How big is your car stereo head unit, and why does it matter? Well, in the olden days, most car stereo head units fit into a two-inch x eight-inch slot called a single DIN. The term DIN is shorthand for Duetch Industri Normen, which refers to German auto industry standards, and considering a car stereo at the time mainly consisted of a radio, or maybe a cassette deck, the rest of the car industry followed the 2x8 standard, for decades.
But more recent make cars have embraced the so-called double DIN standard. It’s still eight inches wide, but the two inches are doubled, meaning it takes up a 4x8 slot in the dashboard. What’s so valuable about those extra two inches? A four-inch height makes a head unit just the right size to fit a touchscreen and rear camera view.
In other words, upgrading from a single DIN head unit to a double DIN head unit introduces your car stereo to a whole world of newer technologies. Even upgrading a factory stock to one of the best double DIN head units on the market may be your entrée into updated and even smart phone compatible technologies, such as Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
Let’s take a look at some of the best double din head units of 2019 so far, and what they have to offer:
The highly rated Pioneer AVH-2300NEX head unit starts with a DVD player and driver-friendly seven-inch touch screen display that’s ready to connect to a rear-view camera. Boasting the legendary Pioneer sound quality, this best double DIN head unit takes a USB input and can read just about every known digital audio format, including FLAC lossless audio. It’s even got programming that will mix your tunes together, DJ style. If you prefer the radio route, it’s Sirius XM compatible, and also compatible with popular smartphone radio apps Spotify and Pandora, offering touch screen controls for each through the same Bluetooth connection that allows you to take hands-free phone calls.
But don’t be so quick to overlook that USB connection. Plug in your smartphone and it gives you the option to connect either Android Auto or Apple Airplay, effectively allowing you to access a world of smartphone apps through the in-dash touchscreen. If you’re using an iPhone, the car stereo head unit features Siri Eyes Free functionality, which allows you to navigate the app through conversational back and forth commands with Siri, so you neither have to touch or look at the screen while driving.
The best double DIN head unit from car audio institution JVC compares pretty well to the Pioneer model. The JVC KW-V85BT offers most of the same audio and video features up to and including a 4 channel, 50 Watt built-in amplifier, 13-band graphic equalizer, subwoofer controls, and time alignment function, which helps synchronize all speakers in a discrete, multichannel system to the position of the listener. Additionally, its USB port offers high-speed charging, in addition to both Android Auto or Apple Airplay integration, which means you’ll never be locked into either particular product or operating system.
This JVC head unit also includes inputs for two cameras and can connect two smartphones at once via Bluetooth, so both driver and passenger may receive calls or control Spotify or Pandora. But if your car is full, it can even connect to as many as five Bluetooth devices overall so anyone in the car may cue up the next song on a road trip.
For dedicated fans of Kenwood car stereo systems, the Kenwood DDX9703S will be the best double DIN head unit for you. It covers all of the aforementioned features including a four channel amplifier, 13-band EQ, Sirius XM, BlueTooth, Android Auto and Apple Airplay, Pandora, Spotify, DVD, touch screen, and voice recognition capabilities. And like both the JVC and Pioneer head units, it features iDataLink Maestro, which connects to most existing steering wheel or other controls that worked with your factory stock car stereo.
The Kenwood also connects to two phones simultaneously through Bluetooth, has front and rear camera inputs, and rapid charging. Where it differs is the inclusion of HD Radio, which may receive multiple streams on the same FM channel.
We install the best double DIN head units on the market
Contact our experienced, professional car stereo installers today to discuss the best head unit fit for your car. Car Audio City is located in National City, CA - Give us a call today at (619) 474-8551 to answer any of your questions.