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Customer Reviews

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR Navigation receiver

MFR # DNX997XR

4.5 out of 5 stars
39 reviews
View this product
Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Scott from Ellis, ID on 3/31/2024

2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

I installed this in my 07 FJ Cruiser. Fit is nice after figuring out the placement options for mounting brackets. The display is fantastic. It is a little sensitive to the touch when traveling rough roads but I'm getting the feel for it. It improved the sound quality, even with the factory speakers. It has so many features that I'm still learning how to use it. The navigation works good in the remote area that I live in. I used the iDatalink harnesses and Maestro RR module which made installation easer. I did have to call tech support once, which they are great by the way, to complete the wiring. I would like to thank Lee, Dutch and Danny for their help in selecting this unit and the required components to get it installed properly.

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Crutchfield response on

4 of 4 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Walter from Tomball, TX on 3/26/2024

2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Camper Van

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Easy replacement, good color and brightness.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Dnx997xr

Adam from Charlotte Hall, MD on 3/21/2024

2001 Ford F-350

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Great unit (dnx997xr) does everything I need and more. I plan to expand my sound system in the future and this this checks all of the boxes. Very happy with the capacitive touchscreen.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Happy customer

Kenneth from Ashley Falls, MA on 3/18/2024

2012 Toyota RAV4

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

This Kenwood has more features than I need right now, however it has all the features I want right now with the ability to add in the future. Having Crutchfield tech support proved priceless in this installation.

Pros: Had all the features I wanted & the ability to add cameras later.very easy installation

Cons: Pricy but it had all the features I needed

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0 of 0 found this helpful

2018 Dodge Grand Caravan

Michael from Kingston, MA on 3/13/2024

2018 Dodge Grand Caravan

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Awesome radiao. Has everything all the new cars have and then some. Put it in my mother's minivan that has TPMS sensors buy when saying low tire wouldn't tell you which one. This connects to the ODBii port via the adaptor from the wire harness kit (could probably be tapped but I decided to just plug it in) now it has individual tire readout on the unit and has a number of other gauges accessible (can't remember which ones right now) I did have to spend extra to get everything to work properly and function with all OEM controls. That is typically these days though. I would highly recommend this unit, but depending on the car model be prepaid to spend 3-4 hours on the install properly routing and tucking wires away and confirming connection.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

3rd Gen Tundra install

John from Kyle, TX on 3/9/2024

2020 Toyota Tundra

Verified customer (What's this?)
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2021 Tundra, non-JBL, with factory amp (removed): My Tundra already had the door speakers replaced, sound deadener, subwoofer added, Rockford Fosgate 5-channel amp, getting speaker level signal converted by Audio Control LC7I. It sounded miles over factory. But never sounded good enough for me. The DNX997XR has completed the stereo system. Now with 5-volt preamps, the LC7i is gone. Amp is getting crisp and clear signal that makes those speakers jam. For Tundra owners: if you want an in-dash unit, I recommend this DNX997XR or it's cheaper sister (same unit without built-in Nav) because the face TILTS. Units with a fixed front face will not be adjustable to meet angle of dash fascia around it, if you prefer look. My main concern with this model: no volume knob. I thought it would bother me. After three drives in the truck it didn't bother me. The volume button is fine. We use steering wheel controls mostly (make sure to program the Maestro so that holding Volume down does *not mute; make another button mute). Sound: Awesome. Lit my system up it's on fire. No line out converter can beat 5-volt preamp clarity. The equalizer, effects, crossovers. Somehow it's able to adjust the tweeter level of the JL Audio C3-650s in the front doors (don't have to take door panel off to get to the passive crossover). Interface: After you set it up, turn the Demo *off. It is a learning curve, be patient, the end result is a great unit. You can adjust the home page to

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Very pleased so far.

Peter from Westborough, MA on 1/20/2024

2018 Toyota 4Runner

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

The sound is great. And so far I'm very happy. However, I'm new to CarPlay,and navigating the menus can be a bit much, but it's still intuitive. It's very much two operating system in one. I wish it was a little more seamless between CarPlay and Sirius XM.

