Best Single Din Head Units For An Upgraded Car Sound System

Since you’re searching for a single din head unit, we assume that you want something stylish and multifunctional to replace your outdated car radio. Din units are the core of your car entertainment system.

They ensure you get the most out of your car speakers and determine what devices you can connect to your sound system. The search for the best single din head unit is a whopping task indeed, and it's quite understandable.

There are tens of thousands of units in the market. Making a wrong choice will cost you both money and time while it can also be the cause of your long term headache.

Fortunately, you have found this article where we’ve compiled a guide that’ll help you find the precise car stereo you’ve been looking for. Unlike the 7” x 7” double din head alternatives, single din head units come with a dimension of 4” x 7”.

It’s a choice for those who need some space below or above the head unit. Now let’s introduce you with 7 of the best single din head units on the market.

Pioneer DEH-S1100UB

The Pioneer DEH-S1100UB is a single din head unit that paves you the way for listening to music from multiple music libraries.

You can listen to your favorite music from Android smartphone, iPhone, iPod, and CDs.

Android Open Accessory (AOA protocol 2.0) is also available so that you can connect the compatible gadgets through its USB port. The unit plays the Mp3 and WMA audio format, two of the most common audio formats out there.

Audio files of these formats are generally encoded digitally. So you’ll find the track info details appear on the device’s LED-lit LCD display while playing your music. This din head unit outputs 14 watts of RMS through its four channels.

It boasts a set of 2-volt RCA outputs that can expand the sound system you have in case the RMS power seems too weak for the speakers. Both high and low pass filters are available in this unit as well as an equalizer of 5 bands. 

The equalizer allows you to adjust the sound settings the way you prefer. The adjustment of your car speakers or the subwoofer or additional amplifiers can be done from there simultaneously.

Among the other features, there’s an integrated sound retriever that effectively restores the audio files back to their initial studio quality. Having the stereo in the car is safe, thanks to its detachable face.

It also comes with dimmer control as well as the illumination timer. A remote controller makes the operations all the more convenient.

Features

  • Comes with a 35% larger LED-lit LCD screen.
  • 14-watts x 4 channels RMS. Handles 50-watts x 4 channels peak power.
  • CD, USB and AUX input options available.
  • Supports Mp3 and WMA audio playbacks.
  • AM/FM tuning options.
  • Bass boost setting is included with a 5-band built-in equalizer.
  • Detachable faceplate.
  • With its advanced audio retriever, it retains audio files in their original studio quality.
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier.
  • Fits a variety of dashboard types.

Verdict:

This impressive Pioneer single din head unit is cheaper in price, but it still matches the performances of some of the expensive and quality units. There isn’t a better high-quality yet inexpensive option available in the market.

2. Alpine CDE-HD149BT Single-Din
Bluetooth Car Stereo

Alpine CDE-HD149BT

The Alpine CDE-HD149BT has the clearest display out there that is easiest to read.  The display has an eye-catching color changing backlight.

You can set from green, red, blue, and orange colors.

It’s compatible with a wide range of devices. Both Android smartphones and iPhone connects to it through Bluetooth and USB. Music can be played from SD cards and CDs as well. 

The single din comes with an array of listening capabilities that include regular AM/FM radio. It supports audio files of WMA and Mp3 formats. It means you can play a wide range of your favorite music and see all their track info on its LCD display.

An amazing hands-free call feature comes with its microphone integration. The device comes with 5 different sound settings that allow you to select your preferred one. You can adjust the MX setting of the Alpine stereo for an enhanced audio sound.

There are plenty of control options that you need to learn for a better audio experience. There are 6 rear RCA jacks. With them, you can associate additional amplifiers to it.

The easily adjustable subwoofer output includes on/off switch which means you’ll not be needing any external device when you add a woofer to your system. The Alpine din head doesn’t restrict you to the presets. It has a parametric 9-band equalizer along with user storage preset.

Moreover, you can conveniently control the Pandora music through its faceplate controls.

