Best Double Din Head Units – 2020

In-vehicle entertainment has come a long way in the last decade. In the past, having a car with a built-in cassette deck or CD player was a huge deal. Today, cars need much more than that to please modern drivers. Most people have a world of technology and information in their pockets. Smartphones have changed the way we enjoy music and communicate. It only makes sense that some of that same technology is implemented into vehicles.

While many newer cars have a solid infotainment system installed at the factory, owners of older vehicles must go the aftermarket route. Double DIN head units can provide you with the same great features you would find in a luxury vehicle. These devices are a serious upgrade that can change the way you approach the road.

The best Double DIN head units give you multiple ways to listen to the music you love. Whether you decide to stream from HD radio stations or connect your smartphone, you’ll have no shortage of options. Many units also give you the opportunity to get turn-by-turn directions, make hands-free calls safely, and enjoy digital media through convenient apps.

In short, double DIN units can bring your car into the future. Finding an aftermarket head unit shouldn’t be hard. The market is huge, providing you with plenty of feature-rich options. Here’s a selection of some of the best that money can buy.

 

ATOTO A6 Double Din Android Head Unit

This double DIN head unit from ATOTA offers plenty of great features. It has a large 7-inch touch screen display. The screen uses capacitive technology, so it’s very responsive. The entire system runs on an Android platform. As a result, the user interface is very beautiful and easy to use. There are many built-in applications to enjoy your drive. You can also connect your phone via Bluetooth to stream music directly.

The unit is quite versatile in terms of setup. It has a preamp built right in to improve sound quality right off the bat. However, you can also hook up an additional amplifier and robust sound system equipment. There are connections for just about everything on the back. You can hook up a rearview camera, microphone, and steering wheel controls.

Pros:

  • Android Marshmellow OS
  • Camera input
  • Micro-SD slot
  • AUX input
  • 9-band Equalizer
  • Preamp
  • 7-inch capacitive touch screen

Cons:

  • Unreliable Wi-Fi connection
  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay

 

 

Pioneer AVH-210EX

The AVH-210EX head unit from Pioneer has a very sleek and modern look. The large screen is surrounded by flat buttons, creating a low profile that will fit right in with any interior. The LED lights on the unit can be adjusted as well for even more customization. Within the system, there’s a simple user interface. Icons for various multimedia connections allow you to start listening to music in seconds.

You can connect your mobile device through Bluetooth or an AUX port. The system also has a built-in DVD player. The rear connectors allow you to hook up a backup camera and microphone with ease.

Pros:

  • Plays CDs and DVDs
  • Sleek design
  • Customizable LED lights
  • Camera and AUX input
  • 6.2-inch screen
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons:

  • USB and AUX connection on back
  • No smartphone integration feature

 

 

Pioneer AVH-X490BS

Another great option from Pioneer, the AVH-X490BS offers impressive sound quality. It has a built-in amplifier that can help make your music sound crisp and clear. The four-channel amp produces about 50 watts of power. You can listen to music a number of different ways. There’s a CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, and radio app. Once you connect your phone, you can also take advantage of some of your favorite streaming apps. Pandora, Android Music, and Spotify are all supported.

The screen measures 7 inches diagonally. It’s a resistive screen, though the user interface is quite sleek. The system has brightness controls and customizable lights, letting you get the experience you’re after.

Pros:

  • Produces 50 watts of power across 4 channels
  • 7-inch screen
  • Customizable LED lights
  • Brightness controls
  • Sleek interface
  • Low-profile design
  • Some smartphone integration

Cons:

  • Screen is resistive

 

 

H*Sheng TPK 7 Inch Double Din Car Stereo

This feature-rich head unit is simple to use. It has a 7-inch touch screen display. The high-resolution screen produces crisp graphics, making the menus easy to read from any angle. Within the system, sound quality is the main priority. There’s a built-in USB port that can read a wide variety of file types. It supports everything from FLAC to AVI.

You can also connect your smartphone. It supports Android PhoneLink. Once you get connected, you can use your devices built-in maps app and make hands-free calls.

