Finding the Best Double Din Head Unit for Your Vehicle 2017

Driving gets more fun and less boring if you have some nice music to listen to. And if you are heading out to a place you’ve never been before, a GPS would be a great travel buddy. However, if your car stereo does not feature any of these, you might want to consider getting upgrades.

Once you decided to upgrade your car stereo with a better or high-end unit, you can choose between a single din head unit and a double din head unit. I also considered these two options when I decided to replace my old car stereo. But, honestly, when I first heard about it, I didn’t clearly know how to tell each one apart.

After a careful research about these two units, I was able to compare which one is better than the other. Considering the convenience and functionality, the double din head unit was an ideal option.

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What is a Double Din Head Unit?

First and foremost, DIN refers to the stereo size. It is categorized in two – single din and double din head unit. You can determine the most suitable stereo size according to your vehicle’s stereo head.

The main function of a double din head unit is just like any other stereo – volume control and power supply for the speakers. Moreover, due to its size, the double din head unit provides more room for additional features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, a GPS navigation and many other modern features that can be integrated with smartphones or other devices.

Some double din head units do not feature a touchscreen display. The extra room is designed with user-friendly buttons to control the volume and media files.​

Is Double Din better than Single Din Head Unit?​

Does it mean that a double din head unit is better than a single head unit? Not entirely, but the distinct difference between the two is the size. A double din head unit is usually twice the size of the single din system. However, each head unit offers stunning features which both can promote enhancement to your vehicle.

Though the double din units offer more internal space for components, it doesn’t mean it is better than the single units. Perhaps, the double din unit primarily stands out because of its display or wider screen.

Some double din head units are integrated with Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot or GPS navigation. But, nowadays, single din head units have also been designed with additional features such as flip-out touchscreens or Bluetooth connectivity. Therefore, either of these types can still suit your preference and hence, nothing’s better than the other.

Buying Guideline: Factors to Consider​

Are you planning to replace your stereo with a double din head unit? If so, consider these following factors before your buy one.

  1. SIZE – If you are planning to buy a double din head unit for your vehicle, make sure that the size fits your stereo head. If your vehicle is compatible only with single din head units, you shouldn’t try to replace it with the double din. Stick with what suits your stereo head.​
  2. DISPLAY QUALITY – A double din head unit’s remarkable feature is the touchscreen display. The size is already a big plus. But to make sure it is of the best quality, it should be responsive or sensitive enough to touch. It should provide a good reception for your videos, movies or navigation system.
  3. POWER AND SOUND OUTPUT – If you installed 6.5 inch component speakers or perhaps, 6x9 car speakers, you need to pair them with a nice car stereo. The main function of a double din car stereo is to boost the power and volume of your speakers. Hence, a vital factor to consider. Most double din units are designed with more internal space for components such as built-in amplifiers. It should provide high-quality sound and stable supply of power.
  4. CONNECTIVITY – Due to the advanced technology, most double din head units are designed with a Bluetooth connection or Wi-Fi hotspot. This feature allows you to stream songs from your device’s playlist. It can also be handy when you take calls hands-free.
  5. COMPATIBILITY – You need a stable connection to access your media files easily. And it would be much better if the stereo you’re planning to buy is compatible with your device. Most of these double din head units are compatible with IOS or Android devices.
  6. EASY-TO-USE BUTTONS – Some double din units are not designed with touchscreen display but provide extra space for additional buttons or controls. It should be easy-to-use and functional.

Top 5 Best Double Din Head Unit on the Market

To narrow down your choices to the best ones on the market, here are the top five best double din head units.

1./ Alpine CDE-W265BT Double DIN Bluetooth

Alpine CDE-W265BT Double DIN Bluetooth In-Dash CD/AM/FM Receiver w/ App Direct Mode
79 Reviews
Alpine CDE-W265BT Double DIN Bluetooth In-Dash CD/AM/FM Receiver w/ App Direct Mode
  • CDE-W265BT - Alpine In-Dash 2-DIN CD/MP3 Receiver with Bluetooth and iPhone/iPod Support
  • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
  • Built-in MOSFET amplifier (18 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Plays CDs, including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files
  • 2-line display with variable color illumination

Last update on 2017-10-22 PST - Details

Top Features

  • Bluetooth connection
  • Remote control
  • CD/DVD receiver
  • Compatible with IOS and Android devices
  • High- and low-pass filters with subwoofer level and phase control
  • Built-in MOSFET amplifier

If you want to upgrade your stereo and do not prefer a touchscreen display, you can go with Alpine CDE-W265BT. Though it showcases basic features such as buttons or user-friendly interface, it functions properly. The little twist with it is the Bluetooth connection. It ensures a stable connection for wireless streaming and hands-free calls. It works excellently with IOS and Android devices.

Alpine also features a built-in preamp output that has 6 channels. When it comes to the sound quality, it can boost your audio with its 9-band parametric equalizer with 11 presets, and Bass Engine SQ button with choice of five bass profiles.

