In this article, we shall focus on the flip-out head units – these are almost always single DIN head units types and carry a slide-out hinged tray on the top to which a touch screen panel is mounted.
The touch screen car radio panel can be anywhere from 5” to 7” in size, and you should make sure that the motorized mechanism is reliable and smooth before you purchase any type of flip out the head unit.
In terms of features, you’re going to need the following basics- Bluetooth, multi-band EQ support, hands-free calling and audio streaming, USB connectivity, AUX input, RCA preamp output.
Table of Contents
The Flip-Out Head Units We Recommend
|Image||Flip Out Radio||Bottom line||Pros||Cons||Specs||Resolution||Screen Size||Power Output|
$429.99 at Amazon
|The Pioneer AVH-3500NEX is really the only flip-out radio we can actually recommend. From build quality and features to screen there is nothing like it on the current market!|
The only single-DIN unit that provides both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
|Hands free calling, Intuitive user interface, Bright display, Adjustable depth control of the screen||Takes time to synced up, USB port is in back||Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, AppRadio Mode+, Spotify®, Works with Pandora®, SiriusXM-Ready™, DVD, CD/CD-R/RW, MP3, FLAC, Siri Hands Free, Apple Maps||800px x 480px||7 inches||50 watts x 4|
$262.96 at Amazon
|Coming at second place and around $100 bucks less! A quality built single din Apple CarPlay unit from Jensen.||Easy install, Great feature assortment, Auto screen brightness||Can't adjust screen tilt, Sluggish screen response, No Android Auto||Apple CarPlay, Pandora, plays CDs, DVDs, and USB memory devices, 5-channel preamp outputs||800px x 480px||7 inches||40 watts x 4|
Bang For Buck
$121.84 at Amazon
|Decent flip-screen stereo with basic functions. Good for the price but nowhere near Our Pick.||Great deal for the money - at this price who can complain!||Cheap built, Slow OS||In-dash AM/FM, CD, DVD, MP3 player with Remote, TFT-LCD Touchscreen display||800px x 480px||7 inches||52 watts x 4|
$118.96 at Amazon
|Really close to Power Acoustik regarding quality and functions, but this one is iPod and iPhone Ready.||Simple to install, Good for the price, Basic functionality||Cheap built, Not so bright screen||Playback of CD, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, MP3 and WMA, Bluetooth V2.0 Hands Free Calling, Dual Zone for Rear Seat or Overhead Entertainment||480px x 234px||7 inches||52 watts x 4|
Higher-end models will offer better RMS power output per channel, along with more advanced EQ options, and subwoofer controls.
Make sure the head unit is compatible with both Android (see more of Android car stereo reviews) as well as Apple devices if you plan on syncing it with your phone. We have a list of top flip-out radios on the market right now, so let’s dig in.
Pioneer AVH-3500NEX (2020 UPDATED)
Just to give you the 2020 UPDATE – AVH-3500NEX is an updated version of AVH-3400NEX - which is also available.
Smartphone-oriented head units have never favored users with single-DIN dashboard openings, but with the brand-new Pioneer AVH-3500NEX (full review), there’s something to smile about in the long run.
Besides fitting into a single-DIN opening, this stereo for a car delivers remarkable smartphone experience by bringing both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration platform to your dashboard, all thanks to a state-of-the-art and highly customizable interface that features a 7-inch Clear Resistive touchscreen.
The unit is specifically built for the modern smartphone-driven user who thought they were out of luck because they don’t have a double-DIN setup.
The AVH-3500NEX is compatible with all android phones and iPhone 5 or later. It comes with a microphone for hands-free calling and voice commands, plus a physical remote control.
At a 7-inch size, the screen gives a fairly sharp resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, with five distinct display colors, automatic dimming, and various splash screen options.
Video Review: Pioneer AVH-3500NEX
Although this video is for the previous version (AVH-3300NEX) all the specs are the same.
