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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

CD receiver (New Stock)

80 Reviews | 2 questions - 10 answers

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

Remember how amazing it was to see HDTV for the first time? You'll feel the same way when you hear what HD Radio sounds like in your car. If you're a frequent radio listener and you've been thinking about giving HD Radio a try, the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 features a built-in tuner that allows you to hear your favorite songs and music in crystal-clear HD Radio clarity. Whether you're into talk radio or your local alternative rock station, the static-free sound quality is remarkable.

Hear the difference with HD Radio

Remember how amazing it was to see HDTV for the first time? You'll feel the same way when you hear what HD Radio sounds like in your car. If you're a frequent radio listener and you've been thinking about giving HD Radio a try, the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 features a built-in tuner that allows you to hear your favorite songs and music in crystal-clear HD Radio clarity. Whether you're into talk radio or your local alternative rock station, the static-free sound quality is remarkable.

Plenty of media options

If you're a Pandora® Internet radio fan, this receiver is wired for you. Hook up your iPhone® to the USB input and you'll have control of your favorite stations, with thumbs-up, thumbs-down, and bookmarking. 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-X497 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 store your music on an Android device, Kenwood's free Music Link app allows you to enjoy a variety of search and playback features when your phone is plugged in via the front-panel USB. You can also 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 Excelon quality

All Kenwood Excelon receivers are built for great sound and outstanding quality. This receiver features 4-volt preamp outputs that give your amps the signal they need for top performance. You'll also find an impressive array of sound-sculpting tools. 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. The variable color display looks right at home in your dash and makes it easy to see what's playing. And Kenwood backs up this versatile receiver with a 2-year warranty.

Kenwood KDC-X497 CD receiver

You can adjust the button illumination on this Kenwood to match your dash lighting.

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 a selection of 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 HD Radio 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, WMA, and AAC music files
    • gloss black detachable face with variable color button illumination
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q Sound Control (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer)
    • high-pass filters (speaker and preamp outputs), low-pass filter (sub preamp output)
    • speaker settings that let you tailor the sound to the size and location of speakers in your car
    • Supreme Setting improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
    • bass boost
    • 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
    • compatible with Kenwood's Music Control app for select Android phones
    • 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:

    Awesome radio, hd radio, 4 volt output crisp sound is delivered..i would recommend this unit to anyone!

    Omar, fresno california 93722


    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (80 Reviews)

    Awesome unit!

    Omar from fresno california 93722 on 9/21/2014

    Awesome radio, hd radio, 4 volt output crisp sound is delivered..i would recommend this unit to anyone!

    Pros: Cool looking high output h/u

    Cons: None so Far

    Good value

    Anonymous from Tarpon Spgs,FL on 3/13/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice economy HD radio.Cool color display. Cramped buttons.Manual could be better written.



    Great Stereo

    PS from Corpus Christi,TX on 2/17/2014

    2011 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I replaced my factory stereo in my Toyota Corolla, wanted something different. Installation was easy since Crutchfield provided the necessary harness and install kit free. Considering replacing the speakers next, I know the rear speakers require pulling panels to get to but doesn't seem that difficult. I would recommend Crutchfield when ordering what ever you decide as they take the guess work out of your purchase.

    Pros: Easy to install, remote, ability to change color display, front aux and USB, detachable face.

    Cons: None so far

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    angler22 from tarpon springs fl. on 1/25/2014

    1989 Toyota Pickup
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed in my 1989 toy 4x4, installation was simple, I had the original mounting bracket, fit perfect. set up was no problem, you must be able to understand what you read in the manual. sounds great, had to cut back a bit on the bass, if I had a sub it would be incredible. very happy with purchase!!! colors are great too, I did not set the color yet, kinda like the color changing frequently.


    Cons: none

    Excelon? Excellent!

    John C from Lacey, WA on 1/20/2014

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

    I dropped this into my 2007 Hyundai Accent hatchback, and am very pleased with the results. I had previously upgraded the rear speakers to the Pioneer TS-G6844R but was a little underwhelmed by the performance I got. After some posts on an Accent blog, I found that Hyundai factory head units are set to push most of the sound frequencies to the front, no matter what fade adjustment you use. After putting the Kenwood in, the Pioneers really came to life. The HD radio is fantastic. Scrolling digital readout of song title/artist is great. Setting the EQ Pro seems a little complex. It does take some time on initial set up to get all of your settings the way you like them, as you can really fine tune this thing in many ways.

    Pros: HD radio. Excellent power output (22 watts RMS). Variable colors.

    Cons: Buttons are a little on the small side. The round control dial is very thin and lacks any texture at all. This make is very slippery and hard to use...impossible to use while wearing gloves. The lowest brightness setting is still bright at night, could go a little lower.

    Another Great Kenwood product

    Mark from Cape Cod Mass on 1/20/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I replaced a brand new Alpine with this Kenwood unit because I like them that much.

    Pros: 3 sets of RCA Pre amp outputs front, rear and sub. Easy to use button lay out and remote. Color changing feature is great! and I love the RDS, Lets you know the Radio station song and title the Alpine did not

    Cons: The main volume control button is slippery (the Alpine had a rubber surround) and it's easy to accidentally pull it off, but just as easy to replace. You will find using the remote more convenient but accidentally changing to AM band instead of preset 1 is annoying and its difficult to see at night.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Anonymous from Los Angeles, CA on 1/6/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this Kenwood head unit and a pair of 5 1/2" focal speakers. CDs and iPods sound very good on this unit, and if you know how to tweak the EQ Pro - I didn't - and if you add an amp to this unit and a subwoofer, I'd imagine that the system would sound even more amazing. But as for the radio, this Kenwood unit's HD radio is not as good as I'd expected. The radio tuner is much worser than my old 2007 Subary Impreza factory radio. I get fewer channels. On AM, I hardly can tune any channels at all, so if you're someone that listens to the news and sports news a lot on AM, then I don't recommend this head unit. On FM, I do get some HD Radio channels, but they are too few to offset all the channels that I used to get. This was a major disappointment. Lastly, the main control dial is too small and slippery. Kenwood should have made it larger and added some grip texture to the surface. UPDATED 1/13/14: This weekend I tried connecting the blue/white wire from the head unit to the blue wire from the harness like you suggested, and when I turned the radio back on, the radio reception was...splendid. It's awesome now. Thanks for the tip.

