Upgrading your double din head unit is an excellent modification that can add a wide range of additional functionality. Most of the latest units include Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, touchscreen display, backup camera compatibility and much more.
The best double din head unit is the Touchscreen Pioneer AVH4200NEX, which has built-in Bluetooth functionality and wireless mirroring for Android or Apple smartphones.
Aftermarket double din head units are designed to improve sound quality and be far more interactive. Depending upon the age of your car, they can completely transform the in-car technology and even add to the resale value of your vehicle.
Table of Contents
- The Best Double Din Head Unit
- 1. Pioneer AVH4200NEX – Best For The Money
- 2. Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR – Best With Navigation
- 3. Alpine ILX-107 Touchscreen Double Din Stereo
- 4. Sony XAV-AX100 – Best For Android
- 5. Pioneer AVH-290BT Double Din Head Unit
- 6. Corehan Android Double Din Stereo
- 7. Kenwood DDX773BH Double Din Car Stereo
- 8. Jensen VX7020 Double Din Stereo
- 9. ATOTO A6 Android Double Din Head Unit
- 10. BOSS Audio BV9362BI Double Din Radio
- Double Din Head Unit Buying Guide
Double Din Head Unit Comparison
|Double Din Head Unit||Type||Power Output|
|Pioneer AVH4200NEX||Premium||50W X 4 Channels|
|Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR||Premium||50W X 4 Channels|
|Alpine ILX-107||Premium||50W x 4 Channels|
|Sony XAV-AX100||Premium||55W x 4 Channels|
|Pioneer AVH-290BT||Mid Range||45W x 4 Channels|
|Corehan Android 8||Mid Range||50W x 4 Channels|
|Kenwood DDX773BH||Mid Range||50W x 4 Channels|
|Jensen VX7020||Mid Range||40W x 4 Channels|
|ATOTO A6 Android||Budget||45W x 4 Channels|
|BOSS Audio BV9362BI||Budget||80W x 4 Channels|
If you are wanting to take your audio to the next level, an upgraded stereo is a major requirement. They provide additional outputs, channels and other factors that help improve sound quality. OEM head units struggle to accommodate other speaker configurations, which can be a problem when installing additional speakers.
Below is a list of the best double din head units that include a range of intuitive features and use the latest technology for improved sound quality.
The Best Double Din Head Unit
1. Pioneer AVH4200NEX – Best For The Money
The Pioneer brand are market leaders in the double din stereo industry with head units available for a range of budgets. The AVH4200NEX is a premium stereo that includes an internal amplifier with 14 watts RMS and 50 watts x 4 channels.
For those that don’t have a Bluetooth car kit installed in their car, the AVH4200NEX has you covered with built-in Bluetooth. Not only does it allow hands-free calling for two phones but it also offers wireless audio streaming.
Other features of the Pioneer AVH4200NEX include:
- 7 inch motorized display
- Siri Eyes Free, Apple Carplay & Android Auto
- Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free & audio streaming
- 14 Watts RMS & 50 x 4 channels
- Spotify and AppRadio compatibility
- DVD/CD receiver
The only drawback of the AVH4200NEX is that it doesn’t have the ability of provide GPS navigation. However, you could opt for the more expensive AVIC-8200NEX model or use your smartphone to display the maps via Apple Carplay or Android Auto.
The Pioneer AVH4200NEX is the best double din head unit for the money with excellent Bluetooth connectivity and all the latest technology. Pioneer is an audio brand you can rely on for build quality and there is plenty of documentation available for peace of mind.Check it Out
If you are looking for a double din head unit with navigation, the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR is the best option. It’s Kenwood’s latest and highest performing stereo and it uses the reputable Garmin navigation system for directions.
As it’s the most expensive stereo within this article, you should also expect excellent audio quality. The Excelon DNX996XR offers everything you require to perfect your in-car audio, which includes a 13-bang graphic EQ, 3 way crossover, gold-plated pre-amps and more.
Other features of the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR include:
- 6.8 inch HD (1280×720) display
- Dual phone pairing via Bluetooth
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible
- Reverse camera parking guidelines
- Built-in WiFi and HD radio tuner
- Accepts DVD and a range of media file types
- 50 watts x 4 channels with 6 pre-amps
In terms of the navigation, the Garmin navigation system features everything you would expect. From maps in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands to 6 millions different points of interest. It truly is the best double din stereo with navigation.
The Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR is the ultimate double din head unit but the price may make it unsuitable for many. Alternatively, you can opt for the previous model knows as the DNX995S, which has similar performance but a smaller price tag.
3. Alpine ILX-107 Touchscreen Double Din Stereo
Alpine are a premium audio brand and the ILX-107 is their flagship model in terms of aesthetics and performance. It comes with an expensive price tag but the features and superior build quality make it a worthwhile investment.
The Alpine ILX-107 model is far more desirable for users of Apple products. The reason for this is due to the inclusion of Apple CarPlay, which can connect via a wireless connection and add plenty of additional functionality to the head unit.
Other features of the Alpine ILX-107 Stereo include:
- 7 inch touchscreen
- 50 Watts x 4 channels with 3 pre-outs
- Built-in amplifier
- Apple CarPlay and TuneIt App
- 9 band parametric EQ and MediaXpander
- iDatalink in order to keep factory buttons/controls
- Steering wheel and reverse camera ready
- Apple Maps Satellite Navigation
Excluding the expensive price, as a premium double din stereo, it’s a great all rounder, which combines aesthetics and intuitive features. If you have an Android smartphone, you may want to choose an alternative as this stereo only features Apple Carplay.Check it Out
4. Sony XAV-AX100 – Best For Android
Sony is one of the biggest brands in the world and their audio technology is highly reputable. Although Sony wouldn’t be the first “first choice” head unit, the XAV-AX100 is highly popular and provides excellent compatibility with both Android or Apple devices.
The touchscreen is 6.4 inches in size with responsive touch controls that allow you to use functions from the navigation, music playlists, phone calls and more. It’s also the only double din with a rotary dial, which is a big bonus for many users.
Other features of the Sony XAV-AX100 Touchscreen include:
- 55 x 4 channels and dynamic reality amplifier
- 6.4 inch touchscreen display
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Rear reverse camera ready
- 10 band equalizer
- Dynamic stage organizer
- Bluetooth hands free
The Sony brand is one that you can trust and although you pay a premium price, it’s worth the extra. Not only is it compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones, it also provide a range of unique features that are not available with the alternatives. Sony have also gone to great lengths to ensure that you can achieve the best sound quality too.Check it Out
5. Pioneer AVH-290BT Double Din Head Unit
Another popular Pioneer double din head unit that is targeted towards those on a budget is the AVH0290 BT model. It’s an affordable option that features many of the premium features but without the inflated price tag.
With a stylish 6.2 inch LED display, the Pioneer AVH-290BT is a fully touch screen head unit with many desirable features. The design of this particular double din stereo is in accordance to those of premium car manufacturer cars but at a tenth of the price.
Other features of the Pioneer AVH-290BT Touchscreen includes:
- 6.2 inch LED touchscreen
- 45 watt x 4 channels
- Bluetooth connectivity for hands free calls and audio streaming
- Built in equalizer with 5 bands
- Camera input for reversing camera
- 50 watt x 4 channels
- Siri Eyes Free
- Spotify and AppRadio compatibility
- CD, USB, AUX
For those that are on a budget, this double din head unit is the best affordable option that comes from the Pioneer brand. The 6.2 inch touchscreen and other features make it a great replacement for older OEM stereos that need upgrading.Check it Out
6. Corehan Android Double Din Stereo
The Corehan Android double din head unit has a large 6.95 inch LCD display and offers an extensive list of intuitive functionality. The sleek design of this stereo is very similar to a tablet, which will completely transforms and look great in the majority of cars.
Other features of the Corehan Android Stereo include:
- Quad Core 1.8 GHz CPU
- Latest Android 8 operating system
- 2GB RAM and 32GB ROM
- Support 3G dongle, WiFi and WiFi hot spots
- Mirror Link to display smartphone screens
- USB Connect for Android devices
- Supports steering wheel buttons
- 1080P video playing and compatibility for reversing camera
- GPS navigation
One of the most unique features offered with this head unit is the ability to connect an OBD2 scanner. This allows you to monitor the performance of your vehicle at anytime, which is displayed upon the screen. In terms of the visual display, it has a 1080P LCD display and includes a dual USB support for watching or looking at various media files.
