When you are on a long car ride, having music rumbling in the background can make all the difference between you being bored to death having a pleasurable car ride. But wait, how can I get some quality music playing through my car? This can be done through bluetooth, your phone, stereo, radio, your GPS navigation, in-car DVD player, the options are limitless.
Well, we took the time and wrote a guide – here are the best double din head unit we could find on the market! We talked with some audiophiles and did our research, here’s the bottom line. The best bang for your buck is the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX – it’s got an extra wide screen, has three pre-amps installed and has a ton of other features that we go over down below, it’s a steal when we compared the its features to its price. But if you’re on a strict budget, you can’t go wrong with the Jensen VX7022!
Find something that you can affordable and unlock the wonderful potentials when you are driving with music.
In A Hurry? This Is The Best:
- 800 X 480 Resolution
- Compatible With Apple Carplay, Appradio Mode +, Flac Audio, Spotify & Pandora Internet Radio
- Siri Eyes Free With Compatible IPhone
- Music Streaming & Hands-free Calling With Compatible, Bluetooth-enabled Devices
- 1.5a USB Port
What is a Double Din Head Unit?
This might be the first question that pops into your head is: “what in tarnation is this thing called a din unit?” Well, that is a great question. If you’re wondering what DIN stands for, don’t feel bad that you may not know because it’s a German based organization standard. The standard DIN sizing chart is used by everyone nowadays for car stereos.
What’s the difference between a single din unit and double din unit?
Besides the naming difference, double units are straight out larger than single units. Where single units from exactly 7 inches wide and 2 inches tall, double units are even bigger. Double units are 7 inches but 4 inches wide. The main thing to note when you are considering trading an upgrade is that you can go from a double unit to a single but you cannot go the other way around, you cannot go from a single to a double simply because it will not fit.
Should I upgrade from a single to a double?
We would say if you had the money, you should just upgrade but they’re other things to consider as well. A double unit may not always have a better sound, but you can sure guarantee that it’ll have some extra functionality.
For all your techies out there, this might be the breaking point if you buy a double unit or not. With a single screen, you’re not getting that touch screen. Touch screens are easy to use, but they bring a lot of added value – this includes a GPS, playing your DVD, and a simple and easy to navigate menu screen.
These double din touchscreen head units have more pre-amp lines than a single din unit so if you are looking into setting up an amplifier in your car – double units are a great choice.
Furthermore, for all your audiophiles out there, a double unit will provide that extra ‘umpff’ when you are jamming out in your car!
You’re not just getting a boost to your audio, but as mentioned above, some added perks come along!
GPS/ Navigation System
No need to buy a separate device
Keep yourself safe when you are on the road
(Pretty Straightforward to Install as well!)
Picking something out that wasn’t too expensive but still was usable, we have the Kenwood DPX501BT. The DPX501BT won the award for the best budget pick. Instead of having something too complicated and expensive – the DPX501BT is inexpensive and is constructed with a basic interface.
It doesn’t have a modern touch screen. Instead it is controlled with analog buttons and knobs. For example, to increase/decrease the volume, you turn a dial instead of pushing buttons. We found this model to be awesome for people that want a more “hands-on” experience.
- Takes CDs
- Easy to Navigate Interface
- Syncs with most Smartphones
- Analog display (old school feels!)
- Poor Daylight lighting
We would like to add, just because it has an old-school feel does not mean that it lacks the modern functionality of the other models we have on this list.
You can still connect your car to your phone with the DPX501BT. On top of that, you can answer calls, and control the songs that are being played through your phone. This features allows you to focus on the road without having the fiddle around with the gadget and, we found it to be much easier when you want to play a specific song. Overall, the Kenwood is a great starter’s pick!
This is the Pioneer AVH-280Bt, and it is a beast of a gadget. The fact that Pioneer has a third model on this list just tells you the quality of gadget that this company puts out. Out Pioneer’s collection, we decided to stick with the stick the Pioneer AVH-280BT as our main pick for its superb functionality and excellent sound quality.
Coming in at 6.2 inches, it’s easy to read and navigate. On the screen, you can easily see the time, radio station you have playing, the name of the song. But if you want to change any of that, you can add or remove any of the common features.
The screen is clear enough that you won’t have to squint trying to move around the system. Overall, we found the Pioneer AVH-280BT to be an excellent purchase for the money!
- Clear 6.2-inch display
- Easy to Install
- DVD player compatible
- Five-band graphic equalizer
- Limited Display Settings
- Sometimes the touchscreen lacks the sensitivity
In the middle of the pack is the Pioneer AppRadio 4 SPH-DA120 – this is the best double din head unit for android. We have a lot of faith (and rightly so), so we had to add another Pioneer model! Instead of having a bigger screen or more functionality, the SPH-DA120 is designed specially to sync up with your smartphone.