Pros: Great sound and amazing options for a OE style installation.

Cons: Menus are a bit much. It's about time the functions of CarPlay and the radios base OS became integrated. If you want to listen to XM you have to navigate out of CarPlay.

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6 of 6 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Peter from Billings, MT on 1/7/2024

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

The CarPlay looses it's connection on occasion, appears something is causing interference with the signal, as it does it when I drive by the same locations. Other than that the unit sounds real good.

Pros: good sounding system

Cons: CarPlay occasionally disconnects.

Crutchfield response on

3 of 3 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Wayne from Silver Springs, FL on 12/12/2023

2019 Ram Promaster

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Verified employee review (What's this?)

Screen-Excellent Buttons-Must have. Programming- Not completely intuitive, somewhat steep learning curve. Overall a nice unit.

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3 of 3 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Patrick from ENNIS, TX on 10/23/2023

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Absolutely great OEM replacement deck. Sounds much better than factory with an Audio Control LC7. Is a perfect drop-in replacement to the factory deck and has a better nav system which can now get updated maps again.

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

John from Lynn, MA on 9/18/2023

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

I do like what the radio offers but not in use yet as the installer is having a problem with the cameras in my motor home as working properly so I'm at a standstill with it but i hope it works for me

Pros: It has what i wanted and need fir the motor home and wanted the blue tooth connection and gos

Cons: Hard time connecting the 3 cameras to it so they work together with the directionals should have been easier to connect

Crutchfield response on

2 of 2 found this helpful

Best improvement i made

Frank from Irmo, SC on 7/28/2023

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

What an upgrade from my original radio. When setting up it asked what truck you even have. Don't recommend an open box model had trouble but once I bought new a difference. I wish start up was quicker but all cars have that issue

Pros: Appearances Operator friendly Brings dash to life Automatic connects

Cons: Had to modify the dash holder, to fit dash. Took 2 radios cause open box was terrible

Crutchfield response on

1 of 2 found this helpful

Disappointed

John from PITTSBURGH, PA on 2/17/2023

2005 Ford Mustang

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Good sound , very slow boot up , crash's with volume turned up

Pros: Sound , graphics

Cons: Very slow boot up (over 1 minute) crashes with volume turned up

Crutchfield response on

11 of 14 found this helpful

Kenwood Disappoints

Steve from Atlanta on 1/10/2023

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Kenwood canceled INRIX weather. All of a sudden I noticed some of my features stopped working. Upon further searching I found an article from Kenwood stating that INRIX will stop on 01/01/2023. Isn't that so convenient. Promote it, advertise it and then customers purchase the unit and a feature is just gone. It will be my last Kenwood product for sure.

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Crutchfield response on 1/10/2023
Steve, we're sorry you're having issues with your receiver. If you purchased this product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can help you solve the problem or set up a return within 60 days of purchase. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

8 of 15 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon DNX997XR

Crutchfield customer from Uxbridge, MA on 5/10/2022

2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

The screen on this navigation receiver is outstanding. It is bright and clear like a 4k TV screen. Only downside to this is I am having trouble updating the map. I follow directions and it doesn't complete the update.

Pros: Screen, map quality, features

Cons: Can't get map update installed.

Crutchfield response on

6 of 6 found this helpful

Great system

Gregory from Johnson City, NY on 4/11/2022

2019 Toyota Tundra

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Exactly what it states, sound is great, interoperability is great, screen is crisp and clear. Does take about 10 seconds to boot up, but so does the OEM and others

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Crutchfield response on

2 of 2 found this helpful

Avalon install

Randall from Walnut, CA on 2/23/2022

1997 Toyota Avalon

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Good touch response and works flawlessly with apple car play. Lot of wires to hide behind the dash but this is expected with any modern head unit. Clean aesthetics with crisp sound from stock speakers.

