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Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X395

In-Dash Single DIN CD Receiver w/ Illuminated Front USB, AUX, and SAT Ready


Good news and a little bad...

This item has been discontinued

But you may be interested in the newest model that's available.

kdcx396 thumbnail

Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X396

OUR PRICE: $129.99

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eXcelon Quality Comes at a Great Price

Kenwood’s KDC-X395 is an In-Dash CD/MP3/USB Player with an included remote control and light blue Dot-Matrix Display. The blue button color illumination and MP3 ID3 tag display provide an easy-to-read menu display. This receiver is equipped with great audio features such as the separate Subwoofer Controls, CD/Audio Text Display, 24-Bit Digital Analog Converter (DAC), and a 3-Band parametric equalizer.

There is no shortage of expandability options for this Kenwood Receiver. Equipped with a front panel USB port, you have direct connectivity to your iPod or iPhone while providing a charge, full controls, and playback of your iPod/iPhone through the receiver. There is also a front panel 3.5mm auxiliary input (headphone jack) which allows connection to portable media devices. iTunes Tagging, Bluetooth-Ready and full compatibility with your steering wheel controls are some of the other options that make this Head-Unit a fantastic purchase.


General Features:

  • In-dash AM/FM, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, WMA, AAC player with Remote
  • Detachable face plate
  • 14-segement, 13-character bluish-white backlit fluorescent display
  • Wireless remote control included
  • Power Output:
    • Peak: 50 watts x 4 channels
    • RMS: 22 watts x 4 channels
  • MOSFET amplifier
  • CD/Audio Text Display
  • MP3 ID3 Tag Display (Title/Artist/Album)
  • 1-year Sonic Electronix warranty

Playback and Audio Features:

  • Playback of CD, CD-R/RW MP3, WMA, and AAC
  • AM/FM tuner with 18FM/6AM presets
  • 24-Bit Digital Analog Converter (DAC)
  • System Q 3-band Parametric Equalizer with 8 selectable tone curves (7 Preset, 1 User)
  • Seperate subwoofer control: -15db - +15db
  • Subwoofer low-pass filter: 50, 60, 80, 100 or 120hz
  • 2-way control allows your iPod playback features (play/pause/browse/etc.) to be controlled via your car stereo controls or from the iPod itself.
  • iTunes Tagging lets you mark your favorite songs from the radio and stores them to later view in iTunes

Expandability Options:

  • 3 Sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer)
  • SIRIUS or XM Satellite Radio Ready: SIRIUS Radio Package or XM Radio Package and subscription required and sold separately
  • Optional Bluetooth: Kenwood KCA-BT300 required and sold separately for hands free calls and audio streaming
  • iPod/iPhone Ready: USB-to-iPod cable required and sold separately for audio control, charging, and playback
  • Front-panel auxiliary input: 3.5mm (headphone jack) allows connection to portable media devices such as MP3 players, etc.
  • Front-panel USB input: USB port allows connection and control of digital devices such as flash drives, portable media players, etc.
  • Marine remote ready: Kenwood KCA-RC60MR required and sold separately
  • Steering wheel remote ready: PAC SWI-JACKv1 or the Axxess ASWC required and sold separately
  • CD Changer controls

Product History:

Kenwood KDC-X397 thumbnail
(newest, current model)
Kenwood KDC-X396 thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X397)
Kenwood KDC-X395 thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X396)

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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
4 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-band Parametric Equalizer with 8 selectable tone curves (7 Preset, 1 User)
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.

Light Blue
Button Color
Refers to the color of the physical buttons on the unit.
Light Blue
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.
110 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.
FM Presets
The number of FM radio stations that can be stored as presets.
AM Presets
The number of AM radio stations that can be stored as presets.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

Front 3.5mm

Expandability Features

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.

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.
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)
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.
Rear View Camera Input
Indicates if an in-dash multimedia unit has a dedicated video input for rear view cameras. These inputs allow you to plug the camera to the back of the unit to receive the cameras video signal. Usually the camera signal is transferred through an RCA cable connection.
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.

Smartphone Integration

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 Nano 5th Generation (8 & 16GB)
iPod Nano 6th Generation (8 & 16GB)
iPod Touch 1st Generation (8, 16 & 32GB)
iPod Touch 2nd Generation (8, 16 & 32GB)
iPod Touch 3nd Generation (8, 32 & 64GB)
iPod Touch 4th Generation (8, 32 & 64GB)
iPhone 3G
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 4

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
1 year
Labor Warranty Duration
1 year
Warranty Provider
Sonic Electronix

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Average Attribution Rating



Point Pleasant Boro, NJ


Great head unit for a great price!!

