Comprehensive Kenwood DDX9904S Review

Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S In-Dash DVD Receiver with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

Did you change your speakers?

This was the first reaction of a buddy of mine. He jumped in my car and noticed it immediately. This is the power of having the right stereo system.

Don’t be alarmed; I didn’t go overboard. Also, I haven’t changed the speakers they are all stock. It’s all thanks to Kenwood DDX9904 digital receiver.

After I had a great experience with it, I decided to write this Kenwood DDX9904S Review.

There’s a good reason why Kenwood is one of the best double din head unit makers. They deliver constantly. The sound quality and features are excellent. Let’s not get too ahead of myself.

Here’s the gist of my Kenwood DDX9904S Review. Let’s get started.

Pros
  • It makes your car as if it were new
  • It has everything you need: BT, GPS, DVD, Radio
  • 2-year warranty
Cons
  • No remote or Micro SD option
  • Warning message on even when you are in reverse

Does it fit in my car? Click Here to Check
Who can help me install it? Click Here to Check

Who is the Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S for?

Do you want great sound in your car without investing a ton of money?

All you need is a stereo. The Kenwood DDX9904S is so good that even old factory speakers sound like new.

This digital receiver unit is for anybody who wants to be entertained while driving. Maybe you want to jazz up your morning commute? Or are you driving long distance? This head unit is a good fit either way.

One of my friends connected it to an XBOX. I know what you’re thinking of, relax he wasn’t playing while driving. It was made for the kids. While they are occupied, he can drive without fuss.

As I mentioned earlier, the sound quality is simply amazing. Thanks to the built-in amp, even old rusty stereos sound like top of the line.

If you love radio, then this unit is a must-have. Thanks to new technology, you can listen to it in HD. It has built-in HD radio ready feature.

The unit is Sirius/XM ready. You can enjoy your favorite shows wherever you’re driving. To access satellite radio you will need a radio tuner.

What can the Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S do for you?

Maybe you are happy with your current sound, so what else can it do?

My second favorite feature is built-in Bluetooth enabled Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Important info: the only way to connect to Android is through the USB cord.

The wireless Android is still in the works. Actually, a few expensive stereo makers have it integrated. But it only works on a handful of Androids. Is it worth the investment? Maybe it will be in a couple of years.

Siri and Google are there to assist you while driving. With this new tech, you can both call and text. All this can be done safely without taking your eyes off the road. I can’t get enough of this feature.

You can send texts without typing. I know that text messaging is a leading cause of accidents. Now it can be eliminated.

We have already talked about Music and Radio. We have also covered hands-free mode with both Android and Apple. What else is there?

It also has a DVD player. If you are a great fan of DVDs, I’m letting you know companies are phasing it out. This means that in a matter of years they won’t be making stereos with DVDs anymore. I’ve seen a few of them, and they are light and easier to install.

With a good thumb drive, you can carry more music/movies than a stack of DVDs. Now you understand why they are removing this feature.

It has GPS, and it works like a charm. No more wasting time and money at dealerships to get the latest maps. To update your GPS maps, it will cost you $150. That’s the price if you go to a dealership, and with this head unit you connect to the internet and update it for free.

Which one would you choose?

The last great feature that I love is the ability to connect two cameras to the Kenwood stereo. Nowadays, a rear view camera (backup camera) is a must. And it doesn’t hurt to have a dash cam as well. When it comes to the bottom line it’s good to get a good dash cam. Don’t go for a cheap one. All this is possible when you install this stereo.

 

Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S shortcomings

I was hoping that I will not find anything wrong with this Kenwood head unit. Sadly there are some bugs with it. So here it goes.

The installation documentation is thin. If you want to do it yourself, it will be hard. Actually, the installation is easy, but there are few cars for which is cumbersome.

Let’s face it; there are so many make and model cars that it would be impossible to add all to a manual. So if you are stuck, it’s a good idea to contact support.

Kenwood has an ongoing problem with its 6.95-inch touch screen. Is has been a problem for many years so now we can call it a feature? On some cars, it will have a glare if the sun hits it at the right angle. Hopefully, this “feature” will be resolved.

I have two major problems with this digital receiver. The first one is the annoying 10s long warning message. This message pops up even when you are backing up. It defeats the purpose of having a rear view camera. I’m not the patient type of person. Did anybody found an off switch for this message?

