Electronics

TOP 10 Car Stereo Receivers

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Are you keen to purchase a stereo receiver but still on the fence about what brand out of many available offers the best price vs. quality ratio? Do not worry since we’ve done the homework for you. Without any further ado meet out Number One selection (yes, it’s a single DIN unit, but it absolutely rocks!). To a completely wide range of ways, that you can choose for upgrading your car stereo system – it may be important to pick subwoofers and car amplifiers or select the new car speakers.

Aigoss Bluetooth Car Stereo

As far as single DIN car stereo receivers go, Aigoss is, simply put, the biggest steal on the market! Coming at an incredibly low price and with a bunch of basic but useful extras, it makes for a mouthwatering potential purchase! It’s embellished with all kinds of virtues, however, what captures everyone’s attention right off the bat is the overall design – it’s very easy on the eye, has a user-friendly interface and nice visuals. Brace yourself when you hear the quality of the sound for the first time – it will floor you: this Mighty Audio Mite delivers one heck of a punch.

If you absolutely can’t live without your favorite tunes but get quickly bored with using a uniform audio outlet Aigoss offers Usb, Sd, Aux and Bt options to jazz it up for you. Of course, you can always settle for the old but reliable standby – FM radio. Aigoss pulls in broadcasting signals doggedly and has no trouble picking them up a long, long distance away from the station. It has memory to store up stations you like plus an auto search and save frequency function.

As in any of high-quality car stereo receivers, here you can channel tunes from MP3 devices and smartphones quickly via BT that sports good non-glitchy connectivity. Plus you can both receive and respond to calls in a hands-free mode with your attention 100 percent focused on where it needs to be – the road in front. The integrated microphone is static-free and does not flip out on you when you least expect it. The equalizer options won’t blow you away – they are very basic and simple – but a neat little remote control makes up for that. If you are not that into the entire weight lifting notion fitting this model in will be just your cup of tea – feather-light and installing it is, by all accounts, a piece of cake. You can take it to the bank, this piece of audio production talks the talk and walks the walk. Hands-down “top value for money” pick!

Key Features

  • Aux, USB and SD ports
  • Integrated BT with mic
  • Integrated BT with mic

Specs

  • Size 7.4 by 2.3 by 3 inches
  • Weight 0.4 lbs.
  • Model JSD520-Black
ProsCons
• Top value for money
• Uncomplicated installation
• Excellent quality of the sound
• Solid BT connectivity
• Versatility and broad options range
• Display can be tough to read in daylight
• The remote control does not have the most powerful signal
ATOTO A6 Android Car Navigation Stereo

Rest assured, you won’t find many bigger returns on Android Stereo investment that the one ATOTO has to offer. This product is loaded with all kinds of groovy options, has a sleek, quick-response seven-inch touch-sensitive display and a user-friendly interface. Good luck finding a better model for a similar, downright negligible, price tag! Of course, there is an outside chance you hate fiddling with touch-screens, and we admit – they can be pesky at times, ATOTO has that avenue covered with microphone and button alternatives. The BlueTooth and Wi-fi accessories are of sterling quality across the board – signal strength, clarity, crispness, overall quality of the sound – they snowball into dynamite audio and voice calling experience that you’d be eager to re-experience every time you hop into your car.

A few years ago the entire concept of making calls with your hands-free and streaming media tunes was revolutionary, it’s grown a bit stale now, so to offset that ATOTO went the extra mile in their production effort installing state of the art Dual BT chips that allow the user to effectively enter smartphone Bluetooth tethering and delve into the internet realm, exchange files or link to a gamepad. If you can’t stand even a minor delay when your device is switching between different applications this model will be ideal for you as its reactions are lightning-fast and the entire concept of time lag seems to be totally alien to its manufacturing specs.

Google has gone into overdrive in recent years flooding the market with all kinds of entertainment products, ATOTO has no issues keeping up – it’ll process any Play Store applications Google churns out. As a vehicle operator you might at times ply uncharted territory, an integrated GPS and a comprehensive map database can go a long way towards helping you stay on track and well-oriented. Frankly speaking, we are not huge fans of the screen-mirror function, but in case you are, it’s on hand and ready to be used but not abused, mind you! The only downside that we can see is it’s not automatic and has to be manually configured every time device connection is established.

