Kenwood DPX503BT Review – Is it the best Minimalist Stereo?

Kenwood DPX503BT Double DIN Bluetooth CD AM/FM USB Car Audio Receiver

Do you enjoy tech, but you’re a minimalist at heart?

Do you need fancy apps and videos? Or can you live x`without them?

The reason why I call this stereo a minimalist’s dream is because it has only a handful of features. Just in case you’re wondering, it does show the time.

It plays CDs and DVDs. You can connect your phone to it. Plus, you can play music from a USB stick — no useless gimmicks just pure efficiency.

The USB port is located in the front. Connect your phone and you can start the music streaming Pandora, Spotify.

This is why I love this head unit. Plus, elderly parents can get used to it fast. If your old stock stereo called it quits, you need a solution fast. Maybe you have asked the dealership, and they are charging an arm and leg? The Kenwood DPX503BT to the rescue.

This is the reason why I’ve created this Kenwood DPX503BT review. I want people to know about this great double din stereo.

I know there are a few impatient readers. So here is the quick overview.

Pros
  • Elderly parents can use it with ease
  • You can connect both Android and Apple devices
  • It’s a large screen, so there’s squinting
Cons
  • It’s hard to see in bright sunlight
  • The radio scanning sensitivity could be better

 

Who is the Kenwood DPX503BT head unit for?

As you can see from the pictures, it doesn’t have a touchscreen. This stereo is old school. You have your traditional buttons and an LED type display. You may rest assured that there’s nothing old school about the sound quality.

It has a CD/DVD player. Actually one of the customers complained about why doesn’t it have a tape player. What’s a tape player? I have gotten rid of all my tapes and CDs. All my music collection fits on one thumb drive.It’s easier to sort them, and I’m not wasting space to carry them.

This Kenwood stereo is for those who want premium sound quality without the new age flash. Plus, this stereo has actual buttons. It’s easy to control while driving. You can keep your eyes on the road.

The Kenwood DPX503BT can be for anyone who loves to take calls and listen to good quality music. This can come from the radio, CD or your phone.

Are you a road warrior?

Then you can enjoy your favorite radio station. Did I mention that the price is the best on the market? It’s just over $100 beats anything in this category.

What can the Kenwood DPX503BT do for you?

First of all, it has a large enough screen, so you don’t have to squint (6.2 inches wide). Second, you can change the button background colors to suit your style.

If you install this head unit, you are getting a classy, slick design.

They went overboard with the music quality and customization. If you are not a hardcore music person, there’s no reason to touch the advanced settings.

If you want to enjoy every beat, then you will need to update the sound system. Don’t get me wrong the DPX503BT is at least 4x better than similar stock stereo.

This is only for those who want to go beyond. By a good sound system, I mean a dedicated amp and some good speakers.

For the average people, a bit of tweaking here and there is enough.

Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth, you can connect any Apple and Android products. So you can safely drive and take phone calls.

Best of all, this stereo allows you to pair two phones at the same time.

 

Kenwood DPX503BT shortcomings

Dear readers, I won’t disappoint you. This stereo has a few flaws.

I have no idea why this is the most popular section of my articles.

Even if this product is quite old, Kenwood didn’t do any updates on it. The biggest issue that customers face is that you can’t see the screen in bright light. There are lots of screens that work in daylight. They need to do an upgrade.

Hot tip: if you have polarized sunglasses, this head unit can’t be read through them.

The manual is thin for my taste. It’s more like a quick install guide. If you want to get into the details, you will find the info online.

The second biggest problem with this stereo is that it lacks in the radio department. First of all, it doesn’t have HD radio. I got used to CD quality radio. It’s almost a downgrade for me.

The second would be that the radio receiver isn’t that sensitive. Stock stereo seemed to pick up more radio stations. Well, this is an easy fix if you connect your phone.

 

How To Get The Most Out Of It Kenwood DPX503BT?

I always recommend a professional install. My brother managed to get it for $150. He’s not familiar with the electrical system, so he left it to someone who does. If you decide to do it by yourself don’t forget to reach for customer service when stuck. Nothing solves an issue faster than good customer service.

