Driving is fun with music. Plus, unless you know all the routes, you’ll not go anywhere without GPS. Unfortunately, you need a tool that performs these functions. Sure a smartphone used to be a good navigation and entertainment tool. But, it caused a lot of distractions to those behind the wheels. That’s why digital head units were designed.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive double din radio, you’re lucky because we’ll review the best double DIN head units on a budget. Before, the word best cheap double din head unit usually served as a warning and not a tempting suggestion. It meant for poor quality, low screen resolution, woeful knobs, and slow performance. But, those days are long gone.
Today, the market is full of cheap and excellent double DIN head units. Of course, spending more will land you a good DIN head unit that’ll serve you for a long time. But, there are many cheap and intruding double DIN car stereos.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or want to a new high-end double DIN head unit, here are our top ten picks.
Starting our list is this impressive device from JENSEN. When it comes to car audio products JERSEN doesn’t cut corners. So we know that this model won’t disappoint. Sure it might not be the largest screen you’ll find but it has some incredible features like its impressive navigation system.
You’ll enjoy the comfortable viewing experience provided by its 6.2 inches high-resolution LCD screen. With just a single button you can sermon your favorite assistant Google or Siri, therefore one can give commands like play music, podcasts, etc. by verbally speaking.
Amazingly, JENSEN ensures that customers get updates through the Naviextras Web Support. Even if the roads change, you’ll still remain on track as your antenna is installed properly. So ensure that your antenna does not have a clear upwards view to avoid getting errors when using the navigation tool.
With upgraded Bluetooth, this product can connect easily with various Bluetooth devices allowing users to receive and makes calls hands free. You’ll also appreciate the MP4 and DVD Video player included in this model that allows playing of movies on your road trip.
Another impressive feature about this product is its music streaming capabilities which give one several options of listening to their music including an inbuilt CD player, MP3/WMA player, AM/FM tuner that has 30 stations presets, and a USB port which also charges your device.
- One year warranty
- Ease of installation
- Excellent navigation capabilities
- Bluetooth hands-free calling
- Instructions might come in Spanish
- There are other bigger screens
- Unresolved bugs that cause software crashing
It’s one thing for a head unit to be compatible with mobile devices and anther for it to offer stable integration along with entertainment and navigation software tools. And we love this model as it is highly customized to offer excellent performance. You’ll simply get everything you need from a head unit for enjoyable, safer, and comfortable rides.
It features a stable Android Marshmallow operating system. Now, one thing that makes a reliable car stereo is operation system stability. ATOTO A6 connects easily to your Android devices allowing you access to everything you’ll need from its large HD display.
Users will also appreciate the fact that they’ll retain their factory steering wheel controls. Steering wheel controls are very useful to a person as they increase safety while driving. With this model, you’ll have access to these tremendous controls making it an excellent unit for upgrading your car’s stereo system.
Additionally, it features upgraded Bluetooth connectivity which saves you from shouting when making hands-free calls. Its Bluetooth chips, WI-FI receptions, an inbuilt microphone have been significantly modified to improve performance. Apart from seamless hands-free calling, ATOTO A6 also provides incredible internet access as well as excellent media streaming and file-sharing abilities. What’s more one can even connect this unit to a Bluetooth gamepad, OBD, or mouse.
This model also includes free Google Maps. Plus, it supports WeGo/Tomtom as well as Waze/HERE. Therefore, there’ll be no need for guesswork with this device even when you’re not online.
- Fast booting, can access the internet within 2 seconds
- Constant firmware updates
- Great visibility both daytime and nighttime
- HD videos and excellent sound quality
- Well working backup camera
- No video out
- Often screen protector gets air bubbles
Pioneer is a well-known company that designs high-quality car audio products. And you can never go wrong with this lovely touchscreen digital media receiver. For those who want to elevate their car’s entertainment, this is the right product for you. Not only do you get excellent sound but you’ll enjoy fast Bluetooth connectivity and brilliant video.
This head unit comes with a 6.2 inches touchscreen that’s TFT capacitive and has an 800 X 480 resolution display. Users can control this unit and other connected components like Apple or Android phone, iPod player, USB storage devices, etc. Menus are displayed on the screen where one can choose functions and make audio adjustments easily.
Frequently used buttons are illuminated along the left edge. One can dim either manually or automatically this touchscreen’s display illumination. This head unit also comes with excellent Bluetooth connectivity that lets you answer or make calls wirelessly via the receiver and also stream music from a connected smartphone.
As it includes the Secure Simple Pairing, one can pair a Bluetooth enabled smartphone to this receiver without keying in pin codes or maneuvering complicated settings. You can connect three devices simultaneously.
You’ll also appreciate its USB compatibility that lets you connect a USB storage device like a digital music player or a flash. When plugged into this head unit’s port, the USB can be charged. Again, we love the 24-bit digital-analog converter included that ensures superb audio quality.
