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Kenwood KDC-MP538U

CD, MP3, WMA Receiver with Remote, Aux and USB Inputs, and iPod Direct Connection via USB

Discontinued
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We apologize

This item has been discontinued

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General Features:

  • In-dash AM/FM, CD, MP3, WMA player with Remote and USB + Aux Inputs for MP3 and iPod playback via USB connection
    • iPod USB direct connectivity via your standard iPod-to-USB connection cable allows you to charge, control, and playback your iPod through the receiver and stereo system
  • Detachable face
  • Blue fluorescent display
  • Wireless remote control included
  • Switchable blue and red button lighting
  • Power Output:
    • Peak: 52 watts x 4 channels
    • RMS: 17 watts x 4 channels
  • CD Text Display
  • MP3 ID3 Tag Display (Title/Artist/Album)
  • 1-year SonicElectronix.com warranty

Playback and Audio Features:

  • Playback of CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, and WMA
  • CR-2 tuner with 18FM/12AM presets
  • System E's high- and low-pass filters
  • System Q Sound control (3-band parametric equalizer with six preset tone curves)
  • BBE MP Digital Sound processing to enhance your MP3/WMA playback

Expandability Options:

Key Features:

  • "Supreme" audio processing for better sound from your compressed MP3 and WMA files
  • CD frequency response: 10 Hz - 20,000 Hz
  • CD signal-to-noise ratio: 105 dB

Product History:

Kenwood KDC-MP538U thumbnail
(newest, current model)
Kenwood KDC-MP535U thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Kenwood KDC-MP538U)
Kenwood KDC-MP5032 thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Kenwood KDC-MP535U)

In-Dash Receiver Specifications

Receiver Size

Single DIN: 1 DIN dimensions will work with all single DIN installation kits we have to offer. Single DIN radios are the most common size for after-market stereos.

Single DIN slot with flip-out screen: The DIN stereo includes a retractable, flip-out screen. Before purchasing, make measurements to be sure there is no interference with dash accessories such as A/C vents or shift levers.

Single DIN slot with a larger face: Standard single DIN size, but the display is larger then the standard single DIN size. Due to the nature of the larger face, problems may arise when installing in particular vehicles. These stereos are great for single DIN slots where you want a larger screen.

1.5 DIN: This size is very uncommon in vehicles, however this size opening is most commonly found in Chrysler and Chevrolet vehicles.

Double DIN: Approximately 4-inches in height, this size is becoming more common every year. Prior to 2000, this size was typically only found in Japanese vehicles such as those made by Honda or Toyota. Now, it is becoming more popular for many vehicles to be fit with a Double DIN opening.

Single DIN
Faceplate Security

Detachable / Removable faceplate security: The most common anti-theft feature. It allows you to take the faceplate with you, thus disallowing operation, which deters theft.

Security Codes: Mainly a feature in high end video units which do not have a detachable face / screen. Once the unit is uninstalled (or stolen), a security code (or PIN) is required upon reinstallation. Though you no longer have your unit after the theft, the thief also does not have your security code, which makes the unit useless. The hope is the thief knows which units have security codes and he/she chooses not to steal your unit because of the security code.

Ghost technology: This is not commonly used, but can be found primarily in a select number of 2004-2005 head units. It creates an illusion that no unit is installed by appearing completely black when turned off. Potential thieves may steer clear because it appears as though no head unit is installed.

Anti-theft covers: Similar to ghost and hiding faces because they only create an illusion that the face/unit is not in place.

ESN: Stands for Electronic Serial Number. Allows the disabling of the radio and allows tracking if it is stolen.

