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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

CD receiver (New Stock)

141 Reviews | 4 questions - 18 answers

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 lets you enjoy the latest in car audio entertainment. Built-in HD Radio™ is just one highlight of this top-of-the-line CD receiver, which also plays music from your iPod® and features built-in Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming. Audiophiles will appreciate added features like digital time alignment, a 13-band equalizer, and a full complement of 4-volt preamp outputs, complete with onboard high-pass and low-pass filtering. 

The top of the food chain

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 lets you enjoy the latest in car audio entertainment. Built-in HD Radio™ is just one highlight of this top-of-the-line CD receiver, which also plays music from your iPod® and features built-in Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming. Audiophiles will appreciate added features like digital time alignment, a 13-band equalizer, and a full complement of 4-volt preamp outputs, complete with onboard high-pass and low-pass filtering. 

HD Radio for awesome sound

When you tune in a local station broadcasting an HD Radio signal, you'll hear FM that's close to CD quality or AM that comes in clear and static free. And unlike satellite services, there are no subscription fees. If your iPod's hooked up to the KDC-X997, you can also tag songs that you hear on HD Radio, then buy them later online. And most participating stations send out secondary programming, giving you more choices when you're in the mood for radio.

Bluetooth lets you concentrate on driving

Bluetooth gives you hands-free calling convenience, plus a wireless connection to the songs stored on your compatible music player. If you're an Android user who's grown tired of your old radio's complicated Bluetooth pairing issues, you'll love this receiver's simple, secure pairing (SSP) technology. If you're an iPhone aficionado, the KDC-X997 automatically pairs with your iPhone via USB and gives you full Siri control.

Pair your compatible phone to the KDC-X997 and you can talk hands-free by simply touching the dedicated "phone" button when a call comes in. And the receiver can reply automatically to text messages to let your contacts know that you're busy driving. An external Bluetooth microphone can be placed in an optimal location within the vehicle for improved hands-free communication.

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 CD receiver

Use this Kenwood's controls to play your favorite Internet radio stations.

Stream radio from your phone

If you enjoy Internet radio on your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, you'll really enjoy playing music from Pandora®, iHeart Radio, and Aha™ radio on this great-sounding receiver. You can scroll through your stations, bookmark songs, and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down right from the receiver's face.

Play (almost) anything

This Kenwood receiver is ready for your iPod, iPhone®, or Android. Once you connect your iPod or iPhone to one of the front-panel USB inputs, you can use the receiver's controls to search through your albums, artists, and playlists. If you store your music on an Android device, you can download Kenwood's free Music Control app from the Android market to enjoy a variety of search and playback features. If your music is on another device, just plug it into the handy front-panel auxiliary input.

You can also enjoy music from your local AM/FM stations or your CD collection. If you're a satellite radio fan, the KDC-X997 is SiriusXM-ready. All you need is a tuner and a subscription to enjoy stations that never fade away.

Multi-line display

The KDC-X997's text display gives you all the info you want, plus you can select display and illumination colors that match your car's dash or your moodt -- your choice. The 3-line display can be switched to a 2-line format with a larger font that makes it easier to read phone numbers, song titles, and source data.

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 Excelon stereo. Connect a few wires, program the adapter for your car and this Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.

Bluetooth note: Use of this receiver's Bluetooth features will depend upon your phone's Bluetooth capabilities. Learn more in our article explaining Bluetooth profiles.

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 or its optional iPod adapter.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in HD Radio
    • built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
    • 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
    • automatic iPhone pairing with Siri control capability
    • detachable face with selectable 2- or 3-line display, plus variable display and control colors
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • 13-band equalizer
    • Sound Excellence DSP with speaker size settings, plus high- and low-pass crossovers
    • digital time alignment
    • 3-level bass boost
    • low- and high-pass filters; subwoofer level and phase control
    • 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, iHeart Radio and Aha control with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry
    • compatible with Kenwood's Music Control app for Android phones
    • compatible with SiriusXM tuner
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary input; front and rear USB ports
    • 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)
    • Microphone with integrated bracket (attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle male 3.5mm connector)
    • 2 Removal tools
    • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Cloth pouch
    • Quick Start Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Card

    Featured Video:

    Why take away the optional 5 - line display from the 996? I upgraded because of the Android control, but now I feel like I'm looking at a large - print book. I'm 40. This display's text is ridiculously large. Annoying.

    dmoynehan, Albany, NY


    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (141 Reviews)

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Marc retana from Denver, CO on 10/15/2014

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

    I was absolutely happy with the receiver. I love that it has aux, cd, bluetooth, hd radio, and dual usb...what else could you ask for? While the menus are a little complicated at first, their easy to navigate once you get the hang of it. I'm a musician and audiophile and the pro audio options are just mind blowing. The unit will adjust the sound based on your input on car type, speaker sizes, and speaker location. After you get done tuning that, you can move onto the gain, Q factor, and 13 band parametric equalizer.

    Pros: 13 band equalizer, pro audio setup, dual usb, 3 line display. 6 preouts to run amps for front, rear, AND sub channels

    Cons: I wish the rear usb cable had been a little longer since I had to wire it from behind the receiver to my center console. Ran outta usb cable and had to buy an extension.

    Give some, take some

    dmoynehan from Albany, NY on 7/14/2014

    Why take away the optional 5 - line display from the 996? I upgraded because of the Android control, but now I feel like I'm looking at a large - print book. I'm 40. This display's text is ridiculously large. Annoying.



    Quality receiver, tough to read display

    Dbones from Philly, PA on 7/14/2014

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

    Quality receiver with good sound. installed easy and easy to understand how to operate and fine tune. HD radio and Bluetooth work great. It controls my iPod through USB but won't control my Samsung galaxy s5 through usb. My advice would be to check the manufacturer site to see if it is compatible with your phone before purchase. My biggest gripe is that the screen can't be read in direct sunlight. This is helped slightly by adjusting the color and contrast and also by switching the display from negative to positive which inverses which LEDs light up.

    Pros: good sound. fairly easy to use.

    Cons: Can't read the display in direct sunlight. Couldn't control my phone through USB.

    Whole heartedly recommend

    Phil R. from Mandeville, LA on 7/8/2014

    I'll start off by saying that with few exceptions, I'm a serial Kenwood Excelon buyer. This KDC-X997 marks my fourth head unit installed in my fourth vehicle. I have also had brief flings with Pioneer, JVC, and a few other brands but I keep coming back to Kenwood for their rock solid build quality, great sound, and value. The X997 isn't one I'd recommend for the casual listener, as the shear options available can be overwhelming for the average person that just wants to pop in a CD and go, but if you're looking for a single din that has the goods and you have a discerning ear, this one's for you. Having correctly set the gain, crossovers, set the time alignment with a tape measure (yes, I'm that picky about it), and used an RTA to set the manual eq, this unit has brought what was originally a decent audio system hamstrung by a cheap head unit screaming to it's full potential.

    Pros: Build quality, sound, options (13 band eq, crossovers, digital time alignment), the only thing this unit won't do is make you breakfast.

    Cons: single din, not much to look at, setup for an audiophile grade head unit can be daunting if you take full manual control.

    Great head unit

    Anonymous from Elkhart, IN on 5/10/2014

    2000 Dodge Caravan
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I usually buy JVC but I did some reviews for the best stereo for the price . Kenwood got the best rating .

    Pros: Looks, easy to use

    Cons: None yet

    Fantastic Car Stereo

    WA from Clearwater, FL on 3/23/2014

    2002 Ford Focus ZX3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    An incredible value for a car stereo with HD radio, two powered USB connections, BlueTooth audio and a very well-done hands-free BT phone connection. Ideal for an technically sophisticated audiophile with access to the "Pro" setup. I was able to use the 13-band manual equalizer with my CD of test tones and SPL meter to tame a nasty +8dB spike at 6.3KHz that my speakers have and bring up a -7dB dropout at 400Hz and generally shape the sound response. Suddenly my car became a wonderfully listening environment!

    Pros: HD radio, lots of input, clean look, Pro setup features, excellent BT hands-free, good Android support.

    Cons: Display text selection is a bit limited. When listening to the radio I can't get both the frequency and clock as well as the artist and title. The only option to get the clock also has an annoying "frequency graph" that I don't care about. It is a bit too dim in full sunlight and too bright at night.


    Andrew from near Charlotte NC on 3/1/2014

    2008 Mazda Mazdaspeed3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have had several Kenwood decks in the past, and this one should blow them all away...but it falls flat. The unit keeps freezing up, and it doesn't respond to any of the buttons...even taking the faceplate off doesn't help, only hitting the reset button. Which means that you have to reset everything like you just installed it....which wouldn't be so bad if I had not had to do this 10-15 times in the last 2-3 months....I'm really wishing I had picked up a Pioneer at this point. Also, while using the USB input for my ipod, it loses sound every 30 secs or it drops the signal or something...Anyway, I hope this helps anyone considering the purchase of this unit. P.S. All my wires are soldered to the harness, not crimped, so I know they are solid.

    Pros: Amazing features for the money

    Cons: Execution lacks quality Kenwood is known for

    Works great

    Car from Los Angeles on 2/16/2014

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

    Installation was straight forward. I really like the sound and features. Get all the Crutchfield harnesses for sure. A couple of things I don't like.

    Pros: Cost is great for features you get. Only takes up one DIN slot.

    Cons: You have to manually open the CD door. Input select using remote works differently from unit. Some colors are hard to see in sunlight. Reverse display works better here. If you are using your smartphone as a navigation you can only hear the voice navigation when in Bluetooth mode. This means you can't hear it while listening to music. I guess it you want this feature you have to spend $500 more on a deck with built in navigation .

    First ever Kenwood. Always Pioneer but not anymore!

    kyle m from GA on 2/8/2014

    2002 Toyota 4Runner
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I researched head units for about a month. This was hands down the best sounding head unit I've heard. I even compared this to many Alpine andn Pioneer units at another retailer and this crushed them. And the price was outstanding.

    Pros: 13 band EQ, 6V preouts, front and rear usb

    Cons: Too many color combinations.

    Great product, useless review since it's discontinued

    EricW from Upland, CA on 2/7/2014

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

    I must have purchased the last one. It sounds great and has a bunch of sound adjustments I'm too lazy to figure out. I set the vehicle type to SUV and speaker sizes and adjusted the EQ, which seems to work great. I'm currently running the internal amp on 6X8 Infinity Kappas and the factory ('02 Explore Sport) subwoofer amp and enclosure with a replacement woofer (Kicker 8" shallow mount), but plan to switch over to my ancient MTX Thunder amps (4300X & 2150X) as soon as I'm finished wiring. This unit pushes the factory sub amp way better than the factory radio did, I'm assuming because of the 4v pre-outs. It's making me contemplate just using it instead of the MTX amp with old JL Audio Pro-wedge dual 10" box, although the 8" doesn't have very good low notes. This radio seems to adequately power the Infinity Kappa's, which makes me not want to hassle with the amps at all, but the speakers are 2-ohms, so I'll go through with it so the internal amp doesn't fry. My main reason for the upgrade was for the bluetooth audio and hands free. It's works pretty good so far, but the USB connection seems to allow more flexibility when playing audio from the iPhone 4S. HD radio sounds great if you have good reception. Not good near the foothills. I would have preferred separate buttons for the presets, but that's only available on lower-end units or expensive 2-din units (with my required features). The one button method isn't so bad. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with this unit.

    Pros: Sounds way better than factory radio. Way more audio adjustments than I'll ever use and all the features I was looking for (bluetooth audio & handsfree, three sets of 4V preouts, HD Radio). Made the factory sub/amp (with replacement woofer) sound better. Wireless remote saves a couple menu steps for certain functions.

    Cons: I don't know if it's my phone's problem, but sometimes, if I switch to the next track in bluetooth audio mode, the next song is displayed on the screen, but doesn't start playing. Also, takes a while to link to the phone when powered up. Best to be parked to make any audio adjustments due to how deep they are in the menu and 13 bands of eq condensed into small screen. I wish you could display the clock and something other than the spectrum analyzer on the top line.

    OK head unit

    BenS from Denver on 2/3/2014

    2004 Volvo XC70
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Feels cheap to the touch. Complicated use. However, far better sound than I was getting from the factory unit.




    Ralph L. from Hawaii on 1/18/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this one for the crossovers. It has all kinds of customization capacity. The display options are cool. I use CDs still and like the manual style eject button better than my old one.

    Pros: This HU takes my car audio where I've wanted. I'm real happy.

    Cons: owners manual is online only. does have "quick start" guide booklet.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    DJ from Amarillo, TX on 1/18/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this radio after searching through a number of different brands. Settled on this unit after reading about all the options it has. Installed it yesterday to replace my factory unit. It was very easy and the sound is great with my Infinity so speakers. Very easy to setup. I thought it was very intuitive in the use of the controls. Didn't need to look at the manual. This is a great choice f.

    Pros: If you want streaming, multiple USB ports, iHeart radio, Pandora, He radio and blue tooth, this your radio.

    Cons: Can think of any

    So Far So Good

    Daniel G. from Carleton, MI on 1/13/2014

    2007 Pontiac G6
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Holding out on a 5 star rating so as not to jump the gun. SEEMS, light years better than its 996 predecessor. We see how the build quality is!

    Pros: Stable functionality

    Cons: None yet.

    Excellent Stereo

    GregL from Katy, TX on 1/12/2014

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

    Nice sounding head unit with plenty of ports on back for later expansion. I had the bluetooth synced to my iPhone 5 in a matter of just a few minutes - very easy to do. Now once I'm in my car I can make phone calls and receive phone calls hands free. Very nice feature. Head unit has great sound and looks good. Only knock I can give this unit is you'll have to take some time and figure out all of the multiple features this unit offers. Of course, that isn't any different than what you would have to do with any other new electronic you purchase that has multiple features. Buy this and you'll be glad you did once you have it installed.

    Pros: Looks Good, sounds good, lots of cool features

    Cons: Some features not very intuitive to use

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Chris E. from Margaret, AL on 1/11/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a very nice receiver from Kenwood. Cool features using Bluetooth. Works great with iPhone 5. Sound quality is good, but fine tuning is a little complicating. So many eq curves and different ways to adjust the sound, it's a bit overwhelming. I will add that I've only had this radio 2 weeks. So, I'm slowly figuring it out. With all that said, for the money, it's a good radio to put in your vehicle.

    Pros: Bluetooth features are awesome! Sleek design as well.

    Cons: I'd say the biggest con is display isn't easy to read in daylight. And maybe a little to many sound adjustments.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Chris from Maryland on 1/10/2014

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

    Overall this head unit was a great purchase and I love driving around just to use it.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Anonymous from Kansas City, MO on 1/9/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Well priced, easy operation, cool features



    I would buy it again

    Brian from Pasco, WA on 1/8/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a feature packed head unit as far as single din ones go. Im a month into using it now, an I'm very happy with it still. To get to the presets is a little weird but it works. My iPhone paired up using BT very easily. I can stream pandora and slacker with no problems, and receive or make calls. I haven't found any glitches yet unless you count being slow to reconnect the BT when I get in the car sometimes. But it's very good by my standards. I had a Panasonic that I thought was good this blows it out of the water. The screen is the Achilles heel ( it can be hard to read in direct sunlight) but it's better than most single din units I have seen.

    Pros: Lots of features, It looks good, Works great, Sounds awesome

    Cons: The screen can be hard to read in direct sunlight

    Kenwood X997

    Mike H from the 4th dimension on 1/7/2014

    The ULTIMATE single din head unit......PERIOD (for the $ of coarse).This one has more features THAN you will ever need and ALL of the features you could want.13 band EQ and infinite sound tweaking capabilities.I really like the fact that when I unplug my thumbdrive from the rear port to play from another device and then plug it back into the Kenwood it starts playing the track it was playing when I unplugged it.This HU should be selling for $200.00 more.

    Pros: This rules.

