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Kenwood Excelon XR901-5

Reference Series 5-channel car amplifier — 60 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 600 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms

Item # 113XR9015

Car amplifiers have come a long way.

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Car amplifiers have come a long way.

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Since 1974

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About the Kenwood Excelon XR901-5

Buck Pomerantz

Super-slim amp powers your whole system

Car amplifiers have come a long way. Kenwood's Excelon Reference Series XR901-5 amp can power your entire audio system while taking up an astonishingly small amount of space — it's smaller than a 2" stack of computer paper. But this compact 5-channel workhorse will send 60 watts RMS to each of your front and rear speakers, along with up to 600 watts RMS to your sub. You could also use the XR901-5 in 3-channel mode to drive a pair of high-performance speakers or components with 150 watts RMS each, while still sending 600 watts RMS to a sub.

Super-slim amp powers your whole system

Car amplifiers have come a long way. Kenwood's Excelon Reference Series XR901-5 amp can power your entire audio system while taking up an astonishingly small amount of space — it's smaller than a 2" stack of computer paper. But this compact 5-channel workhorse will send 60 watts RMS to each of your front and rear speakers, along with up to 600 watts RMS to your sub. You could also use the XR901-5 in 3-channel mode to drive a pair of high-performance speakers or components with 150 watts RMS each, while still sending 600 watts RMS to a sub.

High-resolution music

This Excelon Reference Series amplifier has ultra-high-frequency response, up to 40,000 Hz, reproducing sounds that help define audio tone and space even though beyond the range of hearing. Fix this amp up with a nice set of Kenwood high-res Reference Series speakers, and you can enjoy the extended detail and powerful musical imaging of your high-res FLAC or DSD files.

Designed for optimum efficiency

Kenwood packed this amp with space-saving features. Class D technology reduces the size of the power supply, while the internal heatsink is tilted to reduce height without compromising the amp's cooling system. Recessed power and speaker wire terminals help to further reduce the amp's footprint, protect the connections, and give your installation a neat, professional look.

Controls for the best sound

You can contour the sound with high- and low-pass filters so your full-range speakers play efficiently and sound their best. The front and rear channels feature separate gain and filter controls so you can adjust for different types of speakers.

Great bass

The subwoofer channel features its own low-pass filter that'll send the correct frequencies to your sub and enclosure, with an adjustable bass boost that adds some low-end punch when you want it. A wired remote lets you control the volume of the sub channel from the front seat.

Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP

XR600-6DSP control panel


Product highlights:

  • 5-channel amplifier
  • 60 watts RMS x 4 + 400 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms
  • 75 watts RMS x 4 + 600 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • 150 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms + 600 watts RMS at 2 ohms
  • CTA-2006 compliant
  • Class-D amp design — frequency response: 20-40,000 Hz
  • variable low- and high-pass filters on front and rear channels (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • variable low-pass filter on subwoofer channel (50-200 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
More Features:
  • wired remote volume control for sub channel
  • cooling fan
  • preamp inputs
    • signal-sensing turn-on with speaker-level inputs
  • fuse rating: 40A x 3
  • wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
    • 4-gauge power and ground leads recommended
  • 10-1/4"W x 2"H x 7-3/16"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • MFR # XR901-5

What's in the box:

  • 5-Channel amplifier
  • Three 40-amp ATO fuses (installed)
  • Remote Commander
  • Flat washer
  • Hex nut
  • 20' Remote cable (RJ-14 modular plugs on each end)
  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • 2.5mm Allen wrench
  • 4 Self-tapping screws (length 5/8")
  • Instruction manual (English/ French/ Spanish)
  • Warranty card

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More details on the Kenwood Excelon XR901-5

Mark G.

Product Research


CTA-2006 Compliant: CTA-2006 is a system of testing and measurement methods for mobile audio amplifiers. This voluntary standard advocates a uniform method for measuring an amplifier's RMS power output and signal-to-noise ratio. The criteria for measuring power uses a DC input voltage of 14.4 volts and the RMS power output is measured into a 4-ohm load, with 1% or less Total Harmonic Distortion plus noise (THD+N), and over a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, when applicable. Signal-to-Noise ratio is measured in weighted absolute decibels (dBA) at a reference of 1 watt into 4 ohms. CTA-2006 allows consumers to compare car amplifiers and receivers on an equal basis. Using CTA-2006 criteria, the Kenwood XR901-5 is rated at 60 watts RMS x 4 plus 400 watts RMS x 1 (subwoofer) with a 78 dBA signal to noise ratio.

