Struggling with finding the perfect double DIN head unit for your car? Look no further. In this blog, we share our top 5 recommendations for the best double DIN head units of 2023, all tested and approved by audiophiles like us.
With over 10 years of experience in the car audio industry, we have helped countless individuals find their ideal sound system.
Our recommendations have been personally tested in real-world scenarios, ensuring their effectiveness and quality. So if you want to upgrade your car’s audio system, keep reading!
The 5 Best Double DIN head unit for Sound Quality – Reviewed
- The 5 Best Double DIN head unit for Sound Quality – Reviewed
- 1. Kenwood DMX7706S – The Best Double Din Car Stereo
- 2. Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX – Best Double Din Radio for Apple CarPlay
- 3. Alpine iLX-W650 – The Best Double Din Head Unit for the Money
- 4. JVC KW-M865BW – Best Double Din Head Unit for Android Auto
- 5. Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX – Most Powerful Double DIN Head Unit
- Things To Consider Before Selecting the Right Double Din Head Unit
1. Kenwood DMX7706S – The Best Double Din Car Stereo
If you’re looking for the best possible sound quality from a double din head unit, then you’ll want to check out the Kenwood DMX7706S. This unit is packed with features that allow you to get the most out of your music, and it sounds absolutely fantastic. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this head unit so special.
- 6.95″ Responsive Touchscreen – This beautiful 6.95″ digital media touchscreen head unit is perfect for anyone who wants to reduce glare and have accurate control of their music. You’ll love the customizable widget-style display that makes it easy to see all your music options at a glance. Plus, the clear resistive touch panel is a breeze to use, even when you’re on the go.
- Numerous Sound Customization Settings – With High-Resolution Audio, you can experience unbeatable sound quality that surpasses CD standards. This stereo offers a suite of sound-crafting tools, including a 13-band equalizer, deep crossover settings, and built-in digital time alignment, that bring back the depth and detail for all your digital music sources. The graphic equalizer lets you customize the sound to your liking, while the built-in digital time alignment ensures that your music will sound great no matter where your speakers are located in the vehicle.
- 5 Bluetooth Devices Simultaneously – With its ability to mix up to 5 Bluetooth devices simultaneously, you can enjoy audio streaming with your friends or family. In addition, the unit is compatible with various audio file formats from high-res FLAC and WAV files, to MP3, WMA and AAC files. Plus, with its dual phone connection feature, you can easily switch between multiple phones.
- Dual Backup Camera Support – This car radio comes with two camera inputs, so you can easily install front- and rear-view cameras. The electronic angle adjustment feature lets you customize the screen contrast for optimum viewing in any light conditions. And when you’re parked, you can enjoy your favorite video content in crystal-clear detail. Plus, the DMX7706S makes it easy to entertain your passengers on long trips by sending video content to a rear-seat screen.
- iDatalink Maestro Compatible – It is compatible with a wide selection of vehicles, letting you keep all your favorite features while upgrading to a new radio. You’ll be able to view engine performance data, vehicle info, and even radar info from a compatible detector on the Kenwood’s screen.
Pros & Cons
- 13-band equalizer offers great sound customization options
- Digital time alignment ensures great sound quality no matter where speakers are located
- 5 Bluetooth devices can be connected simultaneously
- Dual phone connection feature lets you easily switch between two phones
- Compatible with a wide range of vehicles
- Seamless interface with factory infotainment features
- Engine performance data, vehicle info, and radar info can be displayed on unit’s screen
- Some users have reported that the unit hangs at times and requires restarting the vehicle
- May not be compatible with all factory infotainment features
- Updates may be needed for optimal performance
2. Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX – Best Double Din Radio for Apple CarPlay
Pioneer has been one of the most popular brands when it comes to car audio for many years. The DMH-W4660NEX is their latest stereo that includes support for Apple CarPlay.
