Pioneer MVH1400NEX Touchscreen Double Din Head Unit
Best smart double din head unit
An outstanding model for those looking for outstanding sound quality in their vehicle.
1 Pioneer MVH1400NEX Review
Pioneer is synonymous with high-quality audio equipment, and its MVH1400NEX double din head unit doesn’t disappoint. Developed to output unrivaled sound quality, it can turn your car into a disco in a blink of an eye.
It can play music from a variety of sources, but let’s face it – who walks around with CDs or flash drives in their car anymore? Today, it’s all on our phones, and Pioneer knows it. That’s why its NEX model comes with the acclaimed Apple CarPlay.
This means it syncs easily and effectively with your iPhone. It’s compatible with Android phones too, as long as your handset runs on 5.0 Lollipop or higher, but it’s hard to deny that it’s easier to control with an Apple device.
Regardless of what phone you choose to pair with it, though, this stereo is easy to use. A built-in virtual DJ lets you unleash your imagination and give a new lease of life to those boring commutes or long road trips. No doubt, the best double din head unit for avid music lovers.
Corehan CS-JD-AN-03 Double Din Android Car Stereo with GPS Navigation System
Best GPS-enabled car stereo
Multiple functions make it easy to stream music, videos, or find your way across the city.
2 Corehan CS-JD-AN-03 Review
The Corehan CS-JD-AN-03 is by far the best double din head unit for those who want a multi-task stereo that can do much more than just playing music. Boasting the easy-to-use Android operating system, it pairs with most phones and impresses with a wealth of features other car stereos can only dream of.
Besides excellent music playback and streaming capabilities, we like its built-in GPS and external GPS antenna. Obviously, you can use it to find your way around new places even without pairing it with your handset, which is absolutely amazing.
Furthermore, not only it streams music; it can also stream videos, supporting up to two output monitors. In other words, you can share videos with both front and rear car rows.
Built-in Bluetooth and handset compatibility also enable hands-free calls. Much more than a perfect car multimedia system, this double din head unit is one of the best to get your hands on.
Pioneer AVH-210EX Double DIN Bluetooth DVD/CD Digital Media Car Stereo Receiver
Best double din stereo with CD player
Multiple playback capabilities make it perfect for drivers with a vintage soul.
3 Pioneer AVH-210EX Review
Do you find it hard to ditch your favorite CD, but are tired of your prehistoric car stereo? No need to despair. While most modern stereos lack a CD/DVD unit, the Pioneer AVH-210EX has it.
Needless to say that this feature alone makes it worth its price tag, but besides the ability to play music from CDs, it also comes with a bunch of modern features. Indeed, it has all the benefits you’d expect from a modern din head unit.
It’s compatible with both iPhone and Android, allowing for wireless music streaming. You can also use it for hands-free calls, video streaming, and more, but it doesn’t feature GPS capabilities, not even if you’re using the GPS of your phone.
That’s not a real drawback though, considering that a car stereo’s main feature is that of playing music. With this in mind, this model is just right for those who don’t want to leave the past technologies behind.
SARCCH Double Din Car Stereo
Best affordable double din head unit
A cheap yet capable car stereo with a bunch of add-on functionalities.
4 SARCCH Car Stereo Review
If you have to replace your din head unit but are on a low budget, the SARCCH Car Stereo might be the one you were looking for. It’s almost as capable as the Pioneer AVH-210EX, but it comes at a fraction of the cost.
It doesn’t have CD/DVD playing capabilities, but it can play music from a variety of sources, including streaming from your phone.
A large screen and Mirror Link function make it easy to pair the stereo with your Apple or Android phone and perform tasks such as hands-free calling, live music streaming, and even navigate through new places thanks to your handset’s GPS.
Another nice feature is that it supports the backup rearview camera, making parking a lot easier in case your vehicle has one. Sure, the sound quality might not be as superlative as Pioneer’s, but all-in-all, this is a great all-round budget double din head unit that won’t break the bank.
Best Double Din Head Unit 2021 Buying Guide
What is a double DIN head unit?
A double DIN head unit is a type of car stereo that, besides the regular stereo function, also serves other purposes, such as doubling as a navigator or displaying images from your car’s rear backup camera. Modern units are easy to operate via a touchscreen and, depending on the model, they can provide audio entertainment (radio, playing music from a CD/DVD or USB flash drive as well as music streaming from a mobile device), video streaming, navigation capabilities, hands-free calls, and more.
Double DIN vs. single DIN head units. What is the difference?
A quick look at the market reveals that there are both double DIN and single DIN head units. The main difference between the two is their size.
DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung – the German standards organization – according to which, the standard dimensions of a single head unit are 180 x 50mm (approximately 7 x 2 inches). Double head units are called this way because they have twice the height of a standard unit, or 180 x 100mm (approximately 7 x 4 inches).
Obviously, a larger unit allows manufacturers to cram more functions into the design. Both single and double DIN stereos can play music, but most double DIN car stereos also have:
- Capacity to connect to your rearview backup camera
- Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity
- Video streaming features
- GPS/navigation features
Are all double DIN head units the same size?