Don’t forget the manual is thin and you will need to go online to find the info. If you stuck, try YouTube for tutorials. Nowadays you can find anything there.

Once the install is done, do update your firmware. You have to have your firmware file on a pen drive an plug it in the USB port.

I believe many of the negative reviews come from these two points. Either of the bad manual isnttall, or the soft is out of date.

All these problems can be prevented if you follow the steps above.

After you have customized the button backlights and your audio settings, you are done. It’s time to take it out for a spin. You will be surprised how good the audio is. It doesn’t matter if you have your own stock speakers.

Since this is one of those old-school car stereos there’s no Android Auto or Apple Carplay. You can only do audio streaming through the builtin Bluetooth. Any phone that has a Bluetooth connection will be good for audio streaming. This SiriusXM satellite radio ready head unit is for anybody who wants internet streaming.

 

Kenwood DPX503BT Review Conclusion

As you have seen in the pictures, this stereo is for the minimalist. It has a few key functionalities, and that’s it. The Kenwood DPX503BT is at an affordable price. You can listen to music and take calls. What more do you need?

The final piece that I loved about this head unit was the real buttons. You can feel them work. Seniors can easily use it.

Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth connection you can enjoy hands-free calling and wireless audio. The car audio quality is excellent and it plays the most common files like mp3 WMA. Many car stereos nowadays can do audio video. Although this minimalist car stereo is not capable of audio video. If video is an absolute must you need a different car audio head unit.

I’m about to conclude my Kenwood DPX503BT Review. I hope you have learned everything there’s about this stereo.

I’m making custom reviews if there’s enough interest. Do contact me if you want anything done.

Catch you next time.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Is the Kenwood DPX503BT double din car stereo a marine audio?

No, this satellite radio is for cars only. Kenwood does make marine audio stereos.

Do I need idatalink maestro with Kenwood double din car stereo?

It depends on how much you want to customize your DVD receiver. If you want to display all the car information then you will need to use the idatalink maestro with the Kenwood satellite radio. To access all the features that your steering wheel controls can provide you will need it. This is a good investment if your steering wheel has buttons.

What does BT stand in DPX503BT?

BT means built-in Bluetooth. With the help of Bluetooth, you can do hands-free calling and audio streaming. Thanks for this Kenwood double din car stereo your car audio experience will improve.

What kind of preamp outputs does this Kenwood double din car stereo have?

The preamp outputs for this double din car stereo looks like this: 6 channel 2.5V front, rear, subwoofer. Actually you can increase the preamp outputs if you choose a different head unit. The dpx593bt has the following 6 channel preamp outputs: 5V front,rear, subwoofer. Either of them you choose remember that it’s one of the best Kenwood car stereos.

Can you listen to SiriusXM satellite radio with the DPX503BT?

Kenwood car HU’s are all radio ready. Also, they are SiriusXM ready. All you have to do is add your private account and you can enjoy the SiriusXM satellite radio. Since you are connected by your phone you can listen to internet radio.

Does it come with a remote control?

Sadly this double din car stereo doesn’t have a remote control. But with any Android or Apple phone, there’s a remote control app.

What is the best Kenwood car stereo?

This comes down to a category. For more information do read my Best Kenwood Car stereo review.

Is this a single DIN or double DIN head unit?

This Kenwood radio tuner is double DIN. If you only have a single DIN slot you need to get a different head unit.

What kind of music options does this Kenwood head unit offer?

Once you have connected to the front USB port you can do music streaming from Pandora Spotify. Also, this radio tuner can play MP3 and WMA files from your flash drive. It comes with Music Mix feature. With Music Mix you can playback and record music from the dual phone connection. Kenwood created Music Mix so you can pair up to five phones.

Does this Kenwood radio tuner support dual phone connection?

Yes dual phone connection is supported by DPX503BT.

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Kenwood DPX503BT Review – Is it the best Minimalist Stereo?
Kenwood DPX503BT Review – Is it the best Minimalist Stereo? 1

Do you enjoy tech, but you’re a minimalist at heart? Do you need fancy apps and videos? Or can you live x`without them? The reason why I call this stereo a

Editor's Rating:
3.9