This model is very similar to the previous DMH-W4500NEX, but adds a few extra features that make it even more appealing. For example, the DMH-W4660NEX now supports wireless Apple CarPlay, meaning you don’t have to plug in your iPhone to use it.
- Numerous Sound Customization Settings – This powerful radio features a built-in 13 band EQ, letting you dial in your sound until it’s just right. And with three sets of preamp outputs, you can easily add more amps to your system for even more power. Plus, the easy EQ preset equalizer and crossover network mode make it easy to get great sound no matter what you’re listening to.
- Built-in HD Radio – This car stereo features an HD Radio tuner for improved sound quality from AM/FM frequencies, and you can even add a SiriusXM receiver for access to all their programming. Plus, there’s plenty of space for high resolution FLAC or DSD files, so you can enjoy your music in the best possible quality. With its sleek design and easy to use controls, the Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX is the perfect addition to any car.
- Dual Backup Camera Support – The Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX head unit is the perfect solution for safe and easy parking in any crowded lot. With its front- and rear-view cameras, selectable parking lines and built-in parking guides, you can park with confidence. The touch screen makes it easy to adjust parking lines, and if you add a front-view camera, the Pioneer receiver lets you use a video input for a second camera.
- Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto: With support for both wireless and wired connections, you can choose how you want to use your device. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support make it easy to use your smartphone in the car, while Amazon Alexa compatibility gives you hands-free access to all your favorite features.
- iDatalink Maestro – With iDatalink Maestro compatibility, you can keep all of your factory features intact while still enjoying the benefits of a new head unit. The wide selection of compatible vehicles makes it easy to find one that will work for your car.
Pros & Cons
- The unit is very sleek and has a rich color display.
- It is easy to use and the controls are straightforward.
- The unit is very customizable and allows for a variety of different sound settings.
- The built-in HD Radio tuner provides excellent sound quality for AM/FM frequencies.
- The head unit has plenty of space for high resolution FLAC or DSD files.
- The dual backup camera support is a great safety feature, and the touch screen makes it easy to adjust parking lines.
- The iDatalink Maestro compatibility is a great feature for those who want to keep their factory features intact while still enjoying the benefits of a new head unit.
- The volume and capacitive buttons can be frustrating to use.
- The iOS app to design your screen layout could be more user-friendly.
- The instructions for the iOS app could be more clear.
Full List: Best Double Din Head Unit for Apple CarPlay
3. Alpine iLX-W650 – The Best Double Din Head Unit for the Money
This unit is designed with a shallow-mount chassis, so it can be installed in a variety of vehicles. Whether you’re an experienced audio enthusiast or a first-time car stereo shopper, the Alpine iLX-W650 is a great option for anyone seeking top-notch sound quality at an affordable price.
- Large 7-inch Capacitive Touchscreen – The 7″ capacitive touchscreen display is bright and responsive, making it easy to control your music. Plus, the clean interface is simple to use. With simple fingertip controls, you can easily adjust the volume or change tracks without taking your eyes off the road.
- Voice Assistant – This premium stereo ensures that you’ll never have to take your hands off the wheel while driving, thanks to its integrated Siri and Google assistant support. Simply push the voice button on the unit or your steering wheel buttons to activate either Siri or the Google Assistant. With this handy feature, you can easily make calls, get directions, send messages, check the weather forecast and much more – all without ever taking your hands off the wheel.
- Excellent Sound Quality – This double din head unit delivers excellent sound quality thanks to the built-in amplifier and 9-band parametric equalizer. You can also use the Six channel time correction settings to optimize the audio signal for your specific car. Plus, with three sets of 4-volt preamp outputs, you can easily add additional amps for even more power. This head unit also features a USB input, so you can plug in a thumb drive with all your favorite tunes.
- High-res FLAC Support – This car stereo is also compatible with most music files, including high-res FLAC files. And if you want to wirelessly connect your phone and play music, the unit also features Bluetooth technology.