Pros: Smooth screen transitions and great touch feedback. Simple and intuitive.

Cons: To set up auxiliary wires, you have to be comfortable in tapping into your cars wiring. Finding the wires required the removal of panels on the drivers side and passenger glove compartment. Not impossible but added significant time to the install

Crutchfield response on

1 of 1 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

John from Randolph, NJ on 2/12/2022

2012 Honda Ridgeline

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Verified employee review (What's this?)

Very happy with unit. Android car play works well. still leaning ins and outs of unit.

Pros: great screen Android car play works well.

Cons: Start up is slow.

Crutchfield response on

2 of 2 found this helpful

Kenwood screen failure.

travis from Raleigh, NC on 4/25/2021

2013 Toyota Tacoma

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Some cool features, but if I had known it would end up being a piece of junk I wouldn't have got. Bought it for my TACO 2013. Went all out as this radio is compatible with the escort radar and jammer system. First, install, the radar system would freeze up on the radio. So I had the dealer install a manual alert speaker and warning light. It went back again to try and fix this issue and my lightbar. Then they both quit working. Then the radio just konks out about 50% of the time. All the buttons will become unresponsive (manual, screen, and steering wheel). The GPS screen jumps around everywhere. Then out of the blue one random day my truck is dead. THe lightbar magically came on and then drained my battery. After getting a jump, the radio reset itself and the radar has worked like a champ through the kenwood interface. However, shortly afterward back to the 50% unresponsiveness and all my factory preset audio functions (rock, pop, etc) have all disappeared. I only got this because of the garmin maps, which turns out I can only use 50% of time anyways. Do yourself a favor and buy something else and an old fashion road atlas.

Pros: Nice when it works

Cons: Everything when it doesn't work. The swipe screen for weather. You have to swipe just right. I gave up trying to use it long ago it was that frustrating.

Crutchfield response on 5/4/2021
Travis, we're sorry you're having issues with your receiver. If you purchased this product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

4 of 6 found this helpful

Kenwood's Best

Crutchfield customer from Fair Oaks, CA on 2/24/2021

2019 Freightliner M2

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Bad ass head unit! all the bells and whistles.... HD to the max, clarity like no other... the best.

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Crutchfield response on

9 of 12 found this helpful

Amazing Sound! Terrible interface. Thanks jobs for carplay!

Rob from Montgomery, AL on 2/1/2021

2008 Ford Fusion

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Wireless CarPlay and android auto are game changers! The sound out of this reference product is simply stellar. It offers all of the possible inputs and even HD radio if you have local HD broadcasters The ability to get the CMOS-740 and get an HD backup picture is awesome, but why did it take until 2020?? The kenwood user interface is disappointing and a waste of the beautiful high definition screen. It is straight out of the early 2000s in terms of UI design and is crazy slow to load. There's even a promotional video on YouTube where a kenwood employee touts how changing the font size is a new feature for 2020! The saving grace is that android auto and Apple CarPlay take over the entire screen with a clean way to use interface from your phone. FCAs UCONNECT and Ford SYNC provide much better interfaces than what kenwood provides.

Pros: Amazing sound All the inputs you could possibly need HD backup camera ready Wireless android auto and CarPlay

Cons: Takes forever to boot Terrible user interface (Kenwood needs to hire a UI expert or human factors engineer)

Crutchfield response on

10 of 13 found this helpful

The best out there! Garmin built-in maps!

Stephen from CLEBURNE, TX on 12/4/2020

2011 Toyota Camry

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Excellent stereo that's very fast, lots of connectivity to modern car audio devices, and plays nice with the Maestro 2. The internal Garmin maps were a must for me so that I don't have to rely on a cell signal on road trips. The screen is beautiful and Carplay is super quick and easy to setup. Way easier than the Pioneer equivalent!

