Our world has become one of extreme technological advancements. In the past twenty years, we have seen a leap in the available technologies that is greater than the rest of human history combined. And these staggering advancements mean we, as consumers, have more variety when it comes to shopping than ever before.
One of the areas that continually advances is the automotive world. Cars get seemingly smarter and more efficient every year, and the peripheral technologies that become available follow suit. And it is one of these fields we are going to be looking into today.
Double DIN Head Units. In basic terms, these are advanced systems that can replace your standard car radio to enhance the musical atmosphere of your car and improve your driving experience ten-fold. Previously, replacement units for car radio systems were very basic and contained the bare essential features.
But research has brought us a variety of features that modern DIN units boast. And it is due to this ever-increasing list of features that it can be quite a task to find the best double DIN head unit that is suitable for your personal needs. So we have compiled a handy review list of 8 of the best Double DIN head units available.
But before you dive in and find your new perfect unit, take some time to browse through this handy buyer guide we have prepared. It contains a few helpful tips and some essential information you need to know before you make a purchase.
Buyers Guide for Choosing a Top Double Din Head Unit
What is Double DIN
The DIN is the head unit in your car where you will often find your radio and its remote control. Some modern cars have DIN units with some flashy preinstalled features, such as GPS or rear camera. But more often than not it will be a radio unit.
But there are two standard types of DIN units. Single DIN and Double DIN. This terminology refers to the standard sizing that is applied to a given unit.The best single DIN head unit is 2×7 Inches, while a Double is 4×7 Inches.
Since the term DIN refers to the type of device, it does not mean every DIN unit you find will have the same features, Operating system, functionality, or compatibility with your other devices. This guide is going to be looking specifically at double-DIN units. Which leads us into our next point.
Before you do anything, go and measure your current DIN unit. You do not want to rush out and purchase a double-DIN only to find it does not fit into the dashboard. You can do this manually or simply refer to the manual that came with your car, it should have all the necessary information.
One issue that has started to occur in recent years is a lot of different brands that have started moving away from the traditionally sized spaces for DIN units. While this is an inconvenience, it is definitely not the norm as of yet. The majority of cars will still use the standard DIN and double DIN measurements, so chances are your car is fine.
Why Use Double DIN
Double DIN, as opposed to single DIN, often come with a slew more features. Size isn’t their only advantage. Due to the increased space within the tech itself, companies are able to chock it full of more features but also are able to use the latest and most cutting-edge tech as well. This equates to faster loading times, more seamless interfaces, and fewer technical issues. Not to mention they offer a larger variety when it comes to visual aesthetics. Which leads us into the next area of consideration.
What You Want to Look For in the Best Double DIN Head Unit
Like we said before, the market is saturated with countless DIN products, each making bold claims and dazzling you with a features list that can seem daunting. So it is important that you know what features are available and you should also take the time to decide what features you actually want. This also means deciding what features you want to prioritize. Many of the best double DIN head units will have the same features, but different models will specialize in certain aspects. So you need to decide what is most important to you.
The first step will be deciding what classic features you want in your best double DIN head unit. This means radio functionality with FM/AM compatibility. A CD reader so you can play your collection while on the go. And a lot of companies consider Aux functionality a classic feature these days, with most mobile devices making the switch to full wireless connectivity, so if you still use an AUX cord, you will need to make sure your DIN unit features one.
The biggest upside to modern double DIN head units is all the shiny new features and “Smart Tech” that comes included. There is a lot of variety in this field, and lots of competing brands boasting various strengths and weaknesses. Some of the features you might want to look out for include:
Touchscreen: A fantastic addition to any car is the inclusion of touchscreen DIN systems. It will make navigation through the system easier and allows for more direct control over what is happening. Not to mention it is tougher to break a touchscreen as opposed to classic buttons and dials.
GPS: In the past, the DIN units and GPS systems were separate devices entirely. You’d hook up a sat-nav to the charger port of your car and stick it to the windscreen. But a lot of modern units come with GPS fitted and, thanks to the advance display screens most of them utilize, provide crystal clear map information and accurate tracking.
