Nowadays the tech market is packed with numerous car stereo receivers. Since we understand you don’t want to waste time and check them out all by yourself, we did that for you. Gathering the best double auto stereo units, we then tested them and wrote down detailed descriptions, as well as its advantages and drawbacks. Going deep into all technical features and up-to-date technologies may take time, that’s why we did this review for you — you will be able to save time and choose the most suitable automotive stereo just like that.
When the time has come and you have to replace your old auto stereo because the factory one has worn out or you just want to update, you need to be attentive not to waste money on low-quality replacement parts. We have picked and tested only car stereo receivers which worth your attention, our detailed review will give you a full picture of TOP car head units that are currently on the market and which deserve your attention.
Probably one of the biggest advantages of DIN car stereo is that it’s so easy to adjust and it’s one of those affordable ways to upgrade your vehicle. Without any exaggerations, your stereo system is your vehicle’s heart and if you want this heart beating, you need to choose wisely and get the receiver that provides good performance. It goes without saying that the quality of the sound and number of functions of your care receiver are two important things you have to check out.
Moreover, A-team devices are not only reliable and last for many months, but they also boast of up-to-date design, handy buttons, big screen and so on. Well, start reading so you’ll get what we’re talking about when it comes to car stereo choosing.
Things to Watch Out
Choosing hardware interface for your car, always remember that it’s not only about the sound, since modern double DIN stereo system demonstrates photos, videos, etc. In addition, it’s very important how quickly that system reacts and if it’s compatible with your phone, tablet or any other device. When you know all technical features and details you have to pay attention before purchase, it’s much easier to get a DIN unit that suits your automobile and your requirements.
When you hear ‘driving’, the primary word has to be ‘safety’. Safety matters since your driving experience have to be comfy and fully normal. Speaking of DIN car stereo receivers in this context, it’s very significant — a device must have got handy buttons and widescreen, so you will be able to track GPS maps or turn up the music with one touch. Even more, it’s highly desirable that your stereo has Bluetooth or any other hands-free technology so you can manage the head unit by your voice. Or at least buttons and controls have to be located strategically on your receiver.
It may seem not the primary point when choosing double DIN car stereo, however, it’s still +1 to your safety and comfy driving experience. Voice calls will save you time and you will be able to talk during driving or standing in traffic. Due to up-to-date DIN auto receivers, you can do the business even when you’re physically at the steering wheel.
The vast majority of head units have GPS but there are still some devices that do not have it. Here we’re about to explain why this feature matters — with GPS you’re never lost and you always know the direction to go. It saves you time, sometimes money and nerves. Pay attention to different GPS modules and go into details to make sure the screen is big enough so you’ll look at the map conveniently.
iOS/Android/other operational system integrations
For the time being, it’s hard to imagine a human being without a smartphone, so we suppose you’re not an exception. Since everybody stores his music, photos, videos and other media files in a phone or tablet, it’s important that your DIN auto stereo connects with your operating system in a moment. Check each product’s description to make sure it matches your operational system. Again, it will add points to your safety and you won’t be distracting when at the steering wheel. Moreover, your friends will be able to run your vehicle’s stereo system by their smartphones which is very convenient if you are busy driving.
Are you keen on retro CDs? Do you listen to music in MP3? Are you seeking for DIN car stereo receiver to listen to .WAV recordings? Once you’re defined with formats you need, go into details and check which of them your possible future auto stereo receiver has. Today MP3 format is probably the most popular, however, if you are seeking for CDs, you may find it. Check if your head unit plays music in the needed format and never think about changing the format — it will kill your time, choose instead stereo receiver that matches at least 70% of needed formats. Let’s take a look at the most popular formats your DIN automotive stereo unit could have:
- Bluetooth. It’s not actually a format but it allows you to connect any device to your head unit. Tablet, notebook, iPod or iPhone — whatever you have, connect to the needed device and enjoy music or videos you have. Nowadays 99% of devices have Bluetooth and it’s probably the most convenient way to connect stereo wirelessly.
- CD format. We already mentioned that this format is old and not popular at all — you can barely find CDs today. Nevertheless, if you collect them and tent to be more retro, do not hesitate and seek for a stereo receiver with needed format and feature.
- FM/XM/AM radio. Radio is a great way to enjoy programs and music via satellite. For some MHz, you will need a subscription, for others you won’t. If you like to keep the finger on the pulse, choose a radio feature for your 4-wheel friend stereo receiver.
