Best Apple CarPlay Head Units [2023]

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Are you in the market for an Apple CarPlay head unit for your car? After extensive research, we have determined that the Sony XAV-AX6000 is our top pick for the best wireless unit, while the Kenwood DMX4707S is the best wired option. Both of these head units offer seamless integration with Apple’s CarPlay software, providing an enhanced driving experience with hands-free calling, messaging, and navigation features.

So, whether you prefer a wireless or wired option, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out more about the features, pros, and cons of these top picks.

If you don’t want to buy a new head unit there is a cheaper option with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless adapters.

Wireless Apple CarPlay Car Stereos We Recommend

Our Pick

Sony XAV-AX6000

RMS: 20 W
USB input: Rear
Preamp outputs: 5-channel
Screen size: 6.95 in
Frequency: 20-20k Hz

Sony XAV-AX6000 is an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade their audio system to use Apple CarPlay.The anti-glare screen allows for clear viewing of your device in any lighting condition, and the backup camera input allows for added safety when backing out of parking spaces. The Siri voice control feature is extremely convenient for the hands-free operation of your vehicle’s audio system.

Pros

  • Anti-glare screen ensures clear viewing in any lighting condition
  • Backup camera input
  • Siri voice control allows for easy hands-free operation
  • Preamp outputs are capable of producing more dynamic sound
  • Excellent radio reception

Cons

  • No Aux input

The 20W power output means you can enjoy a truly dynamic listening experience, and the 5-channel preamp output allows for amazing sound quality. Additionally, the frequency range from 20-20K Hz and excellent radio reception makes it a great choice for audiophiles looking to get the most out of their audio experience.

Sony XAV-AX6000 also features six physical buttons for quick access to your audio settings, making adjustments easy and intuitive. The only downside is the lack of an Aux input, but this is easily circumvented by using the USB port.

In conclusion, Sony XAV-AX6000 has all the features you need to make your CarPlay experience memorable. From clear viewing in any lighting condition to excellent sound quality, this model provides an unparalleled listening experience that will have you singing along in no time! So, if you’re looking for a wireless Apple CarPlay head unit car stereo with all the bells and whistles, look no further than Sony XAV-AX6000.

Runner Up

Alpine iLX-507

Alpine iLX-507 is a great choice for those looking for an Apple CarPlay head unit car stereo. The 7-inch touchscreen display makes navigating and controlling settings easy, while the two rear USB ports make connecting your phone or other devices a breeze.

Additionally, its 18W RMS power output ensures that audio can be heard clearly and powerfully. Moreover, the iLX-507 is compatible with HD radio and can even be used to add additional cameras.

RMS: 18 W
USB input: Rear(x2)
Preamp outputs: 6-channel
Screen size: 7 in
Frequency: 20-20k Hz

Pros

  • Pleasing design with physical buttons
  • Big, bright 7″ capacitive touchscreen
  • Dual rear USB inputs for versatile media playback options
  • HD Radio
  • Can add additional cameras
  • Excellent sound quality

Cons

  • Complex menu system
  • Expensive

The iLX-507 also offers 6 preamp outputs, allowing users to customize their sound system with additional speakers or amplifiers. It also features a frequency range of 20-20k Hz, providing impressive sound quality and clarity for music and voice commands.

The major downside to the iLX-507 is its somewhat complex menu system. It may take some time to get used to navigating and adjusting settings. Additionally, it’s relatively expensive compared to other head-unit car stereos on the market.

Overall, the iLX-507 is an excellent choice for Apple CarPlay users who want a higher-quality sound system. Its bright display and dual USB ports make it easy to set up and use, while its 6 preamp outputs offer great customization for audio enthusiasts. If you’re willing to put in the time to learn its menu system and don’t mind paying a little extra, the iLX-507 is worth considering.

Bang For The Buck

Pioneer DMH-W2770NEX

Pioneer DMH-W2770NEX is an excellent budget option for those looking for a wireless Apple CarPlay head unit car stereo.

It features a simple setup and menu system, allowing you to get up and running with minimal effort. Additionally, it includes both wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can access your apps without having to plug in your phone every time.

RMS: 14 W
USB input: Rear
Preamp outputs: 6-channel
Screen size: 6.75 in
Frequency: 20-20k Hz

Pros

  • Simple setup and menu system
  • 6-channel preamp outputs for custom audio setup
  • Bang for the buck
  • Feature an Aux input

Cons 

  • Glaring screen
  • Under-powered compared to other head unit car stereos

The DMH-W2770NEX also features 6 preamp outputs, so you can add additional speakers or amplifiers to your setup. Additionally, it’s compatible with HD radio and has an Aux input for further flexibility.

