Best Android Auto head unit car stereos for 2021

Smartphone integration is chief among the many many good causes to improve your automobile’s stereo head unit — and you do not want a brand new automobile to expertise it. Android Auto provides voice commands, which makes it simpler to ship texts, take callsnavigate and extra. Since Android Auto’s debut in 2015, aftermarket automobile stereo system producers have been designing head models with Google’s automotive OS to suit quite a lot of vehicles. 

In addition to Android Auto, you’ll find head models from the likes of JVC, Pioneer, Sony and others that embody satellite tv for pc radio, HD Radio, USB port inputs, CD and DVD gamers, pre-amps, built-in GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and wi-fi Android Auto connectivity. Upgrading to a brand new Android Auto head unit additionally opens the potential for a much bigger show display screen. Some new stereo system models might even add options your manufacturing unit stereo did not have earlier than, together with gauges for engine efficiency or the choice so as to add a backup digicam. 

With so many selections, making an attempt to determine what the most effective Android head unit is in your automobile may be tough. That is why we spoke with the oldsters at Crutchfield to assist us decide the most effective Android automobile stereo head models. Crutchfield has helped over 6 million clients improve their automobile audio expertise since 1974.

There aren’t any scarcity of choices if you wish to add Android Auto to an older automobile.


Kenwood

How we selected the most effective Android Auto head unit

We have assembled our listing from head models that match the most typical automobile radio sizes: single DIN automobile stereo and double DIN automobile stereo slots. These picks are based mostly on Crutchfield’s professional suggestions, consumer evaluations and rankings at common buying websites. 

Earlier than you dig in, test which stereo will suit your automobile through the use of Crutchfield’s Find What Fits tool. Enter your automobile make, mannequin and yr, and you may see audio system, Android Auto head models and extra that may suit your trip. 

3 issues to search for in a brand new Android Auto head unit

  • Double DIN or single DIN: The 2 commonest head sizes are double DIN and single DIN models. Single DIN stereo openings measure 2 by 8 inches whereas double DIN openings are 4 by 8 inches. Should you’re changing a double DIN unit, you will have extra choices so as to add smarts to your stereo. A single DIN would not robotically imply you will not be capable to pair your Android cellphone to your automobile for Android Auto, however you should have fewer selections with this Android Auto unit.
  • Varieties of receivers: There are just a few totally different head unit classes, every providing a unique characteristic set relying in your wants. Cannot let go of discs? You are in luck, as you’ll be able to have bodily and digital in a single bundle with a DVD receiver. Digital multimedia receivers haven’t got an optical drive, however they will play again audio and video and lots of have touchscreens.
  • Options: Android cellphone integration is not all you will get in your greenback. If you wish to really feel such as you’re utilizing your cellphone, search for a capacitive touchscreen slightly than a resistive one. Many fashions additionally embody pre-outs for including exterior amps and subwoofers, along with HD and satellite tv for pc radio tuners. For essentially the most comfort, search for a mannequin with Bluetooth and wi-fi Android Auto app connectivity.

Pioneer

Utilizing Google Assistant in a automobile is nice. Plugging and unplugging your iPhone or Android smartphone while you’re operating errands is not. The Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is our greatest total Android automobile stereo head unit as a result of the double DIN head unit has the choice for a wired or wi-fi Android Auto connection, HDMI enter and Bluetooth cellphone and audio streaming. For music lovers, its CD and DVD drive, HD Radio, FLAC assist and satellite tv for pc radio have you ever coated no matter digital format. Coolest of all? With an adjunct (offered individually), you’ll be able to view engine efficiency data on the 6.9-inch touchscreen.