One can also better their sound using functions like Bass Boost, Loudness, and Source Level Adjustment.
Another thing to love about this product is that it comes with a rearview camera input where one can add a backup camera if they like.
- Installation is easy
- One year warranty
- High sound quality
- Supports Android and Apple OS
- Includes multiple languages
- Bluetooth connection can be unstable at times
- Complaints about short wire cables
- Doesn’t support CDs
We like this product because it comes with several impressive features and it is budget-friendly. It includes a 3-year warranty which is amazing considering its price. It might not be the top range product but it is still a great option for those shopping on a budget.
The touchscreen is 6.2 inches and there’s a remote included. Users can also install the rear camera to aid steering when reversing. One can view messages or song information on the screen up to 64 characters. Plus, this model comes with a Bluetooth microphone to ensure voice clarity when using hands-free calling features.
Additionally, there are multiple presets for audio that lets you store your favorite music on one console. It features 12 AM stations and 18 FM options. When connected to your smartphone this unit will work well with Spotify and Pandora.
While it supports tracks on a CD, DVD, and USB, you can also play WMA and MP3 files. As it features 80 Watts peak power output you’ll enjoy excellent sound quality. Individuals can connect three amps simultaneously.
You don’t have to worry about compatibility as it works well with modern smartphones wirelessly. One can again use other ports like the Aux port, USB or an SD card slot for sending music to this head unit. However, you cannot charge your connected device with the USB connection.
- Reasonably priced
- Multiple radio presets
- Bluetooth microphone and remote included
- USB only transfers information
- Low quality built compared to other expensive models
This is yet another great product from Pioneer that comes with a color responsive touchscreen. Although its design is simple, this head unit perfectly blends with all car interiors that have a full black design. The touchscreen is 7 inches and you can easily adjust for optimal angle of viewing. This screen shows information about the music that’s being played like the artist, album, time, song, and other details for clarity purposes.
You can also customize your display by using options like brightness control, display off modes, dimmer setting, etc. There are easy-to-use control buttons included on this touchscreen. One can connect their phones to the USB cable and view their playlist on your screen. You’ll also appreciate handy functions such as alphabet or link search which makes it easy to locate content.
It uses upgraded connectivity for pairing your smartphone so that you can enjoy this device’s functionality. One can directly control iPod or iPhone to access their music library using any format. There’s also a separate CD interface cable that let’s one play music on CDs. It also supports WMA, MP3 as well as AAC files. Additionally, you can play music loaded on your USB drive.
This model can control your Pandora and Spotify accounts from the receiver. You can simply pair your phone to get connected. Also, with just a single button press, one can create new Pandora stations. Like other products we’ve reviewed above, this also offers a hands-free calling feature from a connected phone not to mention one can stream music wirelessly.
Pioneer AVH-x490bs allows pairing two devices simultaneously to serve different users. Again, you can use Siri to choose music, make calls, listen to messages, add reminders, etc. We also are impressed by this product’s ability to cater to various music tastes with an excellent sound display. There’s a built-in amplifier that ensures optimum volume. One can also tweak the sound to their preference using the 13-band equalizer.
Lastly, this model is compatible with multiple applications such as maps. There’s no need for a separate GPS navigation unit with this system. Plus, it links directly with maps hence providing excellent route guidance.
- 1-year warranty
- Comes with remote control
- Multi-language displays
- Includes controls for contacts, maps, and other apps
- Supports several video and audio formats
- Somehow expensive
- Bluetooth connection can be unreliable at times
- Limited availability of apps
Many advanced features come with this model for people who want a great double din for their cars. You’ll love the 7 inches screen display where you can stream all your favorite videos comfortably.
Where this product excels is that it includes both online and offline navigation systems. Also, in many countries, the navigation maps come pre-downloaded on this model’s internal memory. Users can connect the GPS app they want directly to this Car stereo or if you like you can store the maps in an SD card holder to save space.
But, navigation is not the only thing that makes this product wonderful. It also supports Wi-Fi connection meaning one can download maps or GPS apps while driving regardless of where they are. There are also dual USB ports and slots for SD card for added functionality. Plus, you can easily use this unit on whichever phone as it comes with phone mirroring ability.
We love its upgraded inbuilt Bluetooth system that allows sending and making calls hands-free. Also for an improved sound, this product includes an internal microphone. All these features make Corehan Android Double Din an excellent option for individuals who’re often taking trips.
- User-friendly menu
- Perfect size with high clarity levels and easy visibility
- Users can connect a backup camera
- Performance is affected by cold weather
- Mirroring and volume may not function with some microphones
- Resets without shutdowns or warnings
Kenwood is another reputable company that manufactures car audio products. For years, this company has been supplying the market with high-quality car audio products. And they’ve built a good reputation for themselves. Therefore we know that this Kenwood DDX372BT will not disappoint.
