With the best double din head unit, you have a more desirable setup than with the smaller single din. Not only do you get a larger display, but they normally come with many more features as well. In addition, a double din stereo adds value and a more modern look to your vehicle.
We’ve reviewed numerous double din head units to find the best of the best. We prefer models that come with the latest gadgets, Bluetooth, and ample features, but we’ve listed a few that will fit any budget as well.
What is a Double Din Head Unit?
Din actually just refers to size. Your single din head unit is a traditional car radio size which makes the double din twice as big. It doesn’t matter what brands you purchase; the double din stereo should all be the same dimensions – 178mm x 100mm. If you already have a double din radio installed, you won’t have any trouble swapping out your systems.
There are different types available, even though they tend to follow the same design. They often have large screens and feature technology that allows you to sync your smartphone. You’ll find a wide range of them in a variety of price points, so it’s easy to get what you need.
Without further ado, here are our top ten best car double din head unit choices.
When you think of car audio, you automatically think about Pioneer. That’s because they are a leader in the industry, so it makes perfect sense to consider one of Pioneer’s models for your double din unit as well. This AVH4200NEX is a higher end setup which includes its own internal amplifier at 14 watts RMS plus 50 watts x four channels.
It also features a built-in Bluetooth connection so you can use hands-free calling and stay focused on the road. This system supports two phones plus offers audio streaming, so get your playlist ready. Other notable features include a CD and DVD receiver and NEX. This is a network entertainment experience that permits you to connect to cloud-based services.
This unit comes complete with a seven-inch motorized display and it works in conjunction with SiriusXM so you can get all your sports, traffic, or weather updates. The only thing this unit doesn’t feature is navigation, but most people utilize an app for that anyway.
Alpine is another premium audio system brand as you can tell from the price of this unit. The price tag is justified by all the features this double din head unit comes with. It offers Apple Maps which plenty of other systems don’t. That helps to set it apart from the pack.
Clearly, this system is geared toward Apple users and hopes to target iPhone users. That’s why it also comes with Apple CarPlay so you can utilize the wireless connectivity and have access to all your stuff in one place.
The ILX-107 also comes with 50 watts x four channels plus three pre-outs. It has a nine-band Parametric equalizer and MediaXpander for maximum sound quality. This unit’s even ready to set up with a reverse camera.
If you can look past the price of this high-end stereo system, you’ll find that it’s worth every penny. The vast amount of features and ample connectivity options make this the best double din head unit for iPhone users.
Here we are back at the Pioneer brand once again. This unit features a 6.2-inch LED touch screen that utilizes many features. It’s the same type of system you would find inside a luxury car, but at a far lower price. The sleek design isn’t at all intrusive, yet adds a level of style and class to your cockpit.
It’s hard to believe that a unit with so many features doesn’t cost much more. It features 45 watts x four channels, Bluetooth enabled connectivity, and a built-in equalizer with five bands. Not only can you participate in hands-free calling to keep you safe, but there’s a camera input when you’re ready to connect a reverse camera. This system also comes with AppRadio and Spotify connectivity allowing you to stream music, plus CD, AUX, and USB for a multitude of options.
There’s no navigation with this, just like the other Pioneer. You would need to use your phone and link it up with the audio. In our opinion, if you want the best cheap double din head unit from the Pioneer brand, you won’t find much better than this.
4. Jensen VX7020 6.2 inch LCD Multimedia Touch Screen Double Din Car Stereo
This US made stereo is a popular option for buyers hoping to find a double din head unit. The display is a little smaller than some other choices, but there are plenty of user-friendly buttons included. You’ll have access to Bluetooth for your audio streaming and hands-free calling.
It also features 160 watts total through 40 watts x four channels. It has inputs for CD, USB, an SD card, and AUX. There’s also a 6V RMS RCA line output and support for your multi-function steering wheel. With the built-in satellite navigation, you won’t have to launch your smartphone app anymore.
All around, this is a great option when you’re in the market for the best double din head unit. There’s not much this unit won’t do and it comes with a standard one-year warranty for peace of mind. You’ll find many other premium units that feature the same options, but for much more money.
