Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The JVC KD-A95BT is the flagship model of JVC's Arsenal series. The Arsenal series is JVC's answer to people's desire for higher quality and higher performance from their car audio systems. Within the Arsenal series, you will find several models of head units, with the KD-A95BT as the best offered. If you plan to replace your factory-installed head unit, any of the models in the Arsenal series would be an excellent choice, giving you improved sound quality and new features, while retaining the old. The KD-A95BT contains all the features JVC offers in its car stereo systems and gives you a good idea of what would be available to you with other models in the Arsenal series.
The customization options on this in-dash receiver are the best in the series, but a few of the other models have similar specifications when it comes to things like preamp RCA outputs. Specifically, the KD-A95BT features three pairs of RCA outputs for front speakers, rear speakers and a subwoofer output. You don't have to use all or any of these, but they are there for future upgrades. Along with the three outputs, you have high-pass and low-pass filter control. You can go into the settings and manipulate which frequencies go to which speakers. You can further customize your audio system with the five-band equalizer. You can use the five bands to more fully customize the sound in your car. It won't be as extensive as a head unit with more bands on its equalizer, but it is a step up from the options in an entry-level unit.
The KD-A95BT has a CD player and you will find it behind the faceplate. While the faceplate is detachable, the function to access the CD player is motorized to make it easier for you. You only have to press a button and the unit will open, relieving you the stress of trying to place the faceplate on correctly every time you want to change a CD. The downside of the motorized faceplate is that it is one more element that can break over time. However, if it does break, you can still detach the faceplate to retrieve your CD.
The next feature you may or may not have already is Bluetooth capability. The KD-A95BT has built-in Bluetooth and includes a microphone with a 12-foot cable so that you can place it where it is convenient for you. It is common practice to run the microphone though the headliner so that it is positioned just above your head for maximum efficacy. You can stream music using Bluetooth directly from your phone, and you can take and place calls. The calls will come through your car speakers, and the microphone picks up your voice well enough that it sounds like you are talking on the phone normally.
This head unit sports two rear USB ports, as well as one rear auxiliary port. With the ports in the rear, the front of the head unit is sleek and streamlined, but it is harder to access the ports. Through the USB port, you can control Pandora on an iPhone, but if you want to do the same with an Android or Blackberry device, you have to use the Bluetooth streaming.
Between the Bluetooth streaming, the CD player, the USB ports and the auxiliary ports, the KD-A95BT can play MP3, WMA and WAV files. The KD-A95BT is also Sirius satellite and HD radio ready – you can purchase accessories and a subscription to utilize these formats.
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Each model within the Arsenal series comes with a two-year warranty, and the KD-49BT is no exception. On the website, you can find the owner's manual, as well as an instruction manual for installation. If you run into trouble during installation or have any questions, you can check the FAQs page to see if an answer is there, or you can use the email form to submit your question. JVC also provides telephone numbers for customer service and technical support. The company maintains both a Facebook and a Twitter account, which is another way you can contact the company if you need to.
The JVC KD-A95BT is an excellent-sounding head unit with plenty of power to drive your speakers. With its Bluetooth capability coupled with the inputs and outputs, the KD-A95BT is the best model in the Arsenal series. It is a good example of the features that are available in some of the other models in the series. Use our review of this head unit as a guide to picking the model you are most comfortable with.