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Top 5 Single Din Flip Out Head Units

pioneer avh-3300NEX single din head unit

Head unit, flip out DIN, flip out screen, flip out stereo, flip out head unit….these all generally refer to the same thing – a head that slides in and out of your car’s DIN unit (the space at the front of the car that accommodates your car’s stereo)

They’re space savers, they’re ergonomic and they (usually) just plain look cool. There’s a lot of car head units out there but we’ve whittled them down to a list of 5 flip out DINs across various price points that have been praised by reviewers .

Pioneer AVH-3400NEX Head Unit

pioneer avh-3400 nex singe din head unit

For car owners with smaller single DIN (as opposed to double DIN) dashboards, head unit options have historically been somewhat limited. Well Pioneer’s AVH-3300NEX is a popular head unit that might be a great fit for you.

It is a 7” head unit with an sharp 800 x480 pixel resolution touchscreen that is compatible with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Moreover, the head unit can be voice controlled via Siri or Google Now for a hands free experience via its built-in Bluetooth capability.

You can use the voice control to customize and control various music application such as Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify or simply make voice calls safely while keeping your eyes on the road.

There’s a graphic EQ along with several presets, including bass boost (for you rock and hip hop fans), crossover controls, and a delay function.

It has a rearview camera that’s perfect for city drivers and a removable faceplate to keep would-be thieves at bay.

Pioneer AVH-3300NEX

pioneer avh-3300NEX single din head unit

We had to include the predecessor to the Pioneer AVH-3400 as it is still a very popular head unit that, to be honest, is pretty much the same.

It is compatible with both Apple CarPlay as well as Android auto, it has a 7” touchscreen, a detachable faceplate, voice controls for hands free operation and the same power output and specifications.

It also has advanced EQ settings to tune your sound according to your desired preferences with a 13-band graphic equalizer.

The difference between the two flip out head units is in their respective prices. We’ve scoured several off and online electronic outlets, and interestingly, the Pioneer AVH-3300 actually costs about $40 more than the newer Pioneer ACH-3400. You basically can’t go wrong with either Pioneer head unit.

Pyle PLT85BTCM Head Unit

pyle PLT85BTCM Single Din Head Unit.jpg

This is a lesser known brand that we included because it has a host of unique features including compatibility electronic shock protection, and compatibility with a wide range of audio file formats such as MP3, MP4, JPEG, AVI, DVD and CD players.

As for design, it has a HD 7” retractable touchscreen with a 800×480 resolution. The screen is sharp, colorful and vibrant, particularly at night.

It has Bluetooth connectivity for hands free calling and streaming via voice controls and has an impressive back up camera.

Finally, it offers support for video via a micro SD slot supporting up to 64 GB.

Pyle PLBT73 Head Unit

Pyle PLBT73 Head Unit

This is another Pyle flip out head unit that offers Bluetooth connectivity to facilitate to hands free calls and voice-controlled streaming of various apps such as Spotify, Pandora and Apple music.

It also has built-in navigation with turn by turn assistance to help you get around safely while keeping your eyes on the road.

While some users may be used to the navigation on their smartphones, I would argue that the navigation built in to your car’s receiver is a better option as it is displayed on a larger screen and connected to your car’s audio so, again, you’ll keep your eyes on the road. Safety first.

The detachable video screen is sharp and crystal clear but some users online have noted that the screen’s navigation and touch control system may take some getting used to.

BOSS Audio BV9986BI Head Unit

BOSS Audio BV9986BI Head Unit

This is a good value flip out head units as it is a (relatively) inexpensive option that still comes with a number of features.

It has a removable 7” high resolution motorized LCD touchscreen with DVD receiver.

As for connectivity, it has everything you could ask for: pre-amp outputs, USB inputs, Bluetooth, auxiliary inputs, audio and video inputs and a wireless remote.

As for power its max power rating is 85W X 4 and it has an Equalizer with a number of presets to help you tune your car’s audio output to your desired specifications.

Single Din Flip Out Head Unit Buyer’s Guide [2019]

The head unit is the brains of your car’s audio system. It gives you the control to shape your car’s sound and to allocate power amongst various connected devices from the amplifier and speakers to the subwoofers.

There a few things you should keep in mind when searching for and comparing head units.

single din head unit joying

How to Choose a Good Head Unit

Power rating

We all want our car stereo to be able to churn out crisp, clean and clear audio, at high volume levels if need be. In order to do so, you need consistent power.

Rather than peak power, you should focus on the RMS of the head unit to see what amount of power is consistently delivered. You can learn more about RMS here. You’ll see 50W X 4 on many head units, which is a pretty good power rating.

Display

You want a sharp, bright backlit high resolution touchscreen display that looks great daytime or night. It should be responsive to your fingers with minimal to no delay. Bit should be intuitive and fairly easy to navigate as well.

single din head unit in dashboard

Connectivity

Want to connect a rear-view camera, a USB powered device, external video monitors, amplifiers etc…to your single din head unit?

You want the option of expanding your car’s sound system or integrating other 3rd party devices. Therefore, it’s important that there are a number of inputs and outputs on your head unit.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Speaking of connectivity, the two major smartphone platforms from Apple and Android introduced Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in order to integrate their respective platforms with your car’s head unit.

Both systems allow you to control playback of your music via your phone and answer and operate calls hands free.

Additionally, for navigation, they use the built in Apple and Google Maps.

single din head unit joying

Single vs Double Din Head Units

DIN basically refers to the size allotted to your car’s stereo system. A double DIN, as you may have guessed, can accommodate a larger sized unit than a single DIN.

We’ve already covered the best double DIN head units so if your vehicle has the requisite space, we recommend getting a double DIN head unit.

You’ll get the benefit of a larger touchscreen that can accommodate more functions and controls, and, generally speaking, a wider selection of brands.

That said, we’ve included five great options for single DIN head units that are loved by thousands of car owners and reviewers, have historically performed well, and can accommodate a multitude of budgets. We hope you found something you liked.

What does RMS Mean?

what is rms graphic

What is RMS? You see and hear the term in product descriptions of speakers amidst other technical numbers like peak power, frequency range, dB ,sensitivity and OHMs. While those numbers are all important, RMS in particular is a number you should pay extra attention to.

To help build an ideal sound system for either your car or home, it’s important to have a grasp of these terms so that you can maximize your system’s performance. I would argue that in addition to price, RMS may be the most important number to pay attention to when buying car speakers.

What Does RMS Mean?

RMS stands for Root Square Mean – In short, it represents the average power output of your speaker (or amplifier).

For example, a speaker maybe advertised as having 150W in peak power, but its RMS may only be 50W. It is this lower 50W number that the speaker will produce over prolonged periods, while the peak power of 150W will only occur intermittently.

Though the RMS number may not always be precise, it is the best measurement by which to measure a speaker’s power output.

Why Do Manufacturers Advertise Peak Power instead of RMS?

It comes down to marketing. A brand would like to move as many units as possible. People associate larger numbers with more power. Therefore, it makes sense that manufacturers advertise a speaker’s peak power because this number will be higher than the speaker’s average power – or RMS.

Peak power is nice to know, but when comparing speakers, look at the speakers’ RMS as a tru representation of their power.

RMS Continued

Armed with a better understanding of RMS, you’ll be in a better position to configure your car’s sound system (amp, subwoofer, head unit, speakers etc…)

Reputable brands have their products CEA tested and certified, ensuring that the sound specifications are accurate and truthfully advertised.

While this is certainly comforting, if you really want your sound to be crisp, clear and loud, you should be mindful of the power feeding your car’s sound system.

For example, if you only have car speakers to power in a midsized vehicle, you could probably get away with a 50W head unit. However, if you’re powering speakers in a larger vehicle, or powering a subwoofer, you’ll definitely need an amplifier.

Be sure to line up your amplifier’s power with that of your head unit and speakers. Pro tip, your speakers can actually handle anywhere from 75-150% of the advertised RMS of your amplifier.  Ideally, however, your amplifier’s output should have the same wattage as the RMS of your speakers and subwoofers.

We’ve covered a wide range of car speakers and subwoofers spanning a number of different sizes and price points so be sure to check our buyer’s guides. Cheers

Best Car Subwoofers

car-audio audiodrive.org

If you truly want music in your car to sound as good as possible, then you’ll need a subwoofer. Regardless of the genre, a good subwoofer will bring out the fullness and richness of music and take your listening experience to the next level.

