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Control Everything in Your Car With the Best Double Din Head Unit

best double din head unit

Most of us spend a large part of our day in our cars, which can be frustrating and tiring. So, you should consider anything that can make your drive as pleasant as possible. If you have a room on your dashboard for a double din head unit, you are in luck!

Imagine controlling practically all parts of your car right from the dashboard. Double din head units add functionality, accessibility, and safety to your vehicle. Additionally, new models offer additional functions such as smartphone connectivity, multimedia streaming, voice-controlled navigation, and more which add value to your car.

10 Best Double Din Head Unit

There are countless double din head units around from expensive premium ones to budget brands. All the technical specifications can be overwhelming and frustrating. So, which model is perfect for your vehicle?

Check out our list of the best double din head units. And, do not miss our top pick at the end of the article!

1. Sony XAV-AX100 6.4″ Car Play/Android Auto Media Receiver

Sony XAV-AX100

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Sony XAV-AX100 combines a well-crafted design and ergonomics with new and exciting features to bring a premium performance. You can only expect excellence and high-quality from a reputable electronics manufacturer like Sony.

The device was created ease-of-use and intuitiveness in mind. It has multiple input options, such as touch screen, voice command, and smartphone connectivity. If you are a fan of tactile control, the physical dial feels well-made. Whether you are driving or just hanging out in the car, you can easily interact with Sony XAV-AX100.

Sony produces some of the best audio devices around, and it shows in this model. It features 55 wattage of power on four channels that ensure great sound. When you are considering an audio system upgrade, you also have access to its three pre-out going amps for custom set-ups.

The Pros

  • Multiple input controls such as touch screen, voice recognition and command, and smartphone connectivity.
  • A physical dial for refined volume control.

The Cons

  • Expensive
  • No CD or DVD input.

2. Pioneer AVH-X390BS Double Din 6.2 Inch Car Stereo Receiver

Pioneer AVH-X390BS

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Pioneer is known for developing superb audio devices, and Pioneer AVH-X390BS is no exception. The model is crafted with audiophiles in mind. The 50 Watts of RMS output provides premium sound quality, whether you are listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or phone calls.

There is a wide range of input options from touchscreen to smartphone sync through apps. But aside from superb sounds, this double din head unit is a standard device without many extra features. Its physical CD input is a nice touch if you have older cars.

Pioneer AVH-X390BS is your best budget-conscious option but still want robust basic features. What it lacks in extra functionalities, makes it up in a reliable system that is regularly updated by the manufacturer. It is only around the lower mid-range and even cheaper if you find deals and promos.

The Pros

  • Affordable pricing.
  • 50 Watts of RMS output for superb quality
  • CD input along with other options
  • Easy to install.

The Cons

  • Basic features only.

3. BOSS Audio BVCP9685A 6.75 Inch Car Multimedia Player

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If your devices are primarily from the Apple universe, then BOSS Audio BVCP9685A will fit right in without fuss. It comes with the excellent Apple CarPlay software, which ensures a seamless connection with the rest of your Apple devices. Unlike other double din head units, there are practically no adjustments in using this model as it follows the tech giant’s design and technical language.

You can sync your iPhone right away to play your music through your car’s audio system. Also, you can connect other devices through Bluetooth. It has a built-in AM/FM radio receiver as well, so you can follow your favorite radio programs.

The Pros

  • Seamless integrations with Apple products.
  • Wide range of inputs.
  • Intuitive interface especially if you already use iPhones, etc.
  • Built-in charging point.

The Cons

  • No available Android connectivity.
  • No DVD or CD input.

4.  Kenwood DDX774 Din Receiver with Bluetooth and HD Radio

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Kenwood DDX774 is considered an all-around double din head unit. You can connect most smartphones, whether you are using an iPhone or Android model. Also, it can support your existing sound system with various customization options.

It has a rear video output. The six-channel preamp outputs will allow you to set-up an impressive audio experience inside your vehicle. It has options for AM/FM radio channels, CDs and DVDs, and even USB drive.

Additionally, it connects seamlessly to reversing cameras. You can take advantage of the large screen with its automatically switching functionalities. It quickly adjusts the display to the reversing camera when the reverse gear.

The Pros

  • Multiple audio outputs which you can customize.
  • Large 6.95” screen paired with a user-friendly interface.
  • Easily connect smartphones.

The Cons

  • Slow response rate.
  • Lacks built-in GPS navigation.
  • Installation requires a bit of technical knowledge.

5. Jensen VX7020 6.2 inch Car Stereo Receiver

Jensen VX7020

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If you are looking for a no-frills navigation system, then look no further than Jensen VX7020. While many drivers are using their smartphones to navigate, not everyone loves to tinker with their smartphones while driving. The built-in iGo Primo Navigation app is an impressive alternative to most smartphone navigational devices. It stays updated through the Naviextras Web Support, which ensures that your maps are accurate.

Installation is quite easy as the unit comes with a wire harness, trim ring, and more. You also get a remote control so anyone can access the device no matter where they are seated in the car.

