Since you landed on this page you must be looking for some budget car stereo options – wow how psychic are we!
No worry – SINGLE or DOUBLE DIN – With a CD player or Disc-player-free units (also called – digital media receivers) – we got you covered on all fronts.
First, we’ll start with the most basic head units – around $50. Then we’ll get to the better ones – and still stay within a budget of around $100 or maybe a bit more.
Check the table of content for a full products review or see our list of best car radio units.
Table of Contents
- Cheap Car Stereo – Under $100 – SINGLE DIN
- Cheap Car Stereo – Under $100 – DOUBLE DIN
- Cheap Car Stereo – Under $50 – SINGLE DIN
|Image||Cheap Car Stereo||Bottom line||Pros||Cons||Specs||Bluetooth||USB Input||AUX Input|
Price not available at Amazon
|If you want the latest Alpine digital media receiver that cost less than a $100 bucks - here it is!||Great reviews, bright screen, good sound||No CD (although there is a CD version but at extra cost)||Bluetooth, Siri Control, Android Control, Multi-Device Pairing + Dual Phone Connection, Voice Dialing, Siri Eyes Free Control||Yes||Front||Front|
$99.95 at Amazon
|If you are willing to spend around $100 for a car stereo and want a quality sound output, CD player and all the smartphone and wireless functions this is our recommended choice!||Quality sound, Smartphone functions, CD, Bluetooth||For this price none!||iPhone and Android Compatibility,|
Works with Pandora® and Spotify, Bluetooth, Color Customization, USB, Aux, Pioneer Smart Sync App
Bang For Buck
$52.95 at Amazon
|Basically, for a couple of bucks less you get almost all the specs like Our Pick but without a CD player.||There is nothing like it on the market for this price.||Connectivity issues, relatively small controls, No CD||Built-in Bluetooth, USB 1.5A connection, JVC's remote control app, Siri Eyes-Free-Mode, PANDORA, Spotify, and iHeartRadio||Yes||Front||Front|
$96.90 at Amazon
|So, you're on a budget and got around $100 bucks for a double-DIN receiver - don't worry we got you covered with JVC KW-R930BTS!||For this price it can't get better!||Complex UI||Bluetooth, SiriusXM ready, 13-band graphic equalizer, MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, and FLAC music files , Android and Apple Control||Yes||Front||Front|
$55.99 at Amazon
|Here's the deal; even for less than a $50, Boss Audio will have you throwing parties right from the confine of your car. I say this with good reasons; one such reason is the 850BRGB head unit.||Pocket-friendly, Easy install (all wires come labeled)||No way to disable Bluetooth autoplay once on, Equalizer may prove difficult to find for some people.||Bluetooth/CD/USB, MP3, WMA, FM/AM, Digital Media from Smart Phones||Yes||Front||Front|
Cheap Car Stereo – Under $100 – SINGLE DIN
Alpine UTE-73BT (Latest Edition)
Looking at the face of this digital media receiver says it all; stylish, simple…yet somewhat sophisticated! After all, it’s the latest Alpine and it comes for less than a $100 bucks!
Just like the JVC KD-X260BT, this Alpine receiver doesn’t have a CD player but that’s only one minor drawback considering the other things this baby can deliver.
With the Alpine UTE-73BT, you get more sourcing option with front USB – just plug in your flash drive or smartphone and connect with your music library.
And if you wanna go wirelessly there is always a Bluetooth for hands-free calls and music streaming.
Playbacks allowed on this Alpine receiver includes MP3, WMA, and FLAC. There is also an AUX input option to receive audio out from external MP3 players or smartphones coupled with a front pre-amped output.
Additionally, the deck is enabled for direct radio streaming through Pandora and Spotify giving you endless choice for music.
On the downside, some online reviewers noted that the sound quality could be better.
But then again, this is a list of budget head units, so you can’t expect top of the par sound quality – we got another review list of best single din car stereo if you’re looking something like that.
Pioneer DEH-S5100BT (Latest Edition)
The simplicity of the Pioneer DEH-S5100BT can be deceiving… but this head unit is a beast, to say the least. Cool, calm, and collected.
