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Best Cheap Double DIN Car Stereos Reviews

If you’re in the market for a cheap double DIN radio then you’re in luck, as we’ve got the best budget double din head units lined up for you right here.

In the past, the term ‘best cheap double din head units’ was usually a warning rather than a tempting proposition, with shoddy build quality, sluggish performance, laughable screen resolution and woeful buttons and knobs typically featuring on such stereos.

Those days are long gone. Nowadays, the market abounds with great budget double din head units.

Sure, spending more is likely to provide you with a double DIN head unit that will keep you going without the need for upgrades for much longer. However, there’s a lot of intriguing (and cheap) stuff going on in the world of budget double din car stereos.

So, if you’re new to the car audio world, or just don’t want to spend a huge chunk of cash on your new high-end double DIN head unit, then we’re here to help you get the best deal on something cheaper.

Contrary to what might seem to be the case when you step into a car audio shop, it is possible to get a great double DIN radio for under $200 – indeed we’ve reviewed cheaper double din car stereos from as little as $100 and been really impressed.

Without any further ado, here are the best budget double din head units you need to buy in 2020.

Cheap Double DIN Head Units Reviews

1. Pioneer AVH-1500NEX

Pioneer AVH-1500NEX

  • 6.2 inch touchscreen
  • Compatible with Apple CarPlay
  • SiriusXM ready
  • Rear-mounted USB port & Aux input
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • RCA Preouts
  • 13-band customizable graphic equalizer

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pioneer is the go-to brand for quality car audio components. They’ve been in business for quite a long time and have mastered the art of providing top-notch products.

Pioneer offers a wide range of different types of double DIN head units. Their double DIN head units are very well-made and seem to be well-liked.

The AVH-1500NEX is one of the best cheap Apple CarPlay headunit that Pioneer has to offer, all things considered. This car stereo is featured with a nice, user-friendly 6.2″ touchscreen that will make your life a lot easier while driving.

This head unit is also featured with Bluetooth connectivity. So, you can pick up your calls with the touch of a button and enjoy easy wireless access to the media(podcasts, news, or streaming playlists) on your smartphone.

If you enjoy your music from other sources, you’ll be happy to know that this receiver has an aux input, USB Direct Control for iPod/iPhone, as well as CD and DVD playback. Speaking of which, you can watch DVDs when the parking brake is engaged, or send the video output an external monitor, such as an overhead or a rear headrest monitor (if you have any) so your passengers can enjoy some video entertainment when you’re driving on a long trip.

Furthermore, you can add a rear-view camera for easy parking in crowded parking lots or when pulling out of your garage.

The AVH-1500NEX is fitted with a relatively powerful built-in MOSFET amplifier with a versatile five stored equalizer curves – Powerful, Natural, Vocal, Super Bass, Flat – which you can easily recall at any time. There are two extra modes which will allow you to manually adjust the level (+/- 12dB) of each band of the head unit’s 5-band graphic equalizer (100, 315, 1.25k, 3.15k, & 8k Hz).

The head unit also provides further sound adjustments for your car audio system including a loudness function which compensates for deficiencies in the low- and high-frequency ranges at low volume, a bass boost which allows you increase the subwoofer level from 0 to +6 (12dB), and a source level adjustment (SLA) which is meant to prevent radical changes in volume when switching between sources.

All in all, Pioneer AVH-1500NEX is one of the best double din head units around $200 that you can buy. It’ll breath a new life into your car sound system. It’s easy to use, sounds great, and it’s loaded with bells and whistles.

2. Kenwood DDX-26BT

Kenwood DDX-26BT

  • 6.2 inch Wide VGA Color LCD Display with LED Backlight
  • Built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free talking and audio streaming
  • 13-band graphic equalizer
  • Rear USB Input
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio Ready
  • Comes with a rear view camera with 170 degree wide angle

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kenwood has a well-deserved reputation for building great car audio products at reasonable prices. It’s well-known for its expansive catalog of car stereos, covering just about every possible use at fairly affordable prices. So, whether you’re looking for a mechless car stereo (aka: digital media receiver), single DIN head unit or a double din head unit with a touch screen, Kenwood has got you covered.

In this corner, we’ll be looking for at one of the most budget-friendly double din car stereos that Kenwood has to offer – the DDX-416BT which could be a great investment for anyone who’s on a budget and looking for a good double din head unit that packs in all the necessary bells and whistles but still remains affordable.

The DDX-26BT by Kenwood is one of the top rated cheap double DIN car stereos out there. This receiver is very well put-together. At less than $200, it’s not outrageous – and if you’re looking for a slightly better double DIN radio than your factory-installed headunit, the DDX-26BT could be a great option to consider. It’s one of the best double DIN car stereos at this price point.

Kenwood DDX26BT is featured with a wide 6.2 inch touchscreen that’s very convenient to use while driving. And as with most, if not all new modern car receivers, the DDX-26BT is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity for hands free calling and wireless music streaming. This receiver also supports “dual phone pairing” for full time connection of two smartphone devices at the same time.

In addition to AM/FM tuner, CD/DVD player, front USB port, the DDX-26BT is also SiriusXM ready. You add SiriusXM tuner to this double DIN stereo to enjoy listening to commercial-free music, sports, exclusive talk and entertainment, and more !

Unlike the Pioneer headunit we linked to above, this Kenwood receiver allows you to customize its background. This means you can use your favorite image as a background.

And to better fine tune the sound to match your musical taste, this double DIN car stereo boasts 13-Band EQ and digital time alignment to finely tunes the music to your listening position. It also sports three sets of preamp outputs, so you can expand your car sound system with a powerful amplifier or a powered subwoofer.

If I had to pick some criticisms for this receiver, I’d say that its screen washes out when in direct sunlight which makes it barely visible to the eye.

3. Pioneer AVH-1300NEX

Pioneer AVH-1300NEX

  • 6.2 inch WVGA Display
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Apple CarPlay compatible
  • AppRadio Mode+ compatible
  • SiriusXM-Ready
  • 13 band c

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for a cheap double DIN car stereo with Apple CarPlay, then Pioneer AVH-1300NEX is a good options to consider. It’s one of the cheapest apple CarPlay stereos in the market.

We’ve come across a ton of double DIN car stereos which promise smartphone compatibility and smooth integration into today’s connected lifestyle, but Pioneer car stereos always smokes the competition and consistently deliver a seamless experience.

Pioneer AVH-1300NEX features a bright 6.2″ VGA touchscreen display with plenty of display customization options. The menu on this receiver is quite easy to navigate through. You can set your home screen to display your favorite sources, so you can easily switch between them with just a single touch when you’re driving.

The AVH-1330NEX is ready to roll with wireless audio streaming and hands-free calling with your compatible handset. This headunit is capable of wirelessly streaming and controlling music from up to five different phones. Plus, with a compatible iPhone, you can take advantage of Siri Eyes Free to place calls, switch radio stations, hear notifications, add reminders — even compose and listen to text messages.

In addition to Apple CarPlay, the AVH-1300NEX includes Pioneer’s AppRadio Mode+ which provides additional flexibility when your iPhone is attached, letting you tap into apps like Waze for navigation, and providing easy access to some video content through AppRadioLIVE.

Furthermore, if you like using streaming services, you’ll be happy to know that this receiver supports Pandora and Spotify control with iPhone and Android. Just connect your smartphone via USB or Bluetooth and you’re all set.

The AVH-1300NEX is SiriusXM-Ready™. So, if you’re a road warrior, and you want to listen to your favorite stations wherever you go, wherever you are, then you might want to consider tapping into the variety of satellite radio with an optional SiriusXM tuner.

The AVH-1300NEX has a rear-mounted USB port, a rear-mounted aux-in jack, as well as AV and rearview camera inputs. It comes with four 4-volt preamp outputs for use with an outboard amp, as well as a built-in 50-watt-by-4 amp. There’s high-pass/low-pass crossover network, and subwoofer control.

To tailor the listening experience to your vehicle and listening preferences, the AVH-1300NEX features a 13-Band Graphic Equalizer with touch panel swipe settings, built-in high/low pass crossover network, listening-position selector, speaker output adjustment, advanced sound retriever, speaker time alignment, and more.

4. JVC KW-V140BT

JVC KW-V140BT

  • 6.2 inch clear resistive VGA touchscreen
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Front USB input
  • 13-band graphic equalizer
  • 3 Sets of 2.5V preamp outputs

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

JVC is another top-rated car stereo brand. They were founded in 1927 and they make virtually everything in the consumer electronics world, from televisions to camcorders and car audio components.

JVC offers a wide variety of car stereos including single DIN car receivers, double DIN radios with/without touchscreen and digital media receivers.

The KW-V140BT is one of the best double din head unit under $200 that JVC has to offer. This multimedia receiver features 6.2″ WVGA clear resistive touch monitor. Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free talking and wireless audio streaming. This head unit also supports “dual phone full-time pairing”, which let’s you connect two phones full time via Bluetooth. Calls to either phone can be received by a push of a key on the head unit.

Additionally, this receiver also allows you to connect up to 5 Bluetooth devices simultaneously, so you and your friends can take turns streaming music.

As far as sound optimization is concerned, Kenwood KW-V140BT is featured with 13-Band Equalizer so you can manually adjust the sound to your taste, K2 technology which significantly improves sound quality, and time alignment which allows you to digitally adjust the timing of the sound output from each of the speakers so that every speaker reaches your ears at the same time. This headunit also has a volume link EQ which boosts some specific frequencies to compensate for the impact of road noise.

With this JVC headunit, you can also listen to Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify from your smartphone with smooth control on the headunit via USB or Bluetooth connection for iPhone, and via Bluetooth for Android handsets.

Additionally, you can use “JVC Remote” app which is available for both iOS and Android to directly control the receiver’s source from your smartphone using simple finger gestures.

5. Sony XAV-V10BT

Sony XAV-V10BT

  • 6.2 inch LCD touchscreen display
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • 10-band equalizer
  • SiriusXM-compatible
  • Front USB input, front aux input, rear-view camera input
  • 5-channel preamp outputs

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If any company has been able carve out a place for itself in nearly every space of consumer/entertainment tech successfully, it’s Sony. From the wide selection of 4k TVs to a wide variety of digital cameras, Sony has been able to make and release products that can be used in every aspect of daily life. And the same quality is found in Sony’s selection of double din headunits as well.

The XAVV10BT headunit at hand is one of the best double DIN digital multimedia receivers that Sony has to offer in this price range. It sports a decent suite of entertainment options in an undeniably sleek receiver that offers both touchscreen and rotary knob control.

Speaking of touchscreen, this receiver sports a 6.2″ touchscreen which makes it incredibly user-friendly.

Connectivity wise, Sony XAV-V10BT is fitted with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free control of calls and music. It’s great feature for today’s lifestyle and especially to those of you who have consolidated their listening habits to smartphone streaming. This receiver is also featured with a front aux and USB inputs for media playback and portable device charging.

Additionally, the XAV-V10BT comes with an AM/FM tuner and it’s SiriusXM satellite radio ready for a plethora of radio channel options.

As for audio features, the Sony XAV-V10BT is fitted with a built-in 10-band EQ that you can use to optimize the acoustics in your vehicle and to fine tune the sound to your listening preferences.

The cherry on top is Sony’s EXTRA BASS technology which is meant to boost your music with a richer, fuller sound, at the touch of a button. ExtraBass technology is designed to get rid of distortion by automatically adjusting frequency and gain to their optimal positions.

If you’re vehicle is not equipped with a backup camera, then there’s no better time to install one than when you’re upgrading your headunit, and the XAV-V10BT gives you a rear camera input for doing just that.

The downside, however, is that this Sony car receiver is a bit pricey for it offers. While most double din stereos at this price point come with a few advanced features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Siri Eyes, HD Radio…etc, The Sony XAV-V10BT at hand doesn’t come with any of these.

P.S: Sony XAV-V10BT is a digital media receiver, which means it doesn’t have a built-in CD/DVD player.

 

6. Pioneer MVH-300EX

Pioneer MVH-300EX

  • 7 inch touchscreen display with variable color illumination
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • 13-band graphic equalizer
  • Rear aux input, rear USB input, rear-view camera input
  • 6-channel preamp outputs

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nowadays, with all those audio source options to choose from, bringing a CD to your car is unnecessary. That said, if you’re enamored with Pioneer products and want to get yourself a Pioneer double DIN digital media receiver that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then Pioneer MVH-300EX is a great option to consider.

This MVH-300EX is one of the best budget-friendly double DIN receivers that Pioneer have to offer. It’s very well-conceived and well-engineered, featuring a generous 7″ touchscreen display with variable color illumination to match the receiver’s illumination to your vehicle’s interior lighting for a factory feel. In addition to the touchscreen controls, the unit has a couple of frequently used buttons along the bottom edge of the screen for easy access and ease of use.

As with all modern headunits, this receiver has built-in Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming. And unlike most stereos out there which only supports one device at a time, the MVH-300EX allows you to pair up Up to 3 Bluetooth-compatible devices at the same time — you can switch between connected phones from the head unit’s touchscreen, without having to connect or re-connect devices.

Connectivity wise, this digital media receiver comes with rear aux input, rear USB input, and rear-view camera input. It also has 6-channel preamp outputs for use with an outboard amplifier.

As far as sound shaping controls are concerned, this receiver sports a 13-band graphic equalizer, high- and low-pass filters, listening position & time alignment, and bass boost.

All in all, for less than $200, the Pioneer MVH-300EX is a definite no-brainer. It’s a great option if you are not looking for something very sophisticated and you have already ditched CDs in favor of downloadable and streamed digital music.

7. JVC KW-V25BT

Sale
JVC KW-V25BT

  • 6.2 inch touchscreen
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • 13-band graphic equalizer
  • Front USB input & Aux input
  • 3 Sets of 2.5V preamp outputs
  • SiriusXM satellite radio ready

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

JVC is known for affordable car stereos that actually work, and the KW-V25BT is the perfect example. It’s a perfectly capable headunit with 6.2″ touchscreen monitor and a wide variety of customization options.

Speaking of which, this receiver sports JVC’s Key customize feature which is meant to allow you to set four preferred options and one favorite setting or source that you can quickly access using this receiver’s big function button and the responsive touchscreen display.

Additionally, JVC KW-V25BT is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming. Thanks to the dual phone connection feature, two Bluetooth phones can be paired up to this receiver, and you can easily switch between them — handy for vehicles with more than one driver.

If you like radio, you’ll love the options the JVC KW-V25BT offers, including Pandora®, iHeartRadio®, Spotify®, and SiriusXM.

Sound-sculpting wise, this headunit is fitted with a wide array of fine-tuning features including but not limited to high- and low-pass filters, a 13-Band equalizer so you can manually adjust the sound to your taste, volume Link EQ to boost some specific frequencies to compensate for road noise, sound lift to virtually manipulate the height of speakers by adjusting some frequencies, time alignment and space enhancement …etc.

In terms of connectivity options, the KW-V25BT has a front mounted USB Port, rear view camera input, and 6-channel preamp output.

8. Aigoss Car Stereo

Aigoss Car Stereo

  • 7 inch Touchscreen
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • SD memory, USB, Aux inputs

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Aigoss isn’t car audio brand you may have heard of, but it’s double DIN headunit has a lot to offer than it should for its price. I mean, a double DIN headunit for less than $50. That’s a major bargain.

This receiver is nowhere near as good-looking as Pioneer’s or Kenwood’s. It doesn’t look all that special… until you mount it in your vehicle.

It sports a generous 7 inch touchscreen display with a large rotary know and a few buttons on the left side. Because it doesn’t come with a built-in CD player, this receiver’s depth is quite small.

