Chief among the many many good causes to improve your automobile’s stereo head unit is smartphone integration — you do not want a brand new automobile to expertise it, both. Android Auto provides voice commands, which makes simpler to ship texts, navigatetake calls and extra. Since Android Auto’s debut in 2015, aftermarket stereo producers have been designing head models with Google’s automotive OS to suit a wide range of automobiles. 

Moreover Android Auto, you’ll find head models from the likes of JVC, Pioneer, Sony and others that embrace 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 facility 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, attempting to determine what the perfect Android head unit is on your automobile will be tough. That is why we spoke with the parents at Crutchfield to assist us choose the perfect Android automobile stereo head models. Crutchfield has helped over 6 million prospects 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 perfect Android Auto head unit

We have assembled our checklist from head models that match the commonest radio sizes: single DIN automobile stereo and double DIN automobile stereo slots. These picks are based mostly on Crutchfield’s knowledgeable suggestions, consumer opinions and rankings at fashionable procuring websites. 

Earlier than you dig in, examine which stereo will suit your automobile by utilizing Crutchfield’s Find What Fits device. Enter your automobile make, mannequin and yr, and you may see audio system, Android Auto head models and extra that may suit your experience. 

Three 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. When you’re changing a double DIN unit, you will have extra choices so as to add smarts to your stereo. A single DIN does 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.
  • Varieties of receivers: There are a number of totally different head unit classes, every providing a unique function set relying in your wants. Cannot let go of discs? You are in luck, as you possibly can have bodily and digital in a single package deal with a DVD receiver. Digital multimedia receivers do not have 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 on your greenback. If you wish to really feel such as you’re utilizing your cellphone, search for a capacitive touchscreen reasonably than a resistive one. Many fashions additionally embrace 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 cellphone whenever 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 lined no matter digital format. Coolest of all? With an adjunct (offered individually), you possibly can view engine efficiency information on the 6.9-inch touchscreen.

Finest total Android Auto head unit particulars

Make Pioneer
Mannequin AVH-W4500NEX
Head unit dimension Double DIN auto head unit
Display dimension 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

Alpine

A single DIN automobile stereo opening in your automobile does not imply you possibly can’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. There’s loads of top and angle adjustment, too, along with a rear USB enter, aux enter, HDMI enter and Bluetooth. Constructed-in Android Auto means Google Maps, textual content messages, cellphone calls and climate are solely a voice command away.

Finest single DIN Android Auto head unit particulars

Make Alpine
Mannequin Halo9 iLX-F309
Head unit dimension Single DIN auto head unit
Display dimension 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 a wide range of digital music codecs together with AAC, FLAC, MP3 and WMA.

Finest huge display screen Android Auto head unit particulars

Make Pioneer
Mannequin DMH-WT8600NEX
Head unit dimension Single DIN auto head unit
Display dimension 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 $1,155

Alpine

Who wants discs and a CD participant? Not the Alpine iLX-W650 Android head unit. Forgoing an optical drive frees up house and makes this unit a straightforward selection if house 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 possibly can simply add Alpine’s energy pack amplifier for an extra 50 watts RMS by 4 channels for much more sound.

Finest Android Auto digital multimedia head unit particulars

Make Alpine
Mannequin iLX-W650
Head unit dimension Double DIN auto head unit
Display dimension 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. Management 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.

Finest low cost Android Auto head unit particulars

Make Pioneer
Mannequin DMH-1500NEX
Head unit dimension Double DIN auto head unit
Display dimension 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 seem like? 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 mannequin additionally has a motorized 720p 6.75-inch capacitive touchscreen show, Bluetooth and a built-in HD Radio tuner.

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

Make Kenwood
Mannequin Excelon DNX997XR
Head unit dimension Double DIN auto head unit
Display dimension 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 choose for greatest total Android automobile stereo above, but it surely’s additionally our choose for the perfect wi-fi Android Auto DVD head unit as a result of it brings the best mixture of anticipated options to the combo together with surprises just like the aforementioned skill to show engine efficiency read-outs. And if you happen to’re a die-hard CD fanatic that is one of the best ways to play them for most individuals. You should utilize the CD and DVD drive and nonetheless have all of the options of Android Auto on the similar time.

Finest wi-fi Android Auto DVD head unit particulars

Make Pioneer
Mannequin AVH-W4500NEX
Head unit dimension Double DIN auto head unit
Display dimension 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 might include free set up. If it does not, Finest Purchase fees $100 for set up and guarantees a factory-installed look and not using a lack of manufacturing facility performance. You will must pay for any further components past the flat labor price.

When you’d reasonably set up your individual head unit, you may have a number of choices, however each contain premade wiring harness adapters. Scosche and Amazon promote a wide range of connectors that remove the necessity for reducing and soldering into the manufacturing facility wiring harness. You may also choose up adapters so you do not lose options akin to OnStar, steering wheel controls or door chimes. These vary in worth from a number of {dollars} to over a number of hundred {dollars}, relying on the complexity. You should purchase trim items and mounting kits as properly, and discovering a YouTube how-to video on your stereo mannequin and automobile in all probability will not be too troublesome.

Putting in an Android Auto head unit your self will be made simpler with obtainable mounting kits.


Kenwood

If you do not have the time or vitality to trace all the things down your self, think about shopping for your Android Auto stereo from Crutchfield. Crutchfield’s trademark is making set up lifeless 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 method means you will not lose steering wheel audio controls, backup cameras or different manufacturing facility creature comforts, both. It comes at a worth, although. Whenever 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 knowledge 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, but it surely’s presently discounted by $50. 

“You may 100% get a really fashionable [smartphone-connected] radio expertise in your automobile,” even when it is over a decade outdated, in response to 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.



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