Smartphones have advanced beyond phone calls and messages to GPS devices and entertainment systems. However, it is challenging driving your car while at the same time scrolling your phone.
Here is where double din head units come in. Instead of traditional knobs for volume control and radio frequency, you now have an easy-to-use touchscreen. This unit combines both functionality and modern connectivity tools like Bluetooth and satellite navigation.
Planning on upgrading your car’s entertainment system? Look no further than our comprehensive buying guide of the best double din head units in the market.
The Best Double Din Head Unit in 2021
1. Boss Audio System BVCP9675A Double DIN Head Unit
Some of the double din head units in the market will come with their own pre-bundled software. But, Boss decided to go with Apple CarPlay. This means that the unit easily syncs with your iPhone. In this regard, you have many options when it comes to apps. The downside is that there is little you can do with your Android phone.
Once you have synced your phone, you can play music and watch videos from the head unit. It also comes with an AM/FM receiver that allows you to listen to your favorite radio stations. The device produces an output of 200 watts, which is enough to power your internal speakers. While the internal software works great with iPhone, the head unit lacks an internal Satellite navigation feature. You will have to use that on your iPhone instead.
The Boss Audio system plays MP3/USB/WMA/Digital media from smartphones but no CDs and DVDs. It also allows various inputs like AUX, steering wheel control, and rear camera.
- Runs on Apple CarPlay
- Built-in charging port
- Allows various input connections
- Seamless integration with iPhone
- Plays a variety of digital platforms
- Bluetooth connectivity allows you to access a variety of apps
2. Sony XAV-AX100 Double DIN Head Unit
While the 6.4 inch feels small when compared to other models in the market, the Sony XAV is a high-quality double head unit. The device accommodates both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This gives users the flexibility to use any kind of phone. What really stands out for the Sony XAV is that it makes it easy to access various phone functions like volume and seek tracks through easy to use knobs.
Most of the smartphones in the market are now into voice commands. The Sony XAV utilizes Google commends to navigate functions like sending texts, making calls, accessing music tracks, satellite navigation amongst others. This frees your hands to do the driving without interruption to the screen. The touchscreen is sensitive enough to the smallest touch while offering protection from dirt and fingerprints. You can even access equalizer settings from your touchscreen.
- Highly responsive screen
- You can launch Apple CarPlay or Android Auto software
- Hands-free control of everything
- Easy to use a headset
- Access to volume and seek tracks functions
- High-quality video output
3. Power Acoustik PDN 626B Double Din Unit
The Power Acoustik is an affordable option for those seeking sound clarity and at a bargain. It lets you connect to almost any phone. But, it has the disadvantage that you can’t download any apps. This means apps like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can only be accessed through the phone and not the double din unit. However, you can still view all your phone’s functionalities on the screen.
You also get support for Bluetooth, CD, DVD, or USB flash. The Satellite Navigation system uses your vehicle’s GPS antennae. You also have volume knobs for easy access when driving. Overall, this is a nice option for those not planning on spending much on a double din unit.
- 6.2” touchscreen
- Satellite navigation system
- 800X480 resolution
- Easy to use
- Sat Nav does not use up your cell phone data
- Accessible volume knobs
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4. JVC KW-V830BT Double DIN Head Unit
The reason most people will go for the double din head units is that you are looking for superior sound quality and access to most of the apps on your phone. The JVC KW-V830BT offers both. You can connect it to your Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and download essential apps like Google Maps. Sound quality is impressive due to the 24-bit DAC.
Instead of getting into a fistfight as to who controls the playlist, the device allows you to connect through Bluetooth two phones simultaneously. The connected devices will both be displayed on the dashboard. This makes it easy to play songs on one device while receiving calls on another. The installation has been simplified and you can do it without the need of a sound technician.
- Integration to both Android and iPhone
- Allows Bluetooth connection of two phones
- Large screen for easy access
- Superior sound quality
- Easy to install
- Lets you listen to various internet stations
5. Kenwood DDXX774BH Double DIN Head Unit
It is hard to come up with a list of premium sound accessories without mentioning Kenwood. With the device you get access to your favorite phone tunes while accessing your Satellite Navigation and AM/FM stations. Bluetooth connectivity has been taken to another level as the device allows you to pair up to 5 phones. This means any of your passengers can play their favorite tracks. You can also play your music from the CD/DVD player or connect a USB disk.
Kenwood has is renowned for producing superb speakers. In this instance, the Kenwood DDXX774BH comes with a built-in 13-band equalizer. This helps you fine-tune your music to fit your tastes and preferences. Through the high-resolution 6.95 inch touchscreen, you can view all your car’s important readings like tire pressure, gauges, climate controls, and temperature controls.
