Kenwood DNX996XR Review – Get an Amazing Sounding Ride Without Breaking The Bank

Kenwood DNX996XR 6.8" DVD Navigation Receiver with Wireless CarPlay & Android Auto

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You can turn your car stereo into an amazing sound system

And I left the best part out. You don’t need to get new speakers, amps, and subs, either. But brace yourself this is one of the most expensive head units I’ve seen.

It over-delivers in value and features, not to mention the warranty.

This is why I’ve created the Kenwood DNX996XR review.

This is the perfect car stereo that I could find. It has all the bells and whistles you will ever need. It’s that simple. You name it this double DIN stereo has it.

Here’s a quick preview on what’s coming up next. Finally, an HD screen I’ve been waiting for one for so long. The screen resolution is 720p. It comes with a DVD player plus standard and HD radio. It supports wireless Android and Apple smartphones. The built-in Bluetooth is fast and easy to use.

This deck is a fast starter, not like the others. If you want to rely on Garmin GPS (Garmin navigation with junction view), you can use them with ease. The sound quality is out of this world without changing anything in the car.

Both Siri and Google assistant are there to serve you. And there’s a lot more to come.

Keep an eye for the pros and cons section. There’s valuable info that you must read before you buy.

Let’s get this Kenwood DNX996XR review started.

Who is the Kenwood DNX996XR for?

The Kenwood Excelon dnx996xr is for  those who want all the bells and whistles available. This head unit appeals to the following people. Who want Android Auto wireless  and Apple Carplay.

Plus it’s for those who want to enjoy HD display. It’s one of the first stereos that offer 720p resolution.

No matter what you’re watching it will look amazing.

What can the Kenwood DNX996XR do for you?

As I mentioned, in the beginning, it has everything that you need. It’s the complete stereo that I had the pleasure of reviewing.

The biggest selling point is the wireless phone connectivity. Yes, you can get wireless Apple Carplay and Wireless Android Auto. Here’s a small side, not Android Auto wireless only works with a few select Google phones. For the rest, you need to plug it in. It’s all Google’s fault who’s working extremely slow.

Besides this small snag, you can make hands-free calls, plus you can text without touching your phone. Siri Eyes Free and Google Assistant are here to read and compose texts for you while driving. Whenever I use this feature, I feel like an important executive. Besides hands-free control Apple Carplay and Android Auto have a lot of features to explore.

I melted when I saw the touchscreen display. Finally, an HD screen. It’s so beautiful the screen size is 6.75” and it’s 720p touch screen. It’s simply beautiful. And it’s not just pretty it’s fast and responsive as well. If you choose the Garmin Navigation GPS as your own it will look fantastic on this screen.

This double DIN display is crystal clear in full light. There’s no glare. They have made it perfect.

What about the sound?

It’s Kenwood, so it’s the best. No other equipment needed, and it beats the stock hands down.

My biggest fear that this stereo will be slow to start. Imagine my surprise when I timed it, and it started in the 10s flat. So it’s a speedy unit.

If you are interested in audio streaming, music streaming, then look no further. The Kenwood DNX996XR has it all. Spotify and Pandora work like a charm. Plus, it comes with SiriusXM ready.
Kenwood DNX996XR 6.8" DVD Navigation Receiver with Wireless CarPlay & Android Auto

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Kenwood DNX996XR shortcomings

Even if this is the complete car stereo, I’ve seen it’s not perfect. The Kenwood DNX996XR head unit has flaws. Let’s see if they are a deal-breaker for you.

As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t a cheap puppy. You need a serious budget to afford it. It’s one of the most expensive car stereos I’ve ever reviewed.

Here are other nuisances that you have to deal with. If you want to install it yourself, brace yourself. There are lots of wires to tangle. I mean, there are “miles” of them.  At least units that don’t have a DVD player are easier to install.

Here’s a biggie. If you stick with Garmin navigation, get ready to shell out money for map updates. Plus, if you want to live traffic updates, the first two years are free, then you have to pay. They need to make money somehow.

This supposed to be a premium product. So what is the excuse behind that huge hideous mic? The mic should be almost invisible and not stick out like a sore thumb.

Another issue comes with the radio. If you save your stations, you can only access them by going either up or down the list. To make things worse, you can’t assign any name to it. It’s only a number. Imagine having 30+ stations saved, and you are going. You can only access the 10th one if you go from the first to the tenth. There’s no jumping around.

Well, that’s an easy fix, so I hope they will work it out.