BOSS is a well-known car audio manufacturer and they hope to target budget shoppers with this setup. Don’t let the lower price cause you to believe there’s nothing special about it. It comes with 80 watts x four channels and a built-in equalizer for maximum sound quality. On top of that, it plays CDs, DVDs, plus it connects with smartphones, AUX, SD cards, and USB. Use the Bluetooth to play music and enjoy hands-free calling.
What makes this truly unique is the three-year warranty, which is on the larger side in this industry. You’ll also enjoy the responsive 6.2-inch touchscreen monitor. The buttons are clear to understand and it responds well. This unit, despite its lower price, supports steering wheel buttons and a rearview camera. If you’re hoping to stick to a strict budget, but still want a modern look with plenty of function, this is the best double din stereo for you.
Alpine has earned their spot as a leader in the electronics industry because they produce high-quality products. This comprehensive system is considered to be the best if you have Apple products. It also features connectivity for Android devices, which was recently added to the firmware. To get the full function of this connection, you’ll want to set up your device through the USB cord. Yes, it does feature Bluetooth, but that won’t allow you to access everything.
The seven-inch display has a built-in touchscreen display user interface. If you want the best sound quality, you’ll also be happy to know about the audio streaming nine-band parametric EQ included. It does have integrated steering wheel controls, but we don’t see support for rear view cameras. That’s a little discouraging for the price, but the quality of sound makes up for it.
What you might notice first about this Sony unit is the bezel-less panel which offers a seamless display. It also features a 6.95-inch touchscreen that is exceptionally responsive. You can use pinch and zoom controls with the map, so there’s no stopping you from getting to where you want to go. It might not be HD, but you won’t see the difference.
This double din head unit supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay through a USB connection. This does give you access to your messaging, audio apps, navigation, and offers voice control. Listen to your podcasts, Pandora, or Spotify with ease. You can also connect via Bluetooth for music streaming and hands-free calling.
This stereo is Sirius XM ready and comes ready to connect to your steering wheel controls. You can also customize the look with five preset wallpapers to pick from. If you desire a controlled audio sound, you’ll be thrilled to know about the ten-band EQ that offers great response.
Don’t forget to factor in all the accessories this system comes with. You’ll find a wireless remote, a single subwoofer input as well as two pairs of RCA premium outputs, a backup camera input, and TomTom navigation.
Kenwood is another reputable brand in the double din head unit industry. They might be better known for their home audio, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook their offering into the market. They produce high-end equipment just like the Excelon DNX994S.
The 22 RMS watt system is also a top choice on our list, plus it features a 5-volt pre-amp signal. That creates some of the clearest audio you’ve ever heard. You don’t even need to upgrade your factory speakers to appreciate the quality.
You also have access to sound elevation, sound realizer, and space enhancer to create the precise and accurate soundscape you desire. While it does have plenty of connectivity, it’s impossible to run the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay at the same time you have an MP3 player connected. While this shouldn’t be a problem for many people, it’s still worth noting.
Another lower priced option from Boss includes this BVCP9675. It comes complete with 20 RMS watts which produce superior sound quality. This unit also has Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay. Inputs for the unit include USB, rear camera, AUX, and steering wheel controls. What’s exceptional about this particular unit is the three-year warranty that comes with it.
Despite having multi-color illuminating features and an attractive display, it does fall slightly short in terms of responsiveness. You might feel that it doesn’t have the same speed level as some of the higher-end double din head units do. This requires a firmer contact, plus you might need to choose your selections a little longer before it actually registers. With that said, it’s still a popular option on the market, and people seem to buy them like crazy.
This high-end JVC double din head unit features a stunning 6.8-inch display. They reduced the border and added external buttons so you get as much viewing space as possible. Then, they add a screen that works perfectly no matter what light situation you find yourself in.
It’s pre-bundled with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay so syncing it up with your device is simple and instantaneous. There’s also a built-in USB port for quick charging on your way to work. Of course, you can expect to pay a premium price for this unit because of the all the additional features. With that said, you won’t find too many premium stereos that offer this much versatility.
Many of the users have commented on the excellent audio quality. It also features a CD and DVD player, which many of the other options don’t include. You’ll have a hard time finding a double din head unit with as many options in this price range.
