Reviews and Comparisons of The Best Double DIN Head Unit 2018

Is driving not total fun with music on? And where on this beautiful earth would you not go with GPS? The problem is, you need a tool that gives you both.

Mmmh…your smartphone! It once was a great entertainment and navigation accessory until it pleaded guilty of causing too much distraction to drivers. We are now in the age of digital head units. Sit tight as you get informed on how to find a receiver that fits your lifestyle and listening profile.

Join our review camp and in the next 8 minutes let’s walk you through 9 of the best double DIN head units of 2018. We have focused the review on strong brands only. Each of these units almost overwhelms you with entertainment and smartphone integration options but are made simple enough for everyone to use.

Make a Quick Comparison

Head unit

Power output [Peak,Rms]

Apply Car Play

Android Auto

Built-in Bluetooth

Check Price

55W x 4 channels,
20W x 4 channels

Yes

Yes

Yes

50W x 4 channels,
17W x 4 channels

Yes

Yes

Yes

50W x 4 channels,
22W x 4 channels

Yes

Yes

Yes

50W x 4 channels,
22W x 4 channels

Yes

No

Yes

80 W x 4 Max

No

No

Yes

50W x 4 channels,
22W x 4 channels

No

No

Yes

50W x 4 channels

Yes

No

No

50W x 4 channels

No

No

Yes

40W x 4 channels,
12W x 4 channels

No

No

Yes

How We Chose The Best Double Din Head Units

We have reviewed hundreds of car stereo equipment in the past and one thing we are certain about is that many people find choosing the best head unit quite challenging. On one side you have tens of reputable brands trying to update their unit to be the best on the market, and on the other side customer reviews are loaded heavy with incredibly diverse and dynamic preferences.

To compile this review, we brought together various stakeholders of the car stereo industry with the ultimate goal of helping you to choose the best unit for your listening experience. Designers, sound experts, installation professionals, car stereo equipment vendors, experienced reviewers, real users, you name them.

We cannot deny that the project had its challenges, but as always we are dedicated to providing you with the most authentic and accurate reviews of car stereo equipment available on the market.

Here are our reviews for the best double din receivers on the market:

Sony XAV-AX100 – Best Double DIN Head Unit 2018

For the last couple of years, Sony has been really fighting with competitors on sound quality. It’s good for the brand and us all that the Sony XAV-AX100 made it to the top. The unit comes with a 6.4-inch screen that albeit being smaller than other touchscreens we evaluated, it is unbeatable in quality.

Features of Sony XAV-AX100

  • The easiest head unit to use: Simplicity is the first thing you’ll love about the Sony XAV-AX100. In addition to the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it comes with dedicated hardware functions such as the ergonomic volume knob and buttons that allow you to quickly skip and seek tracks.
  • Hands-free control over everything: Get into a car installed with Sony XAV-AX100 and say ‘Hey Siri’ or ‘Okay Google’ and you’ll be amazed at the range of functions these simple words open. Whether you want to make calls, send texts, navigate, start music or what have you, just do it hand-free and enjoy the ride.
  • Super responsive touch screen: No head unit could beat the Sony XAV-AX100 touchscreen on responsiveness (due to its high quality). This thing is super-fast; at the slightest touch, the receiver has given you what you want. But you have to maintain the screen clean so that it is legible all the time.
  • Fine tune your iPhone-sourced music manually:You’ll never have to touch your iPhone when adjusting your tunes because the XAV-AX100 lets you to set audio equalization from the large HD screen. And with the Dynamic Stage Organizer, you can endow your dashboard with virtual speakers for more music enjoyment.

What We Like

  • Exceptionally easy to use
  • Ergonomically superb for manual control
  • Highly responsive touchscreen
  • High-quality video output
  • Hands free control over many functionalities

What We Don’t Like

  • Screen may get smudgy when not well cleaned
  • Visibility diminishes when there’s sunlight

Verdict

Experience the great joy of having Sony XAV-AX100, the first Apple CarPlay and Android Compatible head unit from this veteran stereo system producer. It’s probably the most valuable head unit you’ll get at its price.

