Best Car Radio Head Unit – Replace your old stereo today

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Upgrading your car radio head unit is something that can be done at home with little to no experience. Most people either don't know that it is even possible to change out their stereo equipment or just don't want to do it themselves. In this article, you will see the best car radio head unit we could find and the runner-ups. We reviewed single DIN head units and double-DIN head units to bring you the ultimate list.

Our Top Pick of Car Radio Head Units


Single-DIN

Top Pick
BOSS AUDIO BV9976B Single-DIN 7 inch Motorized Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver, Bluetooth, Wireless Remote

Double-DIN

Top Pick
Pioneer AVH-X4800BS 7

Single DIN Car Radio Head Unit Reviews

Sony CDXG3100UP CD Single with Mega Bass Dynamic Amp (Black)


This single din car radio head unit from Sony, the CDX-G3100UP, is a fantastic unit. Its quality craftsmanship is backed by Sony, one of the world's technology leaders in audio equipment.

Sony’s CDX-3100UP comes equipped with an internal amp capable of providing 55 Watts x 4 channels. It is more than enough to power the stock speakers in your car, and will in fact power a large number of aftermarket component speakers. Powering a pair of 6x9’s or some 5-1/4" with some tweeters will be a breeze for this head unit.

This particular deck has a few other tricks up its sleeve, including LPF crossover, Mega Bass and EQ5. You will be able to tune in your audio with perfection with all the sound settings the Sony CDX-3100UP provides.

In addition to playing standard CD’s, this car radio head unit will play MP3 and WMA music files. It has two input ports for connecting external audio sources as well. The AUX port and USB port will play audio from your iOS and Android devices, while also displaying Pandora information such as song title and artist name.

Customization is simple on this single din stereo. It has a Dynamic Color Illuminator that will display up to 35,000 different color variations which will perfectly match your vehicle or your mood. When using Sony’s Sound Synchronization, the lighting within the radio will pulse with the beat. This, of course, depends on the volume and tempo of your music, but it is still an excellent feature.

Install can be done at home, or you can have a car audio company do it for you. Overall, you will not be disappointed when purchasing Sony’s CDX-3100UP car radio head unit.

Why It Made The List: The Sony brand name backing this quality crafted single din head unit means you'll receive the very best in the industry.

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BOSS AUDIO BV9976B Single-DIN 7 inch Motorized Touchscreen DVD Player


Boss Audio’s BV9976B car radio head unit is a perfect option if you are looking for a single din stereo. It has a fold out 7” screen that makes it look like a double din head unit. It’s the perfect alternative if your car doesn’t have the space to accommodate a more massive deck.

The BV9976B comes with four main channels that each produce 85 watts of power max. You probably wouldn't want to hook up your subwoofers to these channels, but some component speakers will sound amazing using these connections. The 85-watt max power per channel makes Boss Audio one of the higher rated units on the market.

This stereo unit comes with some great audio features like a built-in preset equalizer, an RDS tuner, and Balance/Fader/Bass/Treble controls. In addition to playing CDs and MP3s, Boss Audio’s BV9976B will play WMA format and even DVDs. It also supports USB and SD storage. With all these playback options, you probably won't have time for playing anything else, but it does have AM/FM radio and is compatible with smartphones and MP3 players via audio input.

BOSS AUDIO BV9976B Single-DIN 7 inch Motorized Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver, Bluetooth, Wireless Remote

Another great feature is that there are hook-ups for connecting a rear camera and using this head unit as a backup cam to help you park. Using the built-in 7-inch motorized display panel means you won't have to purchase more equipment if you want to set up a backup cam.

The name of the game is audio, sound quality and number of audio sources are kings. But, your car radio head unit still has to look good too. Right? Well, the BV9976B not only has the retractable 7” touch panel display, but it also has multi-color illumination options to customize your radio to fit your personality. Controlling your Boss Audio CD/DVD player is simple with the wireless remote that comes with it.

Lastly, this head unit has a 3-year platinum dealer warranty. If you’re looking for a premium car radio head unit, this may be it. You can't really go wrong with Boss Audio.

Why It Made The List: It is a single din head unit that expands out to provide you with a double din look.