Now, these were the flaws of this Kenwood Excelon unit.

I’ve reviewed a similar, but a lot cheaper Kenwood double DIN. Take a look at the Kenwood DDX26BT review.

How To Get The Most Out Of Kenwood DNX996XR?

First of all, you need to get it installed as you have read it before, the Kenwood DNX996XR car stereo comes with lots of wires. I don’t like to waste my time on things that I don’t understand. So I leave it for the pros.

The next thing I highly suggest getting is iDatalink Maestro. This device allows you to keep your steering wheel controls. Plus, it delivers vehicle diagnosis info as well. Though this unit is not included in the package and it’s sold separately.

The Kenwood DNX996XR head unit comes with three camera inputs. You can use it to install a dash cam and a backup camera. Now for the third one, you can mount it in the front or on the side for safe travels.

There’s so much to customize. Besides the colors, you can change the background to any image you like. Thanks to the double USB ports, you can charge your phone and play music from a flash drive.

Don’t get me started on the sound quality. It’s out of this world. Don’t forget to play around with the 13-band graphic equalizer. Or at least choose one of the presets. You’ll see what I’m talking about. If you’re interested in the preamp outputs here they are: preamp outputs (5-volt front, rear, sub). As for the power output it’s 50W x 4 channels.

Here’s the bird’s eye view for this DVD receiver head unit.

  • It’s crystal clear in full sunlight. It’s an amazing display without glare.
  • The head unit starts under 10s, so it’s fast
  • It comes with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto no more wires
  • You need a serious budget for this head unit
  • The map updates are paid if you don’t use the free navis

Does it fit in my car?

Kenwood DNX996XR Review Conclusion

As you can see, the Kenwood DNX996XR delivers on its promise. If you can get through the budget aspect, it’s a good unit to have.

We have reached the end of the Kenwood DNX996XR review.

I hope I’ve managed to give some valuable info about this deck.

Feel free to comment below. Also, if you are interested in me to review other units do reach out and let me know.

Catch you next time.

Kenwood DNX996XR Review 2024

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Does this Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR digital media receiver come with digital time alignment?

Just like most top line Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR digital multimedia receiver this as well comes with digital time alignment. You can set the delay for the music to reach you this is what digital time alignment does. The 13-band Equalizer will allow you to get that perfect pitch. Apple Carplay and Android Auto will give you a plethora of music to listen to.

How many camera inputs does this dnx996xr Kenwood navigation receiver has?

The dnx996xr Kenwood navigation receiver comes with three camera inputs. You can mount a dash cam, a backup cam and a side cam as well. These cameras are not included in the package and they are sold separately.

Does the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR stereo has an audio video output?

Yes with the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR unit has audio video output you can connect to an external monitors. Besides audio video output this unit has audio video input as well. You can enjoy quality audio with this Kenwood deck.

Is this deck compatible with Kenwood Remote S app?

Yey Kenwood Remote S app is fully supported. You can choose which wireless option you want from your phone. For example if you want Android Auto wireless you can do that.

What kind of GPS can is use with the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR receiver?

There’s the built-in Garmin navigation GPS with junction view. Plus you can use any free GPS like Google Maps or Waze.

What kind of USB ports does this deck have?

The Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR receiver comes with two rear USB inputs. To get full access to it it’s a good idea to run a USB cable from the back to the front.

What kind of warranty I’m looking at with the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR HU?

With the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR you are getting a two year warranty. This is valid for only those audio products that are purchased from authorized dealers. For some reason not all audio products are under this warranty umbrella.

What kind of radio can I listen to with this stereo?

There’s the standard AM/FM radio. Plus it has a built-in HD radio tuner and it’s satellite radio ready.

Can is use Apple Carplay and Android Auto with the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR unit?

Yes both Apple Carplay and Android Auto is fully supported by Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR stereo. It doesn’t matter what kind of smartphone you have it will work with apple carplay android auto. You can use both wired and wireless option.

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Danny Reid

Hey, I'm Danny, and I know how hard it can be to find the perfect audio gear. Need a new stereo, amp, speakers, or subs? Don't worry – my blog is here to help you cut through the noise! My mission is to give you the best reviews, so you can make the right decision for your audio needs. And if you ever get stuck thinking, "Where does this blue wire go?" don't worry – I've got tons of cool tips to help you out of any jam. So come along with me on this fun, sound-filled adventure, and let's find the perfect audio setup to make your tunes really sing!