Pioneer or Kenwood?


4BangerStanger

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Apr 23, 2019
85
4
DFW
So, I had pretty much made up my mind on my next HU purchase and had chosen the Pioneer DMH-1500NEX:

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-krCwoNyGb2h/p_130DM1500/Pioneer-DMH-1500NEX.html

The main deciding factors were price point (since I also have to purchase a $400 kit to install it), Android Auto, and the ability to run active components via network mode.

But, I'm seeing that Crutchfield has some pretty good deals on some Kenwood units and I'm starting to rethink my decision.  I've read quite a few reviews and it seems to be a concensus that the Kenwoods offer better SQ and better looking screens.  These are the two that I'm looking at.  Both have wireless Android Auto, which is appealing.  But, I'm unsure whether the built in crossovers have the same functionality as Pioneer's network mode.  One is an open box deal, the other is just on sale.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DMX905S/Kenwood-Excelon-DMX905S.html?cc=02&tp=5684

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DDX9705/Kenwood-DDX9705S.html?avf=Y

What would y'all do?

 

Garnell01

CarAudio.com Newbie
Apr 14, 2019
17
3
Take a look at the Alpine iLx-W650. It’s less than the Pioneer.
Do you have this HU? If so how do you like it? I was thinking of going with that one. I use discs rarely, but still unsure of going mechless 

 

tweaked

Junior Member
Jul 4, 2015
5
0
In my car
Do you have this HU? If so how do you like it? I was thinking of going with that one. I use discs rarely, but still unsure of going mechless 
Yes,  I just got it and so far I'm really impressed.  The only thing I'm less than thrilled about is the in call volume.  I have both my phone and the deck volume all the way up and it still feels a little quiet.  Otherwise,  it's an amazing HU. I'm especially surprised by how much my bass has improved just by swapping the HU. Everything is still set to flat too. 

 
OP
4

4BangerStanger

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Apr 23, 2019
85
4
DFW
Yes,  I just got it and so far I'm really impressed.  The only thing I'm less than thrilled about is the in call volume.  I have both my phone and the deck volume all the way up and it still feels a little quiet.  Otherwise,  it's an amazing HU. I'm especially surprised by how much my bass has improved just by swapping the HU. Everything is still set to flat too. 
Out of curiosity, do you use Andorid Auto much?  One thing I've found in the reviews is a lot of folks complaining about the sound quality being worse when use AA vs.  playing via Bluetooth. 

 

Garnell01

CarAudio.com Newbie
Apr 14, 2019
17
3
Yes,  I just got it and so far I'm really impressed.  The only thing I'm less than thrilled about is the in call volume.  I have both my phone and the deck volume all the way up and it still feels a little quiet.  Otherwise,  it's an amazing HU. I'm especially surprised by how much my bass has improved just by swapping the HU. Everything is still set to flat too. 
When you say you have better bass, what head unit were you running before? and do you use apple carplay?  I heard that you have to buy a special alpine usb cable in order to connect, which would probably make my decision, I have a 3.0 usb cable that looks like a cigarette outlet that i have modded my console panel to accommodate and would like to use that one.  

Also, I have a bypass to play videos while the parking brake is not engaged.  Have you done this?  I heard it is a bit trickier with this HU

 

tweaked

Junior Member
Jul 4, 2015
5
0
In my car
Out of curiosity, do you use Andorid Auto much?  One thing I've found in the reviews is a lot of folks complaining about the sound quality being worse when use AA vs.  playing via Bluetooth. 
Android Auto is all I use, and with Spotify premium,  it sounds awesome. 

 

tweaked

Junior Member
Jul 4, 2015
5
0
In my car
When you say you have better bass, what head unit were you running before? and do you use apple carplay?  I heard that you have to buy a special alpine usb cable in order to connect, which would probably make my decision, I have a 3.0 usb cable that looks like a cigarette outlet that i have modded my console panel to accommodate and would like to use that one.  

Also, I have a bypass to play videos while the parking brake is not engaged.  Have you done this?  I heard it is a bit trickier with this HU
My previous HU was the JBL Legend CP100.  I don't use Apple CarPlay,  so I can't speak to that,  but the HU comes with a USB cable that I didn't use because the one that came with the JBL was already installed.  I haven't had any issues. As for the parking brake,  I used the parking brake relay and it worked perfectly.  I think what they mean by it being trickier is that is not as simple as connecting the parking brake wire to ground. 

 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
4

4BangerStanger

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Apr 23, 2019
85
4
DFW
OK, just figured out the Alpine is out for me. I need the ability to run active components. So, I'm back to the original question of whether the Kenwood is a better unit than the Pioneer and if it's worth an extra $120.  Mu instinct is to say no, and use that $120 toward the mounting kit. But, at the same time, the Kenwood is normally a $750 deck. So, the deal is really good. 

 

ThxOne

AudioFreak
Jun 8, 2018
1,058
179
Saint Marys, GA
4Banger... I think if you are not using a DSP to go active I'd say use the Pioneer. I am an eXcelon fan boy myself but I don't think they will do active like the Pioneer will. Buuuuuuuuut if you got an eXcelon and saved the $120 you could just as easily use some penny pinching and save up a few more dollars for an inexpensive DSP. Food for thought.

Also, the eXcelon screens are outstanding!

 
OP
4

4BangerStanger

CarAudio.com Enthusiast
Apr 23, 2019
85
4
DFW
4Banger... I think if you are not using a DSP to go active I'd say use the Pioneer. I am an eXcelon fan boy myself but I don't think they will do active like the Pioneer will. Buuuuuuuuut if you got an eXcelon and saved the $120 you could just as easily use some penny pinching and save up a few more dollars for an inexpensive DSP. Food for thought.

Also, the eXcelon screens are outstanding!
Yeah, no plan to run a DSP.  So, I think I'm going to stick with the Pioneer. That extra $120 is 1/3 of the price of the mounting kit. Any money saved now means that much closer to the rest of the system. 

 
  • Thanks
Reactions: ThxOne

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
252
South Coast Metro, CA
OK, just figured out the Alpine is out for me. I need the ability to run active components. So, I'm back to the original question of whether the Kenwood is a better unit than the Pioneer and if it's worth an extra $120.  Mu instinct is to say no, and use that $120 toward the mounting kit. But, at the same time, the Kenwood is normally a $750 deck. So, the deal is really good. 
dont even look at anything other than pioneer. Kenwood head units cannot do active at all and they are usually buggy as fk and slow and they have a really dark sound signature.

 

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