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Old 03-21-2014, 01:57 AM   #1
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Review: Kenwood DNX891XD

Well the shop completed my head unit replacement today, a DNX891HD. It was a tossup between this unit and the Pioneer AVIC 7000. I was leaning Pioneer because of the better interface, IMO but really like the Garmin Nav of the Kenwwod. Pioneer seems to be having problems getting the new Radio out to dealers so I pick Kenwood. Kenwood also has a better warranty also.

The install is in a 2014 JK with the Alpine system. Other than the new head unit the rest of the systems is stock as of now. This radio is probably overkill for a Jeep and mine is a soft top to boost. Beside the normal radio/nav stuff it is app ready with I Heart Radio and Pandora preloaded. It has provisions for both front and rear cameras. You can look up all the features on line, there are more than enough though.

Operations: It does take a few secs for the system to boot up with all that attendant warning messages. Everything for the most part can be controlled via touch screen but there a few buttons you can push, power, volume etc. I had the shop keep all my steering wheel controls in tacked so nothing change there. There area lot of things you can adjust, way more than I can put in a review but it is all laid out well and easy to use.

Sound: Well it was a major improvement, especially in voice quality. I was actually surprised to be honest. I figured until I complete the amp and new speaker installs it would just be getting use to the new unit. I am now rethinking how to approach this, maybe only going with amp and sub and running everything else of the stock amp And because of this the lack of real bass comes home to roost.

Overall a good unit so far. As I said overkill in a jeep and expensive. But I knew that going in

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Old 03-22-2014, 01:49 PM   #2
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Sounds like you got it installed.. what was the bottom line for the steering control harness, head, and install?

do you have any pics?

thanks

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Old 03-22-2014, 01:53 PM   #3
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I struggle the same way. I love Pioneer but their Navi is junky. I dont like the Kenwood because the interfaces are not as customizable as the Pioneer. And they usually have low voltage pre-amp outputs. However, I will probably do the same as you because Navi is important...
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryangear View Post
Sounds like you got it installed.. what was the bottom line for the steering control harness, head, and install?

do you have any pics?

thanks
$1600 with tax. It has the PAC controller but I think I might swap it out for Idatalink in the future. More money but it gives you some neat features. At least I think it does, like all your gauges we don't have stock.

I'll post some pictures tonight.
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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I struggle the same way. I love Pioneer but their Navi is junky. I dont like the Kenwood because the interfaces are not as customizable as the Pioneer. And they usually have low voltage pre-amp outputs. However, I will probably do the same as you because Navi is important...
Pre-amp out is 5V. I think Pioneers is 8V. I have still not sat down and read the book yet just to see everything it can do.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:18 PM   #6
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Pre-amp out is 5V. I think Pioneers is 8V. I have still not sat down and read the book yet just to see everything it can do.
Pioneer hasn't made an 8 volt preamp out for eons. Most of their stuff isn't even 4 volt. I have seen higher end decks with 2 volt all over the place.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:44 PM   #7
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you are correct, it is only 4 volts, I wonder where I got the 8V from?
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:39 AM   #8
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Very nice Headunit with awesome options. But, there is no way "in THIS world" that I would pay $1200.00 for a HU and not have a detachable face. I hope that you at least have a good alarm system. I just get the feeling that you may make some crack addict very happy to get $300 dollars for your HU. I would never drive with the top off either. WOW!, its just scary, and its not even my Jeep.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:04 AM   #9
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I recently picked up a dnx891hd from crutchfield.com. I did end up getting the idatalink harness and rr. Hopefully, I can get this installed this weekend.

I am planning on eventually installing cameras (ultimately want a front and rear CMOS-310 to use the different view capacities as spotters).

So far the set-up on the idatalink has been easy!
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChasUGC View Post
Very nice Headunit with awesome options. But, there is no way "in THIS world" that I would pay $1200.00 for a HU and not have a detachable face. I hope that you at least have a good alarm system. I just get the feeling that you may make some crack addict very happy to get $300 dollars for your HU. I would never drive with the top off either. WOW!, its just scary, and its not even my Jeep.
That is what insurance is for. At home it is in the garage and at work it is inside the security fence.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:45 PM   #11
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Here are some pictures, sorry for the quality:



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Old 03-27-2014, 10:46 PM   #12
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Here are some pictures, sorry for the quality
Did you connect the HU to uConnect and/or the diagnostic port?
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:09 PM   #13
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No, they did not use Idatalink.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:37 AM   #14
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Thanks for the pics looks great. How do you feel about the UI now that you've had some time to use it. Are you happy?
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:01 AM   #15
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Well not really. The Garmin Nav is what you would expect and it has app capability so I am happy with it. I am also happy with the sound quality of the system and this is my first HD radio and HD is amazing.