Now, design is an important factor to consider when buying a head unit. Many people prefer a good design that blends well with their car’s interior. Fortunately, Kenwood DDX372BT comes with a sleek design and excellent performance. You’ll appreciate its 6.2 inches screen size that comes with color illumination. Again, with a super-responsive touch that catches all your commands, you’ll have an easy time using this head unit.
It comes with an intuitive user-friendly interface. Plus, you can quickly jump into the menu and make a call, browse phone contact, adjust audio settings, or connect a new device.
Kenwood DDX372BT also delivers excellent sound quality. Additionally, for game enthusiast one can carry their portable video game console or player on their trips. Furthermore, this model has an in-built Bluetooth that gives one an incredible mobile media experience.
Again we love the hands free calling which ensures safety when driving. Also, since there’s external Bluetooth, it magnifies the caller’s voice. This product also has a CD and DVD player where one can play their favorite videos. By inserting a pen driven with music into the USB port, one can listen to their playlist for hours.
With an AM/FM tuner that lets users listen to radio and a Rear camera input that allows you to install a backup camera, what other extra features could you be looking for? And that’s not all. This unit has 8 EQ preset settings as well as 5 band equalizer that one can change the audio source’s tone. Again, the USB driver port ensures enough voltage for charging your phone. Often, these features are found in expensive models but Kenwood DDX372BT provides them within a budget-friendly price.
- Installation is easy
- Sleek design
- Excellent quality of sound
- Ease of use
- Reasonably priced
- Wide range of features
- Complaints about Pandora functions not working well
- Excludes a remote
- Doesn’t feature a detachable faceplate that’s essential for theft protection
When you’re driving you might be tempted to pick your phone call or browse media files. But, this can be risky. Fortunately, with this model, you get a free digital assistant especially if you’re an iPhone user. If you’re a music lover, you should consider this model. Featuring inbuilt EQ features, time alignments, and a thirteen band graphic equalizer, you’ll always be nodding your head to the sound of your favorite tunes. Plus, there’s an installed high/low pass crossover that has adjustable slopes that one can use.
If one wants, they can incorporate a CD-MC2o microphone however they’ll have to buy the component. What we love most about this unit is its latest technology that provides HD FLAC files. This head unit integrates with different entertainment and connectivity aspects that are essential to you.
It also comes with a Networked Entertainment Experience (NEX) which offers an intuitive customizable user interface. Pioneer ensures that drivers get safe simpler and fun ways of using their smartphones while driving.
Pioneer AVH-1300NEX again has iDatalink Maestro that allows users to keep the audio controls for their steering wheel and other factory functions. Again, it offers a high-quality A/V output thanks to the receiver’s LCD screen.
Furthermore, since this unit is compatible with AppRadio Mode+ and Apple CarPlay one can access their music, podcasts, messages as well as stream audios/videos easily.
- Excellent playback no matter the sound source
- Fantastic display color options
- Improved compatibility with smartphones
- Innovative user interface
- Only works with Apple devices
- Screen is a bit smaller compared to other models
Alpine prides itself on making the easiest to use double DIN head units. Therefore, if you’re upgrading your stereo system for the first time, this is an excellent model for you. It can do almost everything needed by an average user including navigation, messaging, music, etc.
What makes this model unique is that it comes with a detection tool that auto-detects your phone once you start your vehicle hence it can easily pair without struggles. Again since it has an expansion system, it can control eight accessories in and on your car.
It plays great with Apple CarPlay. And this model can back users up with Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify, podcast optimization, and iHeartRadio for advanced listening. To ensure safety, one can stream their iPhone’s Siri via this unit to compose a message or switch music without taking their hands off the steering wheel.
- Detects phone on startup
- Optimized for Pandora, podcast, etc.
- Shows GPS directions easily through Apple Maps
- iDatalink functionality isn’t included
If audio and video clarity matter to you then consider this double unit. Ease of use and seamless connectivity are two reasons why we love this model. However, it also comes with impressive functions and controls and an incredible display. A modern driver looking for advanced entertainment from their car stereo will sure love this model.
Individuals can connect two phones simultaneously. It is equipped with two ports where one can connect their Android and iOS device. Again, it features a 7-inch display meaning you get a fantastic viewing experience.
Additionally, users can play music from different sources. One can connect the HU and smartphone using Bluetooth or USBs or you can also use the CD or DVD player. Also, it allows one to navigate with their phone without taking eyes from the road. It works well with SiriusXM Sxv300 that supports flash features, traffic, and weather now.
