and good price.

    Pros: Great sound and sound adjustments.

    Cons: Missing some features compared to factory stereo. Plastic surround provided doesn't really give a factory look and finish.

    Good Value

    BenL from Baton Rouge, LA on 9/25/2013

    2005 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good value for a replacement head unit.

    Pros: Better than a stock radio head unit



    knight_1000 from south carolina on 9/25/2013

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

    this was by far the easiest radio i have ever installed. I opened the box, crimped the wires together using the supplied wire adapter. I then took it to my truck plugged it in and everything worked great except the middle speakers, i called tech support and the guy told me to hook the blue and white stripped wire to the remote antenna wire and the middle speakers would work. I did and it worked great. I am surprised at the knowledge that this guy had. As soon as i told him my problem he told me the answer, right then and there and i was never put on hold or anything.

    Pros: Awesome . great color, sound and very ease of use



    Gabrielle C from Andover, NH on 9/21/2013

    2004 GMC Envoy XL
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I love the color, the little door on the right side for the hidden plugs. Love the remote and detachable face plate and bag for the face plate. Easy to hook up. I little bit of a pain that cutting inside my dash had to be done, but that's the price you pay for a great stereo. I recommend Crutchfield to everyone. This is not my 1st time buying a stereo from them either. This is actually the 3rd one that I've bought. !st one went into a Chevy pick up, second was for my dad and went into a Durango. I love the easyness of buying online, picking what I want, have a guarantee and haveing tech support at the touch of a button. The price that you pay for there stereos is also a great deal. Packages come quickly after receiving an email saying that your package is on it's way. No damage to packaging either like from some other companies.



    Great Job Kenwood

    SM.005 from overland park, KS on 9/18/2013

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

    I have always went with Kenwood, and once again they never fail me. The reason i had bought a new one is that the one i had in there was 3 years old and when it would get hot outside the buttons wouldnt work, soooo i got tired of it and bought this one. Better than that was i like the 4v preouts. makes me happy knowing im not running 2,5 anymore , and i can change COLORS!!! hahaha. ( like that really should matter to a guy ) but i have to keep the GF happy too. But overall it is the best kenwood ive owned or ever used. i like to stay in the $90-120 range and this one just met all my standards.. Thank you again Crutchfield for the great online service. this would be my third order from u guys. Keep up the good work.

    Pros: Changing Colors, 4 Volt Preouts, Great Sound, Easy to work with.

    Cons: Nothing at all

    Kenwood Stereo

    Brenna from Glendale, AZ on 9/17/2013

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

    SUCH a good stereo for a great price. Tons of options, changes color, USB and aux cord, charges in USB as it plays. Easy to remove faceplate to prevent theft. Comes with wireless remote so it's easy for anyone in the car to change the song/station


    Cons: Sometimes when my iPod is on shuffle in the USB plug, the name will display the first song played and get stuck and not change titles as the song changes, nothing big

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    bird from Lancaster, Pa. on 9/16/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great value for the money.

    Pros: User friendly, sounds great, easy to install with the Crutchfield supplied kit.

    Cons: None


    ed from northeast ohio on 9/15/2013

    1997 Cadillac Seville
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Perfect fit and upgrade for the factory Bose system in a 97 Seville STS. Sirius XM and flash drive as well as ipod compatible

    Pros: Price and look

    Cons: none

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Anonymous from attleboro,ma. on 9/10/2013

    2004 Volkswagen Jetta
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    nice receiver, very good looking,best price compare to other.

    Pros: easy to installation,

    Cons: none

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    shadetree from SPFD MO. on 9/9/2013

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

    I bought one for my daughter's car and she liked all the features it had especially the i phone hook up without a special cord and this one's for my sons's car because he liked hers so much.

    Pros: These are easy to install with all the free wires ,cables and adapters that come with the purchase. But they are very user friendly indashes love the remote and the way the face changes color.And the way you can adjust the sound but you can't forget the 4 volt output for the people(like me) who like alot of bass from they're subs.