Nowadays multiple USB ports are not a luxury but a necessity and ATOTO keeps their users happy as clams by offering three. If you hate skimping on your downloads but have been heretofore coerced into it by lack of available memory than an extra Ten Gigabytes storage capacity would be welcome news. The extra option of expanding the Sd card beyond the standard thirty two gigabyte limit will further boost your downloading options.

The built-in battery totally earns its keep by galvanizing the stereo into action bare split seconds after engine start. In case your concept of safe driving involves back-up and dash cameras as must-have props Atoto makes you sure you get the best of both worlds in one unit. It also supports the steering wheel controls option and, provided your car has none, you can always use a small but practical remote control (yes, it’s also included in the bargain). All in all, a premier product that will keep you satisfied every minute of its effective use.

Key Features

  • Seven-inch display
  • USB, SD, AUX
  • Reverse and dash cams
  • Dual BT chips
  • Internal battery

Specs

  • Size 6.3 by 7.1 by 4.1 inches
  • Model A6Y2721PB
ProsCons
• Phenomenal value for money
• Very easy installation
• Top notch screen, camera and sound quality
• Snappy BT connectivity
• High end material quality
• Five star customer support
• No volume knob
Bluetooth Car Stereo Radio Receiver

Skeptical about purchasing a stereo that costs less than two Papa John’s large Sausage and Pepperoni pizzas? We were on the same page until this under the radar AboutBit product made a total believer out of us! Don’t doubt it for a second – you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck from this unit not just due to its varied capabilities but also the overall quality in brings to the table! A good beginning is half the battle, and you won’t require professional help to fit it in, it’s very light, has a simple wiring harness and connecting it is a virtual no-brainer. It boasts an easy to manage interface and an eye-pleasing overall design. Buyer beware, If you are expecting to get a major visual Wow-factor from this stereo it might leave you wanting more, but in terms of offering a user-friendly german-efficiency type design, it’s top-notch.

Expectedly, it covers the waterfront with its audio input options featuring the usual array of radio frequencies, as well as USB, AUX and SD slots. Of course, it’s an MP3-player compatible.

You can’t really impress anyone nowadays with your regular BT so AboutBIt juiced it up with a neat little wireless RC and, in case that proves inadequate, added a real crown jewel – cutting-edge BT five zero version, which makes other BT versions look redundant in terms of its superior range, speed, and broadcasting message capacity. The byproduct of this improvement is a much increased overall stereo versatility dovetailing it seamlessly with most advanced BT devices and making the streaming and handsfree calling processes an incessant delight.

Those customers that prioritize “sound quality and volume” over everything else when purchasing a car stereo receivers will find this product right up their alley – it’s audio output is nothing short of exemplary. The benefit of having variable color illumination doesn’t hurt it one bit, plus you can alternate between seven different colors at will. You love listening to your radio but often get shortchanged on the signal? No worries! This unit clamps onto a frequency like a famished pit-bull and won’t let go all along maintaining nice audio crispness. Plus you can set your favorite stations in place with a casual button press. If you hate angling for your stations manually there is your basic automatic recourse to save the day. This stereo looks perfect from every conceivable angle and our only minor pet peeve is you have to manually push the clock button every time to have the time displayed for just a few paltry seconds.

Key Features

  • State of the art BT tech
  • Multi-color illumination
  • Remote-control

Specs

  • Weight 1.3 lbs.
  • Size 7.4 by 7.1 by 2 inches
  • Model CA-10BT
ProsCons
• Great value for money
• Uncomplicated installation
• Excellent audio output
• Excellent BT connectivity
• Advanced wireless technology
• No permanent clock display
Kenwood KMM-BT322 Car Media Player

It would be an understatement to say we are quite enamored with this Kenwood product – it’s been on the market for ages but hasn’t lost any of its original thunder! The industry as a whole has progressed with seven-mile steps in the last few years so what aces, if any at all, can this Audio Dinosaur, have up its sleeve? Worry not, it’s old but the game – it’s highly impressive overall sound quality/volume alone, even on old factory stock speakers, cinch it for us as a high-potential buy. When you throw it’s clear, zero static BT connectivity and good options range into the pot it emerges out as a solid bargain. 