But in many ways I am having buyers remorse. The system has a very hard time talking to my IPhone, which means controlling Pandora from the radio only happens about 10% of the time. I am going back to the shop today to see if it is something I am doing.

To be honest I may take this radio and put it in my Vette and put the Pioneer in the Jeep. I really want something I can use off road for navigation. I will do so more research but I am leaning that direction.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:38 PM   #16
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Finally, installed the Kenwood DNX891HD. I wanted to retain the Jeep's UConnect Bluetooth connectivity, which would allow me to use the factory microphone and USB inputs. I decided to utilize the Idatalink connection, which also access the Jeeps' ODBI information. I was able to use the factory Sirius antenna (by removing the plastic covering) and tuck the navigation antenna on the metal frame in the dash.

I have also installed the topo/trails for Colorado from Fun Treks. This at least adds the topo lines and trails that match up with the Fun Trek trail books. I am still trying to settle on the final configurations, but am definitely getting closer.

I did change out the startup screen to a new image. I was able to get the Bluetooth to work with my iPhone, but since I have been changing the configurations around started having some Bluetooth connection issues.

I do plan on adding a front and rear CMOS-310 camera. I am planning on position the front camera for an extra ‘spotting’ eye.

Here are some pictures so far:
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:51 PM   #17
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You have giving me some new ideas. I will be talking to my installer.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:07 PM   #18
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I'm researching a new HU for my 2012 JKU. Same feelings, I like Pioneer, but I want the Garmin navigation of the Kenwood. I had one Pioneer AVIC unit a few years ago and like the fact that you can bypass the parking brake safety and program the destination while moving. Can the Kenwoods destination be set while driving or do you have to stop and put it in park?
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:43 PM   #19
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You can set it while moving
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:33 PM   #20
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Thanks Terry, that helps a lot. Like I said, I've had a Pioneer before so I was familiar with them and they have a new series of nav units out now that I was considering. I like the Garmin nav of the Kenwood but was unfamiliar with them. The deal with the Pioneers is that they made them that away so that you can't watch DVDs while driving but for some reason they ties that safety feature into the GPS.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vfanatic View Post
I decided to utilize the Idatalink connection, which also access the Jeeps' ODBI information.
I recently added a Pioneer AVIC 6000NEX using iDatalink Maestro. How did you access the ODBI info?
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:30 AM   #22
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I recently added a Pioneer AVIC 6000NEX using iDatalink Maestro. How did you access the ODBI info?
I am in the process of wiring mine up right now.

Here is the step for the ODBI:
STEP 5
• Access the OBDII connector located under the driver side
dashboard.
• Connect the RED/BROWN wire of the CH1 T-harness to
the wire located at pin 6 of the OBDII connector. (See the
vehicle wire chart reference for wire colors)
• Connect the YELLOW/BROWN wire of the CH1 T-harness
to the wire located at pin 14 of the OBDII connector. (See
the vehicle wire chart reference for wire colors)

http://images2.idatalink.com/corpora...S_20140321.pdf
Page 165
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:42 AM   #23
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Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:12 PM   #24
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I have it connected. Now to go to the Pioneer manual and see how to get it working.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:50 AM   #25
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I recently added a Pioneer AVIC 6000NEX using iDatalink Maestro. How did you access the ODBI info?

Sorry I missed your question!! Looks like someone answered it. Let me know if you have any other questions... :-(
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:37 AM   #26
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Anyone have issues with Bluetooth? I accidentally deleted the pairing with my uconnect, so I went all in on the Kenwood BT (DNX690HD). It seems pretty good, but doesnt do the voice search (or I havent mapped the button correctly yet) and it doesnt read text messages, but everything else seems to work fine.

I am adding my camera today or tomorrow as well as replacing the 4 6.5's with polk 651s. Will let you know how they work with just the HU and stock amp
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:12 PM   #27
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So it looks like Kenwood is the most preferred HU to use when replacing the factory system. Anybody else have experience with some other HUs as well that still have the GPS integrated into it. I'm debating on replacing the entire system or just upgrading the speakers and doing the polyfill in the soundbar and see if that will tie me over for a little bit. Gotta weight if I want to spend money on the sound system or put some of that money to new tires and such. If it's not one thing it's another ya know!
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:31 PM   #28
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Here is my Rosen - Car show CS-CR1210-US unit. Installed with backup camera for less then $700.00.

My Rosen Car Show CS-CR1210-US Navigation Installation in 2011 JK 2 Door

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