8 Best Single Din Head Units Review with Ultimate Buying Guide
When it comes to replacing your old car radio, you better get something with style and functionality. We understand that searching for the best single din head unit is daunting. Not only will a wrong choice cost you time but also money.Fortunately, our experts have spent several hours, testing several top-rated stereos to compile this guide in order enable you to find a car stereo that fits your needs.
- The din unit is the heartbeat of the car entertainment system. It is the final determinant of the quality of sound you get from your speakers and the types of devices that you can connect.
Top-rated or best din head units not only create quality sound but also integrate the latest trends in the technology world. Do not despair if your car is still stuck in the old times of CDs, all you have to do is read this guide carefully and find out which din head unit fits your car perfectly.
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Pioneer DEH-150MP [Overall Best]
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How We Chose the Best Single Din Head Unit
Apart from thoroughly engaging our full-time car-product review experts we also looked into the following:
Our experts combined the information from the above and tested each product on our list. Remember that an excellent car din unit is the one that meets your everyday needs, that is why we reviewed each product below to provide you with detailed insight before you finally pay for one.
Top 8 Best Single Din Head Unit Reviews with Pros and Cons
1. Pioneer DEH-150MP Single Din Car Stereo
Are you looking forward to upgrading your car stereo without breaking the bank?The pioneer DEH 150 MP single din head unit is for you. Pioneer DEH-150 does not support Bluetooth and any wireless music streaming or any smartphone app control. Also, the car stereo does not accommodate an anti-glare touchscreen or USB connection. The stereo will also not help you if you intend to charge your phone or stream music.
Why have we included this car stereo in the best single din head units list yet it does not match features of an advanced car stereo? Here is why:
The stereo uses an advanced sound retriever which enhances storage of files that can be lost as a result of compression.Furthermore, it enhances audio reproduction up to 20 kHz frequencies.
Features and Benefits of Pioneer DEH-150
- Simple interface
- Fits perfectly into different types of dashboards
- Low price
- Great sound quality
- Detachable faceplate
- Wireless remote control
- CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
- Has no touchscreen
- No Bluetooth feature
- No Android or iPhone auto support
- No music streaming functionality
This pioneer is an impressive single din head. Even though it is unsuspiciously affordable, its wide range of features makes it an excellent buy.
Buy the Pioneer DEH-150MP today and take your music experience to new heights.
2. Alpine CDE-HD149BT Single Head
Alpine CDE-HD149BT will not disappoint. In fact, it is a perfect choice if you happen to be looking for a basic Bluetooth-enabled car stereo.
Features and Benefits of Alpine CDE-HD149BT
- Excellent sound audio
- 6 RCA outputs
- iPhone and Android app wireless audio support
- Hands off call feature
- Four illum colors
- Detachable faceplate and storage casing
- Pandora control functionality
- Nine band equalizer with user presets
- Includes time and date
- USB support WMA/M4A/MP3
- Has a separate push button
- Has a separate iPod plug-in support
- Has no digital audio output
- Limited internal amp power
Do not give it a second thought; this is the best din head unit if you are genuinely looking for a car stereo that will give you an unforgettable experience.
Find the best price for this amazing car stereo on Amazon while stock lasts.
3. BOSS Audio BV9986BI
This single din may be a little cheaper but trust me it does not slouch in its specifications and features. The boss audio BV9986BI has been around for around three decades. The company manufactures several car and marine types of equipment. For these reasons, we included this car stereo in our list of best din head units in the market today
Features and Benefits of Boss Audio BV9986BI
- Aux and AV input
- Seven touchscreens with a detachable front panel
- SD card slot
- Low price
- Detachable faceplate
- Does not support dual Bluetooth connectivity
- Has no anti-glare on the touchscreen
- Less known brand as compared to its competitors
The boss audio BV9986B1 is a low- priced single din head unit with high functionality and design. There is no doubt that this car stereo will give you more than you bargained for.
There is no doubt that amazon has the best price for the Boss Audio BV9986BI that is worth checking out.
4. Pioneer AVH-3300NEX 7''
The pioneer AVh-3300NEX is undoubtedly one of the smartest and modern single din head units on the market today. The pioneer team has collaborated with application providers to offer high-level compatibility with some essential vehicle applications.
Key Highlights of Pioneer AVh-3300NEX
- Has a great design and modern look
- A wide range of audio and video sources
- Detachable faceplate
- Bluetooth music streaming and hands-free calling
- Customizable touchscreen interface
- Ability to link tow devices wirelessly at the same time
- A firm screen that does not flex when pressed on
- Easy to navigate the menu with GPS integration
- Has only five screen colors which may not match many car interiors
- The screen takes quite some time to pop out
- Inability to move the big picture on the radio source and use the space for other functions
The Pioneer AVH-3300NEX is a unique single car stereo with a great design and detailed functionality; it simply offers what you could be looking for in a modern single din head unit.
