6 Best Double Din Head Units – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2018)

double DIN head unit reviewsThere’s nothing that can compare with the experience you have driving on a new road listening to the music you like. And when you can stream the music directly from your phone to your head unit, it’s even better.

Double DIN head units look great, and they have large displays. They can connect to your phone through Bluetooth, but they can also use 3.5 mm audio jacks and USB ports. However, finding the best double DIN head unit can be difficult in today’s busy market. That’s why we decided to present the following double DIN head unit reviews. All the models we included in our list are compatible with both Android and iOS devices, and they come at a decent price.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top rated double DINs of 2018.

Top Rated Double Din Head Units

  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • Pioneer FH-X731BT 2-Din CD Receiver with Enhanced Audio Functions
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 9.4 x 10.6 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight : 3.8 pounds
  • RMS Power Output : 14 watts
  • Peak Output : 50 watts
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • Kenwood DPX502BT Double-Din CD Receiver with USB Interface & Bluetooth
  • PRICE $$$
  • Dimensions : 3 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Weight : 4 pounds
  • RMS Power Output : 22 watts
  • Peak Output : 50 w
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Pioneer FH-X720BT 2-DIN CD Receiver with Mixtrax and Bluetooth
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 7 x 7 x 7 inches
  • Weight : 3 pounds
  • RMS Power Output : 14w
  • Peak Output : 50 w
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Kenwood DPX500BT Double DIN In-Dash Car Stereo Receiver
  • PRICE $$$$
  • Dimensions : 6.1 x 7.2 x 4.4 inches
  • Weight : 3.4 pounds
  • RMS Power Output : 22 watts x 4 channels
  • Peak Output : 50 watts x 4 channels
  • 4.0 Customer Rating
  • Sony WX900BT 2-DIN CD Receiver
  • PRICE $
  • Dimensions : 9.8 x 9.5 x 9 inches
  • Weight : 5.4 pounds
  • RMS Power Output : 17 watts
  • Peak Output : 52 watts
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • JVC KW-R920BTS Built-In Bluetooth/Satellite Radio-Ready In-Dash Receiver with Remote
  • PRICE $$$
  • Dimensions : 6.5 x 7.2 x 4.4 inches
  • Weight : 2.4 pounds
  • RMS Power Output : 22 watts
  • Peak Output : 50 watts

1 Pioneer FH-X731BT 2-Din CD Receiver

If you’re looking for a new stereo, there’s no reason to buy an outdated model. New models such as the Pioneer FH-X731BT have Bluetooth compatibility and they can connect to your phone. The wireless connection will allow you to make and receive calls, but it can also be used for audio streaming.

The Pioneer FH-X731BT ensures a good call quality reception, so you will be able to talk on the phone without any interference. Two Bluetooth devices can be paired with the stereo at the same time, and they will connect automatically whenever you turn the Bluetooth on.

Pros

  • Adjustable Experience – The receiver allows you to change the color of the text as well as the screen’s brightness level. This will improve your experience, adjusting everything to your liking.
  • Works With Spotify – This device can control your Spotify content. Once your phone and stereo are paired, you can use the Spotify app directly through the Pioneer controls.

Con

  • Instructions Manual Could Be Better – This stereo comes with an instructions manual. Unfortunately, the manual doesn’t provide color coded wiring instructions, so some people might find it difficult to follow.

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2 Kenwood DPX502BT Double-Din CD Receiver

There’s no reason to break the bank if you want to change your car’s stereo. The Kenwood DPX502BT provides great features and comes at a decent price. This stereo is capable of playing FLAC/WAV/WMA/AAC/MP3 files, so you will enjoy all the content you have stored on your phone.

The DPX502BT is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, and it even comes with a Rapid Charge feature for Android phones. The USB flash drive and the MP3 playback allows you to connect the receiver with older MP3 players, so you will never lose the tracks you love.

Pros

  • Intuitive Menu – The DPX502BT has a simple and intuitive menu, so it’s the perfect choice for older people. Most people won’t even have to read the instructions manual to learn how to use this device.
  • Good Bluetooth Connection – This receiver is capable of creating a good Bluetooth connection. The connection will allow you to make or receive calls without experiencing any interference.

