Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X500

Single DIN Bluetooth In-Dash CD/AM/FM Car Stereo w/ Siri Voice Control, Pandora/iHeartRadio App Ready for iPhone & Android and SiriusXM Ready

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General Features:

  • Kenwood Excelon KDC-X500 In-Dash Receiver
  • Power Output:
    • Peak: 50 watts x 4 channels
    • RMS: 17 watts x 4 channels
  • 13 Digit 1.5Line LCD Display
  • Theft-deterrent, detachable face plate: Optional Receiver Faceplate Case Available
  • CD text information display
  • MP3 ID3 Tag Display (Title/Artist/Album)
  • AM/FM tuner with 18FM/6AM presets
  • Pandora Control (iPhone App, Android App with A2DP/SPP/Multi Profile Bluetooth)
  • iHeart Radio Control (iPhone App, Android App with A2DP/SPP/Multi Profile Bluetooth)
  • SiriusXM Ready
  • Drive EQ
  • Android Rapid Charge
  • FLAC Support
  • Dual Phone Connection Capable
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Variable Color Illumination
  • Authorized Internet Dealer
  • 1-year Manufacturer's Warranty

Playback and Audio Features:

  • CD/CD-R/RW , MP3/WMA/AAC Playback
  • MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/FLAC Playback via USB
  • Compatible with Apple iPhone 6/6+ and iOS 8 software
  • 13-band graphic equalizer with 7 selectable tone curves (6 Preset, 1 User)
  • 3.5mm Front Auxiliary Input
  • Front USB Input
  • 3 Sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer)

Bluetooth Features:

  • Built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free talking and audio streaming
  • Bluetooth version 2.1+EDR certified
  • Bluetooth Profiles Supported:
    • HFP: Hands Free Profile allows a hands-free car kit to connect to a compatible mobile phone
    • PBAP: Phone Book Access Profile allows the car stereo to display the name of the incoming caller, as well as access the contact list of the mobile phone directly from the car stereo
    • A2DP: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile allows high quality audio to be streamed from an audio device to the car stereo
    • AVRCP: Audio/Video Remote Control Profile supports basic remote control functions (play, pause, etc) via Bluetooth
    • SPP: Serial Port Profile provides a wireless replacement for RS-232 based serial communications
  • Works with most Bluetooth enabled cell phones
  • Includes a external wired microphone for clear, convenient, distortion-free talking
  • Maximum communication rage: 32.8 feet (approx, line of sight)

Expandability Options:

Check out the KDC-X500 User Manual

Product History:

Kenwood KDC-X500 thumbnail
(newest, current model)
Kenwood KDC-X599 thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X500)

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.

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.
17 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.
13-band graphic
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.

LCD 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.

Variable Colors

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.

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 Audio Input

Expandability Features

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 - SiriusXM (Accessory required and sold separately)
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.
Yes (Built-in/Included [Bluetooth Controls, Adapter and/or Microphone Included])
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.


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.
iPhone 5 Compatible
iPhone 6 Compatible
iPhone 7 Compatible
Audio Playback
Siri Control
Pandora Control
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.

iPod Classic (120GB)
iPod Classic (80 &160GB)
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 Nano 7th Generation (16GB)
iPod Touch 2nd Generation (8, 16 & 32GB)
iPod Touch 3nd Generation (8, 32 & 64GB)
iPod Touch 4th Generation (8, 32 & 64GB)
iPod Touch 5th Generation (16, 32 & 64GB)
iPhone 3G
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 4
iPhone 4S
iPhone 5
iPhone 5C
iPhone 5S
iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
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.
Pandora Control
Audio Playback

What is in the box?

Product and accessories
A detailed list of the equipment (main product and accessories) included with your in-dash car stereo receiver. If special accessories are included in the box, they will be listed and detailed below the main list of equipment.
Paperwork included with the product.
Other Accessory #1
Standard accessories are included in the main list above; however, this line provides specific details on an additional, unique accessory that is included with the product.
Other Accessory #2
Standard accessories are included in the list above special accessories; however, this line provides specific details on an additional, unique accessory that is included with the product.
Other Accessory #3
Standard accessories are included in the list above special accessories; however, this line provides specific details on an additional, unique accessory that is included with the product.
Other Accessory #4
Standard accessories are included in the list above special accessories; however, this line provides specific details on an additional, unique accessory that is included with the product.
Other Accessory #5
Standard accessories are included in the list above special accessories; however, this line provides specific details on an additional, unique accessory that is included with the product.

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
1 year
Labor Warranty Duration
1 year
Warranty Provider

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Average Attribution Rating

Passat Rick

Atlanta, GA

Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X500 as replacement for original radio

January 29, 2017

I'm very pleased with this replacement radio. It's much more up-to-date than the original (though very nice) radio that came with my 2000 VW Passat wagon: has full Bluetooth connection and full source readout on the dial. I had to fiddle a bit to get the EQ to where I liked it--but if anyone else is having trouble, don't give up, keep fiddling with it, it will sound just great. Thanks to Sonic Electronix for getting this to me in the quick time they promised. Just one caveat: my mechanic said the delivery package was fine but needed harness and antenna adaptor, which I didn't expect, but which I was able to order for another $30.

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Freaking awsome

November 5, 2016

Dealing with sonic was good a bit slow but the product is freaking amazing awsome options to many options to remember lol quality is so amazing so clear best deck I've owned by far

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Webster, NY

Kenwood Radio is awesome!