Apart from CarPlay and Android Auto, the AVH-3500NEX features Pioneer’s AppRadio Mode+ which gives you control of compatible smartphone apps straight from the touchscreen.
This works well with Pioneer’s free AppRadio gateway app as well as maps and calendar, among other functions. However, getting this to work will require a separate cable.
Users who’d like to use individual apps are also presented with controls for Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify. Along with other apps, these can be used with the unit through Bluetooth.
Of course, there’s a built-in Bluetooth hands-free calling functionality featuring a Wideband Speech Hands-free Profile 1.6 that approaches FM-type sound quality.
What’s more, satellite radio enthusiasts and audiophiles will appreciate the Pioneer SXV300 Sirius XM tuner and the 192-kHz/21 bit playback capability, together with a CD/DVD drive that plays a wide range of digital files either from a disk or USB.
Finally, the AVH-3500NEX includes a detachable faceplate for theft protection, two auxiliary video inputs in the rear panel, a rear-view camera input, as well as a rear video monitor input. The whole interface is customizable to taste, and there is a variety of display choices to choose from.
What makes the AVH-3500NEX striking as compared to other aftermarket radios is its CarPlay and Android Auto capability. On using the unit in my car, I relished seamless access to phone features, music, maps, messaging, and apps like TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeart Radio.
The menus were pretty easy to use and provided fast access to what I wanted. CarPlay was particularly cool with its audiobook and podcast interfaces, though I’d have preferred Pioneer’s own apps for Spotify and Pandora as they offer better graphics and more info compared to Apple. Nonetheless, CarPlay is superior when it comes to navigation since it adds a free feature via Apple Maps.
CarPlay and Android auto are not the only things I adored, however. I had the pleasure of using other functionalities like AppRadio Mode which provided me access to Waze for traffic and reminded me of an appointment in my calendar.
As I had expected, there wasn’t much room to fit many buttons on the faceplate but the ones included were useful. Once the faceplate motorizes, the majority of controls can be accessed from the screen and so there’s no need for extra buttons.
On the other hand, the fold-out screen can block some vehicle controls. Apart from that, the system matched up well with my car and aftermarket license camera.
I also liked the broad array of audio adjustments, including a delay function and a speaker level adjustment option that lets you fine-tune sound from each speaker, a cross-over for setting cutoff frequency, graphic EQs and presets, and the roll-off slope, not to forget, loudness and bass boost controls.
Jensen sure knows how to whip up a good deal. Looking at the Jensen VX4014, it’s impossible to wonder how such a decorated gadget is so incredibly affordable. Even with a frantic search through the dozens of flip out head unit models up on the offer, it’s likely that you will find anything more worthy.
Let’s talk about screen mirroring for a minute. This feature lets users mirror their phone contents on a relevant display for better viewing. And guess what, the VX4014 allows you the privilege to experience that.
Its 7″ high-resolution screen has a neat display faculty. It’s also reasonably responsive when at work. The retractable screen also lets you automatically stow it when not in use. 160 Watts of peak power is definitely no joke; it takes on resonance with renounced confidence to give off nothing but clean melodies.
An AM/FM tuner is pretty handy; it is also SiriusXM tuner ready. Talk about spoilt for choice. For those who just can’t do without Pandora, you get direct access to the app hassle-free.
Bluetooth connectivity means hands-free commands and audio streaming. Apple CarPlay is super handy for iPhone users. RGB color customization makes it possible to tune the units theme color to suit the mood. That paired with a 3 band equalizer (8 selectable EQ) makes adaptability a cinch.
Power Acoustik PTID-8920B
If you want a no-frills, reliable, reasonably priced 1-DIN flip out stereo head for your car, Power Acoustik PTID-8920B might just be the one you’re looking for.
It uses a high clarity 7” WVGA resistive touch panel which is not the best for watching movies on the go while driving your car (why would you ever want to do that?), but packs enough clarity for you to get a nice view of that tree or pole behind your car as you are trying to park in a tight space.