Get this tasteful aftermarket receiver today and love it later. It’s a real entertainment powerhouse.

Pioneer AVH4200NEX - Best Double DIN Car Stereo For ANDROID AUTO

Pioneer comes top of the line for audio and video clarity, ease of use and flawless connectivity. The AVH4200NEX surpassed our expectations with its vibrant display and highly flexible controls and functions. It’s built to match the digital lifestyle of any modern driver searching for advanced entertainment features at a favorable price.

Why choose Pioneer AVH4200NEX

  • The big and vibrant display allows you to experience the comfort and convenience of having everything you need on a 7-inch display. A bigger screen means more enjoyable viewing and better navigation. Why strain your eyes over a small HU screen while the Pioneer AVH4200NEX 7" Motorized Display is available?
  • Connect two phones at the same time and enjoy switching between the two most common smartphone operating systems. Pioneer AVH4200NEX has two ports to enable you connect both your Android and iOS device and use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay anytime you wish.
  • Play music from many sources: Connect the HU to your phone via USB and Bluetooth or play CDs using the DVD player to enjoy your favorite tunes. And you will not have to put more money into sound amplification as the DVD/CD receiver comes with an inbuilt 14W-RMS amp.
  • Easily navigate your smartphone without taking eyes off the road. The AVH4200NEX features built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPod control. It also works with SiriusXM Sxv300 that supports flash features and supports traffic & weather now and new tune mix

Pros

  • Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calling
  • Extra-large screen
  • Detachable screen (for easy maintenance and anti-theft reasons)
  • Wireless remote control
  • Supports adaptation of backup camera

Cons

  • Occasional slow touch screen response time
  • You cannot use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay at the same time

Verdict

The Pioneer AVH4200NEX is your best road trip companion especially if you use an Android smartphone. With this large-display, easily accessible infotainment tool in your car, you will always love your driving experiences.

Our recommendation for this head unit is: get it here and try it. Total amusement is what’s waiting for you.

JVC KW-V830BT

A quick glance at the features of JVC KW-830BT will inform any experienced head unit specialist or reviewer that it has got something amazing. First things first; if you a sound enthusiast you will love this receiver. And for everyone, the superior smartphone integration and internet radio control on offer here is just awesome.

Features of JVC KW-830BT head unit

  • Lovely sound quality: How would you love up scaling everything you listen to? A 24-Bit DAC delivers sound quality almost three times better than what you get from a CD. JVC KW-830BT also gives you the most efficient sound customization abilities to further control sound quality.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: JVC put a lot of emphasis on smartphone integration in this model. These two will allow you to import essential apps like Google Maps, Spotify and Pandora to your big in-dash screen for easier usability while driving.
  • Pair two phones simultaneously: This outstanding unit allows for the pairing of multiple phones through Bluetooth so that it’s easier to view both of them from the in-dash display. You can actively use the two phones simultaneously – for instance, calling with one and playing music one the other.
  • Easy-install, excellent fit for many car types: It’s very pleasing to install the unit by yourself using the Maestro interface. Installing the hardware and steering wheel controls is a task you can do in a matter of minutes and the power amp works perfectly on any type of vehicle.

What We Like

  • Exemplary sound quality
  • Packed with entertainment functions and options you actually need
  • Flawless integration with your Android or iOS device
  • Big screen for easy visibility and enjoyable video playback
  • Two-phone-pairing

What We Don’t Like

  • Sun glare on screen until screen color is changed
  • Radio presets challenging to manage

Our view

Whichever car model you ride, the JVC KW-830BT head unit will transform your entertainment and navigation abilities. Pair your two phones and enjoy earth-shaking beats from this powerful receiver.

This head unit offers everything the iOS or Android device user ever wants to enjoy their commute. Make sure you check it out.

