Monday, September 27, 2021

Kenwood KMR-D772BT Marine Bluetooth CD Receiver Review

It’s been a rocky 12 months or so, maybe closer to 18 months, due to Covid 19. The vaccines came out and all looked good, and now there are the different mutations, like Delta version. If you’re like me and don’t want to be stuck inside again, it could be time to pull out the boat or side by side. And of course, music always makes the ride more enjoyable! Kenwood has a great motorsport series of products. Up for review today is their receiver, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT.

 

Features and specs:

 

Key Features:

·        TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate)

·        Drive Change

·        Maximum Output Power : 50W x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)

·        KENWOOD sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music

·        MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/FLAC Files Playback with ID-3 Tag Display

·        Android Rapid Charge

·        Multi language(English, Spanish)

·        Dual Phone Connection

·        Wireless Music Browsing

·        Conformal Coating *1

·        *1: Do not install the unit in a spot exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat or humidity. Also avoid places with too much dust or the possibility of water splashing.

 

Features:

 

General

·        TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate)

·        CD Door / Cover

·        16 Digit 1.5Line LCD Display

·        Rotary Encoder and Direct Key (TEL) for easy operation

·        Digital Clock (12H)

·        Variable Color Illumination

·        Dimmer Control Function (Manual/Set by timer)

Audio

·        Maximum Output Power : 50W x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)

·        Rear USB & Aux input

·        3 Preout (5.0V)

·        KENWOOD sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music

·        13 Band Graphic Equalizer

·        Time Allignement

·        Subwoofer Level Adjustable

·        Bass Boost

·        Loudness

·        Built-in LPF/HPF

USB

·        MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC Decoder with ID-3 Tag Display

·        iPod/iPhone Direct Connection with Optional cable*1

·        iPod Skip Search Function

·        Pandora/iHeart Radio/iTunes Radio/Spotify App Ready (iPhone App)

·        Drive Change (For Android or Card Reader)

·        Android Music Playback

·        Android Rapid Charge

·        *1: KCA-iP102: 30-pin type, KCA-iP103: Lightning type

Tuner

·        Sirius XM (SXV100/200/300) Ready

·        Backup Memory for Tuner Preset

·        FM/AM 24 Station Presets (18FM, 6AM)

·        RBDS with Radio Text

·        AME (Automatic Memory Entry)

CD

·        MP3, WMA, AAC Decoder with ID-3 Tag Display

·        0-bit Mute

External Media Control

·        Bluetooth Built-in (Hands-Free Profile / A2DP/ AVRCP1.5/Aptx)

·        NFC

·        Dual Phone Connection

·        Wireless Music Browsing

·        Pandora/iHeart Radio/Spotify App Ready (Android and iPhone App) via Bluetooth

·        Rear Wired BT Microphone included

·        Remote App for Android/iPhone

·        Marine Remote Ready (KCA-RC55MR / KCA-RC35MR)



The Kenwood KMR-D772BT came in a great looking color printed box with photos and specs of the receiver. Opening the box revealed a well-made receiver held in place and well protected by custom molded Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly metal with some plastic. Quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish. Also included were the owner’s manual, wiring harness and connectors, keys, and owner’s manual.

 

I really liked the design of the Kenwood KMR-D772BT. While you don’t want to get it wet, it does have conformal coating. This is a thin coating applied to the internal circuit boards. So this does provide some protection for outdoor use, like in a side by side. Most receivers have gone away from detachable faceplates.  But as boats and side by sides tend to be open, I’m glad to see a detachable faceplate used. The Kenwood KMR-D772BT also has some cool features like Android music playback, to make for a simple smartphone connectivity. It even has dual phone connection. And for times when you have a boat full or side by side full of family/friends, the music mix feature allows connection up to 5 Bluetooth devices connected at the same time.

 

Once installed, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT gives you great usability. You have access to the AM/FM tuner, there’s a CD player, as well as rear inputs for USB and Aux input. That way you can use any MP3 player or flash drive that you use for music, music stored on your phone, as well as music services that you use. That’s a lot of ways to enjoy music, to make the outdoors even more fun! The display is even a variable color display, so you can adjust it to match the colors of your vehicle’s dash. Now let’s see how it performs.

 

The Kenwood KMR-D772BT was easy to set-up once installed. The receiver starts by having you set up the language on the display. The Audio button takes you through all of the audio settings for your subwoofer, speaker sizes, crossovers, digital time alignment, loudness, volume offset, preset and manual EQ’s, bass boost, sound effects, car settings, balance, and fader. As is typical for Kenwood, you get a ton of control, to get the most out of your speakers, as well as get the sound just the way you like it.

 

The sound effect section is packed with sound effect settings for sound reconstruction, space enhancer, stage EQ, drive EQ and sound realizer. The title pretty much tells you what each setting does. Sound reconstruction helps to restore high frequencies lost in audio data compression. Space enhancer enhances the sound space. Sound realizer makes the sound more realistic. Stage EQ virtually adjusts the sound position of the speakers. Drive EQ helps against road noise. Some of the settings may make the sound a bit…artificial. Some work very well. And some of the settings like Space Enhancer and sound realizer has multiple levels of effect. Some settings could be either too much, too little, or just right. And the acoustics of your car could also affect how these settings sound. But that’s what it’s all about: letting your ears decide what is right for you, thanks to all of those options.

 

The buttons are also played out very well and easy to read, and the display was easy to read. The power button doubles as the source button, and each press cycles you through Radio, USB, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, BT Audio, Aux, and standby. Putting in a CD automatically switches to the CD transport. And switching sources adds CD in the rotation of possible sources adds CD in the rotation of possible sources. With the provided mic connected, pressing the phone button gives you hand free calling to the caller on your phone, as well as your phonebook, call history, and other phone settings.  The display also worked great, showing you dual lines of info, for song title on top and artist below. It also displayed a clock, the source playing and for Bluetooth connection, it also provided the codes of the song, such as aptX. 

 

We also can’t forget the built-in amplifier.  Rated at 50 watts RMS, it’s not a lot, but is the standard amount for internal amps in a receiver.  It won’t give you the quality of sound you would expect to get from an external amplifier, but it did work well.  Let’s hear how it sounded with Kenwood’s 6’5 inch 2-way speakers we recently reviewed:

Adele: Rolling in the Deep – The plucking of the strings of the acoustic guitar had nice definition. Vocals were pleasantly smooth with nice timbre of the texture. Kick drum had nice dynamics, tight powerful impact. High hat and cymbals were sufficiently crisp and clean.

Earth, Wind and Fire: September – Wood block had very good tone of the wood. Guitar sounded nice and raw, trumpet was smooth and not too brassy. Vocals were also very smooth with very good texture of the timbre along with very good harmonics. Drums were dynamic and cymbals were crisp and clean.

Lipps Inc: Funkytown – cowbell had very good tone and texture without being tinny. Cymbal was crisp and clean. Car horn was just as clean and very dynamic. Soundstage was surprisingly very deep. Vocals had nice texture of the timbre. Bass beats were deep, with very good dynamics and played with authority.

 

The Kenwood KMR-D772BT provides a lot of great usability. And it’s the kind of receiver that you would want in your boat or side by side, thanks to the conformal coating. There’s even a detachable faceplate for added security. With an MSRP of $219, you get a huge bang for the buck, being able to get the sound just the way you like it! Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.kenwood.com.


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