One thing we loved about the DMH-W2770NEX is its expandability. Despite its relatively low price tag, you can add additional features like a backup camera or amp.

The biggest downside to the DMH-W2770NEX is its screen. It displays an overly bright image, which can be a bit distracting while driving. Additionally, there have been reports of the touchscreen being over-sensitive to accidental touches or input from nearby objects, causing unexpected changes in audio or settings.

In short, Pioneer DMH-W2770NEX offers great value for money. It’s incredibly user-friendly with good sound quality at an affordable price tag – making it ideal for Apple CarPlay users looking to upgrade their sound system without breaking the bank.

Budget

ATOTO F7 XE

ATOTO F7 XE is an affordable wireless Carplay car stereo head unit with some very impressive features. The 7-inch touchscreen display provides a clear and vibrant picture, and the rear USB port makes it easy to connect your smartphone or other devices.

It also has a 50W peak wattage, which is more than enough for most cars. I found the SiriusXM support to be especially useful since I like to listen to my favorite radio stations while driving.

Peak Wattage: 50W
USB input: 1
Channels: 4
Screen size: 7 in

Pros

  • Large 7-inch touchscreen display 
  • Two rear USB ports for device connection
  • Compatible with HD radio
  • Fast charging
  • Budget-friendly
  • SiriusXM support

Cons

  • Certain Honda models may have an incompatibility issue with steering wheel controls
  • Compatibility issues with some smartphones

The mapping function is also very useful, and the HD radio support makes it easy to find local stations. The only issue I encountered was a compatibility issue with certain Honda models, and their steering wheel controls not working properly. There were also some issues with certain smartphones not connecting properly to the unit.

Overall, the F7 XE is an impressive car stereo head unit that offers plenty of features at a budget-friendly price. It’s great for people who want a quality car stereo without spending too much money.

However, there are some compatibility issues that you should be aware of before purchasing this unit. But if you’re looking for an affordable solution to upgrade your car’s audio system, ATOTO F7 XE is worth considering.

Budget

Boss BE950WCPA

Boss BE950WCPA is another budget Carplay car stereo for those who want something a bit more powerful than the ATOTO F7 XE.

It offers 20W RMS with a 5-channel preamp output, making it suitable for use in most cars. The 6.75-inch display also provides good viewing angles and fast connections to your Apple CarPlay or Android Auto devices.

RMS: 20 W
USB input: Rear
Preamp outputs: 5-channel
Screen size: 6.75 in

Pros

  • Backup and secondary camera input
  • Solid viewing angles
  • Fast connection to Apple CarPlay
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Complex installation
  • Low-resolution screen

Boss BE950WCPA really stands out from other car stereo head units thanks to its backup and secondary camera input. With this input, you can connect a rear-view or side-view camera to your unit, allowing you to get a clearer view of the area behind your vehicle while you are reversing. This makes it much easier and safer to back up, as you don’t have to rely on mirrors and other traditional methods.

Additionally, the unit offers excellent sound quality due to its 5-channel preamp output. You can expect clear tones and dynamic range when listening to music or other audio sources through this head unit.

The downside is that the installation process can be a bit complex and time-consuming, so it’s not recommended for those without some knowledge of car audio systems. Additionally, the LCD screen isn’t as high resolution as other models in its class.

All in all, Boss BE950WCPA is an excellent car stereo head unit for budget-minded shoppers. It offers great connectivity and sound quality, as well as backup camera inputs, making it a great option for those who want something more powerful than entry-level models.

Wired Apple CarPlay Car Stereos We Recommend

Our Pick

Kenwood DMX4707S

Kenwood DMX4707S is a great choice for those looking for an Apple CarPlay head unit car stereo without the need to fumble around in the infotainment system.

This model features a 6.75-inch touchscreen that offers vivid visuals, making it easy to navigate through menus and make selections quickly.

RMS: 21 W
USB input: Rear
Preamp outputs: 5-channel
Screen size: 6.75 in
Frequency: 20-20k Hz

Pros

  • Aux input
  • Sleek design
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Compatible with several navigation apps

Cons 

  • Only wired connection capabilities
  • No HD radio

This head unit offers plenty of audio outputs, including 5-channel preamp outputs that allow you to customize your sound system. Additionally, this device also supports a variety of navigation apps, including Google Maps and Waze. The sound quality is excellent as well, thanks to its 21 watts of RMS power and 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency coverage.

The downside to this head unit is that it only has wired connection capabilities – meaning you’ll need to use an auxiliary cable if you want to interact with your phone through the device. Additionally, there is no HD radio, which some may find disappointing.