Pioneer DEH-150MP Single DIN Car Stereo With MP3 Playback


The Pioneer DEH-150MP provide a ton of bang for your buck. It is cheap in price, but not in quality. In fact, you get the Pioneer audio name brand behind this fantastic little single din head unit. Pioneer has been in the audio industry for nearly 75 years, perfecting everything from car stereos to speakers.

This single DIN head unit will play standard AM/FM radio signals, audio CDs and MP3 CDs. You can load songs onto CD-R or CD-RW directly, and this head unit will pick them up and play them. Finally, you can play WMA CDs as well.

As the entry-level model in this series, it has just three different inputs. Two on the back and one in the front. The two in the back are for audio outputs, one mainly for the wiring harness. The one port in the front is for the AUX cable. This port will allow you to hook up any standard 3.5mm jack and connect it to a sound output device such as your phone or an MP3 player.

Pioneer DEH-150MP Single DIN Car Stereo With MP3 Playback

Many users were impressed at the sound quality that the Pioneer DEH-150MP head unit produces. It provides 4 channels x 50 watts of peak power. You will probably mainly use the RMS power of 14 x 4, but it's nice to know you can crank up the volume and really jam out from time to time.

It may not have all the bells and whistles as some of the other head units, but the DEH-150MP still makes the list because of the value and quality. With a theft deterrent detachable faceplate, thieves might just pass up your car because it doesn't look like the big score. A wireless remote will allow passengers to control the audio from the back seat.

The one concern with this unit is the depth. Make sure you inspect your current setup and see if it has enough clearance for the 10 inches this radio head unit requires. Some users report not having enough room because of the integrated heat sink that this model has. If it fits, you're in luck because this is a world class car radio head unit.

Why It Made The List: It is an inexpensive single din head unit that won't break the bank, yet still provides ample features and playback formats.

Kenwood KDC-BT365U CD In-Dash Bluetooth Car Stereo Receiver


The Kenwood KDC-BT365U is excellent for connecting your phone with Bluetooth and even better at playing music. A neat feature of this head unit is its Bluetooth connection and its ability to connect two devices via Bluetooth simultaneously.

It will allow you always to have two devices connected at any time. This would be perfect for a couple who drive one car and want to have the ability to use both of their phones to play music or answer calls. Another fantastic benefit to this feature is that as more and more places make it illegal to talk on a cell phone put up to your ear while driving, you are going to be set up without worry of causing an accident or getting a ticket.

Kenwood KDC-BT365U CD Single Din In-Dash Bluetooth Car Stereo Receiver

The KDC-BT365U head unit provides a max power output of 50W x 4 channels. As with most of the single din car stereos we reviewed, this one will give you the power you need when you need it. Regular use will require less power, but if you need to turn up your volume to hear a phone call or just want to pump some jams, you have the ability.

This head unit comes with a slew of connections on the back and the two major ones on the front. The front two are the AUX port for connecting 3.5mm headphone style cords and the USB port for connecting smartphones and MP3 players. Android users rejoice. The USB port supports Android Rapid Charge, which can charge your phone up to four times as fast as phones without this ability. The rear connections are the wiring harness hookup for power and component speaker out. It also has an antenna hookup, external microphone (included) and ports for subwoofers and preamp outputs.

This Kenwood head unit comes with a few other cool features as well. One of which is the Theft Deterrent Faceplate (TDF). It allows you to remove the faceplate from the actual unit. Would be thieves will look in and see a missing faceplate and most likely pass your car up because it’s just too much work to steal a stereo with missing pieces. Car stereo thieves are looking for a quick buck and don't want to hold onto stolen merchandise for too long.

Another great feature is the wireless music browsing. It will let you browse for music on your phone from the head unit itself. It still poses a risk to search for music on your stereo because you are potentially taking your eyes off the road. It is, however, much better than staring down at your phone to find the next song. It’s not a deal maker/breaker, but its a nice benefit indeed.

Kenwood’s KDC-BT365U is a very nice car radio head unit for the price because it comes loaded with features and is sturdy enough for everyday use. Purchase one for yourself and give it a try.

Why It Made The List: Kenwood provided advanced Bluetooth features in this head unit that allows for talking on the phone, playing music and even connecting multiple devices at once.