- Hands-free calling
- Bigger screen for better viewing
- Can install a backup camera
- Detachable screen that allows easy maintenance
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can’t be used at the same time
- The touchscreen can be slow at times
Double din Head Units Buying Guide
With different technologies out there, there’s no single double din head unit that fits all users. Some Apple fans will not settle for anything that doesn’t work with their iPhone the same also applies to Android users. A good head unit is one that integrates easily with your smart devices. Other than that one should also consider:
Peak and RMS Power
You not only manage which song plays next with your double din but it also determines how loud a song will play. Head units with greater power capabilities provide punchier music which is more enjoyable. Therefore, check peak and RMS power ratings of a product before buying it. We recommend highly powered units with RCA line inputs and a built-in amplifier.
Connectivity and number of devices that can be connected to your unit at the same time really matter. Newer models come with upgraded Bluetooth, USB connections, and AUX for better performance. Most OEM stereos have few yield channels which makes updating your sound difficult. Therefore double din with extra watts for numerous channels will come along way.
Ease of Use
Integration with your devices is one thing but usability is another. You don’t want a unit that will give you a difficult time using it. Therefore, think of the user interface. Opt for models that allow you to integrate important functions from the display. This way, you’ll not keep your focus on the roads and not your phone while driving.
Additional features improve functionally of these devices. A good double din unit should have some of these extra features Wi-Fi connectivity, theft protection, steering wheel controls, etc.
How We Picked the Best Budget Double Head Unit
Double din units provide one with radios, DVD players, touchscreens, and navigation systems. You can, therefore, perform many operations from your phone as long as it is synced with this unit. These units elevated the entertainment level of your car and help individuals manage basic operations from the driver’s seat.
Having that in mind, individuals should go for units that will simplify things for them. That’s why we opted for models listed on this guide. Among the things we considered is whether it makes your drive easier. It won’t make sense to add something to your car that’ll interfere with your driving. We opted for easy to use layouts that one can easily access functions. And if there’s a need for connecting devices, the ports must have a clear view.
Also, we picked models that were easy to install. When improving your car, you’d want to avoid unnecessary expenses as much as possible. Sure, double din head units are best when installed with a pro. However, there are so many units that one can easily install, connect then sync all by themself.
Price is another factor that we considered. Now, the good thing about having different models is that individuals get a range of options. You shouldn’t spend more than what you can afford on a product. Since there are various models in all price ranges, one can pick as per their budget and preference.
All You Need to Know about Double Din Head Unit
Head units are simply center console or display placed at the center of a car’s audio system. Your vehicle model and make as well as your preference determine which din to choose. Those who want simple functionality should opt for a single head unit. However, if you want interaction with your car system via voice control, touchscreen, or anything else, then a double din head unit will work for you.
These units are mostly purchased with people who want to expand their car’s radio capabilities. Now current models come with many functionality and controls. Double din units come in standard measuring of 18mm by 100 mm which makes installation easier as they measure the same size. However, there are different types. But they all follow a similar design. Since a double din unit controls the infotainment system of a car, one should consider the functions they need at a price they can afford.
Important Q/A about Double Din Head Unit
What are double head units?
These are head units that fit in two DINs. DIN is the car opening that a radio fits. 2-DIN units are equipped with touchscreen displays ranging from 3.5 to 7 inches. They’re wider than a single DIN hence can only replace a double din head unit.
Why should I buy a double din head unit?
Well, there are many benefits of having this device in your car. One you’ll be able to make/receive calls without taking hands off the wheel. Also, it assists with navigation as they come with an inbuilt GPS. Again, individuals can browse or listen to songs from their phones without holding it in their hands.
Which double din is right for my dash?
Double head units can fit into different dashes depending on the vehicle’s model, year, and make. Ensure that you buy a model that fits into the Din slot on your vehicle’s dash.
Which double unit is best for Android?
When choosing a double din head unit for Android, ensure that it operates well with your device’s Android operating system. Usually, these units come with pre-installed programs but one can download other apps. If your Android devices use the latest Android version it can work well with double din head unit.
What are the best double units for iOS?
For iOS users, a good unit should have an inbuilt iPhone, iPod, and iPod controls. Fortunately, most stereos designed for iOS are AppRadio Mode+ or Apple CarPlay compatible. Therefore, users can easily access messages, listen to music or podcasts, and live stream videos.
Will installing a double din stereo affect my steering wheel control?
Some units are compatible with the steering wheel’s audio control such as volume up, volume down, previous, next, etc. An iDatalink Maestro tool connects HU to the steering wheel. However, this depends on your vehicle type.
Does a double din stereo need an antenna?
Radio reception is weak without an antenna. But, if you’re connecting via the internet, you’ll be streaming radio hence no need of antenna. Or, one can also connect their smartphone radio via Bluetooth to their car stereo if they don’t want to invest in an antenna.
The information on this guide will help one identify the best double din for their car. Note that there are many models available to choose from. However, not all of them will be suitable for you. Therefore, consider the factors above when shopping. It’s wise that you explore more about how a unit will better your infotainment system before settling on any.