While there are limited functionalities, you can easily expand the head unit with various CD, AUX, USB, and SD Card inputs. This makes Jensen VX7020 a true control dashboard that unites your various devices.

The Pros

  • Mid-ranged price.
  • Built-in iGo Primo Navigation app with Naviextras Web Support.
  • Easy installation with the included hardware.

The Cons

  • Small screen compared to its competitors.
  • No automatic scanning of AM/FM radio stations.

6. Alpine iLX-207

Alpine iLX-207

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Alpine iLX-207 is popular for its large 7-inch screen combine with an easy-to-use interface. It features anti-glare characteristics, which make it perfect for bright surroundings. Also, it offers connectivity to your cameras so you can take advantage of the screen.

You can easily connect any mobile device, but it works more seamlessly with iPhones. Navigation options are also distraction-free, making it safe to use even while driving. The built-in dual view will also allow you to use the display while viewing your rearview camera.

The Pros

  • Large screen with a built-in dual view.
  • Anti-glare screen surface for bright environments.
  • Compatibility with both iPhones and Android devices.
  • Over 2000 radio stations from both AM and FM frequencies.

The Cons

  • Low RMS.
  • Some Android devices require a cable connection without a wireless option.

7. Corehan Android 8

Corehan Android

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Corehan Android 8 features a large 6.95-inch LCD screen with a 1080p resolution. There are two USB connections available, which makes media consumption much more satisfying. You can even use its mirror link capability to cast your smartphone screens right into the unit.

The integrated OBD2 scanner allows you to monitor the performance of your car. Aside from the touchscreen and physical button inputs, it supports steering wheel buttons for more accessibility. An in-app GPS navigation is also available if you do not want to use your smartphone while driving.

The Pros

  • Large 6.95=inch screen with 1080p resolution.
  • Supports WiFi hotspots, 3G dongle, and various other connectivity options.
  • Mirror link and USB connection for better media consumption.
  • A DVD player.

The Cons

  • May not fit in all double din slots as most controls are flush along the edges.
  • Workarounds are needed for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

8. Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX

Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX

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Much like its sister models, Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX features optimal audio quality. It includes a built-in MOSFET 50W x 4 amplifier, which ensures high-quality audio experience all the time. Aside from superb sound quality, the model is packed with features that make it a solid option for any type of vehicle.

One notable feature is the integrated Dual Zone Rear-Seat Entertainment. If your vehicle has screens in your back seats, your passengers can watch and listen to their own media without affecting your own access to the head unit.

The touchscreen is one of the best we’ve tested. It is incredibly responsive without being overly sensitive. This makes it perfect when you need fast access to various apps and information on the road.

The Pros

  • Large 6.94″ WVGA Clear Resistive Touchscreen Display
  • Dual Back Up Camera Input Ready.
  • Full support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The Cons

  • May require an update when connecting newer Android and iPhone units.
  • Requires AVIC-U280 for navigation.

9. Kenwood Excelon DNX994S

Kenwood Excelon DNX994S

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If you’re primarily looking for a double din head unit for navigation purposes, Kenwood Excelon DNX994S is an excellent choice. The built-in Garmin navigation system is one of the best on the market. The maps are accessible and continuously updated with more than 6 million points of interest.

Aside from navigation, Kenwood Excelon DNX994S features an excellent sound system and connection, which is a reflection of the brand. Everything that you may need for your in-car audio experience can be found in the model, such as 3-way crossover, 13-bang graphic EQ, gold-plated pre-amps, and more.

The Pros

  • Excellent Garmin navigation system with millions of points of interest.
  • Various audio connections for any type of system.
  • Compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • Bluetooth compatibility with dual phone options.

The Cons

  • Expensive compared to most double din head units.

10. ATOTO A6 Android

ATOTO A6 Android

 

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ATOTO A6 is built by a brand specializing in Android double din head units. The operating system is stable, with regular updates available. The built-in GPS module is paired with Google Maps, which means you have the latest in mobile navigation system from the tech giant.

Connecting smartphones is seamless, whether you have an Android mobile device or iPhone. Mirroring and casting your smartphone screen is easy and responsive. Also, there is an available backup camera input if you want to connect it with your existing system.

The Pros

  • Affordable pricing.
  • Stable operating system with continuous firmware updates.
  • Easy wireless connection with both Android phones and iPhones.
  • Option for camera input.
  • 45W x 4 Channels power output.

The Cons

  • Weak and slow WiFi adapter.
  • Some apps are incompatible without the latest update.
  • Slow boot-up especially when not updated.

Double Din Head Unit Buying Guide

head unit upgrade

Upgrading your existing head unit provides multiple benefits. With countless models on the market, you will surely find the best fit for your car.

There are various factors that you should consider before buying your next double din head unit. Choosing the right one will depend on your current vehicle, the system in place, your needs, and other extra features that you desire.

Along with testing various head units to give you the best ones to take your pick, we have also outlined the basic features that you should look for in a head unit.

Here are some things to consider:

Navigation System

Nowadays, there are tons of navigation apps that you can use right on your smartphone. However, if you’ already buying a double din head unit, then consider a model with an integrated navigational system even it is just a basic one.