    Pros: Audio sounds good and powerful, but you need to know how to adjust the EQ. Illumination display is neat.

    Cons: HD Radio is a major letdown. Very bad tuner. I couldn't get any AM channels, and I received less FM channels than my old head unit. Setting is not for the novice. And the manual is thin. There's no instructions how to use EQ Pro. Control dial is too small and slippery. This head unit is not cheap.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Bill from Birmingham Al. on 1/4/2014

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

    Great price, good sound,great tech support

    Pros: Price, sound

    Cons: none


    Janice from Baytown, TX on 1/4/2014

    2006 Pontiac Grand Prix
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I got this radio for my boyfriend for Christmas. He loves it! Love the Crutchfield website! It was very easy to use and when I added the radio it suggested all the things I needed for installation. I didn't have to figure it out.

    Pros: Functionality, Crisp Sound, Plug & Play, Bass...oh the Bass!...Ease of Use, Options...options...options!

    Cons: The digital wording (station name, titles of songs, etc.) on the radio does not change with the many (24) different colors you can choose for the radio. What's up with that? All these awesome colors and they do not match the wording. It's a big down side.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    bill b from ohio on 12/30/2013

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

    this stereo lives up to kenwood name and quality



    I like it

    matt from Minnesota on 12/30/2013

    2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this unit to replace the failing factory head unit in my '02 Explorer Sport trac. I'm no audiophile, nor am I that knowledgable about vehicle electronics and stereos. The deck installed as easily as any other deck I've installed with a few phone calls to tech support to help connect some dots in reference to the factory subwoofer and the oddity of my vehicle. Tech support was great! This deck powers my factory system quite well, the adjustments are all quite nice, and I've figured out how to use most of the features without using the owners manual that I've misplaced. All in all I like it. I think the only thing I dislike about this unit is the way the menu requires to to physically push the "back" button through all the layers until you exit the settings. I would much prefer there was a shortcut.

    Pros: Easy to use, easy to instal, nice colors, plenty of features


    Great value

    xman. intalled in Nissan maxima from Castro Valley, CA on 12/23/2013

    1991 Nissan Sentra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great price. Very good sound quality. Well made unit. Plenty of power for me.



    Nice product

    JoeB from Worden,IL on 12/20/2013

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

    Installed this to replace the OEM cassette player in my 97 Jeep. Sounds great. Easy installation. The HD radio sounds really good but fades in and out. Probably caused by my location. Set up instructions could have been more informative.Buttons very small.

    Pros: All the whistles and bells.

    Cons: Instruction manual

    Great Unit

    Jason from Westminster, MD on 12/17/2013

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

    Very Happy. The features are awesome and it is nice because I can change tthe color of the display to match my dash. I would buy this headunit again in a heartbeat.

    Pros: The features are awesome and it is nice because I can change tthe color of the display to match my dash.

    Cons: None


    jozaan from ny, ny on 12/9/2013

    2001 Audi A4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The hd worked great after an aftermarket antenna was install...still cuts out on foggy days but good enough for me

    Pros: Hd, lots of sound tuning

    Cons: Volume knob comes off

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    EdK from Meridian, ID on 12/3/2013

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

    This is an awesome receiver. Very easy installation with everything included. Excellent reception, plenty of power, great tone adjustments. Ipod works great with it. Color displays look awesome.

    Pros: Good sound, Ipod imput, good value

    Cons: None

    great all around head unit

    Dug from Lucasville, Oh on 11/30/2013

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

    Have used Kenwood products in the past. This unit, so far, has not let me down. I am very pleased with the performance. Excellent radio reception, very good tone adjustments. Thumb drive works great! Amp puts out plenty of power for the Kicker speakers I have in my Avalanche. Was going to install a subwoofer, but after listening to this for about two weeks, don't need to. Sounds fine like it is. I would recommend this unit to anyone looking for more than just a radio and CD player. It has all the bells and whistles you could ask for. And then some. I'm glad I bought it.

    Pros: Good strong amp, lots of tone adjustments, has 24 different color combinations to match your vehicle's dash lights.

    Cons: owners manual could be a little easier to understand on how to set up the unit.

    I could kick myself!

    Lyle from Port Saint Lucie, FL on 11/25/2013

    2005 Mazda Miata
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have been driving my Miata for years and didn't realize just how bad the OEM head unit was. This Kenwood unit has wonderful, rich sound, with all the necessary settings for a personally customized sound.

    Pros: Sound quality, IPod access, HD radio.

    Cons: Controls took a little time to learn.

    good replacement

    Mike from FL on 11/23/2013

    2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good radio but does not pick up a HD radio station that I wanted but I may just be to far away. I like the usb and aux inputs.