Double Din Head Unit Buying Guide
If you want to purchase the best double din head unit, you must know what you’re looking for in the first place. We’ve narrowed down the characteristics you should evaluate while making your purchase. These help you to know that you’re on the right track.
This might be the most vital aspect of your head unit overall. While many people look at peak wattage, it’s just not as essential as your RMS watts. That’s because this aspect has a lot to do with the sound quality no matter what audio you play.
General power going to your speakers is through RMS wattage. This wattage helps determine the power during more extended time periods and over a larger volume range. You’ll notice the larger RMS wattage occurring more than you will larger peak wattage.
If you have an extensive setup, this will be crucial for you. Even if your head unit doesn’t power your speakers, you still need the audio signal to travel to the amp that will power your speakers. The ability of your amp to do this is determined by the pre-amp.
The stronger your signal is, the better quality it sends to your speakers. A lower pre-amp signal causes distortions and lowers audio quality.
In this day and age, having smartphone connectivity is essential. From Android Auto to Apple CarPlay, you can easily mirror your screen, navigate your phone, and more. Most people want this feature for audio streaming and hands free calling. Even if you don’t think you’ll use this today, it’s wise to invest in your future needs instead of upgrading later.
Your OEM stereo probably doesn’t have too many output channels. That makes any upgrades more difficult. If you want subwoofers or multiple channels to add speakers, you want to pay attention to this before making a purchase.
Reversing Camera Input
When you have a large screen on your double din head unit, viewing footage from a DVD to a camera is desirable. Not all stereos have this functionality, but some automatically switch over when the car begins backing up.
Most people prefer to go with an Android operating system in their double din head unit. That’s because it contains a superior UI, which is familiar to many people. It also allows tech-savvy people to make modifications and download a variety of applications.
If you plan to install the double din stereo yourself, you’ll want to make sure you purchase a system that’s simple to set up. There’s no sense in destroying the fascia over a car stereo. Read through the reviews and see what other customers felt about the installation of the best din head units.
You can expect an average price to be right around $250 for a double din head unit. With that said, there are also good packages available when you’re on a budget and other high-end models for those with more to spend. If you want to add speakers and subwoofers, you might need a top tier option instead. These can start to run into thousands of dollars.
Benefits to Upgrading Your Head Unit
You might be looking at the prices of new double din head units and start to wonder what the point is. There are numerous advantages you should consider.
Streaming Media – When was the last time you listened to the radio? Chances are, it’s been awhile. Of course, that was popular before media streaming came to be, but now we have access to all our music whenever we want it. Take it all along with you and listen to it with a new double din head unit for hours of entertainment.
Maximum Safety – With the multi-functional double din stereo, you become less distracted while on the road. The voice activation and hands-free models keep you looking ahead while driving instead of fumbling with technology.
Exceptional Sound – The best double din head unit will take your audio to the next level. All the outputs, hardware, and modern software offer an experience unlike any you’ve ever had before.
It’s Fun – Of course, having a double din head unit is fun and makes you look more prestigious as well. Don’t forget the cool factor.
Install Double Din Car Stereo
What’s great about a double din head unit is that most of them are simple to install. This is even truer if you already have the same size in place. They are universal, so you’ll basically just swap them out. This also doesn’t require too many tools.
Each double din head unit comes with its own set of instructions and ways to remove it, so be sure you read them carefully. For the most part, it should take you anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes. You’ll also need a few tools, such as:
plastic prying tools
electric wire hand tools
Start by disconnecting the car’s battery. This is for your safety. Then, remove all the bolts, trim, and face plate to access the current unit.
Once you have everything ready to go in, plug in the wiring harness, GPS navigation antenna, and antenna wire. Match up all the colored wires and utilize your cable ties so the appearance is neat. Then, you can install the double din head unit into your dash sleeve and attach the faceplate. Test your unit to ensure that the installation was performed correctly.
Brian Jones spent over 30-years at various dealerships as an ASE Certified Master Tech. These days he works with those dealerships to create quality automotive content while spending more time with his family near Dallas, TX. In his spare time, you'll still find him playing with tools, cars, and many other "manly" gadgets. Brian's passions include traveling, pickup trucks, and anything related to motorsports.