Pioneer AVH-1300NEX - An iPhone Fan's Dream

You love your iPhone to bits and want it any time, every time. But you are driving here. Pioneer AVH-1300NEX gives you a digital assistant for free – Sirius Eyes. You won’t have to fight with the desire to call and text on hand or browse your media files and favorite programs when driving.

The Pioneer AVH-1300NEX goodies

  • A car stereo that understands your life: The AVH-1330NEX gives you much more value than listening to a CD or the local radio. Your lifestyle demands a head unit that can integrate smoothly with various connectivity and entertainment aspects that are important to you. For iPhone fans, there’s no better head unit than Pioneer's AVH-1330NEX.
  • Networked Entertainment Experience (NEX): This receiver boasts of NEX technology that provides an intuitive, powerful, and highly customizable user interface.Pioneer makes sure you have simpler, safer and more fun ways to use your smartphone while in the car.
  • Exceptional smartphone compatibility: A seamless infotainment experience in the car is what you are looking for in your new stereo system. Pioneer AVH-1330NEX is compatible with Apple CarPlay and AppRadio Mode+, letting you to tap into your music, messages, and podcasts, and to stream audio and video quickly and easily.
  • Bright, clear audio and video content for all: With the installation of Pioneer AVH-1330NEX, your car will boast of high-quality A/V output made possible by the receiver’s LCD screen. Backseat wars will now end as your head unit can send some A/V to a rear seat screen.
  • iDatalink Maestro: You also want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls and other factory stereo functions? iDatalink Maestro lets you to do exactly that.

What We Like

  • Siri eyes and hands-free operations work well, as expected
  • Very innovative and responsive user interface
  • Increased smartphone compatibility
  • Awesome color options on display
  • Great playback from all sound sources

What We Don’t Like

  • HOME button a little sluggish occasionally
  • It’s only compatible with Apple devices

Our say

Being Pioneer’s latest in-dash receiver, the AVH-1300NEX is a solid head unit that delivers great value at a very affordable price.

Looking for an inexpensive radio with built-in CarPlay? Check the AVH-1330NEX here.

Boss Audio BV9364B – Best Budget Double DIN Head Unit

Boss Audio BV9364B fulfills your dream of ramping up fine-tuned music and controlling everything using a wireless remote. It comes with a unique built-in Bluetooth functionality that allows you to not only make hands-free calls but also stream music from Pandora and Spotify. See below what Boss Audio BV9364B can do for you.

Boss Audio BV9364B Highlights

  • Easy adjustments using remote and steering wheel controls: We found that Boss Audio BV9364B provides drivers with the easiest ways to put their entertainment in the right gear. This is enabled by the steering wheel controls and the wireless remote control.
  • Digital touchscreen panel with innovative graphic interphase: Screens with graphically rich features and functions that are easy to touch are the definition of a great head unit. Such a touchscreen is what you get when you install Boss Audio BV9364B double din head unit.
  • Many music source options: You will never be bored by the monotony of music from a single source as the head unit can play your jams from the radio, SD and USB ports, smartphone, or CD/DVD player. The Bluetooth technology of Boss Audio BV9364B also allows you to stream your preferred tunes from Pandora and Spotify.
  • Reverse with confidence: The steering wheel of a car that’s fitted with Boss Audio BV9364B is more than just a steering wheel. This head unit places the rear camera input and steering wheel controls at your fingertips. A simple press on the steering wheel control buttons automatically powers rear camerafor you to reverse and park safely.
  • Up to 64-character messages to keep you updated: Is it possible to drive for a couple of miles without getting distracted by your smartphone? The BV9364B wide screen is designed to display up to 64 character messages with song, artist, genre, station, traffic and news and other updates.

What We Like

  • Very affordable
  • High power output
  • Wireless remote control included
  • Built-in Bluetooth and navigation
  • Allows you to fine tune your music

What We Don’t Like

  • Screen not very responsive
  • Sometimes refuses to play CD

Verdict

Were it not for the screen misbehaving occasionally, Boss Audio BV9364B would have demanded a higher position. It’s the best-sounding head unit you will get for the price. Anyone on a tight budget will consider this the best pick.