Con

  • Display Could Be Brighter – The stereo’s display could be brighter. Even though the display is pretty bright, some people might have a difficult time reading the display when it’s sunny outside.

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3 Pioneer FH-X720BT 2-Din CD Receiver

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MRL30N4/ref=psdc_10980601_t1_B01FKW6F7Y
There’s nothing like listening to music while you’re driving. And if you could listen to music and talk on the phone hands-free using the same device, everything would be even better. Well, the Pioneer FH-X702BT does exactly that.

This 2-din CD receiver has a built-in Bluetooth receiver that’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Not only that, but this receiver comes with integrated controls for iOS devices, so you will be able to control your phone or tablet without taking your eyes off the road.

Pros

  • Remote Control – This device comes with a wired remote control, so you will be able to adjust the volume and change the tracks without taking your eyes off the road.
  • Bright Backlight – The stereo has a bright backlight, so you won’t have any troubles reading the display, even if it’s very sunny outside.

Con

  • Doesn’t Read Sim Contacts – This receiver won’t display any contacts you have saved on your Sim card. The device will only display the contacts you have saved on your phone’s memory.

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4 Kenwood DPX500BT Double DIN In-Dash Car Stereo Receiver

If you’re looking for a double din receiver that comes at a decent price, you should take a closer look at the Kenwood DPX500BT. This model provides a great audio experience and comes at a fraction of the price other models do.

The receiver is compatible with MP3 files, and it also comes with USB and Aux connections. The built-in Bluetooth feature will allow you to connect to multiple devices, and you will be able to make and receive calls over the stereo.

Pros

  • Phone Control – The stereo’s App mode will disable its integrated control, allowing you or other passengers to control the stereo directly through the phone.
  • USB Connection – This receiver comes with a USB port. You can use the USB connection to play music you have stored on external hard disks, USB thumb drives, or other devices.

Con

  • Uses The Front Speakers – Once you install it, the device will only play audio through the front speakers. This issue can be quickly fixed by changing the settings. If you don’t know which settings to change, you can check the online manual for the solution.

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5 Sony WX900BT 2-DIN Head Unit

Whether you’re looking for a 2-din receiver for the music, or you’re looking for one for the hands-free capabilities, you should take a closer look at the Sony WX900BT. This model comes at a decent price, and it provides a solid performance.

The WX900BT has an intuitive control, so it’s very easy to use. The receiver is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, and it will allow you to control Siri over the hands-free. The device’s Bluetooth connection is very good, and you won’t experience any interference when talking on the phone.

Pros

  • One Touch Communication – This receiver comes with an NFC Bluetooth connectivity. To use this feature, you simply have to align other NFC compatible devices with the receiver. Once the devices are paired, you will be able to stream music and use the hands-free feature.
  • Colorful – The receiver uses up to 35,000 different colors to make your driving experience unique. The colors can change in time to the beat, or you can customize your display as you would like.

Con

  • Unreliable Song Pal App – The receiver’s Song Pal app could use a firmware upgrade. The app can have some connectivity issues with new devices.

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6 JVC KW-R920BTS Built-In Double Din Head Unit

If you’re looking for a high-quality 2-din receiver and you’re not willing to spend too much on it, take a look at the JVC KW-R920BTS. This model comes with a wireless remote control, and it can play most type of music files.

The KW920BTS has a built-in Bluetooth receiver that can connect to both Android and iOS devices. The receiver can be used to stream audio files or to talk on the phone using its hands-free feature.

The receiver has an adjustable display. You can change the display’s colors in three areas on its face, improving its appearance.

Pros

  • Good Connectivity – The receiver can connect to most devices. It has a USB port, an AUX input, Bluetooth, flash drive support, and it’s also Pandora-capable
  • Included Harness – This model comes with an included harness, so you will have an easier time installing it. The harness will allow you to pair the wires more quickly.

Con

  • Slow – The device takes a long time to read the flash drives. Even small flash drives can take up to 10 minutes to initialize.