    Pros: extra inputs so you do have to listen to just radio stations

    Cons: might not pick up a hd station that you think it will

    Great Product

    Joe C from Fresno, Ca on 11/17/2013

    1990 Toyota Celica
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It did everything I wanted.

    Pros: Easy

    Cons: None

    great hd radio

    shep p from indian trail nc on 11/2/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    so i got this kenwood for my work truck the hd radio is great and i dont have any reception problems where i live, ipod sounds great also nice to be able to control it through the radio. i also added a kenwood powered sub also and it really frees up the other four speakers to handle the mids and high notes,nothing fancy here couple of pioneer two ways in the front doors and a couple of 3 way pyle 4x6 i got off ebay cheap in the back doors once i got all of the levels dialed in it sounds awesome. wife has a new caddy with a bose system and a factory sub plus god only knows how many speakers but i swear this set up in my old gmc sounds every bit as good or better! get one of these you wont be dissapointed!

    Pros: everything

    Cons: none so far

    Great radio at a great price

    boondog from Houston on 10/30/2013

    2006 Dodge Durango
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    installed in a 2006 Durango that has the Alpine system and wanted iphone control and to be able to stream. I had wanted HD radio but never wanted to spend the money. Well, with this radio the money's not a factor and I wish I had spent it sooner. The HD sounds so much better than analog and the extra channels are a huge bonus. The stock Alpine speakers are decent especially now with the HD. I also installed an adaptor for the steering wheel controls and video system, The steering wheel control buttons now have a slight delay but it's no big deal. There really is a lot to like about this radio, especially for the price. And as always, when calling Crutchfield technical service, it's as though they're sitting in the front seat with you.

    Pros: HD sound, variable color keys, front usb, excellent reception, Crutchfield technical service.

    Cons: None so far

    I love the KDC-X497!!!

    Robert A from Taylor, MI on 10/26/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I really like the KDC-X497! I upgraded my factory stereo and it sounds great even with the factory speakers. I also added 4 new door speakers and it sounds better than I imagined because I was going to run my 5×7's with my 4 channel amp but there's no need. I love the HD radio because the clarity of the digital stations have cd like sound and it compliments my subs because I can tune the sound directly from the receiver. Also the variety of color options made it easy for me to match it to my dash. The price and sound quality is great and I recommend this to anyone searching for a HD receiver.

    Pros: Price, available options, and power.


    new kenwood deck

    Anonymous from bozeman, MT on 10/13/2013

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

    I just recently bought a new kenwood stereo and installed it in my 98 chevy pickup. it sounds excellent and I love the way it changes colors and its ease of use. Im very happy with my purchase and it was a good price.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Dennis L from Little Rock, AR on 10/8/2013

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

    Radio sounds great. The HD radio is a nice feature. Was a breeze to install.

    Pros: Great set of features and sounds great!

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Anonymous from Cheektowaga, New York on 10/1/2013

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

    Great receiver, it was quite an upgrade from my factory unit!




    CARL S from PORTLAND OR on 9/29/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    very good receiver

    Pros: The USB Port

    Cons: The blue display is a little brite for night driving

    Great Stereo

    ScottH. from Gardner,KS. on 9/29/2013

    1995 Lincoln Town Car
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great stereo, very crisp sound with hd tuner. Great value for the price.

    Pros: Is of good quality for the price of the unit. Crutchfield included everything needed for the install.

    Cons: Master sheet installation diagrams need more detail.

    Excelon KDC-X497

    CarlosO from Ponder, Tx on 9/19/2013

    1999 Toyota 4Runner
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Istalled this bad boy in my '99 4runner. Wow! I am very satisfied with the sound quality and all the functionality that comes with it. I got confused with the wiring and called Crutchfield a couple of times. They were life savers. Great place to buy a great stereo for not much dinero.

    Pros: Super sound quality, a ton of functionality, very cool light color options, Crutchfield technicians are VERY good, great price!

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Anonymous from Carmel, IN on 9/15/2013

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

    Easy to use and install, great update from the stock unit.



    Nice HD Radio Deck

    iP from Baltimore, MD on 9/10/2013

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

    I absolutely love this deck so far and I've only had it about two weeks! I was torn as to go with this or an Alpine Deck and, after calling Crutchfield, Levi helped me make the decision based on what I was looking for and I couldn't be happier! This thing rocks! It has great audio quality, iPod/iPhone/Pandora control through USB, Aux input, sleek design, multicolor display options, and HD Radio. My iPhone works perfectly and without any problems when connecting and I can use the deck to browse, search, and control all of the music from my phone. The HD Radio feature is just as great - if you haven't heard HD Radio before, you're missing out! I only hope that more stations make the transition soon! I only gave it 4 stars for "ease of use" because it has a LOT of features and it takes a bit of playing to get used to everything that you can do.

    Pros: HD Radio, iPhone/iPod control and connectivity, Aux input, multicolor display, remote, great sound

    Cons: It can do a lot - maybe even too much!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Kenwood from Rio Rancho, NM on 9/9/2013

    2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Product works as described and a great buy, the best part is the technical support.

    Pros: Free Accessories and tech support

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Anonymous from Denver, CO on 9/5/2013

    2007 Subaru Forester
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I replaced the OEM stereo in my '07 Subaru Forester, and what an immediate difference in sound quality! The only downside were the instructions to remove the factory stereo, as they seemed to have skipped several steps that I had to perform. After a little fuss and muss, I successfully completed the install. The stereo is a terrific value for the improvement in sound quality.




    Mike from Acworth, GA on 9/3/2013

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

    Love the HD radio. The wife loves the sound quality compared to her stock radio



    Great radio

    sfry88 from Harrisburg, PA on 9/2/2013

    1983 BMW 528E
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am really pleased with this receiver. It works as advertised and has a cool look. I like the ability to customize the display.