My second problem with this stereo is the amount of time it takes to start. I get in the car, then buckle up and start the engine. And I’m still waiting for the music to start. I kept on waiting until finally, I heard the music.

It would be nice to have a Micro SD slot. What about a remote? I mean every cheap TV has one, Kenwood takes the hint.

 

How To Get The Most Out Of It Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S?

As you read it before, the installation can be extremely easy or difficult, depending on your car. I always recommend that it’s should be done by a professional.

You have probably read a bunch of reviews where people complain that certain things don’t work. The #1 reason for that is faulty installs. This is why it’s important to let the pros to mount it.

After everything is set up correctly, it’s time to take it for a spin. The interface is friendlier than other Kenwood units. This cuts down on the learning curve.

This digital receiver allows you to change the button illumination. Plus, it lets you customize the background and rearrange the icons.

If you would like to use the steering wheel buttons there’s a solution for that. You need to purchase and extra item. By getting an iDatalink Maestro you will not only control the DVD receiver from the steering wheel but deliver extra vehicle info.

I highly recommend playing around with the Equalizer. With a bit of tweaking, you can get that extra oomph from your stock speakers. And it plays excellent audio video.

 

Kenwood DDX9904S Review Conclusion

As you can see, the Kenwood DDX9904S has everything you need. It boosts your sound without needing new speakers. Thanks to hands-free tech, you can drive safely.

If you tune everything to the max, you will have a rolling entertainment center. The sound quality is crisp and clean. With this DVD receiver, you can enjoy both audio video.

It doesn’t matter if you have an Android or Apple phone. This satellite radio can help you connect via Apple Carplay or Android Auto. Do remember you need to plug the phone in to work properly.

As I’ve mentioned before, this unit has flaws as well. Now it’s your time to decide if those are deal-breakers.

I’m concluding this Kenwood DDX9904S Review. I hope this was both educational and entertaining at the same time.

If you can’t afford this head unit, take a look at the Kenwood DMX7706S Review, it might be your next best choice.

If you are interested in other stereos and I haven’t reviewed them, send me a message. Maybe I’ll get to it.

Catch you next time.
Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S In-Dash DVD Receiver with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

Does it fit in my car? Click Here to Check
Who can help me install it? Click Here to Check

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Does the Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S DVD receiver support Apple Carplay and Android Auto?

Yes, it does. Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth you can connect both types of phones. This head unit has no problems with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. If you want to listen to your iPod makes sure it’s Apple Carplay compatible.

How many cameras can you mount to the Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S car audio?

This DVD receiver can work with two cameras. You can mount a dash cam and a backup camera. It is dash cam ready. You have probably guessed that dash cams are sold separately. So it is dash cam ready but you need to buy it first.

Can the Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S  head unit be hooked up to steering wheel controls?

Yes, all you need is an iDatalink Maestro you can enjoy the steering wheel controls. With this head unit, you would be able to access the menu and adjust the sound. All this depends on what kind of buttons do you have on the steering wheel. Don’t worry by installing the module Apple Carplay Android Auto is not affected.

What kind of file format can the Kenwood Excelon DDX9904S satellite radio play?

This DVD receiver can play the usual files plus: wav FLAC WMA acc etc.

Does it have a audio video output?

Yes this Kenwood stereo has a rear audio video output so you can connect to an external monitor. It also has video input.

Where is the USB located?

It’s rear USB. So you will need a USB cable to get access to the USB input.

How big is the touchscreen display?

The touchscreen display is 6.95″. Apple Carplay Android Auto will look gorgeous on the screen.

Does this head unit comes with a remote control?

No it doesn’t have a remote control but you can buy one separately. Since you can connect compatible Android phones you will be able to make phone calls and utilize drive eq.

How many camera inputs does this deck have?

There are two camera inputs. One camera input is for the dash cam and the other one is for the rear view camera.

 

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About Danny Reid
About Danny Reid

Danny here, no matter in which market you’re in it’s flooded with products. Maybe you want a new stereo, amps, speakers or subs? This is why the blog exists to cut through the clutter.
My goal with the reviews is to inform you of the best possible to make the right decision.
Plus if you’re stuck with “the blue wire is connected to???” I have many hot tips to get you out of a jam.