or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Other Areas of Interest › Car Audio, Video, and Nav › KDC-X993 review
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

KDC-X993 review - Page 2

post #31 of 71
quick reply is comforting how do they deal with the issue ? need to send back .?
post #32 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbb_f1234 View Post

quick reply is comforting how do they deal with the issue ? need to send back .?

Ask me a couple of questions, ran through a couple tests, decided unit was defective and sent it in for repairs/replacement. It will have been 4 weeks since I sent it in tomorrow. I had the store I purchased it from send it in, so I did not have to pay shipping. I was told it would take 4-6 weeks.
post #33 of 71
thought it take long ,but if you can get it repaired free ,i think it is not bad.
post #34 of 71
maybe they are using air mail or something slower..
post #35 of 71
Thread Starter 
Seems long to me too. I hope it is ready soon. I really miss having that stereo in there and I sold my old excelon. So I have this old pioneer in there, and I don't even have it connected up to my sub and it can't control much, so really all I get is a few radio stations and the ability to play CDs, which I haven't bought in years (I only buy music digitally, and then use the USB or music keg to play music).
post #36 of 71
I have been searching for some updated patch from Kenwood, or an answer as to how to do this because I can not figure out WHY they would do this on purpose.

When going through the iPod menus with the remote you can not CHOOSE things. You have to press in that stupid button on the head unit to choose a selection to move forward.

So lets say I plug in the ipod and want to go to my "Jams" playlist.

I plug in the ipod, it's starts playing from whenever. I have to hit Search on the HU, turn the knob to scroll to PLAYLISTS, press the button IN, then scroll to JAMS, then press button IN to choose that playlist.

I have not been able to find a way to do this with the remote only. Even if I'm sitting still its HARD to press that stupid button in straight, 9 x's out of 10 I drift to the left or the right and have to scroll to get back to my selection.

This IMHO makes the remote worthless. Navigating thru the iPod menus is the hardest thing to do on this HU and it could be much easier with just using the remote.

Anyone else experience this?
post #37 of 71
Hmm, interesting. I'll try today and let you know about the selecting with the remote issues.

I like this deck overall. Originally I was 100% dead set on getting the pioneer 7100, but wasnt able to as it was only available in the US. Turns out my friend got the pioneer recently and I had a chance to mess around with it. I'm glad i ended up with the kenwood. Better display and the Kenwood believe it or not actually seems more user friendly...lol. With the pioneer i was like WTF when trying to adjust something for him.

There's still a lot of stuff I have no clue on how to do with the 993....I wish there was more instructions somewhere. Ie. how to make a phone call through the head unit...lol.
post #38 of 71
Thread Starter 
I wish the head unit had a mute/attenuate button, and that the favorites could hold more then 6. I have a couple of extra phone numbers I'd like to be available from the favorites menu. But overall, I really like this unit.
post #39 of 71
it does have a mute button. on the remote and (i think) on the head if you push in the right dial when a tune is playing.
post #40 of 71
man just downloaded the manual from Kenwood. What a piece of garbage this manual is. It doesnt tell you how to do ANYTHING.

If you guys agree i say we start sharing questions/answers here on how to perform various functions. ie. Set up deck to make a hands free call....or how to set up the voice recognize thing.
post #41 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmfer View Post

it does have a mute button. on the remote and (i think) on the head if you push in the right dial when a tune is playing.

Yeah, I know there is one on the remote. On the head unit, I'm pretty sure what you just described is the pause button, not a mute/attenuator.
post #42 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmfer View Post

man just downloaded the manual from Kenwood. What a piece of garbage this manual is. It doesnt tell you how to do ANYTHING.

If you guys agree i say we start sharing questions/answers here on how to perform various functions. ie. Set up deck to make a hands free call....or how to set up the voice recognize thing.

I've got voice dialing and hands free calls setup. Might be my voice, but the voice dialing pretty inaccurate for me, so I don't use it. The manual was good for me in setting all that up. What do you want to know with setting up the hands free stuff?
post #43 of 71
I've had my eye on this unit for some time, just waiting for the price to drop. Quite a few are showing up on e*bay now under the $200 mark. Someone supposedly in Prague seems to be auctioning off a couple of them, but he has no feedback and very little time as a seller. I think I'll stick with a US vendor.
post #44 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by newlinux View Post

I've got voice dialing and hands free calls setup. Might be my voice, but the voice dialing pretty inaccurate for me, so I don't use it. The manual was good for me in setting all that up. What do you want to know with setting up the hands free stuff?

damn, i thought I was subscribed to this thread....oh well i am now.

