best single din stereo for high quality

6 Best Single Din Head Units 2018

Single Din Head Units have the dimensions of 4 x 7 inches compared to the larger 7 x 7 inches of the double din alternative. Many car owners chose the smaller so that they can have a storage box above or below the head unit.

The best single din head unit you can buy is the Pioneer AVH-X7800BT with its impressive flip out display and outputs for improved sound quality in your vehicle.

OEM stereos are often limited in terms of their functionality and look rather basic. The latest single dins offer support for CD, AUX and USB as well as a LED display.

Best Single Din Stereos For Sound Quality

Single Din RadioFlip Out ScreenOur Rating
Pioneer AVH-X7800BTYes4.9
Pyle PLBT71GYes4.5
Alpine CDE-HD149BTNo4.9
Pioneer DEH-150MPNo4.8
JVC KD-RD87BTNo4.7
BOSS Audio 616UABNo4.6

For those wanting to add heavy bass subwoofers and powerful car amps to increase the speaker quality, you will need to invest into a stereo too. Upgrading from your stock unit to a top rated single din stereo should be the first audio upgrade.

The number of A/V inputs and pre-amp outputs are usually limited with an OEM radio that also do not include a subwoofer output. Having the correct outputs from the stereo makes the install more simplified. As a rule of thumb, ensure there are two full range radio pre-amp outputs as well as a subwoofer output.

Although not all stereos include Bluetooth phone communication like the hands free in car devices, but they do include allow for music streaming. Below is a list of the best single din stereos you can buy with a range of features to keep the driver entertained.

Pioneer AVH-X7800BT Single Din Head Unit


Pioneer are one of the market leaders when it comes to car audio. The single din AVH-X7800BT with the 7 inch flip out screen is one of the highest spec stereos available to date. The flip out design has been round for a while now but its not that is so impressive.

Let’s take a look at some of the Pioneer AVH-X7800BT features:

  • Built in DVD Receiver
  • Bluetooth Connectivity – Allows connection for 2 smart phones simultaneously
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Spotify and AppRadio compatibility
  • CD, USB, AUX
  • 200 watt amplifier and a remote (50 watts x 4 channels)

This pioneer head unit also comes with an external wired microphone for the use of hands free calls using Bluetooth. The quality of in-call speaking is claimed to be as high quality as FM transmission with zero chance of distortion.

The touchscreen screen of the AVH-X7800BT is intuitively designed and exactly what is needed. On the right are “call to action” buttons such as setting, phone calls, equalizer and more. When playing music, all the information is displayed in a user friendly way, such as artist, song title, category, timeline and music artwork.

In terms of sound quality, the Pioneer head unit does not disappoint. If you want more audio power, the AVH-X7800BT has both front and rear rca outputs to connect to your subwoofer.

With all this functionality, this head unit also comes with a remote control to navigate around the radio. Of course, being touch screen, the remote control is only really needed for backseat passengers. Overall, it is the best single din stereo with a flip out screen and nothing comes close in terms of sound quality and design.

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Pyle PLBT71G Single Din Stereo

The Pyle PLBT71G has a unique selling point because it is a single din unit that has navigation preinstalled. The flip out screen is 7 inches and perfect for displaying road maps to the driver.

Pyle has a range of features to keep the car owner entertained that include:

  • Bluetooth Connectivity for streaming music
  • CD, DVD, USB and AUX Input
  • Hands Free Bluetooth Calling (and it imports your contacts)
  • 1 Years free warranty with customer support
  • 4 x 80 watt power output (320 max)

Considering it has navigation and other features, it is still fairly cheap compared to the other Pioneer flip screen. However, many will agree that the Pyle does not have the luxury feel compared to the Pioneer AVH-X7800BT but if you cannot afford the Pioneer, the Pyle offers everything you require.

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Alpine CDE-HD149BT Single Din Radio

Alpine are another market leading brand in the car audio space. Competing with the likes of Pioneer, the CDE-HD149BT model is a premium single din stereo that bags plenty of features to keep the audio obsessed car owner happy.

The specification and features of the Alpine CDE-HD149BT include:

  • 200 watt power output (50 x 4 channels)
  • RMS power output 18 watts x 4 channels
  • Preamp RCA Outputs in 3 pairs for front, rear and subwoofer
  • Built In Equalizer with 9 bands
  • LCD Display
  • One Year Warranty
  • CD, USB and AUX inputs

This single din head unit was released to the public in 2014 but don’t let this put you off. It is still selling well because of the features and excellent sound quality with relevant outputs.

The Bluetooth allows for music to be streamed as well as hands free calling. There is a dedicated phone button to accept or ignore the phone call on the head unit itself.

The design of the Alpine CDE-HD149BT is intuitive which is perfect for the high end older cars where flashy stereos spoil the design. If you are planning a large audio install with many speakers, then this Alpine unit is perfect.

The power output with various outputs allow for an easier install whilst keeping a high quality audio for your car. It is the best single din unit without the flip out screen and include every feature you could want from a single din head unit.

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Pioneer DEH-150MP Single Din Head Unit

If you are on a budget but want the best sound quality from your single din stereo, the DEH-150MP is the best buy. There is no fancy flip out screen or obtrusive features that could damage the look and feel of your cars center dash.