Bluetooth: If you are tired with fussy cables and aux cords falling out mid-drive, Bluetooth connectivity is definitely a must-have. Most units will have this as standard, with some even going further to include Dual Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to connect two devices at once.
Rear Camera Connectivity: A lot of modern cars now feature rear scanners and even rear cameras to allow you to get a better view while reversing. If this is something that interests you, you can find a fair few Double DIN head unit that allow connectivity to these cameras and provide a crystal sharp image directly to your dashboard.
Smartphone Support: Simply connecting your smartphone’s Bluetooth and playing music is the first step in smartphone integration. Modern Double DIN head unit take this a step further. Both Apple and Android have launched their own car, control apps that can be connected to your Double DIN head unit to allow more control over your set-up, including voice control functionality through your phone.
Voice Control: If you don’t want to spring for smartphone support to get voice control, some units offer it as standard. If you want a safer experience and the ability to control your system hands-free, this is something worth considering.
Calling: Hands free calling is one of the features that many double din head unit will come with and is an essential component to look for.
There are many other features, but this covers some of the biggest ones that are available to you as you shop through the large selection of Double DIN head unit out there.
This might seem like something that isn’t that big of a deal; but trust us, the look of your best double DIN head unit is important. If anything its more important than a lot of other aspects. You might be wondering why?
Simply put, if you can’t stand to look at your double DIN, it’ll lower your mood without you even realizing. There is a lot to be said for looks and how they affect our mood. If we are in an environment, we find pleasant, we will be more relaxed. And on the road, staying relaxed is important. Not to mention if your Double DIN head unit is garish, it could distract you while you’re driving.
But more than that, cars are a fashion item as much as a practical tool. Nothing is nice than having a fantastic looking car interior to match your sharp dress sense or flare for fashion. So take some time to really plan ahead on what you want.
Wattage and Power Issues
This is an area that is oft-overlooked by potential buyers. Most people assume wattage simply concerns providing the Double DIN head unit with power, but this isn’t the case. Wattage also directly affects how loud you can play your music, and sometimes the quality of the music. Higher wattage means louder music, so if pumping the bass and really throwing your tunes out there is a concern, aim for higher wattage and get yourself the best door speakers for bass.
RMS is another factor you want to take into considering. The RMS concerns how much power goes from an amp to the speaker, like the 6×9 speaker reviewed here. This directly links to your wattage and volume. Simply put, if your wattage is high, but your RMS is low, you are going to get distorted sound quality as the speaker simply won’t be able to deal with the increased power being sent to it. So make sure you reach a healthy balance between wattage and RMS.
Installing double DIN stereos is not one style suits all. Depending on the features that are present alongside your car system. Some units will be as simple as plugin and use, but most require a bit more setup than normal. To that end, you will want to consider if you are willing to try to install it yourself, and take all the risks that come with it or pay for a professional installation.
If you are buying your unit in the store, you may get offered a free installation with your purchase, in which case we recommend making use of it. As a rule, we would always recommend hiring a professional to do your installation.
Continuing on from the installation issue, it is important to note that not every car comes with the same audio system inputs and outputs. These are the sections that your Double DIN head unit connect to, so if your car is incompatible with a certain unit you will have paid a lot of money for a dud product.
So it is important to make sure you check the manual of your car or consult an expert, to find out exactly what audio systems your car is compatible with before you make any purchases. Going a step further, you might want to look into brake bypasses.
A lot of double DIN units feature large screens and visual controls, mixed with DVD functionality, YouTube access. Of course, it is the law that these systems have to come preinstalled with safety features that are linked to your car braking systems. Essentially, while your car isn’t parked, a lot of the features of your unit won’t work. This is fine for some features, but some units take it too far and even lock up basic Bluetooth connectivity while driving, which defeats the purpose.
Brake bypasses simply trick this system and allow you access to all the unit features even while driving. This means you wont be hampered by restrictions. We must make it clear; we DO NOT endorse driving while using any video streaming features or interactive functions that might distract you from driving. While on the road, your focus should BE on the road.