Pros:

  • 7-inch high-definition screen
  • Support for steering wheel controls
  • Supports rearview camera
  • USB that can read data
  • AUX input
  • Simple user interface
  • Android PhoneLink

Cons:

  • No CD player

 

 

Eonon Double DIN Car Radio

With its massive 10.1 inch screen, this head unit from Eonon can help you out on the road. While it doesn’t have built-in GPS navigation, it is compatible with EasyConnect. The app lets you mirror your phone’s display onto the head unit, where you can then use view maps and directions. The screen has a unique pivoting base. If the sun starts to cause some glare, just tilt the unit to get it out of your eyes.

The double DIN unit operates on the Android Oreo OS. It’s sleek, well-designed, and quite intuitive. There’s a split-screen mode, allowing you to view two apps at one time.

Pros:

  • Android Oreo operating system
  • 10.1-inch display with high-definition resolution
  • Adjustable screen
  • Wi-Fi receiver
  • Split screen mode
  • Bluetooth for hands-free calling and streaming
  • USB and MicroSD ports

Cons:

  • No CD player
  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay

 

 

Kenwood DDX25BT Double DIN Unit

This Kenwood double DIN unit is a versatile system that’s simple and clean. The user interface features a minimalist design, which is much easy on the eyes than some of the gaudy graphics you’ll find on other systems. Simple icons represent different audio sources, making it easy to get connected.

The Kenwood unit has Bluetooth connectivity for streaming and hands-free calling. There’s also small preamp that’s capable of producing around 50 watts of power. On the back, the unit is relatively simple. It doesn’t use a complicated wire harness, making it easier to hook up in older cars.

Pros:

  • 6.2-inch screen
  • Available with or withour a DVD player
  • 50-watt output
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Simple physical button layout

Cons:

  • Resistive touch screen
  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay

 

 

Pioneer Double DIN Unit

While most double DIN devices include a large touch screen, this option from Pioneer takes a simpler approach. It features a wide horizontal screen up top and physical controls on the bottom. The screen can display audio information with simple text. There is no touch screen or complex graphics.

Despite this, the system is still fully capable of keeping you connected. It has Bluetooth technology, allowing you to connect your smartphone for streaming and communication. When it comes to music, the unit has a CD player, USB port, and AUX port. The USB port can be used to play high-fidelity FLAC files.

Pros:

  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • FLAC audio playback
  • Includes microphone
  • Simple screen layout
  • Customizable lights and colors

Cons:

  • No touch screen
  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
  • No camera support

 

 

SWM Double DIN Car Stereo

With only a couple of small buttons on the side, the SWM head unit is all about the screen. It measures 7 inches diagonally and uses capacitive technology. The system responds quickly to your touch, making it feel fluid and natural. Multiple apps are preinstalled. The user interface consists of bold colors and large blocks of text, similar to what you’d find on an Android device.

While there is no smartphone integration, the system does support PhoneLink. You can connect your device via Bluetooth and mirror the screen onto the head unit.

Pros:

  • 7-inch capacitive touch screen
  • Bluetooth
  • AUX, USB, and SD Card Reader
  • Rear camera support

Cons:

  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
  • No camera support

 

 

EinCar Android Double DIN Head Unit

Don’t let the simple appearance of this head unit fool you. It’s packing a lot of convenient features. The most notable is its built-in GPS functionality. It’s capable of providing you with turn-by-turn directions to any address. The system also has a wireless modem built in. With an appropriate data plan, you can turn 4G cell signal into a Wi-Fi hotspot for everyone in the car.

Another great perk is the included camera. It connects to the head unit as well as your brake light. This unique configuration ensures that the camera turns on each time you put your car into reverse.

Pros:

  • 7-inch touch screen display
  • Bluetooth
  • 4G wireless modem
  • Rear camera included
  • USB and SD card Reader
  • GPS navigation

Cons:

  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
  • Questionable sound quality

 

 

BOSS Audio BV9364B Car Stereo

From Boss Audio Systems is this 6.2-inch double DIN head unit. The system is available in a couple of configurations. You can get it with an integrated GPS system as well as a backup camera. The operating system is very simple. It features a dark backdrop with some minimalist icons. This helps to keep your driving environment distraction-free.

When it comes to audio quality, this head unit does quite well. It has a preamp that can produce up to 80 watts of power. Various connection ports on the back make it possible to hook up an additional app as well. The unit includes multiple media ports to let you listen to music the way you want.