Detachable
Security Code
Motorized Faceplate
Some in-dash car stereos feature a motorized faceplate that moves to expose a CD or DVD slot. This is a convenient feature that allows the front display to be larger and easier to read. The positioning of the monitor gives you control over the angle you would like to view information on the stereo.
No
Remote Control
Allows control of specific features and functions from a remote control. Typically they are used to prevent button wear on your radio, or to allow easier navigation of menus.
Yes
Peak Power Output
This form of power rating refers to the maximum amount of power an electronic device can handle or output in an instant without damage occurring. Often times this maximum is achieved during a brief musical burst, such as a drum accent, or low bass hit.

Some manufacturers display peak power ratings on the face of their products to increase the appeal to consumers. The RMS power rating is more accurate, and we recommend using it for product comparison.

50 watts x 4 channels
RMS Power Output
The amount of continuous power, measured in watts, that an amplifier produces is called RMS power. The higher the RMS rating, the louder and cleaner your music sounds. The RMS output figure is much more accurate than the peak rating when comparing products.
22 watts x 4 channels
Preamp RCA Outputs
RCA outputs, commonly known as preamp outputs, allow you to connect one or sometimes multiple external amplifiers. An in-dash receiver will commonly have one, two or three sets of RCA outputs that can be used to connect external amplifiers and other components. One pair of RCA outputs will typically provide a full range signal that can be used for most subwoofer or speaker amplifiers. Two pairs of RCA outputs can typically be configured as four full range signals, or also as two full range and two subwoofer signals. Three sets of RCA outputs will almost always produce four speaker signals and two subwoofer signals for use with multiple amplifiers.
3 Pairs (Front, Rear, and Subwoofer)
Dedicated Subwoofer Preamp RCA Output
A dedicated output that has a built-in low-pass crossover for specific connection to a subwoofer amplifier that powers a low frequency driver, typically a subwoofer.
Yes
Preamp Voltage
The preamp output rating is measured in volts (V). The higher the rating, the stronger the signal. This results in less unwanted noise being picked up.
2.5 volts
Built-In Equalizer
The number of graphic or parametric equalizer bands the stereo receiver is equipped with. The more EQ options, the more you will be able to adjust your music to your liking.
System Q -- 3 Bands Parametric with 6 Presets
Display Type
The type of display on your receiver refers to the monitor that is used to display the source information such as song names, radio stations, or track times.

Dot-Matrix Text Display: A simple display which uses dots in specific illuminated color(s) to light up and form letters or numbers that are displayed on the receiver.

Graphic or Motion Display: Typically found in mid to high-end receivers and give your text information and receiver more life by adding motion, backgrounds, or multiple colors to your display. There are types of graphic displays such as 3D Graphic, Motion, and OEL (Organic Electroluminescent) displays. They can range from one color to full color displays and typically allow you to select from one of many built-in animations, background images, screensavers or other graphics to enhance your experience and add an extra bit of personality to your system. Some units also come with software that allow you to load your own customizable pictures or animations.

LCD Monitor Display: Can be as small as 2" or as large as 10". Some LCD displays are motorized for angle adjustment. LCD monitors display full motion video playback as well as your standard text such as track status, radio station information and more depending on the receiver's features.

Dot-Matrix Text Display
Display Color
The display color refers to the color of the text and or graphics on the receiver.

Multi-Color: When more than one color is on the display, for example one part of the text is white, while the other part is blue.

Variable-Color: The display colors can be changed by the user. If the default color of text/display is blue for example, the user can change the settings to where the color turns to red. Variable color displays are typically described in detail in the item's description.

TFT-LCD Display: In-dash receivers with a video screen that display multiple colors and often times video such as DVD, navigation or other video sources.

Blue
Button Color
Refers to the color of the physical buttons on the unit.
Blue or Red
CD Signal-to-Noise
CD Signal-to-Noise Ratio is a key specification that is often overlooked by newbies. The CD S/N Ratio measures how well the CD player silences background noise. Higher ratings in decibels (dB) indicates less noise, and generally a cleaner signal.
105 dB
CEA-2006 Compliant
Amplifiers that have been tested to meet specific standards. When a car amplifier meets these standards, you can be sure that it will be able to produce the amount of power specified by the official CEA-2006 rating. Usually, these rating consist of the following items:
  • RMS Power
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio

This rating applies to both external car amplifiers, as well as the amplifiers inside of in-dash stereos.