    What a GREAT little Car Stereo Receiver

    Dardle from LI, NY on 9/2/2013

    2002 Volkswagen GTI
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I recently had my VW GTI in for repair at a local VW dealer. Prior to buying this Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 the stereo in my car was a VERY expensive Alpine I recall way back was about $700 was the unit where the face was motorized actually would hide INTO the radio..looking like the faceplate was removed..I loved that Alpine. I bring this up only because however it happened, the VW dealer destroyed my Alpine radio..never to work again. My car has a lot of miles on it so I searched Crutchfield for a lower priced unit with overall great reviews and specs for the money. Long story short so I installed this Kenwood and then WOW! I was expecting it to be rather inferior to my older trusty $700ish Alpine but NO, This Kenwoood actually blows away my old car stereo in every area. I mean as to radio reception, CLEAN sounding audio, how customizable from EQ to colors to almost everything. Mostly I am so impressed with how the unit sounds. VERY clean..the amp seems well made with lots of power...I don't hear any clipping at all just nice clean powerful sound and bass I never heard before in my car. Really love the front USB jack..I put a 32 gig flash drive in it and it can play days of music...reads folders of mp3s instantly..real easy to navigate..I am in love with this Kenwood and VERY surprised at it's overall quality vs it's price point vs ANY price point really. Buying this unit from Crutchfield was an ultra pleasure, Crutchfield is GREAT! I'll leave it at that.

    Pros: Sound, Customizability, amp power, front usb GREAT with a flash drive full of mp3s, detachable faceplate, Powerful useful EQ, Looks really nice.PRICE!

    Cons: NONE!

    Nice Unit

    Mike from Baltimore, MD on 8/31/2013

    2007 Subaru Forester
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Replaced stock unit in Subaru Forester. I used the Posi-ProductsT Car Stereo Connectors which made hooking up the wiring VERY easy. Contorting my middle-aged self to fit in the foot-wells to reach under the dash- trying to disconnect and reconnect climate control cables...not so easy. Love the improved sound quality. The variable color options are cool (I like to let the display slowly cycle through all the colors). Additional stations via HD radio are also nice to have, but seem to somewhat remind me of the "diminished bandwidth sound" of satellite radio, but not nearly as bad. Regular FM sounds great , but I don't seem to pick up as many stations as before. My stock unit couldn't play mp3's burned to a CD, so I am very happy to have this capability. I haven't used the additional input options (USB or aux) yet, but I like how they are behind a little door. Controls are small and less than intuitive, but I guess that is to be expected with so many features.

    Pros: Great sound Cool HD stations

    Cons: Small buttons Controls feel insubstantial FM sensitivity

    Very good receiver for the money

    EBM from Roan Mountain, TN on 8/31/2013

    1999 Buick Century
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit has all the bells and whistles I needed. HD sound ( limited in my mountainous area but WETS in Johnson City great sub stations). Has USB and AUX and good sounding CD player that I also wanted. The Excelon series for Kenwood IMO is worth the extra price in build and sound qualities. Very pleased with purchase so far.

    Pros: HD sound, Good bang for the buck

    Cons: Digital readout hard to see in direct sunlight

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    strompler from Stillwater, OK on 8/28/2013

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

    The kenwood looks good and has a really good sound effects to the speakers and powered sub.

    Pros: Looks great, really good sound

    Cons: Its hard to use at first.

    Very pleased so far

    DanielM from Twin Cities, MN on 8/18/2013

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

    So far, I really am liking this stereo. I have owned my Chevy truck since new (12 years), and although I still have the factory speakers, the sound quality is greatly improved. I don't have an iPhone or Android device, so haven't tried those features. My only complaints are the tiny buttons, which will be especially challenging come winter, and losing the dimming feature with the rest of the dash lights. I did set the unit to the dim setting, but I have always kept the dash lights rather dim. I am surprised that it doesn't read artist and song title when playing CDs. Overall though, loving the HD Radio. I still haven't figured out how to turn the thing off without shutting down the truck.

    Pros: Great sound and ability to tailor it to your likes. Front panel USB and Aux inputs.

    Cons: Tiny button controls, and lack of information on powering on/off.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    MrLuke from Kansas City, MO on 8/16/2013

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

    Updated my 03 Avalanche and has never sounded better. Install was a easy. Lots of color opitions. Easy to use and even comes with remote. And the remote works from a distance. (at least 15 feet) Great for drive in movies.

    Pros: Unit is easy to function and has tons of good fetures. The Pandora built in is a great add on, with thumbs up and down buttons. Puts out a good amount of power for my 4 door speakers without a amp for them. And still sounds great with a 700 watt sub in the back.

    Cons: No cons to report at this time.

    Love it

    Jeff from Overland Park, KS on 8/14/2013

    2000 Pontiac Firebird
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Was looking for a head unit for installation in my motorcycle fairing, with plenty of power to compensate for road and engine noise. Drawn to the Kenwoods for their 22w RMS output. Paired with 4 Polk DB521 5.25" speakers, and have not been disappointed. Wanted HD Radio & RDS, Bluetooth would have been nice but KDC-X797 a bit out of my budget. USB and AUX inputs work fine for my needs. Volume knob a little cumbersome to operate from a motorcycle due to location & size, but this wouldn't be a problem in a car. Volume adjustment is a frequent need on a bike as you don't want it blaring out at highway volumes when you slow down or come to a stop. I wound up mounting the remote with Velcro to the trim piece on my fuel tank, aimed at the unit. Works like a charm and gives me much easier control of the unit.

    Pros: Good power and sound quality.

