Finding the best double din head unit can be a tricky job. With so many options out there it’s easy to get bogged down in the detail.
Thankfully we’ve reviewed loads of them so you don’t have to. Here is our list of the seven best options available right now based on user feedback, price and performance.
In short: save yourself a shed load of time and choose one of the seven below, safe in the knowledge that each one has received hundreds of positive reviews from independent users just like you. They’re all great performers, and they all represent great value for money.
We go into a bit more detail about “DIN” in the FAQ section at the bottom. For now, if you’re looking to upgrade your car’s audio system with a better panel, the list below should be all that you need.
***Our Number 1 Pick***
The Pioneer AVH-X390BS receiver has a peak power output of 50 watts over four channels, a CD player, and CD text, and MP3 information display so that you can see what track is playing, and anything else you need to know at all times.
The screen can be changed between one of 13 backgrounds to suit your style, while brightness controls and dimmer timers help make navigation easy without distracting from your driving.
There are also a whole host of useful features and settings too, which elevate this above most of the competition.
For instance, ‘Time Alignment’ actually alters the music playback depending on where in the vehicle you are sitting! Perhaps even more impressive is Mitrax, which blends your songs together just like a professional DJ. This ensures there aren’t long quiet patches while you’re driving.
There’s lots more besides. You can set home screen shortcuts for to help you quickly navigate to the settings you want. The screen is touchscreen too, which makes setting it up very quick and easy.
Pairing with Bluetooth devices is made simple. Voice control helps you to keep your hands on the wheel. And a multi-language display ensures everyone can use the system.
In short, it’s a feature-rich unit that sounds great, at an excellent price.
At the time of review it averaged an impressive 4.3 stars out of 5 from 203 independent reviews, and came with FREE SHIPPING.
Our Number One Pick!
Moving on to a significantly cheaper device, the BOSS Audio BV9364B manages to impress with a wide selection of features and excellent sound quality.
This Double DIN receiver is the best seller on the market by quite some distance, and its unlucky not to be number 1 on our list.
Total output is 320 watts and this ensures it sounds great with just about any speakers.
Otherwise, you are getting a built-in CD player, Bluetooth so that you can use Spotify or the songs stored on your mobile, a large touchscreen, and the option to output the display to multiple external monitors if needed.
The screen also has the convenient feature of being able to accept alternative feeds. This means, for example, at you can view your car’s rear camera through it. And here’s also support for wireless controllers.
Installation is very quick and simple and it comes with a 3 year warranty.
It’s a little more basic than the Pioneer but for the price it represents incredible value and still has a lot of impressive features.
When we looked at it, this radio was on OFFER at a great price and averaged a respectable 3.4 stars out of 5 from a whopping 2,156 independent reviews.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the price.
Kenwood’s top performer has a very attractive large screen display that runs on Android.
Android of course is an operating system and the same one used on a large number of smartphones such as the popular Samsung Galaxy line of devices. What this means from the perspective of the user, is that you can install a large number of different applications and use the system in a very open and flexible manner.
But the most basic systems that the receiver supports include radio, Bluetooth, video player (!), and more.
The sound quality is excellent and it can show a feed from a rear camera if you want it to, and more. The menu is easy to navigate, though perhaps not as intuitive as some other options on this list.
What’s a real boon here though is the GPS capabilities as long as you have a phone that can help to provide it.
What makes this most impressive of all is that many of these features are absent on significantly more expensive models.
When you take this into account, it’s clear that this is a great purchase and deserving of its place on our list.
With an average score of 3.6 stars out of 5 from 215 reviews this isn’t quite our favorite, but the die-hard Kenwood fans among reviewers seemed to love it, scoring it significantly higher.
***Excellent Sound Quality – Easy To Install***
The Pioneer AVH-X4800BS 7″ Motorized DVD Receiver is the slightly more expensive model up from the previous Pioneer we looked at. It’s a CD/DVD receiver that will allow you to listen to music or even let a passenger watch a film while you drive!