September 30, 2016

Love this product! phone automatically connects to the bluetooth. works great in my jeep. easy to install. fast shipping!

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Charlotte, NC

good radio

August 19, 2016

the kdc-x500 sounds good, the RCA hookups was main reason to purchase, price was excellent, easy to install, the durability is only 3 ,only had for 1 month, ease of use takes a little time because of all the features, great radio

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Verified Purchase
Excellent value

August 14, 2016

I got everything I had hoped for with this kenwood.

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Glen Rock, PA

Kenwood head unit

July 18, 2016

very nice head unit. bought this after filtering all of the possible units on the site down to five or six with the features i wanted to have.
i am running two 6x9's, two 6's, and a 12 off of this through a rockford fosgate amp. sounds amazing.

I have used the usb and bluetooth features frequently with no problems, and switching back to the radio if i am just looking for a charge is a simple press of the button. connecting the usb and running pandora is an interesting experience, but i normally just use the bluetooth unless i need to charge the phone so i have not yet memorized how to run pandora through the head unit.

the downsides i have to this head unit are only two. the first is the display, as mentioned in other reviews, is a bit hard to see during the day. I enjoy having the colors change or set to straight red at night, but during the day, especially on a sunny day, it gets hard to see anything except the white display.
the second is the ease of use. putting down four stars because even with the booklet (yeah, its a booklet- there are lots of features) it's a bit of a learning curve to figure out where all of the normal settings are. once i drove around for about two weeks though, everything i used frequently became much easier.

overall, very good head unit at an affordable price.

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Verified Purchase
Very dissapointed.

July 8, 2016

Being a past car audio installer, I have always gone to the high end Alpine or Pioneer and never been let down. This was my first Kenwood and I am very dissapointed with the product. I purchased this after hearing so many good things about the exelon series by Kenwood and how they were as good if not better than my previous "go to" decks. I will keep it short and say that the display is almost impossible to read in the daytime no matter what color you choose. The response when switching from sources is aggravating as it is always lagging behind. The wait time to use either the bluetooth or the usb is also horrible. The sound quality is "so-so" and would only benefit if you add multiple channel amplifiers to help out and tweak.
The only thing I am impressed with is the handsfree calling clarity on both ends of the call, but there is also a fairly large lag time from phone to deck but its not as bad as the others.

I will definitely not purchase one of these again and will fallback to my previous experience of Alpine or Pioneer.

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novi, MI

Verified Purchase
i am in love with this radio! i love it

May 31, 2016

i love this radio!. i used to be a pioneer guy but i will only be buying kenwood excelon stereos from now on! this stereo looks and performs great. the colors are awesome. it has awesome features and easy to use.bluetooth works like a charm! i love that it has 3 rca outs. overall i am super happy with this radio i have ever owned.i will for sure only buy kenwood stereos in the future!

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Georgetown, Texas

Highly recommend the Kenwood KDC-X500

May 23, 2016

I purchased a KDC-X599 and the CD player was defective, was stuck on "Please Eject"... so I returned that for a KDC-X500, the new model.

I had to wait 60 days+ and Sonic Electronix allowed me to trade it out at no cost beyond the 60 day period. They were very helpful.

They said that the KDC-X500 was barely any different but I see many differences. The KDC-X500 seems to sound better, as well as having about 30 new settings.
, all kinds of frequency settings and stuff I don't even know about, but way more customizable in general.

Highly recommended.
It has a 13 band equalizer, 6 loudness settings instead of 2, it has individual settings for all speaker sizes

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Accessory Tools and Products

Accessories added

PAC ControlPRO SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Interface

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

Your Price $69.95

Axxess ASWC-1

Universal steering wheel control interface with automatic programming

Your Price $54.99


3 Ft Micro USB Charge and Sync Cable

Your Price $2.99

6 Ft. 3.5mm to 3.5mm Aux Cable (Black)

2 meter (6 feet) Aux to Aux Cable Connector, Great for iPod / MP3 Player headphone jack connection to car stereo aux input.

Your Price $4.99

SiriusXM SXV300V1

Next Gen Vehicle Tuner for adding SiriusXM Satellite Radio to any SiriusXM-ready car stereo

Your Price $54.99

Scosche TK12 Car Stereo Installation Kit

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

Your Price $14.99

Five Piece Installer's Panel Removal Tool Kit

Helps with removing dash and trim panels during car stereo installation.

Your Price $11.99

Install Bay BS9HD

Heavy Duty Metal Mounting Backstrap

Your Price $1.29

SoundKase DFC1X

Soft-Sided Nylon Receiver Faceplate Case

Your Price $6.99

Scosche SPL Meter

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

Your Price $33.95

Browse 1 question and 6 answers
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Why did you choose this?
Sonic Electronix Store
Highly recommended unit by car audio sales manager.. Lots of features, 4 volt pre outs. great value..2 year warranty.
Jim B on Oct 2, 2016
my dad has one in his car and it sound great.
Javon C on Jul 8, 2016
i had a x599 and loved it and this is the replacement with a few more bells and whistles paired with a kenwood kacm1804 amp two infinity reference 6.5 s inthe fairing and two more reference 6x9 s in the saddlebags and you can hear my street glide coming for a mile and clear awsome sound with actuall base i often get a thumbs up from truck drivers on the interstate who can hear it as well and the system doesnt pull enough to tax out the bikes charging system or battery.
billy c on Aug 4, 2016
price range and review
Huijeong C on Jul 6, 2016

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-X500