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 the best car stereo units come with features such as customizable backlighting, high-quality touch-screen displays, as well as Bluetooth, WIFI, NFC, etc.
Table of Contents
- Our Recommended SINGLE Din Units
- Everything else we recommend
- Previously considered options – some still available (2018., 2019., 2020.)
Our Recommended SINGLE Din Units
|Image||Single Din Head Unit||Specs||Iphone||Android||Bluetooth||USB Input||AUX Input|
Price at AmazonPrice at Crutchfield
Works with Pandora® and Spotify,
iPhone, Color Customization, USB, Aux, FLAC, CD
|iPhone Direct Connection, Auto Pairing for iPhone,||Android Direct Connect via USB, Android Open Accessory 2.0, MTP||Yes||Front||Front|
Price at Amazon
|iPod, iPhone, and iPad control. MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, WAV playback. Voice control with Android and Siri Eyes Free. EQ10 10-band equalizer. 6-channel preamp outputs.||iPod/iPhone Direct Connect via USB and with Bluetooth via Sony Music Center App||Android Direct Connect via USB and Bluetooth. (AOA 2.0 or MTP).||Yes||Front and Rear||Front|
Price at AmazonPrice at Crutchfield
|Pop-out smartphone cradle for touchscreen. FLAC, MP3, WMA, and WAV music files. Amazon Alexa. 31 band EQ using Smart Sync||Via USB or Bluetooth with Pioneer Smart Sync App||Via USB or Bluetooth with Pioneer Smart Sync App||Yes||Front||No|
Price at Amazon
|Clear and functional Design. Matt black fixed front.|
Orange illumination. Play Music from Cell Phone (A2DP, AVRCP). MP3 / WMA format
|Via Bluetooth (HSP), (HFP) and (A2DP, AVRCP)||Via Bluetooth (HSP), (HFP) and (A2DP, AVRCP)||Yes||Front||Front|
Price at AmazonPrice at Crutchfield
|Full Dot Matrix LCD, AM/FM US/EURO Tuner with 30 Presets, Radio Broadcast Data Service) with PTY Search, Sirius XM Radio Ready||Via USB or Bluetooth (A2DP/AVRCP/HFP)||Via USB or Bluetooth (A2DP/AVRCP/HFP)||Yes||Front and Rear||Front and Rear RCA|
The Alpine CDE-172BT, in what most would regard as a pretty small package, comes packed with a bunch of audio and technology features that are simply remarkable – check out the full review.
Other Alpine 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 as 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.
Alpine CDE-172BT Display and Controls Demo
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.
Other Sony options:
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-N4300BT 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 sees 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.
If you are looking to make the most of your smartphone with your car receiver, you need to consider this single-din option by Pioneer. This mechless head unit is compatible with both android and iOS devices with its Bluetooth and USB connections.
Other Pioneer options:
The Pioneer’s propriety Smart Sync App helps you expand the functionality of this head unit. Through the app, you can use Amazon Alexa on your stereo for navigation, weather reports, song selection, etc. Moreover, you can use the unit’s pop-out cradle to set up your smartphone (via the app) above the unit as your stereo touch display.
Pioneer SPH-10BT also has another propriety feature called Mixtrax Virtual DJ. Through this option, you can create a nonstop mix of your playlist with a host of DJ-inspired effects. Moreover, the unit supports the FLAC codec. This means you can play tracks (FLAC extensions) with more sonic details on your car stereo.
Pioneer SPH-10BT video review
The SONY RSXGS9 can only be described as one of the best car digital media receivers you can get on the market. Very few car stereos can match its nonpareil faculty. Its sound production 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 industry’s 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 that 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.
Sony RSXGS9 video review
This JVC single-din unit is another good combination of sound and navigation features. This unit features three sets of preamp outputs, allowing you to customize your system with additional amps and subs.
Other JVC options:
Moreover, its 13-Band EQ and time alignment feature enable you to configure the perfect sound in line with your acoustic taste buds.
The standout feature of JVC KD-X560BT is its rearview camera-ready configuration. This head unit gets linked to the back gear and automatically switches its display to the view from the rear camera when you reverse the car. There is also a “Camera” button on the panel for a one-touch switch between the stereo display and camera view.
JVC KD-X560BT also features conformal coating on its circuitry, which protects it from moisture and dust. This protection makes it a suitable receiver unit for boats and other marine vehicles as well. We also like this head unit for its shallow chassis that makes its installation hassle-free.