But finding the right subwoofer can be a bit overwhelming when there are so many options from which to choose.

There are several good options available for those who want to rattle the neighborhood with earth shattering bass as well as good options for those who simply want a smaller boost to their low end with subs that won’t take up the entire trunk.

Based on reviews, we’ve developed a list of to the top 10 car subwoofers you should consider, and broken them down by size and budget.

Additionally, we’ve included information that you should be aware of as well – such as types of subwoofer enclosures and ease of installation.

Best Car Subwoofers 2019

Editor’s Choice: Rockford Fosgate P3D4-10

Rockford-Fosgate-P3D4-10-Punch-P3-DVC-4-Ohm-10-inch-car-subwoofer
  • ​Thunderous Bass 
  • Prem​ium Design and Construction
  • Compact
  • Good Value

Best 8 Inch Car Subwoofers

Ok, so if you want to hear the bass in your music faithfully and accurately reproduced but don’t need to rattle windows and burst eardrums, then you should probably get an 8 inch subwoofer.

Your hip-hop, techno, pop, jazz etc…will sound great and you’ll hear tones and feel the liveliness of the bass like never before.

Your music will sound awesome, but not overwhelmed by the bass such that it begins to lose its clarity. Here are a few brands to consider:

CT Sounds Meso 8 Car Subwoofer – Best All Around 8” Subwoofer.

CT Sounds Meso 8 Inch Car Subwoofer

The CT Sounds D4 is definitely punching above its weight class. Despite only being a smaller 8” subwoofer, it will produce large sounding bass.

It has a dual 2-ohms, a max power of 1600W and an RMS of 800W. Add in the built-in 2.5” voice coil and you’ve got a speaker that will can make the ground shake if it wants to.

Construction: It has triple stacked Y35-graded ferrite magnets with a sturdy outer frame that will protect the speaker from damage.

This is a great little subwoofer that rivals the power of a 12” sub. It has great reviews and is an Amazon’s choice as well. We couldn’t agree more.

 Typically, we would follow our brief reviews with a quick mention of the downsides or “cons” of each product that we review, but honestly, we are really struggling to find anything to fault this powerhouse of a subwoofer. If you are looking for incredible bass without disrupting the overall sound quality of the music, the Meso D4 is probably the best choice for you.

Rockford P3SD2-8 Car Subwoofer – Best Compact Subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8 8" Car Subwoofer

This subwoofer is ideal for those who don’t want their car’s subwoofer to take up a lot of trunk space. The PS3D2-8 is compact so you’ll have room left over in your trunk for other things besides musical equipment.

The Rockford Subwoofer is the next evolution in its highly popular Punch series. Its shallow design is what sets it apart from other subwoofers in the market. Being only 2 5/8” deep, you can fit the subwoofer into smaller vehicles and/or spaces that typically may not be suitable for larger subwoofers.

We’re fans of its construction as well. It has an anonized aluminum cone surrounded by Santoprene, and 2-ohm rated dual voice coils that pack a punch – to the tune of a peak power of 300W at 150W of continuous RMS. Small but packs a punch. It has a standard frequency response between 38 and 250HZ, but a sensitivity of only 82db.

The good thing is that you can connect this sub to other subwoofers thanks to the dual 2-ohms setup.

Bottom line: This subwoofer is designed for those who value space and don’t want their music overwhelmed by the bass.

Skar Audio ZVX-8 Car Subwoofer – For Bass Lovers

Skar Audio ZVX-8 D4 8" 900 Watt Dual 4 Ohm SPL Car Subwoofer

Relative to some of the established brands like JBL, Alpine and Pioneer, Skar Audio is a newcomer. But they have been getting solid reviews on their audio products for several years now.

Their ZVX-8 subwoofer is a nice addition and despite its small size, is capable of delivering bone-rattling bass.

Technically speaking, it has a dual 4-ohm voice coil configuration. It has a 156 ounce triple stack ferrite motor next to a 2.5” high temperature voice coil.

 It boasts a max RMS power of 900W, and 80.4 dB sensitivity rating, and a grade one paper cone.

In short, all this allows this subwoofer to produce small tremors when the volume is turned up. This is for bass lovers who don’t want to spend a fortune and want a fairly compact subwoofer.


Best 10 Inch Car Subwoofers

10” subwoofers are great for enriching the bass across all types of genres of music as they are big enough to compete with a 12” sound, while being fast enough to handle the fast-paced musical styles such as techno and reggaetón.

JL Audio 10WOV3-4 Car Subwoofer – Best All Around 10” Subwoofer

JL Audio 10 inch car subwoofer

The JL Audio 10WOV3-4 is a new take on a classic. It is a monster of s 10” subwoofer with a 600W max power at 300 RMS. Still, it handles that power very efficiently so you don’t have to worry about draining your car battery.

The subwoofer leverages JL’s Dynamic Motor Analysis system to help stabilize its motors during operation, which in layman’s terms reduces distortion and produces cleaner sounds.

In the same vein, its polypropylene cone and elevated frame design facilitates airflow and its metallic silver finish add an element of shines to this smooth low end producer.

Technically speaking, it has a single 4-ohm impedance, 26-250HX freq response and a 2” temperature coil.

Reviewers on Amazon and across the interwebs love this subwoofer, as evidenced by its nearly 5 star reviewers.

Rockville W10K9D2 Car Subwoofer – Good Value Subwoofer

Rockville W10K9D2 10" 3200w Car Audio Subwoofer

This is an efficient and compact car subwoofer. Rockville may not be a heavyweight in the audio industry but they are an up and coming brand that has produced several remarkable audio products – The W10K9D2 is no exception

 It has a sensitivity rating of 85 dB, a 1600W max power handling and 800W RMS. Even better, it does this without any distortion, providing clean, rich and full low end bass to your musical selection.

In short, you get a lot of raw power for your money so its definitely a good bang for your buck.


Best 12-Inch Car Subwoofers

This is the most well-known and common sized subwoofer of them all. 12” subwoofers provide thunderous bass and street shaking low end.

Keep in mind that these subwoofers are big so they probably aren’t well suited to fast paced musical styles however. But if you’re a pop or hip hop lover who wants to feel those 808s, 12” car subwoofers are for you.

Rockford Fosgate P300  – Best Powered Subwoofer Car

rockford fosgate ps300 car subwoofer with enclosure

What if you don’t already have an amplifier? Or don’t want to invest in one? What if there was  a powered subwoofer with a built in amplifier that came in an enclosure? The Rockford Fosgate P300 is what you’re looking for.

With a 300W amplifier built in, it’s plug and play capabilities make installation a breeze. And the MDF heat activated vinyl enclosure is compact enough to fit into small vehicles and SUVs alike.

In addition to the EQ that is (hopefully) provided by your head unit, you can also use the P300’s built in EQ to adjust the bass levels with ease.

It’s a bit pricier than the other car subwoofers on this list, but with all the additional features, it’s well worth it in our opinion.

Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12 Car Subwoofer – Best Value 12” Subwoofer

Rockford-Fosgate-P3D4-10-Punch-P3-DVC-4-Ohm-10-inch-car-subwoofer

This is one of the best 12” subwoofers on the market, and even better, it’s affordable. It has an automatic cooling system and a double-layered dual voice coil that, in short, helps produce crisp and clear low end tones.

Its basket design made of premium quality material and patented VAST technology helped provide the Fosgate P3D4-12 with added durability.

As for power, it has a peak of 1000W, a 28 – 250 Hz frequency response, and crystal clear full sound that has to be heard to be fully appreciated.

Installation should be fairly straightforward as it’s compatible with most cars and sound systems, but as always, get a professional install if there are any doubts.

American Bass XFL 1244 Car Subwoofer

American Bass USA XFL 1244 2000W Max Dual 4Ω 12" Subwoofer

With its unique spider design, this is a well-constructed subwoofer that packs a punch despite its (relatively) small size.

Coming in at only 35 lbs., this subwoofer won’t weigh your car down, yet still produces the rich and full low end bass produced by its heavier competitors.

A for power, I’m not sure you could ask for much more: 2000W peak power at 1000 RMS. The  American Bass XFL 1244 is a beast.

It has great reviews online, is an Amazon’s choice. This may be the smoothest and most powerful subwoofer in this price range.


Best 15-Inch Car Subwoofers

Ok, these subwoofers are for drivers who want people to hear them coming a few blocks away. You will rattle windows, set off car alarms and probably damage your ears a little if you turn the volume all the way up. But hey, you only live once.