Buy the incredible Pioneer AVH-3300NEX7 car stereo now and forget about your car music miseries.
5. Sony MEX-XB 100 BT
Sony MEX-XB 100BT is simply awesome. With its several unique and excellent features, transforming your car into an entertainment powerhouse has never been this simple!
Features and Benefits of Sony MEX-XB 100BT
- Supports endless audio formats and applications
- An excellently built unit with a well-known brand name
- Offers convenient wireless control
- Provide plenty of scopes to enable you to attach
- Detachable faceplate
- Has no Bluetooth 4.0 support
- Sound synchronizing may be a bit annoying
- Has no touchscreen
The Sony MEX-XB100BT has unique features with excellent car entertainment abilities that you will love. This is a perfect choice for you if you happen to be looking for more in a car stereo than just basic functionality.
For better music experiences get yourself the Sony MEX-XB100BT din head unit from the button below.
6. PYLE PLTS78DUB Best Budget Single Din Head Unit
What we like most about Pyle PLTS78DUB is the full range of features it offers. This single din head unit has everything you could expect in a modern car head unit. The fact that it is low-priced makes it a decent car stereo for you if you happen to be under tight budget.
Key Highlights of Pyle PLTS78DUB
- Hands-free Bluetooth technology
- Easy compatibility with a smartphone and another portable devices
- Very high screen resolution
- Multiple audio format support
- Easy to use
- Great Bluetooth call quality
- Screen glares in a high-light environment
- Non-versatile EQ which provides only base and treble instead of mid-range adjustments
The din's ability to connect to multiple sources is one incredible feature we can't overlook. Again, its Bluetooth call quality and connectivity is on another level! The stereo stays clear when connected to calls, unlike other budget units that disconnect quite often.
We recommend this head unit to customers who are on the budget but not real audiophiles. Even though its sound is clear enough, it lacks essential features for sound adjustments.
7. Kenwood KDC-168U
Looking for a car head unit with a sturdy build and great features? Kenwood KDC-168U is built for power and longevity. Kenwood is known to manufacture high-quality stereo systems. Here’s why we included Kenwood KDC-168U in our review.
Key Highlights of Kenwood KDC-168U
- Remote control
- Compatible with most audio controls on the steering wheel
- Supports MP3, WMA, FLAC, and WAV audio formats
- Plays all major types of CDs
- Memory card reader
- USB port
- Front-facing AUX input
- Apart from bass boost, there’s no other option to adjust bass
- AM radio reception is a bit weak
- Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
Kenwood KDC-168U won’t disappoint you when it comes to quality. It comes with all the desirable features you’d ever need. Although it lacks Bluetooth connectivity, you can still control it through your iPhone or Android device through USB and third-party applications.
Simply check out the Kenwood KDC-168U on Amazon and get it at an attractive price.
8. . JVC KD-T900BTS
JVC KD-T900BTS is a powerful head unit that comes with all the key features necessary in a modern car stereo unit. Here’s why it outshines its competitors on the market today.
Features and Benefits of JVC KD-T900BTS
- Bluetooth connectivity
- USB port and USB charging
- 2-line display
- 13-band equalizer
- Remote control app
- It doesn’t save crossover settings upon turning off the car
- A bit challenging to program Sirius XM satellite radio stations
JVC KD-T900BTS stands out for its modern features. Any tech-savvy car owner should get this head unit and enjoy controlling it from their smartphone. Its overall quality is great and has everything you’d want in a car head unit.
We recommend JVC KD-T900BTS for its high-quality and multiple control options.
What Should You Consider in Buying the Best Single Din Head Unit?
Remember that the head unit determines how smart your car is. There are higher chances of making a right decision when you know what features you are looking for. Let's have a look at the important factors to pay attention to:
1. Power Ratings
The power ratings give an impression of the performance. Such ratings help one determine functionality. The max power out refers to the maximum amount of power that can be produced within a short period. Besides, do not forget to consider the RMS power output, which is the power produced continuously.
The car stereo should be versatile. A versatile head unit enable you to make different connections to external sources. Most of these have audio or video inputs and outputs, microphone and camera input. With expandable inputs and outputs, you can make a single din stereo multifunctional.
When it comes to the single din head unit aesthetics is what to pay attention to. It is advisable to choose a design that matches your car interior. One thing you have to know is that most expensive single din head units have an advanced display such as customized lighting and LED display. However, there are several single din head units with great designs at a cheaper price.