Single-din units usually don’t boast a lot of technological features. Among the exceptions, one is Jensen MPQ914 single-din unit. This receiver has everything you need in a modern head unit replacement.
The most outstanding feature of this head unit is its sliding motorized phone mount tray. This tray is not just a phone cradle but also a wireless charging platform.
If your phone is Qi wireless charging compatible, you can use it with Jensen MPQ914 as a touch display while charging it simultaneously.
Besides music and navigation, you can use your smartphone with your stereo system for many other apps and functions through Jensen’s propriety J-Link app.
The unit also features a push-to-talk button that will directly activate the voice assistant your phone has (Siri, Google Assistant, etc). The sound features of Jensen MPQ914 are decent at best. Its 4 EQ presets and a bit underwhelming RMS output are good for only those who don’t fixate on music details and quality.
VDO Continental TR7412UB
If you don’t want to get overwhelmed with infotainment systems full of features and looking for something no-frill, consider this single-din unit by VDO Continental.
We like its minimalist construction that appears very symmetrical and easy on the eyes. Moreover, its yellow display gives it an interesting retro touch.
Despite the simple appearance, VDO Continental TR7412UB has all the features of a mechless head unit. You can connect your smartphone to the unit via Bluetooth.
Android phones can also be used as a music source through a USB connection. Moreover, its aux port lets you use it even with various other music devices.
The other unique bit about this car head unit is its European-style tuning of the radio. It essentially features extra FM and AM frequency bands that are often used by radio channels based in the European region. So, if you ever take this head unit to Europe, its radio transmission feature won’t render it useless.
FY Play 1688
A car head unit doesn’t need to look sleek and modern. A retro-styled head unit with a strapping appearance also looks the part, especially in muscle cars. This FY Play receiver fulfills the requirement of a retro single-din head unit you want for your ride.
Its front panel with golden metal textured brush finishing with two knobs looks like a perfect throwback to the past.
FY Play 1688 with its retro look executes the functional requirements of a modern head unit as well. It boasts Bluetooth, USB, and aux connectivity. You can directly insert a loaded SD car in the unit as your music playlist as well.
We also like its 11-character high-resolution LCD that authentically imitates the analog display. Despite having a muscular front, the chassis of this head unit is shallow which allows easy installation in all sorts of vehicles.
If your car’s default dash setting only accepts single-din head units but you also want a touchscreen display of a double-din, consider SWM-7805C.
This single-din head unit boasts a 4.1” touch screen with ultra-sensitive resistive touch and a clear display. The head unit also boasts good input options. You can use it with Bluetooth, USB, AUX, and SD inputs.
This is another head unit on our list that is rearview camera-ready. Once you set up the camera on the back, the display of the receiver automatically shifts to the rearview when you put the car in the reverse transmission. The impressive bit is SWM-7805C is not just rearview camera-ready but also comes with one.
You get a backup camera within the price tag of the head unit. What’s more? You also get a handy remote that enables people on the backset to control the stereo system without bothering those sitting on the driving and passenger seats.
Jensen Heavy Duty JHD1130B
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 JHD1130B 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 a SiriusXM satellite tuner.
Finally, for better listening sessions, it also includes a preset equalizer with 5 different settings.
The Jensen JHD1130B maybe viewed as basic, but it has its users covered in a tremendous number of ways. It’s simple but nevertheless impressive.
This Pioneer flip-out stereo unit brings its users the privilege of a touchscreen digital interface which like your average smartphones, comes with tremendous convenience. Also, it’s the only single-DIN unit that provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto!
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.
Undoubtedly worthy of the first mention, the 7″ slide-out digital touchscreen display puts the Pioneer AVH-3500NEX 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 as we mentioned Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and the Pioneer’s App Radio Mode.
Everything else we recommend
If you are looking for a powerful single din unit that can offer all the contemporary features while boasting quality, consider this Sony G-Series single-din model. DSX-GS80 has a reasonably powerful built-in class-D amplifier.
To be exact you’ll get 100W per channel (45 RMS), and that’s not an overstatement, just check out the video below for a full dyno review. So, if you are replacing your old head unit and don’t wanna bother adding an external amp this is the top market option given the price and specifications.
