CD player with MP3/WMA/AAC playback
Our take on the Kenwood DPX-501 by Crutchfield's Tim Sprinkle
Just because your car has a double-sized factory stereo opening doesn't mean you have to settle for subpar performance. Kenwood's DPX-501 CD player adds superb sound, great looks, and useful features to that 4" tall space, along with MP3, WMA, and Apple's AAC format playback.
The DPX-501's USB input makes it easy to connect a portable music player, and it can also provide power and control options for select players you'll also find a standard auxiliary input jack for non-USB portables. Kenwood's ACDrive helps you navigate through your digital music files while you're driving down the road, with spoken cues that guide you through the various folders.
You can contour that sound to your heart's content with six preset tone curves for quick adjustments, plus bass, treble, and midrange controls for hands-on customization. Built-in frequency filters allow you to optimize the system by matching the music to your speaker setup for better, more realistic sound.
The DPX-501's oversized faceplate features Kenwood's big fluorescent display it's easy to read and it won't wash out in bright sunlight. If you have a larger system in mind, this stereo will control an optional satellite radio, iPod adapter, CD changer, or HD Radio tuner. Two sets of preamp outputs make it easier to connect your external amps and subs. Let your passengers run the show with the included wireless remote.
- CD player with built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
- CD, CD-R, and CD-RW compatible (including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files)
- AAC music file playback (not compatible with songs downloaded from the iTunes Music Store)
- USB input
- ACDrive (PhatNoise Media Manager software included) announces artist, album, and genre names
- System Q Sound Control (6 EQ curves)
- 3-band equalizer
- 24-bit digital-to-analog converter
- System E's+ high- and low-pass filters
- two sets of preamp outputs (rear outputs can be switched to subwoofer mode)
- SIRIUS Satellite Radio-ready (SIRIUS tuner, subscription, and antenna required)
- HD Radio ready (separate tuner required)
- CD changer controls
- controls for Kenwood's optional iPod adapter
- auxiliary input (rear RCAs, adapter required for optional second Aux-In)
- wireless remote
- dual zone control
- CD frequency response: 10-20,000 Hz
- CD signal-to-noise ratio: 105 dB
- FM sensitivity: 9.3 dBf
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Double-DIN AM/FM/CD/Changer controller receiver with 10A fuse inserted in chassis
- Trim ring
- Trim plate
- Wiring harness
- 56" USB cable (has a USB Type A connector on one end and a USB Type A port on the other end)
- Wireless remote control (RC-527)
- 2 "AA" batteries
- 2 Removal tools
- 4 Strips of double-sided adhesive
- 6 Panhead ISO-mount screws
- 6 Countersunk ISO-mount screws
- Kenwood Advanced Codec Drive CD-ROM
- Instruction Manual (English)
- Instruction Manual (Spanish)
- Instruction Manual (French)
- Media Manager Installation Manual (6 languages)
- Warranty Card
- Sheet concerning Demo mode (attached to receiver)
Perfect fit in the dash of my '05 Sierra. Powering a set of Excelon X-170's in the front doors and a set of X-460's in the rear. A single 10" sub at 150w RMS provides the thump. Deck has tons of settings and features to tweak the sound to your liking. Highly recommended.
Kenwood DPX-501 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Memory Card Slot||No|
|Satellite Radio Ready||Sirius|
|RMS Power (CTA-2006)||N/A|
|RMS Power (Manufacturer)||---|
|Peak Output||50 watts|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||30-20kHz|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||No|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||Yes|
|Preamp Voltage||2.5 volts|
|Key Button Color||Red|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||---|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|FM Sensitivity||9.3 dBf|
|Radio Data System||Yes|
USB Port: The front-panel USB port allows you to play USB mass storage devices loaded with AAC, MP3, and WMA files. MP3 files with a bit rate from 8-320 kbps and WMA files with a bit rate from 48-192 kbps are supported.
AAC/MP3/WMA Playback: The receiver can play AAC, MP3 and WMA files recorded on CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, and Romeo formats. Each disc should have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 100 folders, and 4096 files per folder. During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag information. AAC ID3 tags cannot be displayed.
Kenwood Advanced CODEC Drive: The DPX501 features Advanced CODEC Drive (ACDrive) to help you organize your digital music files and burn CDs with advanced features. With the PhatNoise Media Manager (on the supplied CD-ROM software), you can browse compressed audio files by playlists, artists, albums or genres. The receiver's built-in Voice Index will "announce" artist, album, and genre names when an ACDrive disc is played. The software will also help you rip music from CDs and encode them as AAC files. To help you keep up-to-date, the Media Manager software allows you to download new CODECs and features and download them to a CD for upgrading the receiver. (See Minimum Computer Requirements below for installing the software on your computer).
Satellite Radio Ready: The head unit is directly compatible with the SIRIUS SIR-KEN1 Satellite Tuner for Kenwood (item # 607SIRKEN1).
Note: In addition to the optional satellite tuner, you will also need the proper antenna and a subscription to SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
System Q Sound Control: Six EQ curves are preset into memory, allowing you to recall the best preset EQ curve for different types of music. Each preset has its own level settings for bass (100Hz), midrange (1kHz), and treble (10kHz). Each level can also be set to your personal taste between -8 and +8 and stored in the "User" memory.
Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the System Q Sound Control settings according to the type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of "SP Off" (flat), "SP OEM." (for OEM factory speaker systems), "SP 6x9/6" (for systems with 6" and 6"x9" speakers), or "SP 5/4" (for systems with 4" and 5" speakers).
