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When it comes to car stereos, bigger is always better. This is why double DIN head units are preferred over single DINs. Not only are they bigger, but they also have more features while remaining visually pleasing and more sought after.
Double DINs are available in basic variations. You have your OEM variants that are big and clunky and have a mess of buttons and dials everywhere. On the other side of the spectrum, you have your aftermarket double DIN units that are sleek and functional, come with a stunning LED display, and have dedicated controls for everything.
If that is not enough for you, some double DIN’s will even dare go further by adding features like support for AUX, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, SD cards, DVDs, touchscreens, reversing camera, and GPS. They are nothing short of having a dedicated navigational computer right on your dashboard. Even if you are not into having a ton of features, there are some things which are just a must have for any decent car or truck stereo.
At its most fundamental level, a double DIN is your hub for music. This means that you will need something that can cover all the bases. Having multiple inputs is a must these days, and it is always nice to have a stereo where you can hook up additional speakers.
So, the question is, what’s the best stereo that you can possibly go for?
In our opinion, if you are looking for the ultimate double DIN head unit, you don’t have to look further than the Touchscreen Pioneer AVH4200NEX System, which includes excellent features such as Bluetooth and a brilliant display.
However, there are so many variants and versions out there that you may feel a little overwhelmed. This is why we have reviewed the best double DIN head units in the market currently so you can find the perfect fit for your vehicle.
- Top Rated Double Din Head Unit Comparison Table
- 1. Pioneer AVH4200NEX – Top pick / best for playback versatility
- 2. JVC KW-V830BT – Best for number of features
- 3. Alpine ILX-107 – Best for Apple iPhones
- 4. Sony XAV-AX100
- 5. Kenwood DDX9703S
- 6. Pioneer AVH-290BT – Best under $200
- 7. Corehan Android 7 – Best for Videos and Movies
- 8. Kenwood DDX774BH
- 9. Jensen VX7020 – Best built in Sat Nav
- 10. BOSS Audio BV9362BI – Best budget double din head unit
- Complete Buyers Guide and Tips
Top Rated Double Din Head Unit Comparison Table
Click the ‘More Details’ buttons above for detailed specifications for each product, or read each of our reviews of each of the top 10 Double Din Head Units available in 2019.
1. Pioneer AVH4200NEX – Top pick / best for playback versatility
Pioneer is a brand that is quite well-known for its high-quality product line. Its double DINs are some of the best products around and are available in a range of prices to suit your needs. The AVH4200NEX itself is a 14-watt RMS double DIM with an internal amplifier and four channels that operate at 50 watts.
If you like to make hands-free calls during your ride, this is for you. The Pioneer AVH4200NEX supports Bluetooth for up to two phones. This makes it very multifunctional that can fulfill your calling and music needs at the same time.
If that is not enough, the Pioneer double DIN also has some additional features to pull you in. The stereo has dedicated CD/DVD capabilities right off the bat. For some modern methods of entertainment, this car stereo allows you to connect to your smartphone via NEX (Network Entertainment Experience) to stream content seamlessly. On top of that, you can connect it to a SiriusXM Sxv300 to receive traffic and weather updates on the fly.
Here’s a basic breakdown of the some of its features:
- NEX capabilities
- Full-fledged support for iPhones
- Bluetooth functionality for hands-free calling
- 7-inch dedicated screen
- Siri Eyes Free voice-activated function
- DVD and CD support
- Dedicated support for Spotify and AppRadio
- 14-watt RMS with 4 channels x 50 watts
Checkout the video review of the 4200NEX’s features and connectivity options.
The one area where this product lacks is the fact that it has no onboard navigation. While this may sound like a deal breaker, the chances are that you already have some kind of navigation app on your phone to help you get around, which will be better than the built-in navigation.
More DetailsAside from that, the Pioneer AVH4200NEX is a solid double DIM unit with audio, calling, Bluetooth, and NEX capabilities. There’s not much else to say other than the fact that this is a quality product that lives up to Pioneer’s standards.
2. JVC KW-V830BT – Best for number of features
Right from the get-go, you will notice this system’s 6.2-inch touchscreen panel that allows for seamless navigation. The basic layout of the JVC’s screen splits into four functional quadrants. Each of these represents a different function such as Apple CarPlay, tuner, your phone and Bluetooth. This makes for one of the easiest and most distraction-free user interfaces for drivers.
Given the company’s history of providing high-quality audio products, there should be no surprise as to the audio quality. It’s also well-built and feature-packed. In addition, it offers crucial features like 1.5A USB ports, while its competitors only boast 1.0A ports.
The JVC KW-V830BT does have a couple of issues, though. The fact that it does not have dedicated satellite navigation at this price point seems a bit odd. It is not an issue if you use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, however as it will use your phone’s navigation, display it and let you control everything through its touch screen. Another problem is the screen’s low brightness levels coupled with the screen glare that make it impossible to see in sunny environments.