Pros: Almost everything

Cons: 1) WARNING: Firmware updates require no larger than an 8GB SD card. The stereo freezes if you use an SD card with a larger capacity. To unfreeze the stereo just take out the SD card from the stereo, turn the card off, and turn it back on. 2) I wish the Garmin maps came with lifetime updates. I also wish you could update the system's firmware and Garmin maps wirelessly via your cellphone data connection.

Crutchfield response on

20 of 20 found this helpful

What a great system

Crutchfield customer from San Francisco, CA on 12/3/2020

2010 Honda Civic Hybrid

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

I finally broke down and bought a CarPlay unit and I have to say the install went off without a hitch. They unit sounds great with my stock speakers and I love all the gadgets that you can add.

Pros: Looks great

Cons:

Crutchfield response on

3 of 3 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Crutchfield customer from New Egypt, NJ on 11/22/2020

2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Its a great unit. Makes my system sound so crisp and clear compared to the old one.

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Crutchfield response on

1 of 2 found this helpful

Best Radio/Receiver Ever

Crutchfield customer from Bronx, NY on 10/31/2020

2008 Toyota Sequoia

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Totally awesome radio. This receiver has every feature you could possibly have in an automobile. Not even factory radios comes like this or it would cost you much more for the vehicle. This is everything i ever wanted and much much more. And best of all Crutchfield made it so easy to purchase and install.

Pros: Totally has every feature

Cons: Still trying to have two phones connected and have calls come to the first phone on the list.

Crutchfield response on

2 of 2 found this helpful

have to manually click volume button after level 15.. really kenwood?

Crutchfield customer from Manawa, WI on 9/29/2020

1997 Toyota Supra

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Just received this, and very disappointed in just the way the screen layout is, and how to switch from station to station. For example, if you have presets for sirius xm, in order to go down the list you have to manual click on each station down the list... their isn't a arrow to go in a row. For a manual driving vehicle this is a big pain. The reason i'm returning this and going with a different brand is because you can ONLY hold the volume button down to get up to level 15...anything after that you have to press the button every time (and i think it goes to 30-34 roughly.) Big pain and hassle. It's a feature so you don't blow your speakers that you can't bypass even with buying their remote.

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Crutchfield response on

22 of 35 found this helpful

2015 ford transit-350

Carlos from Soledad.california on 9/3/2020

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Excellent I really liked it many functions and applications it works usb, sd, cards, cd an dvd

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3 of 7 found this helpful

great radio

Crutchfield customer from Woodside, NY on 8/27/2020

2004 Volkswagen Jetta

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

This is the first time I buy keenwood as now is good, i was a pioneer guy and everyone has diferent taste and styles has a great screen and picture

Pros: no pros

Cons: A lot of features

Crutchfield response on

3 of 16 found this helpful

Love this unit.

Crutchfield customer from Kent, OH on 8/25/2020

1993 Mazda Miata

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Most excellent unit.

Pros: It looks, operates, and sounds great.

Cons: Mounting it in my 1993 Miata was not a piece of cake. If you're not handy, don't even think about doing this yourself. If you have a old car, get a shop manual so you know the real color codes of the wires. Crutchfield tried really hard; think they gave me the wires for a '94 Miata not a 1993. I will send them a scan of the manual for anyone who wants to install this in a pre 1994 MAZDA. Also, you have to drill different holes in the standard Mazda side mounting plate. Needed a drill press.

Crutchfield response on

2 of 3 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Crutchfield customer from HAYWARD, CA on 8/13/2020

Verified customer (What's this?)
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The Garman GPS excellent.