    Cons: 0.0

    Nice Stereo, but don't lose the control!

    LH from Sioux Falls, SD on 1/6/2014

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

    Overall this seems to be a really nice stereo. One of the main things I was looking for was ease of use with audio Bluetooth with my Android phone. That works like a dream and I couldn't be happier with that. Beyond that the controls are hard to use while driving and it takes quite a while to get it set up how you want it.

    Pros: Great Bluetooth streaming. Front and rear USB connections. Large Multicolored screen.

    Cons: Difficult to configure and set up the first time.

    great head unit

    Ryan from somerville Ma on 1/6/2014

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

    great product especially for the price

    Pros: ease of use and sound quality great


    Great Head Unit!

    Chris W from San Diego, CA on 1/2/2014

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

    Exactly what you would expect from Kenwood Exceleron product. Great sound and as long as you're familiar with the volume knob doubling as a control knob (Kenwood's standard) easy to use. The bluetooth worked perfectly both as a music player and making phone calls. Pandora through bluetooth is a great feature. Very happy with this product.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    jtmonroe from Meadowlakes, Texas on 12/31/2013

    2005 Dodge Ram 2500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The unit was easy to install with the adaptors provided by Crutchfield. It looks like it belongs in my 2005 RAM dash. With the ability to change screen and control colors I was able to match my dash light colors perfectly. It has a lot of features and plays several different types of media. Two usb ports and it is Sirus ready. I would buy it again.

    Pros: Looks original, multicolor display choices, great sound, easy to install. Good value for the money.

    Cons: Haven't found any yet.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Malcolm Moss from Winter Park, Florida on 12/30/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was comparing this unit with the Pioneer DEH-80PRS. Dollar for Dollar and Value for Value Kenwood Excelon won HANDS DOWN!

    Pros: Great sound quality! I love the 13 band EQ.

    Cons: I DO NOT like the way that you change the radio stations and it is not simple to change them with the remote.

    Kenwood Excelon Car Stereo as a Gift

    hoanjack from indianapolis, in on 12/30/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this stereo for my boyfriend for Christmas. I needed an affordable, high-quality stereo compatible with iPhone or Android phones with 3 RCA outputs. This fits the bill perfectly. Took a little skill for him to install it, and the features are more than the basic so they're a little challenging to get used to but he loves it! He really enjoys the microphone that came with the stereo sohe can make hands-free calls.

    Pros: Sleek design, iPhone or Android compatible, microphone included

    Cons: A lot of features requires time to understand and get the maximum benefit of

    Excelon KDC-X997 - Major Miata-Bose Upgrade

    BWags from Narragansett, RI on 12/29/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    A few months ago I purchased a 2004 Mazda Miata. I loved everything about the car EXCEPT the Bose sound system. The system had plenty of power thanks to 2x100 watt amps, but the sound was totally flat. Thanks to Crutchfield and some other online sources I learned that I couldn't just throw in a head unit and speakers and patch into the existing wiring harness (and those Bose amps) like I had done in other cars because of the funky impedance of the Bose amp. However, Crutchfield said that with the proper adapter a new head unit could make a noticeable improvement in the existing amp and speakers. So I bought the Excelon head unit (single din to add some storage to my dash) and WOW - WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! That Bose head unit was truly a piece of junk that did no justice to the amp and speakers. My stock Bose speakers really sing now. No more muddy base, non-existent mids and flat highs, now the whole sound sparkles with definition.

    Pros: AWESOME sound with great definition and clarity. Incredible adjustability (more than I may ever use). BT works great for my iPhone for calls, music & streaming Pandora. Adjustable colors allow me to match my existing dash.

    Cons: While the cons outweigh the sound quality the following things could be better: As with most units now everything is buried in menus requiring some serious time to learn the unit BEFORE you hit the road (a few more buttons or a second knob would make things a lot easier). Why no radio station present buttons, there is room? No on/off button? Rear USB cable should be removed and replaced with a simple socket on the back of the unit so I can plug in what I want.


    Bill from Tucson, AZ on 12/27/2013

    1987 BMW 635CSI
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Significant improvement over stock radio. Not all that intuitive to set up. Had to have technician re-wire and reconfigure to make stop the demo stage at every start up Would not delete as per instructions.

    Pros: Great sound and clarity

    Cons: Instruction manual could be a ton more user friendly. The radio itself could be much or intuitive.

    Good hardware, hit and miss interface.

    Anonymous from Dallas, TX on 12/27/2013

    2005 Acura RSX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    First, this is a replacement for a more elaborate setup. The sound quality is quite good if you forego the "sound enhancement" tech. Highway sound is at least good on the highway, but it needs to go away at the exits and it lives 4 menus deep. Time alignment and car setup aren't even close to the same league as the audyssey setup the car had before, and I didn't expect it, but it's closer to fisher price at times. The controls are limited, particularly with radio, and are generally unintuitive. One of the selling points is HD Radio and it is hard to navigate or set/use presets if driving. iOS7 phones start at the first song alphabetically every time the car starts even when on random. It will randomize after that or if you skip, but still it's annoying. I still can't see why single din units are stuck in this awful display tech. You can't see it in sun, you can't get the brightness to match the dash (though color selection is good), the dimmer doesn't do much. There isn't a great way to display the clock and you lose one of only 3 lines if you want it on screen. Gripes aside, the Bluetooth sounds really good sending and receiving if mic placement is done well. The 4v preouts are powerful and the signal is solid to all 6 channels of amp. You must turn off the internal amp or you get an annoying buzz/hiss across your preout signal. Fortunately that can be done. If you buy a standalone processor, the internal one can be bypassed as well. Can update firmware.

    Pros: Great 4v preouts x6, really good sounding hardware, can bypass the stuff you don't like. It has the features and sound down well, which is what matters at the end of the day. Firmware is upgradeable and makes a difference in response. This gives some hope for future phone updates. Charger works well front and back - can charge 2 phones at once.

    Cons: Strange choices in menu sequencing and awkward navigation of the menu in general. Interface is generally useless except for forward/back and volume while driving. Even changing source requires a look away from the road. Needs a firmware update out of the box to not flip out with an iOS7 iPhone for Bluetooth calling, but at least you can. This grade of display tech was cool in the 80s. Now stock systems are crushing the single din options. User interface is slow.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Tran from Anaheim from Anaheim, CA on 12/27/2013

    1999 Toyota RAV4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The sound is one of the best available with tons of custom settings.

    Pros: Sound quality, settings, internet radio interface

    Cons: Menu is complex


    Mark from Oklahoma on 12/21/2013

    2005 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    A really good sounding receiver, that looks as good as it sounds.

    Pros: Great sound, sleek looks, great features.

    Cons: Operating instructions need more details.

    Excelon KDC-X997

    TheyCallMeBruce from South Carolina on 12/20/2013

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

    Overall excellent unit!! Very please with the purchasing. The Crutchfield online sales staff were very knowledgable of the products, their differences, and benefits, and nailed it on the head for what i asked for! The shipping was very prompt. VERY EASY to install into my nissan versa. One word of caution... either disconnect the battery cable (as the instructions say lol) for at least 7 minutes or do not disconnect the passenger airbag connector from the front panel when you remove it. If you don't follow this, you will have a flashing red light on your dashboard and nissan gladly takes $90 of your hard earned money to reset for you after they see your new shiny radio in the dash! Superior sound quality once installed even on my factory speakers witch i have replaced.

    Pros: Excelent Value - lots of bells and whistles for the $$. Fantastic sound quality even with my factory speakers. Lots of audio tweaks to customize the sound to your liking. having 2 usb ports (the one advantage over the alpine unit) is very nice! Siri works thru the unit for phone calls as well as texting, and all other siri functions nicely and even reads back your text messages for accuracy before asking to send.

    Cons: BT features a bit buggy and included radio apps are wireless for android users but require you to connect your apple product. When you connect the apple product the unit switches to usb input automatically and interrupts your current channel / song. Display could be a little larger.

    Excelon = Excellent

    Dan from Gadsden, AL on 12/19/2013

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

    I purchased this for my 5 speed 88 Mustang GT. I wanted a single DIN unit with good sound quality, Bluetooth and a remote due to the radio location. I got all of that and more. The KDC-x997 is loaded with features. First, I was blown away by the sound quality. It was amazing.I really appreciated it having worked in a stereo shop for 8 years. Secondly, The setup was so simple. I didn't even look at the owners manual. It's menu is really user friendly, very intuitive in design. Thirdly, The features... Bluetooth audio and calls (works great with my iPhone). DSP allows you to select the type of vehicle and then the size and location of your speakers. The EQ allows you to select from various types of music or choose a user defined setting. I could go on and on about it... But in conclusion, this unit has thousands of dollars of features for the money. It is just absolutely incredible.

    Pros: Easy to use without having to consult the owners manual. Able to incrementally adjust the color of the display and buttons. Preset DSP accommodates for vehicle type and speaker size.

    Cons: Small remote. It needs to be a little larger.

    About as many features you can pack into single din

    Brando from Baton Rouge, LA on 12/5/2013

    2011 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall a great unit that allows for a complete custom setup

    Pros: USB in front and rear Ability to customize almost anything from visuals to very specifics of sound quality

    Cons: No easy way to change between preset stations on the radio. It takes multiple button pushes.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Anonymous from Aguanga, ca on 12/2/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    All in all it's a solid unit and sounds great. Getting used to the controls was a bit of a challenge and the start up guide isn't supper informative (had no information about the remote control for instance), but once I go the users manual downloaded I was able to make a lot more sense of it. I really like that the there's not a lot of buttons on it so it gives a real clean look to the dashboard, consequently most of the buttons do multiple things and the learning curve was a little steep in figuring all that out.

    Pros: Stripped down look. Great sound quality. Not hard to use once you get used to the functions of the various controls

    Cons: not enough info in the box about controls, especially remote. kind of expensive, but not when compared to similar models

    you will not be sorry

    mike from minot,mn on 12/2/2013

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

    Overall a nice stereo.

    Pros: Lots of custom settings

    Cons: 50 X 4 watts max . its probely closer to 40x 4 max. But they all lie alittle. but its a good unit

    blown away. Kenwood Excelon 997

    jeff from London,Ohio on 11/26/2013

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

    I installed this yesterday. I have just begun to scratch the surface on this head unit. In short, very pleased. My non-amped system (till next weekend) drives 6.5" Focal Access coaxials. The 22 watts output by the Kenwood and the myriad choices available to shape the sound almost make an amp an afterthought. (Well, almost!) The Focals must breath. I would recommend this unit without any qualms. It is that good. It took me 6 weeks to pull the trigger on this unit. Worth it.

    Pros: Plethora of sound shaping choices. An audiophile's dream that does not break your wallet. If you want choice, this is your baby. It will keep you entertained for hours on end just exploring. The Bluetooth is easy. Calls placed are clear through the provided mic. Required no adjusting of gain. Even though that is available. Quality speakers are rewarded. I will not tell you how to spend your money. That is up to you. The money I spent was money well invested. Peace, J

    Cons: Difficult to navigate the multiple levels of this system. There is no road map. Requires a high degree of patience. Worth the effort.

    Nice unit !!!

    Sam from Jacksonville, FL on 11/24/2013

    2000 Dodge Durango
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I really like this stereo. I mainly wanted it for the extra USB on the rear because I didn't the USB sticking out the front on my previous stereo, but I found that really like having both of them better. First I planned to leave ipod in the dash hooked to the rear USB because it's more functional than a flash drive but then I learned about the free Kenwood software that enables you to search the flash drive by "artist, album, song, genre or even playlists". Though the playlist option is limited. Even better , I like that I can use the Bluetooth feature to stream music wirelessly from my ipod and/or my android phone. Since fm radio is so bad in my city it's nice to have all these options and with a cd drive that plays mp3's it's almost like I have my own 4 radio stations (cd, usb front & rear and Bluetooth). Yes it is difficult to see the display in the daylight due to the glare on the screen but my previous unit was the same way, so it could use a non-reflective screen. I also am not crazy about the little door over the front USB/Aux, it just seems a little cheap, there is also one over the cd slot but I guess that's good for keeping dust out... The only thing I didn't like is that there are soooo many sound adjustments and no real information about them that it has been difficult getting the unit to sound good, not that it's not a quality sounding unit but it can take lot of effort for anyone who is really into their music.

    Pros: Dual USB combined with the Kenwood app for flash drives Streaming from wireless devices via Bluetooth Ability to change the text/info displayed on the screen

    Cons: If it's possible, there my actually be too many sound adjustments, tedious to get the sound I wanted. The remote doesn't seem to work half the time, probably just the angle from which I'm pointing it I guess. I would have just put both USB port on the back so the flash drives aren't sticking out so far.( Rear USB is on a cable that is easily ran to the glove compartment)

    kenwood excelon x997

    jays silvi from san diego ca on 11/22/2013

    2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    absolutely great, just the head unit made a huge difference in sound quality of my stock speakers.

    Pros: Everything about it

    Cons: Wish it had a tilt face like older excelons

    Kenwood KDC-X997

    PaulC from Bolingbrook, IL on 11/21/2013

    2004 Volvo XC70
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sounding unit but don't plan to look at the display in sunlight. It's easier to use the remote for some features. I like the audio options.

    Pros: easy installation

    Cons: Display visibility in daylight is terrible.


    KenF from Idaho on 11/20/2013

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

    The Receiver works great, as typical on a car receiver, they put a lot of functions into one or two gadgets. Overall I really like this receiver, all I expected and more. Only complaint (not really complaining) is that it requires a study of the user manual (i'm used to a lot of computer/tablet things that are more intuitive) to be able to use the product. I love the "knob" on this unit, last Kenwood had up and down buttons, only wish it had that freewheeling aspect, spin the knob fast and the volume goes up fast. This unit doesn't seem to do that. And the other three main function buttons are located right where I try to stabilize my hand while I'm adjusting the "knob" and so I end up hitting one of those inadvertently first and now instead of increasing the volume I'm changing the station or source. It's really a small issue cause as I said I really like this unit, I have it hooked up with XM and I love it!

    Pros: Sounds great, tons of audio adjustment ability, XM ready, Bluetooth works perfect with my iPhone 5 for phone use and audio use, front usb and audio plug-ins, goes on and on.

    Cons: Volume knob doesn't have an accelerated curve. Display glare can be a problem, but they all have this problem.

    Awesome Head Unit

    LAHPQ from Charlotte, NC on 11/20/2013

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

    It performs well and has some high quality sound from the hd radio. It does not have radio preset buttons on the deck front so it lost a star on ease of use.




    R from Cedar Creek, TX on 11/17/2013

    I love this unit... purchased last night and I'm in love.I previously owned pioneers app radio 2, and it was nice but as far as customization, this one takes it. I see others with a glare is....solution.... window tint.... gotta love Kenwood...

    Pros: great

    Cons: not enough time in my day to play with all the settings and features

    great so far

    r from clay, al on 11/13/2013

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

    SO far so good. Wish that the full manual had come with unit. Quick start was ok but just not enough info - i like to keep the full manual in the vehicle. I wish i had studied unit further to notice it didnt have preset buttons - guess i'm old school. Good sound which is main reason i bought, bluetooth works well, glad to have the bonus of HD.

    Pros: Good sound which is main reason i bought, bluetooth works well, glad to have the bonus of HD. Counting on the great Kenwood reputation for the quality of the unit.