If you are a long-standing “do it all by yourself” type than installing this stereo won’t be much of a challenge. As we’ve already mentioned it’s the major claim to fame is phenomenal audio quality but while it’s not overly advanced technologically it does offer the user regular BT compatibility for music streaming as well as USB and auxiliary ports for you customary phone charges or data transmission. In addition, you can also morph into a Google-friendly unit by downloading a special app from Kenwood. What else do we appreciate about this device? The display is bright enough to read clearly in daylight – it seems like a minor plus, that is until one hears the wrath of users who can’t make any sense of their display readouts on a bright day. If you like having your dashboard stereo enclosure look lit like something from a classic 80’s discotek, it’s multicolor lighting option will come in handy. You can either settle on one specific color or let the system cycle through them of its own volition.

Granted, the menu is a bit complicated and takes some used to but the stereo has a nice design and very cute visuals and, once you’ve learned your ropes, will be your best friend. True to its rep Kenwood has produced a knock-out head unit that has few to no rivals in its class.

Key Features

  • Front auxiliary and USB slots
  • Integrated BT

Specs

  • Size 8.8 by 7.6 by 3.9 inches
  • Weight 2 lbs.
  • Model KMM-BT322
ProsCons
• Amazing value for money
• Easy installation kit
• Phenomenal audio output
• Good options range
• Convoluted menu
TDYJWELL 7 inch Double Din touch sensitive display Car Stereo

If you deem finding a REALLY inexpensive touch-sensitive display stereo that can stand tall and proud on your dashboard and bring you three times the value of its selling price a lost cause think again! TDYJWELL gives you a chance to make your dream a reality. For a price too insignificant to mention you are getting the entire kit and caboodle, including a quick response seven-inch touch-sensitive display, a neat little RC, back-up camera compatibility, multi-function BT, stereo and other lavish bonuses! Amazing all-in-one deal.

There are really too many things to like in this model to cover in one brief synopsis, so we’ll keep it snappy. This model carries the memory capacity to store up to eighteen radio stations. The one solitary front USB port does look a bit underwhelming but a complimentary built-in hard-drive quickly puts paid to this let-down. These two options combined open up an entire can of brownie points for the user. First of all, you won’t have any trouble listening to all kinds of music and viewing all kinds of movies stored on these disks via BT as they support most music and video formats. There is also a valuable option of skimming through your pictures quickly via a quick browser application.

You don’t have to concern yourself about the radio tuner, auxiliary input or Bluetooth throwing a spanner in the works connectivity wise – they all work like clockwork day in and day out. If you’ve taken a shine to using the screen-mirroring gimmick for your smartphone or android you’ll love its lag- and glitch-free operation. Take it from us – you’ll be surprised when you try to establish your first BT connection – it’ll go down before you can say, Jack Robinson. If you are a real glutton for internet downloads you’ll come to appreciate the additional thirty two gigabyte memory card slot the product offers – talk about expanding your downloading horizons!

If you’ve heard one too many horror stories about some displays being totally unreadable in daylight, cool it, the screen on this device has no wash-out action to speak of both under direct and indirect sun exposure. If you like to explore things new and interesting there is a variety of ways in which you can reconfigure your screen using different contrast and color settings. The controls are intuitive and easy to manage.

There is no denying it, the overall audio sound quality on this stereo will not knock the socks off you, but it’s perfectly okay for the price. It’s worth noting, we also like the way in which the backup cam projects out green and red markers delineating optimal movement trajectory.

The sole minor beef we have to voice is the backup camera activation effectively chokes off any ongoing audio output, which can be irksome.

Key Features

  • Thirty-two-gigabyte memory-card
  • Reversing camera
  • Auxiliary and USB slots

Specs

  • Weight 1.95 lbs
  • Size 7 by 3.1 by 3.9 inches
  • Model 13
ProsCons
• Good value for money
• Nice screen, cam and audio quality
• Excellent BT connectivity
• Satisfactory music and video compatibility
• Audio cuts off when the camera is activated
BOSS Audio Systems 820BRGB Multimedia Car Stereo

Slightly short on cash but long on craving for a double DIN stereo? This could be the easy way out of a bind! True to its street creed BOSS has produced a rather impressive device available for more than a reasonable price. Of course, your old-school stereo users might take the absence of compact and digital optical disk slots in this model as a direct slap in the face, however, a full complement of radio frequencies, robust USB and auxiliary ports, coupled with MP3 player and smartphone compatibility make more than ample amends, in our opinion. On top of that, this stereo comes equipped with a BT and built-in mic and easily accommodates most popular music streaming applications.