    Cons: Display is difficult if not impossible to see on bright days, but that shouldn't be a problem when mounted in a car or truck.


    my94truk from nc on 8/11/2013

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

    nice Kenwood hu, lots of adjustments to customize your sound

    Pros: for the money (on sale) is a great buy, lots of custom settings for everyone's ear

    Cons: not a lot of bass, but sufficient for now, will add sub lata

    Great value

    KeithT from Randleman, NC on 8/7/2013

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

    Great value for the money. Varying color options enable system to complement the interior. With the amp required for the bose system the sound quality is at least as good as the factory bose system.

    Pros: Multiple options for sound source. Easy to operate. Handy remote. Easy to install.


    Stereo Performs Well Kenwood KDC-X497

    TomMtnMan from Brunswick, GA on 8/6/2013

    1989 Ford Bronco II
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This replaced my old Pioneer and does a great job with sound quality even though there are better, but for the money it's quite good. Picks up stations very well from a distance and HD is definitely a plus. Like the USB and AUX port for a MP3 player. Easy to figure out how to make adjustments. Faceplate attachment and detachment is not so great. Neither is the trim plate that will not stay put-very very cheap design. Knocked off two stars on "build quality and ease of use" because of trim plate and faceplate.

    Pros: Amp sound quality Easy learning curve for adjustments

    Cons: Faceplate trim plate

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Anonymous from sidney ohio on 8/3/2013

    1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome deck



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Tim W. from Hammonton, NJ on 8/2/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall I like the ease of use of this radio, how it performs is more precise than the original radio. The mechanism runs a bit slow when loading the disk into the slot and the grab of taking it in is a bit slow. The radio picks up interference from the rear defroster when operated and cannot broadcast the analog stations even though they may not be a distance away.

    Pros: Ease of use, has options to add extra base and changing loudness (most of time do not need to use), easy to set up in car, volume does not need to be set loud

    Cons: Picks up interference from rear window defroster, slow insertion of disk and slow pick up of moving disk into slot.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    ernst1359 from clearwater,fl on 7/24/2013

    1991 Pontiac Bonneville
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I had a Kenwood Excelon KDC-X491 that was great, one of the first usb port on front deck, it lasted for years,3 rca output for amplifiers @4 volts instead of 2.5 volts. this new unit the x497 is almost like the old one, with some new features, built in e.q settings work great, the old unit had HPF for the front and rear speakers through rca's that each was settable to different frequencies , the new one is not like that it one setting for all cab speakers. but other than that it a great unit at a great price with all the extras (wiring harness, install kit, antenna adapter for free car stereo shops all want money for the extra's)

    Pros: sounds great, looks great.

    Cons: HPF settings are not customizable for the front and rear it one setting for all speakers in the front and rear.

    Great radio!

    Matt from Independence mo on 7/24/2013

    2006 Hyundai Accent
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product, would buy again.




    elder from Person County NC on 7/22/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I mounted this radio on my 2013 HD Road King. The sound quality even at speeds of 60 and 70 on highways is unbelievable. Very crisp and clear audio. Wattage is enough to drive two JVC speakers even when cranked up. The looks of this stereo unit is second to none! I have had units ranging from $200 up to $375, and none can match this Kenwood of mine. It far beats the factory installed stereos on The HD Ultras and Street Glides. Installation was a bit out of the norm going on a motorcycle, but the wire leads made it very simple to connect and disconnect. Direction for use is very simple as well. I am 61, and was a bit worried it would take a rocket scientist to program the unit for me. Setting the stations, time, not to mention bass, treble and balance but it was extremely simple to program. The removable face plate gives me piece of mind that no one would bother ripping it off my bike because without the head, it is useless to possess the rest of the unit. I am now getting ready to order another identical unit to replace the factory stereo in my 2003 Ford F-150 that is getting tired. The many different combos of knob lighting is great. My Harley is Candy Orange, and I was able to get just the right shade of color to match the gas tank which makes it look like the radio was built around my bike. This is one super stereo unit. It allows me to play AM/FM/CD/USB for flash drives as well as the 3.5 port for my iPod Shuffle. The only real word to describe my stereo is "AMAZING".



    Fine player

    skjuly from Connecticut on 7/18/2013

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

    The player is fine, sounds good even with my original speakers. Some of the function selection takes getting use to but I'm getting use to it. Installation went fine, instructions good.

    Pros: value, sound

    Cons: controls a little different

    Nice player for the price

    Chris from Arkansas on 7/15/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Price the cheapest kenwood you can find add in all the accessories that Crutchfield throws in and look at your price then. It was a no brainer for me. Better radio, same price....sold.

    Pros: Hd radio

    Cons: Lack of hd signals in my area.


    Anonymous from West Columbia, SC on 7/13/2013

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

    It was awesome. My last Kenwood stereo was not a excel on. It was the first time I did not buy a excel on and I will never go without an excelon again.



    it's colorful

    uh2oguy from California on 7/13/2013

    1995 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    lots of features for the value, and colorful too. you can choose one color or let the color spectrum just run it's course. easy fit into my 95' sl320, very nice to get the correct harness, tools and antenna adapter included with my purchase thanks Crutchfield




    Robert P. from Rohnert Park,Ca on 7/12/2013

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

    It is a Great stereo sounds awesome looks great

    Pros: It is a Great stereo sounds awesome looks great


    Excellent Deck

    Shane from Austin, Texas on 7/10/2013

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

    Bought this deck and installed it in my 4Runner in about 20 minutes. WAAAAY better than the stock deck that came in my car. Sounds great!!!


    Cons: None

    Excellent Value & Performance

    Michael from Independence,MO on 7/10/2013

    2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    An excellent value and performance. It even works very well with my factory speaker until I get the chance to replace them.