    Cons: Wish that the full manual had come with unit. Quick start was ok but just not enough info - i like to keep the full manual in the vehicle. I wish i had studied unit further to notice it didnt have preset buttons - guess i'm old school

    great headunit

    ignacio from tampa on 11/11/2013

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

    I purchase this Kenwood head unit from Crutchfield found it to be a great radio with great sound and easy to install Bluetooth and hd work good look good in my Nissan frontier thank Crutchfield



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    dnbreaks from Minnesota on 11/8/2013

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

    For the most part I really like the stereo. The integration with Pandora works great, but wish there was a way to pause it without having to use the remote. Pairing my Android phone via bluetooth was a little bit of a pain as pairing is not an option in initial settings. Instead it's in another submenu that may not be so obvious to someone purchasing their first bluetooth stereo. When talking to someone on the provided microphone, they say I sound a bit muffled "but not bad". I haven't tried moving the mic so that may be the cause. I really like the auto scroll option on the 3 line display, but when it's scrolling it's kind of choppy and makes it hard to read. So I put it on scroll once only. The screen gets washed out pretty easily in sunlight. The ability to really fine tune the audio settings is nice but you probably need to have some experience with that to know what you're doing. I don't so I haven't messed with that too much. And it would be nice if there were two slots for user EQ settings. BTW - other reviews below say there are no radio presets... That's wrong. The presets are accessed by pressing the button just to the left of the volume knob. Press it once to get to either AM or FM stations depending on what you're listening to at the time. Press it again to access a combined AM/FM (3 for each) list. Really like this feature.

    Pros: Decent value Bluetooth connection works great Looks good Display can be setup for reverse colors when headlights off and normal colors when headlights on Lots of inputs Combined AM/FM preset list

    Cons: A little difficult to use at first Display could be better as far as washing out and scrolling USB and Aux inputs always in source list (i.e. still show up even if nothing is connected to them) Remote has to be pointed directly at unit to work

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Herbert from Bakersfield, CA on 11/6/2013

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

    Good Radio.

    Pros: Good features for the price.

    Cons: Didn't like the set up for the radio stations


    Gearhead from Moscow Mills, MO on 11/3/2013

    2002 Pontiac Firebird
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Well thought out head unit. Lots of adjustments and features, especially for the tech guru. Nice clean look.

    Pros: Adjustability, many lighting colors, many functions, clean crisp looks.

    Cons: A slightly larger remote would be nice.


    Jonathan R. from Memphis, TN on 10/31/2013

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

    I previously had a Kenwood unit that bit the dust. I decided to try another one and I sure am glad I did. When you open this unit and get it installed. The first thing I would recommend is to tell if which type of vehicle you drive and your vehicles speaker size in the "Pro Setup" menu. After that, you are pretty much set to go unless you just really want to fine to the EQ. I just used "Powerful" with Loudness set to High. The High-way Sound feature is awesome from long road trips. I drive 3 hours every weekend, and the road noise in my SUV with the tires can get old fast. Just adjust the High-way Setting and the road noise just disappears. The radio through its settings covers the frequency you don't like and no road noise. My audio has never sounded so good, even with factory. I have the bass you crave, the mids you enjoy, and the highs that are sharp and clear. My system is all Kenwood with an amplifier and a total of 8 speakers, no sub. I would recommend this radio to anyone who is craving that high end sound in a premium luxury vehicle.

    Pros: Easy install, easy setup, easy menu to navigate with practice, love the display (simple, clean, yet informative)

    Cons: No preset buttons (personal preference) but it does have plenty of preset spots, instruction manual does not even tip the ice berg on this units abilities or provide the amount of knowledge to proper explain each feature and its purpose. Took me a couple of days to figure out how to get the clock on the display. Please dont think that my cons outway the pros. Just want to share what struck me as off with this unit.

    Pretty good with some flaws

    kl44 from boston, ma on 10/30/2013

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

    It's a fairly capable unit. I haven't even begun to exercise all of it's options. Install was easy with Crutchfield's supplied adapters and faceplate. My two main problems with it are 1) It doesn't do volume normalization when accessing the iPod over USB. I don't know if Apple is not supplying the normalization information or Kenwood doesn't ask or do anything with it. Either way it's annoying to have to fiddle with the volume on every track. I'll have to keep a separate iPod with pre-normalized music. The second major gripe is the display visibility. There's no point in all of the great colors it can display when none of them are visible in daylight. I have it set to as white as I can get it and it's still impossible to see in any moderate amount of light. The glare off of the display itself is a big part of the problem. I can't believe it's 2013 and manufacturers can't get something this simple. Do their engineers even use their products?

    Pros: a swiss-army knife of sources and features

    Cons: display is nearly impossible to see in daylight, menu system is a little clunky


    NJ from Colorado on 10/30/2013

    2000 BMW Z3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I ordered this for my BMW Z3 convertible. It has fabulous clear sound.

    Pros: Very easy to install.

    Cons: Wish I didn't have to use a remote.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997:

    Craige from San Mateo, California 94401 on 10/29/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Definite improvement in sound even without changing original speakers or adding sub woofer. However, having to push, turn & scroll through 'menus' for things such as channel selection, when something as simple as 'Scan' or 'Seek' would work easier, is cumbersome and unsafe while driving AND struggling to see (in bright light) what is on the screen/face! You almost have to pull-over to fully & safely make radio adjustments! Also, USB port will not charge phone unless vehicle AND radio are both turned on. Trying to cram in too many features reduces ease of functionality and makes this unit clumsy.

    Pros: Definite improvement in the sound of my stock, OEM BMW speakers. Read-out info. (when readable) is very neat feature, plus variety of adjustments allow for maximizing and personalizing sound quality from original speakers.

    Cons: Too much glare off faceplate in daytime without sufficient brightness adjustment, and reduced size of readout, make it very difficult to see/use/adjust during daylight. So many features make it cumbersome to tune, adjust and blend. Can I really hear the difference of 13-equalizer settings? Sometimes this unit will lock-up & not change/tune-in any stations or switch bands, needing to be turned-off for apparent reset. Also, this unit will sometimes not receive HD channels that are present.

    Great Receiver

    Gix from MD on 10/27/2013

    2004 Subaru Impreza WRX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is an excellent receiver. Not only does it look good and have a reserved yet modern appearance, you can also color coordinate it with your cars factory lighting. I much prefer this to some of the over the top bright flashy headsets that do nothing but stick out like a sore thumb in your dash. The controls are straight forward, the settings are straight forward and the features are great. My only complaint is that the face plate gathers light scratches too easily...

    Pros: Top of the line...I believe I will be buying more Kenwood products in the future.

    Cons: Face plate build quality could be better to resist light scratches...

    Works well but internet radio settings leave something to be desired

    John from Baltimore MD on 10/16/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    So I installed the radio last week and it is working well. My setup is this: I have a dedicated iPod Touch in the glovebox plugged into the back USB. I use an Android phone via Bluetooth or the front USB. I specifically chose this radio because it had a front and back USB. In retrospect I think I would have preferred a radio with 2 back USBs and just run the second cable to my floor console so that it is not sticking out the front of the radio. Here is my complaint. For all internet radio sources (Pandora, Aha, etc) the radio defaults to the iPod and will not allow me to select the Android phone. This is true even though the iPod is not an iPhone and so does not have an internet connection. They only was to get the radio to connect to the phone for Pandora is to unplug the iPod. This sucks as the point of the iPod was to never have to unplug it. This seems like a poor design choice and an arbitrary one at that. Spoke to the folks at Kenwood and they said "unplug the iPod". The other issue I have noticed is that the display is hard to read when I view it through my polarized sunglasses. I have to take them off to see portions of the display during the day. Otherwise it has been working well.

    Pros: two USBs

    Cons: Can't select Android Pandora over iPod even if iPod doesn't have internet Screen blurry using polarized sunglasses

    Old school audio guy

    BJazzman from New Haven, IN on 10/14/2013

    2002 GMC Sierra 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have used Kenwood head units since the mid 80's. I have never been disappointed. This is still true with this latest unit to my collection. With its wide array of audio selections and ability to play most any type of media. It is a nice addition to my vehicle.

    Pros: Multiple input sources, multi-display adjustments, great output with full control

    Cons: Menu scrolling little slow, display visibility in bright locations

    kenwood x997

    Anonymous from North Branch MN on 10/11/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great deck!!! Does it all!!! Very pleased...

    Pros: Everything I wanted...

    Cons: no manual

    Great Unit!

    DavidG from Edinburg, TX on 10/2/2013

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

    Another Great Product from Kenwood. I upgraded from a KDC-X994 to this X997 and the addition of HD Radio and the new interface is nice. I would definitely recommend this unit to anyone.

    Pros: Sound, Quality, ease of use and interoperability with Android Phone (Galaxy SIII)

    Cons: Smaller screen then older units


    David from Denver, CO on 9/22/2013

    1994 Chevrolet Blazer
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This stereo is sweet

    Pros: Has all the oops I need

    Cons: N/a

    Absolutely Amazing

    AmanG from Central Valley, CA on 9/18/2013

    1994 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The KDC-X997 sounds incredible. I've had my experience with other head units, and none have the sound quality this unit does. It has a ton of functionality, being able to thumbs up and thumbs down from the deck itself on Pandora really catches peoples attention. There are alot of reviewers who have had bad experiences with going through presets, but all it takes is a little bit of time and memorization of what preset your on and how far down or up your next preset is. I have memorized it to the point where I can easily switch between presets within a matter of seconds without taking my eyes off the road or losing focus while driving. The display can be a tad difficult to see in direct sunlight but it's still readable. There's a lot of audio controls to fine tune your system, the biggest difference between when I first got the system running and after setting it up was extremely significant. Under the PRO SETUP menu be sure to set your speaker sizes for front and rear, and for the subwoofer. There is a ton of options for bass control on this unit to be sure you get the cleanest bass for whatever your running. The Manual Equalizer has 13 bands, and are saved to specific inputs, for example the EQ for Front USB vs HD Radio are separately adjustable to make up for differences in the inputs.

    Pros: Sound quality is amazing, very clear and HIGHLY adjustable EQ and Audio Settings so you can fine tune it to your desire. Build quality is great, the face plate is lightweight and easy to carry on you wherever you go in the included pouch. Front, Rear, Subwoofer RCA outputs, 2 usb ports, auxillary input, included microphone, bluetooth.


    Kenwood KDC-X997 Install in 1999 SLK230

    JC from New Mexico on 9/15/2013

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

    Nice replacement to the stock receiver in a 1999 Mercedes Benz SLK230 Sport. Installation gear provided by Crutcfield made the removal of the stock receiver and installation of the new receiver a cinch. Beware, however, that a pair of ground loop isolators are required to prevent popping sound when using the stock Bose amplifier. Make sure to upgrade to the latest firmware and Bluetooth by downloading software from and installing the upgrades via USB thumb drive.

    Pros: Excellent sound, clean design, and intuitive controls. I was able to match display colors to the SLK230's dashboard. USB thumb drive works great. I downloaded Kenwood Music Editor Lite, which is a small utility available from the website that create a nice catalog read by the receiver. CD and HD radio signals also sound excellent. Virtually Infinite options to set audio settings (perhaps too many).

    Cons: Had to spend an extra $ to purchase ground loop isolators, which delayed installation completion by a week. Microphone pickup not as clear as I would like when using Bluetooth-link phone hands-free capability. Have to buy a separate Kenwood cable to control IPOD (won't because the USB drive works just as well.)

    Excelon = Excellent

    Nate H. from Rotterdam, NY on 9/12/2013

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

    Top of the line stereo at a reasonable price. This unit is packed with lots of features that make it a tech geeks dream. Tons of adjustments and excellent sound quality. It paired up with my Galaxy phone without any issues and the sound quality is very good from what I have been told by the people I called . The front and rear USB ports gives me the ability to have my Ipod hooked up to the rear one and play a memory stick in the front one as well. No need to unplug the Ipod to listen to something else. The HD radio works well and the satellite radio sounds great as well. I was able to save my steering wheel controls with an adapter also supplied by Crutchfield I like that the new excelon radios give you the ability to preset stations and access them much easier than the old unit I had. Would I buy this again? You betcha!

    Pros: Excellent sound, lots of options for listening pleasure and tons of adjustments to tweak the sound to what you like best. Bluetooth for hands free calling rounds out the niceties of this unit and Crutchfield as always delivers great value for your money with super fast shipping. Multi color illumination is also a nice touch.

    Cons: The menus can be a little hard to get through but with some time and patience it can all be worked out. Radio presets buttons would be nice to have but are not a deal breaker.

    Kenwood head unit

    William from Charleston, SC on 9/4/2013

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

    Definitely and excellent receiver with usb and auxiliary inputs built in to front and rear of unit. Was easy to get wired in also, the instructions were very clear and concise. Also works very well with my ipod classic and now I can listen to all of the music in my itunes library. Receiver has a lot of adjustments that will help your system sound the way you want it to. This is a must buy.

    Pros: Overall sound adjust-ability, Easy to configure, Excellent display even in sunlight, Easy to install with provided accessories.

    Cons: The remote needs some work not that sensitive and a little on the small side.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Anonymous from Millerton, Pa on 9/4/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Over all a really nice stereo with great sound. It was easy to install the hardest part was running the wire for the microphone. The hands free calls sound good and its easy to pair your phone.

    Pros: Great sound Love the bluetooth audio streaming and hands free calls

    Cons: Display is not bright enough in direct sunlight its hard to see Radio reception is not as good as old deck


    dmb from Navarre, FL on 9/3/2013

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

    Purchased to add the convenience of Bluetooth to my 06 F-150. Works great the Kenwood deck also adds clarity and more power at lower volumes then the factory stereo.

    Pros: Bluetooth, great sound, easy of installation

    Cons: non at this time

    Great radio

    jeepster from Indianapolis, IN on 9/3/2013

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

    This is a great radio for the money. Bluetooth synced up no issues. All the app from my Samsung S2 synced and ran great. I can also use TuneIn radio using the BT Audio feature.

    Pros: Everything was great!

    Cons: Had to go on-line to get the manual

    Great unit, needs a few tweaks.

    MKH from Charles Town, WV. on 8/30/2013

    2010 Nissan Murano
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've had the unit installed in my 2010 Nissan Murano for a few weeks now, and I'm VERY happy with it. Installation was easy with the accy's supplied with the unit, and the instructions that came with it. The sound quality is EXCELLENT even using the stock Nissan speaker system. It's 100% improvement over the stock radio! It looks very cool and slick in the dash, and I'm very pleased with the fit and finish. Programming and set-up was not difficult, and while highly menu drived, was straight forward. On the negative side - The display is virtually impossible to see/read in daylight, no matter the display color you choose. Very Bad for trying to change modes/channels while driving! It REALLY needs preset buttons for the radio. the menu/scroll/select is OK in cars w/ dash displays, but is a pain in this format, especially when you cant read the display! Finally, and this is a personal choice, I would much rather have a 2nd, read aux input than the USB. I never would have a reason to use a rear USB, especially in a dash mounted unit, but definitely could use a rear aux input so I could permanently wire in an extra devive, and keep the wires hidden. Overall, I like the unit very much! It does everything a person could want, sounds great, and has any adjustment and customization a person could ask for! The biggest issue is the display readability, followed by the lack of preset buttons. However, neither of those issues would stop me from buying the unit.

    Pros: Great Sound, Very Customizeable, Super Feature Set

    Cons: Can't see display in sunlight No preset buttons for radio

    Great receiver

    MichaelG from Columbus, OH on 8/27/2013

    2001 Honda S2000
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought two for two different cars; 2001 Honda S2000 and a 2003 Toyota RAV4. Both fit perfect an altered out audio listening pleasure 1000%. BT is finicky, but works just fine. The extra USB comes in handy.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    kevin from Washington dc on 8/26/2013

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

    good power good thats it


    Cons: non

    Another Great Kenwood Product

    MC from Oklahoma City, OK on 8/25/2013

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

    This receiver has it all. I am still learning all of the functions but everything I have done so far with it has been top notch.