Check it out on Amazon today before it runs out of stock.

Kenwood DDX774 / DDX774BH

Coming in at number 6 is one of Kenwood’s masterpieces – the DDX774 / DDX774BH. For your enjoyment, the head unit throws to you an ocean of radios from AM/FM to satellite and internet stations. It features the most robust and innovative smartphone integration. In addition, you have a handful of wireless control functions for optimum driving convenience.

What sets Kenwood DDX774 / DDX774BH apart

  • Pair up to 5 Bluetooth-enabled devices: Do your passengers frown upon your current factory head unit because they cannot control it from wherever they are sitting? With this head unit, up to five passengers can now pair up their devices and get to choose which jams will rock the journey.
  • Loads of radio music all the way: The DDX774BHis perfect at playing music from the CD/DVD player or USB-connected devices. But even more interesting is how the unit’s HD Radio Tuner that brings to your car all participating AM and FM stations in the area you are driving.
  • Built-in 13-band equalizer and amp for best quality tunes: Tweak your music as you wish and be happy throughout the journey. The DDX774BH sports a 13-band equalizer that lets you adjust the tone curves so that your ears receive the most coherent sound a 2-din head unit can produce.
  • Keep favorite factory stereo features and controls: Kenwood DDX774BH best defines convenience for the modern driver. The headunit supports the iDatalink Maestro module that lets you keep those factory stereo functions that you don’t want to lose after installing the new radio.
  • Useful climate and security updates on your screen display: Kenwood knows you would like to have all the information about your car and the surroundings on the screen. The DDX774BH lets you see gauges, tire pressure, a distance sensor, climate controls, and temperature monitors on the 6.95-inch touchscreen.

What We Like

  • Big screen with expanded functionalities
  • Compatible with SiriusXM
  • Fits almost every car
  • Wireless connectivity to up to 5 devices
  • Awesome sound output

What We Don’t Like

  • Screen sometimes takes longer than ideal to respond
  • Display too reflective on sunny days

Our view

This stereo set-up is really cool especially for the radio-lover and the more cautious driver (rear camera and parking lines). In terms of entertainment capability, Kenwood stands tall, giving you really smooth and clear audio and video.

Replace your factory stereo with Kenwood DDX774BH and give your ride a major upgrade that will keep you and everyone happy.

Alpine ILX-107 - Best User Interface Head Unit

This digital multimedia receiver is in a class of its own. All you see is a big, 7-inch capacitive touchscreen that is super-responsive, and a big home button and Siri button just below the display. Let your hands do the steering as Apple’s digital assistant takes your queries.

Why Alpine ILX-107 is seriously dope

  • Great experience with Siri running the showIt’s undeniable that Siri is smart as-is though we expect her to continue learning to be of more use. While you drive, Siri will do the voice messaging provided it’s not confused with emojis and colloquialisms.
  • You’ll never love Bluetooth more: Bluetooth wins the cup for Alpine ILX-107 as it allows you to use your smartphone from inside the pocket using CarPlay. Get in your car, start it and the ILX-107 syncs with your supercomputer (phone) as you go.
  • Excellent user interfaceThere’s something special about CarPlay on Alpine ILX-107; its intelligence when choosing which apps will be displayed. This function has a clever way of determining your most recently used apps which makes files browsing easier and quicker.
  • Strong GPS antenna: Alpine included a GPS antenna that is stronger and better than what your phone has. And you will need it if you want a more responsive Maps experience. CarPlay uses the antenna to send navigation data to your phone.
  • You won’t lose factory controls: The ILX-107 model of Alpine head unit comes with iDatalink® Maestro® Module that stores those factory controls you think will be helpful.