Features

  • Handles 50-watts x 4 channels peak power.
  • 18-watts x 4 channels RMS power output.
  • Comes with a detachable faceplate for the security.
  • 3 pairs of preamp RCA outputs (front, rear, and subwoofer).
  • 9-band inbuilt equalizer.
  • Color changing LED backlights. 4 Illum colors (blue, green, orange, red).
  • Multiple inputs including CD, AUX, and USB.
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier.
  • 6 rear RCA jacks.
  • Supports Mp3 and WMA audio playbacks.
  • Compatible with iOS and Android smartphones connects via USB and Bluetooth.

Verdict:

This Alpine single din head unit is a top quality choice. Its price is a bit higher than its rivals, but considering the all the amazing features and heavy-duty performance, it’s worthy of that price.

3. Sony MEX-XB100BT Single DIN Hi-Power Head Unit

Sony MEX-XB100BT Single DIN Hi-

This Sony MEX-XB100BT is a single din unit jampacked with a wide range of modern day features to turn your car into a house of entertainment.

Its cool looking front has an illuminated 2-zone panel. 

It features an astonishing 35000 colors that let you match the screen and controls to the interior of your car. The sound synchronization functionality makes this front panel alter color with the music beats.

However, since this feature gets annoying a bit when you drive at night, Sony has kept an option to turn it off. The unit comes with a Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity that covers 2 devices at once for hands-free calling.

It also boasts front AUX and USB ports that allow you to connect a variety of gadgets. The Bluetooth 3.0 might be back-dated nowadays, but if your purpose is to only handle calls with it, it'll hardly be an issue.

But we do recommend you to go for a Bluetooth 4.0 supported model if you opt for Bluetooth streaming. Sony has also provided phone integration options in this single head unit. The Siri Eyes Free is there to allow you hands-free voice controlling your iOS devices. 

Also, with the SongPal app, you can control the unit for accessing the stored media files on your devices. The single din head unit supports all the common audio formats including WMA and Mp3. You can play AAC files as well from your CDs. The WAV, AAC, and FLAC formats are supported by its USB.

Furthermore, it’ll never let you feel short of music option, thanks to its Pandora internet radio functionality along with Sirius XM satellite radio. Featuring a 5-Volt RCA preamp output for the external front, back, and subwoofer amplifiers, the unit perfectly covers the future upgrades.

Features and Benefits:

  • 2-zone front panel with 35000 colors.
  • 40 watts RMS power with 100-watts x 4 channels peak power handling.
  • 120 DB signal-noise ratio for premium sound.
  • Comes with CD, USB and AUX ports.
  • Supports a wide range of audio formats including Mp2, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC.
  • Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity.
  • Offers comfortable hands-free wireless control with Siri Eyes Free.
  • Advanced equalizer panel include Mega Bass button.
  • Pandora and SiriusXM radio connector ready. The SongPal app helps remotely control and access the stored media files across your devices.
  • 5-Volt RCA preamp output for the external front, rear, and subwoofer amplifiers.
  • CEA-2006 compliant Class-D amplifier.
  • USB provides 1.5 Amps of power for charging.
  • Detachable faceplate.

Verdict:

The name Sony is enough to indicate the good things this MEX-XB100BT brings along. It comes with so many amazing features to satisfy the demands of modern day car audiophiles.

If you’re seriously considering to add something more than just general functionalities to your car audio system, this unit from Sony can be a top choice.

4. Sony MEX-N5200BT Single Din Head Unit

Sony MEX-N5200BT

This is another single din head unit from Sony. The well-renowned manufacturers have produced this heavy-duty unit that is best in Bluetooth connectivity.

Pairing with 2 phones at once, it puts an end to all those “me first!” arguments and provides with hands-free functionality to both. 

The din head unit is also the best match if you want an upgraded sound quality overall. An inbuilt CD player comes along with a USB port as well as an AUX port. The 4 channel amplifier provides you with huge power to fully assist factory quality speakers or any higher quality replacement.

The unit offers 3 preamp output options and a dedicated connection for subwoofers. The device allows you to control your iPods. A wide range of audio formats is supported including WMA and Mp3. the FLAC file audios can be played as well from your USB drive.

You get a total of 18 FM presets within the unit. With Siri Eyes Free, you get voice control functionality for further convenience. A 10-band EQ manages the sound quality. It also offers low and high pass filters and Extra Bass bass booster.