    Pros: Great stereo head unit with a ton of features for a good price

    Cons: None that I can find

    Nice but not perfect

    Bill from Charlotte,NC on 8/21/2013

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

    Overall this is a nice receiver but it has some issues. The display can be hard to read in bright sunlight no matter what color is selected. Not terrible but occasionally annoying. The flexibility of the display options is really nice but they take some time to get accustomed to. I suggest you play with the settings while parked, it might be dangerous to navigate the menu system while driving. The light source behind all the lit up stuff sometimes blinks for no reason. The tuner controls are pretty bad. I'm a habitual station surfer, if I had time to try it out for a while before purchasing I might not have bought it. The next/back controls are small and you have to press a very tiny button to change the seek mode between manual/seek/preset seek. My old stock radio was much better in this regard. Also the tuner can be slow to respond. When going to the next preset there is sometimes a lag of up to a few seconds before the station actually changes. The radio also skips, yes skips. It gets stuck just like a cd might skip. It's only for a few seconds but it happens frequently enough to be annoying. The Ipod connectivity is nice but when in Ipod mode you have to select your music from the Ipod, not from the radio. Not a problem but I was not aware of this, I was expecting to see my playlists in the radio display. The cd player works pretty well, no issues there. Overall pretty nice but I was a little disappointed in how it actually works.

    Pros: Looks nice, flexible display options and colors is really nice.

    Cons: Quirky ergonomics. So few controls make the radio more difficult to use than it should be. Display flashes for no reason, radio skips. Display can be difficult to read in bright sunlight.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Eric T from Peroia, IL on 8/20/2013

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

    The unit overall is very nice. great sound, easy to install in 2004 F150, adaptable to various inputs. if I could I would make the following changes; ability to adjust brightness, change source without paging thru all sources, and sync ipod thru Bluetooth (if that's even possible). otherwise I could figure everything out by just playing with it and look forward to playing with it some more

    Pros: sound, ease of use, ease of installation

    Cons: inability to adjust brightness, change source without paging thru all sources, and sync ipod thru Bluetooth (if that's even possible


    Raymond from Richmond, VA on 8/16/2013

    2003 Infiniti QX4
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Like many reviewers I agree this is the best radio at this price point or even within another $50-$100 more. I mainly use the bluetooth for audio streaming which connects very quickly and has a clear connection. Phone calls using the provided microphone was very clear. People did not realize I was using bluetooth. Audio quality has been reviewed many times and simply, the sound quality and adjustability is great. My only complaint is, just like others, is that it is impossible to see the display in seemingly any type of sunlight. My fix for this was to put an anti-glare film designed for cell phones on it coupled with adjusting the color, contrast, brightness, font size (2 lines), and also choosing the "positive" display option. The display is not as crisp, but at least I can now see it in the daytime. The radio is too "perfect," for me, to return it because of that problem.

    Pros: everything but the con

    Cons: impossible to see in the daytime

    Audio fan

    Ryman from Zionsville, IN on 8/13/2013

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

    I have owned multiple Kenwood receivers, and this is another addition that I am very pleased to own.

    Pros: sound quality adjustability features

    Cons: It takes a little while to get the settings sorted out, but worth the time to do it.

    Great sound and pretty easy to use

    Lee J from Boston, MA on 8/9/2013

    2006 Mazda MX5
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this to replace a JVC head unit that was giving me problems. The sound quality is excellent on it- there's a noticable difference between this and the JVC. I used this mainly with my ipod, and controlling it is fairly easy. Skips forward and backwards are fast, and you can do them right away just like on the ipod. (The JVC had a noticable delay) Searching isn't the easiest- especially if your play list is huge, but it's still fairly quick. I've found that making adjustments are pretty intuitive- everything works from pushing the volume knob. Then you take it from there. There are a ton of adjustments, though, and doing them while driving isn't the best idea. Best wait for a stop light to do those. The bluetooth function was easy to set up with my Android, and works great. I love being able to choose a contact right from the stereo. Sound quality with it is good, too. And some have complained about not being able to see the display. There is a contrast adjustment for the screen which makes it perfectly visible even in direct sunlight (I have a convertible). I turned the contrast to 16, and its 100% readable in the sun & at night. Overall I'm happy with this purchase- it has every feature I wanted and at a good price.

    Pros: All the features you really need, awesome music sound quality, bluetooth connectivity, pretty easy to use.

    Cons: Face plate is too light??

    Top Notch Radio

    David F from Strafford, Missouri on 8/7/2013

    1990 GMC K Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall I think this is a great radio/cd player. It looks nice, sounds nice, and has nice features. It has so many features that it can be difficult trying to understand some of them. It has a lot more features than the Kenwood or Crutchfield web sites mentioned. One cool feature is the ability to program the radio for you particular size and location of the speakers. It will even auto adjust the speaker volumes for what ever position you want the center of the sound to be. You can even program the radio to sound as if the music is coming from below, above, or in front of you.

    Pros: 13 channel equalizer, top rated for sound quality, front USB port, detachable face plate, user selectable display color, sound enhancement programming, high power built-in amp, programmable cross-over settings

    Cons: display screen can be hard to read in daylight, blue tooth phone features are only compatible with smart phones, no pre-set radio station buttons

    Great Sound

    Bravo from PA on 8/4/2013

    1965 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great Sound. The face plate could be a bit more solid- some of the buttons are a little loose with a sloppy clicking noise when pushed. I planned on needing an amp but I didn't need it. Great powerful sound with pioneer and kenwood speakers. Easy installation. I'm very happy with the product overall.

    Pros: great sound

    Cons: face plate/buttons could be better quality

    Great Receiver

    Phil D from Mission, TX on 7/30/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this receiver for installation in a 2003 Kenworth T2000, replacing the Kenworth/Paccar OEM Panasonic HD unit. While Crutchfield has no information on the T2000 and can't help with the installation, it was very simple to install. All that I required was for it to play through the factory speakers (the T2000 has reasonably decent component speakers in the front), so all that was required was to splice the two factory Metri-Pack audio system connectors onto the Kenwood pigtail (eleven wires -- four speaker pairs and the switched power, battery power, and ground wires), then plug those connectors into the OEM harness. I may connect the lighting control wire at some point, but I seldom drive this truck much after dark (the truck isn't a "working" truck any more, it just pulls our RV). The receiver works well and sounds great. To date I've tried the FM and HD tuner, rear USB, and Bluetooth inputs. All work well. Bluetooth pairing with my BlackBerry Z10 was simple and works flawlessly. The outgoing audio quality of hands-free calls is outstanding. Even my mother -- historically a notorious critic of "hands-free" cell phone calls -- approved. Even though it's an undocumented feature (Kenwood only claims that it works with the Android app), I was pleasantly surprised to find that the receiver was able to receive iHeart Radio broadcasts through the receiver when paired to my Z10 via the new iHeart Radio for BlackBerry 10 app, as it's advertised to do via Android.

    Pros: Everything that I've tried so far has worked flawlessly.

    Cons: As noted by other reviewers the display may be hard to read in direct sunlight, but the T2000 cab does a good job of keeping the radio/CB panel shaded. Some colors are indeed better than others. I thought that the receiver would come with free DIN removal tools, but because Crutchfield has no install info for my truck, they didn't. If you're installing this in a T2000 (or its corporate twin, the Peterbilt 387) REQUEST THEM, you'll need them (four brads worked in their place, if you forget)

    Finally upgraded factory unit

    BarryS from Ca on 7/29/2013

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

    Received unit last friday for my 2006 Tacome. Installed in about an hour. Instructions were very good except for how to remove the flasher/clock unit from existing faceplate. Had to get on the web for that. The install kit/faceplate matches well and fit securely. I must agree with other comments that the manual that comes with unit is severly lacking (it's a quickstart manual only). But that seems to be the case with most products these days. Just go to Kenwood website and download the full manual. Also, as others have stated, the display is very difficult to see in sunlight, even when adjusted to other colors. The sound quality is excellent ( a definaite upgrade from the factory unit) and there are many adjustable settings. Getting it completely dialed in will take me a while. I highly recommend this product.

    Pros: Solid unit. Sounds great.

    Cons: Display difficult to see in sunlight.

    Good head unit

    gokart04 from Mesa, AZ on 7/29/2013

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

    Good overall unit. I have had it in my truck for only about 2 weeks. WAY better than my last Kenwood KDC-X693. Sounds better with better lows! The controls are more solid and seem to work better. So far it doesn't just reboot or shut off like the X693 did. I did find out that the audio set up controls are per input device. You have to set them up for each input source, not just once. That is a pain but also allows you to better control your sound settings per input. Did not turn of internal amp yet as I have read that turns off the device and causes issues getting it to work again. I may just leave this on as I have an external amp and use the 3 sets of RCA outs (nice touch to have front and rear RCA's + an extra set of RCA's for the sub). If I remember I will try to post later after I have used it for a few months. As I recall the X693 worked well for a few moths then went wacky.

    Pros: The ability to set audio controls per each input. The display is a bit larger and easier to read than the X693 was. Sound quality! Better lows than the X693. Controls work better and are more solid. NO JOY STICK type of controls that are hard to manipulate when off road in a 4X4. The face plate is easy to remove and put on. Latch catches face plate so you dont drop it when unlatched. Love the front and REAR USB. I use mostly the rear one, but the front one is nice. HD radio. Nice touc

    Cons: Directions are not very well done making it hard to figure out how to use and set up. Once you figure it out it is not too hard after that. Display has lots of glare and is hard to read in bright sunlight. Brighter would be nicer. Couldn't get the rear AUX input to work with either a Zune or iPod. But the front one works. Kenwood should include a better face plate protector/holder than just a bag. I thought high end Kenwood would do better than that.

    Please read and "Just Buy It"

    DR from Winston-Salem, NC on 7/21/2013

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

    Upgrading my factory system in my Dodge Dakota Quad cab and while I didn't want to break the bank, cost was not a consideration; I wanted quality sound PERIOD... I'm in my 40's and I have had many systems over the years mostly Alpine and most recently Kenwood. Read all the reviews and picked this unit. I wanted HD radio, Bluetooth, rear USB and the ability to play a cd. Also wanted low level outputs since I planned on using an amp. a equalizer and sound control. This unit has them all and won't disappoint you. An amp is not a must but makes a big difference, Just make sure and use a class a/b amp to power your speakers. At first I bought and installed the Clarion XC1410 because of the size. Big mistake I was not happy with the sound clarity and range. I considered sending the whole system back thinking it wasn't capable of producing the quality of sound I wanted. Instead I bought the Kenwood KAC-8405 amp and glad I did. It fits under the seat has more power, lots of adjustment, cooling fans and yes awesome sound!! I can't even explain the difference in sound quality. It's is amazing. If this is what you are looking for I hope this review helps. I don't normally leave them I just read them. Here is my system: Kenwood KDC-X997, Polk Audio db5251, component speaker system, Kenwood KAC-8405 amp. Sound Ordnance B-8PTD Subwoofer and the steering wheel control module. Re-wired the entire system (speakers, power, remote on) total install took about 10 hours but it's nice and clean.

    Pros: Sound quality is awesome, adjustments (there are many), listening options (HD radio, bluetooth, pandora, USB inputs, low level outputs), I could keep going.

    Cons: Just like everyone else says "The Manual" come on Kenwood!! Don't worry Crutchfield will help you.

    Great car reciever.

    JiriS from Manassas, Va on 7/18/2013

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

    I installed this reciever into my Chevy malibu maxx 2004 by myself and thanks to Crutchfield i had all stuff that i need and with all documentation was smooth process. I also purchased Metra assembly 99-3303 and connection was without any issues. I still did not discover all the potentials of this radio, but sound is amazing even with my factory speakers. Select Radio staion from memory is little weird to me, but i listen mostly music from usb or ipod, which works awesome. For wire connections i used bullet terminals, which give me option to reconnect if i need. I did not try any Pandora or iHeart radio but Hd radio sound very well. I will have more info after i will spend more time with. So far, very happy, which i never thought i will buy a Kenwood. Always been with Sony, JVC or Pioneer. I paired my old phone Nokia with bluetooth and work fine, person who called me says it is sound like i am calling from a cave, but she understood me normal. This unit do all that i need for today!

    Pros: Sound, backlight, 3 rows of text, connections,

    Cons: Radio presets, not able to change volume while searching for song, user interface

    Nice unit for the money!

    Travis from San Diego, Ca on 7/7/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Before reading this review keep in mind that I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, so when I discuss some issues I had, please keep in mind it may be the phone. The face plate can be seen in sunlight, you just have to deal with changing the colors to something you can see in your car (you may not like the color that works best). I have been playing with the stereo four about 4 days now and i'm pretty persistent in figuring things out that don't work as advertised. I have outboard amps (installed w/RCA installed correctly) so the first hing I did was turn off the internal amp, all was working well until I turned the car off and back on again and had no sound, I turned the internal amp back on again and all worked normally (Don't know where the error lies there). I don' t understand stereo designers today, I would have liked to have access to at least 6 F.M. presets on the front of the unit and a Bass and Treble setting, you can adjust these settings but it takes a few buttons to be pressed in the settings menu to do this (not while driving). Blue tooth for phone calls worked great but Bluetooth for Aha radio and Iheart radio only worked when Bluetooth Audio was selected to to listen to those apps, this setting gives no control of the app from the head unit, just phone. Neither the IHeart radio or Aha worked when they were selected on the head unit (Yes I also tried using the Kenwood Iheart app). Voice control did not work at all. Continued on Pros and Cons

    Pros: The unit sounds great, it has more adjustments than any other head unit for sound control that I have ever had, if you can deal with that and understand how to adjust crossover networks, gain and slope, go for it. I set the crossovers on my amps to off and used the head units crossovers. You will need to do some research and take the time so set this unit up right. The EQ is straight forward however again it takes a lot of time and listening to get the sound just right.

    Cons: The manual is on-line and extensive, I suggest you print it out, find a shady spot to sit in your car and go through all the settings an controls while listening to some quality music. That being said. I love the unit, maybe Aha and Iheart will work better with future updates. I would recommend it to the above average listener due to the units complexity but not to the casual user. I hope this helps in making your decision.

    Golden Reciever

    cuznsteve from Oakland Gardens NY on 7/7/2013

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

    In absence of really detailed owners manual , I keep finding things I am glad are there ! Included is awhole host of controls and menu on top menu, deeper , and even too deep . I mean , measure the distance from subwoofer and speakers from center near receiver ? Delayed reaction? Can sound in fact be delayed in such close proximity ? Only the Technicians know for sure, I just use the other DSP sound controls, and it is full of them . The enhancements really work , Pro-Setup is a dream . You will love this CD etc. receiver.

    Pros: Eventually can figure it out , its , well, kindof intuitive , once you play around and make discoveries.

    Cons: Reflects sunshine like you wouldn't believe.

    Really plug and play SLK320

    Jpass from Bellingham, WA on 7/4/2013

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

    I order this radio mainly because it was the only single "Din" headunit with "Siri Eyes Free" or at least Kenwood was the only one that had it advertised as compatible. Many if not most aftermarket headunits feature Bluetooth handsfree and audio streaming but what I was really looking, in addition to Bluetooth, was the option of using Siri through the unit itself. Although a little glitchy, voice control works for calling, text messages, etc. I would had given it 5 stars, but not being able ask Siri to take me somewhere (GPS use, Apple Maps) by pressing the voice control button (phone button on the radio) it's shame. But don't despair, you can still do it by entering the address on your iPhone directly (although that defeats the handsfree idea) and you will be able to hear GPS voice commands through your car stereo. I used the wiring harness provided by Crutchfield and it truly is plug and play on my 2001 SLK320. I actually crimped all the wires from the radio harness to the supplied harness on my kitchen table before I installed it (less mess and easier to work with). Removing the old radio with the supplied tools took less than 15 seconds. The hard part, if that, was routing the microphone cable. For other SLK owners, if you have the Bose system with rear subwoofers, you may want to do what I did. I disabled the rear speakers on the KDC-x997 and connected the RCA inputs from the harness onto the front RCA outputs and Subwoofer RCA outputs. Better subwoofer control.

    Pros: Sound quality and adjustments, handsfree calling and audio streaming, Siri compatible (limited), able to match car interior illumination, build quality.