Yes, you can hook up this stereo head with your rear-view or parking camera.
It also packs a decent AM/FM combo radio, so you can listen to the local news and music channels in the morning on your way to the office, and you can use the subwoofer controls on the front panel to crank up the bass while going for a drive with your friends and family.
This flip out radio is compatible with both Android as well as Apple devices and comes with Bluetooth support for hands-free calling and audio streaming.
There are not a whole lot of cons in terms of actual hardware, but the software interface is somewhat lacking in terms of the options that it offers.
Not to mention the fact that you will experience a slight drop in bass when listening to music on Bluetooth.
The market is full of so-called “budget car stereos” which are actually immensely cut-down models featuring cheap internal DAC units and low-quality Bluetooth modules.
Finding a good budget single DIN flip-out screen can be quite tedious. But Soundstream is a manufacturer that specializes in manufacturing low-cost car stereo solutions for the average middle-class consumer.
Their VIR-7830B packs a motorized 7” touchscreen display, Bluetooth, CD/DVD player (check out some of the best in-dash DVD players you can get for your money), and comes with USB as well as AUX and RCA ports.
The detachable faceplate prevents people from running away with your brand new car stereo, and the broad array of connectivity options means that you’ll be able to stream music/videos with ease while talking in hands-free mode.
There is one major issue with this unit, which appears to be a firmware bug rather than an actual hardware deficiency. You cannot navigate through the home screen menu or change any settings if your phone is connected to the head unit via Bluetooth.
With a USB connection, though, everything works fine and you can share folders between your phone and the SD card on this stereo unit without any issues at all. The sound quality is nothing great, but we would call it satisfactory for the price.
Power Acoustik PDN-721HB
Driving around in unfamiliar grounds is never an easy task. But that’s only if you lack a badass GPS navigation that will guide you to the very core of your destination. And that my friends are exactly what the Power Acoustik PDN-721HB all too easily offers its users.
Pro-level navigation is only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the PDN-721HB can do. It’s efficient in multiple ways; a jack of all trades but a master of none to say the least.
Now its iGO primo navigation system is probably this gadget’s selling factor. That tells you all you need to know. This head unit could easily be your lifeline in a raging storm. When it comes to giving directions, no head unit can top the PDN-721HB. It even includes a GPS antenna; need I say more?
Its 7″ touchscreen is magnificent when it comes to clarity. A Phonelink integration feature allows users full access to their smartphones and tablets. In case any of your personal gadgets go off on you, you can count on the PDN-721HB’s adaptive fast charging to reboot them back to life.
Bluetooth connectivity makes information transfer lightning fast. A built-in microphone sees to it that Bluetooth calls are distortion-free and crystal clear. A 10 band parametric equalizer makes music sessions all the more worthwhile by tuning audio files to your preference.
As if the wireless remote control wasn’t enough, then PDN-721HB went on ahead to make it steering wheel control ready. Additional features include front and rear USB inputs for even further pliancy.
Here’s a simple flip-out unit with a flabbergasting performance capacity. Its feature list carries decent decorations; it also sounds fairly good. It could blow your mind given the chance; you can bet on that.
Bluetooth hands-free calling proves super effective when driving. The VR-75XB features a thoughtful front panel microphone which enhances clarity during calls. The VR-75XB screen is sculptured from smart sense glass which makes it a nippy responder. With a 208 Watts max power capacity and a supporting 2 band equalizer, this head unit has a decent sound recreation.
For reinforced safety against theft and destruction, the VR-75XB comes with a detachable faceplate. Adorned with the capacity to play everything from CDs/DVDs to USBs, the options are endless with this flip out. When it comes to USB charging, its fast-charging abilities will have your phone well powered up in no time.
SiriusXM tuner compatibility further adds to user listening options. Front USB and AUX inputs further extend the user audio experience to ace new heights.