Pros

  • Steering wheel is remote control ready
  • Alpine’s touchscreen is big and impressively responsive
  • Sensitive microphone for quick and effortless voice messaging
  • Flexibility to add a backup camera later
  • Compatible with TuneIt app for iPhone

Cons

  • It’s not cheap
  • Doesn’t play CD
  • Pro-install might be necessary

Our say

The magic of CarPlay and Siri’s digital assistance takes Alpine iLX-107 to the top of the heap. The head units screen is probably one of the best you’ll ever meet.

You know you are anxious to try this in-dash HU. Just go for it and you’ll not be disappointed.

Pyle PLRVST400

The Pyle RV A/V Receiver is a dependable driving companion that sports an easy-to-use interface, AM/FM radio, CD/DVD player and an integrated alarm function. Whether you use an iPad, iPhone, or tablet, this wall mount head unit gives you full control over your entertainment options. To top up the convenience, it comes with a remote control.

Pyle PLRVST400 Features and Benefits

  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free callingThe PLRVST400offers you a great deal of convenience when driving. If you need to call home before reaching there, you won’t be worried about breaking the law as you will talk normally without getting your eyes of the road or hands off the steering wheel.
  • 200–Watt power output  is another valuable aspect of the Pyle PLRVST400 unit. Putting out 200W in itself is not outstanding as there are other head units with greater power output. However, we see this as a good attempt by Pyle to allow you ramp up your music even without an amplifier.
  • The 7-inch digital LCD display  and user-friendly interface is a big win for this head unit.The PLRVST400’s dedication in providing you with easy and fun ways to control your entertainment and smartphone is clearly evident. It also comes with a remote control so people in the back can take control of the stage.
  • 3-zone audio source: We were mesmerized by Pyle PLRVST400’s 3-zone audio source feature that allows you to create a more harmonized sound stage. Using the A, B, and C buttons, you can connect and control three speakers for a more pleasurable listening experience.

Pros

  • Easy to install and set up
  • Great interface for any audio device
  • Has an integrated alarm function
  • Large screen for better viewing experience
  • Comes with remote control and power and wiring harness

Cons

  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
  • Fit issues on some car models

Verdict

Equipped with a large digital screen, built-in Bluetooth and 3-zone audio control, Pyle PLRVST400 is one of the best-priced double DIN receivers. Its ease of installation and use makes it an even more attractive option.

Experience the fun and convenience that PLRVST400 offers you. Check it’s current price here.

Jensen VX7020 – Best Navigation System Head Unit

Tackle the open road ahead with confidence using Jensen’s auto navigation system. The VX7020 provides you with vibrant and easy to read street maps, all displayed on a high resolution 6.2-inch touchscreen. The receiver takes your entertainment a notch higher by keeping all your favorites within fingers’ reach.

Jensen VX7020 Highlights

  • Never miss a turn with iGO Primo Navigation: If there’s a receiver that was specifically designed for road tours, it is Jensen VX7020. The iGO Primo Navigation has 11 million points of interest and gives you a vocal guide that helps you navigate every street and highway with confidence.
  • You are the master of many playlists: With this fairly priced receiver you have access to a wide range of music sources. Play tunes from your smartphone, CD/DVD player, FM/AM and satellite radios as well as music apps like Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio
  • Fine tune your music to your liking: With the 10-band customizable EQs tuning ability, you have absolute control over music from just about any source. This allows you to create a great music experience for yourself as well as your passengers.
  • Enjoy next gen smartphone integration: Jensen allows you to marvel at all the fruits of HDMI/MHL connectivity – full access over your smartphone and hands-free communication. The VX7020 offers you multiple inputs at the front of your in-dash receiver to enable you connect to and charge your phone for maximum integration benefits.
  • Watch movies on the 6.2 inch LCD TFT high resolution touch screen: Jensen VX7020 really tried to distinguish itself from the other receivers we evaluated in terms of supporting video playback. When you need to watch a great movie in the car, the VX7020 will display it in16:9 format with WVGA resolution.