That’s why if you are willing to spend around $100 for a car stereo, and want a quality sound output, CD player and all the smartphone and wireless functions this is our definitive recommendation!
Going deeper into the Pioneer DEH-S5100BT’s functionality and specs, you will be surprised at the amount of tech that has gone into producing this head unit.
For expandability, this superb deck is fitted with a single AUX input and USB port on the front and 6-channel outputs on the back (2V preamp for the front, rear, and subwoofer).
It also has direct USB control for devices such as iPods and iPhones plus it accepts wired remote input. On the Bluetooth front, the unit uses AVRCP 1.5 for audio and video streaming from your smartphone media library and A2DP for advanced audio distribution.
The Bluetooth functionality also includes HFP 1.6 to facilitate hands-free calling and receiving phone calls (dual phone connection and wideband speech capability).
With the Pioneer DEH-S5100BT you get an affordable car stereo that plays media from your CDs (CD/CD-R/RW – NOT DVD), and USB stick(s) in the following formats; WAV, FLAC (highly compressed digital media), MP3, WMA, and AAC Audio.
Please note the FLAC files can only play from your USB stick. But the rest can play on both CDs and USB. This deck uses ASR (Advanced Sound Retriever) to play compressed files (FLAC) without faltering on sound quality.
The radio tuner receives both AM and FM with 6 AM and 18 FM presets and BSM (Best Station Memory).
The Audio quality is awesome. I mean… what do you call a 50 watts x 4 internal MOSFET amplifier with 14W RMS, 3-way network option with 3 RCA pre-outs at 2V each that allow you to connect 3 different external amplifiers to drive three distinctly separated sound ranges (high, mid, and low with subwoofer level control) as well as HPF or LPF crossover options, a 13-band customizable equalizer with 7 tone preset settings, 3 volume modes, and the MIXTRAX feature to give you the craziest DJ experience? Simply Awesome!
The things you can do with the smartphone integration are even wilder. Imagine streaming endless music from Spotify or Pandora straight from your smartphone through your car stereo? Cool right? Well, the Pioneer DEH-S5100BT really plays well with your phone.
You can also create your own Pandora station to play only what you love all day long through your Android smartphone (MTP/AOA 2.0 music support technology) or iPhone.
That’s not even the cool part… you can use the Siri Eyes Free feature which provides natural-language voice command functionality to control your stereo (through your smartphone) while staying focused on the road and driving.
And that’s not even the half of it… the Pioneer Smart Sync app allows you to control some simple features using your smartphone.
Throw in the spectrum analyzer, a display that has 10 brightness levels and 210, 000 dual zone color customization capabilities plus multi-language display options… add a fully detachable face for security reasons and a hand-held remote control.
The JVC KD-X260BT is not only incredibly affordable, but it also comes with a nice package of features.
Basically, for a couple of bucks less you get almost all the specs like Our Pick – Alpine UTE-73BT but without a CD player.
CD playing version: JVC KD-R690S ($57.39)
With that, let’s take a look at what the JVC KD-X260BT mechless head unit has on its plate.
On top of the list are smartphone features that include JVC’s remote control app, 2-way iPod/iPhone control, Siri Eyes Free, PANDORA, Spotify, iHeartRadio and built-in Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and music streaming.
Android Open Accessory (AOA) 2.0 gives you the option to charge your Android device.
Fitted with a pretty efficient MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels), it also effortlessly plays MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and FLAC files through USB.
To sweeten the package even further, it also includes a Volume Link EQ – an option that boosts frequencies to reduce the road noise.
Detachable faceplate enables you to reduce the chances of it being stolen by a long shot.
On the Cons side, some users report connectivity issues and relatively small controls.
Kenwood KDC-BT23 (Latest Edition)
The last but not least viable budget option is for Kenwood lovers – The Kenwood KDC-BT23.
Ranging from controls and specs to its sound output, it is only fair to acknowledge that the Kenwood can stand with all the other boys.
Like most stereos on this list, the KDC-BT23 has a lot to offer its users. Its features are as follows.
