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Old 10-18-2013, 11:44 PM   #1
Gixhost
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* 2004.114.3 STi
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Default Kenwood KDC-X997 Review


Not the best picture in the world but I wanted folks to see how you can color coordinate the receiver with your dash etc.

I recently installed this receiver in my STi last Friday. I can honestly say that this is a great head unit and I really have no complaints. It replaced a Pioneer DEH-P6000UB that the previous owner of my vehicle must have installed...which was a pain in my ass btw, more about that later though. The previous owner was also kind enough to install a Rockford Fosgate Punch 501X amp. I am no audiophile so I honestly don't know how good or bad this equipment is...

Anyway nearly everything about the head unit is customizable...from the colors and text on the face...to the way you select where your music comes from. The head unit looks clean, has very simple controls/layout and I am so happy to get rid of the Pioneer super audio knob that controls everything and causes you to skip songs and change stations accidentally when you hit a bump while trying to increase or decrease the volume. I don't know what to do with myself when I actually just turn up the volume with no surprises now.

I have been meaning to do this for some time...however deciding whether I wanted to get a receiver w/navigation, Pandora, HD radio, BT etc...took some time because at the end of the day I just don't want anyone breaking into my vehicle for a head unit I shelled out $1,000 dollars for. Although some POS might try to take this...none of my other vehicles with single dins have been bothered. So deciding on no navigation left me with a few choices to meet the rest of my needs and I decided on this one.

The other thing that held me back for a while was the fact that the previous owner cut up the OEM wiring and crimped everything together...so me being lazy I put this off for some time because I wanted to fix this properly not just follow up with more destruction. I finally got everything including a length of the factory radio wiring harness from a member here and I soldered everything back in the vehicle. This way if I change the receiver again...at least it would be easier, cleaner and reliable. I used an adapter this time and soldered it to the aftermarket harness.

This is my first experience with Kenwood. I've installed and used JVC, Alpine and Pioneer receivers in the past. I am no fanboi when it comes to this stuff just because I probably don't have the most sophisticated hearing in the world...however I did notice a huge increase in the sound quality after installing this head unit and playing with the settings a little which was unexpected. However, I don't think the previous head unit was installed correctly or maybe some crimps were loose as you had to turn the volume past 6 before hearing anything.

I love the features and have more than I really will every use...the BT works very well and the mic is very responsive. Having Pandora and HD radio were on the top of my list and both work great. My ipod works flawlessly as well. I have yet to run into any issues with this receiver so far. I wish it was more compatible with Android devices but I am sure an iPhone user would love this receiver as of course it offers more features to Apple users. My only real complaint is that the face seems to gather light scratches easily...but most head units I've dealt with have as well...

Update...I was watching Netflix on my phone while waiting for someone today and just in case anyone cares, there is a very slight delay in sound while watching Netflix and sending the sound through BT...barely noticeable but there none the less...I've always watched Netflix by resting my phone horizontally on the dash cup holding and closing it until the phone is sitting up so I can see easily. Previously I never ran the sound through the speakers because I didn't have an easy way of doing that. I guess if you want to accomplish this without the delay you could use the AUX jack but its really not that serious.
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Last edited by Gixhost; 10-24-2013 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:17 AM   #2
oc-drummer
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How quick does Bluetooth connect after you start your car? Short way or long wait?
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:17 AM   #3
Gixhost
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* 2004.114.3 STi
Aspen White

Default

I was actually counting yesterday morning because I wanted to see how long it took Pandora to start after starting the car...and it was about 11 seconds...I believe the phone connected via BT to the receiver within a couple seconds though, it just took Pandora that long to launch. I can do a more accurate count today and post it this evening though. However, I have my phone settings situated so that BT is off until its connected to an AC or DC outlet to conserve battery life...so it could also be that long because my phone has to turn on the BT before it can connect to the radio. I'll time it with the BT already on and the BT being activated by a power source...I always plug my phone up to the charger when I am in my vehicle so this makes sense for me.

Update: I didnt use a stop watch...Regardless of having the BT turn on...its still about 15 seconds...disregard the above...Pandora started right after. So regardless its somewhere around 15 seconds.

Last edited by Gixhost; 10-19-2013 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:43 AM   #4
adsinnott1
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I have the same head unit and my car is already wired with a kenwood wiring harness from the previous owner. I have an 05 wrx wagon and would like to know what mounting bracket that you used? I have heard a lot about using a din pocket out of a legacy but I would like to do what you have done. What hardware was used? And would it be the same for my car?
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
Mulder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adsinnott1 View Post
I have the same head unit and my car is already wired with a kenwood wiring harness from the previous owner. I have an 05 wrx wagon and would like to know what mounting bracket that you used? I have heard a lot about using a din pocket out of a legacy but I would like to do what you have done. What hardware was used? And would it be the same for my car?
You use the existing ISO-DIN brackets from the OEM unit or whatever is currently in the car.
I have a Kenwood BT952HD and I've been very happy with it. Lots of tweakable stuff although it does take time to get it all set up and the manual is pretty useless.
Bluetooth does take a long time to connect on this unit, maybe as much as a minute although I haven't timed it. Once connected it works well, I stream from TuneIn and the sound quality is good.
To protect the face and also to reduce glare, I put a matte screen protector on it.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:25 AM   #6
adsinnott1
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The car I got has a double din bracket as of now and I still have my kenwood single din and want to use it so I need to get a bracket and din pocke for a single din.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:42 PM   #7
Mulder
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15 WRX/05 GTO

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It should be the same bracket for either a double-DIN unit or a single-DIN with a pocket.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
Gixhost
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^^^Exactly, if you want a pocket you can have the old OEM one from my car. I used the aftermarket pocket that Crutchfield provided me with.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:42 AM   #9
adsinnott1
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World Rally Blue

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixhost View Post
^^^Exactly, if you want a pocket you can have the old OEM one from my car. I used the aftermarket pocket that Crutchfield provided me with.
The pic you posted looks clean. So did crutchfield just send you the universal din pocket? Or is there one that looks and works best in the wrx? If its just a universal one I will just order one! Thanks sorry for the newb questions.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
Gixhost
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* 2004.114.3 STi
Aspen White

Default

Its just a universal one. I used it because the color matched the dash better than the OEM one IMO...and thanks for the compliment! I just wish the previous owner didn't modify the bezel around the radio...if you look closely you can see he cut it...I am currently hunting for a used ones...new ones are way too costly for a piece of plastic, somewhere around $70-$80!
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:59 PM   #11
adsinnott1
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Here's what it looked like before I got the car but the owner wanted to keep his hu. So I just said I will take mine to so we are just swapping. And I still have the bracket and all just no radio. So I am going to grab a din pocket put it beneath my singl din 997 and be good to go and a have room for my switches.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:37 PM   #12
Gixhost
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* 2004.114.3 STi
Aspen White

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You'll be fine!
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