Customer Review – I wish there was a way to adjust the volume between the radio and Bluetooth. When switching from Bluetooth to radio, I always have to lower the volume significantly. It’s unsettling when I forget to do so. My second complaint is that the unit does not maintain a connection for a long period when using Android Auto.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent sound quality
- Integrated Siri and Google assistant support
- Six channel time-correction settings for optimized audio
- 3 sets of four volt pre-amp outputs for additional power
- Compatible with most music files, including high-res FLAC files
- Bluetooth technology for wireless connection
- Volume adjustment between radio and Bluetooth is difficult
- Android Auto connection is not reliable
4. JVC KW-M865BW – Best Double Din Head Unit for Android Auto
If you’re looking for the best double din head unit for Android Auto, then you’ll want to check out the JVC KW-M865BW. This unit is packed with features that make it perfect for use with Android Auto, and it also happens to be one of the most affordable options on the market.
- 6.8” Responsive Touchscreen Display – This amazing head unit features a 6.8″ clear resistive touchscreen display that is customizable with “live wallpaper” and widgets. You’ll love the digital angle adjustment for better in-dash visibility, and the finger movements control that lets you adjust the volume level and forward/back without ever taking your eyes off the road. Plus, it fits double-DIN dash openings perfectly.
- LDAC technology – This multimedia receiver supports 96kHz/24bit audio playback, which means you’ll be able to enjoy all the subtle details and nuances in your favorite songs. Also, this multimedia receiver features LDAC technology, which sends approximately three times more data than conventional Bluetooth audio for superior sound quality. With LDAC, you’ll be able to enjoy your music without any down-conversion of the Hi-Res Audio content, and with three times more data than other Bluetooth technologies, you’ll be able to enjoy your music with unparalleled sound quality.
- K2 Technology – With JVC’s original K2 Technology, you’ll be able to hear your music like never before. CDs will sound better than ever, and you’ll be able to hear high frequencies that are usually cut off during the CD formatting process. In addition, the Time Alignment feature ensures that each speaker in your car is outputting sound at the perfect time, creating a surround sound experience unlike any other.
- Great Sound Quality with lots of Features – This stereo supports 96kHz/24bit audio playback, which means you’ll be able to enjoy all the subtle details and nuances in your favorite songs that you may have been missing out on before. And if that’s not enough, the KW-M865BW also supports 192kHz/24bit High-Resolution Audio files, so you can experience your music at its absolute best.
- This stereo features sound response technology that cancels out time distortion to create clearer sound during the playback of compressed audio files. Additionally, the volume link EQ boosts specific frequencies in the audio signal to compensate for the impact of road noise, so you can enjoy your music without interference.
- Wired as well as Wireless Phone Mirroring – This stereo supports Mirroring for both iPhone and Android phones, so you can easily connect and control your phone on the receiver’s screen. You’ll be able to enjoy a variety of apps like Waze, YouTube, and Instagram without having to fumble around with cables. Plus, with touch control from both the screen and your smartphone, you’ll always be in complete control.
Pros & Cons
- The 6.8″ clear resistive touchscreen display is customizable with “live wallpaper” and widgets, which is perfect for those who want to have a personalised user experience.
- The digital angle adjustment is great for in-dash visibility, and the finger movements control lets you adjust the volume level and forward/back without ever taking your eyes off the road.
- The head unit fits double-DIN dash openings perfectly, which is a great plus.
- The LDAC technology sends approximately three times more data than conventional Bluetooth audio for superior sound quality.
- The sound response technology cancels out time distortion to create clearer sound during the playback of compressed audio files.
- The volume link EQ boosts specific frequencies in the audio signal to compensate for the impact of road noise, so you can enjoy your music without interference.
- The USB folders don’t show titles, which can be a bit confusing and frustrating.
- Some sound settings are deep into multiple menus, which can take some time to get used to.
- Swapping widgets around takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too difficult.
Related Article: Best Single DIN Head Unit
5. Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX – Most Powerful Double DIN Head Unit
The Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX is the best 10.1” Android Auto head unit on the market. It has a sleek and modern design, and it’s packed with features that make it perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car’s audio system.
