Is Kenwood a Good Brand for Car Radios?




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While selecting the head unit for the car, you may come across the Kenwood radios. 

While Kenwood stereos are loaded with modern features like Bluetooth connectivity, GPS navigation, or HD radio, you may be wondering if Kenwood is a good brand for car radios? Let’s find out.

Kenwood car radios are known for their excellent quality among car audio enthusiasts because of their affordability and reliability. So whether you are tight on budget or looking for a high-end stereo, Kenwood car stereos will fit your needs.

Tip: If you drive a modern car, there is a chance that your factory-installed stereo is connected to the steering wheel controls.

Likely, in most cases, you do not have to worry about losing the possibility to operate the radio directly from the steering wheel, thanks to iDatalink’s Maestro.

iDatalink’s Maestro is a radio replacement interface for integrating the stereo with factory systems, including steering wheel controls, media player, and hands-free telephone.

The great thing about voice commands is that you can control your car or play music anywhere without touching anything.

In this article, I will highlight the key Kenwood features and will show my best picks of the three radio types:

  • Single DIN
  • Double DIN
  • DVD Receivers

Are Kenwood Head Units Any Good?

To give you an idea of what you will get in a Kenwood car stereo, let me show you some of the features of one of their high-end model, Kenwood DMX1037S.

This stereo comes under the category of the expensive double din car stereo. This high-end head unit will cost you around $1,500, but is it worth the price? Let’s see below. 

Kenwood DMX1037S 10.1" Floating Panel Digital Multimedia Receiver (Does not Play CDs/DVDs) | Apple CarPlay & Android Auto Ready | 10.1” high-Definition Display

Large 10.1-Inch Display

This stereo has a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen display, and for wider viewing angles, this stereo uses AAS technology.

The display is bonded optical to minimize the glare from sunlight, and you can adjust the depth and height of the screen before installation. 

With a wider screen, you can easily access your favorite settings with just one click.

At the bottom of the screen, you will notice a multifunction knob for quick adjustments, so you can further customize the Display to show weather, compass, camera displays, clock, etc. 

Garmin Automobile Maps and Photo Real Junction View

Kenwood DMX1037S has Garmin maps of the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, etc.

The installed Sat Nav provides lane assistance and 3D terrain view, which will give you more assurance of the route.

On top of that, you will get 3 years of free map updates from Garmin. 

Customize Your Display

You can notice the movable widget on the screen that allows you to take out the important stuff at the front screen, such as music sources, weather, navigation, etc.

The INRIX weather widget also comes with a free five-year subscription plan.

In addition, the free portal app of Kenwood allows you to transfer data like photos from your smartphone to this in-dash receiver. 

Adjustable Display

Mounting this stereo in a double din slot is not an issue because there is no DVD player.

Once you have mounted the radio, you can adjust its mounting height and tilt the screen forward and backward depending upon your viewing angle. 

Connect With Android and iPhone

You can connect DMX1037S to your Android and iPhone using android auto and apple car play.

Having your device paired allows you to access features like voice control, navigation, sending text, etc.

Furthermore, for selected android models, this stereo offers a screen mirroring feature which enables you to use your apps on a stereo touchscreen. 

Apart from this, it supports wireless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Furthermore, it has a built-in HD radio tuner to listen to your favorite stations in the highest quality without interruptions or ads.

Uncompromised Sound Quality

The big Display and available widgets help in controlling the sound quality.

The stereo offers features like digital time alignment, 13 band EQ, subwoofer/bass control, and allows you to make quick adjustments.

Since this stereo is from the Kenwood Excelon series, you can tune it with all audiophile-grade components to get the best quality of sound output. 

The stage EQ levels up the low speaker positions to eliminate road noise, and it has Drive EQ which can boost specific frequencies. 

In the DMX1037S, you also get 3-way crossover controls. 

Up to this point, I am sure you are convinced that Kenwood is a good car audio brand, and you can buy one stereo for your car. 

What Are the Best Kenwood Car Stereos Available in the Market?

Below I will show you the best Kenwood car stereos in the single din, double din, and DVD player categories.

Although I briefly explained the key features of the top model, some of them may not be available in the cheaper radios.

Nevertheless, I listed a few of my favorite picks below, whether you are looking for a top-shelf or a more budget-friendly stereo.

