To choose the best car stereo , you must determine what is most important. some people focus on power, while others focus on design and connectivity. In choosing our nominations, we looked at the following: connectivity, size, stereo interfaces, steering wheel control integration, display, and value-added features. Once you find out if your car is compatible with a single din or double din car stereo, you’ll want to think about connectivity – how you access media or connect your smart devices to your car. You’ll also need to consider safety features such as steering wheel controls, and whether you can customize the screen or manage apps natively within the car stereo receiver.
after considering all of the above, we selected the pioneer avh-1300nex dvd multimedia receiver with a 6.2″ wvga screen as our top pick. while only compatible with double din car stereos, it is ideal for users from Apple iPhone as it natively supports Apple CarPlay The large screen, easy-to-use interface, and compatibility with steering wheel controls and vehicle rear cameras make it a smart and safe choice for drivers casuals and road warriors – keep reading to learn more about the rest of our top picks.
Reading: Car cd receiver reviews
7 Best Car Stereos
#1 pioneer avh-1300nex car multimedia stereo
award: best choice
why we like it: we think this is the best double din car stereo for apple iphone users because it features a large 6.2 inch screen that comes with apple carplay and Bluetooth compatibility to seamlessly power up your car’s run in an extension of your smartphone.
read full review: pioneer avh-1300nex
If you’re firmly entrenched in the apple ecosystem, you know how frustrating it can be to use third-party digital media controls. Pioneer takes the pain out of that with our top pick. The avh-1300nex multimedia dvd receiver is a smart choice for someone ready to upgrade their car stereo receiver to something that resembles swiping your phone. We think this is the best double din car stereo for iPhone owners because it supports Apple CarPlay and offers many features.
Related: Check out our best bluetooth fm transmitter.
You will enjoy that you can customize the five colors of the screen and that it is backlit with LED. the screen is 6.2 inches wide and also supports touch screen response. We also like that it supports Bluetooth and can be paired with two devices simultaneously. You also get a DVD player for those long car rides, and SiriusXM, Pandora, and Spotify are natively supported. Station memory lets you quickly navigate to your favorite stations, and also supports steering wheel controls and vehicle backup cameras for safer driving. this will sound great with the best car subwoofer.
#2 boss audio systems bv9358b car stereo
award: honorable mention
why we like it: this is the best car radio with aux in bluetooth for those long road trips where you get tired of talking, thanks to multiple media sources and audio options. output, while prioritizing safety. supporting the steering wheel controls.
read full review: boss audio bv9358b review
Long car rides require a lot of entertainment to keep everyone comfortable, no matter how old they are. We selected the Boss Audio Systems BV9358B Car DVD Player as our honorable mention because we think it’s the best car radio with Bluetooth and auxiliary options for people who take frequent road trips. This double din car stereo receiver features a 6.2-inch screen, a wide range of multimedia support, bluetooth connectivity and features to improve driving safety.
We like that you can choose from so many media source options on this double-din car stereo. These include physical options such as CDs, DVDs, and SD memory cards up to 32 GB. Meanwhile, you can choose to import media via USB, Aux-in, or wirelessly with Bluetooth support. And the USB port also charges devices. You’ll also get preamp outputs to further customize your sound system. There’s also a remote control, giving those in the back seat more control. And for safety, steering wheel controls are supported and vehicle backup cameras can also be integrated into the receiver. car stereos are the best and most fun car accessories.
#3 atoto a6 double din android car navigation stereo with dual bluetooth
award: best quality
why we like it: we think this is one of the best car stereo receivers that is made specifically for android users because it is designed with that operating system in mind and includes the most extensive range of pre-installed multimedia and navigation applications that we found in our investigation.
read full review: atoto a6 review
iPhone owners shouldn’t be the only ones to find a car stereo receiver made just for them. While iPhone users can use the Atoto A6 Double Din Android Car Navigation Stereo with Dual Bluetooth, it is designed to support Android devices natively. We think it’s one of the best car stereo receivers for Android users because it was developed using the Android Marshmallow operating system and comes with a wide range of pre-installed navigation and multimedia apps such as Pandora, Google Play, Spotify, and Google Maps. There’s also the EasyConnect app that makes it easy to pair your devices. we also nominated it for best quality due to these key features/highlights. Please note that this car stereo receiver can work with iPhones as well, but it is more intuitive for Android users. and you can choose from nine system languages for your display.
Android users can use USB, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to connect their devices to this car stereo receiver. Dual Bluetooth design also allows multiple devices to be paired simultaneously. We like that this receiver supports micro usb and sd drive storage with 256gb for micro sd and one terabyte for usb. This receiver also offers our guide’s largest touch screen at seven inches wide. we like that it has front and rear camera integration for security features. And while you’ll need to purchase a separate device to activate it, this car stereo receiver also supports integrated steering wheel controls. You may also prefer satellite radio for your car instead of a typical stereo.