Overall, this Coreham unit is the best android double din stereo you can buy that is packed with all the latest features you could ever require.Check it Out
7. Kenwood DDX773BH Double Din Car Stereo
Another top rated double din head unit by Kenwood is the DDX773BH model, which is packed full of unique features. This model in particular is also one of the nicest looking double din stereos on the market today with a limited edge touchscreen display.
As reversing cameras are becoming more popular, the need for units to support them is pretty much essential. This Kenwood stereo ticks this requirement as it automatically adjusts the display to the reversing camera when the reverse gear is selected.
Other features of the Kenwood DDX773BH include:
- DVD/CD receiver (can also play movies via USB)
- Built in iPod/iPhone control as well as Android USB support
- 6 channel outputs
- 50 watts x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)
- Bluetooth for music streaming and hands free calls with dual phone connection
- Built in equalizer with a huge 13 different bands
The Kenwood DDX773BH ticks every box in terms of what a double din radio should offer. The only thing missing is navigation, but the ability to mirror your smartphone to the device and play the audio through the stereo is a great alternative.Check it Out
8. Jensen VX7020 Double Din Stereo
The Jensen VX7020 is a USA made double din radio that is popular across America and Canada. Although the display of the Jensen stereo is slightly smaller than the alternatives, it does provide more user friendly buttons on the interface of the head unit.
Other features of the Jensen VX7020 include:
- Bluetooth connectivity for hands free calling and audio streaming
- 160 watt via 40 watt x 4 channels
- Adjustable User Interface colors and backgrounds
- CD, AUX, USB and SD Card inputs
- 6VRMS RCA line output
- Support for multi functional steering wheels
- Built-in navigation
The Jensen VX7020 is a top rated double din head unit that offers plenty of functionality and great value for the money. For complete peace of mind, the brand also provide a one year warranty with this particular model.Check it Out
9. ATOTO A6 Android Double Din Head Unit
ATOTO is a brand that specializes in Android double din head units and their latest A6 model uses the stable Marshmallow operating system. Unlike the Corehan alternative, the ATOTO A6 is available with a much more affordable price tag.
Other features of the ATOTO A6 Android Car Stereo include:
- Continuous firmware updates
- 1024 x 600 TFT-LCD display
- Built-in GPS module and pre-installed Google maps
- Compatible with steering wheel controls
- 4 x 45 watts and 4 pre-outs
- Smartphone (Android/iOS) mirroring/casting
- Backup camera input
The brand also offer various upgraded models but if you are on a tight budget, the A6 model is offers all the functionality you’ll ever need.
Overall, the ATOTO A6 Android double din head unit is an excellent all-rounder than combines performance and value for money. It performs as well as the premium devices but doesn’t come with the popular audio branding, which may put some enthusiasts off.
10. BOSS Audio BV9362BI Double Din Radio
The BOSS Audio targets the budget stereo category but that doesn’t mean the head unit lacks features. The BV9362BI model even comes with a three year warranty for complete peace of mind, which no other cheap alternatives on the market offer.
Other features of the BOSS Audio BV9362BI include:
- 80 watt x 4 channels with built-in equalizer
- Plays DVD, CD, USB, SD, AUX and smartphones
- Bluetooth hands free calling and music streaming
- Video, front, rear and sub pre-amp outputs
- Includes a 3 year warranty
The 6.2 inch touch screen monitor is responsive and the user interface is intuitive with clear call to action buttons. Unlike the single din unit head unit by BOSS, this model supports rear cameras that are automatic and it support the steering wheel buttons.
Another great features of this head unit is the ability to add up to 3 amps for additional front, rear and subwoofers channels. It’s one of the best affordable options and it certainly gives your vehicle a modern touch that is lacking with older factory head units.Check it Out
Double Din Head Unit Buying Guide
Upgrading your factory double din stereo is an easy yet effective way of increasing the value of your car. It completely modernizes an older car that uses an older style head unit and allows you to use features such as Apple Carplay or Android Auto.
Replacing your head unit also allows you to install additional speakers via the extra channel outputs. There is a wide range of benefits when installing a new head unit and with the latest technology, they can completely transform your driving experience.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding double din head units.
One of the best features of the latest stereos is the compatibility with your smartphone. If you use a smart device that uses the iOS operating system, you have Apple Carplay whereas Android users have Android Auto platform to use.