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Double DIN Head Unit Buying Guide

2-DIN or double DIN head units are large and they look nice. In fact, many car manufacturers decide to install double DIN units from the factory because they are more aesthetically pleasing. However, there are a lot of models out there, and finding the best double DIN head unit for your car could be slightly difficult.

In the following section of our article, we present what to look for in a 2-DIN head unit and how to choose the right one for your car.

5 Things to Look for When Buying a Double DIN Head Unit

  1. Connectivity
    A double DIN head unit has to be able to connect to multiple devices. Gone are the days when a head unit only had to play CDs and be considered good. Nowadays, everything is connected. You can start your TV by using your phone, you can even command your washing machine over the Internet. So it’s only natural to expect to connect to your car’s head unit as well.Most 2-DIN head units are able to connect to both Android and iOS devices. Even though they will connect to all the popular devices, some head units are specially designed to work better with one operating system or another. They will have quick command buttons or features which will work with only one system, so make sure you choose one that’s compatible with yours.Besides being able to connect to your phone through Bluetooth, a good head unit will also have a 3.5 mm AUX jack and at least one USB port. The AUX jack and the USB will allow you to connect the head unit with older gadgets such as MP3 players or flash drives. The USB can also be used to recharge your phone if you need to.
  2. Ease Of Installation
    It’s true that you only have to install the head unit once, but why should you spend the better part of the day doing it?Well, some manufacturers have taken this into account, so they developed head units which are easier to install. If you’re going to install the head unit by yourself, look for models that come with a harness. The harness will separate the wires, making them easier to connect.
    Most double DIN head unit will come with an installation manual. The instructions are usually clear enough to follow. If you’re going to install the unit by yourself, try searching for video installation tutorials online. You can usually find a car enthusiast or two on Youtube that install exactly the same unit as yours. This can be an advantage, as some enthusiasts have previous experience with installing head units, and they can sometimes simplify the installation process.
  3. Good Display
    Double DIN car stereos usually have a larger display than single DIN ones, which is always an advantage. Since these stereos are designed to play music and work as a hands-free device, a large display will help you see who’s contacting you and what song you’re listening to.Some double DIN head units come with adjustable displays. They have multiple changing colors. You can either change the color theme altogether or only in some areas of the display. Some models can even change the display’s colors in tune with the song’s beat, improving your driving experience.
    It’s very important to find a head unit that has a bright display. A bright display might light up too much at night forcing you to turn it down a notch, but you won’t have any troubles reading it when it’s sunny outside. A dim display will be hard to read on very bright days, which can be inconvenient.
  4. Ease Of Use
    If you’re looking for a good double DIN head unit, you have to search for one that’s easy to use. There’s no point in buying a model just because it looks fancy if you have to spend 6 months to learn how to use all its features.
    Some head units have an intuitive menu that allows you to scroll through the playlist and choose the song you’re looking for with ease. They also have quick connect features and will recognize the devices they were previously paired with and automatically connect to them when they’re in range.
    A very important function for every head unit is the hands-free feature. If your head unit has a good hands-free feature, you’re more likely to use it. If this feature is difficult to set up, chances are you won’t be willing to waste time to do it every time you drive.Using a unit that has an easy menu is also safer. You won’t have to take your eyes off the road whenever you want to change the song or when you want to pair the head unit with a new device.
  5. App Control
    This is a more recent feature manufacturers decided to implement in double DIN head units. The app control feature allows you to control your phone through the head unit, so you won’t have to look at the phone any longer. This is a great feature, and it will allow you to access the phone’s contact list and other features, including internet radio.

What Is a Car Head Unit?

When people say “head unit”, they’re referring to in-dash stereos. These stereos can be different in style and type, but all of them have to be in-dash units. The head unit is, in fact, the central unit of a car, and it can have multiple functions. All head units act as a music player. Most have a radio tuner. Some of them have CD players, auxiliary inputs, amps, and equalizers. A few will also include a GPS system.

A head unit has a display, but the size of the display is directly related to the head unit’s size and model.