There are the basics in terms of input from the head unit with just an AUX port. However, it is the outputs of this single din head unit that ensure the audio in your car has excellent sound quality.

The Pioneer DEH-150MP is one of the cheapest single din units for high quality sound quality. The specification and features of the Pioneer DEH-150MP are the following:

  • 200 watt power (50 watts x 4 channels)
  • RMS: 14 watts x 4 channels
  • CD and AUX input
  • Built-in Equalizer setting with bass boosting settings
  • LED Backlight

As you can see, the power outputs are very similar to the more expensive Pioneer AVH-X7800BT. It is the best cheap single din stereo and provides the highest quality sound for the money. If you want a cheap but high quality stereo, the DEH-150MP is the head unit for you.

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JVC KDRD87BT Bluetooth Single Din


JVC are a market leading brand in the audio world, competing with the likes of Kenwood and Pioneer. The KDRD87BT is their best selling single din head unit that consists of the following specification:

  • 50 watt x 4 channels
  • RMS 22 watt x 4 channels
  • Bluetooth Hands Free calling and music streaming
  • CD, AUX and USB inputs
  • Built in equalizer with 13 bands
  • 2 Sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer)

The JVC KDRD87BT is a very capable single din radio that provides high quality audio. With two sets of pre-amp outputs, you are able to install a subwoofer and amplifier without the need of additional wiring/complications.

Like the Pioneer DEH-150MP, the design is very simplistic, which compliments your cars current cockpit. However, the features that this JVC radio consists is far from simplistic, which provides all the inputs and outputs you will ever need.

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BOSS Audio 616UAB Single Din

The BOSS Audio 616UAB Single Din Radio is by far the cheapest single din radio within this article but it still has all the features the premium brands have to offer.

The specification of the Boss Audio 616UAB is as follows:

  • 50 watt x 4 channels
  • Built in Equalizer
  • USB, SD and AUX but no CD Player
  • Hands free Bluetooth calling and music streaming
  • Front Pre Amp outputs for adding an amp or signal processor
  • 3 Years Free warranty

Included with the BOSS Audio 616UAB is a wireless remote control to access key radio functions via your finger tips. The Boss Audio 616UAB offers the best value for money when it comes down to a single din radio.

The lack of a CD Player may be an issue for some car owners, however CD’s are a thing of the past. The majority of people nowadays will have their music on their smartphones or use an app such as Spotify to stream their music.

Compared to the other cheap single din radios that are on the market, the 616UAB looks stylish and the buttons and structure feels rigid/long lasting. If you are on a strict budget, this is the cheapest single din stereo that offers much more than the eye can see.

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Single Din Head Unit Buying Guide

Upgrading your single din head unit not only provides better quality audio but even more outputs, which gives you the opportunity to add more car audio speakers. Below are some factors that you should consider before purchasing the first single din stereo you find.

Double Din to Single Din Conversion

The disadvantage of a double din head unit is that there is limited storage space within the cockpit. Cars that have single din head units will usually have a storage box/cubby box to stores items such as phones or keys.

Switching to a single din radio is relatively simple and involves removing the double din and replacing with a new faceplate. This will then allow you to insert the single din radio within its cage into the top section of the faceplate.

Finally you will want to have a storage box (also called a pocket) that will allow you to keep your personal items such as a phone or your keys.

Choosing between a double din head unit and a single din is purely down to personal preference and whether your car has room. It is much harder to switch from single din to double din in the majority of cases and moving to the smaller is much easier.

Flip Out Screens

The purpose of a flip out screen is to have the best of both worlds. It is small enough to fit with the cockpit of your car yet has a 7 inch screen. The screen is exactly what you would expect from a double din unit with all the same features.

One word of warning is that there are many cheap versions of flip out monitors. They can look very bad in person and potentially break (the movement of the screen) very easily. The Pioneer is the best flip out screen available.

Antenna Adapter for ISO to Din

Many aftermarket stereos will require a DIN antenna aerial connector as opposed to the ISO connector. Without this adapter, you will not be able to use your radio but you will still be able to use other inputs. The ISO to Din radio adapter is relatively cheap and often forgotten when installing a new aftermarket radio.

Conclusion

Walk into any auto store and you will see many cheaper alternatives to those in this article. However, the saying “Buy Cheap, Buy Twice” applies to single din radios quite significantly. Not only does a cheap single din look terrible, the sound quality will also be “tinny” and there will be hardly any interesting features.

If you are in the market to buy a single din radio, Pioneer are the leaders and have multiple stereos to meet all needs. The two mentioned in this article are two of the best that they produce at a large scale.

As mentioned, I own 2 of the Pioneer DEH 150MP head units. This is because the radio is well priced and provides excellent sound quality with additional outputs for my subwoofer and amplifier.

Not only this, I use my smartphone to stream music using Spotify using the AUX input.  This single din radio provides the highest quality audio for the price and you honestly cannot go wrong with this head unit.

best single din stereo for high quality

If you have no budget of such and only have one car to buy a radio for, the Pioneer AVH-X7800BT is the ultimate single din radio.

There is not one thing that this head unit does not feature. All the inputs are there from USB to charge your devices to the pre amp outputs to run subwoofers and amplifiers. It is a premium products at an expensive price but you cannot beat this single din radio.

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