The detachable faceplate comes with a dot pattern screen. It’s clear and easily readable. Like the previous Sony MEX-XB100BT, this fellow single din unit has a 2-zone illuminator that allows you to match its look with your car interior with 35000 colors to choose from.

Features and Benefits:

  • Allows you to connect 2 smartphones at once with its Dual Bluetooth connection.
  • 20-watts x 4 channels output.
  • Android and iOS connectivity for transferring and playing audio files.
  • 10-band equalizer.
  • Low and high pass filters come with an “Extra Bass” bass booster.
  • Color changing LED-lit LCD display changes into 35000 colors to match your car interior.
  • High power amplifier for delivering clear, natural audio outputs.
  • Comes with dual USB ports and an AUX port.
  • CD receiver comes with AM/FM tuning.
  • SiriusXM satellite radio tuner compatible.
  • Voice control operation available with Siri Eyes Free.
  • The SongPal app lets you remotely access your media files across supported devices.
  • 3 pre-outs for additional components such as subwoofers and amplifiers.
  • Detachable faceplate.

Verdict:

Manufactured by Sony, this MEX-N5200BT model guarantees trust and reliability. It comes with a better Bluetooth connectivity than the previous Sony MEX-XB100BT.

It’s the top choice to get the best out of your sound system.

5. Boss Audio BV9986BI

Boss Audio BV9986BI

Unlike the previous units we’ve covered above, Boss Audio hasn’t gained that much recognition. But they’ve been producing car audio equipment for nearly 30 years.

This flip-out touch screen featured Boss Audio single din unit is loaded with numerous attractive features. 

Its 7-inch motorized TFT touchscreen features an innovative graphical interface. It performs fine like some expensive models in the market.

However, it lacks an anti-glare finish which means strong sunlight might make it hard to see. Its front panel is detachable for the security. The unit comes with multiple connectivities. You get Bluetooth enabled hands-free calling and music streaming.

Apps like Spotify and Pandora adds to your wireless music experience. Accessing your files from smart phones from the device is also available. The device supports Mp3 and WMA format audio files.

It boasts an SD card slot that is surprisingly missing in many top models in the market. Considering the ease this feature provides, it's very helpful. Just fill up an SD card with music and its ready for play. You don’t need to worry about poor signal.

The audio output handles 85-watts x 4 channels peak power. It has an RDS tuner as well as an inbuilt graphic equalizer. If you’re used to using DVDs or CDs, the device supports all the general formats.

And with the Electronic Skip Protection, it never misses a beat even while traveling through rough terrains. Video output is also available in this unit that lets you directly connect the RCA inputs of your external monitors.

To connect reversing cameras, this output is ideal. You get all these cool features at much cheaper a price. This single din head unit offers good value of money indeed.

Features and Benefits:

  • 7-inch touchscreen display with a detachable front panel.
  • Supports a wide range of audio formats including Mp3 and WMA.
  • 85-watts x 4 channels peak power handling.
  • Bluetooth connectivity allows hands-free phone calls as well as
    wireless music streaming.
  • The Spotify and Pandora apps for upgraded wireless music
    experience.
  • Multiple media playback options available through CDs, DVDs, USB
    port and AUX port.
  • Includes an SD card slot for plug-and-play ease.
  • AM/FM radio tuning.
  • Multiple preamp outputs for front, rear, and subwoofer.
  • Video output availability for attaching additional screens.

Verdict:

The Boss Audio BV9986BI is a stylish din head unit you get on the cheap. Its structure feels sturdy enough to last long. The low-cost unit has so many classy features to offer within your budget.

Consider this product if you want a budget-friendly yet chic a single din head unit.

6. Pioneer AVH-X7800BT Single Din Head Unit

Pioneer AVH-X7800BT

When it comes to upgrading car audio systems, Pioneer is the name that pops up before every audiophile.

Single din head units are such an upgrade the company is master at producing.

They’ve produced this AVH- X7800BT that has an excellent 7” flip out screen. Up until now, this is the stereo system that comes with the highest specifications. The flip out screen provides pristine images every time even in bright daylight, thanks to its Anti-glare feature.