    Pros: The sound quality is amazing. The options for filtering frequencies is surprising for the price

    Cons: If you can afford to move up to the blue tooth model with HD radio it's the only thing that I would do differently.

    Awesome Stereo!!!

    BigCumfy from Bay Area, Ca on 7/5/2013

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

    I installed this HU after already installing Polk Audio DB651s front 6.5's and JBL GT6-69 6x9's in the rear deck. Yes, the speakers sounded good with the Factory HU, but with only Bass and Trebble controls, I felt I couldn't get the sound exactly how I wanted. So I decided to change the HU. My co-worker swore by HD Radio so I said why not and ended up picking up this Stereo. I'm sure glad I did. HD digital stream sounds AWESOME!!! If your favorite radio stations have an HD signal.....GET HD RADIO BUILT IN!!! You won't regret it. I played it for a friend and showed him the difference between analog and HD.....He bought and HD Radio HU for his care the very next day. Ok, back to the review......The other things I needed was USB and AUX on the front and it being compatible with my iPHone.....Check, Check, and Check. This HU had everything I needed. And as an added bonus, it has SUB controls already built in. I can control my sub straight from my deck. It has 1 sub and 2 more pre-amp RCA outs. This HU has pretty much everything you need. I have this installed in a 2001 Honda Accord Coupe. As I read in a different post, if you have an antenna built into your window, don't forget to attach the Blue/White wire to the Antenna wire (mine was blue) on the wiring harness. The only gripe I have about this stereo is, the volume knob. It is slick, doesn't have rubber or any indents to make grip easy. A small rubber band fixed that issue. Other than that its a GREAT HU.

    Pros: HD Radio, USB, AUX, iPhone Compatibility, Sub controls from deck and 3 sets of Pre-Amp RCA Outs, easy to use (and install thanks to Crutchfield).

    Cons: Volume Knob is slick and with my dry hands I had a hard time turning it sometimes. Small black Rubber band fixed that issue.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    DanL from Slater, MO on 7/3/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very Good Radio, Picks up more stations than the factory radio. Like the Pandora radio and the USB hookup and also the Auxiliary hookup . Crutchfield sent a very good wiring diagram to go with my 2007 Chevy Pickup


    Cons: none


    outthere from Idaho on 7/3/2013

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

    I am using this receiver as the head unit for my JL Audio speaker and amp system. I chose this model over non-Excelon models for its higher pre-amp output and two year warranty--for what little more it cost, I figured the quality would be better to support a longer warranty. The unit sounds great, and it offers lots of flexibility from its various EQ and frequency settings to the many inputs available and its ability to interface with an iPhone. I like the understated looks of the unit and the many illumination color choices are also fun to play with. Lots of flexibility of course means lots of menus to set it up initially, but it is easy to use once set up and on the road.

    Pros: Sound Quality, Many sound adjustments, healthy pre-amp output, clean styling, iPhone/iPod/Pandora interface, Colors

    Cons: None really.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    KangL from Gaithersburg, MD on 7/1/2013

    1997 BMW 5 Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It is a nice looking, good sounding HD radio. Love the variable key button colors. It produces music with more clarity than the original radio with the original OEM speakers. However, it takes some learning how to use the various functions of the radio. The CD player play great music. Have not a chance to use the USB and aux input features yet. I bet it will be easy to use.

    Pros: HD radio produces music with good clarity.

    Cons: Not so intuitious in radio operation.


    John from Cleveland, Ohio on 7/1/2013

    2007 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love this radio! It was easy to put in, sounds great, looks great, and works GREAT!!!



    Great stereo, not difficult to install

    TerryMc from Shreveport, LA on 7/1/2013

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

    Stereo went in ok, Crutchfield's directions and harness helped tremendously. I wouldnt say it's easy, but not too hard either. Longest part of the install was connecting the wire harnesses together (go buy the snap splicers (connectors) at an auto part store). Stereo sounds great and has plenty of power, even for a convertible. USB port of ipods is easy to use. Definitely worth the extra $ for HD stereo

    Pros: HD, USB jack, pick a color to match your dash.

    Cons: hard to use radio's controls when chosing songs from an ipod. easier to just use the ipod's controls, which you can do

    instantly better

    Mike B from Warrenton, MO on 6/30/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Instantly improved the sound in my Dodge Ram even with the factory speakers. Easy to use and easy to install

    Pros: Easy to use, great sound

    Cons: none

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Anonymous from Braham, mn on 6/22/2013

    2007 Ford Crown Victoria
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I needed better sound in my crown Vic interceptor. I bought from crutchfield as I could tell they value their customers. I purchased door and rear deck speakers at the same time. I have got the radio changed so far and the sound quality is so much better then oem I haven't felt a pressing need to get the speakers changed. I am a long time kenwood user, both home and car. Quality is still superior to others, more power then pioneer too.

    Pros: Sound quality, power, high power per outs for subs. Ease of auxiliary input use.

    Cons: Hard to lock on HD signal some days with factory window antenna, I will probably have to add a mast antenna.

    86 MR2

    Pete L from Turnersville, NJ on 6/21/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Arrived on time in perfect condition Installation was a breeze, sound is teriffic, features are exactly what I wanted and it looks great. I would happily recommend this product

    Pros: It is everything you said it would be.

    Cons: To date none.

    2007 crown vic

    Joe from Vero Beach, FL on 6/18/2013

    2007 Mercury Grand Marquis
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy install, still learning controls but has great sound &looks great. The install kit & wire kit where very easy to use fits great

    Pros: Getting one for my crossfire

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Moki from California on 6/8/2013

    1990 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The Kenwood operating procedures are somewhat confusing to use at first. You will need to read the owner's manual with a magnified glass as the prints are small and light in color. With 9 - 10 color to choose from, none of them match my dash display...???