What Is a Double DIN Head Unit?

A double DIN head unit is a stereo that’s larger than single DIN models. The DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung. That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Well, the DIN is actually the German standard organization that regulated the size of the head units since they started being implemented in cars.

A standard single DIN head unit is 180 mm long and 50 mm tall. A double DIN head unit is still 180mm long, but it’s 100 mm tall instead of only 50 mm. The larger size allows double DIN models to have larger displays, which makes them more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use.

Single DIN vs Double DIN Head Units

best double DIN head unitThere’s no definitive answer to this question. As we already explained, the DIN actually stands for measures of length or width, not performance. You can certainly find some 1 DIN models that outperform double DIN ones, and there are definitely 2 DIN models which are better than single DIN ones.

2-DIN models are usually preferred by manufacturers because they look better and have wider displays. This allows them to have more functions, increasing the car’s value.

If you’re not certain what type of stereo you have in your car, you can find out by measuring it. If your stereo is roughly 7 inches long and 4 inches tall, it’s a double DIN. If it measures only 7 inches by 2, it’s a single DIN.

If your car has a single DIN head unit, you won’t be able to install a double-DIN model instead of it. If the car has a 2-DIN stereo, you can replace it with another 2-DIN model, but you can also install a single-DIN one instead. The extra space can be used to install a pocket for your phone, as a space to store your CDs, or you can use it to install an equalizer.

What Are the Advantages of Upgrading a Head Unit?

Depending on your current head unit, there are many advantages to be gained if you upgrade it. Here’s how upgrading your head unit might help.

  • Better Sound Quality – Aftermarket head units are usually better than the units installed by the manufacturer in the factory. They are capable of producing a cleaner sound, so they will improve your driving experience
  • Bluetooth Connection – All the double DIN head units we included on our list have a built-in Bluetooth receiver. This will allow you to connect the head unit to your phone or to other Bluetooth-compatible devices.
  • Media Streaming – A new head unit can be used to stream media. You won’t have to burn CDs any longer. The music you have stored on your phone can be streamed through the head unit directly.
  • Hands-free Operation – The head unit can also be used as a hands-free device. You can make and receive calls when ‘you connect the phone to the head unit via Bluetooth. The person on the other line can hear you using a built-in microphone or the phone’s own microphone, and you can hear them through the speakers.
  • Other Media Connections – Head units can connect to other devices using USB ports or AUX jacks. This will allow you to connect the head units to older MP3 players or other devices.

Replacing 2 DIN Car Stereos

So, you found the double DIN stereo you’ve always wanted. Now all you have to do is to install it. But how do you do that? In the following section, we explain how to remove your old double DIN head unit and how to replace it with a new one.

How To Remove a Double DIN Head Unit

If you want to replace your outdated double DIN head unit, you have to remove it first. You will need the stereo keys provided by the manufacturer and a flat and/or Phillips head screwdriver. If you don’t have the stereo keys, you can find them online or in a local electronics store. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Remove The Faceplate – You should first remove the faceplate. Some stereo models have a button placed in one of their corners that will push the faceplate forward. For other models, you will simply have to grasp the faceplate and pull it off. Make sure you place the faceplate somewhere safe.
  2. Remove The Trim – Now that you removed the faceplate, you should see the trim ring. The trim ring is the piece of plastic keeping the head unit in place. Grasp the ring and set it aside.
  3. Find The Key Holes – Now that the trim is gone, you can see the key holes on either side of the stereo. Insert the keys in the holes until they click in place. Once they click, grasp the keys and pull the stereo out of the dashboard.
  4. Remove The Wires – Now that you can see the back of the stereo, you will need to unplug it. Make sure the car’s battery is off before beginning this operation. Unplug all the wires from the back of the stereo to take it out completely.

How To Install A Double DIN Head Unit

double DIN head unitNow that you removed the old double DIN head unit from the dashboard, you can install the new one in its place. For this operation, you will need a flathead/Philips screwdriver, a wire stripper, and an adjustable wrench. Here’s how you do it.