    Cons: Havn't found any yet

    Premium audio for value price

    TomM from Lakeland, Fl on 9/8/2013

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

    My expectations were exceeded when my new Kenwood Excelon was installed. The performance in sound met and/or exceeded the original equipment. Learning to use all of the settings, etc. is a work in progress. I am very pleased with the product and extremely pleased with the Crutchfield customer service.

    Pros: Value and quality

    Cons: Ease of use. (Continuing to learn technology)

    Best unit for the price

    Nhum from Fredericksburg, VA on 8/29/2013

    2003 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have not purchase a head unit for over 10 years. This unit has a unique EQ feature. It let you adjust frequency for Bass, Mid, Treble and Sub. Basically, this unit make my factory speakers sound awesome. I attached a 64GB thumbdrive to the unit. I will never run out of music for any road trips.

    Pros: Audio adjustment. Color display from Amber, Green to Blue in various shades. Volume control, knob not push button.

    Cons: Operation manual is a little vague.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Anonymous from Irving, Texas on 8/27/2013

    1989 Chevrolet C Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love the sound from the new kenwood. I put it in my '89 chevy Silverado that I am in the middle of restoring. Easy install and fit with the kit. Great product for the money and sounds fantastic




    Paul R. from St. Louis,MO on 8/27/2013

    1988 Ford Thunderbird
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    i was looking for something quick and easy to install. Your recommendation was on the mark.

    Pros: easy of installation

    Cons: buttons are too small

    Great radio

    John from Greensboro, NC on 8/22/2013

    2005 Nissan Sentra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great radio at a great price! Was very easy to install and set up.

    Pros: Great price, easy to install and setup


    It's Wonderful

    HarryWL from New Orleans, LA on 8/21/2013

    2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'm having a ball discovering all the features of the radio. It's more then just a radio, it's mobile entertainment. The feature are wonderful. I have access to MP3's to play, Pandora, my XM-Sirius Radio sound just "Great". It's "Looks" are quite appealing and it dose sound superb. It has turned out to be a "Diamond in the rough". I Love It!!

    Pros: Wonderful value for the money and the Crutchfield Touch made the purchase very satisfying.


    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Anonymous from Sparks, NV on 8/20/2013

    1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good inexpensive head unit, excellent sound quality and easy to use. I highly recommend this head unit.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Michael from Eugene, OR on 8/19/2013

    1992 Chevrolet C Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've never installed a stereo before and wasn't sure where to start. I found this stereo with the help of a Crutchfield advisor online and installed it in about 2 hours after it arrived. So easy, so nice, excellent service. Does everything I need it to do and fits in my old Chevy pickup.



    e36 (1996) BMW M3 install

    T Hill from Alexander City, AL on 8/17/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Older buyer (56) but tech support got me educated and set up FAST (and RIGHT!)

    Pros: Crutchfield support! (pricing, features and all included parts etc)

    Cons: Zip (except 2 day wait..but for essentially "free" parts to make install work, FINE BY ME!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    GARY A from MAUK,GA on 8/16/2013

    1987 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)


    Pros: EASY TO USE

    Cons: NONE

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    MSF_FJR from Bayard,NE on 8/15/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    System was easy to install and sounds great!

    Pros: USB connector

    Cons: Ease of adjustment


    mmti02 from Europe on 8/8/2013

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

    You would never know that this is Kenwood's entry level model into the Excelon line. Compared to my Honda's stock radio this unit rock's without any additions! For the price you'd be hard pressed to fine a finer unit.

