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7 Best Double DIN Head Units

Table of Contents

If you spend a lot of time using your car’s infotainment system, you may have thought about upgrading your head unit at some point to something with better hardware or more functionality.

A good aftermarket double DIN head unit can potentially offer several advantages over a stock head unit, including better controls, a more responsive, higher-resolution touchscreen, and more ways to connect the various devices you own to your car’s infotainment system.

Today, we’ll be going over some of the best double DIN head units available, as well as answering a few common questions that users tend to have about double din radio units.


Best Double DIN Head Units

Best Double Din Head Units
Image Credit: https://appleinsider.com/

Let’s get right into our list of the best aftermarket double DIN head units.

We’ll be taking a look at what we feel is the best overall unit worth considering, as well as a few of the best options for sound quality, Apple Carplay, and android auto, sat-nav, and also back up cameras.

Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission.

Best Double DIN Head Unit Overall – Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX

Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX Double Din Wireless Mirroring Android Auto, Apple Carplay In-Dash DVD/CD Car Stereo Receiver
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Works with wireless and wired Apple Car Play and Android Auto
  • Works with SiriusXM SXV300 Tuner -- supports tune mix, traffic & weather now, and sports flash features

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If we were to pick one double DIN head unit to recommend overall, it would be the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX.

Pioneer is an established manufacturer of audio equipment and other electronics, and if you feel like Googling “best double DIN head units” on your own, you’ll find that the results are often dominated by various Pioneer products.

THE ThePioneer AVH-W4500NEX unit offers a wide degree of functionality, which you should expect from any decent stereo unit.

It features a 7” resistive touchscreen, which is the type of touchscreen display you ideally want in a vehicle.

In contrast with a capacitive touchscreen display, which is the type found in most smartphones, resistive touchscreens don’t need skin contact to work; you can operate them with gloved hands or even a stylus.

This double DIN stereo is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as you might expect from a modern unit.

You can also download the Vozsis app onto any smartphone you have, which allows you to connect Amazon Alexa to your head unit.

Through Alexa, you can use voice commands to play music, listen to the news, and check the weather and traffic reports.

If you have any smart home devices connected to a smart hub that is controlled by Alexa, then you can even interact with those devices through your car stereo unit.

The Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX offers Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calls which is very important nowadays.

It can also be connected to the steering wheel controls but does require you to purchase an extra cable.

You can, of course, connect your smartphone to your stereo unit via Bluetooth, but you can also connect your device to your car stereo via a USB cable if, for example, you have an older MP3 player that doesn’t support Bluetooth connection.

This device also comes with a CD/DVD player, so if you’re the type who prefers to listen to their music on physical media, you still have the option of doing so.

Personally, we like the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX the most because it combines a lot of functionality into an attractive package at a relatively low price compared to some other double DIN radios available.

It still offers a CD/DVD drive, unlike a lot of other head units, which only support music in digital formats.

Plus, you can connect a ton of other software and hardware to this car stereo beside your phone to make for a really complete package that can do just about anything.

I just love how it can use both Android Auto and Apple Carplay and it’s not tied to just one or the other.

There’s such a split nowadays between Android and Apple that it makes sense to incorporate both.

In my house, I am an iPhone user and my wife is an Android user; so the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX solves this problem for us.

Basically, if you’re looking for a double din car stereo that can do pretty much anything you want of it, the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is one of the best choices out there.

Best Double DIN Head Unit for Sound Quality – Sony XAVAX1000

Sale
Sony XAVAX1000 6.2" (15.7 cm) Apple CarPlay Media Receiver with BLUETOOTH
  • Voice control with Apple CarPlay
  • Rear view camera ready for easy parking
  • EXTRABASS adds low end power
  • Create virtual speakers on your dashboard with the Dynamic Stage Organizer
  • Rotary volume for easy operation.Brightness:450cd / m2

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For the best sound quality you can get from a double DIN head unit, it’s hard to beat this offering from Sony.

The XAVAX1000 is an excellent option if you want your music to be crisp and clear, the way it was meant to be heard.

This car unit comes with built-in 4 channels X 55 peak watts amplification, which helps your music sound good even if you feel like turning the volume way up.

You can also customize your audio experience through the head unit, letting you adjust the bass, fade, and other aspects of your sound.

There is also smartphone integration via Bluetooth, and it’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay if you happen to own a phone running iOS.