Car Audio, UPSZTEC 4.1inch car radio, MP3, MP4, MP5


This single DIN radio head unit from Car Audio is a cross between a standard car stereo with a digital display and an in-dash DVD player. That’s because it comes with a 4.1 inch HD screen. This screen supports a whole bunch of video formats including MPEG, DIVX, and MP4. While it might be tough to let your passengers watch a movie on a smaller screen, it is really cool to load smaller video clips and play them on your car stereo.

Car Audio’s UPSZTEC comes with Bluetooth hands-free capabilities. You can connect your smartphone and use it to stream music from apps such as Pandora and Spotify wirelessly. The Bluetooth also allows you to connect your phone for calls. Laws and legislature are slowly banning the use of a cell phone while driving unless talking through a hands-free device. With this feature, that is what you get.

Car Audio,UPSZTEC 4.1inch car radio,1 DIN Car Stereo system, MP3, MP4, MP5,Media Players, Car Electronics, In-Dash car players,Remote control(4202a)

You won't be short on power with this car radio head unit. Car Audio’s UPSZTEC provides 50 watts x 4 channels of super strong power. You should have enough power to run all of your car’s stock speakers. But, why not upgrade them to some higher quality aftermarket component speakers since you’ll have the juice to power them.

In addition to using the 4.1” screen to play videos or movies, you can also connect it to a backup/reverse camera. The most impressive part about this is that it automatically switches and enables the camera when you move your car into reverse. This will let you park with greater accuracy and help prevent minor accidents from backing into things.

There are multiple inputs on this head unit. The front has an AUX port for playing music through a 3.5mm cable from a smartphone or MP3 player. It also has a USB port so you can load music and even movies onto a USB thumb drive and plug it directly into the front of the unit. It is one of the few car radio head units that have an SD card slot — yet another place to load music and movies. The back connections are your standard wire harness connections and pre-amp outputs.

This is one of the greatest car radio head units, and for the price, it’s an even better deal. This stereo will do all you want it to and more.

Why It Made The List: It comes with a 4" digital screen on a single din head unit. This gives you the best of both worlds and additional customization options.

Double DIN Car Radio Head Unit Reviews

BOSS AUDIO Double-DIN 6.2 inch Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver, Bluetooth, BV9364B


The first head unit up in our double DIN reviews is the Boss Audio BV9364B 6.2” touchscreen. When it comes to infotainment devices, Boss Audio’s BV9364B would be considered “entry level.” It has a ton of features and a killer cheap price tag, but might not be up to some car audio enthusiast’s standards. However, you could buy two or three of these units for and have one in every car for the price of some of the top of the line models.

This double DIN head unit comes with 80 watts x 4 channels of max power. This is more than enough power to run your car’s stock speakers. It will be enough power to allow you to replace some of them with some more excellent aftermarket speakers. If you take it to the extreme and renew your whole car stereo, you will want to invest in an amplifier to provide some additional power.

BOSS AUDIO BV9364B Double-DIN 6.2 inch Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver, Bluetooth, Wireless Remote

In addition to playing standard CDs, Boss Audio’s touchscreen will also play DVDs, MP3s and WMAs. It has inputs to support a USB device, an SD card and an aux port for connecting your phone or external music device. When hooking up a phone to the aux port, you will be able to stream music from favorite apps such as Pandora and Spotify. Another great feature about streaming music from your phone is you can connect it wirelessly through Bluetooth to the BV9364B. Not only can you stream music this way, but also use your phone hands-free for making and receiving calls.

Another cool feature with this head unit is that you can connect a reverse camera up to the back of your car (if you don't already have one), and use the display to help you back up and park. This is extremely helpful if you are towing a trailer and need to see the ball hitch. Your wife and kids are useful at guiding you, but being able to see precisely where you are located, will save you tons of time in the long run.

The BV9364B from Boss Audio comes with a 3-year platinum warranty, though most users have not had to use it because of the tremendous success with their units.

Why It Made The List: It is a quality double din head unit, at an affordable price.

Pioneer AVH-280BT In-Dash DVD Receiver with 6.2" Display and Bluetooth


The Pioneer AVH-280BT an excellent car radio head units with double DIN dimensions. It will quickly replace an outdated stock stereo or add a nice upgrade to a lot of newer models as well.

