About the Kenwood KDC-168U
Sometimes you just want something simple to get the music going in your ride. Kenwood's KDC-168U CD receiver includes easily accessible front panel controls to let you control your music, tweak your sounds, pick your favorite radio stations, and crank the volume when the mood strikes you. As far as music choices, you can integrate your iPhone® using the Kenwood's front-panel USB port. You can even play and control Pandora® and iHeartRadio® using your connected iPhone. (Need Bluetooth®? Check out Kenwood's KDC-BT378U CD receiver.)
All about the audio
In addition to connecting your smartphone or a flash drive to the USB port, the KDC-168U also lets you go old school by playing your CDs or tuning into your favorite AM or FM stations. You can also plug a high-res portable audio player into the front auxiliary input, enabling you to enjoy your entire music library for those long road trips. Another cool feature — this receiver can play FLAC music files that you've stored on a thumb drive!
This Kenwood's built-in amplifier offers impressive power for a big bump in performance over a stock radio. The KDC-168U also gives you a 3-band EQ and a bass boost, along with a sound reconstruction feature that improves the sound of your compressed music. When you connect a powered sub to the Kenwood's set of preamp outputs, you can turn it up and down with the receiver's sub level control, a great feature if you listen to a wide variety of music.
Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?
In most cars, you'll need an adapter to retain those controls with this car stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and radio, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. You'll see the adapters that work with your vehicle when you add this receiver to your cart.
iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.
- CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
- built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
- detachable face with 13-digit LCD display and red button illumination
- plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
- iPod/iPhone control (also compatible with Music Control app for select Android phones)
- Pandora and iHeartRadio control with iPhone
- System Q Sound Control (8 EQ curves and a 3-band equalizer)
- Kenwood sound reconstruction improves the sound of files encoded at low bit rates
- USB port compatible with flash drives containing MP3, WMA, WAV, and FLAC files
- Drive Change lets you select audio from multiple flash drives or memory cards in a connected USB hub, memory card reader, or Android device
- bass boost and loudness controls
- low-pass filter and subwoofer level control
- iPod/iPhone direct control via USB input no adapter necessary, but adding Kenwood's optional cable lets you leave your iPhone cable at home
- inputs: front-panel auxiliary input and USB port
- outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs (2.5-volt, switchable rear/sub)
Other Features and Specs:
- compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required)
- includes English and Spanish menu settings
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # KDC-168U
What's in the box:
- CD receiver (10A fuse)
- Face (attached)
- Trim ring (attached)
- Sleeve (installed)
- Wiring harness
- Remote control (RC-406)
- CR2025 3V battery (installed in remote)
- 2 Removal tools
- Face-fixing screw
- Instruction Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
- Warranty Card
More details on the Kenwood KDC-168U
Features & specs
|Backup Camera Input||No|
|Second Camera Input||No|
|Alexa Voice Control||N|
|Memory Card Slot||USB|
|Satellite Radio Ready||No|
|RMS Power (CTA-2006)||N/A|
|RMS Power (Manufacturer)||22 watts|
|Peak Output||50 watts|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||20-20kHz|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||No|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||Yes|
|Navigation App Compatible (iOS)|
|Navigation App Compatible (Android)|
|Preamp Voltage||2.5 volts|
|Key Button Color||Red|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||Adapter required|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|FM Sensitivity||8.2 dBf|
|Radio Data System||No|
|Music File Playback||MP3,WMA,WAV,FLAC|
- Hand Mode: The Kenwood KDC-168U supports Android Open Accessory 2.0 (AOA 2.0), which lets you connect your Android smartphone (OS 4.1-7.1.2) to the KDC-168U's front-panel USB port and listen to stored music and music apps from your Android device through the Kenwood head unit. You'll be able to control basic playback functions such as Play/Pause and Previous/Next Track. Other advanced music navigation will still be done from your Android smartphone's touchscreen. In this mode, the head unit will not display song/artist information; only "Hand Mode" will show up on display. You'll continue to view song/artist information from the Android device's touchscreen. You'll also still be able to access other functions and applications from your Android smartphone's touchscreen, while listening to music through the head unit. If you make a call or answer a call from your smartphone while listening to music in this mode, the music will pause until you are finished with the call and then start back up again.