- 10.1” Touchscreen Display – This unit features a sleek, 10.1″ floating capacitive HD touchscreen display that is sure to turn heads, and its chassis fits perfectly into both Double din and single-DIN dash openings. The HD display provides a crisp, clear picture that brings apps to life, and the wireless functionality means you won’t have to worry about tangled cords or losing your connection mid-trip. So if you’re looking for the best of both worlds.
- Superior Sound Quality – This powerful unit features a built-in MOSFET amplifier that delivers exceptional sound quality. The 13-band EQ let you customize the sound signal to your liking. Pioneer’s exclusive MIXTRAX technology creates a non-stop mix of your music library with DJ-inspired effects in between tracks.
- And with 3 sets of pre-amp outputs, you can add additional amplifiers for even more power. Plus, the front, rear, and subwoofer outputs can be switched to 3-way mode with Lows, Mids, and Highs.
- Rock Solid Bluetooth Connection – This unit comes with built-in Bluetooth technology, making it simple to pair your phone without going through a bunch of complicated settings. Plus, the auto connection function means that you can automatically connect to your registered Bluetooth device when it’s in proximity to the receiver. And since the DMH-WT8600NE supports wireless audio streaming (A2DP), you can easily search for your favorite artists, albums, and songs while you’re on the go.
- Dual Backup Camera Support – The Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX is the perfect head unit for anyone who wants the ultimate in rear-view visibility. With two camera inputs, you can easily install front- and rear-view cameras to keep an eye on everything behind you. So whether you’re parallel parking in the city or backing into a tight spot at the campground, the Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX has you covered.
- Wireless Apple CarPlay Wired as well as Wireless – This head unit supports both wireless and wired connections to your iPhone, making it super easy to use Apple CarPlay. With CarPlay, you can make calls, use Maps, listen to music, and send and receive messages–all while staying focused on the road. So ditch the distractions and make your drive smoother and safer with the Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX head unit.
- Built-in Amazon Alexa – This head unit features Amazon Alexa Built-in, allowing you to talk to Alexa directly through the receiver. With Alexa, you can ask to play music from your favorite streaming service, get the news, weather, control smart home devices, and so much more.
- Android Auto Wired as well as Wireless – This receiver supports both Android Auto Wireless and Android Auto over USB, making it easier than ever to stay connected on the road. With Android Auto, you’ll have access to useful information and important controls right at your fingertips, so you can stay focused on the road ahead. Plus, the Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX is compatible with Android phones running Android 5.0 or later, making it easy to use with your existing devices.
- Sirius XM Compatible – This top-of-the-line head unit not only offers superior sound quality and features, but is also SiriusXM-Ready, so you can enjoy over 140 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, and entertainment wherever you go. The SXV300 tuner allows you to access additional features like Tune Mix, Sports Flash, and Traffic and Weather Now, making the Pioneer DMH-WT8600NE the perfect head unit for any car.
- Metra Axxess – With the Metra Axxess Data Interface, you can keep all your personalized features and settings, even after replacing your factory head unit. This means no more lost HVAC functions, audio controls on the steering wheel, or gauge readings. The Pioneer DMH-WT8600NE is also equipped with built-in navigation, so you can always find your way.
Pros & Cons
- It supports both wireless and wired connections to your iPhone, making it super easy to use Apple CarPlay.
- The receiver’s built-in parking guides make it easy to back up safely.
- The touchscreen is responsive and provides high-definition resolution, which you won’t find in any pioneer head unit.
- The sound quality is far superior than any other stereo, and you may completely customize the audio tracks with its built-in equalizer and time alignment function
- You have to get the video bypass when you install it or you’re selling yourself short.
- It’s hit or miss on whether I can update the background to a custom photo. So I did it one time and left it alone
Things To Consider Before Selecting the Right Double Din Head Unit
Here are some factors to keep in mind.