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Crutchfield customer from Los Angeles, CA on 8/3/2020

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

I love this Radio in general, cool new features

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1 of 3 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Joe from CHICAGO, IL on 7/28/2020

2010 Ford F-350

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Imo these are the best navigation radio you can get... i installed this one on my 2010 ford f350 xlt paired with the drv-n520 dashcam. Very well satisfied

Pros: 4 cameras, nav, hd screen , 2 USB inputs

Cons: Non known as this time

Crutchfield response on
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2 of 2 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Crutchfield customer from Niceville, FL on 7/12/2020

2007 Toyota Tacoma

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

I bought this unit to replace an older aftermarket radio in my 2007 Toyota Tacoma, and now I never want to leave my truck! I was a little unsure of this as a DIY project, but after reading through to instructions (several times) and getting advice from Crutchfield's technical experts, everything worked as advertised the first time I cranked up my engine (Including the Kenwood CMOS-740HD backup camera I bought to go with it). The Apple CarPlay works seamlessly with my iPhone XS Max, and now I can get rid of all the unsightly cables I used to need to play my phone over the vehicle speakers. The user interface is fairly intuitive and very customizable. I haven't used the built in navigation system much, but when I have, I've been pleased with it's function and accuracy. If you are looking to freshen up the tech in your older vehicle, I would definitely consider this as a top choice, and as always, you can't go wrong with Crutchfield's awesome support and customer service!

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8 of 8 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Henry from Jackson, NJ on 7/11/2020

2005 Ford Thunderbird

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Excellent sound, and more features than I really need. The fit was a bit tight in my 2005 Tbird, but that's the fault of the car, not the radio. A little stuffing of cables and connectors and it all went in nicely. Even with the stock speakers, sound is excellent, The Crutchfield installation kit made it easy to install, and the faceplate match was excellent for the interior.

Pros: Has just about everything. And then some.

Cons: One feature I wish it had was auto volume control. I like to play things loud, but when you get back into the car and forgot to turn the volume down...

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6 of 7 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon Reference DNX997XR

Crutchfield customer from Dorchester, MA on 7/7/2020

2020 Toyota Tacoma

Verified customer (What's this?)
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I've only had this stereo installed for about a week but what a difference coming from the lowest factory option. I'm stilt learning everything it does but feel I have a handle on most of it.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

good

Jacob from Tok on 6/21/2020

2006 Toyota Tacoma

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Well I didn't give it 5 stars because its slow to turn on, but the Toyota OEM stereo was also slow, i don't like warning about driving with this stereo that has to come on every time. But again the Toyota OEM stereo did the same. Otherwise its a great stereo. Better than the OEM stereo. But almost all aftermarket stereo are better than all OEM stereos.

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Crutchfield response on

5 of 15 found this helpful

Great Unit

Mike from Plant City, FL on 6/4/2020

2005 GMC Sierra 2500/3500

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

I finally replaced my old dnx-5160. Wow. What a difference. The screen is bigger. The navigation is improved. I'm still learning all the features. So far so good.

Pros: Clear screen Faster boot up than the older unit

Cons: None so far

Crutchfield response on

5 of 5 found this helpful

Great system

Crutchfield customer from Spring Hill, FL on 5/27/2020

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Good radio, thank god for Crutchfield tech support or I'd still be trying to figure this thing out!

Pros: Blue tooth Apple Car play

Cons: Still can't get live traffic updates to work. Directions are not that clear. Again without Crutchfield tech. I would have put the stock radio back in!

Crutchfield response on

6 of 10 found this helpful

If you love audiophile sound quality and bells and whistles!!

Jason from Salina, KS on 5/18/2020

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Just got this head unit installed over the weekend. Let me just say it is breathtaking!! This completely transformed my system to a new level. I know more than turned it on, set the crossover points and cranked it up with my existing system of Rockford Fosgate amps and component speakers and subs in my Z06 corvette and it sounded phenomenal. I repeat, no fine tuning, EQ at flat and it was the best sounding head unit I have heard, and I have heard a lot of them, mostly Alpine over the years. Combine that with the myriad of features and this thing is an absolute beast. Way to go Kenwood!

Pros: Sound quality, sound quality, sound quality. Oh, and did I mention sound quality? It is relatively user friendly and has fathomable feature you could want.

Cons: The only con is why I did not try out Kenwoods Excelon Reference line sooner.

Crutchfield response on
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12 of 14 found this helpful

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