The built-in iPod, iPhone and iPad integration is fantastic for Apple fans and even supports Siri eyes-free functionality, meaning that users can command their phone without taking their hands off the wheel or looking down at the device.
Of course there is the usual Bluetooth support with audio streaming and hands-free calling support. It’s navigation ready, has a built-in voice navigation engine, and uses Mixtrax to offer DJ-style mixing.
In short, it has just about all of the features that you might be looking for and also offers fantastic sound quality.
It scores really well too, averaging an excellent 4.3 stars out of 5 from 302 reviews.
This is a really solid choice.
***Great Value For Money***
In terms of sheer value for money, the BOSS Audio BV9358B is one of the most impressive and comprehensive options on the market right now.
This model manages to offer many of the same features as previous entries on this list, including movie playback for passengers/downtime, and rear camera input.
It can of course sync over Bluetooth with a wide range of smartphones and that way play Spotify, Pandora, and more. It has 80 watts x 4 max power, a large touchscreen, and even a wireless remote for controlling from the back!
There’s a 3 year warranty too, so you know that it’s well-made. There’s USB, built-in EQ and much more.
All of the basic features that you would expect from your dash receiver but for a very affordable price compared with the competition.
At the time of review this unit was available at a GREAT PRICE, averaged a decent 3.5 stars out of 5 from 804 reviews, and came with FREE SHIPPING.
Great Bang For Your Buck!
***One To Watch***
Love the Pioneer brand but not so sure you want to spend quite that much cash on a device with a big touchscreen and all the bells and whistles? In that case, the FH-S700BS might be the right choice for you.
This model has many of the same features – including the enhanced audio functions, MITRAX, Bluetooth, SiriusXM support and more. It even has support for ARC apps.
The difference is the display which is an LED readout that is only capable of showing scrolling text. This won’t be a problem for a lot of people who might actually prefer the button navigation and tactile controls.
What’s more is that it’s still very good-looking thanks to the blue and green highlights and matte black body. Don’t like it? Then you can choose from over 210,000 color combinations to suit your personal style.
It’s a bit too early to tell whether this will make it to the top 3 on our list but from the independent reviews it’s off to a great start. Definitely one to watch.
It averages 4.3 stars out of 5 on review so far and is available with FREE SHIPPING.
Finally, this Kenwood model is another LED display option that features some attractive cyan highlights.
The system plays CDs, CR-Rs, and CD-RWs and will be able to read discs with MP3, WMA, and AAC files.
It also provides you with easy Pandora and iHeartRadio control via an iPhone or Android. In fact, it will support a large number of features on your mobile device via the mobile Kenwood Music Play App.
Hands-free voice calling is also supported and a nice visualizer will dance along with the tracks.
The device looks the part with more tactile, matte black buttons, and a large silver volume control.
The app is one of the killer features here though, ensuring you can control precisely what you want to come through to your stereo – it’s ideal for podcasts for instance.
Still, this isn’t the cheapest option on this list or the most feature rich, so may not be the top choice for everyone.
That said it’s right up there with some of the best-sellers and scores well on review, averaging 4 stars out of 5 from 407 reviews when we looked at it.
A popular choice with Kenwood fans.
Hopefully you’ve managed to find something in this selection that will do everything you need it to! We’re confident that will be the case if you choose any one of the seven radios that we’ve reviewed – they’re the best that we could find after a lengthy review process.
If you really pressed us we’d stick with the Pioneer AVH-X390BS as our number one choice. It’s all round performance, ease of use, sound quality, looks, and the price make it stand out from the crowd. It is in our view the best double din head unit on the market right now.
The Boss Audio BV9364B is a close second. It’s comfortably the best seller, and although it lacks a little of the Pioneer’s functionality, due to it’s exceptionally low price, it represents great value for money and is therefore an excellent choice too.
