Alpine CDE-126BT or Kenwood KDC-BT61U


Standard Member
Does anyone have any user experience of the two headunits above?

I'm looking to replace my Pioneer which will not automatically connect to my iPhone 4 and keeps "Error 80"ing when it is connected but neither of them have a fixed remote although the Kenwood does have a card remote which is probably as illegal as holding the phone on the move.

The Kenwood seems better specced but I'm told the Alpine is easier to use.

I'm looking for the following in descending order of importance aside from good music quality (ClassicFM mainly):

BT Handsfree Phone use
iPhone connectivity
Fixed Remote (ie located on steering wheel or just behind)
USB drive option (Front and/or Rear)
Automatic noise leveller (I have this on my Pioneer and it sort of works OK but could be better!)
BT streaming music (is this any good?)

Can anyone advise please or even suggest something better? I'm looking to spend under £200.


Active Member
I'd also be very interested to hear people's comments on sound and Bluetooth performance.


Standard Member
There about the same sound point of view, if anything the BT61u is really kenwoods best go at a audio unit vs the entry level alpine..

I would choose the kenwood anyday of the week IF it wasn't for the lack of 1-6 preset buttons for the radio stations which is a pain, kenwood does have the nice display however.

Don't forget your also need a Alpine KCE-433i Ipod cable with the 125bt


Novice Member
Does your car have a steering wheel mounted remote? If so you can get an adapter to connect the new head unit to the existing remote.
I've had a play with the Kenwood as I too was concerned about the lack of pre-set buttons, but once sussed the scroll method works fine.

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