Even if your smartphone serves as your primary navigational device, you risk running out of battery and having signal issues. The built-in maps in the head unit are an awesome back-up, especially when you are traveling.

Modern navigational systems come with impressive features. Big brands such a Kenwood, Pioneer, and Sony have robust nav systems right into the unit. Some features that you should consider are as follows:

  • Regularly updated maps with options for manual updates.
  • Real-time traffic updates.
  • Multi-language capability.
  • Audio output and directions.
  • Voice recognition during navigation.
  • Inter-state and international maps.

Connectivity

Your head unit should serve as the main control system of your vehicle and other devices. You do not want to juggle various gadgets during your drive. So, having all notifications, apps, and media in one place not only improves accessibility but safety as well.

Your head unit should have the ability to connect to your devices wirelessly and through cables. Connecting a device should not take more than a minute. Additionally, your system should be able to recognize your device right away.

Having excellent connectivity will allow you to interact with the rest of your device safely, such as taking phone calls, texting, real-time navigation, and more.

Operating System91-jjb0s6rl-_ac_sl1500_

The operating system is an essential factor to consider along with connectivity. Your new head unit should be able to seamlessly integrate with the current vehicle system along with the rest of your devices.

While there are various ways to connect modern devices together, there are significant limitations when connecting different operating systems.

Android and Apple are popular options among manufacturers, and rightly so. There are thousands of devices running these operating systems, which means your device is likely to connect with your head unit if it is running either Android or iOS.

Choose a model running on the Apple system if most of your devices are running the same operating system. The brand is known to have the best integration mechanism. Their design language is consistent across multiple lines of devices, which means consistent experience whether you are on your phone or accessing it through the head unit.

If you mostly own Android devices or other operating systems, a head unit running the latest Android operating system is perfect for unifying these gadgets. Due to its open-source nature, there are third-party connectivity apps available if built-in mechanisms are not available.

You should generally avoid proprietary operating systems, especially from unknown brands. These are typically not updated regularly, which can create problems with modern devices. If you considering a head unit with its own operating system, check for various connectivity options such as Bluetooth, WiFi hotspots, and more.

Input and Output Channels51sqfqjrw-l-_ac_sl1000_

Aside from connecting to your devices, it is essential that your double din head unit fits perfectly with your vehicle’s audio system. It is essential that you are familiar with your current systems connectivity requirements before buying a head unit.

Very few head units have more than a handful of audio connections, so ensure that the model that you want fits with your audio system. Consider head units with extra channels in especially when you are looking into upgrading your entire system.

Aside from audio outputs, video input is an essential function of any head unit. One of the primary advantages of having a double din head unit is the fact that it has a much larger screen than other head units. This means having a better reversing camera feed.

Some models even come with a back-up camera. It may require some knowledge in wiring but connecting your current camera system should be as painless as possible.

Multimedia and Beyond

Head units have moved on from being radio receivers to become an all-in-one mobile multimedia device. That means if you’re already paying for a head unit, it should be able to play audio and video files in various formats from multiple sources.

Models running modern operating systems also have the capability to stream media content right from the Internet. Additionally, there are apps that you can install that offer more than the usual basic functions.

If you have screens in your backseats, you must consider head units with dual viewing capabilities. You do not want to fight over the control of the screen. So, having a dual viewing function will allow your passengers to consume multimedia content without affecting your access to the head unit in the dashboard.

Is It Possible to Use a Tablet as a Double Din Head Unit?

tablet

The answer is both “yes” and “no.”

Due to affordable prices, you may consider using an iPad or other tablet brands to use as a head unit. After all, they basically have similar functions, right?

Well, not exactly.

Remember that the basic function of a head unit is to integrate into your car system so you can easily control it right on your dashboard. Tablets only offer limited options in terms of connectivity.

You may be able to connect your car system through Bluetooth, micro-USB, or audio input/output. However, expect a significant decrease in the quality of audio and other connectivity functions.

Additionally, it is challenging to connect multiple devices to a tablet, unlike most head units. A tablet is essentially another mobile device, so it is not meant to connect with one or two other devices easily.

However, if you’re seriously considering a table, you should have enough technical knowledge to create workarounds. This may even include opening the tablet to create significant modifications to the device.

At the end of the day, it is much easier and more affordable to consider a head unit than a tablet.

Conclusion

Upgrading your head unit not only adds exciting features but also increases the value of your car. Most models are so easy to install that this simple modification to your car can improve your driving experience.

Older cars can definitely use modern technology, and installing a double din head unit is one of the fastest ways to do this. If you have the budget, consider models from reputable brands such as Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood, Sony, and more. However, even budget brands can significantly upgrade your current system.

So, what is the best double din head unit?

Well, experts will have different opinions, but we consider Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX as our pick for the best unit. It packs well-performing basic functionalities, extra features, and multiple connectivity options. The price range may exist in the upper mid-range, but it is an ideal investment as it is future proof.

The combination of a large display, flexible device integration, multimedia playback, and audio output options makes it the last head unit that you will ever need. You can easily expand the device through its various connectivity options from HDMI input to composite video output.

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