Kenwood BT838U Review

I recently purchased the Kenwood BT838U – I had a JVC recently and the load times on anything besides a standard audio CD were almost unbearable. After reading several other reviews on those units I found that it seems to be a fairly brand wide phenomenon.

I went back to the drawing board, and found the Kenwood BT838U. Here are some of it’s features:

-Built in USB iPod Control

-USB support for FAT32 mass storage devices

-Aux input (both this and USB are in the rear of the device)

-Built in Bluetooth Support (Audio and speakerphone/included Mic!)

I have some experience with Amateur Radio and Kenwood is one of the big brands in that arena. I decided to take a look at how others felt about this particular in dash receiver, and I found that most people like it, with the exception of some that had issues using the front dials to control the unit.

I’ll admit that this is a slight issue – I actually don’t use the remote at all – however I found that it’s not as big of a deal as it’s made out to be.

The USB interface works great on both my iPod and my 8GB flash drive. Bluetooth works great as well – I did have to do the Kenwood firmware upgrade using a bluetooth enabled laptop – but that wasn’t more than a 5 minute ordeal, and improved quality. Anyone I’ve talked to doesn’t know I’m using the handsfree system. It’s amazingly convenient and feels safer than holding a phone to your ear.

Bluetooth stereo sounds fine as well – I’m able to stream music from my iphone – I’m also able to stream audio from apps such as NPRs app or Pandora (the latter sounds a bit tinny, but that is an application issue and doesn’t reflect any problem with the Kenwood device)

Installation was performed at best buy, although I bought all parts from Crutchfield (free plug) – installation was 55 dollars and then an additional 20 for them to run the mic.

The installer was professional and quick.

I’m extremely satisfied and will continue to buy Kenwood.