The whole operation will be easier if you buy a wiring harness beforehand. We strongly suggest you do so, as the harnesses are usually not very expensive, and they simplify the process considerably.

  1. Wiring The New Unit –
    This is the first and most complicated step. Wiring is a difficult process for anyone, but it can seem pretty daunting if you don’t have any previous experience with wiring electronics.This process is made easier if you use a wiring harness. Wiring harnesses are designed specifically for your car, and they’re compatible with certain head units. Make sure you buy one that matches both your vehicle and the head unit.
    Once you get the wiring harness, the whole process of wiring your head unit becomes a child’s play. You basically have to plug one end of the harness into the dashboard and the other in the head unit, and you’re all set.
    If a harness is not available, or if you’re not willing to buy one, you will first have to search for a wiring diagram for your car. The diagram will show all the wires’ purpose, so you will know what each one does, and where it goes. The head unit comes with its own wire diagram, so you will have to pair the wires and connect them. Luckily, some aftermarket head units come with a color-coded wire scheme, so you will have an easier time connecting them.
    The best way to connect the wires is using crimp connectors. You will have to strip the two matching wires, insert them into a connector, and crimp it. Every car has its own color system for the speaker wires, so make sure you read the diagram before you start pairing the wires and crimping them.
  2. Install The Collar –
    Most aftermarket head units use a universal collar. You can use this collar in the installation if you need it. Sometimes the car’s dashboard will be a perfect fit for the new head unit, so you won’t need the collar.
  3. Insert The Head Unit –
    Now that the head unit is all wired up and the universal collar is in place, you can slide the head unit into the dashboard. Once the unit is in place, use the keys the manufacturer provided to lock it in place. The keys are a safety feature, and they protect against thievery.
  4. Put Back The Trim Ring –
    Now that the stereo is in place, put the trim ring back in its place. This ring holds the head unit in its place, so make sure you don’t forget to install it.
  5. Put The Faceplate On – The head unit is now in its proper place, but it’s missing its faceplate. Take the faceplate and press it in place. Once the faceplate clicks in place, you can use the new head unit.

How To Install a Double DIN Stereo In a Single DIN Dashboard

If you want to upgrade your audio system, and you’re thinking about installing a double DIN stereo in a single DIN dashboard, you should expect to pay extra for it.

  • Find A New Dash Kit – If your car has a single DIN stereo installed, you will first have to search for a new vehicle-specific dash kit. The kit comes with mounting brackets, holes, and mounting tabs which are specifically designed to fit your vehicle’s frame. If you can’t find a new dash kit, upgrading your head unit from one DIN to two is impossible.
  • Remove The Car’s Battery – You’ll be better off if you disconnect the car’s battery before you start the operation. To do this, simply lift the hood and loosen the bolt on top of the negative battery fuse. You can do this using a simple wrench. Disconnecting the battery will prevent blowing a fuse in case you connect something wrong.
  • Remove The Old Head Unit – If you want to replace your dash kit, you will have to remove the old head unit first. To do that, you will have to remove the faceplate, the trim rings, use the manufacturer-specific keys, and unplug it.
  • Remove The Old Dash Kit – You should pay extra care when you’re removing your dash kit. You don’t want to scratch its surface and do permanent damage to it. To remove the dash kit, you can either search for a video tutorial online, or you can find the information in the new dash kit’s instructions manual. If you have to use screwdrivers to pull the dash kit from the vehicle’s frame, try to cover their heads with cloths to reduce the chances of scratching the kit’s surface.
  • Install The New Dash Kit – The new dash kit should match perfectly with your vehicle’s frame. Some manufacturers implement some of the features they used on their newer car models in the replacement dash kits, so you might even get some new buttons and panels. The kits will match the factory look, but they can come in a different finish than your original one. Some kits can be upgraded, so they will have brighter colors and lights.
  • Install The Double DIN Head Unit – Now that you changed the dash kit and your new kit allows you to install a 2-DIN head unit, proceed with the installation. Keep in mind that it would be easier to install the new head unit if you buy an electrical wiring harness.

