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Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System
Add Kenwood gear to your factory stereo
Our take on the Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System by Crutchfield's Zak Billmeier
Kenwood's KOS-A300 radio upgrade system lets you add sources to any factory radio with a 3.5mm auxiliary input. There's no complicated installation all you have to do is connect its hideaway box to your auxiliary input and start plugging in new sources. No matter what sources you add, you'll see relevant info on the included dash-mountable, 5-line display. The wired multi-control wheel makes it easy for you to access all system functions. And you can even change its illumination color to match your interior lighting.
Add Kenwood gear to your stereo
You can connect Kenwood components, so you can choose from the entertainment variety of a satellite radio, the extended play of a multi-disc CD changer, or the enhanced sound quality and programming of HD Radio™. The KOS-A300 also allows you to use optional Kenwood adapters with your factory radio. You can add Kenwood's Bluetooth adapter to make hands-free calls with your compatible phone through your stereo system.
Easy to add other gear, too
The box gives you a stereo RCA auxiliary input that lets you connect a portable MP3 player or almost any audio source. And you'll gain a USB slot, which lets you connect your iPod or iPhone™ using its standard docking cable or Kenwood's rugged automotive-grade iPod cable. You'll enjoy great sound quality, plus keep your iPod charged as you drive, and you can navigate through your albums, artists, and playlists using the included control wheel. The USB input also plays the MP3 and WMA files you've saved on a thumb drive.
You can add the SC-C1 satellite radio tuner for only $39.99 when you buy it with this Kenwood. This tuner, along with your subscription, allows you to enjoy satellite radio in just about any vehicle. How great is it to tune into your favorite music channel and listen for hours as you drive from state to state? Ask any truck driver.
Installation was a breeze. Followed the instructions and custom installed it in my 2012 'Chevy Impala. Looks great and works wonderfully.
Ba, Beards Fork, WV
What's in the Box:
- External media controller hide-away box
- LCD display unit with attached 10' cable terminated by a proprietary connector
- Rotary controller with attached 6.5' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector
- 8' Power/ground harness
- 10' stereo minijack-to-RCA audio cable
- 58" USB cable (with a male USB type-A connector on one end and a female USB type-A connector on other end)
- LCD display unit flush-mount bracket
- LCD display unit self-adhesive stand
- Self-adhesive stand's mounting bracket
- Rotary-knobs surface mount bracket
- 2 Angled spacers
- Four 2mm x 5mm machine screws
- Six 2mm x 10mm machine screws
- Two 2mm x 11mm machine screws
- Six 3mm x 14mm machine screws
- Two 4mm x 7mm mounting screws
- Two 4mm x 16mm mounting screws
- Two 4mm x 16mm self-tapping screws
- 3.5" x 1.625" plastic removal tool
- Two-side self-adhesive pad
- 2 Velcro strips
- 2 Wire ties
- Instruction Manual (English)
- Instruction Manual (Fre/Spa)
- Warranty Card
- 2 Correction notes
- "Attention!" note
- Display template
- factory radio upgrade system
- package includes hideaway connection box, dash-mount 5-line display, and wired multi-control wheel
- add sources to any radio with a 3.5mm auxiliary input
- add Kenwood adapters and components to your stereo
- plugs into your stereo's auxiliary input
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Kenwood KOS-A300 Factory Radio Upgrade System Reviews
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Features and Specs
Overview: The Kenwood KOS-A300 External Media Controller is a factory radio upgrade solution which allows you to add an iPod or Zune portable digital music player, advanced Bluetooth hands-free phone operation (via optional Bluetooth module), and Satellite or HD Radio (requires optional tuner) to your existing factory audio system (which must include an auxiliary input). The KOS-A300 also includes an Auxiliary input for connection of any portable audio device. The Kenwood KOS-A300 is a 3-piece device which includes a LCD Display Unit, Rotary Control Knob, and Hide-Away Module.