    Pros: Easy install/sound quality/ease of use

    Cons: None

    Excellent Buying Experience

    holinessprchr from Florida on 8/6/2013

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

    First I'd like to say that this is my first purchase from Crutchfield. This was by-far the best car electronics purchase experience I've ever had. I got a tracking number right away, I got it within 2 days, I was flooded with emails making sure my purchase was satisfactory, the installation kit was high quality, the wiring harness was perfect, instructions were very detailed and I installed the unit in about 35 mins. This will not be my last purchase. Product Rating Sound Quality: Turned my factory speakers into a sound studio, Amazing! Ease of Use: I didn't have much trouble figuring out the settings. A beginner may have to read instructions Functions/Options: This radio really impressed me. There's so many ways to adjust the sound that you can really fine tune the listening experience. Ive always been a "Pioneer and Sony" fan but not anymore. CD Player: If it starts to skip with a dirty disc, It doesn't do well with buffering forward, it usually gets stuck. USB: This Is the reason I purchased an aftermarket head unit. The one thing I don't like compared to my Sony, is this unit doesn't have a volume normalizer. So, I find myself turning the volume up and down a lot. Volume Knob: This is the one thing about this unit that I do NOT like. It has a slick finish unlike other comparable units. If your fingers are wet or greasy from eating french-fries etc its difficult to adjust. Directly after installing this unit I went on a 1,200 mile road trip and overall was VERY impressed.

    Pros: For the price, I couldn't find a better deal. I searched for about 2 months. Sound Quality and Adjustment Options are Extremely Good Unit is Solid, Feature Packed, Lighting is Perfect, not to dim or bright. Tons of color options. Powerful sound and Lots of Bass options. Had no trouble syncing with my iPhone 5.

    Cons: Volume Knob is Slick, Making it Difficult to Adjust especially when fingers are wet or greasy. USB doesn't normalize the volume from track to track which leaves you turning the volume up and down a lot. CD player doesn't re-buffer well when it hits a spot on the disc it tends to stick making you eject and reinsert. Would be nice to have an instant mute button.

    very nice system

    rlattea21 from Warsaw, in on 8/6/2013

    1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this for my girlfriend and she loves it!!!!! Thanks for helping me out

    Pros: Nice system fit with no prob and sounds awesome

    Cons: I haven't ran into any cons at this time very nice stereo.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Shawn from Stanardsville, va on 8/6/2013

    Needs an on/off button



    Not surprised

    Tom from Ellerbe NC on 8/5/2013

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

    Like true Kenwood fashion, they produced a great product at a fair price. I went to Best Buy for the same product, and they did not carry the same system. Plus they wanted to charge me an additional $40 for the install pack that Crutchfield included for free. The salesman had the balls to say to "Yes theirs is free, BUT you have your system in your hand today if you buy it from us and not have to wait two days for shipping!" Putz!

    Pros: Easily installed no hassles! Great power and sound. easy to maneuver through the many different applications.

    Cons: None so far.

    Excellent Basic Radio

    GeorgePK from Renton, WA on 8/1/2013

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

    This head unit is the way to go for upgrading any factory radio. Great sound and expandability make for an excellent value.

    Pros: Super simple installation and operation. USB works great.

    Cons: No auto dimmer, no quick mute on the unit.


    MichaelR from Indiana on 8/1/2013

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

    I got an older model Excelon about a year ago for my other car, so when it came time to upgrade my new car's head unit, it made sense to go with a model I already knew was excellent. This new model looks much better than the old one (no more cheap-looking fake chrome) and sounds just as good.

    Pros: Price Sound Quality Features

    Cons: None

    Like It

    Ed from Richmond, IL on 7/29/2013

    2001 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Works great. Simple to use with my IPOD. A real volume control. Installed easily in a 01 Ford Ranger. Had to replace the stock radio because the cassette player died. Price, IPOD compatibility, and ease of use were the requirements on the replacement radio.

    Pros: Like it. Easy to use. Sounds good.

    Cons: The display will not automatically dim when the headlights are turned on.

    Love my new Stereo

    Big D in AZ from Lake Havasu City, AZ on 7/24/2013

    1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great price,great stereo. Would buy it again for sure.