Note: The Speaker Setting affects the bass, midrange, and treble values of the System Q EX presets. The speaker setting should be selected first.
System E's+: In addition to System Q Sound Control, the DPX501 features the System E's+ crossover system for the speaker and preamp outputs. You can make the following adjustments:
- Front High Pass Filter: 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz, 150Hz, 180Hz, 220Hz, or Through (no filter)
- Rear High Pass Filter: 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz, 150Hz, 180Hz, 220Hz or Through (no filter)
- Low Pass Filter: 50Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz or Through (no filter)
Source Tone Memory: This feature allows you to store System Q bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (CD, FM, AM, Satellite, and CD changer).
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.
Built-in Amp Switch: If the audio signals are output to external amplifiers, you can turn off the internal amplifier to improve audio quality.
Dual Zone System: The DPX501's Dual Zone System allows you to output one source to the front channels and another source to the rear channels. The main source can be the internal disc player, tuner, or a source connected via the 13-pin CD changer input. The sub source is a device connected to the rear RCA auxiliary input. You can assign the sub source to either the front or rear channels. When the Dual Zone System is activated, the volume of the front channels is controlled by the volume knob, while the volume of the rear channels is controlled in the Audio Control menu.
CR-2 Advanced Tuner: This unit uses Kenwood's CR-2 Advanced tuner for clear radio reception. You can choose one of three tuning modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual.
HD Radio Ready: With an optional Kenwood HD Radio tuner (item # 113HR100TR), you will be able to receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. 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 receiver's display.
Radio Data System (RDS): The unit's tuner features RDS (Radio Data System). RDS is a service used by some radio stations to transmit data outside of normal radio broadcast signals. When an RDS station is received, you can immediately find out what kind of data is being transmitted by looking at the program service name. RDS features an emergency transmission function that interrupts regular programming to broadcast an emergency announcement (such as a tornado or severe storm). There is also a switchable Traffic Information function, which will automatically tune a traffic bulletin when it is broadcast, even when you're not listening to the radio.
Clean Reception System Circuit (CRSC): This circuit controls multi-path distortion by reducing stereo separation. As stereo separation is reduced, multi-path has less effect on the radio signal, improving reception in areas with tall buildings and mountains. The CRSC circuit can be turned on or off.
Security Code: You can enter a 4-digit security code which must be used when the unit is removed from the vehicle, or the constant power source is disconnected from the unit. When constant power is restored to the unit, the security code must be entered before the unit becomes operational. The security code may be disabled if desired.
Remote Control: The DPX501 comes with the RC-527 wireless remote control with a full numeric keypad. The remote includes volume control for the rear channels when the unit is operating in the Dual Zone mode. It is powered by 2 "AA" batteries (supplied). The dimensions of the remote are: L=5.369", W=1.968", D=1.198".
Switchable Rear/Subwoofer Preouts: You can switch the rear RCA preamp outputs to a non-fading subwoofer output with independent volume control (-15 to +15), phase control (Normal/Reverse), and selectable crossover (50Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz or Thru).
Display Illumination/Clock Display: When the unit is in Standby mode, the face/button illumination is "keyed." In addition, while the unit is in Standby mode, you can turn the clock display on or off. 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.
Display Illumination Control: When this function is active, the display turns off after 5 seconds if no operation is performed. This reduces the glare during night driving.
Display Dimmer: When the dimmer control is set to "on," the display automatically dims when the vehicle lights are turned on. When set to "off," the display doesn't dim.
Note: In order for the display dimmer feature to operate, the orange/white wire in the supplied wiring harness must be connected to the vehicle's headlight circuit.
Auxiliary Input: The DPX501 is equipped with a built-in auxiliary input. There is a set of stereo RCA jacks on a 6" pigtail on the back of the receiver for connecting an external audio source. The Auxiliary input can be activated/deactivated through the menu. When it's activated, you can select one of six names for the source: Aux, TV, Video, Game, Portable or DVD. When deactivated, Auxiliary does not appear as a source. With an optional adapter (item 113CAC1AX or 113KCAS220), you can also turn the unit's CD changer input into a second auxiliary input.
Optional iPod Adapter: This receiver is compatible with the optional Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod control interface (item # 113IP500). When an iPod is connected to the interface, all of the iPod's controls will be disabled and it will be controlled from the receiver. With this interface, you'll be able to play your iPod music files through your Kenwood receiver and in most cases have all the titling information appear on the receiver's display.
Compatibility: This unit is directly compatible with Kenwood changers manufactured in 1998 or later. If the changer has an O-N switch, the switch will need to be set to the "N" position.
Changer Controls: In addition to basic disc navigation features, this unit has the following changer controls: direct disc access (using the remote), direct track access (using the remote), track intro scan, track repeat, disc repeat, disc random, and all disc random.
CD Text/MD Display: When connected to a CD Text capable CD changer or an MD changer, this unit can display disc and track titles for discs encoded with disc and track title information. The text information can be scrolled manually or automatically.
PhatNoise Media Manager Software: To use Media Manager software, the following software and hardware are required:
- Software: Microsoft Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP
- Personal computer (main unit, display, and peripheral units) incorporating a 500MHz or better Pentium II processor (or the equivalent) on which the above OS can run normally
- 128MB RAM or more
- Hard disc with 200MB free space
- CD-R/CD-RW drive
- Others: Internet connection environment
- Note: Administrator authority is required when installing Media Manager in Windows 2000 or XP
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