Yes. DIN refers to the standard sized regulated by the German standard organization. However, many companies manufacture non-standard head units and car stereos, and some car manufacturers also sell their vehicles with custom-made stereos.
What stereo fits in my car?
It really depends on the model of your car. Most vehicles come with either standard single DIN or double DIN slots, although there are exceptions. The easiest way to tell is to measure the size of the stereo slot in your car’s dash.
Single DIN units tend to fit in most slots; even if your car comes with a custom size stereo or a double DIN, there are mounting kits that make it possible to fit a single DIN unit into the dash. However, the contrary is not possible. If your car comes with a single DIN head unit as standard, you won’t be able to replace it with a double or custom stereo.
Double DIN stereo connectivity
Until not long ago, most car owners focused on the audio playing and sound quality of a car stereo alone. Due to the ever-evolving world we live in, though, people are now looking for the best double DIN head unit to enhance the features of their vehicle, with the sound and stereo qualities coming second. What most people want is outstanding connectivity.
Depending on the model, double DIN stereos can have:
- Wi-Fi capability: These models can connect to your phone’s mobile network through the Wi-Fi tethering function or to a car Wi-Fi router and access various apps on their own. Thanks to this feature, you can stream music directly from Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, etc., and even use various Android apps or AppleCar without accessing them from your phone via Bluetooth.
- Bluetooth connectivity: These units connect to your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices, allowing you to play music or use various apps from these devices. Most Bluetooth-enabled double DIN head units also allow for hands-free calling, while some of the most performing models even allow for voice control that includes reading incoming texts out loud and allowing you to dictate replies or start calls through voice commands.
- GPS connectivity: Some car stereos are also GPS-enabled and come with pre-loaded maps and navigation apps.
- 4G/5G capability: Some of the newest double DIN head units come equipped with SIM card slots for data cards. Needless to say, these units can connect to the internet to stream music, play video, or access various apps even when your phone is not connected at all.
The best double DIN head units have both Wi-Fi or 4G/5G and Bluetooth capabilities, offering the greatest control and multiple in-car entertainment opportunities.
Do all double DIN head units have navigation features?
No. Not all double DIN head units are GPS-enabled. Some models can use your phone’s GPS or display the maps from your phone on the screen for easier navigation in new places, while others have no navigation features whatsoever.
Music and video streaming
Although fallen in a secondary place, investing in a unit with good sound quality and maybe video streaming options is still important. A few things to check before buying include:
- Audio sources: The best double DIN head units must be able to play music from a variety of sources, including your mobile devices, USB drives, CD/DVDs, SD cards, and should also have a radio function. If you can access music streaming apps directly from your head unit, that’s even better.
- Sound controls: If you want to create a surround-type audio system in your car, it is important to invest in a unit with various sound controls, such as parametric equalizer and digital time correction, to name just a few.
- Preamp output: This feature allows you to connect an external amp to your car stereo and deliver more power to the various speakers and subwoofers in your car.
- Video playing: Some of the best double DIN head units not only allow you to play videos on the main screen but are also capable of playing the video on secondary monitors installed in your car.
How to install a car stereo?
Installing a new car stereo isn’t rocket science. All it takes is a bit of DIY knowledge, then simply follow the quick steps below.
- Dismantle the old car stereo. To do this, you should follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer; if you don’t have them, it is usually easy to find them online.
- Following the specific instructions provided by the car stereo’s manufacturer (which you should find in the product package), connect the new double DIN car stereo to the wiring harness. To simplify the process, you should use a connector that matches your factory wiring plug.
- At this stage, insert the stereo into the mounting kit, then install the antenna adaptor. Mount the new stereo kit into the dashboard as instructed by the manufacturer.
- Reassemble the dashboard if you had to remove any panels to change the car stereo.
- That’s it! You can now enjoy your new double DIN head unit!
How much does it cost to install a car stereo?
It is relatively hard to tell how much it costs to install a new car stereo. Double DIN head unit cost apart, you also have to consider any other system components you might want to install. In broad lines, you can expect to pay an average of $70 per hour of installation.
What features to look for when buying a double DIN head unit?
Despite a large number of models on the market, buying a double DIN head unit is fairly easy if you know what to look for. To make things even easier, here are a few features the best double DIN head units have:
- Steering wheel controls compatibility: This feature allows you to control the audio and its volume directly from the steering wheel; thus, operating the stereo won’t distract you while driving.
- Voice control: While most double DIN head units can connect to your mobile devices, not all have voice control. If you want to start calls or dictate text messages, get a unit with this feature.
- GPS: It may seem unimportant, but a built-in GPS will make it easier to save your phone’s battery while ensuring you won’t get lost in new places.
- Rearview backup camera compatibility: Sure, you should be able to park the car without this feature, but actually seeing the rear of your car while parking can really make a difference.
- Handset compatibility: When buying a DIN head unit, make sure it’s compatible with your phone. Some work better with Apple devices, others with Android, while the best double DIN head units are compatible with all smartphones.