This unit has built-in Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming. It also has a front-mounted aux, SD memory card and USB inputs. Expandability wise, this Aigoss unit is rear view camera ready.

The Aigoss receiver at hand is an excellent choice for folks on a strict-budget looking for a cheap double DIN headunit that can get the job done, nothing less. It comes with everything you need to install it on your own.

9. Pioneer MVH-S600BS

Pioneer MVH-S600BS

  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Variable color illumination
  • 13-band graphic equalizer
  • SiriusXM satellite radio ready
  • 6-channel preamp outputs
  • Front USB port and front AUX input

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If a large touchscreen is not on your list of requirements when searching for a double DIN receiver, then Pioneer MVH-S600BS might be a good option to consider. It’s one of the best cheap double din radios that you can get your hands on. Pioneer has really packed a ton of great features into this low cost head unit.

Pioneer MVH-S600BS is designed to be a high-grade replacement to factory radios. It’s equipped with all the necessary features that will make your life easier while driving including Bluetooth connectivity for hands free calling and wireless audio streaming, SiriusXM capabilities, Pandora® and Spotify, as well as smooth smartphone integration.

This digital media receiver is featured with an easy to use interface with MIXTRAX technology, which adds visual and audible effects to USB-based music sources for uninterrupted entertainment as you drive. That said, you’ll enjoy a pulsating multi-color display that’s synchronized with your tunes, in addition to DJ-style audio transitions from song to song which is going to liven up the audio experience in your ride.

Additionally, and as far as sound shaping controls are concerned, Pioneer MVH-S600BSS sports 13-band graphic equalizer with seven preset tone settings, 3-level loudness, advanced sound retriever (ASR) for improved sound quality from compressed music files, low-pass and high-pass filters and subwoofer level control. It also has three pairs of preamp outputs so you can build a rocking sound system with external amps and subwoofers.

10. Alpine CDE-W265BT

Alpine CDE-W265BT

  • 2-line display with variable color illumination
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • App Direct mode
  • 9-band parametric equalizer with 11 presets
  • 3-way crossover capability
  • Compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner
  • Front USB port and Auxiliary input
  • 6-channel preamp outputs

Last update on 2021-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alpine is another well-recognized brands in the car audio industry. They were founded in 1967, and they’ve been churning out various quality car audio components ever since.

Alpine offers a wide range of components including speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, navigation systems, drive assist equipment, you name it. Alpine also offers a variety of car stereos for different purposes.

The CDE-W265BT is one of Alpine’s best budget-friendly double din car stereos. This receiver is very well-engineered and it’s loaded with a ton of features.

As with all new headunits that hit the market in the last couple of years, the CDE-W265BT has a built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free calling and audio streaming.

Despite being a double DIN head unit (4″ tall”), the Alpine CDE-W265BT has only a two-line display with variable color illumination which justifies its relatively low price tag. However, this display is pretty easy to read and doesn’t wash out in bright daylight.

This unit features a single disc player, front-panel minijack (3.5mm) auxiliary input and USB Input. It’s also equipped with 6 channel preamp outputs and a built-in 2-way and 3-way crossover system setup for greater flexibility with various speaker system configurations.

Additionally, and as far as audio tuning controls are concerned, the Alpine CDE-W265BT receiver sports 10 typical equalizer settings, a 9-Band Parametric EQ, and Alpine’s Bass Engine SQ. The latter is a new feature that’s meant to change bass sound characteristics by automatically adjusting different combinations of EQ, Sub Level, and Crossover settings through five bass modes (Standard, Punch, Rich, Mid Bass, and Low Bass). This can only be done through Alpine’s TuneIt app which is available for both Android and IOS devices.

Alex Brown

Hey There, my name is Alex Brown, I'm an LA-based sound engineer with over 10 years experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. I've installed highly competitive car audio systems, and everything from navigation systems to full car stereo systems, remote starters, alarms and beyond. I enjoy creating solutions and simplifying everyday needs. I also love helping people get great sounding gear, thereby, saving the world from bad sound one customer at a time.

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