So, what is DIN? Well, DIN refers to the size 7” x 2” opening that most cars have for a radio to fit into. The word itself actually stands for Duetsch Industri Normen, which is the standardized radio size used in Audi’s, BMW’s, VW’s, and Mercede’s since the 80s.
A Double DIN is the same width, but is double the height at 7” x 4”. This allows more space for a more detailed readout, controls and more.
If you are looking to upgrade your car’s audio, then you need to make sure that the in-dash receiver will fit into the slot available on your vehicle – otherwise you may be able to get an adapter in some instances.
The receiver ultimately will act as your ‘player’. While the speakers themselves will be largely what determines the sound quality, you also need a good receiver in order to ensure that the sound is crisp, clear, and loud to begin with.
Not only that, but the receiver will also determine the features you have available: from CD playback, to mp3, to radio, to a whole host of other impressive controls. In fact, some receivers will even include entire LCD displays that can run a host of apps – some even run on the Android operating system!
Upgrading your car stereo system is not always straight forward, and when considering a double din unit there are a lot of questions that may come to mind. Here are some of the most common, together with the answers of course:
Q – What’s The Difference Between A Single Din And Double Din Car Stereo?
A – Short answer: two inches! When we talk about these things what we are referring to is the size of the face of the head unit in your car. Most cars now accommodate a double din radio. The dimensions of a head unit of this type are a little less that 7″ wide by 4″ tall. The standard 2 DIN face plate is 7″ by 4″ to accommodate a head unit of this size (the unit itself, as we’ve said, will be a little smaller than this to allow for clearance during installation).
A single din radio is the same width but the height clearance is half the size at just 2″. That means that the standard size of a single din car stereo is just 7″ by 2″ – far more compact and therefore more commonly found in cars with a small dash where space is at a premium.
So, the difference is that the larger model has (unsurprisingly) a larger screen, often with lots of handy features, making it (arguably) a but easier to use.
Q – Do I Need A 2 DIN Car Stereo?
A – The answer to this will depend entirely upon whether you need a new car stereo and/or want to upgrade your current system. It isn’t a case of upgrading from a single to a double – that wouldn’t work because, as we’ve seen from the difference in size between the two types, a 2 DIN car stereo will not fit in the face plate designed for a single DIN radio.
So, if your current setup needs an upgrade, perhaps because it lacks functionality, is out-dated or provides sub par sound quality, AND if your car’s dash is designed with a double DIN unit already there, then YES, you probably do need an upgrade.
If you’ve got a single unit already installed, then you need to upgrade to a better single unit. A 2 DIN car stereo would be no use to you!
Q – So, Is 2 DIN Better than 1 DIN?
A – Again, this depends. If you are someone who wants a larger screen, perhaps because you find the smaller screens a bit too cluttered and hard to understand then yes, a 2 DIN car stereo might be a better choice for you. If you prefer things nice and compact then probably not. There are a few areas, when it comes to features and functionality, where a 2 DIN car radio may be more preferable, and we discuss these in the following FAQ.
Q – Why Should I Upgrade My Current System?
A – There are a number of reasons to upgrade, although we are not suggesting that you should if your existing setup serves its purpose well.
If performance is a problem, then that’s an obvious reason to get a better system, but with advances in technology the functionality provided by some of the most recent models to come to market there are even more reasons to upgrade.
For example, the leading brands have all now released double DIN touch screen head units (see the products reviewed above) which makes using them incredibly easy. You can get: a double din radio with navigation via gps; a double DIN car stereo with bluetooth connectivity; a double DIN head unit with reversing camera; or a model that boasts all of these handy features.
Several of them come with wireless remote controls so that your passengers can control the system (allowing you to concentrate on the driving – GOOD) and the tunes you play through it (maybe not so GOOD!).
You can even get a double din DVD player! Whatever next?
These are all features that many factory built head units, which came with your car, are lacking.
So, to sum up, you should upgrade if your current radio is under performing, or you’d like to make like easier with the increased functionality of a newer model.