It’s fitted with all the standard specs including a front USB and AUX inputs, built-in Bluetooth, Spotify and Pandora,iHeartRadio, iPhone and Android compatibility, FLAC support, SiriusXM Ready and detachable faceplate.
Lastly, it comes with 8 EQ curves, 13-band equalizer, and super-bright 1.5 line LCD display.
Cheap Car Stereo – Under $100 – DOUBLE DIN
The JVC KW-R930BT is, in every sense, a bonanza and one of the best double din radios you can get. Even I could hardly believe that you get all its amazing feature at such a throwaway price – see our full review. If you come across this head unit, don’t think twice, buy it.
JVC went all the way with this one giving you everything you could possibly need in a head unit well wrapped in a golden ribbon. The JVC KW-R930BT is a banger for the buck; more than that, it is probably one of the creme-de-la-creme units under this price tag.
There’s so much you can do with this double din unit; this is considering its vast array of features. It gives you full access to SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, iHeart Radio and Spotify. All that is besides its Bluetooth connectivity, tuner radio and USB/AUX hook-ins.
Its built-in MOSFET amp gives it clean, perceptible output that’s like none other. Its Bluetooth feature allows for dual pairing when rolling; this is highly convenient especially when there’s a group involved. It is also IOS and Android compatible.
When it comes to its exterior, there’s only one word to describe it; breathtaking. Its 2 zone variable color illumination is simply genius. This has stolen the hearts of many, and I can’t help but succumb as well.
With the help of a 13 band preset EQ, the color illumination helps set the right mood for any ride taken. It is compatible with a multitude of files such as MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, and FLAC. Subwoofer low pass filters, phase, and level control make a convenient team player in an already established sound system. Being Remote control App compatible, gadget control is a cinch in this case.
BOSS Audio 850BRGB
Here’s the deal; even for less than a $50, Boss Audio will have you throwing parties right from the confine of your car. I say this with good reasons; one such reason is the 850BRGB head unit.
When a product is cheap, we tend to shy away from it. However, with the BOSS Audio 850BRGB, we suggest a swift dash towards it. Despite being unbelievably cheap, the 850BRGB is king under this category. On top of an impressive array of assorted features, it functions smoothly with pretty much zero glitches.
While the 850BRGB functions may be considered basic by most, we stand by the fact that they are, in a sense, the best you can ever expect at its sort price tag.
For one, its Bluetooth connectivity allows for hands-free calling and audio streaming. This gives you direct access to apps such as Pandora and Spotify.
At full blast, the 850BRGB dishes out a neat 80Watts x 4 worth of power. This not only makes it one heck of a lone soldier, but it also makes it a puissant component in any sound system.
In addition to Bluetooth, it also plays files in the form of CD, MP3, WMA, AM/FM, and CD. It also features USB and AUX input slots. For the outputs, you get a fully packed panel featuring front, rear and sub-pre-amps outputs.
A built-in 3 band EQ lets users customize liking without much of a fuss. Multi-colored illumination lights up the unit in both broad daylight and in the dead of night. That guarantees display legibility at all times. It also comes with a wireless remote for eased operation.
BOSS Audio BV9364B
You already know Boss Audio is not likely to let you down. From the look of things, the BOSS Audio BV9364B was engineered for ease of use and consistent yet splendid faculty. It not only comes with a look to kill, but it also sounds and functions just as good. Its authentic flair makes it unique, a diamond in the rough to say the least.
I thought fit to first highlight the BV9364B’s touch screen control feature. In a world where every gadget is pretty much touch screen controlled, this feature comes through with much relief for users.
Hands-free calling eliminates potential distractions while on the road. With 80 Watts x 4 worth of power, you can rest assured this baby will have every corner of your cabin covered when in operation. Its built-in DVD player lets you experience music or fills right there as you drive.
It features UBS and AUX inputs which make it possible to hook on and operate external players. Its outputs include a front, rear and subwoofer pre-amp outputs. It also comes with rear camera input, handy for reverse gearing.
