Single din head unit or stereo is the bread and butter of a car audio system. They allow you to play music, sync up your phone with the car audio system, stream and download videos for the car TV and most modern units come with features such as customizable backlighting, high-quality touch-screen displays, as well as Bluetooth, WIFI, NFC, etc.

Our Recommended SINGLE Din Units

ImageSingle Din Head UnitBottom lineProsConsIphoneAndroidBluetoothUSB InputAUX InputSpecs
Alpine CDE-172BT Bluetooth Receiver (replacement of...
Our Pick
New Model

$117.95 at Amazon

Non-Bluetooth Version
Alpine CDE-170

Non-CD Version
Alpine UTE-73BT
If you regard yourself an audiophile, then this unit is bound to blow your hats off. Want sound options? Versatility? Maybe a taste of new age technology? Look no further.Looks great, Price worthy, Packed with incredible featuresTedious set-up processiPhone Direct Connection, Auto Pairing for iPhone,Android Direct Connect via USB, Android Open Accessory 2.0, MTPYesFrontFrontAndroid Compatibility,
Works with Pandora® and Spotify,
iPhone, Color Customization, USB, Aux, FLAC, CD
Pioneer DEH-S5100BT in-Dash Built-in Bluetooth CD, MP3,...
Runner-Up
Under $100 Pick

$99.95 at Amazon

Non-CD Version
Pioneer MVH-S310BT

Non-Bluetooth Version
Pioneer DEH-S1100UB
In an age where smartphones practically rule the world, this stereo comes molded to fit right into that picture.

For under $100 bucks you can't get better!
Smart phone control, User friendly controls, Navigation apps compatibility
Interface lighting makes it hard to see in daylightiPhone music playback, Pioneer Smart Sync App (USB/BT), Voice ControlAndroid music playback, Pioneer Smart Sync App (USB/BT), Voice ControlYesFrontFrontAndroid Compatibility,
Works with Pandora® and Spotify,
iPhone, Color Customization, CD
JVC KD-R990BTS 1-Din CD Receiver Featuring BT/USB/13-Band EQ
Also Great

$95.99 at Amazon
Here's the thing, the KD-R995BTS brings to the table refined sound for an unbelievably affordable price. It is worth every last penny spent on it.Great for running apps, Good sound qualityNot so user-friendly as reported by usersBluetooth Automatic Pairing and PlaybackBluetooth Automatic Pairing, JVC Music Play AppYesFrontFrontJVC's remote control app, Siri Eyes-Free-Mode, PANDORA, Spotify, and iHeartRadio
Sony MEX-XB120BT Single DIN Hi-Power Bluetooth In-Dash...
Also Great

from $197.96 at Amazon
The best part is that its output is polished, deep and crystal clear. All those dips and highs in your favorite song. Be sure you'll hear them.Eased pairing, User-friendly.Complaints of a limited lifespaniPhone Direct Connect via USB, Bluetooth pairing via SongPalAndroid Direct Connect via USB, Bluetooth pairing via SongPalYesFrontFrontSiri Control, Android Control, Voice Dialing, Siri Eyes Free Control, Class-D amplifier
Our Pick

Alpine CDE-172BT (Latest Edition)

The Alpine CDE-172BT, in what most would regard a pretty small package, comes packed a bunch of audio and technology features that are simply remarkable.

Other Options:

This CD receiver in no way limits its user’s audio choices. Want to listen to your phone audio files? No problem. Maybe that flash-drive with your entire music collection? Go on ahead. Or maybe your old fashioned and you simply want good old radio: It has you covered on that too. Besides being an AM/FM tuner, it also comes with a SiriusXM satellite tuner; impressive, right?

Well, it gets better. Its Bluetooth connectivity feature enables this head unit to pair up with pretty much any two smartphones simultaneously at any time. From that, you can access and play any audio files from your phone as well make/receive calls without lifting a finger.

Its App Direct Mode makes it easily compatible with both iPods and iPhones giving you access to music apps such as Pandora.