Kenwood Single Din Car Stereo

Kenwood single din car stereos are designed to deal with your playlist with their sound quality and reliable performance.

In the single din range, most models are priced between $100 and $200. 

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X704

If you are looking for a solid replacement for your single din factory radio, then do not look further. Kenwood Excelon KDC-X704 is for you.

The KMM-X704 digital media receiver is part of Kenwood’s Excelon series. It incorporates the latest technologies and delivers the highest sonic performance.

From advanced audio tuning capabilities, crossover and equalizer system, high-voltage pre-outs (5V), plus a two-year warranty.

Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with long-lasting dependability. It is equipped as a standard with many features like internal radio control, built-in satellite radio, Alexa voice control, or Bluetooth connectivity.

This CD receiver has a high contrast 1.5-inch one-line display which you can synchronize accordingly to your taste. 

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X704 Single DIN Bluetooth Car Stereo CD Receiver with Amazon Alexa Voice Control

Access Amazon Alexa With a Button

Load the Amazon Alexa app to your smartphone and pair it with your stereo.

Now press the amazon Alexa button on the faceplate, and you can play music, audiobooks, news, get weather updates, etc., using your voice. 

Connect Your Smartphone

To connect your iPhone for playing music and charging it, you can use one of two USB ports allocated, one at the front and one at the back of the radio.

This stereo also has a port for aux connectivity, allowing you to stream music using apps like Pandora and Spotify. 

Connect Over Bluetooth

KDC-704 has Bluetooth version 4.2, and you can pair two smartphones at the same time.

You can also switch between them during hands-free calling.

Sound Controls

This in-dash CD receiver has a mix music feature, time alignment, and 13 band EQ.

You will also get subwoofer level controls to set low and high pass filters. It has 6 channel pre-amp outputs of 5 volts for the front, rear, and subwoofer.

Kenwood KMM-BT328

With Kenwood KMM-BT328hands-free calling and music streaming is 

convenient and easy.

It has most features of the KDC-X704, and the most notable technical differences are:

  • 2.5V pre-amp outputs instead of 5V pre-amp outputs.
  • There is a single USB at the front panel, instead of one at the front and one at the backside.
  • FM Sensitivity 8.2dBf instead of 7.2 dBf
  • It does not have a built-in HD radio.

If you like making your iPhone or Android as a remote to control this stereo, you have to download Kenwood Remote App and use your smartphone to change music and modify receiver settings. 

This single din stereo also supports music streaming apps like Pandora and Spotify.

Along with this, you can also explore your favorite music using iTunes radio and Apple Music.

It has a USB port at the front so that you can load and play songs from the thumb drive. 

Kenwood KMM-BT328 Digital Media Car Stereo w/Bluetooth

Party Time With Kenwood

KMM-BT328 pairs with two smartphones on Bluetooth at one time. You can switch between them for hands-free calling.

Its mix music feature allows you to connect five smartphones simultaneously, turning your car into a party ride where everyone can play their favorite songs. 

Brilliant Sound Quality

Kenwood sound reconstruction feature along with 13 bands EQ helps in restoring the depth, which is often lacking in compressed music files.

The time alignment feature ensures that the sound from speakers at different distances reaches your ear at the same time. 

Kenwood Double Din Car Stereo

If you are looking for a versatile media player for your car, Kenwood double din car stereos are a great option and can cover all the needs and budgets.

Kenwood DMX907S

If you do not want to go too expensive with the astonishing Kenwood DMX1037S but still want good quality and to receive most for the price, I recommend checking out Kenwood DMX907S.

It is an excellent stereo for smartphone integration using Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or if you prefer an HD Radio. The only downside is that, similar to other Kenwood DMX models, it does not play DVDs or CDs.

You can use voice control to control navigation, receive phone calls, reply to text messages, weather updates, etc. 

Kenwood DMX907S 6.95" Capacitive Touch Panel Digital multimedia receiver with Bluetooth & HD Radio (does not play CDs) | With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Crystal Clear Display

This stereo has a 6.95-inch resistive touchscreen display which you can adjust according to your viewing angle.

You can customize the Display of this stereo and add important settings or functions you like to the front screen.

The radio can be installed in any standard 4″ dash opening, and it has two camera inputs for front and rear cameras, which is a standard in this class. 