If you want to ensure that your music is heard far and wide, and that you can provide the music for an outdoor cookout all on your own, then you’ll want to get a 15” subwoofer.

Kicker S15L2 Car Subwoofer

Kicker S15L7 4-ohm 15" Car Audio Subwoofer

These subwoofers are a bit pricier than their smaller counterparts, but for good reason. They are from quality brands and they produce the most thunderous bass your car can safely handle.

The Kicker S15L2 has a titanium deposit cone that helps this subwoofer stand up to the most extreme conditions, ensuring long lasting durability. Its one piece solo kon, high temperature coil wire and pole piece provide full-back bracing in order to minimize distortion.

It uses Kicker’s patented advanced Uniplate and cone technologies to help deliver consistent air flow throughout the speaker.

In short, the Kicker subwoofer thumps, and it should last several years. You will not be disappointed.

Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 Car Subwoofer

Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 15" 2500 Watt Max Power Dual 2 Ohm Car Subwoofer

Skar’s 15” subwoofer sounds incredible in its own right. It too can rattle windows and set off car alarms with its deafening low end.

It has max power rating of 2500W. Again, 2500W. No one subwoofer should have all that power. If you need more than that, you’re probably the soundman for a rock band.

The Skar Audio EVL-15 D2 is, hands down, the most powerful subwoofer on this list. And with all that power, it still stays cool due to its advanced cooling design, aided by its 4-layer aluminum voice coil.

With its premium magnet and 86.2 dB sensitivity rating, you’ll get incredible and powerful bass along with minimal distortion.

Be sure to get a proper enclosure and a professional installation as it can be tricky to get this setup and configured just right.

lots of subwoofers

How to Choose the Best Car Subwoofer [in 2019]

For those of us who could use a little help in deciding which subwoofer is best for them, we put together an FAQ style section that should hopefully help address some commonly asked questions.

Benefits of Having a Subwoofer in Your Car

Regardless what genres of music you listen to, you’ll hear it like never before with the addition of a good subwoofer. The fullness and richness of the bass will come alive and a whole new dynamic.

Now, good car speakers can certainly help, but at the end of the day, they’re simply not designed to accurately produce low end bass because their drivers are not large enough. The mids and highs are fine, but low frequencies require a lot of air and speaker size.

One you have all three frequency ranges (low, mid and highs) accurately reproduced with a sub, speaker and tweeter, you’ll hear and experience your music like never before.

three car subwoofers in the backseat

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Subwoofer

Here are a few things you should be mindful of when choosing a subwoofer

Power

As we’ve noted before, despite the impressive peak power rating number many manufacturers throw at you, the most important number is the RMS rating. This is the power at which your speakers will consistently run.

The higher the number, the more powerful the speaker. Of course, you’ll need an amplifier to help deliver that power to the subwoofer so be sure to have one in place.

Sensitivity

Again, the higher the number the better. Higher sensitivity numbers require less power output to achieve the same loudness.

car subwoofers in enclosure

Frequency Range

There are low, middle and high frequency ranges. The human ear cannot hear the full range of frequency ranges that most speakers deliver. In general, most if not all top quality speakers and subwoofers will cover the entire (discernible) frequency range.

Voice Coils

Single voice coil subwoofers are more common and easier to setup, while dual voice coils are for more advanced users who may want to do some custom tuning and self installation.

Powering Your Car Subwoofer

If you’re at the point where you’re purchasing a subwoofer, I’d recommend getting a professional installation. Connecting an amp to your battery and wiring the car securely, cleanly and correctly is not as easy as it sounds.

car-audio audiodrive.org

Types of Enclosures

Enclosures are important to your subwoofer’s overall performance. It is what houses your subwoofer.

Ideally, it is custom made and fitted to your subwoofer but there are less expensive options as well where you can simply buy an enclosure to start. Bottom line, you won’t realize the full potential of your subwoofer(s) without a good enclosure.

There are a few different types of enclosures that will affect the type of sound (bass) you’re your subwoofer will produce so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the types of enclosures available.

Sealed

If you want accurate and tight bass, get a sealed enclosure. Its an air tight box that will help flatten and warm your sound. For those who don’t want their bass to overwhelm the music, a sealed enclosure is your best bet.

Ported

A ported box is similar to a sealed enclosure but it is not airtight. There is a small vent to allow air to travel in and out of the box, helping produce slightly louder and hard hitting bass.

Note, ported boxes tend to be larger than sealed enclosures so if space is at a premium in your vehicle, this may not be an ideal option.

tricked out truck with car subwoofer

Bandpass

Have a 15” subwoofer that you want to show off? get a bandpass enclosure. Definitely recommend a professional installation as they can be hard to configure and will most likely require additional customization.

But if you want the entire neighborhood to feel the presence of your 15” subwoofer, then this option is for you.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve come away a bit more knowledgeable about car subwoofers and you found something on this list that’s right for you.

In short, know your budget, space constraints, and listening preferences and then choose the subwoofer that works best according to your requirements. Cheers!

Best Car Speakers

speakers sounds throughout

The Best Speakers for Your Car in 2019

Need to upgrade your car speakers? After all, there’s nothing like hearing your favorite music playing through high quality speakers in your car.

But finding the right kind of speakers is a whole other challenge once you realize the multitude of options available in the market. That’s where we can help.

We’ll help you decide whether you should invest in component or coaxial speakers, what brands you should pay attention to, and what else to look for in our comprehensive list of the best car speakers.

Our Choice for the Best Car Speakers

CT Sounds Meso 6.5″ Component Speakers

CT Sounds Meso 6.5 Inch Component Speaker picture
  • Impressive Sound
  • ​Solid RMS capabilities (you can turn the volume up loud and the speakers will still sound great)
  • ​Good built-in bass (even without a subwoofer)

Review – The Best Car Speakers [2019]

Want to dramatically improve your car’s sound? The easiest way to do so is to replace your car speakers. Changing your head unit is a strong second place. Finally, a good subwoofer will add some serious low end to your music, but first things first, if you want loud, clear sound, then there’s no getting around buying good car speakers.

Ever notice a crackling sound coming from your car speakers? Then there’s a good chance your speakers are blown. Hopefully, this isn’t the case and you’re just looking to replace the stock speakers that came with your car.

Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered as we take a look at a number of well-respected audio brands such as JBL, Sony, Kenwood and Polk.

We’ve compared their sound specifications, performance, size and overall value and whittled our list down to the best speakers in each category.

picture of collection of car speakers

Best 6×9 inch Car Speakers

These speakers are best positioned in the rear deck of the back of the rear. Most cars are equipped to accommodate them without needing any additional equipment, but you may need to buy an enclosure, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

If you want full sound without having to invest in subwoofers, then you’ll want to get these big speakers, particularly if you have a big vehicle or want to ensure that you can turn the music up loud without distortion.

These can be a bit tricky to install yourself so you should probably get them professionally installed.

Polk Audio DB691 Car Speakers – Good Value

Polk Audio DB691 6-by-9-Inch 3-Way Speakers

While these speakers may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, they pack a powerful punch and they’re waterproof so they can be used on boats as well. They also have great user reviews on Amazon.

They have an RMS of 125W, peaking at 300W. To take full advantage of the Polk DB691’s power, you’ll want to connect a head unit and amplifier as well, but you can certainly get by without them as well.

The bass isn’t as strong as the other 6×9 speakers in this category, but they (almost) make up for that by offering solid mids at good clarity, even when played loudly – even without the assistance of an amplifier.

As a bonus, the speaker grill can also be customized to match the colourway of your car’s interior as well.

Without question, these speakers sound great on their own. But of course to take full advantage, you can pair them with a subwoofer to bring out the full, rich low end your music needs.​

JBL GTO939 Car Speakers – Good All Around Speakers

These are an upgrade to the popular 938 speakers. JBL is a long time player in the audio fame and has been making high quality speakers for years.

These GTO 939 6×9 speakers have a (slightly lower) RMS of 100W with a peak rating of 300W. Again, an amplifier would bring out the max loudness of the speakers but they can certainly be used without them and still produce crisp, loud mids and highs.

They leverage JBL’s Plus One technology. Essentially, JBL’s engineer’s have designed the speaker’s cone such that it can expand more than usual, helping it produce louder music with its increased air capacity (which also helps produce low end sounds more faithfully).

Installation is easier for these speakers than most, but the one knock is that the upper mids aren’t great, particularly when used without the help of an amplifier.

