Best Car Stereos and Head Units in 2024

Norvan Martin
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This piece focuses on the five best car head units you can consider for your vehicle.

The type of head unit matters regarding the overall sound quality you get in your vehicle. The market provides several options, and it only takes a bit of understanding to lay hands on what will serve you well. Below are the five best car head units that can give you comfort in your vehicle.

Some of the best car head units you can go for include the ATOTO double din car stereo, Kenwood stereo receiver, JVC multimedia receiver, Dasaita double din car stereo, and  CUSP double din head unit. They come with many frills, including a touchscreen interface and smartphone integration. 

Let us see below the reviews for these car head units.

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Android Auto and car play feature: You only need a USB connector to integrate your phone into the unit to access several features.

Smart features and power rating: The unit supports Wi-Fi, and the touchscreen is responsive to every tap. You can also access the internet via Bluetooth or USB tethering.

Also, you can download your favorite apps and listen to various music formats, including MP3, AAC, WMA, and more. 

Intelligent navigation: If the roads you are driving on seem unfamiliar, the convenient navigation system will help you easily navigate them. 1024 by 600 IPS display screen also makes maps easy to read. You can choose from various options, such as Google Maps.

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ATOTO A6PF Android Double-DIN Car Stereo, Wireless...
  • 【High Performance】As the upgraded and enhanced successor to the popular A6 Y & A6 Karlink, A6 PF has...
  • 【3 Internet Accesses & Dual Bluetooth & GPS Tracking】①2.4 & 5 GHz Wi-Fi ensures you won't be stuck at...
  • 【CarPlay, Android Auto & Wireless MirrorLink】Wired and WIRELESS CarPlay/Android Auto. Run online...

Pros

 

  • Large display.
  • Intuitive touchscreen controls.
  • Variety of connectivity options (Bluetooth, USB, and AUX)
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Support
  • Equalizer and audio controls
  • Backup camera compatibility

Cons

 

  • Installation complexity
  • Requires a large space
  • Advanced features and large displays consume more power.

2. Best Rotatable Screen: Dasaita 10.2inch Rotatable Double Din

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Display: Dasaita’s screen differs from many others because of its 7-inch full touch and high-definition screen. It supports 1080 pixels video playback; it is clear, sensitive, and provides 1024 by 600 resolution. 

Android Auto and Apple car play compatibility: With this double din car stereo, you can integrate your Android or iOS device using a USB cable. You can access various smartphone features such as phone contacts, map navigation, email, music, and most applications. 

Multimedia player: If you are tired of listening to music, you can also take advantage of this head unit’s three USB slots and auxiliary ports to watch a movie or other entertainment. You will be sure to love the HD video output.

Bluetooth feature: If cables become hectic for you, you can wirelessly transfer music or make calls using this device’s high-quality 5. 0 Bluetooth function. You can also transmit music from several preset stations to the unit and enjoy quality sound from your car system.

Dasaita 10.2 Vivid Double Din Car Stereo Wireless...
  • 🚓【Vehicle Compatibility】this Stereo Can fit Double Din OEM CD Size 178*100mmmm Dash,or Double Din Dash...
  • 📣【The Most Beautiful Vivid In-Car Theme】Dasaita Vivid launcher is a personalized in-car theme with...
  • 🔎【High Performance CPU with Storage Capacity】This Head Unit Featuring with Powerful CPU Hexa-core PX6,...

Pros

 

  • Impressive 10.2-inch rotatable screen.
  • Offers the versatility of an Android operating system.
  • Multiple connectivity options (Bluetooth, USB, and Wi-Fi).
  • Integrated GPS navigation system.

Cons

 

  • Higher cost compared to standard car stereos.
  • Installation complexity.
  • Learning curve

3. Best Compact Design: KENWOOD KDC-BT282U CD Car Stereo

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Audio Quality: The KENWOOD KDC-BT282U delivers crisp and balanced sound with sharp high notes and rich bass. With its built-in equalizer, you can tweak the sound to suit your taste for any type of music.

Connectivity: This device pairs easily with Bluetooth, offering stable hands-free calls and the ability to stream music without wires. It also has a CD player and a spot for USB connections, allowing all kinds of ways to play your media based on what you like.

Design and Build Quality: Its smart design comes with easy-to-use buttons and a straightforward interface. The removable front panel helps keep it safe from theft, and its solid construction means it will last through many journeys.

Expandability: While it doesn’t have a touchscreen, the KDC-BT282U has several preamp outputs to hook up extra amps. It can also work with steering wheel controls, which is great for those who want to enhance their car’s audio capabilities.

KENWOOD KDC-BT282U CD Car Stereo - Single Din,...
  • SMARTPHONE CONNECTIVITY: Enjoy convenient control of popular apps like Spotify and Pandora, built-in Bluetooth...
  • AUDIO QUALITY: Sound quality enthusiasts will love the playback support of various types of music formats...
  • EXPANDABILITY: Inputs include front-panel USB port and aux input and 2-channel preamp outputs (2.5-volt...