Playback Features

AM/FM Tuner
Most in-dash CD players have AM/FM playback allowing you listen to your favorite local radio stations.
Yes
FM Presets
The number of FM radio stations that can be stored as presets.
18
AM Presets
The number of AM radio stations that can be stored as presets.
6
Radio Data System (RDS)
Receivers with Radio Data System (RDS) tuners can receive digital broadcast information about the FM radio station including program name, time and station identification. RDS enables your receiver to display text messages that many FM stations include on a sub-carrier signal within their normal broadcast signal. Some RDS tuners can even break in with traffic alerts or emergency broadcasts when you're listening to a CD.
CD-R/RW Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play finalized CD-R discs and/or CD-RW discs.
Yes
MP3 Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play discs encoded with MP3 files. To burn a MP3 encoded disc, use the "data" mode on your CD Recorder and finalize the session and/or CD.
Yes
WMA Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play discs encoded with WMA files. To burn a WMA encoded disc, use the "data" mode on your CD Recorder and finalize the session and/or CD.
Yes
DVD / Video Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver will play DVD (or other listed) video disc formats. Unless otherwise noted, the unit is not guaranteed to play recorded DVDs.
No
DVD Region Number
This is the region number that the DVD receiver is compatible with. Almost any device that has the ability to play a DVD disk has a region number. DVD region codes restrict playback of movies that come from geographical locations outside of your residing place.
Dual Zone
Dual zone means the stereo is capable of playing multiple audio or video sources between two separate locations.

Please refer to the item description for more details on how dual zone works specifically to the unit you are viewing.

Audio / Video Inputs

USB Input
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver features an input to connect a USB device via standard USB or mini-USB. The USB input may be a connection on the front or rear of the unit with an extension cable for connecting devices to the receiver. Some units have an optional input that allows for a USB adapter to be purchased separately and used with the unit.
Rear
Number of Front USB Inputs
Number of Rear USB Inputs
Additional Audio/Video Inputs
These inputs enable the unit to receive an audio or video signal from a separate source. There are many different types of connections and ways to accomplish this. Most common are RCA Composite cables and 3.5mm mini-jack plugs.

RCA Composite Inputs
These are your typical red, white, and yellow RCA composite cables that are common among devices with audio and video inputs. The red and white cables are dedicated for audio. The red cable is for the right channel and the white is for the left channel. The yellow cable is specifically for the video signal. Because this type of auxiliary cable contains 2 channels of audio, it will support stereo sound.

3.5mm
This is commonly referred to as a mini-jack or a headphone jack. It is a 3.5mm plug that transfers audio only. There is a right and left audio channel on the plug which allows for stereo sound playback.

3.5mm AV Input
These plugs look similar to the common 3.5mm mini-jack, however they carry a third channel dedicated for video.

Optional
This means that an auxiliary input is possible, but only with the use of an optional accessory. These optional adapters will sometimes use the CD Changer port or other port on the back of a unit that might restrict the use of other expandability features. These accessories are typically sold separately.

Rear 3.5mm
Optional

Monitor Screen Features

Screen Size
This is the size of the monitor on the unit. It is measured diagonally and in inches. The bigger the number the larger the screen.
MirrorLink Compatible
MirrorLink allows connectivity between a smartphone and the aftermarket car receiver. The consumer gets into the car, connects the phone with a cable, and gains access to phone applications through the car stereos controls such as navigation and steering wheel buttons. MirrorLink allows consumers to use their smartphones safely and simply, keeping eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Expandability Features

Navigation
Built-in navigation is a convenient feature that allows the driver to receive driving directions and guidance.

Some in-dash head units are built-in with the navigation features, while others require an add on navigation box. Other navigation options include portable navigation units that you can take with you or attach to the dash of your vehicle.