We also like this single-din unit for its dual action of Bluetooth. You can connect two phones to your stereo at the same time. So, not just the driver but a person on the passenger seat can also make/receive calls through the stereo system and use their phone to play music. Besides Bluetooth, you can also connect your devices to DSX-GS80 through USB and Aux input.
Sony DSX-GS80 is also among the best single-din head units due to its supreme construction. Its low-noise electric power transmission, oversized heat sink, and precision power block placement ensure that you can use the unit for optimal performance for years after years.
With JVC KD-TD90BTS 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-TD90BTS is capable of.
JVC went the extra mile to make the KD-TD90BTS the badass stereo it is. It works to refine the 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 features that may only be accessed 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 KD-TD90BTS is engineered to ensure its users receive audio signals in the cleanest and loudest form possible.
Kenwood Excelon KMM-X704
The Kenwood eXcelon KMM-X704 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.
Armed with 3 sets of preamp outputs, a subwoofer level adjustment feature, and Bluetooth connectivity, the KMM-X704 has the recipe for phenomenal sound output.
One thing you’ll love about this head unit is its versatility. You can 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, and Amazon Alexa Ready into the package.
Boss Audio 616UAB
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?).
Previously considered options – some still available (2018., 2019., 2020.)
The Pioneer DEH-80PRS offers innumerable, amazing features, including the stylish matte black finish which will complement your car’s interior.
It boasts audiophile-grade components which have been carefully selected with quality and reliability in mind. Its display is incredibly simple to see, and you’re definite to love how simple it is to operate its controls.
This receiver comes included with Pioneer’s proprietary sound technologies like Auto Time Alignment and Auto EQ. Such help automize the audio in a way that perfectly suits certain listening spaces, in addition to allowing subtle manual control over the settings.
The DEH-80PRS boasts a Three-Way Digital Network. You can, thus, connect up to 3 external amplifiers, dedicating each of them to driving high, mid, and low-frequency ranges. Other features you’re definite to appreciate include support for Bluetooth connectivity, USB direct control, Internet radio, and SD card slot.
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.
Like I said, one glance at this stereo will have you drooling uncontrollably over what it can do.
What is a single DIN head unit?
A single DIN is a unit of measurement as defined by Deutsches Institut für Normung, which is a German standards body governing around 30,00 automotive standards. A single DIN head unit is any head unit that fits the single DIN requirements as outlined by the DIN standard under International standard ISO 7736.
A single DIN differs from a double DIN in that it measures exactly half the faceplate height and therefore installs into a much smaller slot than its larger sibling.
What size is single DIN?
The width and height of the faceplate of a single DIN head unit are always 180mm by 50mm, or 2″ by 7″. It’s very important to note that the depth of which the head unit sits into the dash of a vehicle is not required to adhere to any specific measurements under the DIN standard.
Will any single DIN radio fit?
To be quite blunt, no. You can’t just purchase any old single DIN head unit and expect it to fit your vehicle. While the standard is very specific about the measurements of the faceplate, you will also need to consider the depth of the head unit. Different vehicles have differing amounts of space allocated for the head unit installation.
There are many single DIN stereos designed to fit as broad of a range of vehicles as possible, which is great, but it is recommended that you carefully measure the DIN slot of your vehicle and check that against the manufacturers’ measurements before you place an order for a new head unit.
Another consideration when fitting a single DIN stereo into your vehicle is the frame in which the head unit is required to sit. Many cars are indeed compatible with a single DIN head unit, but the frame in which the manufacturer-fitted unit sits does not accommodate anything other than that factory-installed unit. This doesn’t have to become a big issue, as it is usually possible to order a third-party frame that will replace the existing frame in the area of the dash in which the head unit sits and allow the installation of a standard-sized single DIN stereo.
Can a single DIN fit in a double DIN?
This is usually feasible, but will typically require some modification of the vehicle dash. It may not be possible in all vehicles so make sure to check if you can actually perform this modification before you go ahead and buy your new head unit. There are many third-party manufacturers producing frames that replace the area of the dash in which the existing double DIN slot sits and change the size of the opening to fit a single DIN correctly. Don’t forget that you still need to measure the depth of the head unit to ensure there is adequate space in the dash for installation.
It may be advisable to seek professional installation when attempting to have a single DIN head unit fitted into a double DIN slot.
Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / *Image Disclaimer: We use images/data from Amazon Product Advertising API solely on products that link to Amazon. On products with the "Price at Crutchfield" button, we use images/data from Crutchfield.com as per the partnership deal.