Keep reading this page for a full JVC KD-X561DBT review. Or, have a look at our best car stereo group test to check out a wide array of other options for your ride.

RRP: £244.99, buy it here. Not available in the US, try the JVC KD-X560DBT instead.

A long while back, JVC made all their stuff themselves. Scale and sales volume are the key factors for a company to get big enough to do this. A lot of the rest would use subcontractors, even if they offered special ‘breathed-on’ limited editions to mark corporate anniversaries. That’s just manufacturing politics and logistics. The quality you get is always about the company doing the asking. There are some absurdly cheap items coming from China but there’s also top quality electronics assembled for brands worldwide, there. For example, it is well known that tabletop grills of all brands from costly to cheap, come from one factory. And Grundig and JVC are both major players.

Plainly put, the JVC KD-X561DBT and the Grundig GX-4308 are the same device. Microscopic differences do exist but are absurdly minor. The manuals vary hugely, though. The brief, color Grundig one is full of pretty pictures and is made for idiots like me. The monochrome JVC comes with a massive multilingual print job of a starter guide. Then, their QR code takes you to the website for the manuals in every language.

Oddly, despite the full size JVC manual online being so major, the detail in it is low. You have to refer to the specifications to find the frequencies and slope choices of the electronic crossovers, for example. The Grundig box/manual proudly bears the Hi-Res audio logo icon and the JVC does not. Yet the JVC has the Made For iPod/iPhone icon and the Grundig does not. The JVC radio is settable to Europe and Middle East. The Grundig has Europe, Asia, M. East, Oceania, Latin and N. America to choose from on the menu. Also both offer presets and one user EQ for the 13-band equaliser. The presets have different names on each unit.

So, if the basic kit is the same, does it perform as the Grundig does? Well, hopefully this full JVC KD-X561DBT review will answer that question for you…


Setup and operation

I took all the stuff I had plugged into the Grundig GX-4308 and it was like playing with the same unit. Admittedly, the looks and finish of the JVC are superior in a cool black and anodized kind of way. The Grundig even looks a bit dated by comparison. The buttons are arranged slightly differently and JVC use a magnifying glass icon instead of rows-of-script for their menu access. Another button is marked “BASS” but is a little misleading and should be marked “Audio”. It opens up the EQ, X’Over, Loudness, and Delay menus.

JVC KD-X561DBT Equaliser

KD-X561DBT paired up a treat just like the 4308 and played music via bluetooth. I tried to make a call and found myself annoying Mr. Blaupunkt UK as he could not hear me. I reached around the back and realized I had failed to push the mono microphone jack plug fully home. Just like with his unit, when I couldn’t make the Aux work. It was about the plug needing to be tickling a switch point inside. I apologized, booked the Blaupunkt Frankfurt for return and told him about the plug problem! Sometimes, being too delicate and careful is not the thing. The microphone product, just like the wires’ colors and little labels on the back, are identical to the Grundig.

The joyous thing for #vanlife people and #vloggers, is that the entire 1-DIN package can become an adjunct to your studio. You do your thing, document on video and edit. And your car radio, from a normal DIN slot becomes a playback device. Driver can listen and passenger can watch. JVC KD-X561DBT Time Alignment

How well does it work?

There’s a need to offer better value if you’re a less than cool brand like Grundig! I keep on mentioning their product but it has to be said. There’s no hard case included with JVC’s product, to carry the faceplate away. There is no DAB antenna included with the KD-X561DBT, either. Both are included with the Grundig GX-4308. Also, this JVC is a later product in date terms and thus has cost a bit more than in 2021. It has a higher ‘retail’ price. That said, the discounting is so savage out there, that RRP is just a faintly amusing starting point. For the money ‘asked for’ at retail, there are sellers adding in a DAB antenna and crucially, that reversing camera. That makes the whole package compelling for many folks. The price difference is merely about shopping effort to be truthful, despite ‘retail’.

The JVC information is still hugely better than what Grundig offer, which was comparatively lacking clarity. The amount of file types that the system can indeed read is huge, and includes AAC and OGG and MKV and Bitmaps and all sorts. It is safe to say that both machines have the same capabilities too.


My little USB TV pilot about fishing played a treat on it and it sounded the same. There are only two things I now want to compare. One is that the JVC EQ presets have different names. I want to see if they are the same curves! Finally, the KD-X561DBT can be bossed by the JVC RM-RK258 remote. I will lay money that the Grundig, which makes NO mention of a remote, has the IR window and can be bossed by one too!

END SHOCK: The facepiece of the Grundig runs the JVC. It even runs ‘Virtual Sub’!

Tech specs:

  • Single DIN mech-free DAB+/FM/AM radio with USB/Aux/Bluetooth (V4.2) streaming and calls
  • Onboard Power: 4x45W @4ohms
  • FM configurable to Europe or Middle East broadcast standards.
  • 2V Front, Rear and Sub RCA out, 1A USB, wired microphone included
  • Optional RM-RK258 remote control NOT included
  • Plays MP3, FLAC, WMA, OGG, MPEG1, 2, 4, H264, JPEG, MKV, BMP, PNG files via USB
  • Made for iPhone/iPod (iPod touch 6, iPhone 5s to X only, not for 11 to 13)

Not quite what you’re looking for? Have a read of our single-DIN car stereo group test.