Physically, this baby is designed to produce nothing short of premium sound. It comes ready with 6 channel preamp outputs, front USB and AUX inputs and both high and low pass filters. To top it all, its users have a 3 band parametric equalizer, a 24 digital to analog converter and the steering wheel control feature at their disposal. Again, the CDE-172BT is a stunning creation that deserves the top position on our list.

Runner-Up (Under $100 Pick)

Pioneer DEH-S5100BT (Latest Edition)

I like to give credit where it’s due; and the Pioneer DEH-S5100BT, I must say, is nothing short of a masterpiece. The DEH-S5100BT brings you an array of incredibly helpful features, each meant to refine your vehicle’s audio vibe.

Other Options:

In other words, with this stereo, you can rest assured of nothing short of clean sound and one heck of an experience every time you step into your vehicle.

If you are interested in more BUDGET(under $100) units see our full list here!

This single din head unit is easily the best of its kind considering its phenomenal collection of features. Its ability to sync with any smartphone without much of a fuss definitely keeps it way ahead in the game.

The DEH-S5100BT’s Smart Sync app lets you link up your phone to the stereo giving you an endless list of options on what to listen to. You get instant access to apps such as Pandora and Spotify. You can also control a smartphone directly from the receiver eliminating the constant need to reach out for the gadget. Its built-in Bluetooth adds to the package by allowing for audio streaming and hands-free calling.

If your worried about how loud the DEH-S5100BT, you’ll be happy to know it comes with a built-in MOSFET amplifier; this makes it quite a kicker.

Versatility is one major advantage that this stereo brings to the table. With a 13 band equalizer and a color customization feature, its users are able to tune their overall radio experience.

Other than that, it also comes with a detachable faceplate, front panel aux and USB inputs as well as preamp outputs for external plug-ins. Its low pass and high pass filters work relentlessly to polish audio waves for seamless out-turn. Last but not east, its front panel is fitted with an MP3 ID3 tag display which keeps you up to date.

Touchscreen/Flip-Out Option

Pioneer AVH-3400NEX

This Pioneer single din unit brings its users the privilege of a touchscreen digital interface which like your average smartphones, comes with tremendous convenience.

As you would expect, other than its touchscreen capabilities, this device comes with its own share of equally impressive features that make it a worthy option in a market flooded with many others.

It’s the only single-DIN unit that provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto!

Let us take look through the what the Pioneer AVH-3400NNEX car stereo has on its plate.

Undoubtedly worthy of the first mention, the 7″ slide out digital touchscreen display puts the Pioneer AVH-3400NEX on a different level from most other vehicle receivers.

Any smartphone oriented driver would definitely appreciate this customizable interface. The display comes with an 800*480 pixels resolution, is highly sensitive, responsive and has a range of display colors (5) and includes a few buttons for easier navigation.

This feature makes working featured apps a piece of cake. Such apps include Siri Eyes and Google Now.

Individual apps such as Pandora, Spotify and Apple music are also compatible with the device; it even features controls for such apps.

Additional apps include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and the Pioneer’s App Radio Mode.

This single din radio has the Bluetooth connectivity feature that enables connection to smartphones as well as other Bluetooth enabled devices. For hands-free control and calling, it is fitted with a microphone.

Equipped with both a CD/DVD drive and a USB port, this receiver makes it possible to play a different type of audio files with few limitations. More specs include a 4-volt preamp out, a separate amplifier and a 50 watt 4 amp (inbuilt) and remote control.

Heavy Duty

Jensen JHD1635BT

Looking at its built, as well as some of its specific features, you’ll agree that this stereo could get you through any storm: Literally.

One of the things I love most about the Jensen JHD1635BT is its Weather Band Tuner. This feature sends you weather alerts; this way, you are able to brace yourself for severe conditions. Still, on its ruggedness, its body is coated with PCB to keep out both dust and moisture.