Greatest total Android Auto head unit particulars

Make Pioneer
Mannequin AVH-W4500NEX
Head unit measurement Double DIN auto head unit
Display measurement 6.9-inches
Display decision 2520×480
Display sort Resistive touchscreen
Smartphone integration Wired and wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Inputs HDMI, 2 USBs, 2 RCAs, 2 digicam, Bluetooth
HD radio Sure
Satellite tv for pc radio Sure with tuner
Optical drive CD and DVD
Worth $879

Alpine

A single DIN automobile stereo opening in your automobile does not imply you’ll be able to’t have an enormous touchscreen anymore. With the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 automobile head unit, a 9-inch floating show attaches to a 2-inch head unit. This Android unit gives loads of top and angle adjustment, too, along with a rear USB enter, aux enter, HDMI enter and Bluetooth. This single DIN head unit has built-in Android Auto means Google Maps, textual content messages, cellphone calls and climate are solely a voice command away.

Greatest single DIN Android Auto head unit particulars

Make Alpine
Mannequin Halo9 iLX-F309
Head unit measurement Single DIN auto head unit
Display measurement 9-inches
Display decision 800×480
Display sort Capacitive touchscreen
Smartphone integration Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Inputs HDMI, USB, mini aux, mini A/V, 2 digicam, Bluetooth
HD radio Sure
Satellite tv for pc radio Sure with tuner
Optical drive None
Worth $1,000

Pioneer

On the aftermarket, Android Auto head unit stereos do not get a lot larger than the Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX. This digital multimedia participant ditches optical discs in favor of a ten.1-inch 720p capacitive touchscreen that floats over a single DIN sprint unit. For $1,155, you additionally get wi-fi Android Auto, HD Radio, Bluetooth and compatibility with quite a lot of digital music codecs together with AAC, FLAC, MP3 and WMA.

Greatest large display screen Android Auto head unit particulars

Make Pioneer
Mannequin DMH-WT8600NEX
Head unit measurement Single DIN auto head unit
Display measurement 10.1-inches
Display decision 1280×720
Display sort Capacitive touchscreen
Smartphone integration Wired and wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Inputs Micro HDMI, USB, aux, 2 digicam, Bluetooth
HD radio Sure
Satellite tv for pc radio Sure with tuner
Optical drive None
Worth $1,345

Alpine

Who wants discs and a CD participant? Not the Alpine iLX-W650 Android head unit. Forgoing an optical drive frees up area and makes this unit a straightforward alternative if area inside your dashboard is at a premium. Along with the standard Android automobile stereo integration, the iLX-W650 boasts entrance and rear digicam inputs and six-channel preamp outputs. Talking of expandability, you’ll be able to simply add Alpine’s energy pack amplifier for a further 50 watts RMS by 4 channels for much more sound.

Greatest Android Auto digital multimedia head unit particulars

Make Alpine
Mannequin iLX-W650
Head unit measurement Double DIN auto head unit
Display measurement 7-inches
Display decision 800×480
Display sort Capacitive touchscreen
Smartphone integration Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Inputs USB, two digicam, Bluetooth
HD radio No
Satellite tv for pc radio Sure with tuner
Optical drive None
Worth $300

Pioneer

You needn’t lay our a fortune to get Android Auto into your automobile. If cash is tight, look no additional than the DMH-1500NEX automobile stereo head unit from Pioneer. Use this Android stereo head unit to manage your cellphone’s music library from the 7-inch touchscreen and use Google Assistant to reply questions like “Has anybody ever discovered a marmoset in Topeka?” earlier than you cross into town limits. This Alpine stereo receiver is not missing for expandability both, that includes six-channel preamp outputs, compatibility with most digital audio codecs and dual-camera inputs.

Greatest low-cost Android Auto head unit particulars

Make Pioneer
Mannequin DMH-1500NEX
Head unit measurement Double DIN auto head unit
Display measurement 7-inches
Display decision 2520×480
Display sort Resistive touchscreen
Smartphone integration Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Inputs USB, mini aux, mini A/V, RCA, two digicam, Bluetooth
HD radio No
Satellite tv for pc radio Sure with tuner
Optical drive None
Worth $300

Kenwood

What does a $1,300 Android automobile stereo head unit appear to be? The Kenwood Excelon DNX997XR. All these ducats get you a raft of options, the headliner being a built-in Garmin GPS navigation system with three years of free updates included. Along with wi-fi Android Auto, wired and wi-fi display screen mirroring, passengers can wirelessly management Pandora from an Android system. This double DIN head unit mannequin additionally has a motorized 720p 6.75-inch capacitive touchscreen show, Bluetooth and a built-in HD Radio tuner.