The part of shopping no one likes to talk about. The price. It’s all well and good finding a DIN unit that has all the bells and whistles, but if you can’t afford it you will be getting your hopes up for nothing. So before you do anything you need to decide what your budget actually is.
The upside to all this is there is no fixed pricing for Double DIN head units. Any number of factors can affect price; from the number of options, a specific unit boasts, to when it was originally released, even down to what brand it is. A big upside to the market being so saturated with products is the competition between brands. Companies are always looking to make sure you shop with them over their competitors.
How We Review the Best Double Din Head Unit
So it’s about time we got into the main event. Looking at our selection of top 8 Double DIN Units. But a brief word on how we have made our selection.
When searching we went for a mix of units that would reach a broad appeal. It would be easy enough to simply pick the most flash and expensive Double DIN head unit and be done with it. But that wouldn’t benefit everyone. So we have selected a mix of products ranging in price from the lower end to the more expensive. We have also assembled a fair variety in terms of functionality, meaning whatever your preference, you are sure to find what you need.
1. ATOTO A6 Double Din Android Car Navigation Stereo
We are starting with a strong contender in the ATOTO A6 Double Din Android head unit. This is one of my personal favorite units for a few key reasons. Pricing and speed.
As the marketplace became more and more saturated with products, many companies sought to stuff as much new tech into their Double DIN head unit as possible to stay competitive. But the problem is, these same companies neglected to focus on the OS boot times and run speeds, leading to slow tech that is prone to crashing.
The ATOTO A6 is one of the best on the market for run speed. Testing has it clocked at 2 seconds to boot, which is an impressive feat considering how many features it is packed with. The ATOTO A6 combines a lot of the classic features, such as AM/FM radio functionality and aux input sockets, with some of the newer features, such as Rear Camera support and gesture support.
The system has full SD support and is confirmed to work with cards up to 1TB. This means you can easily change out the storage units and change up the content you have preloaded onto the unit. The unit comes with a beautiful Full HD 7″ 1024 x 600 5-Touch Capacitive Touchscreen. And with full Bluetooth support and BT tethering as standard, you’ll be able to link up your phone and operate through the Unit’s own touchscreen making for a smoother and more enjoyable driving experience.
Normally a product like this would be a bank-breaking one. But the ATOTO A6 comes in at the lower end of average. While it definitely isn’t the cheapest option on the market, it has some of the best value for money when you stack it up against its fucntionalities list.
- Full HD 7″ 1024 x 600 5-Touch Capacitive Touchscreen Display
- Incredible Start-up Time of 2s
- Bluetooth Connectivity and BT Tethering
- Rear Camera Support
- Full FM/AM Radio support and Aux Input
- GPS Navigation integrated
Like any product, it isn’t perfect. There are a couple of drawbacks to this product. User reviews have noted that the firmware updates seem to take a lot longer than other competitors’ products. This might not be a huge issue for someone with a lot of spare time, but if you get caught unaware by a firmware update, you might be in for a long wait.
Secondly, this product wasn’t designed with the US market place in mind, so there are a couple of functionalities missing such as HD radio.
2. Pioneer AVH-200EX Multimedia DVD Receiver with Built-in Bluetooth
The Pioneer series is a powerhouse in the double DIN head unit game. Their product line is built up of a wide variety of products meeting every need and price bracket imaginable. And the AVH-200EX is a highlight of Pioneer’s commitment to meeting every customer’s needs.
The Pioneer AVH-200EX is, by no means, the flashiest model on the market. But that does not mean it isn’t a powerhouse in its own right. The Pioneer AVH-220EX boats all the classic features you would expect including CD/DVD functionality, both Android and Apple Bluetooth functionality for those looking to utilize their smartphones, and a well laid out and functional physical button navigational system.
The main point of strength for this unit is its price tag. It is one of the most reasonable units in terms of price vs features. For anyone looking to get something simple, yet effective, without breaking the bank, the AVH-200EX is most likely the one for you.