Specifications: The manual also lists these non CTA-2006 compliant specifications:

  • Power:
    • Full Range: 75 watts x 4 channels (into 2Ω at 1 kHz, with no more than 1% THD, 14.4 volts)
    • Subwoofer: 600 watts x 1 channel (into 2Ω at 100 Hz, with no more than 1% THD, 14.4 volts)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 100 dB (at rated power)

Class D Amplifier Design: The amplifier design is Class D, which uses digital switching power supplies. The result is much higher efficiency (less heat generated) than Class AB.

High-Resolution Audio Compatible: The XR901-5 is compatible with Hi-Res Audio sources which are capable of reproducing frequencies up to 40kHz. Special capacitors and inductors in the amp's LC filter help to reduce noise and distortion to enhance the sound quality. High resolution audio, with sampling frequencies up to 192khz/24-bit, exceeds CD standards (44.1kHz/16-bit), allowing you to hear much more detail and richness in the music.

5-Channel Design: The XR901-5 is made up of three sections, two full range stereo amps (labeled A and B, typically used to power front and rear speakers) and a subwoofer amp (1-channel). The front and rear amps are independently bridgeable, meaning the XR901-5 can be used as a 5-channel, 4-channel, or 3-channel amp. The minimum impedance for each section is 2Ω, 4Ω when bridged.

Crossovers: The front, rear, and subwoofer amplifier sections have independent crossover controls. The front and rear crossovers can be set to high-pass or turned off (full range). The subwoofer crossover is low-pass only and cannot be bypassed. The crossover point for each is continuously variable from 50 to 200 Hz. The high-pass crossover slope is 12dB per octave and the low-pass crossover slope is 24dB per octave.

Bass Boost: The bass boost circuit for the subwoofer section is centered at 40 Hz; boost is variable from 0 to +18 dB.

Aluminum Heat Sink: The aluminum heat sink increases the amplifier's heat dissipation efficiency, increasing the life of the amplifier.

S/N Ratio: A specialized feedback circuit in the amplifier has reduced the noise level by up to 40%, enhancing the Signal-to-Noise Ratio to 100dB at rated power. The internal circuitry is divided into three sections: analog, digital, and power supply sections. Separating these circuits greatly reduces interference between them, thus, noise is decreased and performance and sound quality are increased.

Wired Remote Control: The XR901-5 includes a wired remote control with a 20-foot cable that allows you to adjust the volume of the subwoofer from the cabin of the vehicle.


  • Input Sensitivity: 0.2V-5V; front, rear, and sub independently adjustable
  • Crossover: the front, rear, and subwoofer channels have independent controls for these crossover functions:
    • Mode: the front and rear crossovers can be set to high-pass or off (full range); the low pass filter in the sub channel is non-defeatable.
    • Frequency: each section is continuously variable; 50-200 Hz
  • Bass Boost: 0-18 dB; continuously variable (subwoofer section only)
  • Input Selector: 2-way switch: when there is a connection to the SUB input, select "SUB". when there is no connection to the SUB input, select "AB" and the SUB output signal is created from the AB channels' inputs.

Inputs and Outputs:

  • Signal Input: three pairs of RCA preamp inputs; front, rear, and subwoofer (labeled A, B, and Sub)
  • Power: set screw terminal; accommodates bare wire up to 4-gauge
  • Ground: set screw terminal; accommodates bare wire up to 4-gauge
  • Remote Turn-on: set screw terminal; accommodates bare wire up to 10-gauge
  • Speaker Output: five pairs of set screw terminals (left and right A channels, left and right B channels, and sub); accommodate bare wire up to 10-gauge
  • Fuses: three 40 amp ATO fuses
  • Remote Control: RJ-14 modular jack for connecting the supplied wired remote control
Note: The Power, Ground, Remote Turn-on, and Speaker Output terminals are hidden under a removable panel. The supplied 2.5mm and 4mm Allen wrenches are needed to remove the panel and tighten/loosen the set screws.