Pros:

  • 6.2-inch screen
  • Available with navigation and a rear camera
  • 80-watt output
  • Multi-band equalizer
  • USB port and SD card reader
  • AUX input and Micro SD slot
  • Bluetooth
  • Supports steering wheel controls

Cons:

  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
  • Inconsistent volume

 

 

Double DIN Head Unit Buying Guide

On your quest to find the best double DIN head unit, you’re going to come across a lot of options that look good on paper. Unfortunately, not all devices are made the same. The available features and overall quality of the product will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Here are some things you should think about when you’re trying to sort through your options.

Screen

The most prominent part of any head unit is the screen. Double DIN units have very large screens, enhancing the overall functionality of the equipment. These days, touch screen displays are pretty commonplace. They let you take control of your entertainment with just a touch of your finger. They’re intuitive and pretty much everyone knows how to use them already.

While most units have touch screen displays, that doesn’t mean that they’re good. Several factors can affect the overall user experience. The two biggest are the technology the screen uses and its resolution.

There are two main different types of touch screens available on double DIN head units. These would include resistive and capacitive. Resistive touch screens rely solely on the pressure your finger creates when it makes contact. They’re much more affordable. Though, they’re known for being a bit slower. Cheaply made resistive screens can be downright sluggish. Capacitive touch screen displays work on touch. The human body is naturally conductive. These screens are made out of another conductive material, so when you touch the screen, you’re essentially completing a circuit. This is the same type of screen used in high-end smartphones and tablets. The technology is smooth, responsive, and fun to use.

When it comes to resolution, more is always better. Low-resolution screens can create a somewhat blurry image. While it may not seem like a huge deal, especially when you’re driving, you may find it difficult to read any text on the screen. High-definition displays offer more clarity and vibrant colors.

Power and Sound Quality

What good is a head unit if it produces crappy sound? The whole point of these systems is to give your car an upgrade. Pay close attention to the power ratings of any unit you’re interested in. Higher peak power ratings will deliver crisp audio that doesn’t become distorted. Your music will sound punchier, more immersive, and more true-to-life.

Many units also come with built-in amps. They can transform low-power signals into something way better. Amplifiers can help your music sound great, no matter what volume you choose to listen to it at.

Music Playback Options

The way we enjoy our music has changed a lot in just the past couple of years. The music industry continues to evolve, so it’s a good idea to invest in a product that can keep up. Units with a CD receiver are plentiful, though they are slowly going out of style. That is all due to streaming. Music streaming platforms are becoming more popular by the day because of their convenience and accessibility. If you do have a pretty large collection of physical albums, go with a unit that can play CDs. Otherwise, you may want to find an option that provides you with some alternatives.

AUX inputs are a must-have. They let you connect a phone, tablet, or even computer up to the system so that you can stream music directly. Most units have an AUX input that’s easy for you or your passenger to access on your drive.

Other types of media playback you might want to consider are SD card readers and USB ports. With a built-in SD card reader, you can load your music collection onto a flash card so that it’s always in your car for enjoyment. The same goes for USB ports that can read MP3 files.

Operating System

The operating system of your double DIN head unit can have a huge effect on how you use it. This is an interface you’re going to be interacting with each time you get behind the wheel. Having a poorly designed operating system can ruin the experience. Some substandard units have clunky interfaces with ugly graphics and confusing menus. Others have sleek operating systems that are reminiscent of an Android tablet. Everyone’s personal preferences are different, so just make sure that the unit’s operating system is right for you.

Smartphone Integration

One of the biggest trends in automobile infotainment is smartphone integration. With most people carrying their phones with them everywhere they go, it’s a pretty smart move. Two of the biggest smartphone operating systems, Android and iOS, are available in modified form. Called Andoird Auto and Apple CarPlay, these systems can enhance your system even further.

Basically, once you connect your phone to the head unit, the normal operating system is swapped out for one that matches your phone. Android users will get to enjoy Android Auto while Apple enthusiasts can take advantage of Apple CarPlay. The great thing about these systems is that your phone’s information is automatically synced up. You’ll be able to see all of your contacts, your music collection, and a collection of popular apps. Many streaming services have made compatible apps, allowing you to enjoy your playlists on the go. Best of all, you can take advantage of your device’s own navigational apps. Android users can use Google maps to find their destination.