    Pros: Easy install, easy to use, sounds and works great


    Works Great

    Fire at Will from Flagstaff, AZ on 7/22/2013

    1994 Volvo 850
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    After about 14 hours, I'm digging the ipod control. I haven't bought a car stereo in years, they've come a long way. The only thing I'd like to see is more control over the dimmer for the back light. What do you want for the price? It's great and I may buy another one for another vehicle because I already know the controls.

    Pros: ipod

    Cons: Dimmer

    Terry Brandau

    Terry from Sparta Wi. on 7/20/2013

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

    YOU People were awesome,(ARTIE)I sure Thank you. Very easy after Your tech support helped with the wiring, I have what they call sometimers. Thanks again,Terry

    Pros: Very easy install

    Cons: None as of yet.


    Anonymous from bronx new york on 7/20/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)


    Pros: non

    Cons: excellent

    My Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Bob from Albuquerque, NM on 7/19/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Unit seems high quality, good sound, great documentation



    excelon kdc-x397

    Louis from Arizona on 7/18/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great unit, its has everything I need except it will only support iPod, or Apple products for the Bluetooth/ Pandora. Other then that I love it

    Pros: Has front USB/aux. swoofer output, my daughter loves the color change screen,. has adjustable eq by freq, very nice for my system.

    Cons: Only supports Apple products.

    Kenwood x-397

    Elmer from Rochester , NY on 7/16/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this in my 2006 Silverado it was a breeze to install.This product is a huge upgrade over the OEM equipment. The sound quality is far superior even with the OEM speakers. I will be upgrading them soon.

    Pros: Sound quality, Ipod control and I think the color changing is just cool.The instructions from Cruthfield were great. I had this unit installed in less than an hour.

    Cons: The buttons are a little on the small side and it takes a while to get used to the functions. I suggest to familiarize your self with the unit in your driveway before you drive.

    I Love It!

    C from FPO, Spain on 7/16/2013

    1997 Honda Accord EX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'm impressed with this

    Pros: Good quality for the price

    Cons: It's a personal con, the guy that installed it for me hasn't hooked up all my speakers yet so I haven't been able to enjoy all the sound quality

    Kenwood KDC-X397

    Jason from Red Wing, MN on 7/9/2013

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

    Kenwood again doesn't disappoint. As usual easy clean layout!! Just wish lower costing models had rear USB, I don't like the cords hanging from the dash.

    Pros: Tons of features for the price!!!!

    Cons: No rear USB

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Austin M. from Joppa, MD. on 7/7/2013

    1988 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very satisfied with the product and service. Very fast shipping. Initial radio was defective as the face would not light up. Customer service was VERY helpful and the radio was replaced within a little more than a day and the return was on their dime. Fast shipping and superb customer service, what else could you ask for ?

    Pros: Fast shipping with every item requested received and customer service. First rate product.

    Cons: None

    Excellent Head Unit

    Clint from Peoria, IL. on 7/6/2013

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

    This Head Unit so far seems to be an excellent purchase. The staff at Crutchfield did a great job finding what I was looking for.

    Pros: Great Sound Quality Inexpensive High Quality

    Cons: None at this time

    kenwood never disappoints

    terry m from Dacula, GA on 7/3/2013

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

    Kenwood quality provides an amazing sound quality out of the Same speakers I was using with the factory radio. Day and night difference.

    Pros: Quality at a great price

    Cons: You are kidding right, what cons.

    Great Radio

    zrosales from EL PASO, TX on 6/21/2013

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

    I purchased this head unit to replace my factory radio and have been very impressed. The unit by itself made the sound in my car sound a lot better. It's slightly hard to use at the beginning but once you play with it for a while it is really easy. It looks cool in my car and I really like the USB and aux inputs. Great buy for the price. I am certain there are better radios by far but for the price this is a smart buy. Good job Crutchfield.

    Pros: Sound quality. Display. Inputs(USB, AUX)

    Cons: None

    Great radio for a great valve!