It also comes with a USB port and an AUX input, so you can make a wired connection between the head unit and a wide variety of MP3 players.

However, it doesn’t come with a CD/DVD player, which may be a drawback for some people.

Still, this double din stereo has a lot going for it other than the sound quality that makes it worth considering.

For one, it’s compatible with rear-view cameras, so if your vehicle already comes equipped with one, you can wire it to have it display through your head unit’s screen.

The XAVAX1000 also comes with a compact rear chassis, meaning it doesn’t require a ton of space behind your dashboard to install it.

This makes it easier to complete any wiring you may have to do.

This head unit uses a full-color touchscreen, but it also comes with a control knob on the side, which helps make the head unit easier to use while driving.

You also have the ability to use voice controls, which you activate by pushing down on the control knob. I really like this feature because the voice controls work with Apple Play also.

Best Double DIN Head Unit with Navigation – Kenwood Excelon DNX997XR

Kenwood DNX997XR 6.8" CD/DVD Garmin Navigation Touchscreen Receiver w/Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 6.8" High Definition Monitor with Capacitive Touch Panel
  • High-Resolution Audio Wireless
  • 4 Camera Inputs / HD Rear Camera Ready
  • Built-in Bluetooth HD Radio & WiFi

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If the price is no object for you and you’re looking for a stereo system with built-in GPS navigation that’s easy to use, then the Kenwood Excelon is absolutely worth considering.

At nearly $1300, this is one of the most expensive double DIN units available, but as you probably figured, you get a lot for your money.

The touchscreen included in the head unit has a high resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, so any map you view will always be clear and legible.

The Excelon comes with a built-in navigation system, but you can also connect your phone to this head unit through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and use a navigation app of your choice, like Google Maps or Waze.

You can also use the Garmin 3D Terrain View to see a realistic depiction of what the terrain looks like around you.

This may help you if you’ve gone off-road and need to get a sense of what the land looks like up ahead of you before you actually get there.

The Excelon also comes with four separate camera inputs, allowing you to input several different camera configurations.

In theory, you could set up a dash camera, a backup camera, and two blind spot cameras and have them all connect to your head unit.

If your car doesn’t already come with multiple cameras as a built-in feature, this is a great way to have that for less than it might cost as an OEM feature.

Best Double DIN Head Unit for Price – BOSS 820BRGB

BOSS Audio Systems 820BRGB Car Stereo - Double Din, Bluetooth, No CD DVD Player, AM/FM Radio Receiver, Multi Color Illumination, Wireless Remote Control, Aux in, USB
  • Bluetooth - Answer / make calls and be hands-free with no distractions. The built-in microphone picks up your voice and your car speakers let you hear the person on the other side. Play and control your music and apps like Spotify / Pandora wirelessly
  • Inputs – USB, USB charging. The auxiliary input is a convenient quick way to hook up to your MP3 player/device.
  • Outputs - Use the front / rear, and subwoofer pre-amp outputs to hook up your speakers (front left / front right and rear left / rear right)
  • Specs - Dimensions: 7” x 5.8” x 4.5”, Weight: 2.1 Lbs., 60 watts x 4 Max power
  • Multi-Color Illumination - Set the mood with over 16 Million color combinations. You can set a different tone every day of the week

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re simply looking for the cheapest double DIN unit available, then this head unit from BOSS Audio Systems might be the head unit for you.

And at only $44, you still get a decent amount of technology and features for your money.

In this head unit, BOSS offers Bluetooth connectivity for any smartphone integration so you can connect your devices wirelessly for hands-free calls.

This head unit also comes with a USB port and an AUX input, so you can connect pretty much any MP3 player to this head unit.

It also contains a built-in microphone, so you can even place calls using voice commands through this head unit.

Unfortunately, it lacks a CD/DVD player, but more importantly, it lacks any kind of touchscreen. Instead, you get a simple digital display that shows you information like the radio station or the song you are currently listening to.

This means no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and no GPS navigation system.

However, the head unit comes with integrated mood lighting with a ton of adjustable colors, so that’s a nice little touch.

The BOSS 820BRGB is pretty lacking in features compared to most of the other double DIN’s on this list, but if all you want from a head unit is something that can help you play your music while you drive, then it’d be hard to find a better deal than this.