Now you may be wondering. Is this unit made for iPhones or Androids? Well, the answer is, it’s made for phones, but if you can still use it if you have an android, you’ll just be lacking some of the functions.
The screen size on the SPH-DA120 comes in at 6.2 inches which are plenty to navigate the gadget.
We found the resolution on the SPH-DA120 to be fantastic. The clarity on the SPH-DA120 makes it easy to read and use!
We were most impressed with the apps that came with the SPH-DA120. It comes preloaded with Apple CarPlay which means you can download your entire iTunes playlist with a click of a button.
Additionally, you can connect your iPhone to the stereo to make hand-less calls and view your text messages without having to click on your phone.
Finally, the SPH-DA120 is decked with a GPS system that helps you get around town! You can quickly change the settings to your liking with a few, simply clicks.
- 6.2 LCD
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- Apply Car play comes installed
- GPS installed
- Ideal for iPhone, not Android
- Blotchy touchscreen sometimes
The second on our list is the Jensen VX7022 – it stole our hearts and won the award for the best double din head unit for sound quality. But what makes it so special you may ask. It sounds crisp, but here’s the kicker. The VX7022 can play back any sound file. That’s right, whether it be WAV, Mp3 or whatever, this beast of a device will play back anything! Pop in a CD or plug in your iPhone, the VX7022 will be able to play it!
It’s a 6.2 inch LCD screen on the VX7022 which is average, but we found the digital controls to be easy to pick-up. It’ll only take you a few hours (probably fast if you’ve operated one before)! More so, the controls are intuitive and easy to see which means if this is going on Grandpa or Grandma’s car, it won’t be an issue.
A GPS and navigational system are engineered on this system – woohoo, saves a few bucks there!
What we loved most about the VX7022 is the fact that it’ll take DVDs and CDs. If you have some children that want to watch Lion King, just pop in the CD and sit back and relax.
If you want to sync the Jensen to your car, you have a couple of options. You can either do it via Bluetooth, using an aux cord or simply an USB cord. Whatever you choose, it shouldn’t be a hassle!
- 6.2 Display
- Easy to Install
- Supports all audio files
- DVD player compatible
- 800×480 pixels
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- Limited Display Settings
- Touchscreen sometimes lacks sensitivity
- Backup camera may not always have clear shot
We saved the best one for last, but this is another Pioneer model on this list but what sets the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX from its peers is its sheer size – this is the best double din head unit for the money.
While most din units have a 6.2-inch screen, the AVH-4100NEX comes packing a 7-inch screen. Not only will this be easier for you to read the numbers on the screen, but it will also be easier to navigate because the icons will be bigger.
Now lets talk about functionality, although we didn’t have it as our top pick, it’s still has a few nifty features. A DVD/CD system is included so if you have an album of a particular band; you can just pop in the DVD and jam out while you are driving.
We found the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX to be the best double din head unit with navigation.
Furthermore, the AVH system allows you to sync up your phone to the car. This is great if you want to access the apps on your phone without directly touching it (you can control it with the din unit).
Additionally, you’ll be able to read text messages and see whose called you – this makes it a convenience, so you don’t have to touch your phone while you’re driving, ultimately keeping you safe!
Finally on the AVH-4100NEX, it comes with three preamps! Instead of getting a full sound upgrade, just get the AVH-4100NEX!
- Extra Wide Screen!
- 800×480 pixels resolution
- Syncs with most smartphones
- Three Preamp installed
- Headphone Adapter
- One Year Limited Warranty
- Unresponsive touchscreen at times (not often)
- Need separate equipment to play DVD
Double Din Head Unit Buyer’s Guide 2020
When you are looking for a new stereo, there are a few things that you need to consider before you make the final purchase. To save you some money, we’ve taken the time to list the most important factors you need to think about before actually buying it.
When we say usability, we mean how well you can use and control the device. This is all about you, find something that you enjoy using and won’t struggle with. Some people like using analog sticks to control a din unit but if you are someone that has to do everything digitally, get that instead.
When you consider buying a din unit, the power is very important.
At the end of the day when you are deciding between two gadgets, you need to keep in mind how well it works and the added functionality.
If you need just a stereo system make sure you buy something that doesn’t have any added features but even if you are slightly interested in having a navigational system or a phone sync in your car, we also recommend getting a double unit.
To sum everything up, the best double din head units are the Pioneer AVH-280BT and the Jensen VX7022. Both these gadgets have excellent sound quality and added features that you are getting your money’s worth. The two of main components that we laid out in our criteria, we not only wanted a user to feel like they could navigate around the stereo but also the fact that it wouldn’t break their bank. Not all of these head units were cheap – in fact, we considered most of the ones selling on Amazon are overpriced and not worth the product. The items that we have listed on this guide were carefully examined and rated by use to make sure that whatever you are paying for, you are getting the equal amount of value of.
We sincerely hoped this guide helped you in picking something that’ll make your car riding experience better.