Anyways, Im using the Iphone 3G, and for the life of me cant figure out how to use voice dialing....you would think I just push the phone button on the head unit, then say Call home, or phone home etc. But no workie.

Any ideas? What phone are you using?
post #45 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmfer View Post

damn, i thought I was subscribed to this thread....oh well i am now.

Anyways, Im using the Iphone 3G, and for the life of me cant figure out how to use voice dialing....you would think I just push the phone button on the head unit, then say Call home, or phone home etc. But no workie.

Any ideas? What phone are you using?

I've got a cheap old motorola v365 flip phone.

AFAIK it doesn't use the voice dialing already on the phone - you have to go into the phonebook after it is loaded on the head unit and setup new voice tags (for individual numbers you can do categories too). You get there through the BT->Voice Tag menu item (in the function menu). You make calls with BT-Voice Recognize... Say the name you setup, then it brings up the phone book entry, and then you STILL have to press the control knob for 1 second to make the call. Another reason I don't use the voice dialing. I just set up the numbers I call most frequently in my favorites - wish it had more global favorites than 6.
post #46 of 71
hmph, thats retarded. Its actually harder to use the voice dialing, then to actually dial the phone. Also more dangerous. .lol.

Jesus, with the iphone laying on the passenger seat, 2 button presses and I have the number dialed.
post #47 of 71
A google search turned up this thread looking for more info on the deck, so I thought I'd chime in with my $0.02.

My main reason for purchasing the x993 was mainly because it was the only deck on the market that had the specific features I wanted: RDS, Red face (or something that could be made red), bluetooth and mp3 playback.

Overall, I like the deck. Some minor issues I have with it that I hope will be fixed in future firmwares, but here's my review:

Pros:
- The face colour change option is pretty sweet.
- 5 lines of text == nice.
- RDS works quite nicely.
- The ability to set it up to change from reverse with the car's dim/lighting is awesome since I can have it be in reverse during the day so it's readable, and not reverse at night so it looks better.
- Sounds great
- Making/receiving phone calls via Bluetooth works nicely.

Cons:
- The controls feel clunky.
- It's not just your voice, the voice recognition for voice dialing is a complete and utter writeoff.
- The inability to randomise an entire USB device that *isn't* an iPod is an epic fail.
- The deck's insistence on flashing other ugly colours when any event happens -- HF connect, HF disconnect, phone calls, etc.
- When my HF goes out of range, the deck flashes 'HF Disconnect'.. relentlessly. There appears to be no way to make this go away. And it won't reconnect to the phone should the phone come back -- this I don't know if it's the deck's fault or the phones, but I believe it's the deck since I'm pretty sure it didn't do that on my last deck.
- When I get an SMS, the deck flashes, "SMS RECEIVED" (again, in an ugly colour). This message will never go away. Unless you do something on the deck. But there's no button (that I can find) that will make the text go away that won't affect something else. I can turn the volume knob, but then the volume will change. Smack a button, it will to into a menu, etc. Traditional UI design would suggest the first event when something is flashing will dismiss the flashing and do nothing else.
- Sometimes, when I get in the car and turn it on, the deck will turn on, link up with my phone, and start flashing "SMS RECEIVED" even if there isn't an SMS waiting at all.

The issue you have with it going back to USB regardless of where you left it mine doesn't appear to have. It does what it's supposed to.

So .. there's my $.02
post #48 of 71
I have to post my thoughts on Kenwood & Alpine here, as I've had experiences with both over the past decade+.

Last year I got a new car ('08 Liberty) and sold my Xterra which had been fitted with all Kenwood except a Kicker 5-channel amp (40wx4 + 100w). The day that was installed was magnificent! Crystal clear for average speakers (Excellon) and the Keg under the seat was a Godsend, even though I had to use 3rd party software to sync iTunes playlists from my Mac, it worked great.