    Great head unit!

    John B from Baltimore, MD on 6/4/2013

    2006 Subaru Outback
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I cannot believe the difference over the stock head unit. Well worth the investment.

    Pros: Ease of installation. Superior sound quality. Excellent radio reception.

    Cons: Channel storage.

    Great Control

    Jason G from Denver CO on 6/4/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I wasn't looking for all the bells and whistles. This unit was priced right with all the features and control you need in a head unit. Match it up with an Excelon 5 channel class D amp and go have fun!

    Pros: Quality, price, 3 pairs of pre-outs, 4 volt pre-outs


    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    CCL from Justin TX on 5/31/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Unit looks and sounds great. Install was simple

    Pros: Quality, sound, looks.

    Cons: Mounting plate not straight.

    Great product!

    BK from Indianapolis, IN on 5/28/2013

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

    I think this is an excellent product, great sound, I like the colored lighting and the ability to pre set it. Menus are straight forward and easy to use and it was a breeze to hook up. My only issues with it are pretty minor, I would like to have larger buttons and the ability to display multiple items such as the clock and station, etc

    Pros: Excellent sound, easy hookup, great product recommendations from Crutchfield, looks great

    Cons: Would like to have larger buttons and multiple items on display

    nice unit !

    spin 1 from greenfield wi. on 5/24/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice unit for the price..cant go wrong.



    Kenwood radio

    Pete from Madison wi on 5/23/2013

    1980 Chevrolet LUV
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Over I like this radio so far. The selectable color is cool. Easy to install sounds good. Seems like I do not get the best radio reception . When you do not have the best HD signal the sound comes in and out? I am still getting to know how to use the radio menus. There are a lot of audio setings you can change. Works great with iPod.

    Pros: USB iPod colors 4volt output price

    Cons: Takes awhile to learn how to use . Do not know if I like HD radio yet?

    Good option for factory upgrade.

    Ben from Boston, MA on 5/1/2013

    2006 Subaru Impreza 2.5i
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was looking for a good upgrade for my stock Impreza system which was lacking in power and quality. Did not care about cell phone connectivity or fancy bluetooth options but did want USB and AUX connections and HD Radio. This unit has been great for all of these things and though I have only hooked it up to my speakers thus far, it also allows for future additions of an Amp/Sub which is nice. Installation was pretty straightforward, Crutchfield instructions and customer support are great. Only issue I ran into was in connecting the antenna wire for the unit (blue) and to the car (also blue). After installation radio reception was very poor and I realized that I should have connected to the antenna booster wire (blue and white) because of the not so powerful in-windshield antenna in the Impreza. After this adjustment radio has been really good with excellent sound quality. May not be an issue with better antenna but worth checking. Overall really happy with the look and performance of this stereo.

    Pros: HD Radio, multiple connection options, simple use

    Cons: small buttons, more attention to aesthetics than function

    Awesome unit for the pirce!

    Greg from kennesaw Ga on 4/18/2013

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

    Awesome head unit! great sound quality i love how you can set the high pass filter from the headunit and not need a external amp or passive crossover. I am having one problem with my two channel amp one of the RCA's seems to not work but i think it is a problem with the RCA cable itself which i will replace soon and if not then it is just a faulty pre out from the head unit itself. has cool features such as the color variation but i look past that at the over quality of the head unit.

    Pros: this unit comes with many different custom audio options and has a great range of settings to fit anyones test.

    Cons: having problems with one of the RCA's but i think it is more of a RCA cable problem. Settings are somewhat hard to get to and dont even attempt to change settings while driving.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497

    Anonymous from IA on 4/4/2013

    2002 Dodge Durango
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love this receiver. works as advertised.




    Don from Florida on 3/18/2013

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

    I purchased the kdc-x497 to replace my 12 year old Excelon, which still worked great but it's motorized faceplate had stopped working. I installed the kdc-x497 and turned it on. First thing I noticed was the panel lighting which is very cool and color changeable (28 preset colors or make your own custom color). With adjustable brightness and dimming it's possible to get exactly the display color you want at the brightness you want. Very nice. I put the unit in standby and took a look at initial settings. There are a lot of adjustments. Almost everything you can think of is adjustable on this HU. The control interface might seem a little daunting at first but after a couple minutes it all makes sense and is actually very easy to operate. So you don't have to be an engineer to play a CD, or listen to your Ipod, or your flash drive, or a HD radio station. But if you know a little, about cut-offs, center frequencies, and Q factors, you can make this HU sing. I am running just the head unit amplifiers into (4) Infinity 6 1/2" 3-ways, and a self powered 8" tube. Kenwood/Infinity has always been a good combination for crystal clear sound. My old Excelon paired up very well with the Infinity's. But the kdc-x497 has taken the sound quality to the next level. In a word: Sublime.

    Pros: Built in HD radio. CD quality digitally streaming to your radio. Nice. Onboard Amps: 22 watts RMS x .01% THD = can go very loud but stays very clean. Nice. Auxillary USB, Ipod, Pandora. Nice. Price. you get a lot of radio for the price. Nice.



    Keith S from Philadelphia, PA on 3/11/2013

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

    Nice unit. Easy to set up. Good sound quality.

    Pros: Easy user controls. Nice backlight colors. User friendly set up

    Cons: No connectivity with android galaxy III

    Do your Research

    Matt from Washington State on 3/2/2013

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

    The unit is built well and has lots of tweaking you can do to it for the Audiophile. HOWEVER... if you are trying to use an older android phone with the Kenwood Music Control app, TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!. The unit requires Android v 2.2 or higher but also requires certain phones. I have the LG revolution software v2.3.6. The head unit does not recognize my phone as a mass storage device no matter what I do. It does see the LG Lucid and seems to work just fine. I am upgrading my phone soon so I will not be sending this unit back because it performs well in all other areas. Sound Quality is very nice and controls are easy to use. The front ports make for easy use of AUX inputs as well, would have been nice to have a usb on the back though for out of sight music storage.