Overall, the DMX4707S is a great option for anyone looking for an Apple CarPlay head unit car stereo that’s easy to use and offers great sound quality without breaking the bank. The lack of wireless connectivity could be an issue for some, but if you’re willing to invest in an auxiliary cable, it should do exactly what you need.

Runner Up

JVC KW-M560BT

JVC KW-M560BT is a great choice for those who want to upgrade their car stereo system with Apple CarPlay, but don’t want to spend top dollar.

It has a 6.75-inch touchscreen display and comes with a 21-watt RMS output for powerful audio quality. Not only that, but it also has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can enjoy hands-free calling and audio streaming.

RMS: 21 W
USB input: Rear
Preamp outputs: 5-channel
Screen size: 6.75 in
Frequency: 20-20k Hz

Pros

  • High and low pass filters for audio customization
  • Bluetooth connectivity with hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Optional wireless remote control

Cons

  • Glaring display in sunlight

The KW-M560BT also features high and low pass filters to give you the ability to customize your sound according to your preferences. Additionally, it has an optional wireless remote-control capability to control your music and other functions without taking your eyes off the road.

JVC KW-M560BT is equipped with rear USB input as well as 5-channel preamp outputs for extra versatility when connecting external devices. And with its clean, modern aesthetics, this car stereo really upgrades the look of any vehicle’s interior.

The JVC KW-M560BT isn’t without its drawbacks though—the most glaring one being its display which can be quite reflective in bright sunlight. This can be distracting for drivers as they try and navigate their way through menus or adjust audio settings while on the road.

Overall, the JVC KW-M560BT is an excellent Apple CarPlay head unit car stereo that offers great value for money. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for an upgrade without breaking the bank. The only thing to keep in mind is the display issue which might make it tricky to use in bright sunlight. Apart from that, it’s a solid buy!

Bang For The Buck

Pioneer DMH-1770NEX

RMS: 14 W
USB input: Rear
Preamp outputs: 6-channel
Screen size: 6.75 in
Frequency: 20-20k Hz

Pros

  • Bang for the buck
  • Decent sound quality
  • Backup camera input
  • Aux support
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Screen quality can be better

Pioneer DMH-1770NEX is a great budget option for those looking to upgrade their car stereo with the convenience of Apple CarPlay. With 6-channel preamp outputs, rear USB input, and aux support, it’s an excellent choice for basic sound quality. The 6.75-inch screen is decent, and the frequency range of 20-20k Hz ensures good sound quality.

In terms of bang for the buck, it’s hard to beat the DMH-1770NEX. It has all the basic features you need from an Apple CarPlay head unit, as well as a backup camera input. The installation is quite easy and requires no extra effort, meaning you can do it yourself without any hassles.

The only downside of the DMH-1770NEX is that the screen quality could be better. It’s not very bright or sharp and doesn’t have the best resolution. But if you’re not looking for a high-end experience, this is still a great option.

Overall, Pioneer DMH-1770NEX is an excellent choice if you’re looking to upgrade your car stereo with Apple CarPlay without spending a fortune. It has all the basic features you need, and the sound quality is decent for the price.

Budget

Boss BE62CP

Boss BE62CP is an affordable car stereo that offers a good selection of features. It has two USB inputs — one on the front and one in the rear, so you can easily connect your Apple CarPlay smartphone or other devices. The 6-channel preamp outputs make it easy to customize your sound system, so you can maximize your listening experience.

RMS: 20 W
USB input: Front and Rear
Preamp outputs: 6-channel
Screen size: 6.2 in
Frequency: 1kHz

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great expandability
  • Backup and secondary camera input
  • 2 Aux inputs

Cons

  • Limited EQ control settings 
  • Small screen

The 6.2-inch screen size is small but adequate for navigating menus and playing music or video. Additionally, with two Aux inputs, you can easily connect external devices like a tablet or gaming console.

One downside to this budget head unit is the limited EQ control settings; although there are options available for basic tuning, serious audiophiles looking for more precise sound adjustments may be disappointed.

Overall, the BE62CP is a good option if you’re on a tight budget and need something to get Apple CarPlay up and running in your vehicle. Its expandability and two Aux inputs make it a great option for those looking to customize their sound system, while its backup camera input makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking to add rear visibility. If you’re willing to sacrifice some detailed sound control, Boss BE62CP is an excellent value.

Other articles to consider:

Best Weather Apps for Apple Carplay
How to update Apple CarPlay
Why Does Apple CarPlay Keep Disconnecting
Why Is Apple Carplay Volume Low
How To Watch Netflix on Apple CarPlay

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