What’s better than a long drive in a cool car? How about a long drive in a cool car while listening to some great tunes?
A double din head unit improves your car’s audio system while also adding a variety of useful features. The head unit improves speaker power, controls audio equalization, manages audio inputs and more.
Today’s double bin head units offer a variety of features beyond audio. Units allow smartphone integration for access to music libraries, GPS navigation, hands-free communication and more.
The best double din head unit combines the features you want with an easy and intuitive menu system. There are many different units available so shopping can be a bit confusing at first – but we’re here to help. Our complete guide to finding the best double din head unit, including five mini-reviews of top products, starts right now:
|Product||Screen Size||Install Type||Dimensions||Media Type||Rear Camera||GPS||Price|
|Pioneer AVH-290BT||6.2||In-dash||7 x 6.75 x 4||MP3||Yes||Yes||Check Price on Amazon|
|Kenwood DDX24BT||6.2||In-dash||2 x 6 x 4||CD DVD||Yes||Yes||Check Price on Amazon|
|Kenwood DPX501BT||7.0||In-dash||7.19 x 6.06 x 4.38||MP3, streaming||No||No||Check Price on Amazon|
| EinCar Android 5.1 Lollipop||7.0||In-dash||10 x 9.4 x 6.3||MP3, streaming||Yes||Yes||Check Price on Amazon|
|ATOTO 7" Touchscreen||7.0||In-dash||.3 x 4.1 x 7.1||MP3||Yes||Yes||Check Price on Amazon|
Table of Contents
(Editor’s Overall Choice) – Pioneer is a trusted name in car audio and the AVH-290BT is one of their most popular models. This multimedia DVD receiver has a large 6.2” WVGA display with build-in Bluetooth. A wired USB connection allows for Direct Digital Signal Transfer. You’ll get a clean, clear sound with every song.
Connect your iPod or iPhone quickly with the USB interface. Note that the USB cable will need to be purchased separately. Once connected, song info including title, artist, album and more are instantly displayed on the touchscreen. Plus, the unit provides one Amp of power so your smart device actually charges during use.
Aside from audio features, the unit includes a back-up camera input and integrated Bluetooth (useful for both making calls and streaming audio).
The physical buttons on the unit are pretty small. They can be difficult to use, especially while on the road.
Also, the one Amp limit on the USB port isn’t going to charge your devices very quickly. Connecting your device directly to your car will probably charge your device faster.
- Installation is easy even if you’re not a car audio expert
- Quick, easy access to your entire music library
- Clean, clear sound
- Small physical buttons difficult to use on the road
- One Amp device charge isn’t very strong or fast
A solid double din head which produces a clean sound and is backed by a trusted manufacturer. The Pioneer AVH-290BT is a solid, reliable way to take your music library on the road.
(Editor’s Power Choice) – Powerful and versatile, the Kenwood DDX24BT car stereo receiver includes access to DVD, VD, AM, FM, Bluetooth and Sirius-XM. The 6.2 inch VGA Color LCD display has an LED backlight which looks stylish and is easy to operate even at night. The touch panel control includes white key illumination.
The maximum output power is 50W x 4 (MOFSET Power IC) with a 13-band equalizer. You can easily access your personal music library with Bluetooth auto pairings for iPhone and Android. Included dual phone pairing means your passenger’s music library can easily be shared while driving.
The unit has a rearview camera. Connecting the signal cable to the reverse light wire allows the rearview camera to automatically switch on when you’re backing up.
Steering wheel control is available but you’ll need to buy a separate adapter which will run you about $100.
All this power does have a drawback. The unit is relatively slow to start up. Plus, selecting songs is also a bit slower than other models.
- Powerful unit delivers big sound
- Easy Bluetooth interface
- Automatic rearview camera
- Selection screen is rather slow to respond
- Steering wheel control sold separately
Kenwood’s DDX24BT offers a lot of power and easy connectivity for your mobile device. While selecting songs can be a little slow, overall this unit is a reliable, high-quality choice.
(Editor’s Music Management Choice) – This Double Din In-Dash Receiver is another excellent option from Kenwood. The DPX501BT emphasizes easy music selection with Reverse Browsing, Alphabet Search, Skip Search and other advanced options. An additional App/iPod mode allows you to control music selection manually – perfect for passengers.