Unlike other modern double DIN stereo units, this model does not have a touch screen, which can be quite a turn off for a lot of customers, especially those looking for smooth interface navigation while driving. And, while it can connect to both apple and android phones, it cannot utilize their respective auto apps. It is also lacking a GPS system, so you will need to purchase one separately.
- Full CD/DVD functionality
- Great Price tag
- Bluetooth support for both Android and Apple
- Quick Connection Times
A side note; this unit makes a fantastic gift for a more casual driver. The reasonable price and strong, yet basic features list, will be perfect for anyone still using their basic radio system.
3. Sony WX920BT
Our next selection is a bit of a wildcard in terms of our usual approach to rating. The Sony WX920BT double din radio head unit is the best choice for anyone looking to mix their intense love of music and musical quality, with a distinct functionality geared towards style.
This unit does not boast any of the more elaborate features you might find in other units, such as GPS, rear camera viewing, or touchscreen interface. But what it lacks in those areas, it makes up for in its audio quality.
Boasting a 4 x 55 W amp for an incredible sound, backed up by intelligent audio processing, this is one of the best choices for sound-heads who notice the finer details of their music. And with dual Bluetooth connectivity, you and a friend can both bounce between music selections with ease.
And we can’t mention the stylish look of the unit. Its sleek, futuristic sheen and sharp look will definitely add a lot of flair to your ride. The Sony WX920BT comes with a built-in lighting system with fully customizable color controls so you can set the mood to your preference. It even comes with pattern response to whatever song is currently playing, meaning you can treat your passengers to a fantastic light show while you drive and really immerse yourself in the music.
To make things even better, the system comes with full voice control as standard and has CD functionality. It also has aux functionality and radio compatibility.
- Dual Bluetooth connectivity
- Immersive lighting system with audio color matching
- Standard CD/Radio/Aux functionality
- Top Quality audio systems and processing
All of this is matched by a reasonable price tag. This unit is perfect for anyone simply looking to enhance their car’s musical systems without breaking the bank. The drawbacks are, of course, the lack of a lot of features such as GPS and due to the nature of its price, it might not last as long as more expensive units.
4. Pioneer MVH1400NEX
We are back on the Pioneer range and looking up the price range. The Pioneer MVH1400NEX took a lot of the issues you would find with many touchscreen units and fixed them right up.
This unit is a sleek, functional model chocked full of fantastic functionalities and high-quality tech. The thing that catches your eye first will be the 6.2-inch screen. Running at 800×400 resolution, it offers a sharp image with an extremely responsive touchscreen that doesn’t require much pressure to use.
The Pioneer NEX models are at the forefront of tech. This DIN head unit boasts compatibility with apple meaning you can use your smartphone to your heart’s content. It, of course, comes with the standard Bluetooth connectivity too.
For those concerned with audio quality, the inbuilt amp is 14 watts RMS CTA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels and it comes with a 13-band equalizer as well. The system is also completely compatible with most music streaming apps, such as Spotify or Amazon music.
Of course, it also boasts a lot of the classical features you would want from a stereos double din unit of this price. USB connectivity, GPS navigation through most popular map apps, and hands-free voice control and phone call support.
Another great feature of this model that sets it apart is the inclusion of multilingual options. Useful for if you have a visiting friend from abroad or are thinking of giving this as a gift to someone.
- High-quality touch-screen display with responsive control
- Strong Audio systems producing high-quality sound
- Full Music Streaming support
- Bluetooth functionality
- Hands-free support for calling.
The two biggest drawbacks of this unit are the price and the lack of support for Android phones.
The price reflects the quality of the unit, there is no doubt about that, but even so, it is still on the pricy side. But the lack of android support means this unit is closed off to a huge selection of customers. While it can still connect via Bluetooth to android phones, its functionality with them is limited to that alone. So if you are an Apple user, this unit is definitely for you.
5. JVC KW-V25BT
If money is a big issue for you, but you still want something with great functionality radio double din, the JVC KW-V25BT might be the one for you. While it isn’t the flashiest unit on the market, and its functions might not be of the highest quality, it is superb for its pricing.