- Kenwood Music Play: Downloading the Kenwood Music Play app onto your Android (OS 4.1-7.1.2) smartphone with AOA 2.0 support not only allows you to listen to stored music from your Android device through the Kenwood CD receiver connected via USB, but it also lets you browse your Android smartphone's music library from the head unit's front-panel controls. You can browse your store music library by Playlist, Artist, Song, Album, or Genre. The contents of a Playlist or Category can be searched alphabetically or numerically; you can even skip through the stored music files in specific increments (0.5/1/5/10%). You can also control Play/Pause and Previous/Next track from the head unit. In addition, the head unit will display song/artist information. You can exit the Kenwood Music Play app to access other functions and applications of your Android smartphone, while your stored music library is still playing through your head unit. If you make a call or answer a call from your smartphone while listening to music in this mode, the music will pause until you are finished with the call and then start back up again.
iPhone Direct Connection: The Kenwood KDC-168U's front-panel USB port can be used to connect your Lightning-connector or 30-pin dock connector iPod/iPhone to the head unit. The USB connection allows for playback of stored music and music apps on your iPod or iPhone through Kenwood receiver. The KDC-168U provides music browsing, as well as song/artist information display. You can choose between two operating modes.
- Head Unit Mode with Song/Artist Info: From the head unit's front-panel controls you can search for stored music by Playlist, Artist, Album, Song, Podcast, Genre, and Composer. The contents of a Playlist or Category can be searched alphabetically or numerically; you can even skip through the stored music files in specific increments (0.5/1/5/10%). The KDC-168U also supports Repeat (file/all) and Random (album/all) playback functions of stored music on your iPod/iPhone. In addition, you'll be able to control basic playback functions (such as Play/Pause, Previous/Next Track) from stored music and select music apps streamed to your iPhone. During Head Unit Mode, the KDC-168U will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information such as Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album title. Newer iPod/iPhones with iOS 6.0+ allow you to continue to access your Apple device's touchscreen in order to access other applications; older iPod/iPhone devices will be locked during connection.
- iPod/iPhone Mode: The iPod/iPhone Mode lets you control your older iPod/iPhone (iOS 5.1.1 and earlier) from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You'll still have access to basic playback controls (like Play/Pause & Previous/Next Track) from the head unit, but advanced navigation functions will be locked. No song/artist information is displayed in this mode. The unit will simply display "App & iPod Mode".
- If you have a newer iPod/iPhone with the Lightning-connector, you can use Kenwood's Lightning connector-to-USB cable (113KCIP103 sold separately) or the Lightning-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect your iPod/iPhone to the KDC-168U.
- If you have an older iPod/iPhone with a 30-pin dock connector, you can use the dock connector-to-USB cable that comes with your Apple device or a 3rd party "Made for iPod/iPhone" certified dock-to-USB cable (sold separately) to connect your iPod/iPhone to the KDC-168U.
Smartphone Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 1.5A of current to power and charge your connected Apple iPod/iPhone or Android smartphone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position (if your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it).
Apple Device Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-168U is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 11/16/2016):
|Apple Device||Generation||Tested Version||Media Type||Control Type||Specific Apps||Display Type||Charge|
|Audio||Video||Head Unit||iPod/iPhone||Pandora||iHeart Radio||Artist/Song Text||Track Info|
Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.
Internet Radio Apps (for iPhone): The Kenwood KDC-168U allows you to access Pandora and iHeartRadio online music services through your USB-connected iPhone. Your Apple iPhone must be connected to the KDC-168U via the Kenwood KCA-iP103 cable (sold separately), a "Made for iPod/iPhone" certified 30-pin cable (sold separately), or the cable supplied with your iPhone. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, LTE (4G), or WiFi.
- Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from your Pandora music service account through the Kenwood KDC-168U using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 9.0+). The Kenwood KDC-168U provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically. New stations can be created based on the current songs or artists playing. You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down, as well as bookmark song information.