At first impression, Bluetooth is going great guns on this model picking up your device in bare seconds and being devoid of any noticeable hiccups connectivity wise. However, we do keep hearing recurrent complaints about it dropping the ball time and again in terms of producing clear voice clarity and acceptable volume on the other end of the line. This is something to keep in the back of your mind if you are planning to use this piece a lot for important calls! On the plus side, your die-hard advocates of safe driving will appreciate the opportunity to make and receive their calls in a hands-free fashion.

The equalizer is not a showstopper by any means in terms of the available range of frequencies, but we like the present multicolor database and the fact you can pick your preferred illumination out of multiple choices available to liven up your dashboard. The stereo screen is bright, does not blur in daylight and has nice visuals. We would have liked to get more bang for our buck in terms of overall sound quality, but given the price, it would be a crime to complain about it!

If you hard-up at the moment but harbor plans of upgrading your audio system somewhere down the line Boss has made ample provision for that by fixing their device with rear preamplifier outputs – that’s what we call good contingency planning!

Key Features

  • BT with integrated mic
  • Front and rear preamplifier outputs
  • Multi-choice illumination

Specs

  • Size 7 by 5.8 by 4.5 inches
  • Model 820BRGB
  • Weight 2.1 lbs
ProsCons
• Good value for money
• Above average sound quality
• Good options range
• Voice clarity and volume via BT
• Poor radio station signal recognition
• Settings disruption at engine shut-down
Boss Audio Systems BVB9358RC Car DVD Player

Boss pre-production think tank has apparently gone out of its way to make this model as affordable and jam-packed with options as possible and, in our book, they did a bang-up job. See for yourself – for a more than the reasonable price you are being offered a six and two-inch touch display player that, in stark contrast to models surveyed above, supports the compact and digital optical disk functions while being just as versatile in other regards. 

It’s totally unthinkable to imagine any stereo these days hitting the marketplace without such common mainstays as an auxiliary, sd and USB ports – and they are on hand in this model. Boss also set a premium on keeping as many audio system building options open as possible, as evidenced by the presence of front and rear as well as subwoofer preamplifier outputs.

By all accounts, the Bluetooth with an inbuilt microphone has stood the test of time well since the device first came on sale. Most users are giving both thumbs-up for a crisp and clear connection, rapid device recognition and few or no glitches occurring along the way. In today’s hectic traffic it’s absolutely imperative to stay 100 percent focused on the road at all times, and the quality this BT brings will enable you to do just that when answering or receiving calls.

We really did not expect Boss to insert a premium level touch display into a lower-priced unit and they did not. While the screen looks rather slick and stylish it’s a bit sluggish to respond and, let’s face it, the resolution quality isn’t really top-flight. Different users have been touching base every now and again to voice their dissatisfaction about the volume knob taking forever to produce a reaction and it is indeed a bit slow – all forgivable failings given the price, in our opinion.

A big touch-sensitive display is made to order for all kinds of Google Play applications and streaming options and we’d give this device top grades on the rapidity with which the switch between different apps comes to pass – it’s totally delay-free and on the money!

When you buy a cheaper product you don’t want to have your hopes too high going in for its pilot run, and because of this we were a little taken aback by the overall quality of the sound this stereo produces – it’s surprisingly good. It enables you to put on the DJ mantle for a while by building up your own audio style using multiple exciting equalizer functions.

Does this item offer any extra value for money? It does, in the way of a backup camera and a wireless RC!