Best Double DIN Head Unit for Android Auto – Alpine ILX-W650

Alpine iLX-W650 Digital Multimedia Receiver with CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility
  • digital media receiver with AM/FM tuner (does not play CDs)
  • shallow-mount chassis design (2-7/16" deep)
  • touchscreen swipe controls
  • designed to work with CarPlay and Android Auto
  • hands-free control lets you access apps using your voice

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Alpine ILX-W650 is a solid choice if you’re looking for a head unit that can support Android Auto.

It also comes with the bonus of supporting Apple CarPlay; most head units that allow you to connect to a smartphone tend to offer support for both of these services.

The ILX-W650 is also a pretty solid head unit in many other regards.

It comes with a built-in amplifier capable of 18 watts RMS and 50 peak watts via 4 channels.

It also includes two camera inputs, a USB port, and an AUX input. With a separate adaptor, you can even connect this head unit to your steering wheel controls and adjust your head unit’s audio with your wheel’s built-in audio controls, if it has any.

Its chassis is also fairly shallow, meaning you should be able to install this head unit in pretty much any car and still have room to spare.

And compared to many other available double DIN’s, it’s pretty affordable; you can find it priced around $300-350 on Amazon.

Best Double DIN Head Unit for Apple CarPlay – Pioneer MVH1400NEX

Pioneer MVH-1400NEX Digital Multimedia 6.2" Display with Apple CarPlay (Does Not Play CDs)
  • Works with Apple CarPlay - 800 x 400 resolution, clear-resistive touchscreen, 24-bit True color panel, display & color customization, dedicated Spotify app control A/V source control's content from iPhone & Android devices
  • Multilanguage display (attention/SP/Fr/chi), hands-free calling & audio streaming, Dual phone connection, MPEG-2/MPEG-1/MPEG-4/favorite/DivX/WMV video playback
  • WMA/WAV/MP3/AAC/FLAC audio playback, 1.5A USB port, aux input, composite A/V input, backup-camera input, wired remote input, composite video output
  • Mistral takes the music from iPhone/iPod, USB device or certain Android devices & plays it back with added transitions & effects to create a virtual DJ inside the PIONEER receiver
  • Includes wiring harness, USB extension cable, Bluetooth microphone and manual

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

However, if you have a device compatible with Apple CarPlay, then you might want to consider the Pioneer MVH1400NEX.

This car stereo is compatible with CarPlay alone, and while it does offer some connectivity for Android devices, it’s clear that this head unit was designed mainly with support for Apple software in mind.

Through Apple CarPlay, you can display many of your apps on your head unit’s screen and operate them through there.

If you have an iOS device that supports it, you can use Siri Eyes Free to give voice commands to your head unit.

Some Android devices can also connect to your head unit in a similar fashion, allowing you to use voice commands to operate your head unit, but this is limited only to certain phones as it doesn’t have Android Auto, unfortunately.

This head unit also includes an AUX input and a USB port and is capable of playing music files in a variety of file formats, including MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, and even lossless FLAC.

Like other Pioneer NEX models, the built-in Bluetooth enables hands-free calling.

This model uses the latest Hands-Free Profile which basically provides more natural sound quality and details during calls.

It also comes with a resistive touch screen, which is not as responsive nor as capable of recording complex inputs as a capacitive touchscreen, but the upside is, of course, that you can use this touch screen even if your hands aren’t bare.

Overall, this is a highly functional head unit that you should definitely check out, especially if you have Apple CarPlay.

Best Double DIN Head Unit with a Backup Camera – BOSS BVNV9384RC

BOSS Audio Systems BVNV9384RC Car GPS Navigation and DVD Player - Double Din, Bluetooth Audio and Calling, 6.2 Inch LCD Touchscreen Monitor, MP3 CD DVD USB SD, Aux-in, AM FM Radio Receiver
  • GPS NAVIGATION: Built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) includes coverage of all 50 states, Puerto Rico and pre-loaded point of interest. The text-to-speech allows for an audible prompt, guiding to your final destination. View maps in 2D as well as 3D
  • BLUETOOTH: Answer calls with just one push of a button. Make calls and be hands-free with no distractions. No need to hold your phone ever again. You can also play and control your music and apps like Spotify / Pandora wirelessly
  • MEDIA PLAYBACK: Watch your choice of videos through the DVD player, play music through your Bluetooth device, pop in a CD or use the USB and SD ports for more audio alternatives. Tune into the AM / FM radio stations for up to date music/news/sports and more
  • AUXILIARY INPUT: This double din head unit is compatible with the audio output from smartphones as well as MP3 players. Even more ways to chill
  • INPUTS: USB / SD, AUX input. Connect the included rearview camera and backup safely. The steering wheel interface allows you to use the existing functions on your steering wheel (interface module sold separately. We recommend the metra ASWC-1)

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Plenty of double DIN’s come with camera ports to connect one or more cameras inside your car.

