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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997
CD receiver (New Stock)
Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 by Crutchfield's Jon Paulette
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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
- 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:
- compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required)
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Kenwood Excelon KDC-X997 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Memory Card Slot||USB memory|
|Satellite Radio Ready||SiriusXM|
|RMS Power Output||22 watts|
|Peak Output||50 watts|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||20-20KHz|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||Yes|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||No|
|Preamp Voltage||4 volts|
|Key Button Color||Variable|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||Adapter required|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
|FM Sensitivity||9.3 dBf|
|Radio Data System||Yes|
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.
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.
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 HDRadio.com 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 SiriusXM.com 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 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, Last.fm, 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|
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|
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 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
AAC: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48 kHz
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
AAC: 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 Kenwood.com 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
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.
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.
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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 ]
2 answers Has anybody connected this unit to an older Sirius satellite radio tuner and have it work? I have a first gen Sirius tuner that I would really like to continue using with a replacement head unit, hopefully this unit if it is compatible. My tuner is model KTC-SR903 if anybody has used the same unit either successfully or not so successfully. Thanks in advance! [ BenUp Dec 31, 2013 ]
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