    Pros: Sounds good and easy to use

    Cons: Some phones may not work using the Kenwood Music Control no matter what version of Android they use.


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input Front
    CarPlay No
    Android Auto No
    Siri Control No
    Android Control Yes
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible No
    Satellite Radio Ready No
    HD Radio Built-in
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano 7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch 5/4/3/2/1/
    iPhone 5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    RMS Power (CTA-2006) N/A
    RMS Power (Manufacturer) ---
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20KHz
    Preamp Outputs 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 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System Yes

    Product Research

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

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X497 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-X497 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 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-X497 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-X497 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-X497 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-X497 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.

    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.

    HD + Pandora Radio

    Built-In HD Tuner: With its built-in HD Radio tuner, you can receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. HD Radio significantly improves AM/FM audio quality and reception, as well as includes information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display. HD Radio Technology will deliver high-quality digital sound. AM digital will have FM-like quality in stereo (70dB SN @ 40-15kHz), while FM digital will have CD-like quality (70 dB SN @ 20-20kHz) with static free and clear reception. The unit's built-in HD Radio tuner allows analog AM/FM tuning as well.

    • Receive Mode: You can setup the KDC-X497 to receive both analog and digital radio stations (Auto), only HD Radio stations (Digital), or only analog radio stations (Analog).
    • IF Band: You can switch the tuner's IF Band to Wide or Auto to increase/decrease the selectivity. The Auto setting increases the tuner selectivity to reduce interference noises from adjacent stations (stereo effect may be lost). The Wide setting decreases the tuner's selectivity which is subject to interference noises from adjacent stations, but sound quality will not be degraded and the stereo effect will remain.
    • Station Text: AM/FM digital stations can offer text and data such as artist names and song titles.
    • Multicasting: In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 8 multicast programs (HD1 to HD8).
    • Seek Modes + Direct Tuning: You can choose one of three seek modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual. You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.
    • Tuner Presets: The KDC-X497's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. 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. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 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.
    • iTunes Tagging: It is possible to save the song's information (tag) from and HD Radio broadcasting station to your USB-direct connected iPod/iPhone. The songs will show up in a playlist called "Tagged" in iTunes (7.4 or later) the next time you sync your iPod/iPhone. Then you can directly buy the songs you want from the iTunes Music Store. Your iPod/iPhone must have at least 50MB of free space to "tag" and transfer songs. You can "tag" up to 50 songs.

    Note: HD Radio is the system for digital AM and FM broadcasting in the U.S. More than 2,000 radio stations are broadcasting their primary signals in digital HD Radio technology, as a free service. Go to to check for HD Radio stations in your area.

    Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 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-X497 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.

    USB/Android/Aux Integration

    USB Port: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 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), WMA (32-192 kbps), AAC (8-320 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-X497 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/AAC 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-X497 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-X497's front-panel USB port acts as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5/5C/5S; use the 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-X497.

    • 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-X497 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-X497 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.

    iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 1/3/2013):

    Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type iTunes Tagging 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 Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5C 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5S 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    4th 6.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    5th 7.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    7th 1.01 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N Y Y N Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    4 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
    mini 7.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

    Disc Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs.

    MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The KDC-X497 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), AAC (8-320 kbps) music 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/AAC 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-X497 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/AAC 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-X497 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.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face:The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 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-X497 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-X497 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

    2 questions already asked

    You can't, I recently installed HID lights in my car and if you disconnect the battery leads you'll have to reprogram your settings again. Also noticed that your settings need to be tuned into your liking with USB CD and radio as they all can be different which is a good thing really. [ ERIC  Jan 26, 2014 ]
    Yes because it has an auxiliary input. All that iPod compatible means is that you can control the music on the iPod from the head unit instead of the iPod itself. Any mps3 should be compatible with the aux [ GRAY  Dec 08, 2013 ]
    yeah, just use the Aux function. Might even work with the USB, it will tell you. [ CHRISTOPHER  Dec 07, 2013 ]
    yes i believe you could play it through the aux jack next to the USB in the front face Craig. THe only problem Ive found is that not all MP3 file type are supported. Ive been using this unit a few weeks now and primarily using the USB with a Thumb drive inserted. All The files I play are MP3 Format but I get a File type not supported when playing some. [ ERIC  Dec 07, 2013 ]
    Yes, using the Aux jack for sure. Haven't tried it in the USB. [ KEVIN  Dec 06, 2013 ]
    Yes it will. It has a Aux in the Front or you can use the usb drive and download your songs to a thumb usd drive which you may like even more then your mp3 player. The sound from this unit is awesome much better then my stock radio. [ TRAVIS  Dec 06, 2013 ]
    sorry no help here...I have not tried a non apple MP3. Stereo works good though. [ JOE  Dec 06, 2013 ]
    I would think so because it says Android phones work. My daughter is using an iPod and iPhone with it. I think your question is for Crutchfield to answer for sure. [ ED  Dec 06, 2013 ]
    yes it runs apple and android os systems with no problem Now that I have this for awhile my review still stands excellent unit with great sound and easy functions. [ MICHAEL  Dec 06, 2013 ]
    yes I have plugged in a non apple mp3 it worked like the ipod. all of them do require a lot of practice getting used to how to control them [ ALAN E  Dec 06, 2013 ]