It is one of the highest-rating double din car stereos on the market. However, due to its basic and traditional interface and function, it may not be preferable for some users. It does not feature touchscreen display so you cannot play videos or movies with it. A GPS navigation system won’t also be possible.

On the other hand, the overall performance is outstanding.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connection
  • Compatible with IOS and Android devices
  • Features preamp output with 6 channels
  • 9-band parametric equalizer with 11 presets
  • 5 bass profiles
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • No GPS navigation system
  • Touchscreen display won’t be available

You can also refer the video below for additional review:


2./ Pioneer AVHX5800BHS 2-DIN Receiver with 7.0"

Pioneer AVHX5800BHS 2-DIN Receiver with 7.0' Display/Built-In Bluetooth/Siri Eyes Free/AppRadio One/HD Radio
299 Reviews
Pioneer AVHX5800BHS 2-DIN Receiver with 7.0" Display/Built-In Bluetooth/Siri Eyes Free/AppRadio One/HD Radio
  • Dvd/CD receiver with Internal amp (14 watts RMS cea-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming; supports two phones at once
  • Siri eyes free with compatible devices
  • Built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control -optional adapter required for viewing video content
  • Works with SiriusXM Sxv300 tuner-supports new tune mix, traffic & weather now, and sports flash Features

Last update on 2017-10-22 PST - Details

Top Features

  • 7” motorized display
  • Clear Resistive touchscreen
  • WVGA resolution (800 x 480)
  • Built-in HD radio (FM/AM stations)
  • 13-background, splash screen
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Spotify App Control
  • Bluetooth connection
  • DVD and CD receiver with internal amp (14 watts RMS cea-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)

Pioneer is equipped with a Bluetooth connection that allows you to access the song playlist from your Android or IOS device. The screen is responsive to quick and soft touch because of its clear resistive touchscreen.

When you need to take some calls while driving, the Bluetooth connection will handle it for you.

If you are a Spotify lover, this stereo might also be a good choice. I am actually quite impressed how you can control the content from the Spotify app on your iPhone or Android devices. I can play, pause, skip tracks, and browse playlists, albums and radio stations with this feature! Cool, huh?

What I also like about this touchscreen radio is the MIXTRAX technology and this feature is exclusive for Pioneer radios! It can create a nonstop mix from all the songs in your music library with a range of DJ-inspired effects.​

There are some downsides, however, about this product. The DVD player was jammed. I tried to insert one and ejected it. Right after that, the screen went all white. The FM/AM radio reception doesn't seem so great. It was OKAY.

Pros

  • 7-inch motorized display
  • Features MIXTRAX technology for automatic remixing of the songs in your playlist
  • Spotify App control
  • Built-in radio
  • Bluetooth connection; USB-compatible
  • Works great with IOS and Android devices
  • Clear resistive touch – very responsive to touch

Cons

  • Poor FM/AM reception
  • DVD/CD player does not work well at times

You can also refer the video below for additional review


3./ Kenwood DPX500BT Double DIN In-Dash Car Stereo Receiver

Kenwood DPX500BT Double DIN In-Dash Car Stereo Receiver

Top Features

  • New Kenwood DPX-500BT 2-DIN CD/MP3 USB/AUX Car Audio Receiver Stereo Bluetooth
  • Peak: 50 watts x 4 channels
  • RMS: 22 watts x 4 channels
  • Built-In Bluetooth Hands-Free
  • Compatible with IOS and Android devices

Some users prefer the traditional car stereo because it is less complicated. Just like the Kenwood DPX500VT double din head unit. It may have lesser features but it allows the users to access their media files effortlessly. This receiver also plays CDs and DVDs. AUX and USB port is also available.

As it is solely focused on the audio quality, the performance is remarkable. The settings or buttons are easy to control. You can adjust the volume, skip to the next track, or turn the settings on for the Bluetooth connection or Siri. The display screen is just right in size and the background light is not too dim or too bright. It clearly displays the settings or details on the screen.

The Bluetooth provides a stable connection with IOS and Android devices so you can stream all the songs in your playlist seamlessly. This feature also allows you to take your calls hands-free. When a call comes, it automatically pauses the music and hence, notifies you the important calls you need to take. The installation is easy as well.

Overall, the features are compact and outstanding. However, it offers lesser features than the other brands. Though it performs excellently, some users may not prefer a traditional design. It has no GPS and doesn’t feature a touchscreen display.

Pros

  • Built-in AM/FM radio
  • Easy to install
  • Excellent audio quality
  • CD and DVD receiver
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Compatibility with IOS and Android devices
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • Has no GPS navigation system
  • Does not feature a touchscreen display

You can also refer the video below for additional review


4./ JVC KW-R910BT Car Audio 2DIN

JVC KW-R910BT Car Audio 2DIN

Top Features

  • Connects two phones at the same time
  • 16-bit digital-to-analog converter
  • Built-in iPod and iPhone controls
  • Easy EQ with 12 presets
  • 3-band parametric equalizer
  • CD receiver with built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Siri Eyes-free
  • Remote control

The JVC KW-R910BT may not be as advanced as the other double din head units, but it is loaded with superb features. One of its grand features is the Bluetooth connection which allows you to connect two phones at the same time! The stable connection integrates your devices to the stereo for easy music streaming.