    Cons: Little glitchy and cumbersome menu. Phone pairing after turning car on takes while but I believe this is about the same for most systems as my 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee with factory Nav takes about the same time. I wish it was faster so I could resume playing music without delay.

    A lot of features, but you need the complete manual to discover them

    MD+RN from Miami, FL on 7/1/2013

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

    It looks nice in my car. Very good sound after using the Pro Setup (it will be better when I change the speakers; I am using the OEM ones). Phone calls (in and out) work without problems (Android smartphone); good reception on both ends. I haven't used the bluetooth apps yet. When connecting to the auxiliary input you need to increase the volume slightly, comparing to USB connection

    Pros: A lot of features. I like the Pro Setup. Very easy bluetooth pairing. Easy to install.

    Cons: Cannot read the display easily on a sunny day. Not intuitive. You need to study the manual. I would have liked preset buttons to change stations faster, as well as a pause button (maybe the remote control has them).

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    d from albuquerque, nm on 6/24/2013

    2006 Mazda 3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    great head unit once you get it set up




    johnmojo from West bend, WI on 6/18/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    5 years ago bought entry level Kenwood. Thought it would not make much of a difference since they all look the same. Five years later, boy was i wrong. No comparson in sound quality. Amazing

    Pros: Easy to install. Old kenwood in car alteady. Sound quality. And features.

    Cons: Difficult to navigate, but i am old. My be generational.

    Good Sound Quality, Poor User interface!

    CraigQ from Cincinnati, OH on 6/12/2013

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

    I had high hopes for this head unit. It was replacing my factory 2005 Camry head unit. I just started a new job where I have a 45 minute commute. So this feature packed radio looked very attractive. Most important to me was the Bluetooth Calling and Audio Streaming, as well as the front USB and Aux port. You can plug just about anything into this unit. Sadly, the User interface is horrible. There are no buttons for immediate station presets. So you have to go through a convoluted process of hitting the back button, scrolling though your stations using the main knob, all the while taking your eyes off the road while driving. Same with the Source selection, you have to hit the source button and continually look at the screen to make sure you didn't accidentally scroll past the item you wanted. The last thing that bothered me about this unit was the display. Almost impossible to see the text when there is any amount of sunlight and glare around. Nighttime is fine, but most of my driving is in the daytime. Luckily, Crutchfield service is outstanding! I am returning this unit and replacing it with an Alpine unit with similar features. Thank you Crutchfield!

    Pros: Great feature set!

    Cons: Poor User Interface!

    Excellent Machinery at a very reasonable value

    Anthony C from Tamiment Pennsylvania 18371 on 6/12/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have been purchasing car audio components since the early 1980's and it has been quite a few years since I have done an installation , I purchased this awesome feature packed Kenwood because I have had several of their Excellon series head units in the past , this particular unit was for my sons 1994 Del soul as a birthday present I like the clear audio features of HD reception especially of value in the mountain terrain that we live in it give a very strong and clear signal where normal radio encounters reception issues also I wanted the safety of hands free Blue Tooth for a new drive and I must say that the pairing of our LG phone to the receiver went flawlessly in the very first try as did the total installation with the as always clear and concise instructions provided by Crutchfield and the installation kit that was included always makes for a highly simple and professional installation . On the feature side of the profile the multi function multi line display with the ability to custom tailor coloration to mood is a wonderfull feature as is that one the phone was paired to the Kenwood it downloaded my teenage sons entire contact list in the blink of an eye ! It was also greatly appreciated that the I Pod Capability was also another flawless feature that works well and can search playlist with blinding speed I also appreciate the three RCA outputs for future sound expansion as well as the Sirrius/XM add on module capability for the near future .

    Pros: Excellent unit with easy install and very simple technology that works flawlessly

    Cons: I really cant seem to find any real flaws with this unit in any terms

    great price, alot of features

    mikeV from fresno,ca on 6/8/2013

    1989 Nissan 240SX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    the sound staging is amazing. I am currently running some focals performance pc165 in my front lower door panels. with this H.U I can stage the sound to make it seem like its coming high in front of my windshield. there is a lot of features, you're gonna have to play with it to see what you like. the Bluetooth plays music, but its set to front speakers only, from the manufactory. but you can go into settings and set it to all speakers. so note that if you receive a phone call, it be from all speakers. lol Currently I am running this H.U with focal performance 165 front, rear fill is a Rockford Fosgate Prime R1675X2 and a powered sub Rockford Fosgate Punch P300-10

    Pros: crossovers, eq, sound staging, and the price.

    Cons: a lot of scrolling, but you get use to it. you gotta spend a lot of time with this head unit. there is so many features.

    Missing Some Features But Sounds Awesome

    RobC from Gainesville, FL on 6/8/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Not a bad unit for the price. Lots of features but at the same time several important features that makes a car stereo user friendly that are missing. One thing that I would like to see and I'm not certain if any HU's do this is the ability to use my phone GPS navigation and have it announce directions even if the radio/CD/USB are selected. As far as I can tell it only works if you are in BT mode.

    Pros: -Sounds great. -Properly setting time alignment dramatically improves sound. -Reads the USB stick in seconds. The JVC I replaced took forever.

    Cons: -Display nearly impossible to read in sunlight -No mute or pause buttons on unit. -CD and Front USB doors feel very cheap. -No easy to access memory buttons for radio stations. -Can only pair 1 phone at a time. Makes it a hassle for two people to use the car. -The couple of pages they call a user manual is a complete joke. Good luck on getting any type of documentation for the great sound adjustment features built into the system. Use Google to find answers in user forums.

    Great recommendation

    Lee_Ving from Pasadena, CA on 6/7/2013

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

    Installed in a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT, quad cab. Also swapped the stock front door speakers with Kenwood KFCG6930, 6x9 3-way's (Crutchfield said these wouldn't fit but they do). What a difference! Crisper & cleaner high ends and deeper bass. Quick and easy bluetooth hookup with my iPhone 5. Had a JVC HD stereo in my '89 Chevy C1500 and the X997's HD blows it away. Stays locked on to the stations and accepts the substations if I want them as presets. Ran the rear USB into the top glovebox for my iPod Classic. Navigation through it's files is a breeze. The only downsides--display can be difficult to see in bright sunlight. Experimenting with display colors to see what's best. Also the instruction booklet is a very thin on detail. I'd hoped for additional info & explanation on Kenwood's website but it's not the case. It's the reason I give 'Ease Of Use' four stars instead of five. If you play with it a bit you'll figure things out but it'd be nice to have a better guidance and explanation. Regrets? None!

    Pros: Sleek looks. Improved sound. Excellent hands-free phone that works with Siri for hands-free dialing.

    Cons: Display difficult to see in bright light. Instruction booklet is very basic and lacks a great deal of info.


    Lee from Fairfax, VA on 6/2/2013

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

    Installed in a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. So far it sounds great and was fairly easy to install with Chrysler/Jeep PAC wiring harness to maintain steering wheel controls. I have not spent a great deal of time trying to customize it so perhaps I will figure out if you can customize the display but right now I can't get it to show the time along with the artist and song title info. After I figured out backwards speaker wiring, the bluetooth and audio streaming worked great - - Love those features and the phone is an added safety feature I can't live without now!! Thanks Crutchfield!

    Pros: Bluetooth, AudioStreaming, HD Radio, and great sound

    Cons: Probably not fair to criticize Kenwood because I'm not sure there are any better out there but the display font/characters look outdated and don't quite match the great capabilities of this receiver, especially when you compare to display for some of the same control features when connected via the iPhone. Also - why don't receivers come with micro-SD card slots . . .

    Great stereo

    Fdtahoe702 from Elmont ny on 6/2/2013

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

    Great stereo everything straight forward when setting up everything is pretty much dummy proof

    Pros: Great quaintly

    Cons: Bluetooth won't connect sometimes but is corrected after a reset


    ralphwf from Tamaqua, PA on 5/31/2013

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

    Easy set up. Sound is great. Need to get speakers that can handle the output.

    Pros: pro setup. Ease of use.

    Cons: None so far.

    Great unit for the price!

    Ray from Warren, Ohio on 5/30/2013

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

    The sound quality and features for this unit at this price is awesome. This unit is powerful. Thank you CRUTCHFIELD for a great product at a great price.

    Pros: Sound quality, A ton of features, and great price.

    Cons: Nothing to do with CRUTCHFIELD, but Kenwood explanations are very generic and lacking on how use all the features, settings etc.

    What a great unit!

    Steve D from Cleveland Ohio on 5/29/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Before I get to the review of the unit, I must compliment the Crutchfield crew for their great help in the initial purchase as well as helping with one install question, they were super. Thank you. The unit installed exactly as described in my 1995 Mazda MIata with the install kit, zero problems at all. This unit integrated with my Infinity speakers I already had in my seats and doors. and improved the sound DRAMATICALLY. Some of the other reviews have called this unit difficult to use. I took some time to go through every setting and by the time I was done, using the unit was pretty straight forward. As with any new electronic device, a learning curve is needed. Using the unit now is a piece of cake. I'm VERY pleased with my purchase and the Crutchfield service.

    Pros: Great Value, tons of features, ease of installation

    Cons: I should of done this much sooner!

    Two out of two units...

    PC from SF Bay Area, CA on 5/28/2013

    1994 Mitsubishi Montero
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    First off, I want to thank the Crutchfield team for providing awesome customer service. The representatives handled my Kenwood KDC-X997 RMAs like the professionals that they are and I thank them. I've been a customer for over ten years and I'm a fan for life. I want to like this X997 and give it a good rating throughout, but how's it possible that I can receive two defective units one after another? Good luck is rarely ever on my side but seriously, two out of two BRAND NEW premium Kenwood Excelon units with different issues? Come on Kenwood, get it's no wonder why Crutchfield sells so many REFURBISHED Kenwood receivers. The hassle of installing and then removing defective parts from a car is never enjoyable. Here's a list of what I want in a new car stereo: 1) A remote control for playback and volume controls. 2) A DSP that should include EQs, X-overs, and DTA. 3) 6-channels of pre-outs. 4) Smooth iPhone compatibility and integration. 5) Smooth bluetooth operations. 6) Readability in direct sunlight, with sunglasses on. From my personal experience the X997 only seems to consistently come through on # 2, 3 and 5. The remote from my first X997 intermittently worked. It didn't matter if I swapped out the batteries or aimed the remote directly at the IR eyelet of the faceplate, it only worked intermittently. The second X997 had jittery iPod playback (but the first one didn't). No thirds for me but 'may the odds be ever in you favor' if you do take a chance.

    Pros: + Lots of DSP features. + Six channels of discrete pre-amplifier outputs. + Great microphone. + Front panel 3.5 mm AUX input jack + Front panel USB input jack. + Variable color settings for the key illumination and display. + I'm returning the second X997 and paid more to get a Pioneer DEH-80PRS. I like it MUCH better.

    Cons: - Lackluster manual. - Infrared eyelet on faceplate could have been better designed and positioned. - SLOW remote control operations, playback and volume controls are laggy and spotty. It'll work here but not a few millimeters to the left/right. You really have to aim it just right. - Hard to read anything on the screen in direct or indirect sunlight, the faceplate always seems to produce a glare as a result of that curve radius. You really have to install it where the sun don't shine.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Kerry from Columbus, Oh on 5/24/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good systym however it takes a while to figure out all the programming features and how to use them. It would be great if the clock were to stay on while the stereo was off. I have no clock in my vehicle now unless I turn the stereo on. High and mid range are pretty good. Base could be a little deeper and richer. This could be due to the speakers but they are also pretty good Alpines

    Pros: A lot of features. Good sound once youi figure out how ot use all the features.

    Cons: No constant on clock. Better tutorial

    Lots of great features, but doesn't perform as well as expected.

    THale from Bremerton, WA on 5/20/2013

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

    I love the features this unit came with - ability to change display colors, bluetooth, Pandora, iHeart, etc. Installation was a snap. Great looks, pretty easy to use, but figuring out how to get the clock to display took some time. The negatives I have are that the HD tuner cuts out quite a bit (may just be the area that I live), and will sometimes "hang up" like a CD skipping. The other negative is that the built-in amp isn't very powerful, and will start to distort well before the max volume is reached.

    Pros: Dual USB ports, bluetooth connectivity for my phone, Pandora, iHearRadio, great looks, ability to change display and button colors independently.

    Cons: Weak amplifier, poor HD tuner performance.

    So far, so great!

    Michael from Bethlehem, Ga on 5/17/2013

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

    Picked this up to replace the factory head unit and to give me the ability to use my iPhone in the truck. Couldn't be more happy. I've been a Kenwood fan for years and this is why. Great functionality, excellent features, super easy install. Once I got the harness figured out it fit like a dream.

    Pros: Great features for the price.


    Excelon KDC-X997

    Cparker from Tuscaloosa, Al on 5/17/2013

    2002 Chevrolet S10
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed this in my 2002 Chevy s-10 to replace my factory radio, and WOW the difference is unbelievable! Even with the factory speakers the music is so much clearer, and better sounding. The ability to use blue tooth to make and receive phone calls it great! After installing this radio I enjoy the time I have to spend on the road with the many different options of things to listen to!

    Pros: Great Sound Ease of Use Wonderful features

    Cons: Clock doesn't display unless set in features. Wish it would switch back and forth between whatever your listening to. (is that some setting I might not know about)?

    Very Impressed

    Kevin from West TN on 5/17/2013

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

    With over 20+ years in mobile audio, I'm very impressed with functions and sound quality of this unit. After a friend heard the difference the 997 made in my vehicle (was only thing changed), he ordered one for his car. After installing two units I can say it's a very nice sounding, very versatile, functional unit and a great value.

    Pros: Sound Quality, Options in tuning with variable crossover slope, time alignment and the sound processing. Also Kenwood support is very quick as I found turning off the internal amp would cause the next time you turn on the system the amps would not come on. Within a few short hours, a new firmware update was waiting in my email and problem was resolved.

    Cons: Of the two I've installed the only negative thing I can say it takes a little time to get familiar with all the options and where they are located but once you find them and remember, getting to them is rather quick.

    Nice Deck

    SeanMc from Burlington, MA on 5/17/2013

    1994 Toyota MR2
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great deck for the price. It has more options that I think almost anyone could need, but it is nice to know that they are there if you need them. Android integration is good though some of the apps take a while to get setup correctly. The manual for this product totally sucks though. Seems like something that should be fixed by Kenwood. Also my first deck was defective (2 of the 3 RCA pre-outs were dead) Crutchfield shipped out a replacement very quick though.

    Pros: Feature set is impressive at this price. Great sound quality

    Cons: First unit was defective Manual is really bad.

    Great system

    Greg from Tucson, AZ on 5/15/2013

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

    For the price it is a fine system and good value

    Pros: Was easy to install, like features

    Cons: Switching between feeds, CD, Radio, aux 1 etc to involved for doing while driving. Lights on the displays are not bright enough to easily see during day time

    Very Good Sound

    Tim F from Ballston Spa, NY on 5/15/2013

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

    Installed in 2004 Honda CRV with stock speakers and paired with Samsung S3. *Excellent sound. Actually, WOW. Really made a huge difference with stock speakers. Love the Bluetooth, USB inputs, and HD Radio. Really adds to the quality of the sound and provides the visual display of what is playing. Lots of features. Using the phone for calls is clear with good noise cancellation. Haven't tried the aux input or connecting an iPod yet. Love the DSP to 'expand' the sound. Streams Bluetooth from my Samsung S3, but I cannot browse content. I liked my stock radio for the ability to easily access functions with a single press of the button. Kenwood has made a step in the right direction compared to last year's models by adding a couple of buttons back in. Unfortunately, just like the rest of the industry there is a shift from buttons to a single knob with a complicated series of menus. I would really like an additional control knob or preset buttons. It would be helpful if there was a button to switch displays or provide more information. For example, a button to press to display the frequency of the station, or to get more information about a MP3. The only options are to specifically set the display to show what you want. Very poor documentation. The details are available only via HTML pages. So no easy way to have the manual in the car. Also, the manual offers no explanation - only how to use the buttons to change options without what those options do.