#4 sony mex-n4200bt single-din in-dash car stereo
award: best quote
why we like it: one of the best affordable single din car stereos with anti-theft design and cd player making it ideal for compact dashes. It supports USB and Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free operation, and major radio streaming apps like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify are pre-installed to make your journey easy.
read full review: sony mex-n4200bt
So far, the car stereo receivers we’ve featured are double-din models. but neither of those options will be relevant if you have a single din stereo receiver. While the Sony MEX-N4200BT might not offer a touchscreen like the double-din models, we like that this affordable single-din option still packs plenty of features, making it one of the best single-din car stereo options. only one you can choose.
We like that this model supports Bluetooth, USB, and Auxiliary connectivity, and it also features a CD player, giving you plenty of media source options. Dual Bluetooth connectivity allows multiple devices to be paired simultaneously, and the built-in microphone lets you enjoy hands-free calling for safer driving. You’ll like that this comes with support for pandora, iheartradio, and spotify. If you’re concerned about theft, you’ll like that this single-din receiver has a removable faceplate (a common feature among single-din models). And the included remote control also gives other passengers the freedom to adjust the stations, volume, and equalizer controls while they ride. car stereos are fun, but to help keep you safe, check out the best radar detector.
#5 jvc kwr930bt car stereo
award: best color controls
why we like it: this double din is one of the few to offer anti-theft protection thanks to the removable faceplate. Plus, it has the most customizable color modes to make it easy to use your stereo no matter the light conditions.
read full review: jvc kwr930bt review
There’s nothing worse than walking to your car in the morning and finding out that thieves have broken into it. If he has a double din stereo, he may be frustrated that most double din stereo receivers are not designed with removable faceplates. but the jvc kwr930bt is one of the few that does. For this reason, we believe that the JVC model is one of the best double din car stereos that offers anti-theft protection.
In addition to theft protection, we like that this is also the only double-din car stereo that gives you customization controls. Although it’s not a touchscreen model, you can control two separate color zones and 50 preset patterns to suit your mood or to match your car’s lighting system and current dash button colors. this model comes with a cd player but is also compatible with siriusxm, pandora, iheartradio and spotify. Bluetooth enables hands-free phone calls as well for safer driving. And you have the option of using the JVC proprietary remote app to control your receiver. great music out loud feels great, as does keeping your car safe, which is what the best car alarm is all about.
#6kenwood bluetooth car stereo
award: best single din rms rating
why we like it: we think this is the best single din car stereo for serious audiophiles who want to be sure their preferred receiver is powerful enough to handle the amplifiers in their sound system.
read full review: kenwood car stereo review
If sound quality is everything to you, you might want to look at the audio specs before looking at anything else. We think the Kenwood Bluetooth Car Stereo Receiver is one of the best single din car stereos for power-focused people. With an RMS rating of 22, it is the most powerful within the single din category. but offers much more, including anti-theft protection with a removable faceplate.
We like that this single din model features dual bluetooth connectivity for simultaneous pairing with two devices. But you’ll also like that this receiver integrates seamlessly with Amazon Alexa and is compatible with Spotify and Pandora. There’s also a front USB and auxiliary port if you prefer a wired connection. And as a bonus, this car stereo receiver comes with a pair of Alphasonik headphones. The best car charger is another must-have accessory to keep your car on the road.
#7 alpine cde-172bt car stereo
award: best simple design
Why we like it: A streamlined, single-din compatible dual deck car stereo that comes with a built-in CD player and is Bluetooth compatible for streaming your favorite audio apps.
read full review: alpine cde-172bt car stereo review
Although Alpine’s CDE-172BT Car Stereo Receiver doesn’t have as many features as some of the other single din car stereo receivers in our guide, it is a great option for the person who doesn’t need all those features. While it is more expensive than the other single din options, it is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, comes with a CD player, and supports Bluetooth connectivity.
You’ll enjoy hands-free calling that includes access to your contact’s phone book. And the fact that Siri is compatible with this receiver also means you have no excuse for touching your phone. The front USB port and auxiliary inputs give you multiple options for media sources. after all, the best cars have amazing stereos.
how we decide
The customer who buys a car stereo receiver is very diverse. some people focus on output stats, while others want connectivity features. To create our guide, we looked at the following features: connectivity, size, stereo interfaces, steering wheel control integration, display, and value-added features.
for size, you can choose between single din and double din. Our Best Pick, Honorable Mention, Best Quality, and #5 are all double-din models, while our Best Budget, #6 and #7 are all single-din options. Before you begin your search, you’ll need to confirm that your car’s dash stereo is compatible with any of these models.
for connectivity, we’ve presented a variety of options. All the models in our guide support cable connections (usb and auxiliary) and bluetooth. But except for our #5 option, the Double Din models also offer Wi-Fi connections that give you the freedom to connect via proprietary Apple and Android apps. stereo interfaces are also important. If touchscreen is a priority, you’ll want to focus on our top pick, honorable mention, and best quality recommendations. all feature large touch screens (our best being the largest) with additional physical buttons.