Double DIN Head Unit FAQs

  • Is a double DIN head unit better than a single DIN one?
    There’s no definitive answer to this question. As a rule of thumb, the DIN is a measurement, so it won’t affect the head unit’s performance. The main advantage of 2-DIN units is that they are larger. The extra space can be used to install better amps and equalizers, but not all manufacturers do so. The extra space is almost always used to install a larger display, so 2-DIN units will generally be easier to use.
  • Is a double DIN head unit more difficult to install than a single DIN one?
    No, it is not. Both single and double DIN units have a similar installation process. The only difference is that one is larger than the other, but that won’t affect the installation. The hardest part of the installation for every head unit is the wiring, and that’s done exactly the same for both units.
    Sometimes, a double DIN head unit can also have a GPS function. In this case, the installation process will be more difficult because you will have to use more wires to connect it to the vehicle.
  • Can A Double DIN Head Unit Connect To My Phone?
    Most double DIN head units can connect to various types of Bluetooth-capable devices. Almost all are compatible with both iOS and Android, but you might experience some problems if you have a Windows phone or a Blackberry. It might be better to contact the manufacturer’s customer service before you buy a model to make sure it will be compatible with your phone.
  • Can A Double DIN Head Unit Play CDs?
    Well, most of them can. However, CDs are slowly disappearing from the market and some manufacturers decide not to implement a CD player in their newer models.
  • Can A New Double DIN Head Unit Connect To My Steering Wheel Controls?
    It can, but you might have to use an adapter to do so. A steering wheel adapter is not very expensive, but they are manufactured differently for most car models, so make sure you find one that’s compatible with both your car and the head unit before buying it.
  • Why Do Double DIN Head Units Need Both USB And AUX Connections?
    Both the USB and the AUX connections can be used to stream music. However, the 3.5 mm can transmit some background noise, and you have to actively use your phone to change the volume and the tracks which might not be safe. The USB connection does not transmit any background noise, and it can also be used to recharge your phone.
  • My New Double DIN Head Unit Only Uses The Front Speakers. Why?
    Well, one of the reasons might be that you connected the wires wrong. If you didn’t use a wire harness, chances are you missed the cables that control your rear speakers.
    Another reason might be the new unit’s factory setting. Some models only use your front speakers as a default. If you want it to use the rear ones as well, you will have to change the unit’s settings.

Also, check out which touch screen car stereos are best?

Best Double Din Head Unit Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICEDIMENSIONSWEIGHTRMS POWER OUTPUTPEAK OUTPUT
Pioneer FH-X731BT 2-Din CD Receiver with Enhanced Audio Functions
$$9.4 x 10.6 x 5.9 inches3.8 pounds14 watts50 watts
Kenwood DPX502BT Double-Din CD Receiver with USB Interface & Bluetooth
$$$3 x 3 x 3 inches4 pounds22 watts50 watts
Pioneer FH-X720BT 2-DIN CD Receiver with Mixtrax and Bluetooth
$$7 x 7 x 7 inches3 pounds14w50 watts
Kenwood DPX500BT Double DIN In-Dash Car Stereo Receiver
$$$$6.1 x 7.2 x 4.4 inches3.4 pounds22 watts x 4 channels50 watts x 4 channels
Sony WX900BT 2-DIN CD Receiver
$9.8 x 9.5 x 9 inches5.4 pounds17 watts52 watts
JVC KW-R920BTS Built-In Bluetooth/Satellite Radio-Ready In-Dash Receiver with Remote
$$$6.5 x 7.2 x 4.4 inches2.4 pounds22 watts50 watts

Wrap Up

Nowadays, every gadget you own has to be connected to another. And that’s true with your car’s audio system as well. As you could see from our double DIN head unit reviews, these devices have built-in Bluetooth receptors that will pair them with your phones or tablets. You can use the connection to stream media, or you can use it as a hands-free feature for your phone.

Finding the best double DIN head unit is not hard when you know what to look for, so make sure you take a look at the comprehensive buying guide we prepared. Keep in mind that when it comes to double DIN head units, expensive units are not necessarily the best ones.

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