The main feature that everyone seems to love is the Bluetooth. The connectivity while listening to music or podcasts is supreme. Many users have used the Bluetooth to stream music from their iPhones and Android devices. Users also cannot stop talking about how quick and straightforward it is to pair a new device to the head unit. Once a device is paired you will be able to utilize the connection to receive or place phone calls. The audio is fantastic, and the built-in microphone is sensitive enough that the person on the other end of the line can hear you clearly. When you are not talking on the phone, you can stream Pandora or Spotify using the Bluetooth connection.

Pioneer AVH-280BT In-Dash DVD Receiver with 6.2inch Display and Bluetooth

Pioneer included 50 watts peak x 4 channels to power your speakers. The RMS power is about 14 watts, but there is no need to worry whether this will power your stock speakers — it will do just fine. If you’ve upgraded your speakers you probably already know about car amplifiers and may even have one installed. If not, you probably want to add an amp to help give your system the juice it needs to run everything without cutting out.

The AVH-280BT has an enormous 6.2-inch WVGA display which includes touchscreen capabilities. It will natively play both CDs and DVDs. It also can play other formats of audio and video such as MP3, WMA, AAC, DivX, MP4 and AVI to name a few. When using a USB device, plugged into the included USB port, you will have the ability to play even more audio/video files.

Pioneer was able to include some key features that help to increase our listening experience. One such feature is the built-in EQ presets. There are five total presets and options for loudness and bass boost. Another part of the audio experience Pioneer provides is the Source Level Adjustment (SLA). The SLA allows the user to set the loudness level of each sound source. This prevents radical volume changes when switching sources, i.e., Bluetooth to the radio source.

Installing this Pioneer double DIN head unit is very straightforward. Connect a wiring harness to your vehicle's existing stereo wires and plug in the wiring harness to the Pioneer head unit. Slide the unit into place, and you're good to go.

Why It Made The List: It is loaded with features and has one of the broadest arrays of playback formats. It also has a volume level set, so switching formats don't rock your world with extreme loudness levels.

Here at Zoomwiz, many of the products we review may be eligible for Amazon Prime. Members receive benefits which include FREE fast shipping for eligible purchases, streaming of movies, TV shows and music, exclusive shopping deals and selection, unlimited reading, and more.

Pioneer AVH-X4800BS 7" Motorized DVD Receiver


Another Pioneer makes our list of reviewed head units. This one is the Pioneer AVH-X4800BS. It is the next step up from the earlier reviewed AVH-280BT. The X4800BS adds a few more features and some overall increases to the physical hardware.

First of all, this head unit has a 7” motorized touchscreen display that outputs an 800x480 resolution. If you know anything about computer monitor resolutions, 800x480 isn't that impressive, but for a monitor in the dash of your car, it’s pretty good. You will be able to clearly see the controls and menu options that are displayed, even in bright sunlight.

This Pioneer head unit comes standard with a wireless remote. Most users agree that the remote isn't necessary, but is a welcomed addition.

Pioneer AVH-X4800BS 7inch Motorized DVD Receiver

The AVH-X4800BShas a continuous power rating of 22 watts x 4 channels and a peak power rating of 50 watts x 4 channels. As with the other Pioneer stereo we reviewed, this power rating is significant enough to power most common car stereo setups. There are some circumstances in which you will want to add an amplifier to your system, and if you're a car audio connoisseur, you know when to make that upgrade.

Pioneer added some extra EQ setting with this head unit that will allow you to fine-tune your audio experience in your vehicle. One elegant feature is the ability to save all your presets and settings just in case you lose power to your stereo. Disconnecting your battery or a dead battery typically causes a complete reset of your head unit, but with Pioneer’s “save” setting, you don't have to worry about programming your unit every time you lose power.

The Pioneer AVH-X4800BS can be made even better by purchasing a vehicle movement bypass device and wiring it up. This device enables some features that become ‘greyed out” when the vehicle is in motion. We advise using the head unit the way it was intended and NEVER watching movies while you are the driver of a moving car.

Why It Made The List: It has increased features over the other Pioneer head unit we reviewed, including an 800x480 resolution display and overall physical hardware increases.