    Pros: *Good installation with the supplied kits from Crutchfield. Thanks, Crutchfield. *Lots of features: front USB, rear USB, Bluetooth, HD Radio, Pandora, CD, aux, and more. *Plenty of audio customizations that can be applied. In fact, it can be too easy to over-process the sound. *Did I mention good, clear sound, even with stock speakers?

    Cons: *Does not read my Samsung S3 via USB - only Bluetooth. *Lots of features, but almost everything is buried deep in menus. *Just like everything else it is hard to see in bright sunlight. *There are very few options to allow the clock to be displayed. No ability to display additional information without changing display options. *Cannot voice dial unless my phone is unlocked. Not a show stopper since I can access the phonebook from the unit, but disappointing. *Very poor documentation.

    Great Sound with a Learning Curve

    Doug M from Pittsburgh, PA on 5/15/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this head unit to replace a Kenwood KDC-BT838U. The install was quick and easy (the wiring harness from the old Kenwood was identical to that on the KDC-X997). There were some technical issues with the KDC-X997 that Crutchfield Support assisted with (See Cons Below). The upgrade in sound quality over the old head unit was FANTASTIC. The nested menus on the KDC-X997 are a bit cumbersome to navigate and it is time consuming to go through all of the options and figure out what they do, but in the end you should be able to adjust the sound to match your personal taste. The head unit is connected to an Alpine MRP-F300 50Wx4 Amplifier with Kicker 6 1/2 components in the front doors (high pass cross over at 80Hz) and Kicker 6x9s in the read deck (full range).

    Pros: Great Sound, Fast Bluetooth Connection to iPhone 5, Tons of Options, Great Price, and as always Crutchfield Support is awesome.

    Cons: Bluetooth Audio Streaming - Default Setting is through FRONT SPEAKERS ONLY a setting buried in a menu fixes this Disabling Internal Amp - Causes No Sound the next time you start the vehicle. Power Antenna - When the KDC-X997 is on, the power antenna is up regardless of audio source (unlike the KDC-BT838U it replaced) will have to add a switch to the circuit. Lack of an adequate manual - Many features, nested menus, no explanation/instructions. Definite learning curve here.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Anonymous from Louisville, KY on 5/14/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love the stereo

    Pros: Sounds great and looks good..

    Cons: None

    Excellent head unit

    mjraudio from Washington, DC on 5/13/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great head unit for the price and syncs up perfectly to an iPhone 5 with the factory lightning-to-USB cable. You can stream music directly off your iPhone to the unit with control from the iPhone. The sound quality is excellent too. An additional feature is the bluetooth connectivity for calls. If you're in the middle of a song and the phone rings, the head unit sends a ringtone to your speakers and all you do is push the call button to answer it. The unit comes with an included microphone that's easy to connect and set up and you can have hands-free calling at the touch of a button.

    Pros: Great value, iPhone 5 connectivity, blutooth hands-free calls, great sound quality

    Cons: There is just one slight problem I haven't figured out yet...that is if I am using my phone while in the car and talking on my blutooth earpiece (not with the head unit) and then shut off my car...the head unit's blutooth connection to my phone ends the call. This has happened a few times and is a bit annoying. The unit takes a little bit of effort to get into all the menus for settings, it's somewhat unintuitive but still useable.

    Excelon KDC-X997

    BertW from Bremerton WA on 5/12/2013

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

    Very easy tech upgrade for my 93 bronco

    Pros: Install is easy with the Crutchfield kit.

    Cons: The kenwood manual doesn't cover any of the advanced features of the receiver.


    Dave S from Rockwall, TX on 5/11/2013

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

    Has most everything you could want in a 1 DIN set.

    Pros: 2 USB ports. Ease of use and setting options.

    Cons: Getting the rear USB to a usable position. Perhaps a pluggable cord would be good to thread to the front for access.

    Mor LIke Awesome, than Kenwood !

    Ian from Los Angeles, CA on 5/9/2013

    2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Ok let me start by saying WOW ! this head unit is LOUD ! I installed this unit cuz of my previous pioneer unit quitting on me, but keep in mind that pioneer lasted me from 2006 till just recently ! So anyways onto the Kenwood ! I installed this with the ease of Crutchfield's install gear (Free of charge, THANKS Crutchfield !) I would say took me a total of about 40-60 mins to install from start to clean up. So onto the unit, very cool options with this unit, as in you can dial in the color you want for the display and keys, and or do them the same color or both different. Setting up the bass, treble, and all that fun stuff, was very different from the pioneer i was used to. There was a lot of options and you can get very detailed with all that fine tuning so you can get that sound just crisp and just right ! So after fiddling around with all that, takes some time, cuz you have to go into different menus just to get to all that treble and bass tuning, so that gets old pretty quickly in and out or menus. But once you get it where you want it to sound, don't need to touch all that again. Love the remote that comes with it, buttons are very thick and rubbery and good sized, and over all the remote is fairly small but not TOO small where you will lose it.

    Pros: Everything ! Good Price ! Great sound ! User friendly ! and seems to be build pretty solid, the face does not slop around once it is pushed into place.

    Cons: Too many hoops to jump through just to adjust and fine tune the bass, mids, and highs.

    Decent Unit, But Has A Few Flaws

    Rachael from N. Seattle, WA. on 5/7/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice unit, but has a few manufacturing flaws that MAY be corrected in firmware updates according to Kenwood. First off, if you use the preamp outs, you cannot turn off the internal amplifiers for the unit. If you do, the first time you turn off the vehicle, and turn it back on, the preamp outs are also disabled, turning off all sound from the unit. If you leave the internal amps enabled, there is a little hiss that can be heard through the speakers. Secondly, if you leave a USB memory stick in the front or rear connector, no matter what source you are listening to when you turn off the vehicle, when it is restarted the system switches to the USB stick instead of continuing to listen to the previous source. My older Kenwood MP3 decks in my other cars work as expected, playing whatever the last source was after restart. The illumination for the unit does not appear to be variable. The display changes illumination when the headlights are turned on, but does not change when you dim the vehicles dash lights. Instaed the unit illumination stays constant. Lastly, the unit does not support Android as well as stated by Kenwood. Android disabled Mass Storage Device on most of their builds last year. As a result, you are unable to plug your phone into the USB and read the music files stored there. Also their app on the Android Market doesnt function properly as well as a result of this change. The sound from the unit is very good despite the slight hiss at low volumes.

    Pros: * Nice unit with lots of options. * Front and Rear USB. * Display illumination color changeable to match vehicle dash illumination. * Good sound quality.

    Cons: * Flaw with internal amp disable feature * Always switches to USB source if attached on vehicle start despite last source used on shutdown. * Slight hiss from preamp outs when internal amp still enabled. * Unit illumination not variable * Android support issues due to changes with Android OS.

    Kenwood kdcx997

    Tim R from Seattle, WA on 5/6/2013

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

    I like the stereo the installation was easy.

    Pros: Works great with the I phone.

    Cons: Difficult to set up, no manual? Bluetooth only sends sound to the front speakers. Hard to see the clock on the screen.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    johnny from El Paso Tx on 5/6/2013

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

    Its a great deck it was easy to install looks great and the sound is awsome you have a lot of preset audio or you could customize it the way you want it and the color is great bluetooth is easy to use and the pandora is great the remote control lets you guide through your preset radio stations with ease



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Anonymous from Berlin, CT on 5/6/2013

    2007 Volvo S60
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice hu for the price. Crutchfield walked me through the entire install which was tremendous.

    Pros: Great features

    Cons: Can't see display in daylight.

    Excellent ... except for display

    SteveB from Scottsdale, AZ on 5/5/2013

    Form and function is very good ... but the one aspect is the display which is very poor ... with respect to being able to see in bright light. My car has light interior and during daylight, viewing the display is virtually impossible. The dim output combined with the glossy panel reflecting everything from the interior makes is a hopeless combination. I will be swapping this unit out for a Pioneer to see if that is an improvement. Manufacturers seem to be more concerned with "coolness factor" by providing variable color dot matrix displays that are only "cool" at night. I would prefer the displays to be LCD white on black with matt panels to minimize reflections ... most cars come with these days ... they provide a higher level of visibility. But since coolness seems to be important, we have variable color displays, colors that dance to the music and other nonsense. I like the ability to alter the colors of the keys / buttons, but having that ability for the displays would only be useful if the display were visible in daytime.

    Pros: Audio quality, menu system fairly easy to understand and set up. Fit and finish is very good.

    Cons: Display visibility

    Digital Sound Processing

    04S60R from Central Ohio on 5/4/2013

    2004 Volvo S60
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    What this HU brings to the table is Digital Sound Processing Horsepower. There are enough adjustments available to customize the soundstage this unit presents to almost an Vehicle. This was why I selected this unit and it did not disappoint. I was able to set it up using only the pre-amp outputs (there is an option available to disable the internal speaker level amp). The HD Radio receiver works well in this area. The unit reads a 32g USB drive so I have hours, actually days of music available. BT Audio streaming sounds excellent as well. I can't comment on using it for BT Phone calls yet. The only negative comment I have at this point is an issue with mine where I have to turn the HU off before I turn my car off. If I don't, the next time I use the car the only way to get any sound out of it is to push the reset button. Doing that of course means completely resetting all of the individual aspects. Due to the number of distinct custom setting available you should write them all down once you get it tweaked just right for your ride.

    Pros: Highly configurable Digital Sound Processor

    Cons: Have to make sure the unit is turned off before the car is.

    Great sound quality

    charlier from Detroit, Michigan USA on 4/30/2013

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

    Great head unit with a lot of features for the price. Simple to install if you are replacing an existing Kenwood head unit, no wiring changes.

    Pros: Great sound quality A lot of audio tuning parameters Plenty of display customizations available Many input options Bluetooth was easy to set up Able to stream audio off of my phone with Bluetooth

    Cons: Seems slow navigating the library on my iPod classic. (however, changing a setting lets me use the wheel on my iPod to navigate the menus directly on the device -- fast, like normal). I am hearing some subtle "stutters" in my iPod music -- not sure if those are flaws in my audio files that I could never hear before, or something else. Only front, no rear 1/8" audio input. Display seems a little tough to read in full sunlight. (Still working on finding the best color and contrast setting).

    Love this Deck! High Quality

    Mojo from WI on 4/30/2013

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

    I have not purchased a new Car stereo Deck for quite some time. This Kenwood has some great features, and plenty of adjustments for different sound tastes. The screen would be one of my only complaints. It doesn't do well in sunlight.

    Pros: High end unit. Lots of options for sound adjustments. High power pre-outs. Clean look. Lots of input options. Love the Bluetooth audio capability.

    Cons: Screen difficult to read in sunlight. No Pre-set buttons, but reasonably easy to get to preset screen.

    Early review

    El Guapo from Cincinnati, OH on 4/29/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed in a '00 Wrangler. I still have the stock speakers in it for now, but the sound quality was increased substantially with the addition of this unit. I gave it 4 stars b/c I haven't had a chance to put it through any paces yet. The controls aren't exactly intuitive, and unit only comes with a quick installation guide. So far, I've played a CD and the radio. Picks up a crazy amount of HD channels I didn't know existed. There aren't any numbered buttons, so I've yet to read how to program radio stations or flip stations w/o scanning. Bluetooth pairing with my Android phone was very quick and simple, but I haven't tried to make or receive a call yet. Again, no instructions yet - they're online. To sum it up, I'm really happy with it so far based on what I've seen. No buyer's remorse!!




    Ed from Hawthorne NJ on 4/28/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a high end stereo that sounds great ! I'm using it with components , sub, two amps. I mostly just have my iPhone 5 hooked up with the rear USB and it connects and plays my iTunes or pandora perfectly. Blue tooth also works with no issues. This head unit is designed for use with high end systems and if you take the time and set it up properly, your system will sound excellent. I've had several people tell me that my stereo sounds great. Again it takes time to go thru the setup. If you do not know how to do this I would suggest a lower end / easier to use h.u.

    Pros: Sound quality when using rear USB or front USB cable is excellent.

    Cons: Display could be better in daylight.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    Bret-B from Dallas, Tx on 4/26/2013

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

    This receiver has tons of options built in and is easy to accessorize.

    Pros: Great receiver for the money.

    Cons: SO many options for listening pleasure that it is sometimes difficult to get to the choice I wanted.

    Some Unresolved Issues

    RyanL from Johnstown, PA on 4/22/2013

    2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    At first glance the KDC-X997 was the perfect car stereo. It had front/rear USB, aux input, and 6 channel pre-amp outs. Additionally it had a configurable crossover with time alignment and a 9 band graphic EQ. The addition of full iPod/iPhone support, Bluetooth, and Pandora really made it attractive, especially at a price well under $300. Unfortunately, the KDC-X997 suffers from a few problems. First I'll talk about the biggest problem, which is the terrible distortion when using the iPod/iPhone interface. Basically, when you connect either of these with a USB cable, there is a distinct and annoying high frequency distortion. If you've ever heard something with phase distortion or phase interference you'll notice it immediately. It's an oscillating sound very similar in nature to wow and flutter, but not exactly. The distortion becomes very obvious if you play back a pink noise test signal through the iPod. I've now had Crutchfield send me two units, and both did the same thing with an iPod Classic (6G) and an iPhone 4S. This distortion does not affect the radio, CD player, or aux input and interestingly, using a USB thumb drive also results in perfect sound. It's only when using the iPod/iPhone interface that this happens. Next I'll talk about ease of use. The supplied manual leaves a lot to be desired. The online web manual is not much better. It tells you about all of the options but not about why you'd want to use them or what they do exactly.

    Pros: Good design and clean looks Sounds good on anything other than iPod/iPhone Lots of audio control options (crossover, EQ, time alignment) Very configurable Nice price point

    Cons: Nearly un-listenable audio using the unit's iPod/iPhone interface over USB No .m3u playlist support for USB memory stick Very complex user interface with lots of nested options Terrible manual/documentation Not many buttons on the front - everything is done through a menu - Direct access to radio presets would be nice - A second control wheel or pad would be nice so that you don't have to back out of menu to adjust volume

    Great Stereo

    Steve from Michigan on 4/22/2013

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

    This thing has all of the bells & whistles at a very affordable and fair price. It has almost too many features and can be a bit confusing to setup with the lack of a decent manual either in the box or the online one. Once it is set up though, look out. This is the best unit I've ever owned. I installed it in my '95 Ford Escort. It's coupled with two amps and I'm not using the speaker outputs at all. Even without tweaking the internal EQ this thing blew away my last stereo. The 4 volt preamp outputs make a huge difference. Calling through the bluetooth is easy and clear. I had to adjust the mic settings a bit to clarify myself to the person I was calling but that's it.

    Pros: Great price. Tons of features. Easy to install.

    Cons: The manuals are seriously lacking. Both in the box and online. The online version does tell you the available features but if you don't live your life for car audio and don't know what a feature is by name (and there are many with this unit) you may get lost as it doesn't explain what the settings do or control. I would and have recommended this stereo to others and may buy another one myself for another one of my cars.


    Fred from Indianapolis, IN on 4/16/2013

    2005 Ford Focus ZX3
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am impressed by the sound quality right out of the box. Even with stock speakers and no separate amp installed, I could tell a big difference. Bluetooth synched up first time I tried. I did a lot of research before deciding on this unit and I am not disappointed at all. I can't wait to hear it with upgraded speakers and a sub installed.

    Pros: Great sound, easy installation.

    Cons: None


    Eddy J from Loganville GA> on 4/16/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Pretty much thumbs up on everything, great sound, connects to my htc one x good. the display gives good info with the scrolling, a little hard to see the display sometimes in the sunlight but it's ok.. I'm fighting the urge to get another one for the spare car.

    Pros: great sound , good all around unit.

    Cons: nothing worth mentioning

    Great sound

    Marty mar from Bella Vista Arkansas on 4/16/2013

    2002 Honda S2000
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sound and style

    Pros: Excelon sound is awesome. The 24 available display colors easily match back to your factory lights

    Cons: It's a little cumbersome getting to your presets. I love the simple look of the deck but actual preset buttons would be nice

    2002 Jeep Wrangler

    SVFOOL from Bakersfield, Calif. on 4/15/2013

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

    Installation was a breeze because when you order from crutchfield ,This is my second purchase form crutchfield , and it just keeps getting better. The ordering process is easy, the shipping was done it in less than 24 hours. The customer serviced is fantastic. I found the Pro Audio settings and crossover adjustments to be straight forward and easy to understand. The bluetooth works very well and can handle the extreme road noise in my Jeep Wrangler , you will Have to go online to get the full manual which you will probably need if you really want to customize it .Overall, the unit is a huge upgrade from my stock disc factory deck .it's a solid stereo. I highly recommend it.Lots and lots of customizations available from screen type, colors, to sound quality.

    Pros: Pros: Front & rear USB,Siri,display options,sound quality,Sound is great, really like how I can different graphics for each mode, and how I can custom set the sound the way I like it.

    Cons: You have to go on line to see all the great features of this radio and learn how to use them but it was worth it.

    Nice upgrade

    Nic from Seattle, WA on 4/15/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    So far, so good. I am currently running four 6 3/4 Fosgate 3 ways...Installing subs this week. Sound is a significant upgrade from my previous head unit. The 13 Band EQ is a great feature...also love the rear USB. I easily ran it directly into my glove box and it works great. Bluetooth set up was easy, and the mic surprisingly works great.

    Pros: Looks great, loaded with features and produces a great quality sound.

    Cons: Interface is a little sluggish...changing between sources/menus seems to drag a bit.

    Nice s/q hu

    Gabriel from whiting Indiana on 4/11/2013

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

    Good overall head unit loud of features

    Pros: Bluetooth, and Pandora,HD radio, also the h/u is active

    Cons: Illuminations could of been better kinda hard to see the text words

    Great Headunit

    Chase from Texas on 4/8/2013

    2010 Ford Focus
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great HU. Installation was a breeze because when you order from crutchfield you can rest assured tat you have all of the needed items for your specific application. The functions of the HU are great and although some say it is hard to navigate I feel it is very simple after a day or so when you figure out the main menus. I use mine with pandora alot and the SQ over bluetooth is right there with the quality of USB!!!!! I have a pretty decent setup, (2 sundown SA 10's on 2000rms, Jbl ocmponents on a 4 channel) My bass as well as my mids and highs are now cleaner than they were with my LC6i before this HU. I highly suggest this HU!!!



    Great Features - IHeart and Pandora are a hit

    KenP from Tower City PA on 4/6/2013

    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    So far this radio is a hit. Installed in a 2000 Chevy S10. Once we figured out how to pair the Galaxy S3 with the stereo it worked like a charm each time. The quick start guide is hardly worth looking at, the main manual is much better. Pandora works with the main app no connector. You HAVE to have the stereo on before the Bluetooth on the phone the first time it connects. Once it was connected it was good to go. Manual doesn't tell you that ALL Controls for Pandora and IHeart are controlled through the stereo. So don't think you are crazy when you can't do anything in the app after connecting. Use the search button (silver button below the SRC) to look for saved stations and search for new ones. Like and Dislike work great. Menus are a little clunky, but once your EQ and DSP are set then its good. Sound quality is amazing. IHeart connection is interesting. You CANNOT use the main app for this. Go to Google Play or APP Store and get the Kenwood IHeart connect app. Sign in and authorize the app. You wont get a "notification" like it says, we never did. Also app always says "connecting to device". It does connect. Once you see "no station preset" or something like that on the display you are connected. Use the search button again to find your saved stations or find ones by ZIP or City. Again everything is done on the stereo and the app wont say anything. Once you figure it out its much better. Phone and Bluetooth streaming work perfect. HD Radio is great as well.

    Pros: Great sound quality as expected. Display is nice with all the colors. Bluetooth is a breeze once connected. Tons of features and settings. IPOD controls work perfect. Phone calls are great, and address book download are easy. Perfect for a pro or novice.

    Cons: awful quick start guide. Clunky menus until you get used to them. Quirky Pandora and IHeart app setup. LCD quality is meh compared to others.

    Luv my new radio

    William from Philadelphia, Pa on 4/5/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is my second radio j purchased for crutchfield , and it just keep getting better. The ordering process is quick received it in less than 24 hours. The customer serviced is fantastic. Would recommend to everyone

    Pros: Sound is great, really like how I can different graphics for each mode, and how I can custom set the sound the way I like it.

    Cons: You have to go on line to see all the great features of this radio and learn how to use them but it was worth it.

    Impressive combination of features.

    Cw from Austin Hill Country, TX on 4/2/2013

    2005 Mitsubishi Lancer
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this unit for the integrated features. My search criteria included bluetooth, HD radio, satellite radio and variable color display. Only 3 units came up and this is one of them. Having owned Excelon in the past I was not worried about the quality or sound. However the DSP on this unit is impressive. The bluetooth works very well and can handle the extreme road noise in my 1984 Mustang SVO. I only had to make 1 adjustment... turn up the echo control one notch. I live out in the country and receiving HD radio is usually iffy, but not on this unit, I was able to get all the 'local' HD stations while parked in the garage. The satellite radio ready feature is compatible with the SiriusXM SXV200V1 Tuner. One bonus of the satellite tuner is that you can rewind the audio and listen to something you might have missed. The unique dash lighting in the SVO is hard to match, but it took me all of 2 minutes to match it using the custom user settings. Some colors are easier to see in sunlight and I have no problem reading the display, with my sunglasses on, with the color set somewhere between amber and red. You can also invert the contrast and I urge people who have issues in direct sunlight to explore the color and contrast options very thoroughly. You can set the keys and the display to separate colors as well, like green for the controls and amber for the LCD display. I found the Pro Audio settings and crossover adjustments to be straight forward and easy to understand.

    Pros: Low price for such a feature rich unit. Simple DSP set-up, 2 usb ports, and audio rewind on Satellite radio.

    Cons: Blocky text display, teeny weeny remote, must remove face-plate to insert a CD..

    Good head unit

    John from Tucson, AZ on 4/2/2013

    2002 BMW 3 Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I just installed this guy in my 2002 BMW 330i and it looks great. The install was fairly simple and straight forward. The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars is that the volume has a cap at 35. Normally I wouldn't get near the highest volume setting, but my car has the Harman Kardon amp and for some reason I can't hear much at all unless I have it cranked. Otherwise it's a solid stereo. I highly recommend it.

    Pros: Looks and sounds great

    Cons: Volume limit

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997

    edac from Chicago, IL on 3/31/2013

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

    Easy to install, sounds great. Even with stock speakers.


    Cons: Need to download owners manual. No explanation of terms used in manual.

    Pleasantly surprised

    Anonymous from Archie mo on 3/28/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I exchanged the kdc-x996 for this model and so far this model works much better but pretty sure the other one did not work proper. First thing I liked was the fit it looks nice and flush doesn't stick out looking bulky like some do and the bluetooth is much faster than the 996 was it took long time to download every time this one way faster and this people can hear me on still doesn't seem as good as it should be but better than the 996 I also really like that it works with Siri also the remote works much better on the 996 had to hold it perfect to work and the display matches my truck colors nice. The stuff I don't like is to change the play mode using your iPod you have to use the menu button on head unit but on the 996 I could do it with the remote and since I always use shuffle mode it's not as easy also on the 996 the remote had a exit button but this one just has a back button witch takes a while to exit menu I also don't like the cover for cd slot it's not a bad idea it just looks cheap to me almost looks better with it open the kenwood logo also looks cheap othe than that I wish it had a large display and one that wasn't so effected by glares this is much worse for glares then what my alpine was but none of these are deal breakers and I think they did improve some issues that the 996 model had so maybe this one will get som improvements also. The biggest concern I have is although its better than last one it still has several malfunctions

    Pros: Front & rear USB,Siri,display options,sound quality

    Cons: Small display & glare on screen bad,no exit button on remote,less controls on remote than the 996 model,cd door looks cheap

    Excelon is excellent

    Robdog from Lakewood, Ca on 3/27/2013

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

    I purchased the unit based on my experience with Excelon prior to this unit... All positive. Out of the gate the learning curve is a bit much. It does take you a couple of days to play around with it to get used to it. After getting familiar with it I began to modify and customize features. This is where you can tell the difference between an average head unit and this stereo. You are able to tell the unit what size and type of speakers you have and it's locations. This is a definite plus. The Bluetooth works great on my IPhone 5. The sound came is clear and you can adjust the quality and get rid of any echoes you might get. (I had none). The equalizer has presets but I fine tuned it to my liking.

    Pros: Front and rear USB... love this feature. You can stick a 32 gb thumb drive and be set. Very good looking unit. Lots and lots of customizations available from screen type, colors, to sound quality.

    Cons: Learning curve on features (good and bad). I wish the display was brighter in direct sunlight. (Too common with all stereos)

    Full featured and sleek

    Kevin from San Marcos, TX on 3/26/2013

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

    Great and full featured unit, but the pictures are very deceiving. The display is not near as nice as portrayed; it is a 3 line but nowhere near the resolution of the stock photo. Screen is laggy as well, it takes a moment to load up the next menu through the pixels. My old pioneer that was cheaper in 2005 has a nicer screen (minus the color changing).

    Pros: Front and back USB, full rotary scroll wheel (not like the stupid pioneer wheel), bluetooth and HD radio. Cleanest looking unit around. Matches an upscale interior well.

    Cons: Display really is disappointing for this price, but it works.

    First Impressions

    Brockfly from Eau Claire, WI on 3/16/2013

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

    Just installed this in a 2002 Honda CR-V. Debated about a double din but just wanted something with good sound quality, HD radio, bluetooth, and bought the additional sirius XM receiver. Install was fairly easy for a novice like myself. I plan on upgrading speakers, etc in stages so right now speakers are stock. The head unit really improved the overall sound quality although base is still lacking which I expected. My I-phone 4s paired easily, downloaded my contacts, and played Pandora through blue tooth. Everything worked good. Called my buddy using the included microphone. Sound quality through speakers was much lower and somewhat echoed. Not much of a concern to me as I don't use phone on road. The quick guide is the only instruction manual which comes with the unit. It is very limited. Have to go online to get the full manual which you will probably need if you really want to customize. I agree with similar complaints from other Kenwood users about the interface. You only have a couple of buttons on this unit and you basically control everything through the control/volume knob to scroll through your different sources, etc. Its not bad but I could see it being a problem while driving. Overall, the unit is a huge upgrade from my stock 6 disc/tape factory deck from Honda. I might update this review later as I get more of a chance to play around with it but overall it seems to be what I was looking for for a second (winter) vehicle.




    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input Front/Rear
    CarPlay No
    Android Auto No
    Siri Control Bluetooth
    Android Control Yes
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Built-in
    Satellite Radio Ready SiriusXM
    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 Variable
    Key Button Color Variable
    EQ Bands 13
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System Yes

    Product Research

    Audio Section
    Built-in Bluetooth
    HD+Internet+SiriusXM Radio
    iPod/Android/AUX Integration
    Disc & USB Playback
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X997 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-X997 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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-X997 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-X997 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.

    Note: You can turn the KDC-X997's built-in amplifier off to improve the quality of the sound from the head unit's preamp outputs.

    Sound Excellence DSP (Digital Signal Processing): In order to optimize the sound quality, you can use the unit's Sound Excellence DSP to set the type of vehicle, speaker sizes, distances and x-over points. The DSP settings include the following:

    • Car Type: Select your car type to automatically set the Delay Time of each speaker for timing adjustment of sound output of each channel to have the highest surround effect. Choose from Compact, Full Size Car, Wagon, Mini Van , Mini Van Long, SUV, or Off
    • Listening Position: For a better sound-stage you can select your optimal listening position. You can choose from All, Front Left, Front Right or Front. You can also select to manually fine tune the sound stage by selecting the distance for each individual speaker in the vehicle compared to your listening position.
    • Digital Time Alignment (DTA): Choose from 0.00 to 20' (0.07' steps) for the Front pair of speakers, Rear pair of speakers and Subwoofer distances in reference to the distance between your listening positioning and the locations of the particular speakers.
    • Speaker Location: You can set the location of your vehicle's Front and Rear speakers.
      • Front: Door, On Dash, or Under Dash
      • Rear: Door, Rear Deck, 2nd Row, or 3rd Row
    • Speaker Size: You can select the speaker size for your Front & Rear speakers, as well as your subwoofer.
      • Front: Small, Medium, or Large
      • Tweeter: None, Small, Middle or Large
      • Rear: None, Small, Medium, or Large
      • Subwoofer: None, Small, or Large
    • X'Overs: The head unit features independent Front, Rear, & tweeter high-pass crossovers, as well as a subwoofer low-pass crossover.
      • Front High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz (or select Full-Range)
      • Rear High Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz (or select Full-Range)
      • Tweeter High Pass Filter: 1, 1.6, 2.5, 4, 5, 6.3, 8, 10, or 12.5 kHz
      • Subwoofer Low Pass Filter: 40, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, or 220 Hz (or Select Full-Range)
    • Speaker Level: You can adjust the volume level (0 to -8dB) of the Front, Rear, Tweeter, and Subwoofer channels independently.
    • Subwoofer Phase: Choose either Normal (0°) or Reverse (180°)

    Note: You can also choose to bypass the head unit's DSP feature.

    Equalizer Control: Equalizer Control allows you to use one of the EQ presets, or set your own custom settings for the front and back speakers using the 13-band Equalizer. The EQ adjustments are as follows:

    • EQ Presets: You can select from Flat, Natural, Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Powerful, iPod (you can select from 22 EQ curve types within your iPod), or User (customized 13-band EQ).
    • 13-Band EQ: 13-Band frequency adjustment (-9 to +9 dB) for Front & Rear speakers using the following center frequencies; 62.5Hz, 100Hz, 160Hz, 250Hz, 400Hz, 630Hz, 1kHz, 1.6kHz, 2.5kHz, 4kHz, 6.3khz, 10kHz, 16kHz.
    Note: You can store EQ and tone settings for each source (Disc, Tuner, USB, iPod, Bluetooth, and Pandora).

    Bass Management: The KDC-X997 offers Bass Boost, Bass DC Extension, and Loudness.

    • Bass Boost: The unit features a four-step Bass Boost (Off/1/2/3) to enhance your music's lower frequencies.
    • Bass DC Extension: When turned on, frequencies lower than 6.25 Hz are set the same gain level as the unit's 13-Band EQ 62.5 Hz gain setting.
    • Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes.

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

    • Supreme: When MP3, WMA, or AAC 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.
    • Highway Sound: You can boost a certain range of sound that becomes hard to hear due to road noise; the Highway Sound level can be set to High, Low, or Off

    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.

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

    Built-in Bluetooth

    Bluetooth Technology: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth (ver. 2.1 + EDR) allowing you to make and receive phone calls wirelessly through the receiver; as well as stream music wirelessly from your smartphone to the head unit. In order to use Bluetooth wireless technology, your phone must also be Bluetooth compatible and be able to interpret certain profiles. This unit is compatible with the following Bluetooth Profiles:

    • Hands-Free Communication: HFP 1.5 (Hands Free Profile), OPP 1.1 (Object Push Profile), PBAB 1.0 (Phone Book Access Profile).
    • Audio Streaming: A2DP 1.2 (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP 1.3 (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).
    Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997. Visit Kenwood's Support Site for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.

