Upgrading your double din head unit is a great modification that can add a range of functionality and completely transform the inside of your car. Most of the latest units include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, additional output for more speakers, touchscreen displays, backup camera compatibility and so much more.
We have installed a number of double din head units over the years and the Pioneer stereo in the photo above has been our favorite so far. In terms of rating the recommendations in this article, we rated them on their display, speaker outputs, additional features, compatibility with other components and value for money.
If you want a quick answer, the best double din head unit is the Pioneer AVH4200NEX. It’s packed full of features such as Bluetooth, a touchscreen display and wireless mirroring for Android or Apple smartphones just to name a few. However, if you also require navigation, the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR is the best alternative.
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
- How We Rated The Double Din Head Units
- 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 want to take your car’s audio to the next level, an upgraded stereo is required. They provide extra outputs, channels and other factors that help improve the overall 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 car audio industry and offer a range of head units for most budgets. This particular model known as the AVH4200NEX is their premium option that includes an internal amplifier.
For those that don’t have a Bluetooth car kit installed in their car, the AVH4200NEX has you covered with a built-in Bluetooth system. It allows for hands-free calling for two phones and wireless audio streaming too.
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 to 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.
Overall, 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 that uses the 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 much 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 ticks all the boxes. 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 on the market right now.
Overall, the Kenwood Excelon DNX996XR is the ultimate double din head unit but the price may make it unsuitable for many people. Alternatively, you can opt for the previous model knows as the DNX995S, which has similar functionality to this model but a much smaller price tag.
3. Alpine ILX-107 Touchscreen Double Din Stereo
Alpine are another premium car audio brand and the ILX-107 is their flagship model in terms of aesthetics and performance. Although it comes with an expensive price tag, the huge list of features and superior build quality make it a worthwhile investment.
It’s important to note that the Alpine ILX-107 model is far more desirable for users of Apple products. The reason for this is due to the inclusion of only 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 connectivity.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 very popular and provides excellent compatibility with both Android or Apple devices.
The touchscreen display is 6.4 inches in size and features responsive touch controls. Using the controls, it allows you to use functions from the navigation, music playlists, phone calls and much 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 provides a range of unique features that aren’t available with the alternatives. Sony have also gone to great lengths to ensure that you can achieve the best sound quality too when connecting additional speakers to the unit.Check it Out
5. Pioneer AVH-290BT Double Din Head Unit
Another popular Pioneer double din head unit that’s 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 touchscreen head unit with many desirable features. The design of this particular double din stereo is in accordance to those of premium car manufacturers 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 and it looks great when installed into the majority of cars.
A unique feature offered with this head unit is the ability to connect an OBD2 scanner. This allows you to monitor the performance of your vehicle, which is displayed upon the screen. In terms of the visual display, it has a 1080P LCD display and it also includes dual USB’s that allow you to watch or look at various media files.
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
Overall, this Coreham unit is the best android double din stereo you can buy that’s packed with all the latest features you could ever want. There are cheaper alternatives but this brand specializes in Android stereos for complete peace of mind.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 stereos on the market today with a limited edge touchscreen display.
As reversing cameras are becoming more popular, the need for head 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 stereo 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 US made double din stereo that’s 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 1 year warranty with this particular model.Check it Out
9. ATOTO A6 Android Double Din Head Unit
ATOTO is another 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. The brand also offer various upgraded models but if you are on a tight budget, the A6 model offers all the functionality you’ll ever need.
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
Overall, the ATOTO A6 Android double din head unit is an excellent all-rounder than combines performance and value for money. Although it performs just as well as the premium devices, it doesn’t come with the popular audio branding, which may put some enthusiasts off this particular head unit.
10. BOSS Audio BV9362BI Double Din Radio
The BOSS Audio BV9362BI is a budget double din stereo but that doesn’t mean it lacks features. It comes with a whole list of functionality and even a three year warranty for complete peace of mind, which no other budget 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
- Supports steering wheel buttons
- 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 when the reverse gear is selected. Another great features of this head unit is the ability to add up to 3 amps for additional front, rear and subwoofers channels.
Overall, it’s one of the best affordable options on the market and it certainly gives your vehicle a modern touch that’s lacking with many older head units.Check it Out
How We Rated The Double Din Head Units
As a team, we own plenty of older vehicles and we always look to upgrade the factory head unit after a few weeks of ownership. This is mainly due to the fact they lack Bluetooth, which is required for hands-free calls and audio streaming. As you can see in many of the photos we took for this article, many of the stereo’s are made by Pioneer. This is due to their brand reputability and their quality when compared to other branded stereos.
In terms of how we rated the double din head units within this article, we used our own experience as well as rating them based upon a number of factors. These included the head unit’s display, speaker outputs, additional features, compatibility with other components and value for money.
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 can completely modernizes an older car that uses an older style stereo and also 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 the 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 they are totally worth paying the extra for 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 your car’s audio in the near future, you will want to ensure that the stereo you purchase is compatible 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 into the best rated backup camera so its 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’s 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 that a 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 screwdrivers down the side of the unit, which is a big mistake due to the damage it causes.
We advise that you don’t try those methods and instead invest into a pair of stereo 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 and locate the keys into the slots.
Not every vehicle has the room to install a double din head unit, which means that you may 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 providing 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’s an expensive hobby to get into. The costs can easily pass the thousand dollar mark but the more premium examples are available with truly remarkable technology.
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 and Kenwood 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.