Pros

 

  • Clear and balanced audio.
  • seamless Bluetooth connectivity.
  • versatile media playback options.
  • Compact, user-friendly design.
  • Detachable faceplate for security.

Cons

 

  • No touchscreen interface.
  • Limited color customization.
  • Lacks built-in navigation.

4. Best Audio Performance: JVC KW-V250BT Multimedia Receiver

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K2 technology: This ensures your system has enhanced quality sound.

Bluetooth feature: You can connect up to two phones on the system via Bluetooth. In case of a phone call, you will only need to push a key on the receiver.

Low battery notification: Its output wattage is 200 watts. You will hear a beep sound on the unit when the battery runs low.

JVC KW-V250BT Multimedia Receiver Featuring 6.2"...
  • Pandora / iHeartRadio / Spotify Control (Android/iPhone)
  • K2 Technology for Enhanced Digital Sound Quality
  • 4 Phones Full-Time Connection - You can connect two phones full time via Bluetooth, with secure and simple...

Pros

 

  • Clear and vibrant display.
  • Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calls.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Supports various media sources.
  • Dual phone connection.

Cons

 

  • No built-in GPS navigation.
  • Limited display customization.
  • Installation may be challenging for some users.

5. Best Display: CUSP 13.6-Inch Car Stereo

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Powerful software and hardware: You will love everything from its 64GB ROM, 4GB RAM, and the six-core rock chip PXC6 CPU. They all ensure high and fast performance with low power consumption.

GPS Navigation and other built-in functions: The unit supports online and offline map navigation. With built-in Wi-Fi, you can download apps like YouTube from the Play Store. Not to mention, it includes built-in Bluetooth. 

Supports aftermarket amplifier: It has a subwoofer connector to support the audio and video input and output using the aftermarket amplifier. 

13.6 Inch Android Car Stereo Radio GPS Navigation...
  • 【Super Hardware and Software】Android 9 Car Radio. Six Core Rockchip PX6 CPU + 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM, High...
  • 【 Built in WiFi, Play Store, Download App Freely】 Pre-install Google and YouTube, and Play Store, download...
  • 【Built-in GPS Navigation and Map, Bluetooth, Voice Control Hand Free】 Support both online and off-line...

Pros

 

  • Impressive 13.6-inch display.
  • Android operating system for versatility.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Built-in GPS navigation.
  • User-friendly interface.

Cons

 

  • Potentially higher cost.
  • Limited compatibility with certain devices.
  • Installation complexity may vary.

What Makes a Head Unit Good?

  • Power Ratings: You need to check the head unit’s RMS and peak power rating to ensure it can power your car speakers. 
  • Smartphone Integration: This helps you connect your smartphone to make hands-free calls or listen to music from streaming apps such as Spotify. 
  • Display: You need a head unit with a large and clear display, so you don’t have a hard time viewing it from the driver’s seat. 
  • Expandability: Be sure to get a head unit with expandable memory to play music or videos from your external sources, such as CDs, DVDs, or memory cards. 
  • Playback: Choose a head unit that offers audio and video playback for optimal entertainment in your ride. 

How Can You Test Head Units?

Testing a head unit is vital, especially before installation. So, how can you test them to ensure they are in good condition? Here is how you can do it: 

Connect it to the speakers

Turn on the stereo by pressing the left volume shaft, then connect your impedance speakers to one speaker wire at a time. Insulate the wires so that they do not touch each other.

You will know that the head unit functions well if the speakers produce decent volume. If there is no sound, it could mean that the stereo’s internal amplifier is faultily installed or burnt out.

Some head units allow turning off the internal speaker outputs. Kindly check that they are not off before moving forward.

Check other functions 

Check the functions of the head unit to see how effective they are. Test the touchscreen responsiveness and Bluetooth connectivity, and ensure all the ports are working. 

Should I Upgrade My Head Unit?

Upgrading your head unit to the latest or modern version ensures you can get quality sound for your speakers. Plus, Modern head units have better features compared to their predecessors. Some best features include Bluetooth pairing, GPS, and a responsive touchscreen. 

FAQs

1. Is JVC a good audio brand?

JVC is among the most well-known and biggest names in the aftermarket vehicle stereo industry. They usually offer reduced product costs and are a well-known, recognized brand. People are aware that they are purchasing high-quality goods.

2. Which is better: Kenwood or Pioneer?

Although with a very small margin, Kenwood outperforms Pioneer since it provides a wider range of possibilities. Kenwood provides single DIN vehicle audio receivers with choices to fit your diverse demands at around the same price range.

3. Does the head unit affect sound quality?

It does affect sound quality. This implies that the higher the quality of your head unit, the better the sound of your music, and as a result, it often delivers high-quality audio and music playing.

4. What brands make the best head units?

  • Pioneer
  • Sony
  • JVC
  • ATOTO
  • Kenwood

Conclusion

Hopefully, now you have most of the information you need to upgrade your ride with some of the best car head units on the market. They will help make your rides more enjoyable, and you can even entertain your passengers with music and videos. 

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin