When did you last use the CD player in your car? If you’re a music downloader chances are you’ll never use it again, so isn’t it time to upgrade? Maybe you just want Bluetooth, but why not go all-in by installing a big screen with in-dash navigation and video? Those are all good reasons for upgrading. And of course there’s the obvious: you’ve picked out better speakers and want a higher quality unit to serve them.
Our guides to in-dash car receivers and head units take you through the options. If you just want to connect your phone over Bluetooth we’ll explain which systems provide that capability. If you’re looking to sync with a tablet or games console, our guides will help you with that. And if it’s FLAC-quality music you want to enjoy, well that’s covered here as well.
There’s a lot to consider when replacing the factory head unit. How big is it? (Height is defined as DIN or Double DIN.) Do you need the upgrade to work with steering wheel controls? Do you want to use your favorite apps, like Pandora, and how about Apple CarPlay? Our guides go through these points and more.
If you just want better sound, and maybe the ability to connect over Bluetooth or via USB, take a look at our guide to the best car stereos and head units. This takes you through the functionality available from modern single DIN head units and helps you understand your options. As a new head unit deserves a good amplifier, take a look at the head unit outputs. Pre-amp outputs are preferred because then your new amp rather than the one squeezed into the head does the signal-boosting work.
Alternatively, how about installing one of the best digital media receivers? These are available in DIN and double DIN height to fit the space in your car’s center stack and they really let you enjoy music you’ve downloaded. (As with head units, remember to check what outputs are provided.) Just connect via Bluetooth, USB or an AUX input and your entire music library is available for your listening pleasure. Our guide takes you through what’s available.
A large screen is a great way to enjoy video along with music, and you needn’t buy a new car to get one. Our guide to the best DVD head units takes you through the features available and what to look for. How about one of those cool, flip-out screens to really impress your passengers?
Some of these larger head units even provide navigation. Curious why an in-dash system might be better than your phone? Well take a look at our guide to the best GPS navigation heads to find out.
Options for enjoying music in your car have changed dramatically in the last few years. The good news is, you don’t need to buy a new car to get Bluetooth, USB and streaming services. Our guide explains what’s possible.