If you want to adjust the audio quality, the interface showcases easy-to-use buttons for the settings. It has 12 presets, and 3-band parametric equalizer. The CD receiver has built-in MOSFET amplifier for a better sound quality.

With its sleek design, it will surely complement your interiors. If you are using an IOS device such as iPhone or iPod, the built-in iPod and IPhone controls to make your life much easier! Not much of an old school, huh?

Pros

  • Has built-in iPod and iPhone controls
  • Bluetooth connection
  • User-friendly interface; sleek design
  • Features 12 presets
  • Includes a remote control
  • CD receiver
  • Excellent audio quality

Cons

  • No GPS navigation system
  • Not a touchscreen stereo

You can also refer the video below for additional review


5./ Jensen VX7020 2 DIN Multimedia Receiver

Jensen VX7020 6.2 inch LCD Multimedia Touch Screen Double Din Car Stereo with Built-In Navigation, Bluetooth, CD/DVD Player & USB/microSD Ports
744 Reviews
Jensen VX7020 6.2 inch LCD Multimedia Touch Screen Double Din Car Stereo with Built-In Navigation, Bluetooth, CD/DVD Player & USB/microSD Ports
  • BUILT-IN BLUETOOTH WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY - your double DIN car stereo head unit multimedia receiver will easily pair with the vast majority of Bluetooth devices allowing you to make and receive all your calls Hands Free
  • 6.2 INCH LCD TFT HIGH RESOLUTION TOUCH SCREEN - your large 6.2 inch LCD high resolution touch screen display provides a comfortable viewing experience while keeping all your favorite content within fingers reach
  • MUSIC STREAMING & VIDEO PLAYER - you will be able to view & control your SiriusXM, Pandora, iHeartRadio & Spotify apps from the home screen and also be able to stream wirelessly music from your Apple or Android devices and play your favorite movies
  • iGO PRIMO NAVIGATION - was developed specifically for automotive navigation and will display vibrant easy to read road maps with 11 million points of interest and the Naviextras Web Support will make sure you are constantly updated on all map features
  • HDMI/MHL CONNECTIVITY - will allow you to connect your Bluetooth device wirelessly and mirror its content on the large 6.2 inch LCD TFT display

Last update on 2017-10-22 PST - Details

Top Features

  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control
  • 6.2-inch TFT touch screen
  • Steering Wheel Control Interface
  • Full-function remote
  • Compatible with IPhone, Android, Blackberry
  • Maps of the United States plus millions of points of interest

The Jensen VX7020 features Bluetooth connection which allows you to take calls hands-free and stream all the songs in your playlist wirelessly. A 3.5mm AUX port and 2.1 amp USB port are also available. You can also access your media files through the SD card slot.

The TFT touch screen features a 6.2-inch high resolution. The size and friendly interface allows you to control and select settings easily! It also comes with a Pandora Link that controls the Pandora from the screen.

The display can be customized with five different background images and five different IU colors. There is also an available option for different front panel illuminating colors that can match the interior of your vehicle.

A GPS Navigation system is also available that gives you accurate directions. However, it does not redirect you to new routes whenever you miss a turn or you go on a different track. I think it lacks on that part. Anyhow, it might not be a big issue for some users

But what I find annoying about this is whenever I miss a turn that should have taken, it does not suggest a new course rather tells you to go back where you’re supposed to turn. However, it may not be a big issue for some users.

Another drawback is the performance of the radio. The reception is poor. The AM/FM channels do not sound clear. There's a solution anyway. You can buy an amplified antenna for it. I know it might cost a little but, if you don't listen to the radio often, that won't be a problem​

Pros

  • TFT 6.2-inch touchscreen display
  • Customized background images and colors
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Compatible with IOS, Android and Blackberry
  • Features a GPS navigation system
  • Built-in AM/FM radio

Cons

  • The Bluetooth connection is not stable at times
  • The GPS Navigation system sometimes does not redirect new course if you miss the programmed route
  • Additional maps or routes need to be purchased
  • Poor AM/FM radio reception

You can also refer the video below for additional review


Conclusion

Getting the best double din head unit on the market is not really difficult as you think it is. However, it is wise to consider certain factors before you proceed on buying the most suitable one for your vehicle. The market unveiled a long list of double din head units and mentioned above are some of the ones you can consider.

Some double din head units are old school but some are advanced. The comparison between these two types might be a little hard as each showcases its own impressive features.

If you do prefer a double din touchscreen car stereo, Pioneer AVHX5800BHS would be a great choice. But if you’re into basics and prefer less complicated settings, Kenwood DPX500BT might suit your preference. Both excel in their respective fields with regards to audio quality, general features and connectivity.

Erin Taylor
 

Chief editor of YouthTune, a music adventurer. I love learning about music and audio devices, which I eventually share with others so that they too can go on exploring the melodious world of music.

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