Double din head units come in a variety of display sizes, from 6 inches to 10 inches. Some have touchscreens, while others have physical buttons. Consider what size display you want and whether you prefer a touchscreen or physical buttons.
Many double din head units come with built-in amplifiers and equalizers. Consider what audio features are important to you and make sure the unit you select has them.
- RMS: RMS is the “Root Mean Square” power rating of an amplifier. It refers to the amount of power that the amplifier can put out on a continuous basis without distortion. The higher the RMS number, the more power the amplifier can produce.
- RMS is important because it’s a true measure of an amplifier’s power output. Some manufacturers might claim that their amp can produce a certain amount of peak power, but if the RMS rating is lower, then the amplifier won’t be able to sustain that power output for very long before distortion sets in.
- When shopping for a car stereo amplifier, make sure to look for the RMS rating so you can be sure you’re getting an amplifier that can produce the power you need.
- Power Peak: One of the most important aspects of a car stereo is its power peak. This refers to the amount of power that the stereo can output at its highest level. It is important to consider this when choosing a stereo, as it will determine how loud your music can play. A higher power peak means that your music will be louder and more powerful. However, it is also important to consider the other features of the stereo, such as its size and weight. A heavier stereo may be more difficult to install, but it will provide a better sound quality.
- Equalizer: An equalizer allows you to adjust the frequencies of the sound coming from your speakers. This is important if you want to achieve quality sound.
- Subwoofer Output: A subwoofer output lets you connect a subwoofer to your head unit. This is important if you want to add bass to your music.
- DAC: A digital-to-analog converter (DAC) converts digital music files into an analog signal that can be amplified by your head unit. This is important if you want to play high-quality music files.
Most car stereos have Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream music from your phone or use hands-free calling. Some also have aux inputs and USB ports. Consider what connectivity options you want and make sure the unit you select has them.
Double din head units must be installed in a specific way. Make sure you know how to install the unit before you buy it, or hire a professional to do it for you.
Now that you know what to look for in a car stereo, you can narrow down your choices and find the perfect unit for your needs.
Who Makes The Best Double DIN Head Units?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on personal preferences. Some of the most popular brands that offer double DIN head units include Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, and Sony.
These brands offer a wide variety of features and options, so it is important to do your research to find the best unit for your needs. Generally speaking, higher-end units will offer more features and better sound quality, but they will also be more expensive.
There are also many generic or off-brand double DIN head units available that can be a great value if you are on a budget. Ultimately, the best double DIN head unit for you is the one that fits your specific needs and budget.
What Is A Good Double DIN Head Unit?
There are a few factors to consider when purchasing a double DIN radio. First, ensure that the unit will fit in your car’s dash.
Second, decide what features are important to you and look for a unit that offers those features. Finally, consider your budget and choose a unit that fits your price range.
Some popular features to look for in a double DIN head unit include a built-in GPS navigation system, a DVD player, Bluetooth connectivity, and a large display. Many units also offer touchscreen controls, which can make operating the unit easier.
Are Double DIN Stereos Better?
In short, double DIN stereos are generally better than single DIN stereos. Double DIN stereos offer more space for controls and provide a better overall experience. single DIN stereos, on the other hand, are more compact and often less expensive. Double DIN stereos are the better choice if you can afford it.
Is An Aftermarket Head Unit Worth It?
Yes, an aftermarket head unit can be worth it for a number of reasons. For one, aftermarket units often offer superior sound quality to what comes standard in many cars. They can also offer a wide variety of features and functions, such as hands-free calling, GPS navigation, and more. If you’re looking to upgrade your car’s audio system, an aftermarket head unit is definitely worth considering.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Car Stereo
The average cost of installing a car stereo is about $65. However, the cost can vary depending on the type of car stereo system that you want to install and the complexity of the installation.
Installation costs can also vary depending on whether you do it yourself or have someone else do it for you. If you are installing a basic car stereo, you can expect to pay around $50 for the stereo itself and another $100 for the installation.