LCD Display Unit: The Kenwood KOS-A300 includes an external LCD display to indicate source information from your connected devices (such as iPod text, Satellite or HD Radio text, or Bluetooth text). The LCD display offers 4-lines of text, or 2-lines of text with graphics. The LCD display also offers variable illumination (10 colors) so your can customize the KOS-A300 to match your vehicle's dash lighting. In addition, the LCD display offers an adjustable contrast (1-10) and adjustable dimmer (Auto/On/Off). The LCD display can either be flush or surface mounted. The LCD display comes with a flush-mount bracket so the unit can be recessed in the dash for a more custom look. The LCD display also comes with a self-adhesive mount so it can easily be placed on your dash or console. The self-adhesive mount allows you to swivel the LCD display left/right and angle the display up/down. The LCD display features an attached 10' cable terminated by a proprietary connector which plugs into this system's hide-away box.
Rotary Control Dial: The Kenwood KOS-A300 includes a 7-way wired-remote rotary-commander with 3 additional push-buttons. This rotary controller provides complete control over the KOS-A300 and your connected audio sources (such as: iPod, Zune, Bluetooth, HD or SAT Radio). The rotary control dial comes with a surface-mount bracket to install the unit on your dash or console. The rotary control dial features an attached 6.5' cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector which plugs into this system's hide-away box.
Hide-Away Connection Module: The Kenwood KOS-A300 includes a hide-away box which includes all the connections for the system. The hide-away module includes all the necessary audio inputs for connecting your compatible audio devices and an audio output to connect to your factory headunit. The hide-away box features integrated mounting flanges and can easily be installed under a seat. The hide-away module features the following connections.
- Power: The KOS-A300's hide-away module features a 6-pin molex plug for connecting the supplied 8' power/ground harness which includes the following connections: 12V accessory (Red), 12V constant (Yellow), Ground (Black), Illumination (Orange/white), and Mute (Brown).
- Display: This is a proprietary multi-pin port for connecting the LCD display unit.
- Remote In: There is a 3.5mm jack for connecting the rotary control dial.
- USB: The KOS-A300 features a USB type-A port for connecting a portable digital audio device such as an iPod or Zune.
- KAB: This is a proprietary Kenwood port for connecting optional proprietary Kenwood sources, such as: Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM Radio, or Satellite Radio.
- Aux In: The hide-away module features a stereo RCA auxiliary input for connecting a external portable audio source such as a CD player.
- Line Out: The unit's stereo RCA line output connects to your factory radio's auxiliary input to deliver audio from connected audio devices.
USB Port: The Kenwood KOS-A300 features a USB type-A port for connecting a portable USB mass storage device. The KOS-A300 supports the playback of MP3 (8-320kbps), WMA (48-192kbps), and AAC (16-320kbps) audio files stored on a USB mass storage device formatted in FAT16 or FAT32. The unit can recognize up to 500 folders, 4096 files per folder, and 15000 total files. The KOS-A300 also supports basic playback operation (such as: Play/Pause, Folder Skip, File Skip, Random) and text display.
Note: This unit supports the PC application "Kenwood Music Editor Lite version 1.0 or later. When you connect a USB mass storage device with database information added by the Kenwood Music Editor Lite 1.0, you can search a compressed music file by title, album, or artist name.
iPod/Zune Compatible: The KOS-A300's single USB type-A port is also compatible with select Apple iPods (using the Kenwood KCA-iP101 or standard USB/iPod dock cable) and Microsoft Zunes (using proprietary cable supplied with Zune). The unit supports audio playback, control, text display, and charging of select iPod and Zune models. You can choose to control your connected iPod from the KOS-A300's rotary controller or from the iPod's click-wheel/touch-screen (the Zune player's controls will be locked). The Kenwood KOS-A300 allows you to browse your iPod's music content by Artist, Album, Genre, or Composer in alphabetical order (offers only basic playback functions for Zune players). The Kenwood KOS-A300 External Media Controller supports the following Apple iPod and Microsoft Zune models.
