Friday, August 16, 2013

Kenwood Excelon XR-1800P 7" Component Speaker System by Jeff Merrill

There are different styles of car speakers. Some are coaxial, but for the best sound we turn to components.   Component speakers have the tweeter mounted separately from the midrange/midbass driver. They also come with a passive crossover network. Manufacturers will add their own twist on the design to improve the sound, and Kenwood has done the same with their Kenwood Excelon XR-1800P 7" Component Speaker System.

Features and specs:

Counter Drive Magnetic Circuit
Image Enhancer 4
Diamond Array Pattern Diaphragm
-  Woofer Size
7 in (180mm)
-  Woofer Diaphragm
Advanced Hybrid Pulp
-  Surround
-  Basket
Steel (Black)
-  Magnet
-  Mid-Range Size
-  Mid-Range Diaphragm
-  Tweeter Size
13/16 in (20mm)
-  Tweeter Diaphragm
Soft Dome
Super Tweeter
-  Size
-  Diaphragm
Dimensions (without grill)
-  Width
6-15/16 in (176)
-  Height
6-15/16 in (176mm)
-  Depth
2-3/4 in (69.5mm)
-  Mounting Depth
2-7/16 in (62mm)
Nominal Impedance
4 Ω
Maximum Peak Power
330 W
Rated Input Power (RMS)
110 W
86 dB/W at 1m
Frequency Response
57Hz - 20kHz
Crossover Frequency


The Kenwood Excelon XR-1800P component system came shipped in the standard attractive looking color printed box. It had pictures of the product along with its specs. Opening the box yielded a Styrofoam box. Taking off the top piece revealed that the two Styrofoam pieces were custom molded with grooves to hold the various components.  I could see that the various components were very well protected.

The material used in the construction was of good quality. The materials were mostly metal with some plastic. The tweeter appeared well put together, with good fit and finish. The midrange/midbass driver was also well put together, with good fit and finish. The basket was a standard stamped steel basket. It wasn’t fancy but was sufficient to secure the driver. I prefer the fancier spring loaded push style connector terminals, but the standard speaker wire terminals worked well enough. All of the other components, such as the spider, cone, and surround, seemed all well put together and solidly glued in place. The passive crossovers also had an excellent fit & finish.

Kenwood used some advanced technology in the design of the Excelon XR-1800P. Popular cone materials are paper, polypropelyne, and more exotics such as Kevlar. The goal usually is for a stiff cone. The stiffer the cone the better midbass , with a cleaner sound. The Kenwood Excelon XR-1800P uses a cone that consists of hemp, glass fiber, and paper. This gives a stiff cone. If a cone isn't sufficiently stiff, it will flex with the bass, and produce distortion.  The 7” cone is larger than most making it easier to flex when the wrong materials are used.  So a stiff cone is needed even more for that clean sound.  The wider tweeter also gave a wider frequency response for the tweeter. 

When it came to musical performance, the Excelon XR-1800P performed in amazingly. They do not have the flair in regards to looks like some manufactures provide.  And I will admit that I do like a beefy cast surround, and spring terminals.  But more than likely they will be hidden in a door, so the look of a cast surround is pointless. After all it is the sound that matters most, and that is where Kenwood put the R&D money in, and it paid off.

I threw a slew of my trusty tracks at it. Cymbals and percussion was very crisp and clean. Vocals were extremely natural sounding with very good timbre and texture. The design of the midbass driver worked. The stiff cone produced very good, clean midbass. It didn’t sound deeper than a midbass, since after all it is not a subwoofer. But it did have better than average output. I ended up going from track to track and got lost in the music. I had to remind myself to stay on task with my note taking. And I think that is one of the best complements I could give. The passive crossovers did an excellent job with dividing the signal. The imaging was right on, and they threw a nice big and deep soundstage. I loved the harmonics, and they proved to be very musical!

The Kenwood Excelon XR-1800P 7" Component Speaker System hit their mark. They provided a clean crisp sound in the highs, with natural and fairly smooth mids, and a nice midbass output. They provided great resolution and through a large soundstage and provided very good imaging as well. With a MSRP of $340, they are priced well for their performance. Based on their design, features, quality, and performance, they have earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at