However, most of them don’t come with a backup camera themselves.

If you don’t already have a backup camera you can attach to your head unit, then this head unit from BOSS makes the job easy.

Also, unlike many double DIN’s, this one actually comes with a CD/DVD player.

Coupled with Bluetooth compatibility, a USB port, an AUX input, and even an SD card slot, you can listen to music and view media from a wide variety of sources.

It features a built-in amplifier capable of 80 peak watts, so it’s quite capable in that regard as well.

It even comes with built-in GPS coverage of all 50 American states, so you can easily find your way around without any other navigation apps.

The steering wheel interface also allows you to use the existing functions on your steering wheel controls and also make hands free calls.

All this, plus its relatively low price compared to other double DIN’s, makes this a very solid product overall.

The only major downside with his model is that it does not have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


FAQs

In this section, we’ll be answering some of the more commonly asked questions that people have about double-DIN radios.

What is Meant By A “Double DIN” Head Unit?

First of all, a quick bit of background: DIN is short for “Deutsches Institut fur Normung,” which is a German national organization responsible for standardizing various fields of industry and technology.

The DIN currently has about 30,000 standards in place across a huge range of different products and devices.

DIN 75490 is a standard that was put in place by the DIN starting in the 1980s to ensure that all head units installed in new cars were the same size.

This standard was adopted by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) in 1984, and now all head units installed in modern cars have to comply with the size restrictions set in place by this standard.

The standard size for head units as set in place by DIN 75490 is 7” wide by 2” tall, also known as the “single DIN” size.

The distinction between single DIN and double DIN is that double DIN units are twice as tall as single DIN units, although they both have the same width.

So when you see “double DIN” being mentioned about a head unit, it’s only an indicator of the height and width of that particular head unit.

Are All Double DIN Head Units The Same?

All double DIN’s are the same size since they have to comply with the aforementioned DIN 75490 standard set in place.

However, this standard only dictates the size of the head unit and doesn’t apply to the actual features available with each double din car stereo.

If you’re looking for a double DIN head unit, you have a huge range of choices, from advanced models with touchscreens, GPS navigation systems, satellite radio to basic models with buttons, knobs, and limited functionality.

The type of head unit you should pick depends on your price range and what features you personally want in a head unit.

Many double DIN stereos offer a similar variety of features like hands-free calling but there are always going to be differences in things like the hardware of each head unit and how well each feature actually works.

So, in other words, not all double DIN head units are the same, but there aren’t any that are more “right” of choice than any other; it depends on what you’re looking for.

Will Any Double DIN Head Unit Fit In My Car?

Yes and no. All double DIN head units are the same size in terms of height and width, so if your car is already equipped with a double DIN head unit, then most aftermarket options will fit into your car with no problem.

That being said, if your car was only built with enough space to fit a single DIN head unit, then, unfortunately, you’re out of luck unless you’re somehow able to extensively modify your dashboard to accept a double-DIN unit.

There’s also the potential issue of depth. While DIN 75490 standardizes the height and width of head units, it doesn’t specify any sort of depth restriction that head units have to conform to.

This means that if you have a really deep head unit and a shallow receptacle in your dashboard for your head unit, the head unit may stick out too far from your dashboard.

When installing a new head unit, you may also need to install a new fascia panel for your dashboard.

Make sure you buy the correct fascia panel for your make and model of car!


Final Words

No matter what kind of double DIN head unit you’re looking for in terms of price range and available features, there’s something out there that will suit your needs.

Whether you want a car stereo that’s advanced and capable, something simple and cost-effective, or something in between, you have plenty of options.

Our goal with this article was to give you an idea of the range of double DIN head units that are out there. We hope you have an easy time picking the right head unit for your needs!

Our Number 1 Recommendation!!

Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX Double Din Wireless Mirroring Android Auto, Apple Carplay In-Dash DVD/CD Car Stereo Receiver
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Works with wireless and wired Apple Car Play and Android Auto
  • Works with SiriusXM SXV300 Tuner -- supports tune mix, traffic & weather now, and sports flash features

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Disclaimer

Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission.

Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases.

The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

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