Aside from music, the receiver allows for safe and easy hands-free calling. Calls can be set to answer automatically. You can also set the unit for one-touch answering. Outgoing calls can be made through the display or by voice.
- Peak power output of 50 watts across four channels.
- Multiple options make finding music easy
- Excellent phone options for hands-free calling
- Voices on calls can sometimes sound metallic
- Navigating Pandora and similar services can be confusing
The Kenwood DPX501BT is a great double din head unit for the audiophiles out there with a large music library. The multiple search options make finding the perfect song easy.
(Editor’s Internet Access Choice) – EinCar’s Lollipop Double Din Head is powered by Android. The unit provides access to AM/FM radio as well as music on your Android device.
Aside from music, this device also includes built-in WiFi Mobile. Supports free WiFi hotspot sharing from your phone. When connected to the internet, the receiver turns into a web browser. You’ll be able to surf the internet from your car as if you’re using a tablet.
The hands-free Bluetooth connects music, offers hands-free calling and more. The unit also includes a backup camera and GPS navigation. Finally, a Screen Mirror shares display functions between the head unit and your smart device. Aside from Android, the unit works with most iOS devices, too.
- Large 7-inch digital screen with 800 x 480 resolution
- Android Operating System
- Includes backup camera, GPS and other features
- Cold boot time of 25 to 30 seconds is on the slow side
- Large size is incompatible with many dash kits
An Android-powered head unit which offers plenty of audio options as well as full internet connectivity. Also includes GPS, a backup camera and even Screen Mirroring between the unit and your smart device.
(Editor’s Features Choice) – This Android-powered unit has a huge selection of features including a backup camera, dash camera, steering wheel control and more.
One major plus of this unit is the incredibly fast loading times. The unit goes from a cold boot to operational in under two seconds. Your music will be playing before you can even finish backing out of a parking space!
The seven-inch HD screen is large and clear. Aside from music selection, the big screen provides a clear picture for backup and navigation. Also include built-in GPS module and pre-installed Google Maps.
Unfortunately, many of the extra features are sold separately including the steering wheel control, dash cam and DVD ROM box.
- Insanely fast load times
- Big, bold touchscreen is great for navigation and backup
- Built-in GPS and pre-installed Google Maps
- No built-in CD or DVD player
- Many useful features sold separately (backup camera, steering wheel control)
While many features are sold separately, the base model of this head unit has a large, high-resolution screen which is great for song selection, GPS navigation and rear view imaging.
How to Choose the Best Double Din Head Unit
While the factory-installed head unit will provide solid sound for your vehicle, a double din head unit offers even better sound along with plenty of exciting features. Beyond music, double din units also allow for hands-free calling, GPS navigation, rearview camera control and more.
Double din head units let you listen to AM, FM and XM radio stations. But many people prefer their own music. You’ll want a unit which lets you instantly connect to your iPod, iPad or Android device. Most units use Bluetooth to allow you to connect wirelessly. Some units even allow for device mirroring.
Device/media compatibility is important, but it’s not the only factor to consider. You’ll want to take a look at the general features of the unit. General features include the unit’s power output, interface and customization options.
Audio features are another category you’ll need to consider. Equalizers, retrievers and controllers let you adjust sound levels and features. If you truly want the best sound for your car, you’ll want a lot of adjustable options. Although if you’re not a big audiophile, fewer options will be simpler.
How easy is the unit to operate? Some models are controlled entirely through the touchscreen. Others use physical knobs and buttons. Still others use a combination of physical and virtual.
Remember, you’ll often need to control the device while driving. Large, multi-purpose buttons and knobs are often easier to use than smaller, single-purpose inputs.
Load time is another important consideration. Some units are operational within just a few seconds. Others take up to 20 to 30 seconds to boot up.
The Wrap-Up on the Best Double Din Head Unit
Double Din Head Units can seem pretty complicated at first. Our buyer’s guide should help you find the right unit for your needs. First, you’ll want to make sure your Android or iOS device will connect easily to your car stereo double din.
You’ll also want to consider the extra features available. Do you want a rearview camera, GPS or other options?
The right Double Din Head Unit can improve your entire driving experience with useful features and improved sound. Get ready to hit the road in style!