    Tom from Bangor Pa on 6/17/2013

    2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It looks and sounds great in my jeep. Easy to install and navigate, I'm very pleased.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Cop793 from Louisville ky on 6/17/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this in a 1993 Mustang GT along with kicker speakers. The sound is awesome. The stereo is easy to use and has multiple adjustments to fit everyone. You can't go wrong with this one. There is no Bluetooth. It I didn't need it for my application.

    Pros: Easy of use. Multiple adjustments. Cost

    Cons: None for me

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Citizen_452-USA from Greatist country on the earth on 6/12/2013

    1991 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    WOW what a difference from old unit



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    AnnK from salem, ohio on 6/10/2013

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

    product very nice, cool features, quick delivery, very satisfied and would recommend



    You can't go wrong.

    D from Right There, USA on 6/9/2013

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

    The installation was simple. The sound is 3 notches better than my factory sound. It's also very easy to use, basically like any stock stereo just with more in depth bass, mid, and treble adjustments. It has about 27 color variations to choose from. Nothing too exciting other than better sound quality. If you're not looking on spending too much and don't want something too sophisticated then this is a great option.

    Pros: Sound Quality, 3 rca outlets, tuning adjusters, color variations.

    Cons: There is no cons.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Fernando from Houston, TX on 5/24/2013

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

    Awesome radio. I've had it for about 2 wks now and is way better than my factory radio. USB controls come very handy to be able to control iPhone with radio. Wish it let me also control the AUX device but that's ok. It also pushes my speakers very well.

    Pros: Inexpensive, good power, easy install, cool colors, good features.

    Cons: I can't find how to set clock or if it even has a clock visible. Also need to find how to keep radio one color if I wanted to.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    ChristianH from Raleigh, NC on 5/23/2013

    1998 Chevrolet C Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great reciever for the price.



    Great HU for the Money

    Moose from Knoxville, TN on 5/21/2013

    2012 Dodge Truck 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    For the price, you can't beat what you get with this HU. It replaced my factory stereo, and really brought the 3 pairs of Kicker aftermarket speakers in my truck to life. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but I wasn't expecting any. Install was a breeze, but I highly recommend picking up some Posi-Products Stereo Connectors (soldering and crimping are obsolete with these).

    Pros: Great sound. Easy to use. Display color almost exactly matched the rest of the lights in my dash.

    Cons: None yet. Don't expect any.

    Kenwood =Quality

    Glancyman from Tampa, FL on 5/19/2013

    2007 Volkswagen Passat
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This product installed easily, sounds damn good for the money and has a nice cusomtizeable look.. The menus are very dtailed so it takes a while to navigate through them, but that;s not too big a deal. Overall a very nice unit for the money.

    Pros: Looks, ease of installation.

    Cons: Menus are a bit cumbersome.

    Puts me in control of how my music sounds .

    buddah3360 from Highland, CA on 5/6/2013

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

    Looks cool sounds good until i crank the volume . At high volume the front speakers short out.

    Pros: Great control of how my music sounds.

    Cons: Shorts out at high volume


    Chris from Randolph ,vt on 5/4/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    First Kenwood receiver i have owned. Good features and sound tuning. Have always been an Alpine owner. and have decided that this is a equal trade.

    Pros: like setup and features.

    Cons: not able to play copyrighted materials on usb.

    Awesome stereo

    Anonymous from Harrisonburg, VA on 5/2/2013

    Great price excellent sound. Best buy for your buck. Works great with my I phone and pandora radio.


    Cons: None

    KENWOOD kdc-x397 REVIEW

    JACKK from rOCKLIN ca on 5/1/2013

    2004 Mazda MPV
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It perfeornms better than my OEM Reciever CD player

    Pros: great sound and allows MPO# muisc acess

    Cons: controls are a little small, hard to see. Some features are burried beep into the controls, access, not too easy to follow for set up

    My Excelon

    Linda from Boulevard, CA on 4/28/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have only JUST had my radio installed, but within 2 days, am still learning all the bells & whistles. This radio is far and away more elaborate than any radio I have ever owned. So far, I like it a lot and am very impressed. Althoug we can only receive one radio station in our area, sound quality far exceeds our old radio. I don't own an Ipod, but will soon. Look forward to experiencing that. Now, it's just a CD changer. Also, look forward to listening to books on CD, which did not work well on my old radio.