- Controls up to 5 phones
- Compatible with SiriusXM
- Large 6.5-inch screen
- 6-step electronic angle adjustment
- Superb sound quality
- Compatibility with all phones
- Access to crucial car information
6. Jensen VX7020 Double DIN Head Unit
If you love the open road and are looking for the right satellite navigation unit for your car, look no further than the Jensen VX7020. The iGO Primo Navigation comes with intuitive voice commands that will inform you whenever you make a wrong turn. In addition, you have access to over 11 million points of interest. That’s not all. You can play your favorite tunes from your smartphone, CD/DVD player or listen to various satellite stations.
If you want absolute control of the sound quality you can adjust this through the device 10-band customizable Equalizers. This turns your double unit into a state of the art music system. Mobile connectivity is through HDMI/MHL. With this, you have most of your important dials available on the dashboard.
Thinking of watching a movie as you drive? Make use of the Jensen video playback feature. The videos will be displayed in 16:9 format and at WVGA resolution.
- 6.2 inch high-resolution LCD screen
- iGO Primo navigation lets you access over 11 million points of interest
- HDMI/MHL connectivity for Bluetooth device connectivity
- Hands-free communication
- Audio and video streaming
- Extensive maps database
7. Alpine ILX-107 Double DIN Head Unit
Siri has taken smart voice commands to another level. It will help you focus on the road as enjoy your car’s entertainment system. The large 7inch high-resolution screen is responsive and easily accessible. It comes with a home and Siri buttons. with Bluetooth connectivity, all you need to do is pair your phone with the device and you have access to a host of functionalities.
The touchscreen interface is user-friendly with the capability of ranking your apps based on usage. This eliminates the need for scrolling to access some most used applications. The GPS antenna on the Alpine is stronger than most of the devices we have examined. This means you can find your way when lost in the middle of nowhere. The Apple CarPlay software works wonders in sending the navigation data to your smartphone.
- Built-in amplifier produces 18 watts RMS
- Connect with your favorite apps like Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio
- Digital media receiver allows for AM/FM tuner
- Steering control remote control ready
- Ability to add a backup camera
- Sensitive microphone for voice commands
8. Pyle PLRVST400 Double DIN Head Unit
This is an inboard car stereo system that is remote controlled and supports your CD/DVD player, AM/FM receiver and alarm system. It will connect with your smartphone and this opens up more functionalities. This is done through Bluetooth connectivity. With this ability, you can drive your car while chatting with friends from across the world.
Unlike most of the units that we have reviewed the Pyle PLRVST400 does not come with a large touchscreen. But, this does not mean it falls behind in functionality. It comes with a powerful 200-watt power output. This ensures that you can play your songs loud without worry about sound clarity. The 7 inch LCD display is user-friendly and gives you access to most of the important stereo functions. To enhance the sound being produced by your stereo speakers, the Pyle comes with a 3-zone audio source. With the A, B, C buttons you can personalize your speakers for a more enhanced sound experience.
- Comes equipped with AM/FM radio, alarm function and CD/DVD playback
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 3-zone audio control
- Easy to install
- Large screen for better visibility
- Remote control for easy access
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9. Boss Audio Double Din head unit
The screen lets you control most of your stereo functions by remote control. This is done through wireless remote and steering control functions. The large touchscreen is loaded with features and comes with visual graphic interface that enhances visibility. When it comes to your music source you are not relegated to just one as there are various options available at your disposal including SD, radio, Smartphone Bluetooth connectivity, and CD/DVD playback.
You can connect your reverse camera to the device and this gives you more control of the car when reversing. The control units are also available on the steering wheel controls. The screen also supports over 64 characters and this helps you to easily read texts, songs, and titles.
- Play you songs and movies through CD/DVD playback, USB, SD or Bluetooth
- Hands free control of stereo functions
- Allows inputs for rear view camera and AUX
- High power output
- Wireless remote control
10. Speedton Double Din 7 Inch
We have included this stereo system on our list because it offers great value for money. You can get the stereo system for less than $100. However, unlike in the higher end models you will not find have the ability to play CD/DVD. Most of these have become obsolete so this should not trouble you much. Connectivity is mainly through Bluetooth. If you have most of your favorite tracks on phone you can stream them directly to the device. The Speedton also allows you to listen to your favorite radio stations. It does not support GPS which is a big drawback for those who travel a lot to remote areas. The stereo while it lacks in features it offers you basic features at a reasonable price.