Both have similar functions and enable you to use many of the features of your smartphone upon the double din head unit. This includes navigation, hands free calling, sending and receiving messages, mirroring the screen and so much more.
Both Apple Carplay and Android Auto are premium features but its worth paying the extra due to the amount of additional functionality that they offer.
If you would rather not use Apple Carplay or Android Auto, there are many other ways to play your own music. The most user friendly option is by using a wireless Bluetooth connection, which you may already be using for hands-free calling. Other alternatives include the use of a AUX cord, USB or even a SD card.
Most OEM stereos won’t have many output channels, which makes upgrading your audio fairly difficult. Anything from powerful car subwoofers that require a specific channel for additional watts to multiple channels for additional car speakers.
If you are planning to improve car audio in the near future, you will want to ensure that the stereo you purchase is capable with the additional outputs.
Reversing Camera Input
The benefit of a double din head unit is the fact that it has a much larger display compared to a single din. This makes viewing video footage such as movies or output from your reversing camera a highly desirable feature.
Not every stereo has this functionality but some can automatically switch displays when the car is backing up. If you want this functionality, you can use an aftermarket camera and connect it to your double din head unit.
This will require some wiring and therefore we recommend investing in the best backup camera you can get your hands on so its a worth the effort of installing it.
Android is a highly desirable operating system to use for double din stereos. It’s popular as it’s familiar to those with an Android phone, has a simplified user interface and can be updated to the latest firmware fairly easily.
For those that are tech savvy, you can even implement your own software and apps into the device but this is only recommended for those that know what they are doing.
Navigation that is integrated into the double din head unit is an essential feature for many drivers. Although you can use your smartphone for directions, it will never be as reliable due to signal issues and the fact the phone may run out of battery.
Stereos that have navigation included often cost more but this is due to the integration of the GPS module and other related components. Some manufacturers such as Kenwood use the Garmin system for navigation output, which is one of the most trusted names in the industry.
Some features to look out for with regards to the navigation include:
- Ability to easily update the maps
- Various displays (2D or 3D and terrain views)
- Lane assistance
- Real time traffic reports
- Spoken street names and speed limits
- Various languages
- Points of interest
- Coverage across multiple states and countries
We strongly advise that you avoid cheap navigation head units as they usually use a poorly designed system. Big brands that have tested their systems thoroughly and have the processing power to handle them are highly recommended.
There are so many people that will damage their dash in order to remove their stereos. We have seen people use knives or screwdrivers down the side, which is a big mistake due to the damage it causes.
We advise that you do not try those methods and instead invest into a pair of radio keys. These simply slot into the standard gaps that all head units will have and allow you to pull it out safely. Depending upon your vehicle, you may need to remove interior parts to gain access in order to locate the radio keys into the slots.
Not every vehicle will have the room to install a double din head unit, which mean that you will require a new dash kit for the installation.
As shown in the image above, the installation kit is designed to fit into the designated area whilst provide adequate space for installing the aftermarket head unit.
For those that plan on installing their double din stereo themselves, check out this tutorial for a helping hand.
The average price for a double din stereo is around $250 but there are two ends to the scale. For those on a budget, there are many packages that provide all the functionality that you require. However, the ability of that stereo to remain loading and running smoothly can be debatable.
Any car audio enthusiast will tell you that it is an expensive hobby to get into. The costs can easily run passed the thousand dollar mark with ease. The more premium examples these days are available with truly remarkable technology.
Using an iPad?
Due to the low cost of an iPad and other tablets, you could even install them instead of a new head unit. An iPad is able to do almost everything a stereo can do and even more by linking it to a 3G/4G network connection.
Rather than using an iPad car mount, you can perform some alterations to the fascia that enables you to mount it appropriately. The popular Mighty Car Mods YouTube Channel did exactly this and the results looked great.
Upgrading your head unit is a fairly simple modification that can make a huge difference. Older vehicles in particular can be instantly introduced to the latest technology that makes driving far more pleasurable and safer.
When upgrading your car audio, installing the best head unit is critical. The additional speakers will require specific channels in order to perform as expected because not every OEM stereo will be able to handle extra audio components.
Car audio brands such as Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood and others are the recommend source for head units. Although expensive, the quality of the head unit and functionality is worth paying the extra and there is usually a variety to choose from.