Greatest wi-fi Android Auto head unit if cash is no object particulars

Make Kenwood
Mannequin Excelon DNX997XR
Head unit measurement Double DIN auto head unit
Display measurement 6.7-inches
Display decision 1280×720
Display sort Capacitive touchscreen
Smartphone integration Wired and wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Inputs Two USBs, mini aux, RCA, two digicam, reminiscence card slot, Bluetooth
HD radio Sure
Satellite tv for pc radio Sure with tuner
Optical drive CD and DVD
Worth $1,300

Pioneer

The Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is our decide for finest total Android automobile stereo above, nevertheless it’s additionally our decide for the most effective wi-fi Android Auto DVD head unit as a result of it brings the fitting mixture of anticipated options to the combination together with surprises just like the aforementioned capability to show engine efficiency read-outs. And should you’re a die-hard CD fanatic this Double DIN head unit is one of the best ways to play them for most individuals. You should use the CD and DVD drive and nonetheless have all of the options of Android Auto on the similar time.

Greatest wi-fi Android Auto DVD head unit particulars

Make Pioneer
Mannequin AVH-W4500NEX
Head unit measurement Double DIN auto head unit
Display measurement 6.9-inches
Display decision 2520×480
Display sort Resistive touchscreen
Smartphone integration Wired and wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Inputs HDMI, 2 USBs, 2 RCAs, 2 digicam, Bluetooth
HD radio Sure
Satellite tv for pc radio Sure with tuner
Optical drive CD and DVD
Worth $695

Before you purchase

Relying on the place you purchase your Android automobile stereo, it could include free set up. If it would not, Greatest Purchase fees $100 for set up and guarantees a factory-installed look with no lack of manufacturing unit performance. You may must pay for any further components past the flat labor price.

Should you’d slightly set up your individual head unit, you’ve got just a few choices, however each contain premade wiring harness adapters. Scosche and Amazon promote quite a lot of connectors that eradicate the necessity for slicing and soldering into the manufacturing unit wiring harness. You may also decide up adapters so you do not lose options comparable to OnStar, steering wheel controls or door chimes. These vary in worth from just a few {dollars} to over just a few hundred {dollars}, relying on the complexity. You should buy trim items and mounting kits as nicely, and discovering a YouTube how-to video in your Android head unit stereo mannequin and automobile in all probability will not be too troublesome.

Putting in an Android Auto head unit your self may be made simpler with out there mounting kits.


Kenwood

If you do not have the time or power to trace every part down your self, take into account shopping for your Android Auto stereo from Crutchfield. Crutchfield’s trademark is making set up useless easy. By together with premade wiring harnesses, connectors, trim items and vehicle-specific set up directions with each head unit and speaker, Crutchfield takes the intimidation out of upgrading your stereo.

Taking a DIY strategy to your Android head unit means you will not lose steering wheel audio controls, backup digicam or different manufacturing unit creature comforts, both. It comes at a worth, although. While you’re drafting your improve price range, anticipate to put aside between $300 to $500 along with the price of your head unit for the required harnesses and information controllers. Older autos make for cheaper installations: The Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX’s set up equipment for a 2008 Ford Ranger lists for $56, for instance, nevertheless it’s at present discounted by $50. 

“You’ll be able to 100% get a really trendy [smartphone-connected] radio expertise in your automobile,” even when it is over a decade outdated, based on Adam “J.R.” Stoffel, a coaching supervisor who’s been with Crutchfield since 1996.

Extra for auto lovers

Written for Roadshow by Timothy Seppala and initially revealed earlier.

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/information/best-android-auto-head-unit/ | Greatest Android Auto head unit automobile stereos for 2021

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