You can easily switch between camera mode and the normal display at the push of a button. A prest EQ helps adjust tunes to a more customized sound. Finally, the BV9364B comes with wireless remote control for eased control.
Kenwood hardly ever disappoints; and with the Kenwood DPX530BT, they have clearly gone out of their way to rev up your in-car audio experience.
With the help of a well-thought list of technologies, this unit successfully creates an out of this world experience for its users without breaking much sweat. Here’s a breakdown of its incredible features.
The Kenwood DPX530BT is designed to suit a modern-day driver in every way thanks to its smartphone-friendly features. On top of this list is its super fast, super efficient Bluetooth connectivity capabilities.
Other than that, it also comes with dual Bluetooth connectivity ( great when there’s more than a person in the car) and an easy – peasy pairing ability with other Bluetooth devices.
Further, it’s Kenwood Music Control for Android smartphones gives you a stronger grip when it comes to shuffling your android files from the stereo.
When it comes down to its design, the Kenwood DPX530BT carries a 1.5″ display backed with 24 button backlight colors. The display also has a dimmer control feature that helps control the amount of glare it spills out.
Think that’s enough? It gets better. With the 13 band equalizer, this car stereo allows acclimatizing tunes to your liking. It’s SiriusXM tuner gives to satellite radio ( that’s right) besides the 24 preset FM/AM radio stations.
Additional features include 3 sets of preamp outputs, both high and low pass filters and 50W×4 Max power output.
Did I mention it also features Kenwood’s sound reconstruction tech? That’s right; this stereo retrieves compressed files without so much as a scratch retaining all original data.
Sound Storm DDC28B
As its name suggests, this head unit model has stirred quite the storm in the market. I know Sound Storm to impress on more than occasions; it is, therefore, no shock that the DDML28B is as belligerent as it is.
Trust me when I tell you that nothing else sounds this good within this price class. It also presents its users with a well thought through feature list that only kicks up its game. Its a great pick for anyone working on a tight budget but still wants something that startles.
There may not be much going on for the DDML28B; however, the little it does has set it miles apart from other models. Its maximum power rating, for instance, is 800Watts x 4. Paired with a couple of powerful speakers, this head unit might just blow your cabin roof right off. Its Bluetooth is efficient and is hardly a bother when in operation. Once connected, it allows for both hands-free calling and audio streaming. With that, you get access to an endless list of audio files. Its preset EQ helps adjust the sound ambiance to one that suits you most.
Fitted with USB and AUX inputs ports, you can access your phone’s audios as well charge it when the need arises. A detachable face-plate makes this head unit theft deterrent; an aspect that offers incredible owners relief whenever they leave their vehicle parked out in the open. The DDML28B plays Bluetooth, CDs, USB, MP3, WMA, and AM/FM radio. This makes it extreme pliant in terms of what you can play. It also includes an MP3 ID3 tag display and a wireless remote for hassle-free navigation.
Cheap Car Stereo – Under $50 – SINGLE DIN
BOSS Audio 508UAB
First on our pick list is the really cheap Boss Audio 508UAB.
At a surprisingly affordable price (under $50) you can’t get a CD player, Bluetooth, AUX and USB anywhere else.
So if you’re looking something simple just to change your factory unit and don’t wanna give more than 50 bucks this is the way to go.
Let’s take a deeper look at exactly what this stereo has to offer. One of the best features of the Boss Audio 508UAB is that it is Bluetooth enabled.
Other additions are the USB and SD ports that allow you to plug-in your own music. Using the auxiliary input, it gives you the privilege of hooking up your music player or phone; what’s better than listening to your own music on a long, exhausting drive.
Aside from having a built-in equalizer, the Boss Audio 508UAB car stereo plays both MP3 and WMA music formats not to mention all sorts of CDs. It is clearly a very handy little unit.
More features include its wireless remote control, 50 Watts × 4 Max power output, a switchable turner (US or European) and finally front and rear pre-amp outputs.
On the other hand, you can’t expect that much in sound and build quality. Let’s be honest – you get what you pay for, right?
Last update on 2020-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API