On to the Liberty:
I got the Limited which came with a BS 'Premium' audio setup, what a joke. The Satellite's bit-rate was a disapointment too. But I knew I was gonna outfit this better than the X. I also realized I hurt my speakers in the past with such low wattage, and pushing it fried them over time. So I set out to piece together what I thought was going to be a super system, not the best but upgradable if need-be.

Alpine 505 DVD
Diamond Hex 6.5 comps for both front & rear
Kicker 4 channel 185w
Kicker 500w mono paired with a Bravox 12" box in back
FatMat insulation

Somewhere in here is a very very weak link. The sound is undynamic, flat, nothing that shimmered with clarity like the Kenwood's I've had in the past!! Quite a bunch of coin I dropped for something that absolutely is unimpressive. So now I have to figure out which component here is not performing like my systems of past...

I almost hope it's the head unit. I know Alpine is supposed to be just as good SQ as Kenwood if not better...I have been thinking that this is a unit that was really geared more for bells & whistles and A/V rather than SQ. The pre-outs were only like 2.4v but jumped to 4v with the addition of the Imprint sound calibrator. I paid $1200 for that thing and am almost ready to try a $220 Kenwood X993 discussed here to throw in just to see if that's the culprit.

I can't imagine it's the Kickers fault because the Kickers I've had in the past have been very nice sounding. How can the SQ become worse over the course of 10 years?

Finally, the speakers: The silk tweeter installed in the pillars and rear doors are decent, tenor sax sounds incredible. These are far more subdued sounding high-end than I recall the Kenwoods being in the Xterra. This would be the hardest component to replace in cost and time. The panels are a real bitch to get back on, and soldering etc...
I thought the fatmat insulation would improve the sound, but even still I have some rattling coming out of both the tweets and the mids...

Can anyone shed some light on the differences between the Alpine unit mentioned and the X993? The interface & GUI on the Alpine is so lame for something that's a year old, it's really very archaic compared to the fluid response of an iPod. Even though the iPod interface connects, there are so many features that they forgot, like folder #, track#, you can't see the end of the titles if they're long etc...

Are the iPod connectors in these units the same digital purity as a CD in the deck?

Thanks for your input in advance!
post #49 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnfm View Post

- When I get an SMS, the deck flashes, "SMS RECEIVED" (again, in an ugly colour). This message will never go away. Unless you do something on the deck. But there's no button (that I can find) that will make the text go away that won't affect something else. I can turn the volume knob, but then the volume will change. Smack a button, it will to into a menu, etc. Traditional UI design would suggest the first event when something is flashing will dismiss the flashing and do nothing else.

One thing I do when the headunit starts flashing like crazy is just to flip down/open the face then close it again. stupid idea but works. Then if you want to resynch the phone without turning the car off/on again, go into standby, then down to phone/device selection and select/mark the phone with a "-" beside it. It should then reconnect.
post #50 of 71
I have run into the HF Disconnect thing a couple times. Turning the car on/off works - and since I had to get out of the car to make it disconnect - it's not much of an issue for me - just turn the car off and back on and I'm back in business.

I don't use voice dialing on the stereo - I dial from my 3GS. I don't have to look down that way - until the 3GS gets voice recognition wrong, which is a good 70% of the time. Anyway - far easier to dial from the phone, which I do rarely anyway.

As for iPhone/iPod navigation with the remote - I also figured out you have to push that button on the head unit to pick a selection. It SUCKS - because I use the remote to avoid the down-press. Definitely the worst interface control ever.

Luckily, I almost always use a USB stick for music - frees my phone up for all the other crap it is capable of anyway - and I don't like burning the battery up for nonsense, since battery life is so precious. Also, I have far higher bitrates (320 variable) on my USB stick, so I far prefer to use that.

I have decided to put together another USB stick with different music on it to handle the music variability issue. Mine is all organized by Artist and Album - I guess I'm an album purist - since that's how I prefer to listen.

However - IIRC you can shuffle any lowest-level FOLDER with USB. I'm pretty sure I could shuffle an album (my lowest level folder). So you could put together folders with one type of music and shuffle that. You could put multiple folders on a USB stick - and get multiple sticks if necessary. Not as convenient as shuffling other ways - but again - for me this is a non-issue since I like listening to the albums the way the artists put them together.