It comes with the standard CD player functionality, while also including a High output USB allowing you to connect your devices to stream music. This USB port doubles as a fast-charging port as well, meaning you can keep a charge wherever you go. This feature is what I feel, sets it apart from its competitors.
It comes with dual Bluetooth connectivity, which is always a bonus, with some superb sound quality. With an inbuilt MOSFET amp clocking in at 22 Watts with an RMS/50 it is definitely not to be discounted when it comes to creating an amazing sound. Not to mention the Bluetooth connection strength and quality is superb. It rarely drops out or stutters so you can be sure your drive will go on uninterrupted.
The screen is a lovely 6.2-inch touchscreen, making system use and navigation a breeze. It might not be the most responsive touch screen available, but for the price it is fantastic. And to boot, it has the standard AM/FM radio capabilities as well.
The unit also comes with a camera that a be linked directly to it, meaning you have access to rear view through this unit, which is a massive plus considering the cost. The camera quality might not be the best out there, but you could always get an upgrade if you were so inclined.
- Dual connectivity
- MOSFET Amp and great audio quality.
- Touchscreen control
- Full FM/AM Radio functionality.
- Reasonable priced.
- Comes with a Camera as Standard
The drawbacks of this unit are, of course, its lack of features. You get what you pay for, and the features it does boast are by no means shoddy. It doesn’t come with GPS built-in, which is a bit of a bother. But thanks to the screen and Bluetooth tech, you can stream your navigation app direct from your phone. But if you are looking for something a bit more comprehensive, this might not be the unit for you. But if money is an issue, this should definitely be in your considerations.
6. Jensen CAR10 LCD Car Stereo
This unit is one of my personal favorites and one of the best double din head units out there. It is on the higher end of the cost spectrum, easily being one of the most expensive units on this list. But I guarantee you are getting more than your money worth with this unit.
The first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful 10inch LED touchscreen, which is adjustable. It provides a crystal-clear image and boasts extremely responsive touch controls meaning you won’t have to struggle with navigation. This is complemented by a lovely user-interface that makes things simple.
For those who love their smartphones, this unit is fully compatible with both Android Auto and Apple Carplay. This unit goes beyond a simple entertainment system and becomes a full road assistant and life planner. It even allows full voice integration with Siri and the android audio navigation functions, meaning you can run the whole system without taking your hands off the wheel. This combined with the incredible display means you can check through your emails or texts in style.
The system comes with FM/AM radio functionality along with both USB and SD compatibility, meaning you are spoilt for choice in which method you want to access your apps and media. And the wide range of compatibility it offers means you have a large selection of workable apps to use. This isn’t limited to music apps either. It features full video playback so you can hop on YouTube or watch your downloaded movies.
Don’t despair if you are limited to Bluetooth connectivity only. The systems are fantastically strong. With almost no chance of echo or disconnection issues occurring. This is backed up by the stellar audio processing already present within the unit.
- Beautiful 10Inch LED Touchscreen with responsive control
- FM/AM Radio functionality
- SD/USB ports with fast charging capabilities
- Full Apple Carplay and Android Auto support
- Music streaming and Video playback functions
- Voice Control integration with Siri/ Android Navigation
The biggest drawback to this product is the price. It boasts some of the best tech and features, but you have to pay for that kind of quality. We can guarantee you won’t be disappointed with your purchase, but if money is tight, this isn’t the unit for you.
A smaller issue is the lack of a CD drive. If you have built up a large collection of CD’s over the years and enjoy using them, this unit won’t be for you.
7. Sony XAV-AX8000 Floating LCD with Apple Car Play & Android Auto
The most expensive unit on this list is the Sony XAV-AX8000 and arguably the best double din . And a lot of that has to do with the Sony branding. But this is also a blessing as Sony never puts their name on anything, they aren’t proud to stand behind. As such, this unit is a powerhouse of tech. It boasts a strong features list.