No
Compatible Smartphones
Some stereos work with iOS (Apple) or Android smartphone operating systems, while some stereos work with both or neither. Find out here which operating systems this stereo is compatible with.
Audio/Video Outputs
Audio/Video outputs are typically used to connect an overhead monitor to an aftermarket stereo. This is the number of A/V outputs that the item has. These outputs are usually RCA Composite cables.

RCA Composite Outputs
These are your typical red, white, and yellow RCA composite cables that are common among devices with audio and video inputs. The red and white cables are dedicated for audio. The red cable is for the right channel and the white is for the left channel. The yellow cable is specifically for the video signal. Because this type of auxiliary cable contains 2 channels of audio, it will support stereo sound.

Satellite Radio
This feature signifies whether or not the receiver is compatible with XM or Sirius Satellite Radio. "Optional" means while the receiver is capable of SIRIUS/XM playback and connectivity, you will still need to purchase an additional satellite tuner, adapter, and/or antenna.
Optional - SIRIUS or XM (Accessory required and sold separately)
HD Radio
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver is capable of receiving high-definition digital HD Radio broadcasts by either a built-in HD Radio tuner, or more commonly with the purchase of an optional HD Radio tuner box. Receivers which are HD Radio Ready generally require an additional purchase of a separate tuner.
Optional
Bluetooth Connectivity
This feature refers to whether or not the head unit is able to connect to a hands-free Bluetooth device. Head units that are Bluetooth ready typically require the purchase of an optional adapter or accessory that connects to the rear of the head unit. This optional accessory allows you to accept phone calls through your head unit and speakers. Some head units have built-in Bluetooth hands free capabilities with an included remote-mount microphone or built-in microphone.
Optional (Accessory required and sold separately)
A2DP Music Streaming
The Advanced Audio Distribution Profile will wirelessly stream music and other audio from an A2DP compatible device.
Steering Wheel Control Compatible
In order to retain a vehicle's factory steering wheel remote controls, a wired-remote input is needed on the aftermarket stereo.

If "Yes", then the aftermarket stereo is compatible with steering wheel remote controls. If an additional accessory is required for the steering wheel controls to work properly, a compatible piece will be listed.

Yes (Accessory required and sold separately)
CD Changer Controls
This feature signifies whether or not the receiver has the ability to control a CD Changer. If a receiver supports this function, it is usually compatible with a same-brand CD changer without the need for an extra adapter.
Optional (Accessory required and sold separately)
Memory Card Reader
Whether or not the receiver has a built-in input for removable memory cards such as SD (Secure Digital) cards or MMC (Multimedia) cards.
No

Smartphone Integration

iPhone/iPod Features
Head units are equipped with different technology that allows a variety of smartphone integration features. Some stereos are equipped with more features than others, here you will find which iPod/iPhone features this head unit has.
iPod Audio Integration
This refers to whether or not the receiver can connect to an iPod and allow for audio control and playback of the iPod through the head unit. Head units that have iPod connectivity allow your iPod to be connected and controlled via the head unit, and they will typically connect through the USB input combined with your standard iPod-to-USB charging/connection cable. We encourage you to read the description of the head unit to see if an adapter is required or included, or if you can simply use your own iPod-to-USB cable.
Yes (via iPod USB Cable or Accessory Cable Below)
iPod Video Connection
This refers to whether or not the receiver can connect to an iPod and allow for video control and playback of the iPod through the head unit. Head units that have iPod connectivity allow your iPod to be connected and controlled via the head unit, and they will typically connect through the USB input combined with your standard iPod-to-USB charging/connection cable. We encourage you to read the description of the head unit to see if an adapter is required or included, or if you can simply use your own iPod-to-USB cable.
iPod Charging Adapter Required
Some Apple iPods require a charging adapter be used for the unit to fully function with the iPod.
Compatible Apple Devices
This list refers to the Apple devices that the product is compatible with.