    Pros: Sound is amazing

    Cons: Gonna take some time with the book to learn all the ins and outs to get full benefits.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397

    Walter from Arvonia VA. on 4/28/2013

    Easy to Install this radio sounds good and looks cool. I did not know at first if I would like the screen changing colors but it will grow on you. The soung Quality is great even with 15 year old speakers. Hard to beat this for the price.

    Pros: Sounds great Looks cool

    Cons: None so far

    Kenwood car audio KDC-397

    autolouie from Eveleth, MN on 4/21/2013

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

    This replacement exceeded my expectations. Audio quality is stellar. In that this model has many functions orientation to the manual is necessary. Plugging my iPhone into the USB port is a real treat. Sound quality from this means exceeds the fm mode. I've owned other Kenwood products before, but this is the best! I would highly recommend this model.

    Pros: Sound quality is superior to factory

    Cons: Patience to read the owners operation manual.

    Great upgrade

    GCH from Washington DC on 3/16/2013

    I actually got the X396 (no longer available but very similar) at a great price. I got it to replace my 11-year-old Mazda factory head unit which was failing (CD laser no longer worked, LCD display was inconsistent, reception starting to go). This has been great, particularly the USB input - I pretty much never use the CD player any more, but it's nice to have in case a friend brings a CD along.

    Pros: The unit has a selection of about 20 something colors, which makes it nice for matching it to the colors of your dash lights - in my case, not a perfect match, but close enough green, and better than have a display of red or neon blue which looks out of place with my displays.

    Cons: Although I've gotten used ot it, the logic for controlling the unit has so many levels that you really need to set them while you are NOT driving. There is one rotary dial with, in the regular play mode controls the volume, but if you happen to be scrolling through settings, the volume is stuck where it is until you back all the way out. The factory head unit dimmed with the dash lights - the Kenwood does not. These are minor, though, and overall this is a great improvement over the factory unit

    Great deck

    Bdsn from Anchorage, AK on 3/7/2013

    2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great receiver. Put it in my Trailblazer, and there was an immediate and drastic improvement in the sound system. May not even need to replace the door speakers after all. There are a lot of features, and I am still figuring them out, but I am very pleased. This was my first install. That being said, I thought the instructions were kind of poor. Still not sure why they thought I would need a torx driver. With all I spent on the adapter for my vehicle I was surprised that it didn't plug and play. More surprised that no wire nuts or clear explanation of the wiring were included. Tech support was useless, pretty much brushed me off. Guess they are used to smarter customers. I got it in the end though, just had to work it out on my own.

    Pros: Sounds great with my stock speakers, inexpensive, looks great. I didn't think I would like the selectable colors, but I do.

    Cons: Crutchfield's instructions and tech support.

    Nice head unit that is siriusxm compatible

    Sean from Meridian, ms on 3/6/2013

    2003 Ford F-250 Super Duty
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This excelon receiver is a good unit for the price and includes the longer 2 yr warranty. Sound quality is good compared to OEM. Lots of preamp outs and the usual inputs up front. Offers Xm compatability, although it takes multiple key presses to toggle between channel name, artist, and song. Would be nice if this scrolled auto for all these attributes per channel on the display. Operating between menus not very intuitive. Takes a while to learn navigating thru menus, but overall a good sounding unit with a long warranty and numerous features.

