Kenwood DDX26BT Review –The best budget double DIN?

 

Kenwood DDX26BT 6.2" WVGA DVD Receiver

Did your expensive stock car stereo break?

I feel your pain. It happened to a good friend of mine. When the dealership quoted the repair price, he almost fainted. I mean, the nerve to quote such a large sum is beyond me.

If this happens, what are your options? 

Well, you can give your hard earn money to the dealership or invest in an aftermarket stereo.

When the money is short, a budget aftermarket unit is a good investment. This is why I’ve created this Kenwood DDX26BT Review.

By reading this post, you’ll know exactly if this is the right double DIN unit for you.

For all those who want to see the conclusions, here’s the excerpt of the Kenwood DDX26BT Review.

Pros
  • Premium car audio sound at a great price
  • It has all the bells and whistles without useless apps
  • Excellent sound level for 22 watts of power
Cons
  • Starts slow 30-60 seconds until it finds the phone
  • The USB slot is in the back needs an extender

Who is the Kenwood DDX26BT DVD receiver for?

Kenwood has numerous products for a wide range of customers. The DDX26BTW is for budget-conscious drivers.

What you get is unheard of at this price range.

If you want a good stereo with CD/DVD and GPS, this is the best solution. It’s not the cheapest one on the market, but has great value.

It comes with all the bells and whistles without useless apps.

The number one buyer for this Kenwood head unit are old customers. Kenwood is an innovator in this field. You can’t compare their stereos, which were released three years ago.

Tech advances are so fast that in a matter of years, an older unit is considered obsolete.

If you don’t have big bucks to invest and you want good music quality, this might be the right choice. Thanks to its tech, even stock speakers will sound better with it installed.

All you need to use this stereo is a double DIN slot. If you only have a single DIN slot, then take a look in that department.

This unit is good for road warriors and short commuters as well. With the hands-free tech, you can enjoy safe driving.

With the help of built-in Bluetooth, car audio comes to life. Thanks to the integration of Apple Carplay and Android Auto, you can connect your smartphone. Apple CarPlay supports iPad/iPod/iPhone. The head unit is SiriusXM ready. Satellite Radio works with ease.

Did you know you can hook it up to the steering wheel controls? With the button on your steering wheel, you can start and end phone calls.

How cool is to have this tech at a fraction of the cost of a new car?

What can the Kenwood DDX26BT DVD receiver do for you?

Even if it’s a budget stereo, this Kenwood is packed with features.

As I mentioned before, you can connect your smartphone to the car. Audio streaming through Spotify and Pandora works flawlessly.

Are you a fan of built-in HD radio?

Well, now you can enjoy it in your car. You can listen to the crisp sound, which is CD quality.

I can’t get enough of the premium sound. It has 22 watts of power. It’s loud enough for any car. If you’re like me and you want to optimize your sound experience, this is the stereo for it. Look at the graphical EQ. Every music playback can be tweaked.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have spent (not wasted) many hours getting the perfect sound. I know my wife doesn’t appreciate it, but I do.

For you to connect with your smartphone, you need to plug it in. Now there’s a small glitch. They have put the USB input port at the back of the unit. This means you need to run an extension wire to access it.

To enjoy Android Auto, you need to plug your device in. After that, it works like a charm. Plus, your phone is getting charged.

You can add two cameras to your car stereo. For the front, you can mount a dash cam. For the back, you can install a rear view camera (backup camera). With the rear view camera you can par easily and safely. Some people complained that the dash cam is low quality also it might be a good idea to get a good rear camera.

Kenwood DDX26BT DVD receiver shortcomings

I guess my readers love this chapter the most. Here it comes.

The biggest 1st world problem with this car stereo is that it’s slow to boot up. It takes from 30 to 60 seconds until the stereo finds your phone. For some people, this is annoying. I believe it’s a small price to pay.

I’ve already mentioned that the head unit comes with rear USB. This means you need to run an extender if you want to utilize it. If you have an Android phone, it’s a must-do.

I miss the volume knob. After so many years, my hands reach for it by reflex. Sadly finds nothing there. There are buttons to press, but you need to be precise. During the dark, it might be unwise to fiddle with it.

It seems that every Kenwood product suffers from the same issue. The LCD is not that good. During the day, there’s a glare, and it’s hard to see. During the night, it’s too bright, and the dimming functions are not good enough.

Also, the unit is fixed can’t be tilted. Hopefully, you have the right car, and this won’t affect you.

My last issue with this stereo is that it only handles audio and video files. Images are not recognized. Sadly you can’t change the background.

 

How To Get The Most Out Of It Kenwood DDX26BT DVD receiver?

Matter of fact, this Kenwood unit is easy to install. Some people complained that the manual is thin. Well, there’s an easy solution for it. If you’re doing the install, then go on YouTube or call customer service. Nowadays having good customer support is paramount.

Or you can take it to a professional who can do it for you. If you want to use steering wheel controls with this DVD receiver a pro is your best bet. As you can imagine there how many wires are behind the steering wheel.

Hot tip: when you are connecting to the car stereo, do choose the 10 amp wire instead of the stock 3 amp one. Many people complained about their unit not working properly. Maybe this is the source of their problems.

Here’s some good news. To enjoy the premium sound, you don’t have to remove your stock speakers. With the 22 watt power, you will be amazed at the sound quality that is generated.

 

Kenwood DDX26BT Review Conclusion

I’m about to conclude this Kenwood DDX26BT Review. As you can see, this unit has everything that you need from a car stereo. Besides music capabilities, you can connect your phone with the built in Bluetooth and enjoy hands-free control. The car audio quality is excellent.

Numerous apps will help you pass the time during driving. GPS is also available, and thanks to Google, you don’t have to pay for updates.

All in all, it is a good unit to have. It’s is the best buy in the budget category. Frankly, if you go cheaper, you are losing some important features.

Do you want to buy a new car stereo?

Can’t you find any good reviews on the net?

Do reach out and I will gladly do one if there’s enough interest for it.

Catch you next time!

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many camera-input does this DVD receiver have?

You can connect two cameras a dash cam and a backup camera (rear view camera).

Can I use a different backup camera?

With this DVD receiver, you can use any aftermarket rear view camera.

Is it SiriusXM ready?

Yes, you can enjoy SiriusXM radio with your car audio. You do need a subscription to access it with the satellite radio

What can you get with car Audio streaming?

With car Audio streaming you can use typical apps like Spotify and Pandora.

What kind of files can the DDX26BT DVD receiver use?

This DVD receiver can play the usual file formats like mp3 WMA. Also, like any other DVD receiver can play videos.

How well does Apple Carplay work?

There weren’t any reported problems with Apple Carplay. So it’s safe to say that it works with this DVD receiver.

What kind of files can this in-dash DVD use?

This Kenwood in-dash DVD player can handle the most common files including MP3 WMA.

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Kenwood DDX26BT Review –The best budget double DIN?
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  Did your expensive stock car stereo break? I feel your pain. It happened to a good friend of mine. When the dealership quoted the repair price, he a

Editor's Rating:
4.8