Imagine how boring your car journeys would be without music, and it’s often something that we all take for granted until we have to drive without it. A high-quality car stereo head unit gives you a greater level of control over the sound quality whilst allowing you to personalize the deepness and volume of the sound to your own requirements.
The factory stereo that comes with your car will be average at best, but there are plenty of options for you to upgrade and get a higher quality of music output.
The problem with selecting the best double din head unit is that there are numerous factors and features that you need to consider to ensure that you get the best solution for your situation. Luckily for you, we have created this in-depth guide to show you the best double din head unit on the market.
1. Pioneer AVHX5800BHS 2-DIN Receiver
2. Jensen VX7020 2 DIN Multimedia Receiver
3. Pioneer AVH-280BT In-Dash DVD Receiver
4. Kenwood DDX372BT Double DIN
5. JVC KW-R920BTS Double DIN Receiver
5. JVC KW-R920BTS Double DIN Receiver Review
This JVC double DIN head unit features Bluetooth capabilities which allows you to connect to your Bluetooth enabled devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops. You can then stream your audio seamlessly between the devices so the sound will come out of your car speakers. In addition, if you connect to your smartphone you can also receive and take calls completely hands free whilst you continue to drive.
The multi-color display has 3 different zones so you can have a tri color display. This is easy to adjust and customize to most car interiors color scheme. The unit can play a range of different types of music files including FLAC, WAV, MP3 and WMA whilst the front panel also has an auxiliary and USB port for devices that don’t have Bluetooth connectivity. These ports are protected by a sliding cover. There is also an in built MOSFET amplifier.
This double din head unit is easy to install and JVC have lived up to their strong reputation with this high-quality unit, whilst maintaining an affordable price.
4. Kenwood DDX372BT Double DIN Review
The Kenwood DDX372BT DVD receiver increases your multimedia experience in your car by supplying you with comprehensive control including built in Bluetooth. All of this is controlled using the bright intuitive 6.2-inch touchscreen which has a simple to use interface so you spend less time fiddling with the user manual and more time enjoying its numerous features.
Once you have connected your smartphone you can view and browse through your music library with just the swipe of your fingers. It also provides you with voice control with iPhones that have Siri installed. You can also plug in hard drive via the USB port and play all your music. The unit is easy to install and fits into double DIN dash openings.
There is also a rear input for A/V sources and radio may be becoming less popular but you still have the option of using the satellite radio with both AM and FM frequencies. You will also receive a warranty with the product so in the even that a fault occurs you will be entitled to a repair or replacement depending on how severe the fault is.
3. Pioneer AVH-280BT In-Dash DVD Receiver Review
Pioneer are defitintely a brand you will recognize and they are one of the most popular brands not just within car audio, but the whole audio market. They have developed a large range of Double DIN units. It features a clear resistive touchscreen which makes it easy to setup but also to navigate through its features and customizing it to your exact needs.
With the display being 6.2 inches you will be able to see everything clearly including useful additional information such as the song, artist, radio station or even just the time and date.
It also has high quality Bluetooth connectivity which allows for hands free calling whilst you drive so you can stay safe but also receive and answer calls. In addition, this connectivity allows you to stream music from your devices music library or even through music streaming sites such as Spotify. The Bluetooth wideband speech ensures that sound quality is not lost when making calls and they will be extremely clear.
This is one of Pioneers simpler streamlined models that contains all the features that are needed so you won’t be disappointed with this double din head unit.
2. Jensen VX7020 2 DIN Multimedia Receiver Review
Jensen have established themselves as one of the leaders in car audio over the last several years by producing exceptional head units that have all the necessary features to enhance your sound quality. This head unit comes with Bluetooth capabilities that allows you to connect to your smartphone, so you can seamlessly stream music with ease. You can also access your phonebook and receive and take calls without having to touch your phone.
The in-built high resolution TFT touch screen makes it easy to navigate and control, whilst the installation of the unit is very straightforward. There is a 2.1 amp USB port on the front panel that allows you to charge USB powered devices such as smartphones. There is also a 3.5mm Aux jack on the front panel so you can still plug in devices that don’t have Bluetooth built into them. The SD-card slot also supports music and video files so you can play them straight of.
The unit also has built in GPS navigation allowing you to easily navigate to your destination. In terms of customization, you have the choice of 5 colors and backgrounds to match the interior of your car.