    Pros: Nice sound quality Longer warranty Xm compatible Feature rich Good value

    Cons: Navigating menus not intuitive Does not show All xm channel attributes at once needs scroll all feature

    kdc x397

    Justin from Fort Wayne, IN on 2/28/2013

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

    Very good buy for the price, great sound, usb make easy to bring extra music without lugging tons of cd's. Would recomend buying

    Pros: features

    Cons: cant figure out how to display rds

    Great sound, great service

    Mark from Greenville, PA on 1/15/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds great even with the stock speakers in my 99 Range Rover. Install was easiest ever but initially got no sound. Called Crutchfield on Saturday morning, got someone on the phone right away (forget his name). It took about 1/2 an hour to figure it out but he did. One step was missing from the documentation. Good service from purchase thru installation help.

    Pros: Great sound, easy to install, looks good, lots of options.

    Cons: Install instructions were slightly off

    Wow this thing is amazing.

    Kyle from New Jersey on 1/6/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This thing just kicks. I am totally in love with it. For Christmas I got myself four new speakers for my Ford Ranger. A set of Pioneer TS-G6844Rs and a set of Pioneer TS-A6885R. They kicked it with my stock radio but I knew It could sound millions of times better than *Ford Premium Sound*. So I picked this unit up with all the Installation gear and literally got it all setup within an hour. I was blown away by the sound, everything is extremely clear and the features like the iPod control, aux, ect were top notch. One thing I actually really love about it is the button layout. It's very easy to get to everything even when your driving and both the dimmers on the display and lights are great too. There's tons of color options and the EQ on this is great as well. I'm a producer and being able to EQ things with Qs and being able to control different frequencies was perfect. The only thing that was a downer was the fact there was no bluetooth but you can just spend a little more and grab a unit that has it. I'm still perfectly happy with this. You honestly don't even need blue tooth since you can just mount the iPod on a stand in the car and control it all with the remote control if you wanted.

    Pros: Basically everything. There's not a bad thing to say about it and this is after a couple weeks of using it now.

    Cons: No bluetooth but you can spend a little more and get something with one if you HAVE to have it.


    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 SiriusXM
    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 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 6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs No
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 4 volts
    Display Color Bluish white
    Key Button Color Variable
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    FM Sensitivity 11.2 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Audio Section
    USB/Android/Aux Integration
    iPod/iPhone Control
    Disc Playback
    AM/FM Tuner + SiriusXM Ready
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X397 CD receiver is part of Kenwood's Excelon series line-up. It incorporates the latest technologies and delivers the highest sonic performance. From advanced audio tuning capabilities, crossover and equalizer system, high-voltage preouts (4V), and a two-year warranty - Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with long-lasting dependability.

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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-X397 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

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X397 features front, rear and subwoofer 4.0-volt preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs are fixed to the rear chassis of the head unit.

    Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X397 features a High-Pass Crossover for the front & rear channels when your front & rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 100, 120, or 150 Hz. The "Through" selection is a full-range setting.

    Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 offers the following subwoofer controls, when you are using unit's subwoofer preamp output.

    • 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.

    EQ Pro: The Excelon KDC-X397 features independent Bass, Treble, and Midrange control when the Preset EQ is in User mode. EQ Pro allows you to adjust the following settings for the Bass, Treble and Mid frequency levels.

    EQ Pro
    Center Frequency Q-Factor Bass Extension Level
    Bass 60, 80, 100, or 200 Hz 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, or 2.00 On/Off -8 to +8
    Midrange 0.5k, 1.0k, 1.5k, or 2.5k Hz 0.75, 1.00, or 1.25 N/A
    Treble 10.0k, 12.5k, 15.0k, or17.5k Hz N/A N/A
    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.

    USB/Android/Aux Integration

    USB Port: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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 8-/16-bit n/a

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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-X397 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-X397'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; use the Lighting-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-X397.

    • 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 110dB. 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-X397 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-X397 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 Excelon KDC-X397 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-X397 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 (iOS3 or later) with the latest version of the Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.

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

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 1/2/2013):

    Apple Device 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 Y Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 6.0.1 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 6.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5th 6.0.1 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 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    7th 1.01 PC 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 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    4 6.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    mini 6.0.1 Y N 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.

    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-X397 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-X397 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 Excelon KDC-X397 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.