Music Mix Feature on Bluetooth

Similar to others, Kenwood DMX907S also allows you to pair two devices at the same time over Bluetooth, and you can switch between them at the time of hands-free calling.

The Music mix feature allows you to connect five smartphones simultaneously so everyone in the car can enjoy their favorite tunes, but not at the same time. 

Enhance Sound Quality Features

To enhance sound quality, this stereo uses the following:

  • 13 band EQ
  • deep crossover settings
  • digital time alignment feature

The DMX907S is a fantastic product, and it does not cost a fortune, but if you would prefer something more budget-friendly, check out the next one. 

Kenwood DMX125BT

Kenwood DMX125BT car stereo has a 6.75-inch capacitive touchscreen display and is an affordable upgrade option to your factory car stereo.

It fits easily in 4-inch dash openings, so installation is straightforward.

Kenwood DMX125 / DMX125BT / DMX125BT 6.8 Digital Multimedia Receiver with Bluetooth

One thing you have to remember about if you want to enjoy its complete list of features is that you have to wire it to the parking brake.

For safety, the DMX125BT has one input for a backup camera, which is less than I was hoping for, but this is a budget radio. 

Android Mobile Phone in your Dash

Once you have engaged the parking brake, plug your Android into the USB port and pair over Bluetooth.

The stereo will automatically start mirroring your Android device, and you can access all your apps on your stereo screen within minutes. 

Sound Crafting Tools

This stereo has features like a 13 band EQ, digital time alignment, and deep crossover setting that allows you to fully control the sound quality. 

In addition, the processing power of this stereo restores the depth of your low-resolution music files. 

Those are my best picks for double din models however if you are not interested in the multimedia or not using the Sat Nav, I have one more worth considering with the double-din size.

Kenwood DPX304MBT

Kenwood DPX304MBT in-dash receiver has a three-line Display and a multifunction knob at the center.

For wireless connectivity, it has built-in Bluetooth and supports music streaming apps like Pandora and Spotify.

This double din stereo also has AM/FM radio and an Amazon Alexa voice control feature. 

It has three pre-amp outputs that give you full control over sound quality, and to further control the subwoofer output, you can adjust the low pass filter. 

Kenwood DVD Players

Kenwood has excellent dash DVD players that fit well in the standard double din location. The installation steps are straightforward, and you should not need professional help. 

If the budget is not an issue for your single din DVD player, you should go after Kenwood Excelon KDC-X704, which key features I highlighted earlier in the article.

Kenwood KDC-BT278U

One that is definitely worth considering from more affordable alternatives is the KDC-BT278U, which comes with robust tone control.

KENWOOD KDC-BT278U CD Car Stereo w/ Bluetooth, Single DIN, App Control & AM/FM Radio, USB Port, AUX Input

To make the use of Bluetooth more convenient, it has two buttons on the faceplate:

  • one for music streaming
  • one for hands-free calling

If you do not use Bluetooth, this CD player also supports wired connectivity with your smartphone. 

You can pair two smartphones on Bluetooth at the same time, and this stereo also has music mix technology.

Like other models, it has one pre-amp RCA output set, 13 band EQ, and digital time alignment feature. 

Double DIN Kenwood DVD Players

Kenwood DNX577S

This is the ultimate DVD in-dash car stereo that you can choose for your car. Kenwood DNX577S includes features like GPS navigation, smartphone integration, high-definition music files, and it keeps your kids enjoying the rear screen entertainment systems if you have one installed. 

The 6.75-inch Display offers a great view of maps and an easy way of selecting the music files.

Other features of this product are the Garmin navigation system, lane assistance, Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM tuner, apple car play, Android Auto support, screen mirroring via the app, etc. 

Kenwood DDX376BT

If you want an in-dash DVD player that is simple to operate, a bit less expensive, and still gooks great, then I recommend you check on Kenwood DDX376BT.

Kenwood DDX376BT 6.2" in-Dash Car DVD Monitor Bluetooth Receiver w/USB/AUX

If you include iDatalink’s Maestro with this stereo, it will display the engine’s data and other vehicle information. For the connection guide, check out the video below: 

iDatalink’s Maestro can pair multiple devices on Bluetooth, and with a 13 band EQ, digital time alignment, and Music Mix feature, you can turn your car into the ultimate multimedia center with all needed information at one screen.