Take a look at some of the features found on the KW-V830BT and how easy it is to use with both Android and Apple phones.
More DetailsSetting aside these flaws, this is more than a decent double DIM unit. Support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DVD playback really separate it from similar offerings in this price range.
3. Alpine ILX-107 – Best for Apple iPhones
The ILX-107 unit from Alpine is the most expensive double DIM on this list. However, that does not necessarily mean that you are paying for nothing. In fact, some of the features offered on this product are enough to satisfy anyone’s needs and then some.
There is no mistaking that the Alpine ILX-107 was designed for the Apple crowd. This audio system offers support for services like Apple CarPlay, allowing you to connect to your iPhone wirelessly and use all kinds of features. It also includes Apple Maps, which is something that is rarely found in most double DIMs.
Here’s a brief overview of some of its features:
- Built-in Apple Maps navigation
- Includes reverse camera capabilities
- 9 Band EQ with MediaXpander
- 4x 50-watt channels with 3 pre-outs
- Apple CarPlay and TuneIt apps included
- iDatalink to sync factory settings for controls
Looking for a video review of the Alpine ILX-107?
More DetailsAlthough the price tag might put you off, there is no denying that this is a solid product. It is one of the few to include wireless Apple CarPlay support and is one of the best for iPhone support. All this helps it more than make up for its price.
Sony’s high-quality products should come as no surprise. It is safe to assume you have probably owned a pair of ear buds or a DVD player from the company. But what you probably haven’t had is its double DIM unit. This is where the Sony XAV-AX100 comes in; it is a fantastic product that upholds the company’s standards.
The XAV-AX100 is one of Sony’s more popular double DIMs out there. Right off the bat, you get support for both Android and iPhone all in one system, which is a bit difficult to find. The XAV-AX100 boasts a 6.4-inch touchscreen with receptive controls that can be used for cycling through music and taking calls among other things. Aside from this, you get a rotary dial that feels great to use. This is something that many double DIMs lack.
Here are some of its basic features at a glance:
- 6.4-inch touchscreen
- 10 band EQ
- Hands-free Bluetooth functionality
- Built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto apps
- Four 55-watt channels with Dynamic Reality Amplifier
- Compatible with reverse cameras
Video Review from CES 2017
More DetailsWhile the price for the Sony XAV-AX100 is slightly higher, it is best at what it does. This is one of the most versatile and easy-to-use products available in market that offers both Android and iPhone compatibility. You will be more than happy with your purchase, knowing that you got decent value for your money.
Kenwood has been a key player in the audio industry for years. There’s no doubting its expertise and finesse at making quality audio gear. The Kenwood DDDX9703S is a good example of this. The product comes with four channels of 50 watts, providing impressive audio fidelity.
The company has stepped up its game with this system by providing a truly hands-free experience. It offers similar Apple CarPlay capabilities as the Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX but with Siri Voice Activated Control. This means you can cruise along while controlling the whole system without taking your eyes or hands off the road. However, to do this, you do need to meet the minimum requirements of an iPhone 6 or above with iOS 8.
If you are an Android user, Kenwood has you covered too with Android Auto support. This makes it one of the more widely compatible products. You also get Bluetooth connectivity at a fairly decent range of 32.8 feet. As for physical connectivity, you get inputs for audio and video that allow you to connect your favorite device, be it a camera or video game.
It’s not all perfect. There are some issues you might want to consider before buying the Kenwood DDDX9703S. For one, the screen is on the dim side and you sometimes might struggle to make it out in sunny environments. There is also a very annoying pop-up disclaimer every time you turn it on.
Checkout the features and connectivity options of the 9703S in this great video review.
More DetailsHowever, if you can get past these minor annoyances, you will have a solid product that offers great value. Features like Apple CarPlay support along with Android Auto support make it stand out among other double DIM units at this price.
6. Pioneer AVH-290BT – Best under $200
The great thing about this product is that it is designed in such way that makes it look, function, and feel like it is more expensive than it actually is.
The sleek styling of this system helps it aesthetically blend in with the dash of most cars.
While the Pioneer AVH-290BT is offered at a low price, it still manages to be a decent unit without stripping away any features.
Here’s what you can get out of this system:
- Four 45-watt channels
- Built-in 5 EQ band
- Compatibility for Siri Eyes Free
- CD, AUX, and USB functionality included
- Compatible with reverse camera
- Bluetooth capability for allowing music playback and making calls wirelessly
- 6.2-inch LED screen
- Support for AppRadio and Spotify
More DetailsThe only thing that this product truly lacks is dedicated satellite navigation. However, this really is not a big drawback considering that you are getting a decent stereo from a reputable company at such a cheap price.
