KW-R500 JVC Receiver

Okay, so here we are with another review of a JVC double din car stereo. This time we’ll be looking at the JVC KW-R500 Double Din Receiver. So what does it have going for it? And maybe what’s not so hot?


The cd player is mp3/wma compatible and can use id3 tag/wma tag, so if you have some of your music in mp3 or wma format you can stick it straight on a cd-r/rw disc and away you go. Oh and if you’re not sure what those tag thing are, they contain info about the song playing and can include things such as title, artist, album, and other info, assuming it was put in there before you put it on the cd.

The cd player also has the random/repeat play we all love, or just ignore.


Bluetooth control is one of those things that people either love or hate to use, depending on how well it manages to work with your device. This unit is only bluetooth ready requires the extra purchase of JVC’s KS-BTA100, which is fine if you don’t want to use bluetooth (and save on the extra feature?) or if you don”t mind spending a bit more to get the bluetooth functionality.

Once you have the adaptor though, you can make hands free calls, audio stream and control your smartphone, and use voice recognition dialing.


If you don’t get the bluetooth adaptor and want to control your iphone or ipod, you also have the option of using a usb connection. This gives you control of your iphone/ipod and allows for random/repeat play, 2 way control, pandora connectivity, and will charge your idevice at the same time. 

If you happen to have an ipad, the functionality seems to work the same, but the charge doesn’t appear to be enough to charge it, which is something you need to remember when listening to music from the ipad on a long journey.


Apps that work with your car stereo can pretty cool. One of the most sort after at this time is Pandora, and this stereo does in fact work with it.


Connectivity is becoming more important and with the numerous ways to connect usb is probably the simplest way to physically connect a device to a car entertainment system. This unit allows connecting via usb to the front of the unit (which is preferable to the rear when you want to remove the connection on a regular basis). This allows mp3/wma playback, random/repeat play, iphone/ipod playback, and pandora control (as mentioned above).


The tuner provides pretty much standard settings and allows for up to 18 fm station presets and 6 am. There is also a radio timer and backup memory in case of power disconnection.


The amplifier is one of the most important parts of the system. If it’s quality is lacking or isn’t powerful enough, it just won’t supply the listening enjoyment we demand of our car audio systems.

With that in mind, how does this system stack up?

It’s maximum power output is 50W X 4 and the continuous output is 20W RMS X 4, which doesn’t sound like much (no pun intended), but it’s enough for most people’s listening requirements. Unless you want to explode someone’s eye anyway.

The frequency response is 40 – 20,000 Hz, with a load impedance of 4 ohms, and a line output of less than 600 ohms. So what does that mean? Well, it should give you a reasonable listening experience for what ever your tastes desire.


The display offers seperated variable color, auto dimmer and brightness control. Nothing really out of the ordinary, but the quality is there and gives a good screen quality.


This unit comes with an oval shaped remote, which I would probably lose if I didn’t bolt it done, but does work properly (as long as I can find it anyway). It’s steering wheel remote control ready to, although I personally don’t like these, but for those of you who do this is good news. It also offers power-off mode eject which is handy.


This is a nice unit with all the functionality that most people would require, and anyone should be happy to have this unit in their cars.

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