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Customer Q&A

7 questions already asked

Can I use this amp with a 4-ohm subwoofer together with the fronts (4ohms) and rears (4ohms)?
roy  Apr 20, 2021
2 answers
I have this amp hooked in my 2006 honda odyssey i have it hooked 4ohm front and rear but the sub is hooked to 2ohm. you could also hook 4ohm to the subs. hope that helps.
ganesh  Apr 20, 2021
Yes I believe that you can you will just have less watts on the subwoofer. Where are 2ohms you will have 600 watts of power. I went with the 2ohms for more power to drive the subwoofer.
albert  Apr 20, 2021
Why is not recommended to add the a 2019 Prius? I do plan to upgrade all speakers plus a new sub
rickster  Mar 28, 2021
1 answer
The amount of power draw from this amplifier is too much for the Prius electrical system to handle. Since hybrid vehicles use other means (like regenerative braking) to recharge I believe it is recommended not to put high current power accessories in these types of vehicles. I believe there are some smaller amps that are recommended for hybrids but they won't have the wattage you might be looking for in a 5 channel amp like this.
kelvin  Mar 28, 2021
Is this scratch and dent NEW with just blemishes?
daniel  Oct 18, 2020
4 answers
I don't know. I bought a brand new one. Didn't want to take a chance of something wrong.
chris  Oct 19, 2020
Daniel, mine came in a box that looked like it was opened but other than that, I can't find a thing wrong with it. It will be mounted under my seat so a blemish or two don't make a difference to me and the fact Crutchfield will stand behind it regardless, you can't go wrong with their "scratch and dent" products. A few blemishes to save some money is well worth it to me. I highly recommend it. Edmund
edmund  Oct 18, 2020
I have had success with scratch and dent. Never buy factory refurbished.
laronjae  Oct 18, 2020
no that is what it cost brand new . Why are you asking if it is scratch and dent ? it is a very good amp.
rene  Oct 18, 2020
I'd like to use this in my 2018 tundra in place of the factory amp and add a subwoofer. If I use hi level input wires from the factory deck into RCAâ??s with some of your adapters, will it work properly? (I see the amp only accepts RCA inputs)
colin  Aug 06, 2020
1 answer
You will want to contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat to discuss compatibility with your factory system. They will be able to pull up your vehicle and see if this will integrate. If it does not, then they will also be able to discuss other options with you.
thomas  Aug 21, 2020 (Staff)
Can you run the 4 channels at 4ohms and the sub channel at 2ohms simultaneously (at the same time)?
kenny  May 21, 2019
2 answers
james l  May 23, 2019
yes, I am currently running 2ohms on front channel and 4 ohm on back channel and running the sub channel on 2ohms. I wanted more music in front, and also gives me 75 watts up front vs the back is at 60 watts, and the sub at a 2ohm load is at 500
david lee  May 21, 2019
Other than bare wire, can this amp accept any type of connections for the speaker terminals (spades style for example)?
joshua  Feb 10, 2019
3 answers
you can use wire ferrules, way better than spades
david lee  Feb 11, 2019
No, it is designed for bare wire.There is a set screw that locks it it.
brent  Feb 11, 2019
No, it doesn't. Bare wire is the way to go. If those terminals start to oxidize, it will cause issues, and it is a task tracking it down.
bruce  Feb 11, 2019
How do I tune this amp?
matthew  Dec 17, 2018
2 answers
i like to turn all gains down, then work with fronts first, depending on speakers adjust midbass blocker down to 100 to start, then have radio at 3/4 volume, then turn gain up till it sounds great without a crackel or distortion. then same on rears, then subs up to 80 hertz and adjust gains, this is what i do
david lee  Dec 26, 2018
A great place to start would be to set the voltage input to match whatever head unit you have. Check the the specs on the speakers you are using for each channel set. For instance, I am using Infinity Kappas all around and a Pioneer sub in the back. The speakers in the front are Infinity Kappa 60.11cs component speakers rated from 45-35,000 Hz. I have the front high crossover set to 50 Hz because they are components. The speakers in rear doors are Infinity Kappa 62.11i coaxial speakers rated from 45-25,000 Hz. I have the high crossover set to 60 Hz because they are coaxials. The Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 10" subwoofer is rated from 20-125 Hz. I have the low crossover set to 110 Hz. Don't let your settings exceed the ratings. A little under is perfect. The sound is incredible! The bass response is just awesome! I have a 2011 Subaru Outback 3.6 Limited. The acoustics in this car are great. The acoustics and stereo settings play a factor too. Of course I have the Kenwood Excelon XR901-5 amp. My head unit is a Kenwood Excelon DDX9903S. The head unit voltage output is 5 volts, so I set the amp to 5 volts input. If you set it lower then the rated voltage, you risk burning out your amp. I don't recommend it. The bass boost is not necessary for mine because I boost it from my head unit. If you use it, use with care. You don't want to overdrive your bass speaker because you can bottom it out, and damage it. I recommend a sealed box. The base is clear and defined, if you use a ported box, it might sound muddy. My combination is tailored to my cruiser, but it is a good starting point. You can tweak it from there. Hope this helps. :-) Bruce
bruce  Dec 23, 2018

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