Pioneer TS6900PRO – Best Car Speaker For Bass

pioneer TS6900PRO car speakers

These speakers can produce earth shattering sound AND great bass. For all you hip hop, techno, jazz and pop lovers, these speakers are for you.

The TS6900’s are actually available in more than just the 6×9 size (6.75 and 8 inch sizes are available as well) , but the 6x9s are the best as they have excellent bass, solid component architecture and possess superior power handling.

On that note, there is a max power rating of 600W so if you do decide to connect an external amplifier, you won’t have to worry about blowing out your speakers.

The center-mounted tweeters provide clear high ends, while the pulp cone woofers deliver impressive low end.

As for construction, there is a sturdy steel frame surrounded by dual-layer rubber to ensure long lasting durability.

Installation: Given the depth of the speakers, I’d definitely recommend a professional installation as they are not easy to get positioned correctly in most car doors. You can of course look at other mounting options, but either way, unless you’ve done this before, get a professional install.

The heavyweight stamped steel frame is rugged and durable, and dual-layer rubber surrounds help ensure that the TS6900 can stand up to anything you can dish out for the life of the system.

Bottom line: If you don’t want to invest in a separate subwoofer, these are the speakers for you as the bass is very responsive. Again, the only downside is that these speakers are bigger and heavier than most so door installation can be a bit tricky.

Best 6.5-Inch Car Speakers

These are the most common door speakers as they are smaller than 6x9s, which are generally more suitable for installation towards the rear of the car. 6.5 inch speakers are still big enough to deliver solid mids and highs with good bass as well.

In other words, these speakers give you the best of all worlds and the ideal setup is a pair of good quality 6.5” speakers in the front door of the car with 6×9” speakers in the back.

Infinity Kappa 60.11 CS

Infinity Kappa 60.11CS 6-3/4" Component Speaker System

Given that Infinity and JBL share the same parent company (Harman) , it’s no wonder that the Kappa 60.11 CS speakers are similar to the aforementioned JBL GTO series.

They both leverage the same Plus One cone technology and they both have a composite speaker frame surrounded by rubber.

Now, for the differences. Most importantly, sound quality. The Infinity Kappas are smaller speakers so it’s no surprise that they don’t have as much air/room to deliver the same bass response.

They do, however, have enough room to deliver impressive mids and highs so if you have (or are planning on getting) a subwoofer, then these speakers should be a good choice.

Now, we’ve already discussed the importance of a good head unit in a car sound system setup so you’ll want to have one in place, along with a quality amplifier

Bottom line: If you’re looking for crisp, clean mids, have a subwoofer (or aren’t too keen on bass) and don’t mind paying a little extra for top quality sound, then the Infinity Kappa speakers are for you.

CT Sounds Meso 6.5 Car Speaker

Note, at around $150, these are the most expensive speakers in this speaker size category, but many would say they’re well worth it.

While the sound specifications may not be impressive at first glance with a peak power of only 120W and a continuous RMS of 60W, it’s the performance that counts. Note: when compared to larger 6×9” speakers, the peak power and RMS of 6.5” speakers will always be lower.

In any case, in short, these speakers knock! Your neighbors will not like you as the volume on these speakers can be turned all the way up and still produce clear and crisp mids, without even connecting an amplifier.

And with a fiberglass woofer cone, they actually have very impressive bass response – perfect for rock, pop and hip hop lovers.

Again, they’re a bit pricey, but if they spare you from having to invest in an additional amplifier, then they’re well worth it.

Infinity REF-6532EX Car Speaker – Good Value but not big on bass

Infinity REF-6532 Car speakers

Have a subwoofer or aren’t too finicky about bass? Then these speakers are a good fit. If you just want to replace your stock car speakers with solid 6.5 inches in the back and 6×9 inch speakers in the rear, without paying for an additional amplifier, AND want to spend less than $100, get these.

The REF-6532EX 6.5” car speakers have crisp sound through the mids and highs, but again, the bass isn’t great.

For you audiophiles, the 4-ohm Impedance technology present on Infinity’s Reference speaker series help these speakers produce powerful, loud sounding speakers.

Best 5 1/4″ Car Speakers

These speakers are best for rear door installation. They can optionally be mounted in the rear deck as well. 

Ideally, you’ll pair them with either some 6.5″ or 6×9” speakers. Keep in mind that these are smaller speakers so they don’t have enough room to deliver true low end on their own so bass lovers beware.

Polk Audio DB522 DB+ Car Speaker

polk audio db+ 5.25 speakers

These are good value 5 1/4 speakers. Polk audio is a relatively newcomer in the audio game but they have an impressive array of sound systems in both the home and car.

The Polk Audio has crisp clear sound that reproduces the mids and highs faithfully but I probably wouldn’t recommend these without a subwoofer as the built-in bass leaves much to be desired.

They also aren’t terribly loud despite their 100W rating so, again, using these standalone without an amplifier may not give you the best bang for your buck.

What really sets these apart is the fact that they’re water and dust proof. In other words, if you’re a motorcycle, ATV or boat lover, and want speakers that will hold up against the elements, these are perfect.

For good measure, they have an IP55 rating. You can learn more about waterproof ratings here.

Infinity Kappa 50.11CS Car Speakers

Infinity Kappa 50.11CS Car Speakers

These are awesome speakers. Check the ratings and reviews for yourself. They are widely lauded by nearly 1,000 reviewers on Amazon as being top quality.

We don’t have much to say other than these are probably the best 5 1/4 car speakers you can buy.

In short, they’re component speakers, meaning they have separate components dedicated to handling each band of frequencies (low, medium, high. Read more below about the difference between component and coaxial speakers.

The deliver “crystal clear” sound as quoted by many reviewers, and they actually have impressive built-in bass so you can get use these as standalone speakers without having to invest in a subwoofer.

But it will cost you. These pair of speakers around $120 but you get what you pay for. We definitely think they’re worth the investment.

Best 4-Inch Car Speakers

Rockford Fosgate P142 Car Speaker

rokford fosgate p142 car speakers

Rockford is an established brand in the audio space and has continued to refine and innovate their speaker series over the years.

The P142 is a small 4-inch model that is complimentary to a complete car audio sound system setup. They’re certainly not cheap, but good craftsmanship rarely ever is.

As for the sound specs, they have a peak power of 60W with a continuous RMS of 30W. They are most likely too small to be paired with an amplifier given they’re comparatively low headroom.

As expected with speakers this size, the bass is lacking, but the mids and highs are solid. And the intended use of 4 inch speakers should be for delivering the mids and highs anyway.

That being said, there are over 1,500 Amazon reviewers, many of whom say these actually deliver good bass. We can’t verify what other speakers these user were comparing the Fosgate P142 to so we can neither deny nor confirm these findings. Yeah, we’re CIA agents all of a sudden.

JBL GT7-4 Car Speaker

jbl gt-4 car speaker set

It’s hard to go wrong with any JBL speaker, regardless of its size or intended use. They make great speakers for the car and home and the GT74 is no exception.

Again, the bass isn’t impressive as with all 4 inch speakers, but they do indeed deliver clean and clear detail throughout the mid and top end frequencies, without any distortion when turned up loud.

If you’re looking to save money on a replacement for your stock speakers, then these may be a good option.

Infinity REF-4032cfx Speaker

infinity reference ref-4032cfx 4" speakers

On the other end of the price spectrum are these Infinity 4 inch speakers. To be fair, they have impressive reviews because they deliver awesome sound, more than justifying the price.

They have the aforementioned True Four impedance technology that combines the car’s speaker wire with these 3-ohm speakers.

Basically, this means that your head unit (you have one, right?) will view these 3-ohm speakers as being 4-ohm speakers, ie. they will sound louder and more powerful, while still delivering clean, distortion free sound, especially when combined with an amplifier.

How To Choose the Best Speaker

There are a lot of technical terms that get thrown around without much explanation: RMS, crossovers, coaxial vs component speakers…not to mention he fundamental question of how many speakers you even need. Let’s clear up any confusion you may have.

How Many Speakers Do I Need?

As with most things, it depends. Depends on your budget and the make and model of your vehicle for starters (do you have a mini cooper or a Chevy Suburban?)

Let’s assume you have a car with four speakers and you want to replace the stock speakers. You probably want to invest in four new speakers.