This feature is necessary for sunnier days. Since not all units with touchscreens are anti-glare, it’s the screen your eyes will love. The customizable display adapts to your dashboard’s lighting color scheme.

There are five different color schemes correlating 112 lighting options to match the lighting of your car interior. Saying more about the touchscreen, its intuitive design will provide you with the ease you need.

It has the calls, settings, equalizer and other call to action buttons on the right. While playing the music, you’ll find all the track information like artist, title, category, etc displayed on the user-friendly screen.

This unit offers a unique dual Bluetooth connectivity that lets you connect and use two devices simultaneously. So, say goodbye to those “I’ll go first” disputes. The unit also boasts an additional wired microphone for hands- free calling via Bluetooth.

Besides, it’ll provide you with excellent hands- free calling experience on the go. You’ll hardly face any voice distortion while calling. Pioneer never disappoints its user with its sound quality.

To give the option to add more power to your audio, it has RCA outputs on both front and rear that connects to your subwoofer.

Besides Bluetooth wireless audio streaming, you also have the option to connect your devices via USB and AUX ports. The device also includes a CD/DVD receiver.

Moreover, if you’re a frequent user of Spotify app, this Pioneer device helps you get the full control to get the best out of it. Apple device users will benefit from various iOS functions with Siri Eyes Free. It lets the user use voice commands for different operations.

Multiple audio formats can be played with this unit including Mp3, WMA and FLAC. You get quality sound with its 13 bands equalizer that comes with slope adjustments, two-way network, time alignment, auto EQ, Pioneer patented Sound Retriever AIR and high-volt preouts.

The quality single din head unit also offers you convenience with a remote control along with all these functionalities.

Features and Benefits:

  • 7-inch anti-glare LCD touchscreen display.
  • 22-watts x 4 channels RMS power with 50 watts x 4 channels pea power handling.
  • Comes with a built-in CD/DVD receiver.
  • Dual Bluetooth connectivity allows connecting 2 devices simultaneously.
  • USB and AUX ports.
  • Compatible with AppRadio, Pandora and Spotify.
  • Voice command operation available with Siri Eyes Free.
  • Reverse camera ready.
  • Supports Mp3, WMA and FLAC format audio files.
  • Distortion-free hands-free calling.
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier.
  • Theft-deterrent detachable faceplate.
  • 91dBA Signal to Noise Ratio.

Verdict:

Pioneer is a name of trust in terms of producing quality audio appliances. The AVH-X7800BT is another quality addition that lives up to that trust.

Considering the sound quality, design, and attractive features, it’s the best single din head unit with a flip-out touchscreen.

7. Alpine CDE-164BT Single Din Head Unit

Alpine CDE-164BT

This CDE-164BT is a bit pricier than its fellow Alpine single din head unit
model we’ve previously reviewed above, but at the same time.

It's a unit that's all about quality audio with attractive features.

The unit offers multiple ways to play your favorite music. It connects to Android and iOS smartphones so that you can play tracks from there. With several Bluetooth technologies such as AVRCP, HFP, and A2DP it gives you amazing wireless streaming experience while also providing hands-free calls on the go.

Besides wireless streaming, the unit also comes with a USB port allows compatible devices to connect, access and play supported audio files. The CDE-164BT is an excellent acoustic tool, thanks to the Tune It app 2.5 it comes with.

Pandora and SiriusXM are also there to provide you with superior radio streaming experience. The unit supports the regular audio file formats including Mp3, WMA, and AAC. Its 9-band equalizer has 10 presets.

A front and a rear channel output, an audio line-in, and a subwoofer output help you to add more power to your music. This unit of Alpine also boasts the steering wheel control feature. It means that your Bluetooth steering wheel control can sync with the unit.

The feature allows you to make adjustments like volume settings from the wheel.

Features and Benefits:

  • 18 watts x 4 channels continuous power with 50 watts x 4 channels peak power handling.
  • Android and iOS connectivity.
  • Various Bluetooth technologies for an improved wireless streaming experience.
  • Parametric 9-band equalizer with 10 presets.
  • Steering wheel control ready.
  • Alpine Tune It app ready.
  • 80 dB of signal to noise ratio.
  • Theft-deterrent detachable faceplate.
  • Pandora and SiriusXM compatible.
  • Comes with USB and AUX ports and CD receiver.
  • Front, rear, and a subwoofer output for adding more power to your music.