March 7, 2012

This head unit will have friends asking where did you get it. It's the perfect modern with a usb, aux and sat radio hook up head unit, and a sharp looking one with the digital read out, you will be very happy with this unit.

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Hiram, OH


Awesome Headunit.

January 30, 2012

This head unit is pretty amazing. It is full of features ive never seen b4 so there gunna take a little to get used to, SQ is amazing on this head unit and it just looks sexy. After a few months of owning it i will post back how its doing but so far i love it.

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Ogden, UT


Kenwood Deck

January 4, 2012

I am pretty impressed with this deck so far. I would say it is probably the best deck in it's price range. The subwoofer controls are nice as are the 4v pre-amp outputs. The s-n ratio is phenomenal. CDs sound better on this deck than they ever have. It has more tuning adjustment than I could ever use. The only gripe I have with this deck is that I wish you could see the display better when the sun is hitting it. I just hold my hand up to shade it when I need to, but it is a little distracting if you just want to quickly glance at the clock. Looks great at night or when the sun is not shining directly on it though.

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Robert Man



Excellent product

October 15, 2011

This is one of the best stereos I ever owned, easy install great sound features, only thing I recommend if you already have a factory amp in your vehicle like I have in my 2000 durango, get the wire harness intergration with rca plugs that go in the back of radio, you will get a premium sound and better balance and clarity, made my infinity speakers sound like they were brand new, talk to sonic they carry the harness for your vehicle.

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Phoenix, AZ


Awesome unit

October 11, 2011

I own a previous model of this receiver. The rotary knob also had up/down and side to side functionality, like a joystick, that always did things you didn't want it to. It looks like Kenwood corrected that with this newer unit, so picking your next track should be a very painless procedure. The music search function is excellent. You can search through your music on CD, iPod, or USB drive, while listening to the current track. You can also easily change directories (different folders) while searching. The music search function works really well. I also love the crossovers on the Kenwood eXcelon units. Setting up the crossovers properly makes the sound quality of your system a lot better, even if your speakers and amplifier already have crossovers. The higher voltage pre-outs increase sound quality because you do not need to set amplifier gain as high. Look for high voltage pre-outs any time you want to use amplifiers in your car stereo.

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Bradford, PA


Amazing Reciever!!!

September 10, 2011

This is an amazing reciever for the cost. I have this reciever in my Yukon Denali. It has 3 sets of 4Volt pre-amp outputs for external amps. Front Aux inputs for iPods, Sat ready and front USB for other downloaded music.

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Port Orchard, WA


Easy to use, great features.

September 7, 2011

I have had this unit for only a few weeks, so I could not properly rate it's durability. This is a great low cost head unit. We have it mated to Kenwood KFC-1652S in front doors and Pioneer TS-1644R in the rear doors of a 2004 Subaru Legacy sedan. When using the adapter plug, connect the blue wire to pin 14. This will power the antenna booster, located in the driver's 'C' Pillar. The instructions do not call to do this connection, but without it, radio reception will be poor. The best feature is the "Natural" setting on the equalizer. It some how rads the song and nearly always makes the best adjustments, automatically. The only thing I have found that I don't like, is the brightness of the lights, taht cannot be dimmed. The lights for the USB and Aux jacks and around the knob are really bright blue.

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Bartow, FL



September 4, 2011

I've had this radio for about a week now, and to say that I didn't pay that much for it, it is amazing. Something cool that's not mentioned in the description is that not only does it have the variable low-pass filters for the subwoofer, it also has two seperate variable high-pass filters for the front & rear speakers/front & rear RCAs that go up to 220hz. This works for people like me who haven't upgraded their stock speakers yet- thought I'm pretty sure my stock Pioneers could take it. The USB feature is pretty neat too. I had a Dual receiver that would take forever to load, and this loads my thumb drive in a matter of seconds. Only thing that bugs me is that when you switch sources, there's a beep that you can't turn off when you press the source button. Other than that, it's a great buy and I would recommend to those on a budget.

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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

Monster Cable MPC CLNKIT-SM CN

2 Bottles of LCD Screen Clean with Cleaning Cloth

Your Price $2.99

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

9-Piece Durable Nylon Plastic Pry & Chisel Tool Set

Helps with car stereo installation for use with dash and trim.

Your Price $14.99

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-104

Audiophile reference series test disc for evaluation of all audio components.

Your Price $11.99

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

AutoSound 2000 CD-105

Demonstrates different characteristics and specifications of an audio system.

Your Price $11.99

Product Summary


Model Number






Internal SKU


Internal Product ID


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 eXcelon KDC-X395