Q – How Do I Install A Double DIN Head Unit?
A – In short, the same way that you’d install a single DIN stereo, like this:
We’ve written a detailed post about it here, but lets run through a quick summary below assuming your car has a wire harness:
- once parked with the hand brake on, disconnect the negative cable currently attached to your car’s battery;
- unscrew the screws holding the existing trim in place and remove the trim itself; unscrew the radio (depending upon the make and model of your car you may need a specific key designed by the manufacturer to do this);
- pull the radio out of the panel; take a photo of how your car’s wiring connects to the back of the radio;
- disconnect these wires;
- match the wires to the correct point of connection on your new head unit;
- connect the wires to the back of it; follow the instructions to install any accompanying mounting kit (if there is one);
- test the functionality of the new stereo (you wouldn’t want to install it at this stage only to find that you have to unscrew everything to deal with a fault);
- if it’s working fine put the new unit into the panel making sure that it fits securely – tighten any screws etc; re-fit the trim over the new head unit and screw it back into place securely; and
- enjoy your new setup!
Q – How Do I Remove A 2 DIN Car Stereo?
A – As Above. Read points 1 to 4 of the previous answer. If you have any problems along the way you should consult your car’s user’s manual. This might provide a little guidance on how the existing stereo is installed.
Q – Can You Get A Double Din Head Unit With A Volume Knob?
A – Yes. The majority of the newer models don’t come with them – the focus seems to be on touch screen technology – however there are several great options to choose from if you want the ease of use of a volume knob. The final two products in our review above come with volume knobs, and, as we’ve seen from the independent feedback they’re both very highly regarded.
Although the Pioneer has the higher average score, we’d probably go with the Kenwood if pressed, simply because it’s been around for a lot longer and has received far more reviews, so the score (which is still very good) is much more reliable. They’ll both do a great job though, so go with whichever you prefer.
Q – What’s The Best Double Din Head Unit For Functionality?
A – In our view, it’s the Pioneer AVH-X390BS (the first one on our list and our number 1 pick). It has a lovely 6.2″ inch screen that is easy to use and easy to understand. We think that this, above all else, is the most important factor when judging how good a car stereo is. If you can’t easily maneuver between the key features, and do what you want to do when you want to do it, a radio with all the flutes and whistles is really no upgrade at all, and can in fact be a hazard. That’s not the case with the AVH-X390BS. It has such a user-friendly interface that we really can’t see passed it, unless you’re looking to save a few dollars on a slightly less expensive model.
The ability to change the background until you find a fit that suits you is a really nice touch – you’ve essentially got 13 stereos in one in terms of aesthetics.
Q – What’s The Best Cheap Double DIN Head Unit?
A – Price is one of the key factors that we took into account during the research stage when compiling this list. That being the case the Pioneer AVH-X390BS is still right up there. Given everything that we’ve said above, and the excellent independent reviews, it definitely offers excellent value for money.
That said, if you’re looking to spend a little less the two Boss stereos on our list are fantastic choices. The BV9364B is the better seller of the two (and any other 2 DIN car stereo) but the BV9358B scores ever so slightly higher on review. There’s not a lot in it, but if pressed we’d probably go with the BV9364B, just. Whichever you choose you’ll be getting a great stereo at a great price.
Hopefully the double din head unit reviews and our FAQ section have given you plenty of food for thought and you now have enough information to go and choose the best one for you.
Have you used any of the models in our top seven? If so what did you make of them? And are there any that we haven’t mentioned which you think deserve to be listed here? What’s the best double DIN radio in your opinion? We’d love to hear from you, so please let us know below.
What next? Why not check out our post on how to install a car stereo here. If you’re completely overhauling your sound system you might also like our step by step guide on how to install car speakers here.
We’ve also written a similar post to this one summarizing the best car speakers for bass, so if you like it when the beat drops, head on over and check it out now.