- USB. Even though USB could be sometimes named an old format, its dependability is flawless. USB 2.0 or 3.0 is classic — you can connect to your car stereo and transmit gigabytes of information just like that. Moreover, USB allows you to charge your phone or tablet no matter you’re driving or you have stopped.
You’re definitely don’t want your car stereo to get out of the whole interior design of your vehicle. Quality and formats go first, however, the style also matters. Today the market offers retro, moon, classical and other double DIN car stereos. Look through some different stereo receivers, pay attention to buttons, LED display, controllers and choose according to your expectations.
When it comes to installation and expandability, your auto head unit should be easy to set up. It does not matter that you must be able to set it up by yourself, however, if the installation cost half of a stereo receiver or requires dozens of additional parts, you’d better seek for another automotive stereo. As for expanding, your automobile may have additional video/audio inputs or outputs, additional USB-ports, input for mic and other features. Due to modern receivers, you can ‘expand’ functionality of your DIN just like that.
What stands for DIN?
Funny story is that the majority of auto enthusiasts know DIN is quality, but they don’t know exactly what it means. In German DIN could be translated as “Deutch Industri Normen”. Why Germany and what’s behind the story? Just a few decades of years ago, the German automotive industry placed ‘a tag of quality’ for a 2×8 inch stereo. The name was used only for Audi, Mercedes, VW, and BMW. Thus, it established trust and now DIN is a car stereo standard of quality.
Power is the King
There’s a common question “Do I have to pay attention to power?”. Double DIN car stereo does not differ from other devices in your vehicle — it needs power and the more power it has, the better performance you’ll have. However, one cannot claim power and performance are tied up primarily. Even if you pay attention to the maximum output of your car stereo, it shows just the amount of power provided in a short period of time. What you need to do is to check the RMS power output before purchase. If you are keen on loud or drum & bass music, it’s reasonable to choose DIN with high power.
Types of DIN Car Stereo Receivers
There aren’t many types of car stereo receivers: only single and double units. Here we’re talking about double receivers only which are different only by size. Double DIN is 8 x 4 inches and Single DIN is 8 x 2 inches. As for functions, there are no big differences between single and double receivers, primary you have to pay attention to functions, design, and features of DIN itself.
Look through our wide review that contains full product description, advantages, disadvantages and make your opinion according to the double DIN car stereo you are looking for. Our team of experts has collected creme de la creme at the market so all you need to do is just look through them and pick one device that meets your requirements and provides the best performance.
1. PIONEER MVH-1400NEX Digital Multimedia Video Receiver
800 x 400 resolution, multi-language display, and clear-resistive touchscreen are just a few of dozens of reasons why Pioneer DIN car stereo deserves your attention. As for its design, it’s minimalism. With this stereo you can control any content with iPhone/Android devices — to connect you’ll need a second or so. As for formatting, this device offers DVD/CD/MPEG/MP3/WAV and +10 other formats. USB input and AUX go without saying. In the kit, you will get wiring harness and USB extension cable as well as Bluetooth mic.
|• Famous brand |
• Offers numerous formats
|• Sometimes listening to voice messages can switch |
off subwoofer amp
2. ALPINE iLX-107 – 7″ Mech-less In-Dash Receiver
This digital head unit perfectly suits those who is a fan of AM/FM radio. Even though it does not play CD, the device perfectly connects to iPhone or Android devices, so it tend to be more up-to-date stereo receiver. 7” capacitive touchscreen allows you to watch movies and even turn on music with a touch. Speaking about its power, this device has a built-in amplifier (18 watts x 4 channels). Also such apps as Pandora, iHeartRadio and Spotify are included. Speaking about Alpine iLX-107 design, it’s nice and simple.
|• Great performance with AM/FM |
• Big handy screen
|• Handbrake restrictions (from other side of |
a hand, it’s +1 to your safety)
3. SONY XAV-AX1000 Compatible with CarPlay Bluetooth Receiver
This Sony car stereo receiver was designed and manufactured for auto enthusiasts who are seeking for voice control. It has a classical design. XAV-AX1000 offers the CarPlay function that allows you to control calls and messages plus view everything with the nice 6.2” touch screen. Also, you’re getting a powerful sound — thanks to dynamic reality AMP, it is not a big deal, it’s a standard. Thanks to the Dynamic Stage Organizer, you can create virtual speakers on your dashboard. For those who are keen on radio, it has SiriusXM satellite radio tuner.