Straight off the bat, you are treated to a Sony brand Anti-Glare 8.95-inch touchscreen with fantastically responsive controls. The Anti-Glare is a fantastic addition, in my opinion, and is definitely a sigh of the care and quality work that has been put into this model.
Unlike some other models, this one is backed by a three-way mount, making it one of the more adjustable units out there. You can set it up to meet your specific height and create an altogether easier and more user-friendly experience.
One of the most unique features of the Sony unit is its sound system. Or rather the sound system you create around it. This model offers an unprecedented amount of control and customization over what you can attach. Boasting three five-volt pre-outs, you are free to add whatever you like and customize your musical experience to your liking. The 4 x 55-Watt amp that comes as standard is a powerhouse, so if you are a stickler for audio quality, you will be satisfied.
The system comes with all the classic features you would expect. Full FM/AM Radio support and USB input allowing you to both charge your phone and play music with ease. Of course, it has full Bluetooth support, boasting a strong and stable connection that will hold reliably.
The system has full support for both Apple Carplay and Android Auto meaning you can control the system from the comfort of your phone. And this includes utilizing the voice navigation systems present on both Apple and Android. Meaning you can operate the system entirely hands-free.
- Beautiful 8.95Inch Anti-Glare Screen
- Fully Adjustable Back mount
- FM/AM Radio functionality
- USB Input with charging capability
- Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility with Voice Control support
- Fully customizable audio system
There are, of course, a few downsides to this unit. The biggest one being the price. You are paying for brand quality with this and you definitely get what you pay for. But it is expensive. It is up to you to decide if the quality and longevity of the product are enough to justify the price.
It also does not come with aux input or a CD drive. So if you need to make use of either of these functions, this product is not for you.
8. EZoneTronics Android 8.1 Unit
The Ezone Tronics Android 8.1 is a bit of a sleeper hit, as far as I am concerned. It comes in at the lowest priced unit on this list, but still boasts a staggering list of features.
The System looks, at a glance, like a simple tablet. And it functions very much like one in all the areas that count. The unit is capable of running a large number of different popular apps, such as Netflix and Spotify. It also allows you to run a GPS mapping app through it, or via your phone.
It has full mirror link functionality, meaning you can use your phone to control it and even use your phone inbuilt voice navigation functions. While it won’t support apps like Android Auto or Apple Carplay, it works well enough in the areas that count.
All of this is displayed on a lovely 7inch screen rocking 1024×600 High Definition resolution. For a screen this size, that is extremely good and will present a crystal clear image.
The system offers steering wheel control if your vehicle can accommodate that, making control of the unit much simpler while driving. And it comes with the standard AM/FM radio functionality as standard.
The system also has full support for rear cameras, so you can get a perfect view of behind your car, displayed on the pristine screen. Alongside that, it boasts a strong Bluetooth connection that promises to stay connected.
- 7 Inch, HD Touchscreen display.
- Full FM/AM Radio support
- Rear Camera support.
- Mirror link functionality and App support
- Bluetooth connectivity
- GPS Mapping App support
With a unit like this, the biggest selling point is the price. But the price is also indicative of its drawbacks. For all the features it does boast, there are many it is missing. And on top of that, it might not be the most reliable unit on the market for any of the functions it does possess. It is very much a jack-of-all, master-of-none situation when it comes to its features list.
The lower quality tech also means the runtimes and boot-time of the system isn’t as good as it could be. A common complaint seen from users is the slower load times. But all of this is to be taken in stride when considering the price. If you are on a budget, this is definitely a unit worth considering.
Final Thoughts When Choosing a Double DIN Head Unit
The market for DIN units is a saturated one so when looking for the best double din head unit you have a wide range of products to look at. Companies are constantly improving and tweaking their tech to provide you with the best products possible.
If it were me, I would definitely be looking at the Jensen CAR10 for its money vs functionality rate. Or the ATOTO A6 Double Din Android because of its incredible boot times and seamless user interface. I hope this list has helped narrow down your choices and I hope you find the unit that is right for you. Happy shopping!
Last update on 2020-09-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API