If you want the bass to be faithfully reproduced, then you’ll also want to invest in subwoofers. We have an entire subwoofer buying guide that will help you decide which sub is best for you.

picture of amplifier and subs in car rear

You want to cover the full range of frequencies (low, mid, highs) and more often than not, speakers will cover the mids and highs, while a subwoofer will deliver the bass you need.

You’ll also want to take into account the size of your vehicle. A larger SUV will require more power in all of these frequencies while a Hyundai can probably get by without the use of an amplifier and powerful speakers all around.

Also consider the speakers’ positioning. Most coupes will have speakers positioned towards the bottom of the vehicle, with room for rear speakers on the rear deck of the car. Conversely, a four door vehicle should have room for at least four speakers throughout the doors.

Therefore, if you have a two door vehicle with speakers positioned near the bottom of your car, you’ll need more powerful speakers (recommend at least 50 RMS) to fill up the car sound in the absence of any rear speakers.

picture of installing car speakers

What’s the Difference Between Two-Way and Three-Way Speakers?

Most speakers are two-way speakers due to the fact that they’re more affordable and easier to construct, thus appealing to a wider audience. In a nutshell, three-way speakers cover a wider range of frequencies (again, low, medium, high) vs two way speakers that attempt to reproduce all three frequencies with only two outputs.

Which one is better? Depends on your budget. Three-way speakers have a component for each frequency range, but cost a bit more, while two-way speakers are more affordable but may not be as good at reproducing the range of frequencies as well.

The other difference, generally speaking, is that three-way speakers tend to be more durable due to their construction so they may be a bit more reliable over the long term. That said, all of the speakers on this list are from quality brands who offer standard warranties should anything happened to your speakers so this shouldn’t be too great of a concern.

In short, get three-way speakers if you want the best sound. But if you have a subwoofer, then two-way speakers should be just fine as the bass will be accurately reproduced by the subs.

tweeters on dashboard

Full-Range Vs. Component Speakers

Component speakers allow for greater flexibility in setup of your tweeters, on the edges of your dashboard for example. Full range speakers include all components built-in while component speakers separate them out so you can have dedicated placement of your tweeters and mids.

This may make installation a bit more involved, but ultimately the audio experience should be better. Again, a lot of this depends on budget and personal preference. Full range speakers should be more affordable, while component speakers will produce the best overall sound for you audiophiles out there.

Note, none of this matters if you don’t have a quality amp and subwoofer. If you’re solely replacing the car speakers without an amp and sub, you should probably go with full range speakers.

car speaker door install

A Word on Peak Power (Max Wattage)

You’ll see many speakers advertised as having peak power of  300, 500W or even 1000W! Take this with a grain of salt. What matters more is the RMS rating. This is the wattage at which the speaker will be operating the majority of the tie.

When looking for the loudness/volume capabilities of a speaker, check its RMS rating. This isn’t a stadium concert. 100W for example, is more than enough power for your car. Your mother (and your ears) will thank you.

Power Handling

This is related to RMS but its not quite the same. It’s the maximum amount of power that your speakers can handle, without getting blown out.

Again, most speakers will list a max power wattage, but pay attention to the RMS.

The amount of power a speaker can handle is critically important. To achieve great sound, you’ll need speakers that are capable of handling the power that your head unit (or amplifier) puts out.

tricked out car speaker system

Build Quality/Car Speaker Materials 

You’ll want speakers with rubber surrounds. These are durable and will hold up to extreme temperatures such as extreme colds in the Midwest to the stifling heat of a New Orleans summer.

The tweeter materials, meant to reproduce the high end frequencies, can vary in composition and there’s no right or wrong material per se. Soft materials are more malleable and may offer refined sound and increased sensitivity while stiffer materials may sound more crisp. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

The subwoofers should have soft lightweight cones that move freely inside a high quality speaker enclosure. Again, you can learn more about subwoofers here.

Also keep in mid the brackets and audio cables you’ll need to install speakers if you’re going the DIY route. Be sure to take into account the extra space that the brackets will require for keeping your speakers in place.

Finally, invest in high quality cables and a harness if you’re going the DIY route as well. There is much more to self-installation but these are the absolute basics at a high level.

car speakers in the door

Improving your car’s sound quality

As we’ve mentioned, to truly get the most out of your speakers, you’ll need a quality head unit. An amplifier and subwoofer are great additions as well, but they are secondary to a good head unit.

A good head unit will give you control over your car’s E settings, allow you to play audio from your phone or CD player, and customize additional sound settings throughout your car system.

If you plan on getting a subwoofer, you’ll need an amplifier. Period. Only an amplifier has the requisite power to take full advantage of a subwoofer.

Conclusion

Regardless which speakers you decide to purchase, they will undoubtedly sound better than your car’s stock sound system. After all, car manufacturers are focused on delivering the best vehicle, not sound. The above list covers a wide range of different options and speaker sizes for all budgets so you should hopefully find something you like.

Choose the right speaker size(s) within your budget and have them professionally installed. You’ll be in car audio heaven in no time. Cheers!

Best Double Din Head Unit

best-double-din-head-unit-990x430

The head unit is arguably the most important thing in your car when it comes to delivering great sound. It is the control center of your audio and has command over your car speakers, amplifier and subs. Your speakers simply won’t sound as good as they could (or should) without a good head unit.

Head units come in a wide variety of designs, but a good head unit offers connectivity to your smartphone via voice or bluetooth, and potentially may also offer GPS navigation and integration with a rear view camera.

We’ve put together this guide of the best double din head units for your car stereo to help you navigate through a sea of options and concentrate on the best head units available today from heavyweights like Pioneer, Kenwood, JVC and others.

Touchscreen Double Din Head Units

Kenwood DDX25BT 6.2″ 2-Din in-Dash DVD Monitor Bluetooth Receiver 

Kenwood DDX25BT 6.2" 2-Din in-Dash DVD Monitor Bluetooth Receiver

Pioneer AVH-X4800BS 7″ Motorized DVD Receiver

pioneer avh-x4800bs receiver

Both these head units are very popular choices with hundreds of great reviews on Amazon because they get the basics right.

Connectivity: they both offer Bluetooth connectivity and integration with iPod and Android. Though a bit more expensive, the Pioneer AVH offers additional Apple compatibility as it supports control via iPod, iPad and iPhone.

DVD: They both have a DVD and CD receiver.

Audio: Both head units are able to stream audio and hands free calling simultaneously. And they both integrate with Siri, Spotify and Pandora along with support for a multitude of audio formats including MP3, MPEG, WAV, AAC and others.

Power: Both head units and offers 50W X 4.

Design: These double din head units offer touchscreen displays along with additional buttons to control playback. The displays are bright, but they are by no means the most impressive and customizable displays on the market.

Double Din Head Unit with Navigation

Pioneer Navigation Receiver

Pioneer Navigation Receiver

This Pioneer Navigation Receiver offers built-in GPS navigation. Although most people rely on their smartphones for navigation in and out of the car, having built in GPS navigation for long trips or for preserving your smartphone battery life is a handy feature.

It too features a 6.2″ touchscreen with all the same connectivity, power, back up camera support as the aforementioned models.

The big difference, again, is the support for GPS navigation, even compatibility with Waze, which is a personal favorite of mine (to avoid those speed traps).

Users have also reported that it’s a bit easier to install if you’re doing it yourself, and it plays well with the steering wheel controls. This is highly dependent on your make and model of course.

Best Double Din Units with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Support

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are products developed by Apple and Android respectively to facilitate integration between its devices and different head units. In a nutshell, they help your smartphone talk to your head unit and be controlled by it (or vice versa).

For example, you can use Siri for voice control over the head unit. Your contacts will be uploaded to the head unit to facilitate direct hands free calling.

There is integration with all of your favorite music apps such as Spotify, Pandora and Apple podcasts.

All of this means more safety as your eyes are kept on the road, and a better user experience. Though many head units offer support for either Apple or Android, these head units specifically feature and were designed for integration with Apple Carplay and Android Auto so they a bit easier to setup.

Apple Carplay Din Unit

Alpine iLX-107 – 7″ Mech-less In-Dash Receiver

Alpine iLX-107 - 7" Mech-less In-Dash Receiver with Wireless Apple CarPlay

Android Auto Support Head Units

Sony XAV-AX5000 7” Media Receiver

Sony XAV-AX5000 7” Apple Car Play, Android Auto, Media Receiver

Pioneer AVH-3300NEX 7″ Flip Out DVD Receiver 

Pioneer AVH-3300NEX 7" Flip Out DVD Receiver

Apple users have several options for head units, but for the best double din units for Android users, honestly it’s a toss up between the Pioneer AVH-3300nex and the Sony XAVAX5000.

