Android compatibility for Leslie H's 2001 Nissan Xterra
A new sound system that integrates her HTC phone
Leslie had had enough of the tired factory system in her Nissan.
A system way past its prime
When we touched base with Leslie, a local elementary school teacher, we learned that she had a 2001 Nissan Xterra with a sound system that needed some help. Leslie cranked the factory radio and speakers for us, and her music was muffled, low, and lacked any depth or detail. As she turned up the volume, the only thing that increased was the distortion. The crew let Leslie know that her sound was about to get much better, and that she could perform the installation.
Excited about installing her new system
She had no installation experience, but that did little to quash her enthusiasm for getting better sound in her Nissan. She also wanted to get her HTC One Android™ smartphone more involved for additional music options and hands-free calling. So the plan involved the new Kenwood KDC-X599 CD receiver and four Kenwood KFC-1665S speakers to replace her 14-year old factory gear.
Using Crutchfield's exclusive MasterSheet instructions, Leslie removes her factory radio.
And so it begins with the radio
Leslie checked out Crutchfield's exclusive MasterSheet instructions before the installation, so she knew what was ahead. With that knowledge, she dove into the first step, which was to remove the factory radio. After disconnecting the vehicle's battery to protect the electrical system, she used a Bojo panel tool to pry the trim from around the factory radio. This exposed screws that secured the factory brackets. Once those were out, Leslie detached the wiring plug and the antenna cable and slid the radio out. She gave us a smile, and we could see the confidence growing.
Leslie makes quick work of the wiring using Posi-Product connectors.
Leslie moved over to the workbench to begin the installation of the new Kenwood radio. She matched up the receiver's wire colors with the vehicle harness that Crutchfield offered for her Nissan, stripped the ends, and used Posi-Product connectors to secure them. As she read through the wiring guides, Leslie then realized something was missing. She noted that the vehicle harness didn't include a black ground wire. A Crutchfield Tech Support Advisor instructed her to use a small screw to secure the receiver's ground wire to a bare metal bracket in the dash. This provided a good ground for the receiver.
The Kenwood KDC-X599 receiver includes Bluetooth® connectivity for hands-free calling, so Leslie fished the Bluetooth microphone from the radio location to the position on top of her steering wheel column. After she assembled the dash kit, Leslie secured the receiver's mounting sleeve to it and then slid the radio in until it locked in place. She then connected the wiring and the Bluetooth mic to the receiver and reinstalled the receiver in the dash. She briefly reconnected the battery for a sound check, and everything worked just as it should. However, upon hearing her dismal stock speakers with her new radio power, she was motivated to move to the next step – the speaker installation.
Leslie removes the rear side panel to get at the factory speaker.
A speaker for each location
Heading towards the rear speakers first, Leslie went after the panels like a professional installer. Several panels had to be removed to access the factory relics, and the Bojo tools came in handy again. In a matter of minutes, Leslie had the rear panels off and the speakers unscrewed and pried away from the adhesive Nissan had used to secure the factory speakers.
Crutchfield supplied brackets and wiring harnesses to secure the Kenwood KFC-1665S 6-1/2" speakers in the factory 6"x9" openings in the rear cargo walls. Leslie screwed the new speakers to these brackets, attached the wiring harnesses to the Nissan plugs and the Kenwood speaker, and then screwed the bracket assemblies to the stock openings. She left the panels off, so she could perform a sound check for all four speakers at the same time. If something was wrong, she still had direct access to the speakers.
The front door speakers came next. After releasing a few screws, Leslie popped the driver's door panel off quickly and removed the factory speaker.
The surround on the factory speaker (right) was completely gone, while the Kenwood speaker (left) is built to last for years.
These factory speakers really showed their age. The speaker surrounds, the material on the outer edge of a speaker's cone that connects it to its frame and keeps the speaker movement linear, were disintegrated. No wonder the factory system sounded terrible. This is a common occurrance with older factory speakers; they just don't hold up over time. The Kenwood speakers, on the other hand, offer robust contstruction to withstand the car environment for a long time to come.
When she moved to the passenger door, Leslie found she had a slight problem. The screw in the door handle, securing the door panel, was completely rusted and wouldn't budge. Leslie didn't panic and conferred with a Crutchfield Tech Support Advisor once again. After trying some lubricant and a couple hammer taps didn't work, the Advisor instructed Leslie to drill the screw out and use a replacement screw when the panel was reinstalled. While it was an unexpected problem, it proved to be a great example of the service Crutchfield provides after your purchase.
Leslie connected the wiring harnesses to the Nissan plugs and then to the Kenwood speakers. Crutchfield supplied brackets for the speakers to go in the front doors, but Leslie found she could actually screw the new speakers directly into the factory brackets.
Leslie tries out the Kenwood with Pandora on her Android.
Time to crank it up
With the radio and all speakers in place, it was the moment of truth. Leslie reconnected the vehicle's battery and cranked her radio on. Success! Even with the first radio station she found, she exclaimed "oh, this sounds much better!" There were dramatic increases in clarity, depth, and overall output even without the volume turned up.