- iHeartRadio Link: The free iHeartRadio Link app for Kenwood from lets you play music from your iHeartRadio music service account through the Kenwood KDC-168U using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+). The iHeartRadio music service provides access to more than 1,500 live radio stations from coast-to-coast (including pop, country, urban, rock, talk, and sports). The KDC-168U will provide control over the iHeartRadio Link app, as well as display station identification and song/artist information. From the head unit's front-panel controls, iHeartRadio stations can be searched by the following categories (Local, Genre, City, or My Stations). The Local selection provides a list of radio stations in your local listening area. The unit also provides over 22 Genres to choose from (including pop, country, hip-hop, jazz, etc.) to help you find the right radio station for you. In addition, you can search for radio stations by City. Cities can be searched alphabetically. You can even store your favorite stations (My Stations) for easier, quicker access.
Note: Access to the Pandora and iHeartRadio services will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.
AM/FM Tuner: The Kenwood KDC-168U features a built-in AM/FM tunerYou can choose one of four tuning methods: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), Manual, or Direct (via remote). The KDC-168U's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling. The Kenwood KDC-168U offers two preset modes.
- Normal: You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets (total of 24).
- Mix: A total of 6 preset stations can be assigned to the head unit's 6 preset buttons, regardless of AM/FM band. This lets you recall a preset station without switching between bands.
Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs.
- CD Read: This function sets the method for reading a CD disc. You can choose between two modes - CD1 (automatically distinguishes between audio file disc and music CD when playing a CD or CD-R/RW disc) or CD2 (when unable to play a special formatted CD, set this function to CD2 to force playing; some music CD discs may be unplayable even when set to this mode).
- Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will automatically power up and begin playback.
- Auto Reload: If the ejected disc is not removed within 15 seconds, the disc is automatically inserted again into the loading slot to protect it from dust.
Note: For proper disc playback you must install the unit within 30-degrees of horizontal.
USB Mass Storage Devices: The Kenwood KDC-168U features a front-panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-out cover. The USB port enables connection of USB mass storage class (MSC) devices like USB thumbdrives, USB card readers, or portable digital audio players. You can insert a compatible USB MSC device into the head unit's USB port for playback, control, and song/artist display of a variety of music files.
- Music Drive: The Music Drive feature lets you switch between multiple memory cards (up to 5) in a USB multi-card reader. When a mass storage class (MSC) compatible smartphone (like Android with Froyo/Gingerbread OS or Blackberry) or a MSC compatible portable digital audio player is connected to the head unit's USB input, the unit's Music Drive features lets you select between the device's internal memory or external memory (such as a microSD card) for stored music playback.
- USB Charging: USB devices that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.
Note: Not compatible with USB hubs.
Compatible Music Files: The Kenwood KDC-168U supports the following types of music files recorded onto CD-R/RW discs or loaded onto USB mass storage class devices.
|Media Type||CD (-R/RW)||USB (MSC)|
|File System||ISO9660 Level 1 or 2, Joliet, or Long file name||FAT 12/16/32|
|Playable File Types||
MP3: bit rate of 8-320kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48kHz |
WMA: bit rate of 32-192kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48kHz
MP3: bit rate of 8-320kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48kHz |
WMA: bit rate of 32-192kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48kHz
WAV: bit depth of 16-bit w/ sampling frequency of 48kHz
FLAC: bit depth of 16-bit w/ sampling frequency of 48kHz
|Maximum # of Folders/Files||999 folders/20,480 files (999 files per folder)|
|Tags||ID3 tag (version 1.0/1.1/2.2/2.3/2.4), WMA tag, FLAC tag|
Playback & Search Functions: The Kenwood KDC-168U offers a variety of playback and search functions to help you find and enjoy your music on disc and USB.
- Music Search: The Kenwood AM/FM CD receiver features a Music Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your music folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using the head unit's rotary knob.
- Direct Search: The supplied IR wireless remote control (RC-406) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number for discs and USB.
- Repeat & Random: You can repeat the playback of a music file or folder on a CD or USB device. You can also randomly play back all files on al disc or within in a folder of a USB device.
- Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to the tuner mode while a CD or USB is playing, the next time CD or USB is selected as the source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.
Aux In: The unit is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input that can be used to input audio from a portable audio source, such as a portable MP3 player. The Aux input must be turned on to function. The KDC-168U allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV.
16 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-168U utilizes a 16-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.
MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-168U is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KDC-168U are as follows:
- Full Bandwidth Power: 22 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20-20kHz, 1% THD)
- Maximum Output Power: 50 watts x 4 channels
2Ch/2.5V Pre-Outs: The KDC-168U features a 2.5-volt stereo preamp output that can be adjusted from a full-range rear speaker preamp output to a low-pass subwoofer preamp output (non-fading).
Subwoofer Control: The Kenwood KDC-168U offers the following subwoofer controls, when you have the unit's preamp output configured as a sub out.
- Low Pass Filter: The receiver features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the preamp-output, when the output is set to Subwoofer. You can select from 85 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, or off.
- Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).
- Subwoofer Level: Once the Subwoofer preamp output is activated, you can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level (-15 to +15) from the CD receiver.
Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the head unit's audio settings according to the type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of 'SP-Off' (flat/off), 'SP-OEM' (for OEM factory speaker systems), 'SP-6x9/6' (for systems with 6" and 6"x9" speakers), or 'SP-5/4' (for systems with 4" and 5" speakers).
EQ Pro: The KDC-168U is equipped with Kenwood's EQ Pro. The integrated equalizer offers 8 preset sound modes (Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, Drive EQ, or User) suitable for the music genre of your choice. The Drive EQ mode is an EQ preset that helps reduce road noise. The User mode allows you to manually adjust the head unit's 3-band parametric EQ (Frequency, Level, and Q-Factor).
|Bass||60, 80, 100, 200 Hz||-8 to +8||1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 2.0|
|Midrange||0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.5 kHz||-8 to +8||0.75, 1.0, 1.25|
|Treble||10.0, 12.5, 15.0, 17.5 kHz||-8 to +8||Fixed|
Note: You can store EQ Pro bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source.
Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.
- Bass Boost & Bass Extend: The Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (1-3 or off). Bass Extend further enhances the unit's bass output.
- Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes. There are 3 levels (1-2 or Off).
- Sound Reconstruction: When MP3 or WMA files encoded at a low bit rate (less than 96 kbps, 44.1k, 48kHz) are played, the Sound Reconstruction function restores their high frequencies so the sound quality is closer to files encoded at a high bit rate. The processing is optimized for the compression format and the bit rate used. When Sound Reconstruction is Off, the unit plays the original sound stored in the audio file.
- Volume Offset: The level of each source may be independently adjusted to prevent radical leaps in output volume when switching from one source to another. The available settings range from -8 to 0 (-8 to +8 for Aux source).
Key Beep: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.
Detachable Face: The Kenwood KDC-168U features a single front loading CD face that detaches from the chassis to deter theft. There is no protective face case included. An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can be purchased for this unit. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.
Single-Line Display + Button Illumination: The Kenwood head unit features a single-line, 13-character, white backlit LCD with red button illumination. You can select between English or Spanish text.
Text Scroll: The KDC-165 will display song/artist information text from CD, USB, and Android. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto, Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.
Brightness & Dimmer: You can adjust the brightness of the LCD from 0-31. You can also dim (on or off) the display. You can even set a specific time for the "Off" and "On" dimmer setting to be activated. These setting only affect the LCD and do not affect the button illumination.
12Hr/24Hr Clock: The head unit can be set to display a 12hr or 24hr clock. The unit also displays the day (Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, or Sat). The clock is only displayed when selected and does not displayed simultaneously with song/artist or station information. The day & time can be selected to remain on, even if the head unit is switched off (as long as the vehicle's key is in the accessory or start position).
Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned On or Off within the menu.
Remote Control: The Kenwood KDC-168U comes with a wireless remote control and offers a steering wheel control input wire for compatibility with factory steering wheel controls (separate adapter required).
- IR Remote: The KDC-168U comes with an IR remote control (RC-406) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, iPod/iPhone, Android, and Tuner functions.The wireless remote control features a numeric keypad (0-9) which allows direct track access of your music tracks & files (from CD or USB), as well as AM/FM presets. The remote even offers an Attenuator button that turns the volume down very quickly. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).
- Steering Wheel Control Input: The head unit features a steering wheel control input wire (blue/yellow) within the included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately).
The Kenwood KDC-168U replaces these items
- detachable face with 11-digit LCD display and red button illumination
- Pandora and iHeartRadio control with iPhone
- inputs: front-panel auxiliary input and USB port
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