They both offer similar features and similar pricing, and are both Amazon choices since they have great reviews.

It comes down to a matter of personal preference of design. Some people love the flip out design of the Pioneer AVH, while others prefer the more compact Sony XAV unit.

Most importantly however, again, they both offer maps and music integration via dual USB ports. You can’t go wrong with either head unit.

What To Look for in A Car Stereo

There are often times more similarities than differences in head units. They have similar connectivity options and integration with various components such as smartphone devices, navigation units and rear view cameras.

Oftentimes, it’s more important to get the basics right as as size, price and installation and then whittle down your choices based on customer reviews and personal design preference. A few things to keep in mind.

Single Din vs Double Din

This is the size of the head unit. How big it is inside the dashboard of your vehicle. Though there are exceptions, generally speaking, large trucks and SUVs will generally have more space than a smaller vehicle such as a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.

DIN size is a measurement standard used for car head units. In order to bring some standardization to the wide variety of vehicles dashboards, the industry decided on a dashboard being able to accommodate either a single or double din head unit. Simple

A double DIN unit is 2″ taller and most manufacturers who take advantage of this additional space incorporate touch screens, navigation and rear view camera integration.

A single unit DIN will fit in every car since it is 2″ smaller but may lack the bells and whistles offered by many double DIN head units.

picture of head units

Head Unit Power – Watts and RMS

A good head unit offers consistent power for your car speakers and can dramatically improve their sound quality. Rule of thumb, the higher the wattage, the more power to your car’s audio system.

The vast majority of car head units offer 50W X 4, with the range being 50-80 watts.

RMS

RMS stands for Root Square Mean and is a measurement of the continuous output. It can be the output of your amplifier and/or is also used to describe the maximum input your speakers can handle.

In short, it’s a number you’ll want to pay attention to because it is the number that your amplifier will continuously deliver, in terms of power, to your sound system, regardless how many watts the amplifier manufacturer claims to have. Peak power or max power numbers or meaningless if the RMS is low.

Generally speaking, all the head units we review of excellent RMS and can deliver ample power to most car stereo setups. However, if you’re powering subs then you should definitely invest in a separate amplifier as the head unit’s built in power will generally not suffice.

CD, DVD, Bluetooth Support

Be honest, do you have a CD player? A DVD player? Or do you stream movies and play music via streaming apps like many people?

If you do indeed still own DVDs and want to entertain the family with a kid’s movie, for example during long trips, then you should indeed invest in a receiver with a DVD player, and navigation to boot.

If not, save your money because, as mentioned before, head units are able to integrate with your smartphones via Apple Carplay and Android Auto support.

head units

Head Unit Connectivity

Pretty much all head units worth their salt offer bluetooth connectivity. This allows your smartphone devices to stream audio to your head units.

One of the key differences between head units will be the additional connectivity options they offer. DO they have HDMI inputs? How many USB ports do they offer? Support for memory cards? Are there preamp outputs for easy connectivity to an external amplifier (for powering a subwoofer).

Touchscreen Head Unit Features

Resistive vs Capacitive technology. Touchscreens equipped with capacitive technology can sense electrical signals from your body so the screens are generally more responsive.

Resistive screens may require a bit of additional pressure when pressing the on screen commands, but the upside is that they are compatible with all surfaces. ie. your skin or even through gloves if it’s wintertime and you don’t want to take them off.

Conclusion

Keep the above in mind as far as design, power, navigation, connectivity, and integration with your favorite devices and apps. All of the aforementioned head units cover the basics and have stellar reviews.

Once you’ve found a head unit that’s within your budget, choose one best on your preference of design. This is largely subjective but important as ultimately you will be the one driving the decision (see what I did there?), and you should love the head unit that’s controlling your favorite tunes.

Cheers!

Sony XAV-AX100 Review

sony xav-ax 100

Sony is a historic brand with a wide variety of products in consumer technology. They are certainly no slouch in the car audio department and the XAV-AX100 head unit is the latest example of Sony’s technological prowess.

XAV-AX100 Connectivity

A head unit to a car sound system is akin to the engine in your car. It is the foundation for everything as it maintains control over your car speakers, amplifier and even subwoofer.

However, head units nowadays share control responsibility with smartphones as they have increasingly become the center of our lives in and out of the home.

Therefore, it’s essential that head units have connectivity and compatibility with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Thankfully, the Sony double din XAV-AX100 does.

It allows you to control your phone hands free: you can call, text, and control your music of course.

It also features built-in bluetooth allowing you to stream high quality audio from your Spotify or Apple playlists.

sony xav-ax100 connectivity

XAV-AX100 Design

Good tech design and UX makes powerful technology easy to control. Why do you think the iPhone became the best selling smartphone of all the time? It’s the Ax-100’s simplicity that shines. The design is straightforward, intuitive, and classic yet modern.

For example, there’s a bright and colorful 6.4″ touchscreen along with buttons to control playback and volume for those who would prefer a more traditional tactile feel.

There is a 10 band equalizer that allows you to customize the individual settings for your subwoofer and speakers.

XAV-100 Features

It features a built-in 55-watt amplifier that is sufficient to power most any car setup. Sure, you can buy a dedicated amplifier if you’re powering big 12″ subs but otherwise, you’ll have more than enough power. To be specific, the XAV-100 has a 4 RMS 20 watt power rating.

There are not a lot of bells and whistles such as AUX input and HDMI connectivity. This may be a turn off for some but honestly, we didn’t miss it as we had all the connectivity we needed via bluetooth and integration with Apple and Android.

Bottom line: This is an excellent and relatively affordable powerful head unit that is equipped with all the design, functionality, and power one would need in a modern stereo system.

Alpine SPR-60C Review

Alpine_SPR-60C

Alpine is a well respected brand in the audio space and has been churning out great speakers for many many years. The SPR-60C speakers are no exception and are reasonably priced to boot.

These Alpine component speakers are conveniently priced to be affordable for most consumers. Now you won’t get a pair of Alpine speakers for rock bottom prices, but for the quality and build, these are very reasonably priced.

Component vs OEM Speakers

Though the head unit may be the most important upgrade you can make to your car for improving its sound, the car speakers are a very close second.

The factory installed speakers, or OEM speakers, that come with the vast majority of vehicles are simply not designed to compare with component speakers. After all, the car manufacturer cares about the quality of the car they’re building, not its sound.

OEM speakers are usually made with coaxial systems; in a nutshell, all of the frequencies, from lows, mids, and highs are powered by a single driver and housed in the same box. There is no separation.

High frequencies are best reproduced by tweeters, mids by quality speakers, and lows by big 12′ speakers that have ample room to power the large drivers necessary for pavement shaking low end.

All that being said, by simply upgrading to a component speaker, you will notice a considerable improvement in sound quality as the Alpine SPR-60C, for example, has separate speakers dedicated to each of the frequencies.

Later on, you can invest in a subwoofer to fulfill your low end sounds as well as an amp to power it.

alpine spr 60c closeup install

Design

Tweeters: These 1″ tweeters come with 7-levels of adjustment. Again, tweeters are usually placed underneath the windshield and Alpine provides a handy swiveling mount to facilitate placement. Custom mount brackets are included as well.

The tweeters are usually installed upfront right below the windshield at ear level, while the crossovers are placed elsewhere discreetly. Full range speakers may not accurately reproduce each frequency range as faithfully as component speakers will, but they can be a bit easier to install for the average DIYer.

Speakers: These 6.5″ neodymium-equipped speakers are durable as they’re made with a high-density polymer casing and fiber-coated cones that should fit nicely into your vehicle. If you know what you’re doing you can install these yourselves, otherwise get a professional install so as not to mess up your car doors.

Crossovers: rated 6db – 12db.

Power: Peak 330 watts with 110 watt continuous (aks RMS). There is a frequency response between 65-29,000hz with a 4 ohms impedance.

How Do They Sound?

Perhaps the most important piece of all is the sound quality, right? The answer is wonderful. All the reviews on Amazon are positive and you’d be hard pressed to find better sounding speakers at this price point.

Ideally, you already have a good head unit to take full advantage and of the EQ possibilities made available by these speakers. In short, the mids are clear, the highs are crisp, and the low end sounds great. Not as good as they would with a dedicated separate subwoofer, but no speaker will ever compare with a subwoofer for reproducing bass.

