Pros: appearance, ease of use, features, future compatibility
Cons: radio reception not quite what I expected.
A few months back I was looking for a new CD deck, as my vehicle only had a cheap tape deck. I am more than happy that I bought this stereo. After carefully surveying the competition for weeks, I finally decided on the Kenwood KDC-416S, and not because of any sales person. It is the best value CD deck I could find, and it has worked flawlessly and exceeding all my expectations since the day I bought it.
THE COMPETITION - WHY I CHOSE THE 416S
After looking over all the other systems in the market, I had to narrow it down to a mid-range price level. I am in Canada, and I was looking to spend between $200 - $250 on a CD deck. That barely gets you a removable face plate, so it was nice to see all the features that came with the Kenwood. The Sony's were nice, but the track/text display window is very small, and some of the display items can be confusing. The JVC was also nice, but it was more form than function. It looked great, but offered less features than I expected. Pioneer was the closest, and they certainly offer excellent car audio systems, but I just preferred the look, functionality and options of the Kenwood - plus the free remote control didn't hurt!
This system was installed on a 1992 Plymouth Acclaim - by no means a car with a high-quality speaker set up, but you wouldn't know it with this deck in the dash. It completely changed the way the speakers sound, and improved them 100 percent. Bass isn't great, but what can you expect from
5 1/4" factory speakers on a 9 year old car! It sounds great. All I need is some bass, and this deck will easily accomodate amps, subwoofers, and the whole 9 yards. It may be an entry priced system, but it has the upgrade options of a much more expensive system, so this deck is not just for now but for the future too. Since these are factory speakers, I'm sure a set of aftermarket high-quality speakers would sound just excellent. Add in a subwoofer and amplifier (which the system can easily accomodate), you're all set for an exceptional listening experience.
WHAT YOU GET
This system came with the Kenwood KDC-416S central deck, removable faceplate, Kenwood case for the faceplate, mounting brackets, some screws/bolts and stuff, instruction manuals, warranty card, and of course, the excellent remote control. Even though the remote came with the system, I would not hesitate to buy one if it didn't (more later). You get lots, that's the point.
- The ability to tell the system what size and type of
speakers you have
- System Q: with one button, changes characteristics of
music to preset settings like rock, jazz, top 40, easy,
etc. HOWEVER, if you save a setting it is automatically
cleared when you switch the System Q...the only thing
that annoys me.
- source memory: automatically remembers where you left
off on your CD
- removable faceplate: added security
- preouts: for subs, amps, etc.
- 45x4 watts output: easy to power demanding aftermarket
- disc scan: automatically scans 10 seconds of every track
on the CD
- auto radio tuner/manual mode: easily find radio
stations locally (manual) or in a strange place (auto).
- station naming: enter display names for radio stations
- CD text w/kenwood changer: if you buy the right kenwood
CD changer, it enables CD text for the system...nice!
- complete adjustments: treble, bass, midrange, front,
rear, balance, fade...everything!
There is more, but if you need tech specs, check the kenwood website.
The system has a great design. Up front, easy to use, colourful and functional. All the menus and system features are easily accessed through one menu button, and all you have to do is press the next track button to cycle through the features and the am/fm button toggles the feature on or off. The faceplate slides on and off without a hitch, and the security light that blinks when you remove it is cool (it can also be turned off in the system menu). The remote is excellent - I use it all the time. Sometimes the pushbutton volume controls and be tough to find and use if you're on a bumpy road or rough pavement, and it can be distracting from the road when doing stuff with the deck (despite it's simplicity and ease of use), but I am constantly using the remote. The buttons don't take long to memorize, and you don't even have to look at what you are doing. It functions from anywhere in the car as long as it is pointed at the deck. It even works through windows from outside the car, as long as it reaches the sensor in the left corner of the deck. Cool!
It is extremely functional and very easy to use. System Q is great to easily change the sound of the stereo with one button, and you can save your own setting as well.
This is a great system, and significantly more than I expected it to be. Radio reception was not much better than the factory deck, but it is still a bit better, with much better sound. I would not hesitate to buy the system again, and it is a sold buy. You are safe with this one!