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 will start with the most basic head units – around $50. Then will 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 recommended units.
Table of Contents
|Cheap Car Stereo||Bottom line||Pros||Cons||Specs||Bluetooth||USB Input||AUX Input|
$80.00 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 top 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
|Yes||Front||Front||Buy at Amazon|
Bang For Buck
from $64.95 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||Buy at Amazon|
$94.95 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||Buy at Amazon|
$91.91 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||Buy at Amazon|
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?
Cheap Car Stereo – Under $100 – SINGLE DIN
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-X350BTS 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 – Pioneer DEH-S5100BT but without a CD player.
CD playing version: JVC KD-R690S($57.50)
With that, let’s take a look at what the JVC KD-X350BTS 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 give 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.
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-X350BTS, 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 if you’re looking something like that.
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
Let’s say you have a limited budget of around $100 bucks and still wanna CD car stereo that has all the latest bells and whistles.
Even with that budget, you can still get yourself one hell of a double-DIN receiver. Our Pick the JVC KW-R930BTS sees to it that you do.
This unbelievably affordable stereo may have you a bit skeptical because, well, cheap often leaks of bad quality. Right? Wrong; and this receiver proves that you don’t need to bleed yourself out financially for the quality.
Below are it’s rather incredible features that keep it afloat in a market full of options.
Right from its chassis design, you can tell this receiver means serious business.
Like many other receivers out there, the JVC KW-R930BTS too comes well armed with integrated Bluetooth technology, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify and automatic pairing for iPhone and Android.
Through the receiver front panel AUX and USB, you can connect your smartphone to a much wider audio pool.
Thanks to its Apple iPhone connection capabilities, Siri Eyes Free control comes as a bonus.
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.
BOSS Audio 850BRGB
Do you want something with basic specs (Bluetooth, USB, and Aux) and still look good? BOSS Audio 850BRGB gives you just that. This stereo is made with fascinating handling of most popular audio-based files.
The 850BRGB features Bluetooth connectivity which means you can pair with phones to the receiver at a go.
If in any case, you love to keep it old school, you can tune in to your favorite FM/AM radio station.
Other than that, this receiver also plays CDs and can handle MP3, WMA and WAV files. Pretty basic stuff.
Last update on 2019-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API