7. Corehan Android 7 – Best for Videos and Movies
The Corehan Android 7 is truly a one of a kind. Its large, 6.95-inch touchscreen almost makes it resemble a tablet centered right on your dash.
This display is perfectly capable of showing 1080p videos, which you can stream via the two USB ports provided. This makes it a great product if you like to watch movies in your car.
There is a great degree of customizability to the Corehan Android 7 that lets you tweak the radio to your liking. You can also use its Bluetooth for OBD (On Board Diagnostics) functionality. This means that you will not have to invest in a separate OBD for your car.
The Corehan Android 7 has some nice additional features, some of which are as follows:
- 1.6 GHz quad-core CPU
- 16 GB of onboard RAM
- Android 7 Nougat OS
- USB connectivity that allows Android devices to be seamlessly connected
- iPhone Airplay compatibility
- 6.95-inch 1080p capable screen
- Bluetooth compatibility for phone calls
- Supports 3G and Wi-Fi
- Dedicated GPS navigation
- Compatible with reverse cameras
More DetailsThe system also offers some added functionality such as reverse camera support as well as customizable steering buttons. Combined with the large LCD screen, it is a multifunctional double DIN unit that is good for entertainment as well. No doubt, this is one of the best Android double DIN units you will come across.
The Kenwood DDX774BH is one of the more visually pleasing double DIM units out there. It has minimal style with very few visual elements. The system couples this with a large screen that is fully touch-compatible.
These days, it is almost a requirement for most people to have reversing camera capabilities in their double DIM units.
Thankfully, the Kenwood DDX774BH has you covered. The product contains dedicated support for rear cameras and even switches automatically as soon as you start reversing.
In a nutshell, here’s what you can expect from the Kenwood DDX774BH:
- DVD/CD and USB support for movie playback
- iPhone, iPod, and Android support
- Extensive 13 band EQ
- 6-channel outputs for connecting additional speakers and subwoofers
- Bluetooth connection for audio and calls, allowing up to two phones to be connected simultaneously
More DetailsSince Kenwood is a subset of JVC, you can expect nothing less than top-notch audio fidelity. That is exactly what this system aims to offer with the six audio outputs designed to add a variety of speakers and subwoofers. The only discernible drawback for DDX774BH is the lack of any navigation tools. However, its functional and design capabilities more than make up for it.
The Jensen VX7020 is a double DIM unit made locally in the US, which has made very popular in North America. The display size of this system might be slightly smaller than what you are used to, but it does have ergonomic control buttons on the side that make it extremely user-friendly.
Here are some of specifications of the Jensen VX7020:
- High-quality 6VRMS RCA line output
- Dedicated inputs for CD and AUX as well as inputs for SD cards and USB
- Bluetooth support for audio playback and calls
- 4x 40-watt channels for a total of 160 watts
- On-board satnav included
- Multi-functional steering wheel support
- Customizable user interface, allowing for color and background choices
More DetailsIt is hard not to recommend the Jensen VX7020. It is an all-round great double DIM head unit with all the right features. Along with all its offerings, it comes with a one-year warranty, making it not only sleek and functional but also reliable. Not many other products can offer such value in a single package.
10. BOSS Audio BV9362BI – Best budget double din head unit
Targeted toward a more budget-conscious crowd, the BOSS Audio BV9362BI hopes to provide quality functionality at an affordable price point.
The BOSS Audio BV9362BI boasts a 6.2-inch touchscreen with ease of use. The interface is built to support easier operation and navigation through all the different controls.
It further improves usability by adding automatic rear camera support along with steering buttons.
Some of the basic features included in the BOSS Audio BV9362BI are as follows:
- 4x 80-watt channels with built-in EQ
- Can stream media over CD, DVD, SD card, USB, AUX, and even smartphones
- Hands-free dialing and music playback
- Three-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Dedicated outputs for video, front, rear, and sub pre-amp
Please note that the BV9362BI uses a resistive touch screen compared to the capacitive touch screens the rest of the products in our round up use. Basically this means that you will have to press the screen for longer and it is not as reactive to your touch. Older, cheaper technology which keeps the cost down.
More DetailsBudget does not mean that the Boss is cheaply made or does not have great features. This system is very versatile and allows you to add 3 additional amps for front, rear, and subwoofer channels. Combine this with all of the features and enhanced accessibility, and you get a pretty solid budget double DIM head unit.
Complete Buyers Guide and Tips
Getting a new double DIN head unit will renew your car in many different ways. For one, the value of your car is sure to be increased by a decent amount. It can also bring your otherwise antiquated car up to date. It is a simple yet effective replacement and can entirely change the way you and others feel about your car.