Key Features

  • BT with a built-in microphone
  • Compact and digital optical disc slots
  • USB, SD, Auxiliary inputs

Specs

  • Weight 5.3 lbs.
  • Size 7 by 6.5 by 3.9 inches
  • Model BVB9358RC
ProsCons
• Excellent value for money
• Good display, cam and sound quality
• Top notch bluetooth connectivity
• Volume knob response
• Touch screen response
• Resolution quality
Pioneer DEH-80PRS CD Receiver

By far the most expensive model featured on our top 10 list but this should by no means scare you off – the hefty expense is a total non-factor when you consider what Pioneer offers in return! Granted, this model is getting fairly long in the tooth, having been produced almost a decade ago, but you’ll never believe it for a second once you hear the sound quality for the first time – it’s out of this world! In all ways: accuracy, fidelity, the intelligibility of audio output – this receiver is the bee’s knees and beats most other single DIN units on the market to a pulp. If your amps and speakers can measure up what you end up with is jaw-dropping audio quality.

The Bluetooth function is a bit outdated, of course, but the connectivity and quality of the sound are okay and perfectly serviceable. The same can be said about the automatic equalizer function, – you won’t hit a motherload of audio configuration options when you use it for the first time, but in terms of functionality, it gets the job done 100 percent. In addition to that, there are many ways in which you can alter and vary button, screen and background colors – sounds fun! It’s a bit stunning to see a unit this old that gives you as many useful options, plus an opportunity to display song information and other useful data on the screen. The cherry on top? The display also gives out the signal strength indication and puts the user up to speed on how long his battery will last! This stereo is almost a decade old but, no ifs or buts about it, it’s still the King!

Key Features

  • Bluetooth with a mic
  • Three-way digital-network

Specs

  • Weight 2.65 lbs.
  • Size 11.7 by 6.4 by 8.9 inches
  • Model DEH80PRS
ProsCons
• Good value for money
• Top flight sound quality
• Surprising BT connectivity
• Top end material quality
• No USB port
BOSS Audio 612UA Multimedia Car Stereo

You’ll be getting more than you originally bargained for when/if you purchase this bad boy and we mean it as a compliment! Let’s be frank about it, BOSS has turned out quite a few success story stereos over the last few years and the 612-UA is cut from exactly the same cloth! What catches the eye first when you see it? It’s nothing short of dirt-cheap in terms of price but visually comes across as an expensive stereo – a big hat’s off to Boss’ designer team!

It’ll give you the usual assortment of audio input options ranging from a flash disk slot to your ordinary auxiliary input. Any MP3 audio files are easily processable ditto anything your smartphone can throw at this multi-media unit. Boss deserves all kinds of credit for consistently outfitting their products with front/rear preamplifier outputs, a great boon to any music fan who likes to build his audio system up a bit by careful bit. Granted, the built-in equalizer is not the most prolific of its sort featuring disappointingly few controls – four that we could put our finger on – however, performance-wise it leaves nothing to be desired.

A few Boss products have been taking flak on the message boards to date for their poor BT operation. We don’t think it would be legitimate to cast any poison darts at the BT performance of this particular model – it picks up your device quickly, has a firm grip connectivity wise and does not miss a step in terms of sound clarity and volume on both end of the line. We could not detect any static to speak of from the integrated microphone either. In all honesty, this Boss comes across as a bit of an overachiever in terms of its audio output.

It enables you to charge your phone via flash disk slot while simultaneously absorbing your daily dosage of favorite Google Play goodies. A lot of users have long ago bid farewell to the entire concept of radio entertainment opting for bigger and better things, in case you like to tune in once in a while – this product has no trouble latching onto a signal at remote locations.

It does hit a few speed bumps along the way though. For one, lack of permanent display clock and time-consuming SD file and folder management are two things we’d like to see addressed first and foremost …

Key Features

  • USB and Auxiliary inputs
  • Front/rear preamplifier outputs
  • BT

Specs

  • Size 4.9 by 7 by 2 inches
  • Weight 1.25 lbs.
  • Model 612UA
ProsCons
• Excellent value for money
• Audio quality
• Multiple options
• Good warranty
• Lack of permanent clock display
• Cumbersome SD file and folder operation
BOSS Audio BV9358B Car DVD Player

Coming with a major bag of tricks and a pint-sized price tag we can see why this Boss has been the market kingpin since the outset of the year. Replete with a bombastic six and two-inch touch-sensitive display and new-fangled Bluetooth with an integrated mic it’s definitely a potential buy. 