- iPod: iPod video (5th gen), iPod classic (80/120/160GB), iPod nano (1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th gen), iPod touch (1st/2nd/3rd gen), iPhone (2G/3G/3GS/4)
- Zune: V2 Zune (80GB), V2 Zune (4/8GB), V1 Zune (30GB)
Bluetooth Ready: The Kenwood KOS-A300 is Bluetooth compatible using the optional Kenwood KCA-BT300 Bluetooth adapter. Using the KCA-BT300 and the adapter's supplied microphone you can make and answer phone calls using the KOS-A300's wired remote-control knob and LCD display, as well as listen to audio files stored on a Bluetooth enabled audio player through your factory audio system. You can make and answer calls from your cell-phone using the KOS-A300 using the unit's wired-remote commander and LCD display; you can dial a number directly, dial from your downloaded Phonebook information (up to 1,000 numbers), or dial out from an outgoing/incoming call list. This unit all supports Voice Recognition if your mobile-phone is Voice Recognition compatible (the unit supports up to 35 voice-tags). In addition, the unit features SMS (Short Message Service) so you can read short text messages that were delivered to your cell-phone on the KOS-A300's LCD display. When your cell-phone is called, the KOS-A300 mutes your factory audio system automatically (you will need to hook-up Brown Mute-Wire of the harness). The KOS-A300 also supports Call Waiting (subscription required) so you can answering an incoming call with your current call suspended. You are able to register up to five compatible Bluetooth cell phones, but only one compatible Bluetooth cell phone can be connected when using the KCA-BT300 adapter.
Note: Visit Kenwood.com for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.
HD Radio Ready: The KOS-A300 is HD Radio ready. HD Radio provides FM broadcasts that are equal to CD sound quality and AM broadcasts that are as good as analog FM stereo broadcasts. With an optional Kenwood HD Radio tuner (item # 113HR300), you will be able to receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 8 multicast programs (HD1 to HD8 and analog). There are also data programs for each program. This new technology will significantly improve audio quality and reception, as well as include information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the KOS-A300's LCD display. You can store 18 FM and 6 AM stations in the unit's preset memory.
Note: You cannot connect the HD Radio tuner along with a Satellite Radio tuner. You can only connect one or the other.
Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio tuner to the KOS-A300
- Sirius: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SIRIUS Universal Vehicle Tuner (607SCC1) and the optional Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface (113CASR20V); package # 700SIRKENV; or you can connect the optional CA-SR20V Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio Interface and the SiriusConnect vehicle docking kit (607SCVDOC1); package # 700SIRKENP, along with your compatible SIRIUS Dock & Play receiver. SIRIUS Satellite Radio features more than 120 streams of original programming beamed coast-to-coast, including 65 streams of commercial-free, digital-quality music, and news, talk, sports, entertainment, and children's programming.
- XM: A portable XM Satellite Radio receiver can be connected to the headunit via its auxiliary input.
Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.
Auxiliary Input: The KOS-A300 External Media Controller features a stereo RCA auxiliary input for connecting an external portable audio device, such as a CD player. The unit's auxiliary input's name can be set to AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV. You can adjust the input level of the auxiliary input from -8 to +8.
Favorite Control: You can register the operation procedure to select your favorite Satellite or HD Radio, broadcast station, iPod Playlists/Artists, or Bluetooth phone number, allowing you to find your favorite selections quickly.
LCD Display Unit:
- Width = 3.9375"
- Height = 1.625"
- Depth = 0.875"
LCD Display Flush-Mount Bracket:
- Width = 4.875"
- Height = 2.5625"
- Depth = 0.9375"
- Width = 4.145"
- Height = 1.815"
- Depth = 0.875"
Rotary Control Dial:
- Width = 2.365"
- Height = 2.635"
- Depth = 1.765"
Hide-Away Connection Module:
- Width = 6.875"
- Height = 1.25"
- Depth = 5.795"
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