Moving on, this bad boy features an amber backlit display that furnishes your dash with all sorts of beauty. Besides that, it features USB and AUX inputs both at the front and rear. Its 2 channel preamp output works well with most vehicle’s sound systems.

Its built-in memory lets you save presets for up to 30 days. With 30 preset tuner channels, you are spoilt for choice on what to listen to. And it gets better; it also features SiriusXM satellite tuner.

Finally, for better listening sessions, it also includes preset equalizer with 5 different settings.

The Jensen JHD1635BT maybe viewed as basic, but it has its users covered in a tremendous number of ways. It’s simple but nevertheless impressive.

Top Notch

Pioneer DEX-P99RS

Pioneer DEX-P99RS Stage 4 Reference Series CD Receiver

It’s top-rated, it’s proficient, it’s the Pioneer DEX-P99RS. I’ll say one thing, this stereo is a celestial-like creation; even its own manufacturers admit as much. Here’s why.

From the very moment that this baby is pulled out of the box, it gleams with unspoken authenticity. Its copper plated chassis not only affirms its longevity; it also reduces magnetic induced tumult giving clean produce.

Next, this car stereo brings its users a bunch of technological elements that augment its tuning abilities. One, it incorporates a built-in 3-band digital equalizer. With its auto EQ microphone and time alignment features, it’s no surprise that its resultant output is pretty neat.

Two, its Sound Master Clock Circuitry ensures super precise digital-analog conversion. Lastly, it has incredible sound processing powers thanks its 32-binary Floating Point DSP technology.

In addition to all that, it is also a CD receiver, has a front AUX input, a rear USB and high/low pass filters. Its 8 channel preamp output makes it super compatible with powerful sound gadgets such as amplifiers and speakers.

Like I said, one glance at this stereo will have you drooling uncontrollably over what it can do.

Everything else we recommend

Also Great

Sony MEX-XB120BT

Sony MEX-XB120BT Single DIN Hi-Power Bluetooth In-Dash...

We all know that Sony just doesn’t mess around with their products; they’ll have you working the latest technology before you even know of its existence.

This model, in particular, shines brightly in a sea of many others of its kind. It brings you a hassle free platform through which you can access pretty much anything that’s audible.

The Sony MEX-XB120BT features one unique feature that makes it a game changer; the Near Field Communication tech. NFC makes pairing impressively simplified even for a unit as exceptional as this one. I love that this head unit comes with voice control for both iPhones and Android phones. This means you’re able to dish out voice commands, make calls hands free and even listen to text messages while driving. A 10 band equalizer further enhances its final output.

The sound has never been cleaner; its Digital Sound Enhancement Engine see to it that that fact stands. Complement features include high and low pass filters, sub-woofer direct connection, frequency filters, bass enhancer, and time alignment.

A blend of all these features is pretty powerful if you ask me. Last but not least is the Sony Dynamic Color Illuminator which lights up your dash when this baby is at work. It is truly one of a kind.

Also  Great

JVC KD-R995BTS

With JVC KD-R995BTS you get an array of features (all perfectly functional) and polished audio waves beating through your car’s airways with this head-unit. It would be a mistake to underestimate what the KD-R995BTS is capable.

JVC went an extra mile to make the KD-R995BTS the badass stereo it is. It works to refine sound, regardless of its source. Two features, in particular, ensure this part of the job is well done; the digital signal processing and dynamic tonal control features.

Now the best part is that you can source audio files from pretty much anywhere. Its built-in Bluetooth allows for full-time dual phone connections. This opens the gateway to an endless list of feature that may only be accessible through smartphones.

In other words, you get full Spotify control hassle free. In addition to that, rear USB and AUX ports provide for yet more sourcing channels.

If you intend to hook some amps to this baby, your work will be pretty easy. With 3 sets of 5V preamp outputs, fix it to the rest of your sound system is a cinch.