As has become their production custom over the years Boss has its product rigged with outdated but still broadly used compact and optical digital disc slots. It’s perfectly adjusted to any MP3 audio files and eats any kind of files your Sd or Usb discs can throw at it for breakfast. Of course, it’s totally smartphone-compatible and you can run the entire gamut of popular Google Play applications on it without running into a brick wall – not small praise indeed, given Google is hitting music fans with everything including that fabled kitchen sink these days. If you have a creative streak and would like to diversify your own display music pattern the far-ranging equalizer gives ample opportunity to do just that. In case your vehicle has poor rear visibility the backup camera option can save the day, but it’s sold separately, plus there is a noticeable delay switching to and from the camera when in operation.

There is a lot to like about this product and a lot of extra accessories available but a few dents need to be bumped out if it is to establish itself as a long-reigning stereo champ. For starters, the touch display looks dandy fine visually but it is a bit slow to respond. Bluetooth picks up a connection quickly but alas does not generate the best voice crispness and quality. Given there is no provision for an external mic, the minuscule built-in unit looks severely underpowered. A double whammy if we ever saw one. The compact and digital optical disk slot has its technical hiccups now and then and when you are streaming your music via BT it effectively obliterates all the important audio metadata from the screen. To add insult to injury the volume knob is snail slow. At the end of the day the price is sensible and the abundance of options undeniable …

Key Features

  • Liquid crystal display
  • BT with an integrated microphone
  • Remote Control

Specs

  • Size 7 by 6.5 by 3.9 inches
  • Model BV9358B
ProsCons
• Low price
• Plenty of options
• Great warranty
• Screen quality
• Slow display response
• Bluetooth connection and voice clarity

Buyers Guide

There are a few simple steps to ensure you don’t make a fatal leap of faith when buying a stereo receiver. Before we even get started let’s figure out whether your dashboard head unit enclosure can accommodate the stereo you are eyeing. Head units come in single or double DIN formats. Single DIN is about seven inches long by two inches tall and double DIN is seven inches long by four inches tall. With that out of the way, please, answer the following questions and what you end up with is a laconic cheat sheet on how to buy a stereo YOU really want/need and not a stereo everyone claims you absolutely should have because it’s so cool.

Size and Versatility

Is a big (double DIN), flashy touch-sensitive display with multiple control and menu functions a deciding factor? Or you absolutely don’t care about looks and prefer your things “simple but reliable”? If latter is the case you can save yourself money/hassle and have a single din head unit installed in your double din (if you have one) dashboard enclosure.

Media Formats

What kind of media formats are your daily audio bread and butter and which ones you’d like to have: CD, CD-R, DVD, MP3, SD/USB?

Bluetooth and Mic

Do you need a Bluetooth with an integrated microphone to deliver or accept calls with your hands totally free and stream music to your head-unit in a wireless fashion? Tip: Failing built-in BT capabilities you can always purchase Bluetooth receiver software and an external mic to bridge the gap.

Apps Compatibility

How important is smartphone, android or Tablet compatibility to you and will you have any use at all for popular Google Play streaming applications in your vehicle?

Audio Quality

How important is overall Audio quality to you? Some head units are geared solely towards producing the best sound possible, in others, it’s just a concomitant production factor.

Radio Options

Does regular AM or FM radio meet your demands for news and entertainment or you need bigger and better things with HD, Internet or Satellite radio? Tip: Satellite radio keeps you in the loop anywhere in the country, but that comes at the expense of a monthly fee.

Remote Control

Is wireless remote something you absolutely need to have in your vehicle? (Among other things, it’s a good way to keep the rambunctious backseat crowd at least partially occupied)

Audio System Expansion Possibilities

Does a single front auxiliary input meet your audio system setup needs? Tip: if you want to upgrade your obsolete or factory stock audio system but don’t have the funds just yet, it’s essential you get a head unit that has front, rear and subwoofer preamplifier outputs.

Related post: Car Door Stereo Speakers

GPS and Navigation

Do you require an in-built Global Positioning System and Navigation function in your unit or will smartphone navigation apps, such as Google Maps, turn the trick?

Screen-Mirroring

Do you need a screen-mirroring gimmick (enables the phone/tablet to wirelessly display on your head unit screen).

DVD or Blu-ray Playback

Are DVD or Blu-ray playback high on your agenda, if at all? Tip: This function enables your head unit to activate external displays if you have any installed in your car.