4. Playback Features
A single din head unit should be able to playback audios, videos, MP3, CD, HD Radio and Bluetooth. It is important to check the consistency of the playback methods, or else you will find yourself with a din head unit does not play music in the available format. Have a look at the following playback features and their importance:
USB port: The USB port allows you to connect all your music devices through a USB connection. The port also charges your phone as you listen to your favorite music
Bluetooth: The Bluetooth feature allows you to play music by connecting to your smartphone or any other available Bluetooth enabled device.
CD player: The CD player plays your music from a compact disk in several formats.
HD Radio: HD radio usually is usually of high quality than the usual radio.
XM Radio: This feature should allow you to connect and listen to several songs and radio channels through satellite. However, this service requires paid subscriptions; importantly, will enjoy a wide selection of channels.
The head unit buttons should be well-positioned to enable you to make calls and play songs while you are still alert on the road. The controls should be strategically placed for your safety as you drive around.
5. Smartphone integration
It is advisable to choose a single din head unit with a smartphone connection to enable you to have access quickly and also make phone calls wirelessly. Furthermore, you can listen to music in the same manner as you drive out and about.
7. GPS Navigation
Besides the fact that GPS makes driving much more comfortable and convenient, it also makes your car look smart and modern. This feature enables you to know how much time you need to get to where you are going, thanks to its rich accurate maps and traffic data. This is not a feature to overlook if you want a smart car.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why should I upgrade/install a new single DIN head unit?
Answer: Aftermarket head units produce cleaner sound than stock head units. The first major reason for installing a new single DIN head unit (single DIN HU) is to get better sound quality and an improved driving experience.
Secondly, a new head unit allows you to take full advantage of wireless connectivity. Hands-free phone operation such as calls and phone browsing are just two among the many benefits of Bluetooth connectivity.
Thirdly, you will be able to stream media on your new single DIN HU. No more CD burning or having to download and store music files so that you can enjoy them. You can now watch and even listen to live radio stations directly. This doesn’t mean that you cannot connect to other media devices. USB ports/AUX jacks on new head units allow you to connect the HU to older devices such as MP3 players.
Q. Which devices does the new single DIN head unit connect with?
Answer: Most current models of head units integrate with smart devices. While some single DIN HUs are compatible with both Android and iOS devices, others are compatible with either iOS alone or Android alone. If you are an Android user, make sure that the head unit you choose supports Android Auto interfaces. iOS users should ensure that their chosen head unit works with Apple CarPlay.
Q. Can factory speakers work with a new single DIN head unit?
Answer: Although the majority of factory speakers can handle the output from a new head unit, their performance is limited. You can test the limits for your speakers by turning up the volume and noting the level at which the speaker starts to distort. Blasting factory speakers can cause damage due to cranking. Since you want to achieve the best value from your investment in a single DIN HU, adding a new set of aftermarket speakers to the system makes sense. With aftermarket speakers, you will take advantage of all that your new head unit can offer.
Q. Can a single unit head unit fit any car audio system?
Answer: The most important thing to consider when thinking about installing your new HU is whether there is enough installation space. If you were using a single DIN HU earlier, then you have less to worry about. Chances are high that the space left by the older head unit is enough for the new model. In the case that the older stereo was a double DIN unit, you will have to do a considerably big chunk of work adjusting the available space to fit the size of your new HU.
Q. My car stereo stopped working. Did I burn my head unit?
Answer: A car stereo can stop working if a fuse blows or connection wires get loose. If a pop sound keeps disrupting the head unit’s sound delivery, the problem could be a result of insulated wires getting crossed. It could also be due to some power leads which were probably not correctly crimped and they keep getting in each other’s way. Check wire connections and put the head unit back in place to see if it works. If the issue is not resolved, you might have to start thinking about using the warranty to get a replacement from the manufacturer.
Q. How can I test my new single DIN head unit without a car?
Answer: It’s possible to test out a new head unit without a car. Touch the yellow, black and red terminals to an AV battery. Check to see if the head unit lights up. If the HU has extra features such as GPS, USB and AUX, you need a battery that’s over 9V for the test.
Q. Which types of radio can I listen to via my new single DIN head unit?
Answer: All new models of head units have in-built AM/FM radio. Some of the more advanced radios (like satellite radio and HD radio) are only available on some models. Satellite radio allows you to listen to your favorite radio stations from any location on the globe. HD radio enhances the quality of audio of the local radio stations.
Our Final Thoughts
We are confident that you cannot compare these systems with the rest in the market today. Choosing an excellent single din head unit is not a walk in the park. Therefore, it is advisable that you read through the reviews and have a chance to choose the product that suits your everyday needs.
All the single din head units come in a sleek package with a clear to read and understand manual. Remember that the best prices and unbiased customer reviews are found on Amazon. Make a choice today and take your car music experience to the next level.