    SPP (Secure Simple Pairing): With Secure Simple Pairing (SSP), you can easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone to the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 without having to enter pin codes or go through complicated settings. When a registered Bluetooth device is in close proximity to the receiver, the auto connection function automatically pairs the two units. You can register up to five Bluetooth-enabled devices with the Kenwood head unit. A maximum of two Bluetooth-enabled phones can be connected at one time, but only one can be used at a time.

    Bluetooth Hands-Free Communication: The head unit supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. The controls of the KDC-X997 can be used to dial a number, answer an in-coming call, or end a call. The unit also includes an external microphone (featuring adjustable gain), so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your vehicles speakers. During a conversation, you can switch between the Private Mode (talking directly on your cell phone) and the Hands Free Mode.

    • Answering a Call: When a call comes in, a ring-tone will be heard through your vehicle's speaker and the caller's name or phone number will be displayed. You can answer the call from the head unit's front-panel controls, or setup the head unit to automatically answer the incoming call immediately or after 1-99 seconds. The KDC-X997 also supports the Call Waiting function, so you can answer another incoming call while suspending the current call you are on. Your compatible cell-phone must also support this feature.
    • Dialing a Number: Using the KDC-X997, you can dial a phone number in one of the following ways:
      • Entering a Phone Number: Allows you to directly dial a phone number up to 32 digits from the head unit's control knob or remote control.
      • Speed (Preset) Dialing: Allows you to register up to 6 phone numbers for quick dialing. The preset numbers can be accessed from the head unit's Control Knob.
      • Phone Book: You can dial by using the downloaded phone book. You can download phone book data from your cell phone to the KDC-X997. Up to 600 numbers can be stored for each registered cell phone. Each number can be up to 32 digits long and each name can be up to 50 characters long. Stored phone numbers can be categorized by General, Home, Office, Mobile, or Other. You can search each category of the phone book in alphabetical order.
      • Call History: The Call History is a list of calls that have originated from and were received by this unit that you can dial. You can select Outgoing, Incoming, or Missed calls.
      • Voice Dialing: If your mobile phone supports voice recognition, then you can dial out by voice command. Simply speak into the included microphone.

    External Microphone: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 includes an external microphone to carry on your side of your phone conversation and voice command dialing. The external wired microphone offers improved audio quality versus an integrated microphone, so you can be heard easier over noisy traffic and road noise. You can adjust the volume level and noise cancellation of the microphone without affecting the other sources. The external microphone features an attached 10' cable terminated by a right-angle 3.5mm connector which plugs into the mic input on the rear-panel of the head unit. The microphone offers an integrated mounting bracket which can be clipped to your vehicle's sun-visor or taped to your dash. The external microphone measures 0.525" (diameter) x 1.505" (depth).

    Note: This unit does not offer an integrated front-panel microphone.

    SMS: If your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone is compatible with SMS (Short Message Service), the Kenwood head unit will notify you when a message has been received. You must then use your phone to check the message. You cannot read, edit, or send a message through this unit.

    Wireless Audio Streaming (w/ Metadata Display): The Kenwood KDC-X997 also supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth enabled audio player or smartphone. The KDC-X997 will be able to control basic playback functions of your Bluetooth device's stored music; such as Play/Pause, Skip Next/Previous, Fast Forward/Rewind and Random/Repeat. The head unit will also display your stored music's song information; such as Artist name and Song/Album title. The KDC-X997 also supports audio streaming of music apps downloaded on your smartphone with metadata display and limited control. Advanced music control of your music apps will still need be done via your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. When an incoming call or outgoing call is in progress from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, audio streaming will be paused so you can take your call. Once the call is finished, your streaming music will resume.

    Siri Digital Assistant Control: When paired and connected with an iPhone 4S or 5/5C/5S via Bluetooth (not USB), the Kenwood KDC-BT55U has the ability to access Siri through its front-panel controls and external microphone. Simply press-and-hold down on the head unit's Answer Button to engage Siri and use the included microphone to communicate with Siri. Siri's voice will heard through your vehicle's speakers. All Siri functions including hands-free calling, music search, setting reminders, text-messaging, audible navigation, and more can be done through the KDC-X997 and its microphone. The head unit's display will only indicate hands-free calling and Bluetooth audio information (all other functions of Siri are only audible through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997; visual data will still need to be viewed from your iPhone device).

    Note: You can ask Siri to get directions to a destination and the turn-by-turn instructions will heard through your vehicle's speakers, while the on-screen map still displays on your iPhone 4S/5/5C/5S. The head unit's audio is attenuated while Siri provides audible directions.

    Bluetooth Detailed Settings: The KDC-X997 offers the following Bluetooth Detailed Settings, so you can configure the unit to suit your needs.

    • Bluetooth Audio: You can allow Bluetooth audio to be heard from only the front-speakers or all the speakers in your vehicle.
    • Call Beep: You can choose to output a beep from your vehicle's speaker's when a call comes in, or you can turn this function off.
    • Echo Level: You adjust the echo cancellation delay time until the least echo is being heard during a phone conversation.
    • Mic Gain: Adjusts the volume of the external microphone.

    HD+Internet+SiriusXM 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.

    • Tuning Methods: You can setup the KDC-X997 to tune both analog and digital radio stations (Auto), only HD Radio stations (Digital), or only analog radio stations (Analog). The CD receiver offers a variety of tuning options; including Seek, Presets, and Direct Access.
      • Seek Modes: 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.
      • Tuner Presets: The unit'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 KDC-BT952HD 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.
      • Direct Access: You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.
    • 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).
    • 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.

    Internet Radio Apps: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 allows you to access Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Aha Radio online music services through your USB-connected iPhone or Bluetooth-connected Android/Blackberry smartphone. Your Apple iPhone must be connected to the KDC-X997 via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 cable (sold separately, or the cable supplied with your iPhone. Your Android or Blackberry smartphone must support A2DP/ AVRCP/SPP Bluetooth profiles and be paired with the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997. Your iPhone, Android smartphone, or Blackberry device will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi.

    • Pandora App (for iPhone/Android/Blackberry): The free Pandora App (either from iTunes Apps, Google Play, or BlackBerry App World) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS5+) or Bluetooth paired Android/Blackberry smartphone. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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. An active Pandora account is required.
    • iHeartRadio Link (for iPhone/Android): The free iHeartRadio Link app for Kenwood (either from iTunes Apps or Google Play) lets you play music from the iHeartRadio music service through the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+), or Bluetooth paired Android smartphone (2.2+). The iHeartRadio music service provides access to more than 1,500 live radio stations from coast-to-coast (including pop, country, urban, rock, talk, and sports). The KDC-X997 will provide control over the iHeartRadio Link app, as well as display station identification and song/artist information. From the head unit's front-panel controls, iHeartRadio stations can be searched by the following categories (Local, Genre, City, or My Stations). The Local selection provides a list of radio stations in your local listening area. The unit also provides over 22 Genres to choose from (including pop, country, hip-hop, jazz, etc.) to help you find the right radio station for you. In addition, you can search for radio stations by City. Cities can be searched alphabetically (A-Z). You can even store your favorite stations (My Stations) for easier, quicker access. An active iHeartRadio account is required.
    • Aha Radio App (for iPhone/Android): The Kenwood CD receiver offers compatibility with the free Aha Radio app for your USB-connected iPhone (iOS 4.3+) or Bluetooth-paired Android smartphone (2.2+); available from iTunes Apps or Google Play. Aha Radio provides you with up to the minute content made available from the convenience of Kenwood's front-panel controls and LCD screen. Listen to the latest Facebook updates or Tweets from your friends. Listen to thousands of stations that include internet radio, podcasts, and audiobooks. Receive traffic information, restaurants and coffee locations personalized to you instantly, safely, and easily. An active Aha Radio account is required.
    Note: Access to these Internet Radio services will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone or Android/Blackberry smartphone to connect to the Internet. Not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    SiriusXM Ready: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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
    • Tune Start allows you to choose whether to start a song from the beginning or from its live point when tuning to a preset music channel.
    • Song/Artist Alert with visual notification of your favorite songs or artists
    • Supports the SiriusXM Instant Replay function, so you can pause, rewind, and replay up to 30 minutes of live content
    • iTunes Tagging for connected iPod/iPhone
    • 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.

    iPod/Android/AUX Integration

    iPod Direct Connection w/ DAC Bypass: The KDC-X997's front-panel USB port or rear-panel USB port can act as an iPod/iPhone high-speed direct connection when used with the optional Kenwood USB Direct Connection Cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the USB/iPod cable that comes with your iPod/iPhone. If you have an iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), or iPhone 5/5C/5S; use the Lightning-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect to the head unit. Using either cable allows audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of select iPod/iPhone models from the KDC-X997.

    • DAC Bypass: This USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's large music libraries to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 24-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 105dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of music files and podcasts stored on your iPod or iPhone, as well as music apps streamed to your iPhone.
    • Music Control: You can choose to control the iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.
      • Head Unit: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). The head unit also supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
      • iPod/App Mode: In iPod/App mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps (such as 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-X997 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-X997 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-X997 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/19/2013):

    Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Specific Apps Display Type Bluetooth iTunes Tagging Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod/App Pandora app iHeart Link Aha Radio Artist/Song Text Track Info Phone Audio Siri
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y Y N N Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y N Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
    4S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5C 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    4th 6.1.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    5th 7.0 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y N N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    7th 1.02 PC Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y
    video 5th 1.3 Y N Y N N N N Y Y N N N N Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    2 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    3 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y N
    mini 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N 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.

    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

    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-X997 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.

    Disc & USB 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. The unit also supports playback of MP3/WMA/AAC music files loaded onto CD-R/RW discs. The CD slot is hidden behind a manual fold-up cover which blends in the front-panel of the head unit.

    Dual USB Ports: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover and a rear-panel USB (type-A) port attached to the rear-chassis by a 38" cable. The USB ports enable connection 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 USB ports support audio playback and control of MP3, WMA, & AAC audio files stored on these portable USB mass-storage class devices. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB ports (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On. You cannot connect a USB device via a USB hub or Multi-Card Reader to this unit.

    MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 supports the following types of MP3, WMA, AAC, & WAV files recorded onto CD-R/RW disc or loaded onto a USB mass storage class device.

    Media Type CD-R/RW USB Storage Device
    File System ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, Long file name FAT 12/16/32
    Playable File Types MP3: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WMA: bit rate of 32-192 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    MP3: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WMA: bit rate of 32-192 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
    WAV: bit rate of 16-bit w/ sampling rate of 44.1 kHz
    Maximum # of Folders/Files 500 folders/500 files (500 files per folder) 999 folders/20,480 (999 files per folder)
    Tags ID3 tags (ver.1.0/1.1/2.2/2.3/2.4), WMA tags, AAC tags

    Text Scroll: The KDC-X997 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-X997 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.

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 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

    Display Features

    Detachable Face w/ Hidden CD Slot: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 features a hidden CD slot behind a manual fold-down cover which blends in the front-panel of the head unit. The KDC-X997 also features a detachable face to deter theft (cloth pouch for storing the face-plate included). 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.

    Multi-Line Text Display: The 3-line full dot LCD makes it easy to navigate through your disc's music, radio presets, iPod music library, USB content, Bluetooth audio, or phonebook contacts. The KDC-X997 offers 5 different display types:

    • 3-line display mode with 3 lines of text.
    • 2-line display mode with 2 lines of text.
    • Spectrum analyzer display mode with 1 line of text and spectrum analyzer.
    • Clock display mode with clock & date.
    • Display off mode which turns off the display and button illumination.

    Note: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 offers English, French, and Spanish menu text.

    Variable Color Illumination: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 features variable color display and button illumination. You can choose to use the same color for the LCD display and button illumination, or use a separate color for each one. You can 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.

    Note: You can switch the in-dash head unit's display between a positive or negative effect. You can also adjust the display's contrast from 1-30.

    Illumination Effects: The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 offers two unique key-button illumination effects.

    • Illumination Operation Sync: This function sets whether the head unit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the key-button operation.
    • Illumination Music Sync: This function set whether the head unit's key illumination color is changed in conjunction with the system's sound & volume level.

    Dimmer: The dimmer function will dim this unit's display automatically when the vehicle light switch is turned On when you connect orange/white Illumination wire of this player. You can also choose to dim the display manually. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain the same brightness.

    Clock/Date Display: The in-dash CD receiver features a 12-hour clock and date (M/D/Y) display.

    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-X997 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

    4 questions already asked

    Australia and the US both utilize the odd number frequencies for FM, so this radio should do fine to tune in stations there. [ Jeff  Jan 17, 2014 ]  Staff
    As long as the sun isn't directly on it, it will still be legible [ DEREK  Jan 11, 2014 ]
    No it is not visible in bright light. [ DUSTIN  Jan 06, 2014 ]
    no way none of them are. [ EDWARD M  Jan 05, 2014 ]
    It is a great receiver, but unfortunately it is difficult to see the display in certain light conditions. I have changed the colors and switched between "positive and negative" backlight, but if you get it right for one lighting condition it makes it difficult to see in the opposite condition [ TODD  Jan 05, 2014 ]
    It is visible in bright light, but it is difficult to read. My biggest problem with the visibility of the screen is when I'm wearing polarized sunglasses (which is most of the time) the text is impossible to read. That may be common to all LCD screens though. Overall, I haven't been very impressed with the KDC-X997 and I wished I had bought something else, maybe an Alpine or Pioneer. [ DENNIS  Jan 05, 2014 ]
    No . The product itselft is great it's dificult to read in sunny days. Carlos [ CARLOS  Jan 05, 2014 ]
    Yes and No. It depends on what colors you have the display set as. I can see mine in the bright light besides when it has direct sun on it. my display is set to one of the darker oranges. [ BLAKE A  Jan 05, 2014 ]
    I would have to say No. In bright sunlight, with or without sunglasses, the display isn't clearly visible regardless of the text color, although I found that Style 23 (in the green end of the spectrum if I recall correctly) was the best I could get but still not bright enough. [ PATRICK M  Jan 05, 2014 ]
    As far as I know you can turn the main display off, but the button lights stay on. You might go to a brick/mortar and look at the other Kenwood head units to check the features and then get the excelon from Crutchfield. [ THOMAS DOYLE  Mar 03, 2014 ]
    On the KDC-X997, the display illumination is controllable. You can turn it off completely, dim it to your preferred brightness level, and even pick whatever color you like. [ MICHAEL R  Mar 02, 2014 ]
    The display color can be set, so you can choose a color easy on your eyes (such as red). You can also select in the menu dimming options which are Auto (Dims display when headlights are used), OFF (Dimmer OFF), ON (Dimmer ON), and Display ON/OFF to turn screen completely off if you like. The display is highly configurable with color, brightness, and type. [ Naomi  Mar 02, 2014 ]
    Unless your vehicle has a dimmer wire it is not dimmable. However there are many ways to make it dimmable.. you can always run a wire from your dash light dimmer into the stereo dimmer, or install your own dimmer and run the wire to a power source. But in most cases no. However, you can also change the color of the display.. and some of the colors are much easier on the eyes compared to others at night (red). [ Aaron  Mar 02, 2014 ]
    Yes, it is dimmable. The display is extremely configurable. Settings from the manual: "Auto": Dims the display in conjunction with the Light switch of the vehicle. "Manual1": Dims the display constantly. "Manual2": Dims the display darker than that in the Manual1 mode. "OFF": Does not dim the display. [ Stephen  Mar 02, 2014 ]
    The display has 2 settings for you. One will dim automatically when you turn your lights on by basically switching to the negative display, and lowering the key lights. You can also choose a display that goes completely black after several seconds. It sounds like the 2nd option would be better for you. [ DEWEY  Mar 02, 2014 ]
    Dimmable, wire it to your headlight switch [ DANIEL  Mar 02, 2014 ]
    B-UP, sorry to say but the older Sirius satellite radio won't work. I have this unit, sweet. It might be time for a upgrade. [ LILTON  Jan 14, 2014 ]
    We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question. [ Jeff  Jan 02, 2014 ]  Staff