FeaturesLike most car stereos of the digital age, the Kenwood DPX302 can play AM/FM radio and regular Red Book CDs as well as discs encoded with the main compressed audio formats, including MP3, WMA, and AAC. When playing back digital-audio discs, the dot matrix display shows artist and track information, which scroll automatically across the screen in a stuttering stream. While the information is legible, the screen shows only 10 characters at a time, meaning that the driver will have to wait for a while to read long song titles.
Perhaps the system’s most impressive features are its advanced audio settings for listening to disc-based and radio sources. The Kenwood DPX302 features dedicated controls for tweaking the front and rear high pass filters, as well as a setting for the low pass filter and controls for subwoofer phasing. For compressed audio tracks recorded at a very low bit rate (below 96Kbps), a Supreme setting restores their high-frequency region in order to improve lost sound quality.
In addition to these advanced audio settings, the Kenwood DPX302 features six preset EQ configurations (including Rock, Pop, Jazz, and Top 40) plus an option for users to customize their own output levels. The system also has dedicated settings for bass, mid, and treble, and a subwoofer level control if your audio system is equipped with a standalone sub. All outputs play via the system’s built-in Mosfet amplifier, producing 22 watts RMS multiplied by four channels.
To optimize all this output tweaking for individual cars, the system enables drivers to calibrate the output based on speaker size, with settings for 6×9-inch speakers, 5- or 4-inch speakers, and OEM speakers–a feature we particularly like. A standalone attenuator button is another nice touch, as it gives drivers the option to turn the system’s volume down quickly when needed.
In sumAudiophiles may tolerate the Kenwood DPX302’s unwieldy programming controls and small screen in order to get a budget stereo with decent customization features. However, there are other stereos in the same segment that are much easier to use.