Some Car stereos are compatible with iPods and/or iPhones. If the headunit can connect to an iPod or iPhone via USB or iPod connection cable, these listed iPods are compatible. This list does not apply if the iPod is being connected through the 3.5mm mini-jack plug. Newer iPods are usually compatible if the appropriate adapters are purchased and used.

Any iPods/iPhones released after the release date of this product have not been checked by the manufacturer and/or Sonic Electronix for compatibility. We therefore cannot guarantee their compatibilities or incompatibilities, including, but not limited to: playback, video, charging, and response time.

5G iPod Video (30, 60, & 80GB)
iPod Classic (120GB)
iPod Classic (80 &160GB)
iPod Nano 1st Generation (1, 2, & 4GB)
iPod Nano 2nd Generation (4 & 8GB)
iPod Nano 3rd Generation (4 & 8GB)
iPod Nano 4th Generation (8 & 16GB)
iPod Touch 1st Generation (8, 16 & 32GB)
iPod Touch 2nd Generation (8, 16 & 32GB)
iPhone
iPhone 3G
Android Features
Head units are equipped with different technology that allows a variety of smartphone integration features. Some stereos are equipped with more features than others, here you will find which Android features this head unit has.
Android Audio Integration
This refers to whether or not the receiver can connect to an Android and allow for audio control and playback of the Android through the head unit. Head units that have Android connectivity allow your device to be connected and controlled via the head unit, and they will typically connect through the USB input combined with your standard charging and connection cable. We encourage you to read the description of the head unit to see if an adapter is required or included, or if you can simply use your own Android charging and connection cable.
Android Video Connection
This refers to whether or not the receiver can connect to an Android device and allow for video control and playback of the device through the head unit. Head units that have Android video connectivity allow your device to be connected and controlled via the head unit, and they will typically connect through the USB input combined with your standard Android charging/connection cable. We encourage you to read the description of the head unit to see if an adapter is required or included, or if you can simply use your own cable.

Specials with this Item

Promotions
Promotions we have offer More Ways to Shop for items that are on clearance, last chance, special offer and sales, Made in America, and more!

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
Not warranted
Labor Warranty Duration
Not warranted
Warranty Provider
Manufacturer

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
92%
4 Star
8%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Average Attribution Rating

Durability
4.8
Value
4.9
Features
5.0
Design
4.8
Usability
4.4

Zach

Nowhere, Noplace

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

Great Reciever

September 1, 2009

I really like this Receiver! I currently still have it installed in my car! It is hard to get used to, but great once you do! Only problem I normally get is over heating. It does not do very good in the heat. Great radio otherwise!

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faysal

clarkston, GA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

Very nice

August 7, 2009

hey guys the item that i've bought it from sonic was really nice and i am still using it i is working perfectly till now i have no problem with it and also i am enjoying the headset free bluetooth with is really nice when u talk in the car worry free of anything...

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Anthony

Metairie, LA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

great value

June 9, 2009

like the front USB and 3.5mm jacks.

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Scott

Evansville, IN

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

Extremely great product

June 5, 2009

I bought this unit for my son so he could use the blue tooth for hands free calling. What we found was a unit that was so much more than that. He loves the USB connection. He has connected flash drive with all his music on it and it makes it so easy to locate and play the song he is looking for. I think any one that is looking for a car stereo with the blue tooth feature would love this unit.

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Larry

Hinsdale, NY

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

Kenwood KDC-MP538U

June 5, 2009

Love the radio. I thought the USB port would be neat to be able to plug any MP3 player into it but it is even better than that. I plugged in my USB thumb drive and it reads through it all. Better yet when I used a cheap MP3 player it had to "boot up" after connected for a few seconds and was then at the mercy of poor quality of the MP3 player. With the thumb drive there is no boot up and it works perfect. Other than that it is a good Kenwood radio that works wonderfully.