Jensen VX7022 Multimedia Receiver, 6.2" Touch Screen with Bluetooth


Jensen hit one out of the park with their line of VX double din head units — especially the VX7022. It comes with everything you would expect from a double din head unit from multiple input connections to navigation.

The VX7022 has a 6.2”high-resolution touchscreen. This is on par with most double din head units as far as size. It is the right size to watch movies on via a USB stick or DVD and is indeed large enough to display relevant information about navigation or radio channels.

Jensen’s VX7022 has approximately 13 watts x 4 channels of RMS (continuous) power and 40 watts x 4 channels of peak power. It also has a 6.0-volt pre-out for connecting a mono-sub or front/rear channels. The sub output is non-fading, but the front/rear channels are fading. This is an excellent feature if you are looking to hook up some additional speakers or a subwoofer that you want running through an amplifier.

Jensen VX7022 2 DIN Multimedia Receiver, 6.2inch Touch Screen with Bluetooth, SiriusXM

One of the unique features of this head unit versus some other brands and models is that the VX7022 comes with built-in navigation. The navigation provider is iGo (NavnGo). It has so many features we could write a whole instruction book, but a well-written one can easily be found. Just know that you will find your destination using the iGo navigation system and you won't have to pay a monthly fee.

The VX7022 from Jensen comes with a ton of inputs and supported music playing options. First, you get a front panel USB port for connecting your phone or MP3 player. Second, you can connect your phone through app connectivity or Bluetooth. You can stream popular music apps such as Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM and more. You can play audio files like MP3 and WMA and video files such as MPEG and Xvid. It even has an HDMI/MHL connection for hooking up smartphones.

You will really enjoy your Jensen VX7022, a top-rated car radio head unit. And it even supports Bluetooth calling so you can be handsfree and a safe driver.

Why It Made The List: It has built-in navigation that is separate from your phone navigation system — and it's FREE.

XO Vision 6.2 inch Bluetooth Multimedia DVD Receiver


The XO Vision is a top seller and makes the list because of its low price and high quality. It has all of the features you expect from a cheap car radio head unit. Cheap as in amount and not cheap quality. The first few reviews on Amazon might dissuade you from purchasing this car stereo, but take their reviews with a grain of salt, and I’m sure you will end up enjoying this unit.

With the lower price, you can’t really expect a bunch of features. You will get a 6.2” touchscreen that has a resolution of 800x480. This is more than enough for a double din head unit. You will also notice that some of our other picks have screen sizes equal to or less than 6.2 inches.

You can play DVDs, CDs, WMAs, MP3s and a few other formats of audio and video on the XO Vision infotainment center. It has an AUX connection so you can connect an external device such as your phone or portable MP3 player. It also has a USB and SD input located on the front panel. It can also hold 40 preset radio stations for both AM and FM.

XO Vision 6.2 inch Wireless Bluetooth Multimedia DVD Receiver MP3 Compatible with FM-AM Car Stereo [ XOD1752BT ]

You can connect your phone to the XO Vision through wireless Bluetooth. This will allow you to stream music and even take phone calls handsfree. The manufacturer recommends installation through a professional (and the first few negative reviews of this product most likely did not), but if you are savvy, you will have no trouble installing it.

Why It Made The List: It was a 2017 top seller and will continue to be into the future. It has a ton of features for a low cost.

Single DIN Head Units -
Complete Comparison Chart


Best
BOSS AUDIO BV9976B Single-DIN 7 inch Motorized Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver, Bluetooth, Wireless Remote
Good
Sony CDXG3100UP CD Single with Mega Bass Dynamic Amp (Black)
Pioneer DEH-150MP Single DIN Car Stereo With MP3 Playback
Kenwood KDC-BT365U CD Single Din In-Dash Bluetooth Car Stereo Receiver

Double DIN Head Units -
Complete Comparison Chart


Best
Pioneer AVH-X4800BS 7
Better
Pioneer AVH-280BT In-Dash DVD Receiver with 6.2
Good
Jensen VX7022 2 DIN Multimedia Receiver, 6.2
BOSS AUDIO BV9364B Double-DIN 6.2 inch Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver, Bluetooth, Wireless Remote
XO Vision 6.2 inch Wireless Bluetooth Multimedia DVD Receiver MP3 Compatible with FM/AM Car Stereo

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