1. Pioneer AVHX5800BHS 2-DIN Receiver Review
The AVHX5800BHS 2 Din unit features a highly powerful responsive and intuitive NEX user interface that makes it easy to use and customize to our needs. It has a clear touchscreen which features bright clear contrast and colors which makes it far superior to other traditional touch panels.
It features AppRadio One which allows you to control and view compatible iPhone and Android smartphone apps from the receiver’s touchscreen using a simple one cable connection.
This unit allows for hands free calling and wireless audio streaming and will display the artist, album and song details and is compatible with voice recognition. All this is possible with the Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a Wideband Speech Hands-free Profile 1.6 which improves the call quality reception.
You can also select from five colors for the display and 112 different colors to match the illumination to the lighting in your vehicles interior. Furthermore, you can also choose from several different background images to suit your mood.
A unique feature is the HD radio that provides you with a unrivalled listening experience. You can listen to the radio in the same quality as your digital music.
This will allow your FM stations to be in CD quality and AM stations will be in FM quality sound providing you with crystal clear reception and no audio distortion. For these reasons, we have rated this as the best double din head unit.
Single din unit vs double din unit
A stereo head will either be a single din or double din. ‘Din’ is an internationally recognized standard of measurement which has been established for car head units. The single din unit measures around 180mm x 50mm and the double din head unit measure 180mm x 100mm in size. The larger Double DIN units feature a greater number of features which improve the quality of your sound quality experience.
As mentioned, because double DIN units are significantly larger, they can provide a larger number of features.
Double DIN units have the latest technology including Bluetooth connectivity which means that you can connect your smartphone giving you access to your music library. Once you have connected your smartphone you can then control them through the head of your unit, so if you love using music streaming services such as Spotify you can play your entire library through your double DIN unit.
This phone syncing will also mean that you can take advantage of hands free calling through the unit which will allow you to make calls whilst staying safe as you drive.
Double DIN head units often have a larger screen size and a bigger display which makes it easier and quicker to operate. This also makes the interface easier to navigate and overall set up of the unit will take considerably less time.
The majority of double din heads have more pre amp lines compared to a single din, so these are great if you want to install an additional amplifier to your speakers. If you’re a true music lover then a double din can give you the extra sound quality boost that you desire.
A single DIN unit will not give you the opportunity to have a screen. If you want to have the latest features and options such as GPS or easier menu navigation then a double din will be the best option for you. This touch screen capability makes operating the unit even easier.
Prices vary for double DIN head units and this is based on the manufacturer, features and quality. Although it’s important to stick to your budget the more you’re willing to spend, the better quality of product that you’ll get. You may find that by have your budget too low that you’ll limit your choice and end up with an inferior product that doesn’t have all the features that you need.
There will be some huge brand names that you recognize on this list that have been around for many years creating high quality products. Its important that you choose a reputable brands that has been established for many years and has built a strong reputation with many users reviews for the quality and performance of their products.
The higher quality manufacturers will often include a warranty with their units to give you added peace of mind and trust in their products. This warranty will provide you with a repair or replacement unit if a fault or defect develops with your purchase.
Pre Amp Output
The pre-amp output is an important thing to consider when looking for the best double DIN head unit because this refers to the amount of signal that you can produce before it then gets amplified. The greater the number of outputs, the more you can create a customized listening set up. For example, you could connect a number of amplifiers to your original head unit and then adjust the sound level to your desired requirements.
The more power your head unit has, the greater the sound output will be overall and you’ll need to be aware of both the peak power and RMS power which affect the sound quality.
RMS power is the measure of the amount of energy that your stereo will consume on a continual basis.
Peak power is how high the stereo can reach in a short burst, though it can’t maintain this level otherwise it will eventual cause damage to the speakers.
Its recommended that you judge a unit by its RMS power which will give you an indication of which unit has more power potential.
Car stereos are often target for thieves because they are so easy to remove from cars, and it’s easy for them sell on once they have stolen it compared to other car components and parts. To lower to risk of theft, the best DIN units can come with a partially detachable head.
So when you’re ready to leave your car you can quickly remove the head and store it away from clear sight such as in the glove compartment. Thieves are far less likely to break into a car if they aren’t 100% sure that the whole unit is in the car.
Ease of use
One of the most important things about the double din head unit is how easy it is to operate, because you don’t want to spend countless hours trying to work out how to install and use it. The most user-friendly units are the best units especially those with touchscreen head units.