    AM/FM Tuner + SiriusXM Ready

    AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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-X397's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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.

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 comes ready for SiriusXM programming with access to XM and Sirius Satellite Radio stations. Thanks to its proprietary SiriusXM Connect port, you can add the optional SXV200V1 SiriusXM Connect tuner and receive more than 150 channels of exclusive programming directly from SiriusXM, via the "SiriusXM All Access" package (subscription required). Visit for a complete list of subscription options and channel guide. Additional features of the SXV200 SiriusXM Connect tuner include:

    • Channel list displays a list of all available channels
    • Category Search searches for channels in a certain category
    • Displayed Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's LCD
    • Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets
    • Direct Tuning via included remote
    • Supports the SiriusXM Instant Replay function, so you can pause, rewind, and replay up to 30 minutes of live content
    • Channels containing unsuitable content for children can be blocked

    Note: A separate SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription is required (operates on the XM Network). However, you can easily add this SiriusXM tuner to an existing Sirius or XM account for a Multi-Radio Discount Plan.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 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. An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can also 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-X397 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.

    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.

    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.

    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-X397 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.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input wire (blue/yellow) within the included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    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

    7 questions already asked

    If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. 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, or try our online support center: [ Kenny  Apr 24, 2017 ]  Staff
    Feel free to give our Customer Support team a call at 800-955-9091 and they will be able to look up your information and get the help you need. [ Kenny  Apr 24, 2017 ]  Staff
    If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. 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, or try our online support center: [ Krissy  Apr 23, 2017 ]  Staff
    This unit does feature a clock. It is part of the main display. You can cycle through the menu to show whatever your choice is: clock, station, type of music, etc [ THAEDEUS P  Dec 05, 2013 ]
    Hi Kenneth, I have to be honest, I'm not sure if it has a clock but I can't imagine it doesn't. We use this on our pontoon boat and always have an iphone plugged in. It was a great value and has performed very well. [ LESLEY  Dec 05, 2013 ]
    Yes. But it took awhile to find it. It will not scroll "artist/name" and rever to the clock. You have to manually put it back. [ ED  Dec 04, 2013 ]
    Yes [ PAUL J  Dec 04, 2013 ]
    Yes it does have a clock. Since I put this unit in a boat I didn't set the clock but the instruction book explains how to set it. Unit works great with Pandora through an iphone also, if you have an iphone. [ GREGORY  Dec 04, 2013 ]
    This will depend largely on the other gear in your system. Feel free to reach out to an Advisor for a quick call or chat, and they should be able to help you determine the best amp for your system. [ Jeff  Nov 24, 2013 ]  Staff
    You will want to contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat to discuss compatibility. They will be able to pull up your vehicle and see if this will integrate. If it does not, then they will also be able to discuss other options with you. [ Krissy  Feb 04, 2014 ]  Staff
    I had this installed by a professional. It works great for me so far, but I only use it maybe five minutes a day on my commute to and from work. Sorry I can't be of much help. [ JULIE  Feb 09, 2014 ]
    John, I've had this unit for 2 months and no problems. A+ Had it on for a 15 hour trip and no problems. [ michael  Feb 05, 2014 ]
    I bought this for my girls ford ranger and have had no issues. Usually refurbs are something some [ CLAYTON G  Feb 04, 2014 ]
    I've had this for about a month now and so far everything works great! It looks great too! I think getting a factory refurbished radio is a great deal. It looks and works just like it was brand new! [ Kimberly  Feb 04, 2014 ]
    I bought one of these for my trailblazer and have been pretty satisfied with it so far. I believe that if anything ever does go wrong with it, I could send it in for repairs or to have it replaced. Keep in mind that most refurbished stereos have been tested for functionality before being sold, so I just consider it as a new stereo with a lower price than retail [ WILLIE  Feb 04, 2014 ]
    My refurbished model works great can't even tell that it was refurbished works like new [ MICHELLE  Feb 04, 2014 ]