- 7” TFT touch screen offering a resolution of 800 X 480
- Built in Bluetooth hands free for calls
- Remote controlled with digital lights that flicker as you play songs
- Supports Bluetooth connectivity
- Rear view camera
- Supports video input
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Factors to consider when purchasing the best double din head unit
Most of the products in the market are almost similar but there are some features that you need to check out for if you want a device that really stands out. Most of the top brands in the car accessories market have their own unique double din head units, but we have seen new entrants with remarkable products. This guide will save you the time you would have wasted finding the ideal double din head unit for your car.
Types of units
Most of the units in the market have the same dimensions – 178mm by 100mm. This means that they will fit in almost all cars. In case, you need to upgrade a unit then you do not have to worry about making modifications to your car. The units will also come with a touchscreen, from where you can access most of the unit’s functions. Almost all the double din head units will have a feature that allows for connectivity between the phone and the unit. This can be through Bluetooth. Some use Apple CarPlay others Android Auto while some use both. You need to first know whether the unit is compatible with your phone before making purchase.
Since you want to upgrade your factory installed car stereo with a more powerful unit you need to check the peak power ratings of your double din head unit. These ratings are identified by the RMS. If you want louder music go for devices that come with in-built amps or RCA line inputs. This allows you to crank up the music a notch higher. Higher peak power ratings enable you to play your music at higher volume levels without experiencing sound distortions. Thee peak wattage is what you should be looking for. Anything higher than 20 RMS watts is good for your car.
The double din head unit is just a large touch screen but when you add connectivity, it opens up a whole new world of car entertainment. In this regards, you can connect your phone to the device through Bluetooth and get the ability to make calls, play your favorite music list, send messages, and even share crucial apps. Some of the head units will allow you to connect up to 5 phones. This ensures that everyone in the screen gets to play their favorite tunes. The more advanced the head unit the more connectivity options. Additional connectivity options include USB and AUX.
What’s the point of getting a complex double din head unit that you cannot control due to the complexity of the controls. You need a unit that allows you to download and access multiple apps. Some of the modern units come with various voice commands software like Siri. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road while you still control the car’s entertainment system by voice. Larger screens are always preferred due to the ease of accessing controls and visibility. Syncing tools and voice commands are there to prevent you from being distracted while you are driving.
A good screen should give you value for money while loaded with functionality. Your overall budget for the device will determine the type of device that you go for. Additional features like theft protection, steering wheel controls, remote control, or Wi-Fi come in handy but they do increase the price of the device. The double din head unit is large and often takes a large part of the dashboard. In this regards, you need something that compliments the car’s interior design. Find something that is good to look at with east to access buttons. If you have your own car speakers with their own pre-amplifier system it is imperative that you look for a head unit that supports these connections.
Where does double “DIN” head unit mean?
The term has its origins in Germany and stands for “Duetch Industri Normen”. It refers to a time in the 80s when German cars like BMW, Audi, Mercedes and VW started being installed with 2X8 inch screens. With time the screens have become standard car stereo system. If your car does not have one, you can purchase a unit and install it where your car’s radio was. The head units come with enhanced connectivity hence allowing users to make calls and access favorite phones by syncing them with the device.
What is the difference between single and double DIN units?
The main difference between the two is the size of the units. The single units are smaller than the double units. The double units also come with various features like CD/DVD playback, Bluetooth and Satellite Navigation. Most the cars in the market make it easy to install the single DIN units.
Can I upgrade my single DIN to a double-DIN unit?
The space that your single DIN unit occupies is small when compared to the double DIN unit. In this regards, you will need to take your car to a professional so that they can expand this space so as to accommodate the double DIN unit. A professional will cut some space on the dashboard for this.
What is a dash kit?
This is the visible part of the dashboard. In most cases it is the part of the car’s interior that attracts you to purchase a particular car model. Car designers spend a lot of time trying to design sleek dash boards. However, they have to combine both sleekness and functionality.
How much will it cost to install a double din head unit?
Prices vary depending on the type and brand of the unit. Prices for the unit will begin from $60 to as high as $200. Most of the double din head units are easy to install but professional mechanics will charge between $25 for speaker installation to over $80 for full car stereo installation.
Does the head unit affect the sound quality?
If your car had a set of speakers with an amp then you need to look at a head unit that comes with amps to support the speakers. The head unit will affect the sound quality of the speakers. You should identify units that offer a higher watts peak rating. Anything above 20 will work fine.
Double Din head units are coming packed with functionality that help you turn your car stereo into a powerful entertainment unit. Instead of getting distracted receiving and making calls through your mobile phone, you can simply connect it to your double Din head unit and access all the functions at the convenient of your steering wheel. This helps keep your eyes on the road leading to a reduction in accidents. In this review, we found the Sony XAV-AX100 to be the best double din head unit in the market. The device will support connectivity of both Android and iPhone apps. It also offers superior sound quality.