Music over A2DP sucks major - don't use it. Horrific artifacts on the high end, and compression and distortion on the low end too. Thought I could stream Pandora to my stereo - useless.

I slowly became aware of some missing highs on my USB music comparing it to my home sound system. I noticed it mostly in cymbals. I finally discovered that the DSP on the Kenwood was stomping all over my fairly high-quality USB source (FLAC to 320kbps variable). Once I turned off the DSP on the Kenwood, the cymbal crashes REALLY opened up a lot, and to my ears the clarity improved greatly. Maybe it works well for hacked up low bitrate audio off an iPod/iPhone source, but for me I have it disabled and probably won't turn it on again.
post #51 of 71
Thats weird. I notice no sound quality degradation when streaming via bluetooth from iphone. I rarely use it because I prefer to have the track info on the headunit.
post #52 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmfer View Post

Thats weird. I notice no sound quality degradation when streaming via bluetooth from iphone. I rarely use it because I prefer to have the track info on the headunit.

Maybe there is something wrong with my phone then? I wanted to jam something sharp in my ear after about 1 minute. At first I couldn't tell - but then I noticed it and couldn't get it out of my head. Of course, I can tell that there is a difference even when the iPhone is plugged in, because of the low bitrate (192) I use on the phone to preserve space. For crappy in-ear headphones, it's basically undetectable - but the Kenwood is more revealing of flaws (and rightly so!).

I tested it carefully - I can definitely hear further degradation over bluetooth in my vehicle. I even tried putting the phone on the dash - right up next to the receiver - anything to fix it - nothing worked.
post #53 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noubourne View Post

Maybe there is something wrong with my phone then? I wanted to jam something sharp in my ear after about 1 minute. At first I couldn't tell - but then I noticed it and couldn't get it out of my head. Of course, I can tell that there is a difference even when the iPhone is plugged in, because of the low bitrate (192) I use on the phone to preserve space. For crappy in-ear headphones, it's basically undetectable - but the Kenwood is more revealing of flaws (and rightly so!).

I tested it carefully - I can definitely hear further degradation over bluetooth in my vehicle. I even tried putting the phone on the dash - right up next to the receiver - anything to fix it - nothing worked.

Hey dude, keep in mind this: check your EQ settings on your iphone (setting->Ipod->eq...etc). I found that you CAN'T use the ipod eq on iphone when connected to the kenwood via usb cable but you CAN use the eq on the phone when streaming. Maybe (just maybe) you have an EQ preset selected and it only sounds $hitty going through the kenwood....know what I mean? Let me know the results.
post #54 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmfer View Post

Hey dude, keep in mind this: check your EQ settings on your iphone (setting->Ipod->eq...etc). I found that you CAN'T use the ipod eq on iphone when connected to the kenwood via usb cable but you CAN use the eq on the phone when streaming. Maybe (just maybe) you have an EQ preset selected and it only sounds $hitty going through the kenwood....know what I mean? Let me know the results.

Nope. I tested again and found a "HD" or high quality audio streaming setting on the phone and turned it on.

That did not change the garbled high frequency sounds. Cymbals are garbled. Even the snare drums sound wacky. Definitely noticeable.

Don't think it's my phone. Just think it's A2DP. At least until I hear it working correctly anywhere else...

Till then it's easy enough to hook up my phone via USB and listen to what's on it that way if necessary. I have listened off it a few times to recharge it. The issue there is that it's hard to control since the iPod thinks it's plugged in - and the stereo tells me to control it on the phone...
post #55 of 71
Ok, I know this is an old thread, but I recently installed the unit and I love everything, except the bluetooth. My phone connected, phonebook downloaded fine, music on my phone played no problem, can't use it to talk at all. I figured I need to update the firmware but it seems I have to update it using bluetooth, how in the world do you do that?! I guess I need a laptop with BT , but I'm not that privileged, is there a way to update via usb? One of the main reasons I got the unit was for the BT, have no clue what to do! Any ideas?
post #56 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by revsone View Post

Ok, I know this is an old thread, but I recently installed the unit and I love everything, except the bluetooth. My phone connected, phonebook downloaded fine, music on my phone played no problem, can't use it to talk at all. I figured I need to update the firmware but it seems I have to update it using bluetooth, how in the world do you do that?! I guess I need a laptop with BT , but I'm not that privileged, is there a way to update via usb? One of the main reasons I got the unit was for the BT, have no clue what to do! Any ideas?