Most people already have double DINs preinstalled in their cars. However, these are usually stock systems or fairly dated models. They will lack the functionality that modern, high-end double DINs have like smartphone compatibility, USB, and SD card playback.
However, you can’t buy just any product you see. Make sure you consider these points before making a decision as to which is best for your truck, SUV or car:
These days, smartphone compatibility in a system is essential. No matter what kind of phone you have, you definitely want something that can either support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. These will allow a mirrored display of your phone, help with navigation, and allow you to stream music or make calls.
But the question is, which is better Android Auto or Apple CarPlay?
Great question and a topic which is going to start arguments all day long between each of the dedicated fan bases. So lets make it easy to say once and for all, which is better.
Take a look at this great on the road test from the guys over at The Straight Pipes to help you make your own mind up. Made me laugh several times.
Can you use an iPad or Android Tablet as a Double Din Radio?
If you have an Android tablet or iPad, you can use it as a full-fledged double DIN unit. All you need is the right applications and connectivity. Since most tablets have the ability to stream music, take calls, and view videos, you can save yourself the hassle entirely by using them as a DIN. Just be sure to have a tablet with 3G support so that you can stream Spotify, listen to radio and use navigation with ease.
Checkout this excellent video guide which shows you step by step how easy it is install an iPad in your truck or car dash. Great alternative and a LOT cheaper if you have an old one laying around.
It isn’t hard to ruin your dash trying to install your unit. Hence, before you bring out the screwdrivers and ice picks, you might want to think about investing in radio removal keys. Of course, some DINs are easier to install than others.
Installing an aftermarket radio is not difficult and should only take an hour or so for a beginner, but to help you along the way, checkout this great video guide which explains what you need to get the ob done and shows you each step of the process for both double and single din head units.
Reversing Camera Input
Having your double DIN function as a virtual rearview mirror is always desirable, but this support is not offered by a lot of systems. Many high-end brands like Kenwood will include reverse camera support and will automatically switch when reversing.
Multiple output channels can be beneficial if you want to connect different speakers and subwoofers. Some equipment might need specific channels as well. Consider the kind of equipment you want to use with the double DIN head unit before settling on one.
Different operating systems offer different levels of functionality and UI. Android is usually preferred because it is easy to navigate, modify and tweak and is something a lot of people are used to. Sometimes, you can get proprietary OS from the brand itself, which can go either way and takes time to get familiarized with.
Double DINs range from being affordable to outright expensive. Different offerings are provided at different price ranges. The golden rule to remember is that products at the same price don’t necessarily equate to the same features or quality. You will have to compare them based on their value.
Double DIN vs Single DIN?
You might be wondering about the difference between a single DIN and double DIN head unit. The difference is simply the height of the systems. DIN is universal standard used to measure car radios and head units. Hence, a double DIN head unit will be much taller than a single DIN, but the length of both will be the same. Typically, double DINs are 4 inches tall in height, while single DINs are only 2 inches tall.
It may seem like a small difference, but it makes for drastic design and functional changes. For example, double DINs tend to have touchscreens integrated into them because of the additional height. Single DINs, on the other hand, don’t have this ability. While you can easily install a single DIN unit in a double DIN slot, you will have to use an additional installation kit, which will cost extra and isn’t worth the hassle.
The automatic assumption for a lot of people is to go for double DINs and disregard single DINs entirely. However, the implication that double DINs are always better isn’t necessarily true. While a double DIN provides greater headroom for touchscreens and beefier amps, it isn’t indicative of quality. A poorly made double DIN will always lag behind a single DIN that has been made with quality, care, and attention to detail. Plus, a single DIN unit can be sufficient enough for anyone wanting to connect multiple amps.
If you don’t want to make a decision between the two, there are some alternatives available like 1.5 DINs. These lie between single and double DINs. They are about 3 inches tall, but their design is not all that common in most cars.
How Many Watts Should Your Head Unit Have?
When considering a head unit, wattage is always a key component when gauging its quality. By design, products with more wattage will mean more volume output. This means that you can play music louder on a system with more wattage. Typical, wattage for double DINs range around 50-80 watts.
Another major aspect to focus on is the RMS or Root Mean Square value. This value determines the largest continuous output or input that can be played or withstood by speakers. The RMS of any audio system works hand in hand with wattage. If a unit’s wattage is high but RMS is low, the system will be practically useless at higher watt levels. This is why it’s important to have RMS values that reflect the wattage of the amp.
It’s quite easy to mix up the RMS with the peak power rating. However, these are entirely different aspects.
Peak power rating will only tell you the maximum power that the speaker and amp can handle. It doesn’t account for the average values during use. Peak power only handles maximum signal bursts and can’t handle such signals for a long period of time.
Running a truck or car audio system on peak power constantly will damage it. This is why it’s important to focus on RMS to determine your sound output.