Kenwood ddx9903s Review – Best CarPlay Head Units (2023)

A DIN head unit is a multimedia device fitted into the car dashboard to control the infotainment system. Unlike a single-DIN head unit, a double-DIN unit is twice the size and has an ability to provide extra input capacity and better control options.

There are numerous options for double-DIN head units available in the market and it can be difficult to choose the right one.

In order to make your job easier, we present an in-depth Kenwood ddx9903s Review, one of the best CarPlay head units from a popular brand. Read on to learn everything about the Kenwood DDX9903s head unit and find out whether it suits your needs.

Kenwood ddx9903s Review

Kenwood Excelon DDX9903s DVD receiver is one of the best double-DIN head units available. It comes with a big 6.95-inch capacitive touch screen display. It allows you to easily access apps from the smartphone using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and enjoy different types of radio including iHeartRadio, Pandora, satellite radio and HD Radio.

It also lets you bring high-res music for the perfect travel. Kenwood backs this radio with a 2-year warranty as well.

Kenwood ddx9903s Review


The Kenwood DDX9903s features a 6.95-inch wide capacitive touchscreen with LED backlighting. It is highly responsive with operations that work with touch. You can customize the display to fit your needs by selecting from a number of colors and backgrounds.


Advanced GUI – The radio provides a high contrast ratio with vivid text and crystal clear display. It features easy to use widgets that provide access to the information screen with just a swipe. You can jump quickly to your favorite sources with three programmable shortcut keys.

iDatalink Maestro – Connecting iDatalink Maestro RR to the compatible receiver lets you enjoy a seamless interface with factory infotainment features like USB media player, satellite radio, music streaming and Bluetooth hands-free. You can also access information like performance and HVAC.

Parking Guide Lines – On connecting a rear-view camera, you can view parking guidelines on the screen, making parking easy and safe.

Dual Camera Input – The head unit features two camera inputs for front and rear cameras. You can connect an optional rearview camera and use the touchscreen to see what is behind you when reversing.

Built-in HD Radio – The receiver lets you enjoy HD radio from participating stations so that you can hear FM close to CD quality.

Built-in Bluetooth – The Kenwood receiver is equipped with built-in Bluetooth to let you make and receive calls wirelessly and stream music from the smartphone. You can make hands-free communication using the microphone and the head unit’s speaker.

Smartphone Connectivity

Apple CarPlay – The smarter in-vehicle interface to operating your iPhone is taken to another level by featuring in Kenwood receiver. You can use Apple CarPlay to get directions from Maps, talk to Siri, listen to voicemail, make calls, send and receive text messages and listen to your favorite music in a way that lets you stay focused on driving.

Android Auto – Designed to help you minimize distractions when on the road, Android Auto ensures safety. Kenwood receiver combines the voice-controlled interface of Android Auto with a large touch screen to make a complement for your in-car life.

Dual Phone Connection – The head unit allows connecting two phones simultaneously for hands-free operation. You can easily switch between two phones with a single button touch. The intuitive GUI makes it easy to search through contacts, make or answer calls or anything else.

Sound Quality

The DDX9903s is a part of the Kenwood Excelon series and incorporates the latest technology to deliver a sonic performance. Right from an equalizer and crossover system, advanced audio tuning capabilities to high-voltage 5V preouts and 2-year warranty, Kenwood offers exceptional sound quality with long-lasting reliability. It utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior quality of sound with a signal to noise ratio of up to 98dB.

Equipped with a MOSFET amplifier, the receiver delivers increased power with less distortion and zero on/off switching noise. It supports a wide variety of file formats to provide a superior audio experience. You can use the graphic equalizer to adjust the sound quality to your taste.

DDX9903s vs DDX9904s – What’s The Difference?

Kenwood ddx9903s Vs ddx9904s.

Kenwood DDX9904s DVD receiver is much like the DDX9903s with a few minor differences. Both these dual-DIN head units from Kenwood come with a large 7” capacitive touch panel display to see and control options. They are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible and allow connecting smartphones through a wire.

They also feature built-in Bluetooth with dual phone connection to allow hands-free music streaming and calling. While the Kenwood DDX9903s has an HDMI input, DDX9904s has dropped that function.

Most features and functionality are similar between the two head units and both the models suit anybody looking for a receiver that handles it all.

Kenwood DDX9903s Manual

Getting started with Kenwood DDX9903s DVD receiver is quite simple and quick. Installing the unit is easy with the mounting bracket. You should remember connecting the input and output wire for each unit and connect the speaker wires of harness.

You should also see that the wires are connected in the order – ground, battery, ignition. Make sure that the unit is secured in place when installed.

When you power the unit on for the first time, you are prompted to make some initial settings like language, clock, camera, color, OEM setup and more. You can also set a security code to protect the unit against theft.

To perform screen operations, you can touch, touch and hold or swipe to select an item. You can use the screen to display settings, select playback sources or display information. You can connect USB device like memory or audio player to the unit using the USB cable.

Kenwood receiver allows connecting Android phones and iPhone through wired or wireless connection. You can then use the playback options to use the phone to play your favorite music.

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