Showing 5 reviews for Kenwood KDC-BT952HD

Customer Review Summary for Kenwood KDC-BT952HD
Average Customer Rating is 3.9 out of 5 stars:
3.9
based on 20 Reviews
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Rating Distribution:
5 star:
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50%
4 star:
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25%
3 star:
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2 star:
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10%
1 star:
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15%
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Average Attributes Rating:
Durability
3.9
Value
3.9
Features
4.5
Design
4.0
Usability
3.4
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Quick Comparison:
Most Helpful 4 star Customer Reviews:
February 7, 2013 Typical Kenwood... AMAZING on paper, but only Good in execution
Review by
newby from Charleston, SC
Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
- - - THE GOOD - - -
Durability:
This unit replaced a Kenwood KDC-MP238 originally installed in my 20' Stingray bow rider. To 'weatherize' that unit, the only steps the OEM took was to place it behind a flip down marine face plate cover (not even a good one, definitely not water tight) and cover the top of the head unit with a plastic film. After 4 years of bouncing around and being exposed to salt air AND inadvertent water splashing on the face (with and without face plate in place) I can report no mechanical or electrical failures and surprisingly no corrosion. The old unit was only replaced to add features and is currently still in service in my daily driver/beater vehicle. Unless Kenwood has drastically changed materials or processes I expect this new unit to perform similarly.

Why I chose this unit:
The main reason I stuck with Kenwood for the replacement stereo was ease of installation (it seems most/all kenwoods use the same harness) and compatibility with the marine remote controls I already had installed.

Inputs and Features:
The main features that drew me to this unit vs other Kenwood offerings were: Pandora/Android compatibility, HD radio BUILT IN, better EQ, 3 RCA outs, blue tooth, rear usb and 3.5mm jack. The KDC BT952HD did all of this for the cheapest price. It really is a jack of all trades as far as inputs.

Other:
The rotary volume control is much improved over my previous unit. LCD color selection is nice (I choose white for maximum visibility in bright sunlight). The CD player is able to cope fairly well with mild chop. If you install in a car or different boat (stingrays are known to ride rough... flat bottom = speed) you will be hard pressed to get this thing to skip. I have this unit paired with one of the Rockford Fosgate 5ch 1000 watt class D amps (P1000X5D) and the unit delivers very clean sound.

- - - THE BAD - - -

-I could do without the flip down screen for CD access. Feels cheap.
-Audio setup menus are cryptic and cumbersome at BEST
-Blue tooth setup more hassle then it should be
-Re-Pairing with a stored device is finicky and unreliable (Galaxy S3)
-EQ is good but DSP and speaker size settings are rather useless
-Generic blue tooth connectivity vs. pandora linking is rather goofy and feels like it was added on after the fact (see BOTTOM LINE)
-LCD graphics are cheesy
-ALL settings are stored in volatile memory... ie if you lose battery power, ALL settings are lost. This wouldn't be a huge deal if it didn't take 20 minutes to re-input all of the EQ and crossover settings. This is a bigger deal for me as I like to disconnect my batteries when the boat is not in use.


- - - BOTTOM LINE - - -
This is a well constructed unit that has an expansive feature set, high quality pre-amp signal, ability to connect to EVERY device you may come across and does all of this for a fraction of the cost compared to competing brands.

HOWEVER, like every Kenwood unit I've owned (this is my 4th) it simply doesn't live up to the hype. Like all Kenwood's, the features are there but do not work as you would expect. The interface lacks polish and feels incomplete. A word of advice: if you buy a Kenwood, do not expect it to do anything that requires an add on module. They always suck.

Every time I buy a head unit, I look at the other brands. In most cases, I would rather have the other brands but ultimately I end up settling for Kenwood because of the price. That cost savings is always at the expense of the user interface. That is the only compromise I'm ultimately willing to stomach as I refuse to listen to crap and at least Kenwood always delivers on hardware and sound quality...

Ultimately, if you want the most bang for your buck, this is a winner. If you want a rewarding user experience and slick interface, look elsewhere.
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December 19, 2012 Great Choice
Review by
George from El Dorado, CA
Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
This is an excellent radio with great sound and loads of features. I had some issues with it in the beginning but once I updated the firmware it solved the problems. The menu is difficult as there are just too many things that you must set and if you loose battery power you get to do it all over again. The display is very difficult to see during the day but I put a cell phone anti-glare screen over it and it helped.
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December 4, 2012 great unit
Review by
scott from flower mound, TX
Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
The controls are not for a novice user. I like the amount of detailed adjustments. The Bluetooth works great. I live a little further out so the HD likes to cut out.
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September 19, 2012 Good Product
Review by
Buck from Chesaning, MI
Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
I bought this head unit and have had it in my car for about a week now and I really like this head unit. The amount of options and menus for customization is great IMO. I don't know what kind of sound quality this head unit has because its running 2 amps but the 4v pre-amp outputs make everything sound crystal clear. The display shows quite a bit of info for a single DIN which i like a lot as well. Only con is that the volume control is your menu control and using it takes time to get used to. But overall great product would recommend to anyone.
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March 29, 2012 Great
Review by
Dallas from Colorado Springs, Co
Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
I love the features, this a simple unit, and has great features. BT works flawlessly on the phone and music. Equalizer is more extensive then most other units I have worked with. I like the unit, if you don't like simple, then look elsewhere, but if you want simple and great quality, this is for you.
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