Kenwood KDC248U In-Dash Head Unit Car Stereo

Author: Roberto Sedycias       Date: 2012-02-29

keywords: Kenwood KDC248U, Kenwood CD Player

The Kenwood KDC24U In-Dash Car Stereo is another of the devices that allows one the ability to interface a standard vehicle in-dash stereo device with an iPod or iPhone and to use the device and the vehicle's speaker system to produce rich, full-featured sound.

The KDC24U is Kenwood's least expensive in-dash vehicle stereo head unit car stereo. It offers one a wide variety of features, but it does not have features such as Bluetooth compatibility. Further, it neither offers High-Definition Radio compatibility nor Satellite Radio Compatibility. And, if one wants to integrate a Navigation unit's output through the speaker system, one will have to use the "Aux" - 3.5mm jack - output. This is also an interface for any MP3-compatible player device.

Still, the KDC24U, while it has its limitations, is still an outstanding unit for one, who wants some very interesting features that are usually included in top-of-the-line equipment. While the top-of-the-line equipment may offer more functionality, the KDC24U offers features that equal or surpass many units in the areas of sound reproduction and distortion. For example, while one can use the KDC24U to drive a full 50 watts of audio out of four channels, it normally operates at a rate of 22 watts RMS (Root Mean Square or the point where audio may go into distortion if the system is pushed too hard). The KDC24U uses MOSFETs for its internal amplifier, as well as limiting circuits so that distortion and ripple are kept to a minimum.

One will also find this a benefit if one downloads a playlist of MP3 or WMA files to a thumb drive. MP3 and WMA files are stored, compressed audio files. The compression is done by compressing the upper ranges of the audio with some low-end cutoff, as well. Most of the time, the low-end is simply ramped up by the built-in bass pre-emphasis circuits, while the KDC24U actually restores the high 18-20 kHz portion of the sound file for a richer, fuller sound. Kenwood terms this its Supreme setting. To be sure, the KDC24U is not the only aftermarket in-dash stereo control head that does this as other, similar units - Pioneer comes to mind - have similar restoration circuitry built into their microcircuitry. It is the tonal quality, though, of this unit that will bring surprises.

For example, while there are three separate equalization circuits available, there are six possible combinations that one can set. For example, if one's car has a huge subwoofer or pair of subwoofers in the trunk, one can set one of the equalizer for a set of 6 x 9 speakers in one of two polarities. In other words, the equalizer also has crossover capability built into it. This shows that Kenwood does know how to build flexibility into their system.

One should note that the Kenwood has only two, pre-emphasized outputs that use the same MOSFET circuity as the KDC24U's built-in amplifier and limiting. The MOSFET circuitry includes only low-pass filtering which means that frequencies above a certain cutoff point are tuned out, while low frequency response is enhanced. This allows the MOSFET microcircuitry to pump out a lot of bass signal.

The KDC24U comes complete with an infrared remote control - an unusually high-end feature in a the reasonably priced arena - that allows you complete control over the radio, CD and iPod/iPhone. With it, one can search, review play lists, although the blue display is only 11 characters wide, and scroll back and forth on the iPod. If you download the iPhone Pandora app, you should be able to use your iPhone to enable the Pandora sound service.

The KDC24U will fit a standard radio dash cutout and comes with a pair of surrounds, as well as installation hardware, including a wiring loom. If one plans a self-installation, be careful to check the voltages on all of the wires on your vehicle's existing wiring harness so you can match up the proper voltages. If not, you may spend hours of work and nothing will happen because you have not mated the 14-volt input properly. Many installers, though, find that Metra installation kits are also excellent if they are having problems.

The KDC24U also features a detachable control head that is a great anti-theft feature because the KDC24U will not be usable without it. It is a thoughtful touch in a unit that delivers surprising range and quality at a price that won't clean your savings account.

Roberto Sedycias works as an IT consultant for">ecommUS

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