|• Perfect for voice control|
• 6.2” high-quality touch screen
• Famous brand
|• Screen size could be not enough for movies|
4. BOSS Audio BVCP9685A Apple Carplay
The BOSS Audio car receiver is for drivers who seek to connect via Apple CarPlay — it seems that its head unit was designed for iOS. CarPlay feature includes music, text messages as well as voice messages, audiobooks, podcasts, and many other things. It’s one of those rare devices that can boast of back up safety. When it comes to maps, they show you petrol stations, cafe and of course each and every twist and turn: Google Maps, Wake and Baidu maps are available here. This device also works perfectly with Android, since it has Android Auto — just pronounce “OK Google” and you’ll get what you need. Thanks to the big and handy screen, you can use music apps keeping your hands on the steering wheel.
|• Perfectly works both with iOS and Android|
• 3 maps applications
• Back up function
|• Sound quality is not enough for loud music|
5. ATOTO A6 Android Stereo
It’s easier to count which functions this device does not have. FM/AM radio tuner, GPS navigation, AUX audio/video, backup camera, Bluetooth, RMS power output and even 178° full-viewing angle IPS display screen with higher contrast. The latter improves the viewing experience both at night and in daylight. This device has a Wi-Fi connection and can tie-up with 2 cameras (say, off-road camera or side camera view). The last but not the least thing is exclusive hands gesture recognitions center that allows you to adjust the volume or any other functions in a moment.
|• Perfect for Android devices|
• Numerous functions
• 178° full-viewing angle IPS display
|• Sometimes it picks up only the highest FM stations|
6. Clarion NX706 2-DIN DVD Multimedia Station
This multimedia station has a big display that allows you to control any content just like that. Clarion NX706 fits both iOS and Android devices. It offers steering wheel control and numerous formats including WMA, MP3, MPEG4, USB input, and others. It has 6-channel/ 2-Volt RCA output. Speaking about its design, it has a minimal design that will suit any auto.
| • Minimal design|
• Supports many formats
|• Sound quality is in question|
Our best choice
Functionality, a variety of functions and quality that will last for many months, not days — these are factors we have paid attention to when we’re picking the best double DIN car stereo receiver. To sum up, we have chosen Sony XAV-AX1000 Compatible with CarPlay Bluetooth Receiver. It offers the CarPlay function that allows you to control calls and messages plus view everything with the nice 6.2” touch screen, has a nice FM unit and allows you to control stereo without hands.
In case you still don’t know which car stereo receivers to choose, take a look at each of our TOP-6 units and make your decision accordingly.
What if I won’t change my DIN car stereo?
If you are not going to change it, it’s not the end of the world, but at the end of the day the whole driving experience won’t be 5 out of 5. Without any exaggerations, the hardware interface is the heart of your automotive infotainment. It’s one of the easiest ways to upgrade your car and indulge yourself with an up-to-date in-dash stereo.
Do buttons and screen matter?
Turning on music, tracking GPS — whatever functions you are going to use on your car DIN stereo, the control panel should be handy. As a rule, a double car stereo receiver has widescreen so you don’t have to worry about its size. As for buttons, you need to watch them — some designs offer big ones, some of them have small buttons, but the major thing for your comfy driving experience that they have to be handy.
Is it easy to connect my smartphone/tablet with DIN stereo?
It does not matter what kind of smartphone or another device you have, if it has Bluetooth technology, you can connect it to your automobile in no time. Moreover, there are other outputs, like USB so you will be able not only to connect your device to the DIN but charge it from your auto at the same time.
I still have the question about power. How much will I need?
There is no clear table of ratings for automobile DINs: how much power exactly you need. Usually, factory stereos take less power than aftermarket units. From the other side of the hand, aftermarket DIN provides quality sound and it worth using more power.
Let’s stop on optimum performance: here you just need to stay between minimum and maximum, within the recommended power. As mentioned before, if you require maximum performance from your double DIN or you are keen on loud music, the more power you have, the better.
Looking for a finely made and reliable double auto stereo could take many hours or even days if you don’t know what you are seeking. We recommend you to make it clear about size, functions, price, features you need and so on. Then you need to go deep into our review and check if our description and tests match requirements you have. Your new double-DIN auto stereo receiver will be the major entertainment point in the car so pay attention to FM/AM radio, Bluetooth, compatibility with your smartphone/tablet/notebook as well as Hands-free technology if you want to experience comfy and safe driving. By the way, some of your 3.5-inch car speakers can work better, so check our latest review.