From the looks of things, JVC intended to make this model as efficient as possible. It comes furnished with K2 technology, Time Alignment, and a whopping 13 band graphic equalizer. Apart from the usual AM/FM tuner, it also features the Tuner SiriusXM. The JVC KD-R995BTS is engineered to ensure its users receive audio signals in the cleanest and loudest form possible.

Also Great

Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X502

The Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X502 has earned its position on this list fair and square.

In all honesty, this little beast plays on a level similar to units almost twice its price. It’s a diamond in the rough alright. It houses a multitude of surprisingly essential functionalities. It also ensures it has all sorts of audio needs covered. You cannot go wrong with this one.

A max power output of 200Watts is hardly a joke; paired with the right speakers/sub-woofer, this gadget could be the foundation for the baddest sound system you’ll ever create.

Armed with 3 sets of preamp outputs, a sub-woofer level adjustment feature and Bluetooth connectivity, the KDC-X502 has the recipe for phenomenal sound output.

One thing you’ll love about this head unit is its versatility. You can play CDs on the unit, listen to AM/FM and satellite tuner radio, play files from a flash-drive and most importantly, your phone. These multiple music options guarantee you a great commuter experience every time you step into your cabin.

Besides that, you can set your perfect travel mood with its 13 band equalizer and Digital Time Alignment feature.

It further throws in steering wheel audio control compatibility, the Kenwood Remote App and iPhone voice control into the package. Its rear dual USB and AUX ports only make it even more pliable. Lastly, I must mention its Music Mix feature that lets you pair and operates a maximum of five smartphones to the head unit. It definitely lives up to the expectations.

Top Notch

Sony RSXGS9

Sony RSXGS9 Hi-Res Audio Media Receiver with Bluetooth...

The SONY RSXGS9 can only be described as a next level head unit. Very few car stereos can match its nonpareil faculty. Its sound produce is polished, richer and very much in its original and intended form.

Sony has always given its fans a lot more than they ask for; pushing the limits is what they do best. Evidently, the SONY RSXGS9 is a perfect verification of that fact. Besides its well thought through design, this receiver houses some of the industries most sought after features.

First and foremost, its chassis is something of a wonder. Its dual-layer design separates the digital and analog circuitry. The result? Clean, rich, distortion-free sound. It delivers sound as its creator intended for you to.

Fitted with an ESS Digital-Analog converter; a feature which instantaneously makes it a top quality sound producer. It also comes with a DSD native playback and a DSEE-HX upscaling. This means its codec is designed for high audio resolution regardless of the nature of the file. As a matter of fact, this stereo is the only car radio comparable with DSD.

Next, we have to acknowledge its NFC one-touch Bluetooth pairing. Additionally, it also comes with a direct USB DAC connection for high resolution. Since is smartphone connectivity is a cinch, you’ll be glad to know you can still use your phone as its remote control.

The Sony RSXGS9 puts a 10 band graphic equalizer at your disposal; you can tune the sound to your liking. Its OLED display is easily legible as well as navigate. I know it sounds too good to be true; however, you best believe it.

Really Cheap

Boss Audio 616UAB

BOSS Audio 616UAB Multimedia Car Stereo - Single Din LCD,...
If you’re on a budget, then don’t go without taking a look at the BOSS Audio 616UAB. It is by far the cheapest single din stereo unit we have ever seen.

What does it offer then at this price? Well, here you go – Bluetooth with hands-free calling and audio streaming support, USB, SD, and AUX inputs for hooking up your memory card, smartphone, headphone, and full RCA preamp connectivity right on the front panel. And yes, it also has a built-in EQ tuner with bass, treble, and fader controls.

So you might be asking yourself “what does it not have?” Well, there is a reason it costs less than half as much as some of the more premium units.

Compromises have been made on the diversity of controls that you’ll get in the EQ menu, and there are no subwoofer controls.

Also, worth noting is the lack of iPod control, and the seemingly flimsy build quality (shouldn’t matter as long as it stays mounted in your car’s dash, right?).

Vincent Talbot

Last update on 2019-06-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API