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DrDripz

Holyoke, CO

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

Kenwood cd player

March 30, 2009

i have to admit this cd player is amazing i have had it for about a month and i still can stop playing with it. Both of those other guys are wrong you dont need to unplug your ipod just to switch playlists you just press up on the RIGHT control stick and thats another thing that is wrong you mostly use the right stick. your only gonna use the left for your volume and balance, fader, ect... OVERALL AMAZING

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Juan

EL CENTRO, CA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

great value

March 23, 2009

Product very good I am recommend

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Eddie

AZ

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

Good product

March 21, 2009

This deck has a lot of features for the money, having subwoofer control and 3 pre outs is great. The menu system takes some getting used to, I find myself using the remote quite a bit since there are no numbers for station presets. The ipod connectivity is great, and there are no extra cables to buy.

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shawn

toeldo, ohio

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

great buy

March 4, 2009

i bought this deck a couple of months ago and it works great like the other people have said it does take a bit to get used to it but once you do it is really easy. you can control your ipod from the deck you just have to make sure that it is not on shuffle and you should be able to scroll your playlists. i would recomend this deck to anyone i love it

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nard

turbeville, sc

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

wish i shopped here first

February 28, 2009

ould have saved at least a hundred oh well can't cry now but this is a good deck but if you don't want to install the back usb cable you should get the one with front usb hook up much easier if you don't install the usb wire it gets in the way trust me but over all nice cd player

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Justin

Deltona, FL

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

Pretty Good For Its Price

January 19, 2009

I think the Kenwood is great. It takes awhile to get used to, but it has alot of features and makes my system sound great. The only thing I don't like is you cant fully control your ipod and have to unplug it to change playlists... Overall It's a sweet CD player.

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Aman

Canada

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability

good product for price.

October 14, 2008

I had this deck installed in my truck yesterday morning and have played with it for a long time. It uses the left control knob for basically every function. alot of stuff is not one touch you have to scroll alot. the ipod feature is really good but be sure to keep your playlists short. and don't try to use it without playlists because it will take you a year to scroll through songs. I like the screen and the colors. I don't know alot about car audio but I had infinity speakers put in for my stock speakers and they sounded like crap with my stock deck this deck they sound amazing. this deck is also bright at night. for the price I really like this deck make sure you read the manual otherwise you will not be able to work the aux input.

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Accessory Tools and Products

Accessories added

Axxess ASWC

Universal steering wheel control interface with automatic programming

Your Price $59.99

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Interface

Steering Wheel Control Interface for Alpine, JVC, Clarion, Kenwood, Pioneer, Sony Radios and More

Your Price $49.95

Scosche TK12 Car Stereo Installation Kit

Includes panel removal tool, wire cutter/stripper, test light, RCA cable runner, screwdriver, and more!

Your Price $12.99

18 Butt Connectors, 2 Ring Terminals, and Zip Ties

Great for connecting your car stereo wires to the harness.

Your Price $4.99

SoundKase DFC1X

Soft-Sided Nylon Receiver Faceplate Case

Your Price $5.99

Scosche SPL Meter

Monitor the noise level of your new car audio system with this SPL meter measuring from 60-135 dB.

Your Price $21.99

AutoSound 2000 CD-102

High frequency test CD specifically designed for the set-up and evaluation of sound system imaging and placement.

Your Price $11.99

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Product Summary

Manufacturer

Model Number

KDC-MP538U

UPC

019048178046

Weight

5.00lbs

Internal SKU

kdcmp538u

Internal Product ID

11787

Sonic Electronix Wiring Guide

Wiring Diagram Legend

Warning: The image depicted shows the resistance change when wiring multiple subwoofer terminals. Please refer to your subwoofer's owner's manual for the proper wiring of its terminals. Sonic Electronix, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused to your audio system or vehicle due to improper installation. Please call tech support at 1-877-289-7664 if you require additional assistance.

Product Name: Kenwood KDC-MP538U