Bottom line: These are excellent speakers that are perfect for someone who doesn’t want to shell out a bunch of money putting together the separate components for an entire car audio system. Your music will sound great, and you’ll have money leftover for a professional installation, which we highly recommend. Check them out on Amazon.

Pioneer AVIC-8200 Review

pioneer avic-8200nex

When it comes to audio, the Pioneer brand is legendary. They have produced great sounding speakers to millions of customers around the world for decades.

The Pioneer Avic-8200nex car speaker is another great addition to their legacy of stellar audio products. Relatively speaking, Pioneer has made products that are affordable for the average consumer and the 82200-nex is definitely on the high side, but well worth the price.

Pioneer Avic-8200nex Video Unboxing

Pioneer Features

First off, this head unit is excellent. A head unit is obviously the brain of the car’s sound system so you want to get it right, but the Avic-8200NEX isn’t cheap so let’s get that out of the way.

This is one of Pioneer’s flagship units so of course you can expect to pay a bit more for a quality head unit.

Display

It has a 7″ WVGA touchscreen display that’s very intuitive as it was built with the driver in mind. It has similar functionality to a smartphone insofar as it employs many of the same touch, swipe, pinch and zoom capabilities.

Moreover, it can be voice-controlled via an iPhone integration if you absolutely need to keep your eyes on the road, which we of course highly suggest.

The customizable color display really does shine and, quite frankly, this thing looks incredible at night as they really do pop when offset by dark surroundings.

Connectivity

pioneer avic-8200 connectivity

Bluetooth is standard of course and allows for playback of your favorite tunes via any Bluetooth enabled device(phone, tablet, laptop etc…).

It also features an HDMI input should you need high quality video connectivity as well.

Regardless what you’re trying to charge, integrate, or connect, there’s a good chance you’re covered. Check out the long list of connectivity options available:

  • 2 composite A/V inputs
  • 2USB inputs
  • 1 Camera Input
  • 1 SD Slot

Voice Control (Safety!)

As mentioned before, there is voice control via either Apple Carplay or Android Auto. We can’t stress how much we love this, particularly since we have a Google Home at…home.

This is not only a great piece of connectivity, but it’s a safety feature as well. I do everything I can to keep my eyes on the road and having the ability to simply dictate commands to this unit is an awesome feature.

Moreover, the standard hands free voice calling, text message sending, voicemails and music navigation make it so that I never have to take my hands off the steering wheel.

Sound/Amplifier

It has a built-in amp with 6 outputs with a max output of 50W/channel. In other words, enough to power your subwoofer and car speakers with ease.

It never hurts to have additional power so you should of course invest in a standalone amp if it’s within your budget. But if not, no worries, because the 8200nex will deliver ample power on its own.

It’s built in EQ is equally impressive and fully customizable, which is necessary to satisfy the most discerning of audiophiles. If you invested in new car speakers and a woofer, you would want the ability to tune everything to your liking, and the Avic-8200 allows you to do just that.

Navigation

Nowadays, most people just use their smartphone’s navigation, but what if you’re on a long road trip? Or your phone’s battery is low? Or you just want to focus on one screen at a time? Regardless of the reason, the Avic-8200’s built in navigation comes in handy.

It has a dedicated navigation system that also has built in points of interests such as restaurants, bars, gas stations etc…similar to Google Maps.

Avic-8200 Downsides

Price: As with most things in life, you get what you pay for and you will certainly have to pay more for this head unit than average, but it’s a worthwhile investment.

Update: Pioneer AVIC-7200NEX

It’s sold out across Crutchfield, Amazon and Best Buy. We couldn’t find a new one anywhere as Pioneer has apparently discontinued it. The good news is there are at least two good alternatives:

Pioneer AVIC-7200NEX

pioneer avic-7200

The Pioneer AVIC-7200nex has all the features of the 8200nex but with the addition of connectivity to a rear back-up camera. It’s even a bit cheaper. You can check out the Pioneer Avic-7200nex on Amazon here.

Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX DVD Receiver

pioneer AVIC-W8400nex

We may have to do a full review of this unit as well as it is the updated version, but from what we’ve seen on Amazon, the feedback is excellent. It’s an Amazon’s choice with 4.5 stars and glowing reviews.

The downside is that it is more expensive – by almost $200. You can see the Pioneer AVIC-W8400nex on Amazon here.

Pioneer Avic-8200nex Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Excellent Built in Amplifier capable of powering your entire sound system as is
  • Wealth of connectivity

Cons

  • It’s pricey.

Best Soundbar with Subwoofer – Top 10 Reviews

tv soundbar with subwoofer

TVs are getting slimmer and slimmer. The only problem is that usually, the slimmer the TV, the worse the sound. What’s the point of having a sleek and modern TV if the sound quality is average at best?

Enter Soundbars. Hear those movie soundtracks & effects, TV shows, music and sports the way they were meant to be heard. Soundbars give you excellent audio and fit in nicely with any living room setup as most of them are incredibly slim and come with wireless speakers, saving you the hassle of setting up an expensive home theater system.

Soundbars with Subwoofers

You need bass. In order to feel the full effect of movies, sports and music, you need a separate subwoofer to deliver full bass to complement the soundbar that will deliver your mids and highs.

Bass needs room. Some soundbars have built in subwoofers, and a few of them are actually good. But many people agree that you need a separate standalone subwoofer because you need big speaker drivers to deliver quality low end sound.

The good thing is that the subwoofer can be placed pretty much anywhere as most bass is non directional and doesn’t require proper acoustics. The subwoofer will automatically sync with your soundbar wirelessly so setup is a breeze – simply plug the subwoofer into a power outlet.

Many soundbars even have Bluetooth, allowing you to sync with your phone or computer for music as well.

Best Soundbar under 200 – Cheap / Inexpensive Soundbars

Vizio SB3621 Soundbar & Subwoofer

vizio SB3821 soundbar with wireless subwoofer

Vizio is known for making highly affordable electronics and the 2.1 channel SB3621 soundbar is no exception. Sure, you might have to sacrifice a few features that come with higher priced soundbars such as HDMI inputs (to connect to the TV’s sound) and a separate subwoofer.

 But it does have 3.5mm and optical cable inputs, and most importantly supports Bluetooth for music playback from your favorite devices and you won’t find a better value soundbar given the solid audio performance of the Vizio.

As for downsides, the side display indicator lights are a bit confusing so he sure to read up on them in the manual, and though the audio is great, it isn’t true surround sound. Still, a great value.

Polk magnify mini Soundbar – Best for Small Spaces

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini Sound Bar

This small soundbar takes up very little space but packs a powerful punch. It conveniently fits into any space, be it a large house or small apartment, and most importantly, it sounds great.

It comes with a separate wireless subwoofer to deliver booming deep bass, and the midrange and highs are crisp as they are powered by four 2.25 drivers and two half in. tweeters.

Not only will movies sound great, but you can of course play music via Bluetooth or use the built-in Google Chromecast for streaming across several rooms as well. Moreover, it comes with Google Home for those who want voice control.

Thanks to its SDA technology, regardless whether you’re listening to pop, hip hop, jazz, or watching the latest Avengers movie, this small soundbar delivers grumbling bass as well as complex sound effects beautifully.

Bottom line, this is an Amazon’s choice and favorite amongst both users and critics due to its great performance at an affordable price point.

Polk Audio Signa S1 Soundbar – Affordable Soundbar

polk audio signa s1 soundbar

This is another 2.1 channel soundbar that offers Bluetooth connectivity, and a separate wireless subwoofer, but no HDMI support (it does have an optical input however).

It delivers balanced and clean surround sound audio to help deliver a wider sound, and perhaps most importantly, it is the lowest price soundbar we could find so it’s a great value.

Best Soundbar under 300

Q acoustics M4 Soundbar – Best Value

Q Acoustics M4 Soundbar with Built in Subwoofer

This 2.1 channel soundbar is another surprise performer. It sounds great without breaking the bank. It too can be used for both movies and music and it does an impressive job on both.

Of course, there’s an included wireless subwoofer to help deliver the low end bass we all require from our favorite movies. The difference is that this subwoofer is built in. We prefer standalone subwoofers as they then have more space to accommodate the larger drivers that bass requires.

That said, the Q Acoustics  soundbar still did a pretty good job of reproducing the low end and it does support the addition of another wireless subwoofer should you so choose. But it seems a bit redundant.