Similarly, if you don’t want to compromise on safety features, double din car stereo receivers tend to be the best option. While all of our recommendations support hands-free calling, Best Pick, Honorable Mention, and Best Quality, they all support steering wheel controls, as well as front and rear cameras.
double din receivers are the way to go if you prefer a larger screen. however, for more control over the color display, we recommend choice #5 as it gives you a wide range of color variations that you can customize to match your car’s interior lighting system.
and without a doubt, double din car stereo receivers offer the most value-added benefits. From preloaded media apps like Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio to supportive connectivity features like EasyConnect (in our best quality), and even additional media source options like SD or MicroSD, you’ll have no trouble finding ways to connect media. however, all models on our list support usb and aux media connections.
Buying Guide to the Best Car Stereos
When choosing the best car stereo in 2022, you don’t want to just choose a great car audio system. no, the best thing to do is to read many car stereo reviews, which you can find on our site.
As you browse some of the best car stereo systems online, you’ll find that the leading car radios in 2022 aren’t the same as your dad or grandpa’s car radios. These top-rated car stereos have more features, like Bluetooth, touchscreen, and more. And, many of the best in-dash car stereos are much easier to install than ever before.
so keep the following key factors in mind when shopping for the best car audio systems of 2022.
the most important factors to consider
- connectivity these days, people like to integrate their smartphones into their cars with the use of a superior car stereo. Whether you’re playing music or relying on your phone’s map apps for navigation, it’s all infinitely easier when you can easily sync your phone to your car’s stereo system. While syncing with a USB cable is more than enough for some, others may prefer the Bluetooth or wireless connectivity on these products. Keep in mind, however, that if you’re looking for a car stereo receiver that specifically supports CarPlay for Apple iPhone or Android Auto, you’ll need to make sure the stereo includes built-in Wi-Fi, as neither of those proprietary sync systems work. with bluetooth. note the price increase as well.
- compatibility (single din vs double din)as with most things, you should always check that the car stereo you are purchasing is compatible in terms of size and wiring support for your car. Most car stereo receivers are designed to fit into a single or double din dash opening. a double din opening measures seven by four inches, while a single din measures seven by two inches. While all aftermarket stereo systems list their size as single or double din, you may not be able to automatically tell which size is compatible with your car. So always do your homework before buying any car stereo; otherwise the installation will be a big problem.
- powerfor the average car stereo buyer, the standard amp and channels that come with your car’s factory system are more than enough, as this type of buyer is simply looking to upgrade your stereo receiver. but if you’re a serious audiophile, you may be looking to completely overhaul your car’s sound system. If this sounds familiar, you’ll need to consider how much power your speakers are designed to handle. and that requires confirming the rms, a figure that describes how much continuous power the speakers can handle. The rms for your desired car stereo receiver should match the rms rating on your current car speaker system or the car audio system you plan to install.
- stereo interfacesince you’ll most likely be driving while your car stereo is on, you’ll want an interface that’s easy to use. While you should always be careful while driving, options like large on-screen buttons and larger fonts can help reduce distractions. and having great audio control in the UI is an ideal benefit. This is ideal on touchscreen car stereos, but you also need to be aware of any physical buttons or knobs. all of them should be easy to use, with a good feel in the hand and a responsive movement.
- compatibility with steering wheel controls for most newer cars from the last decade, you can control your car’s factory audio system, track selection and source directly from the steering wheel. this is ideal because it helps reduce the risk of distractions. If you’re looking to buy a new car stereo, you should look for models that can support this important feature. but be aware that this feature may force you to look into more expensive models or require you to also invest in a wiring harness to integrate those features into your new car stereo.
- screen size & screen size tends to go hand in hand with your budget. if you prefer a primarily touch screen, these tend to offer larger screen sizes, but can be more expensive. For budget buyers, there’s usually a compromise between the touchscreen and physical buttons or knobs. however, while these models are cheaper, the screens tend to be smaller with more limited one-touch functionality. Similarly, some people are very interested in customization. Therefore, a car stereo that allows you to adjust screen color themes may be very important to you. this can include changing the colors of the buttons on the screen or even creating day and night modes to make it easier to use your car stereo in different light conditions.
- Value-Added FeaturesEspecially if you spend a lot of time in your car, you may want a car stereo that does more than offer auxiliary or digital radio support. Other value-added features that can be very important include integrated navigation, remote controls, additional power output for better sound, compatibility with streaming radio apps (ie Pandora, Spotify, etc.), HD Radio for broadcast signals. upgraded broadcast radio, or even cd/dvd players, and video inputs and outputs. the latter two features can come in handy if you’re going on a long road trip and need to keep the kids entertained.