The Pyle PLT85BTCM comes with all the expected features of a dependable unit. It is a single din sized receiver with a 7-inch retractable screen offering high definition with it 16:9 aspect ratio and 800 by 480-pixel resolution.
It comes with a number of features and technologies like anti-shock mechanism and electronic shock protection. It supports all popular file formats like Mp3, MP4, JPEG AVI and more while it is compatible with multiple types of discs from DVDs and VCDs to CD, CD-R, and CD-R/W.
You also get the Bluetooth compatibility with virtually all devices allowing for music streaming and hands-free calls.
The unit lacks a navigation system which is quite odd given that this is an almost standard feature in the medium to top range flip out radio units.
It, however, makes up for this with the backup camera set and the great attention to detail for the audio and video features including providing even Micro SD slots with a memory support size of up to 64GB.
The backup camera set is something to behold with its marine grade construction and the all-weather proofing with an IP67 rating. It offers high resolution at 420 TV lines and a 170 degrees wide angle view.
If you have a dependable GPS system and are looking for a robust well designed flip out head unit get this and enjoy the gift of a quality backup camera as an add-on.
I am a sucker for tenable deals, and I must admit I love this one. For just a couple of bucks, Jensen gives you the opportunity to experience the phenomenal VX3518.
Although some may consider it bog-standard, it’s one of the best flip outs within its class range. Fitted with all head unit essential, it has all it takes to liven up any cabin space.
On its facade seats a 7″ touchscreen. Yes, its a beauty, but guess what else; it features a motorized retractable screen. In other words, you tuck it away to safety at the push of a button. Built-in iPhone, iPod, and iPad controls give you exclusive access to your personal devices.
You can tailor your own little universe right in your car by customizing your ambiance. Bluetooth connectivity paves way for hands-free calling and texting. With the aid of an included microphone, the gizmo is able to capture your commands easily; it also makes calls clearer and glitch-free.
It plays audio and video content from various sources; USB, flash drives, CDs, you name it. 200 Watts worth of power bolsters its reproduction capabilities to new and exciting levels.
An 8 band equalizer helps customize tunes to suit the desired prerequisite. Rear AV and front AUX inputs go on ahead to add to its versatility. Considering it works with SiriusXM tuner and apps like Pandora, there’s no limit with what you can do with this one.
Also, you get steering wheel control privileges. You may have to deal with a few wire hookups here and there, maybe get an adapter, but it’s all very worth it.
This is another quality product from Pyle and comes with lots of features building upon the PLT85BTCM model.
It is an android car stereo receiver that has both Bluetooth connectivity and supports WiFi streaming and downloads. You also get a Full HD 7-inch TFT LCD screen with 1080 support featuring a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels.
You also get an advanced GPS navigation system that also features an integrated Google Maps navigation setup.
The Android OS version is 5.1 lollipop and a Quad-Core processor powers the whole unit. It brings with it numerous apps and you can always download more on the go.
The audio is supremely enhanced and a customizable equalizer ensures you get the most from this setup. The design is solid and the installation is easy as is the norm of most Pyle units with all the components and wires provided.
The letdown for an otherwise boosted up stereo receiver is the lack of easy compatibility with Apple products. GPS also only works when there is WiFi.
What is the best flip-out car stereo?
Given the current market offer and in our case the best unit in terms of quality and features is definitely Pioneer AVH-3500NEX.
What is the biggest advantage of flip-out units?
You will actually get most features only double-din units have – like touchscreen, DVD/CD receiver or Apple CarPlay in a single din format!
What is the size of the screen on flip-out units?
The size of the flip-out panel can be anywhere from 5” to 7”.
Do flip-out units have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
In the current market, only one unit includes both features (Pioneer AVH-3500NEX), but there are some that only include Apple CarPlay (Jensen VX4014).
Will the motorized screen block my other car functions?
It certainly can so be sure to check out your dash.
Last update on 2020-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API