Connectivity

Speaking of smartphone integration, it’s a good idea to get a unit with Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream audio wirelessly from your phone. In most cases, these head units will remember your device after you’ve established a Bluetooth connection. So, it’ll automatically be connected every time you get in your car. It’s a very convenient feature to have.

Hands-Free Operation

Obviously, safety is paramount when it comes to any type of in-car technology. Head unit manufacturers know that putting a large screen in front of you in your car is only going to tempt you to make calls or use your phone. To help you stay connected on the go, many units offer hands-free features.

If your car already has built-in steering wheel controls, you can easily connect your new head unit to work with them. All you need is an adapter and some rewiring. If your vehicle doesn’t have buttons, you can invest in aftermarket ones. Instead of having to reach over to the screen to change songs, steering wheel buttons let you stay focused on the road ahead.

Voice-commands are also available. These units are often compatible with in-cabin microphones that are installed directly over the driver’s seat. They’re strong enough to pick up the sound of your voice, allowing you to change songs without lifting a finger. This feature is also great for making calls. Once your smartphone is connected via Bluetooth, you’ll be able to talk to people as if they were sitting right next to you in your front passenger seat. You can also use your favorite virtual assistant. Siri hands-free can be used to make calls and dictate texts with the sound of your voice.

Useful Extras

While head units are primarily focused on music and communication, they can be used for other purposes as well. These extras aren’t necessary but they can do a lot to enhance your drive.

Camera Inputs
Do you have a backup camera installed on your vehicle? If so, you’re going to need a head unit that’s capable of connecting to it. Aftermarket cameras are also available, letting you add this expensive feature to your car at only a fraction of the cost. Rearview cameras can help you safely back out of a tight parking space or driveway without any issues. Cameras are programmed to turn on each time you shift into reverse. The live feed from the camera is then splashed onto the head unit’s screen, giving you a clear view of what’s behind your car as you back up.

Remote Control
Remote controls are great if you have a large family that’s constantly fighting over the music. Instead of having to pull focus from the road as you drive, you can toss the remote to the back and let your passengers take control.

Wi-Fi Modem
Cellular technology makes it possible for you to create a wireless network right in your car. Head units will wireless modems will connect to cell towers as you drive. The signal, which is usually 4G LTE, will then be used to create a Wi-Fi hotspot that your passengers can use to browse the web. It should be noted that this feature does require a data subscription.

Navigation
Built-in GPS navigation is a common feature you’ll find in head units. The large touch screen is perfect for tying in addresses and viewing maps. Depending on the service the particular unit uses, you may even be able to get turn-by-turn directions, view local gas prices, and search for popular destinations.

 

Compatibility With Other Gear

Finally, let’s talk about compatibility. Double DIN head units act as the central entertainment hub of your vehicle. However, they’re not actually producing the audio themselves. They need to be connected to your cabin speakers and any additional equipment you have. It’s important that you check to see that the device is compatible with the things you already have.

Most units have standard RCA connection for a basic setup. Many also have wire harnesses that can be used to connect the system to preamps, subwoofers, cameras, microphones, and much more.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can double DIN head units fit into any car?
These head units are quite large. Most modern vehicles have more than enough dash space to accommodate them. However, older rides may be more compact up front. If you have a single DIN car, you may not be able to use one of these head units without some modifications.

Can head units access radio stations?
Double DIN head units are fully capable of connecting to radio stations. However, you must first connect them to your existing car antennae. Many models are also capable of accessing satellite stations if you have the compatible equipment.

What’s the difference between double DIN and single DIN?
The main difference between single and double DIN head units is their size. Single DIN units measure approximately 7 inches wide by 2 inches tall. Double DIN units are like stacking two single DIN devices together. You get an extra 2 inches of height, creating more than enough room for a large screen.

Do double DIN units use more power?
It’s true that these devices do use a bit more power than standard single DIN units. However, it’s a common misconception that these units will drain your battery. If it’s installed correctly, they will draw a relatively small amount of power. Like normal radios, they will turn off automatically when the car is off.

Will the screen be too bright?
Most units have adjustable settings that let you control how bright the screen is. Some even have ambient light sensors that will make adjustments automatically. They’ll dim the light during night driving and increase brightness for better visibility during the day.

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