Pros

  • Very extensive maps database
  • Great hands-free system for managing your communications while focusing on the road ahead
  • Enables phone charging via USB
  • Comes with remote control
  • Awesome audio streaming and video viewing
  • Easily connects with vast majority of Bluetooth devices

Cons

  • All points on navigation system as US locations only
  • Challenges connecting smartphone screen on HU screen using HDMI

Our say

Jensen VX7020 may appear like a basic in-dash head unit that offers average smartphone integration. However, it’s more valuable than that, and is especially excellent at navigation and music and video performance.

If not for anything else, get this favorably priced head unit to confidently navigate your travels.

5 Things to Consider Before Buying Best Double DIN Head Unit

Are you on a quest to find a solid double din head unit that will help to upgrade your driving experience?

With the big diversity in technologies, there isn’t a head unit that fits all users’ preferences

Maybe you are a proud Apple fan and would settle for nothing lesser than a head unit that works perfectly with your phone. The same goes for Android users. The best head unit should allow for easy integration with your smart device(s) for you to enjoy all compatibility benefits.

Apart from the device you use, there are other important factors to consider when buying a double DIN head unit

1. Peak power and RMS power

Installing a double DIN head unit with greater power capabilities than your factory radio will help to improve the systems sonic abilities.

Punchier music is better and more enjoyable, isn’t it? Then, your target should be head units with greater power capabilities. It’s as simple as checking the RMS and peak power ratings indicated on the product package. If you can get a highly powered unit, and one with RCA line inputs and an in-built amp, there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying louder and cleaner sound even without having to install an external amp.

2. Connectivity

When evaluating different head units, the major concerns here are on what connection options unit provides as well as the number of devices you can connect to the unit at the same time.

Newer models feature Bluetooth in addition to AUX and USB connections. It’s important to know how well the unit takes care of connectivity before purchasing it.

3. How easy is it for you to use?

After finding a head unit that flawlessly integrates with your smart devices(s), narrow down your selection by considering the head unit’s usability.

How do you like the user interface? Can you access most of your favourite functions from the display so that you don’t have to keep looking at your phone?

A user-friendly double DIN head unit feels good to you and doesn’t cause much distraction.

4. Number of pre-amp outputs

Head units come with varying numbers of pre-amp outputs – the signal before it has been amplified. The number of signals determines the number of amplifiers, equalizers or crossovers that can be added without using a conversion adapter.

Our recommendation is a unit with multiple outputs that will allow you to do future expansions without breaking the bank.

5. Additional Features

There are other features whose usefulness depends on the user’s needs and preferences. Consider your preference for the following additional features and search for head units that have them:

  • Steering wheel controls
  • Theft protection
  • Remote control
  • Wi-Fi
  • Switchable illumination

Ultimately, the head unit you choose will have the features that enable your car stereo to provide the best entertainment experience in a way that fits your lifestyle. For better audio, focus more on power and sound control features of the head unit. If you prioritize no-distraction driving go for double DIN head units that integrate with your smartphones in the best way. The bottom line is, you get what you want. So, first specify your needs and the other steps involved in choosing the best head unit will follow smoothly.

Our Top Scorer

After comprehensively reviewing all the units in our list, we are convinced that Sony XAV-AX100 tops the list of best Double DIN head unit of 2018. The following reasons explain our decision

  • check
    Real users found it very easy to use for both Android and iPhone users
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    Hands-free control over many phone applications as well as other entertainment functions
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    The touchscreen quickly responds to touch
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    It allows you to create virtual speakers and fine-tune your music manually
  • check
    It has an ergonomic rotary dial for distraction-free operation

This head unit also looks great on any car and with the screen being averagely sized, it fits almost all car types. And lastly, for sound upgrade, which is most likely why you are here, Sony XAV-AX100 boasts of 220W amplification ability. When power output is coupled with the Dynamic Stage Organizer (DSO) feature, you get nothing less of loud, clear, and more dynamic sound even at high volumes. If you are still not sure about choosing the head unit for your car you can read our Review and Ultimate Buying Guide of Best Single Din Head Units.

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