Where did you mount the mic?
post #57 of 71
1 - Im pretty sure you can update via USB thumbdrive. But that being said, is there even an update for it?

2 - yah check the mic placement. Can you hear the other person talking through your speakers? can you provide more detail on the symptoms....what works and doesnt with BT?
post #58 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noubourne View Post

Nope. I tested again and found a "HD" or high quality audio streaming setting on the phone and turned it on.

That did not change the garbled high frequency sounds. Cymbals are garbled. Even the snare drums sound wacky. Definitely noticeable.

Don't think it's my phone. Just think it's A2DP. At least until I hear it working correctly anywhere else...

Till then it's easy enough to hook up my phone via USB and listen to what's on it that way if necessary. I have listened off it a few times to recharge it. The issue there is that it's hard to control since the iPod thinks it's plugged in - and the stereo tells me to control it on the phone...

As another followup on my X993:

Recently I took my car in to replace the stock front speakers. The high end was just missing compared to my home, and so I wanted to upgrade the fronts - the stock ones just sounded soft and rolled off to me.

I decided on some Hertz DSK165 components. They were well recommended, sounded great in the store, and were high sensitivity so I was likely to be able to get away running them off the 993. I also had a Dynamat kit installed in the front doors.

The difference is night and day. The dampening made a noticeable difference, but really it's the speakers that have done the job. WOW. Just wow. I used to think only certain albums were "good" for cymbal crashes to hear where the old speakers were not quite up to snuff. Now, almost every album I have listened to has sounded crisp and crystal clear. The cymbals sound much more like real cymbals.

I definitely want to emphasize how important it is to turn off DSP on the KDC X993. When I first sat in the car after the shop had worked on it, I noticed a big difference. I settled in and started to test out material I had been checking for lack of that crisp high end.

After about 10 minutes, I realized there was a significant hiss in spots that were previously near-silent on almost all albums. Some albums I have noticed in the past to have a different noise floor - I have a couple live albums with a noticeable hiss - but I did not notice it across every album! I wondered if the higher sensitivity and somewhat quieter cabin was making this noticeable?

Then I started to notice a harsh, garbled sibilance on S and T in Radiohead and on cymbal crashes. I hopped between a few other albums and I could hear it in almost every song. The speakers were starting to tear apart my ears and I couldn't turn it up as loud as before because of the wicked harshness!! I wondered if I was going to have to spend another $500 to get rid of this crap!!!!!

Then I realized where I had heard those artifacts before. I checked the settings - and sure enough - that DSP setting had been turned back on. The moment I disabled it, the hiss disappeared (or at least dropped to its previous near-unnoticeable level) and the cymbals started to sound round and shimmery - without the prickly pinny harshness that was scraping my eardrums before. Just like that - BLISS.

THESE ARE AWESOME SPEAKERS. I am really totally satisfied with the huge leap in performance. Again: Night and day!! I know you can get much better - but at this price point - I would not hesitiate to recommend them for anyone on a budget who is not looking to run a separate amp. They perform spectacularly well on the 12-17w that this deck puts out.

In summary:
Hertz DSK165 - great entry level speakers, even without a separate amp.
Kenwood KDC-X993 - great entry-level head unit - AS LONG AS DSP IS TURNED OFF!!!
post #59 of 71
hey by turning DSP off, you mean "bypass"? I just tried this and it sounds like absolute compressed Shiet.
post #60 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmfer View Post

hey by turning DSP off, you mean "bypass"? I just tried this and it sounds like absolute compressed Shiet.

Exactly.

Perhaps this is an issue with your source? That's the only way I could believe that adding this layer of processing - which clearly adds a hiss to everything and mangles the high-end frequencies - would provide a benefit.

My media is all either CD (only a few) or 320kbps VBR insane quality rip from FLAC. It sounds outstanding - indistinguishable from CD for me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Car Audio, Video, and Nav
AVS › AVS Forum › Other Areas of Interest › Car Audio, Video, and Nav › KDC-X993 review