Downsides: On the design front, it’s pretty…boring looking and clunky, particularly compared to the aforementioned Polk Mini. Another downside, there’s no HDMI input for advanced connections and there’s no wifi support (though you can connect your music via Bluetooth).

Bottom line, music and movies sound really, really good and the price point is not bad either. A worthwhile consideration.

Polk Audio Command Bar – Popular Choice

Polk Audio Command Sound Bar with Hands-free Amazon Alexa Voice

This is a popular and good value2.1 channel soundbar with a sleek design that offers a lot of bang for the buck.

It offers voice control via Alexa (it comes with a standard remote as well), accommodates a Firestick, an HDMI input, has Bluetooth connectivity for music playback and a separate wireless 6.5”  subwoofer.

It offers well balanced and full crisp sound, but perhaps not quite as good as some of the other soundbars on this list. Moreover, there isn’t support for connectivity to additional speakers.

Bottom line, this is a popular model so we had to include it on this list, but the aforementioned issues and 3.5 star Amazon rating may give some users pause.

Best Soundbar under 500

Yamaha MusicCast Bar 400 – Most Versatile

Yamaha-MusicCast-BAR-400-Sound-Bar-with-Wireless-Subwoofer-and-Alexa-Connectivity

This 2.1 channel soundbar is loaded with features as it offers a wealth of connectivity: Spotify Connect compatibility, wifi, Bluetooth, aux, optical, HDMI, multi-rooming streaming via MusicCast, and Alexa support for voice control.

There’s the option to customize this soundbar by adding additional speakers to make it a 5.1 setup by adding MusicCast 20 or 50 speakers.

More importantly, it sounds great. It comes with a 100 watt wireless subwoofer that is also adjustable to please every listener depending on their preference for bass levels. The mids and the highs are crisp as well. The only slight downside is that the EQ levels can’t be customized precisely as the soundbar only offers various sound modes.

Still, this is an Amazon’s choice and a highly customizable soundbar with the ability to either opt for either the base configuration or one with 2 additional speakers should you so decide further down the line.

JBL Bar 3.1 Soundbar – For Bass Lovers

JBL-Bar-3.1-Channel-4K-Ultra-HD-Soundbar-with-10”-Wireless-Suboofer

This is a great soundbar for bass lovers. It has a big 10” wireless subwoofer that pumps some serious (adjustable) low end bass, while simultaneously delivering precise and crisp mids and highs.

It has a whopping 3 HDMI inputs (1 HDMI out as well), Bluetooth connectivity for connecting your smart devices, and JBL’s movie-famous Dolby Digital technology.

It also has detachable wireless surround speakers that offer up to 10 hours of rechargeable battery play so though this may not be the complete 5.1 surround sound experience, it’s still pretty good.

Best Premium Soundbar

Samsung HW-N950 Soundbar

Samsung HW-N950 Soundbar with Dolby Atmos 2

This is the last soundbar on this list for a reason. There are a whopping 18 speakers in all between the soundbar, two wireless rear speakers and the subwoofer on this impressive 7.1 channel soundbar that delivers true surround sound.

Take a look at all of the included features: breathtaking DTS:X & Dolby Atmos sound, optical & HDMI input, wifi and Bluetooth connectivity for music playback and a wireless subwoofer that delivers earth-shattering bass.

The sound is widely agreed to be phenomenal as it offers 3D sound immersion deliver crisp and clear detail in the mids and highs with excellent bass, taking your movie viewing to another level.

The only downside is for those who require voice control & connectivity to their Alexa  apps.

Bottom line, this soundbar will fill up any room with amazing audio that’s perfect for music and movies, but it may be far too pricey for the average user who just needs a basic soundbar so other options may be a better fit.

Review: VAVA MOOV 28 Bluetooth Earbuds

vava moov 28 headphones - ergonomic fit

Gallery

Overview

What we liked:

Design and comfort. These VAVA MOOV 28 bluetooth earbuds have an angled eartip design that reaches deep into your ear. The silicone eartips stay firmly in place while running or doing other active exercises. In other words, they’re comfortable and they won’t fall out.

Battery life (9/10). One of the best batteries we’ve seen in wireless earbuds. These earbuds have a 120mAh battery lasting up to 8 hours of use with a charging time of 1-2 hours. It is enough to fully enjoy a (really) long lasting workout while running or walking a few miles, or just staying in the house listening to music while doing chores.

Waterproof (7/10) The manufacturer gives the Vava Moovs an IPX5 level of water resistance that, translated into english, means it has a splashproof build – it’s fully sweatproof and secured from light rain. In other words, no need to worry while doing active sports.

Additional features: Built-in magnets on the sides with aluminum design, a definite “nice-to-have”, secure the earbuds around the neck. This is a much loved item by iPhone owners.

Voice prompts and sounds – When turning the earbuds on/off, you will hear an ascending or descending string of beeps. Also a beep informs when the earphones are connected to device.

Sound quality – Crisp, loud and clear. Sound is reproduced with aptX codec to help solve the bandwidth limit of bluetooth. Though these sport earbuds are stronger on mids and highs leaving picky bass fans a bit wanting. That said, the basses are satisfactory, particularly for this price point.

vava moov 28 sound

What’s in the box:
– 3 pairs of Earbuds in different sizes
– 3 pairs of Ear Hooks (matching sizes for the accompanying earbuds)
– 1 Shirt Clip
– 1 Micro-USB Charging Cable
– 1 Mesh Carrying Bag
– 1 User Manual and Thank You card from VAVA.

User Reviews – User comments on Customer Service have been great overall. Any negative reviews were resulted in a swift replacement of the product by the Manufacturer.

Bluetooth. Like most wireless headphones, these earbuds use bluetooth 4.1 for a connection.

How to pair earbuds with a bluetooth device for the first time

For the first time pairing, keep the earphones close to your phone or other bluetooth device (about 3 feet / 1 meter). To activate pairing mode, press and holdthe multifunction button in the middle until you’ll see LED light blinking red and blue.

And lastly, activate bluetooth on your device and do a search. You should find “VAVA MOOV 28” on the list of available devices. Once the devices are connected, a blue LED light will flash on the earphones for visual confirmation.

How to charge the Vava Moov 28

This set has an opening with a rubber cover behind the volume buttons where micro USB charging port is placed. The rubber cover is easy to open.

Controls (9/10).

Controls are placed on the cable on the right side. There are three buttons. Two for volume/skipping tracks and one multifunctional button. We personally like the position of controls on the cable more than controls on the earbud itself since you do not need to lift your hand as high.

Secondly, touching controls on the cable does not move the earplug which would result in extra noise in your ear. Thirdly, the microphone is on the controls panel and it’s closer to your mouth.

As a review team, we need to mention a counter argument for the position of the controls on the cable. While actively jogging, the cable tends to move a little bit more compared to controls on the earbud itself.

vava moov ergonomic fit

Noise cancellation.

Noise cancellation is mentioned by manufacturer, but it is passive which means it is only isolation. Surrounding sounds are isolated physically with the earplug itself, when it is inside your ear.

Practically, noise is isolated quite good when the plugs are inside your ears. As all earplugs of this kind, use the right size Silicone eartips for your ear canal to ensure you minimize sounds like hearing your breathing, steps and other body sounds.

What we didn’t like:

These earbuds are not as strong on basses as some fans may like (but we really can’t complain for the price).

The charging lid on the earbuds opens quite hard (which is a good thing for water resistance), but after some use, the lid started to get a bit looser. That’s OK for sweat resistance, but may be an issue in the rain. That said, we’ve scoured the user reviews online and haven’t seen any real complaints about this potential issue.

Voice conversations are normal. The other side can hear you loud and clear, but the voice of other person via the earphones may sound a little more robotic when listening via the earbuds as compared to listening straight from the phone. Perhaps this is somewhat subjective as other testers didn’t note this but overall voice conversations were still pretty clear. 

Specifications

Product Dimensions3.2 x 1.3 x 1 inches
Item model numberVA-BH009US
Weight0.6 ounces
MicrophoneYes
WaterproofIPX-5 Splashproof Build
BluetoothV4.1
SoundCD-Like Audio Quality with aptX
Noise cancellationPassive
Connection to two devicesYes
BatteryLithium-ion Polymer 120 mAh. Up to 8h playback time
Frequency Response(N/A)
ChargingMicro Usb Cable
Warranty18 months

Bottom line, all day battery life, waterproof for everything but active swimming, excellent sound quality and a price that can’t be beat.