Verdict:

This excellent single din head unit from Alpine brings flawless quality and performance in terms of sound production and longevity. The expensive unit is also full of attractive and convenient features.

However, it lacks a remote controller which might be the only drawback of this unit. But considering all the upgrades it brings to your car audio system, it’s an amazing unit to have.

Consider These Factors Before
Buying A Single Din Head Unit

The smartness of your car largely depends on its head unit. So it’s important to choose it wisely. When you know the features you’re looking for, it becomes easier to make the right selection.

Here, we’ll discuss some key factors you should consider before making any purchase.

Power Rating

The power rating gives a performance impression. You can determine the functionality of a unit through those ratings. The peak power handling indicates the maximal power amount that the unit can produce within a brief period.

The RMS output should be considered as well. It denotes the continuously produced power.

Versatility

You’ll definitely want a versatile stereo for your car. Your car stereo needs to be versatile for connecting to different external sources. Stereos these days have audio and video inputs as well as outputs.

Some also have camera and microphone inputs. With various expandable inputs and outputs, you get a multifunctional single din head unit.

Design

The design of a unit must be paid attention to. The unit should match the interior of your car. Besides, the screen should be clearly readable. Most of the quality expensive units come with LED displays.

If you go for a flip-out touchscreen display, make sure it has the anti-glare technology for comfortable reading. Apart from the looks, the design should provide you with enough ease while operating. Nothing beats a user-friendly display.

Playback Options & Media Sources

Do not forget to make sure the software of your unit supports all the devices and sources you intend to use. A quality unit should support the popular media formats like iTunes, Mp3, WMA, MPEG-4 etc.

Also, check the playback features given below:

  • USB: A USB port lets you pair the unit with all the music devices you have through the USB connection. The port also allows you to charge your phone.
  • AUX Port: Auxilary ports or AUX ports take inputs from various devices through headphone jacks and play them through your car speakers.
  • Bluetooth: This feature lets you enjoy wireless music streaming from your Bluetooth enabled devices. Some units also provide you with the benefit of hands-free calling through the Bluetooth feature.
  • CD/DVD player: The CD/DVD player plays different audio and video files from compact disks.
  • HD Radio & Satellite Radio: With the HD radio feature, you get a premium experience while fine-tuning AM/FM channels. Some units also feature internet radio and satellite radio through Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, and similar apps.

Controls

The din head unit you intend to buy must provide you with proper ease while operating. The buttons should be positioned in your comfort zone so that you can make calls or play songs without having to move your attention from the road.

Those who are comfortable with a remote control must buy a unit that includes one.

Smartphone connectivity

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a head unit without smartphone connectivity. Android and iOS connectivity is must-have a feature for every quality single din head unit. It enables you to have quick access and make wireless phone calls.

Moreover, you can use your car’s sound system to wireless stream your favorite music from your smartphone.

Preamp Output

Preamp outputs allow you to connect external amplifiers in case you want to add more power to your car speakers and subwoofers. If you’re a musicaholic and love to plunge into high bass music on the go, it’s a must- have feature for your car audio system.

GPS

It’s needless to say about the comfort and convenience you get having the GPS feature in your car. Besides, it makes the car look smarter.

With precise maps and traffic info, the feature determines the time you’ll need to reach your destination. It’s a feature you’ll definitely love to have in your car.

Final Word

Adding a good stereo in the car is always an investment every audiophile would be looking to make. It takes a lot of time and effort while choosing the best single din head unit for your car.

A unit might tempt you to buy it only with a cheaper price tag. It’s a trap you should not fall into. It might be the cause of a possible long term frustration for you. There are several features and factors you need to take into consideration for making a decent purchase.

But on top of that, you need to know your preference well. Knowing your desired features and functionality in advance helps you make the proper selection with much ease.

The reviews and the buying guide above must have presented you with a clear idea on how you’ll make the right choice. Consider these factors and buy the perfect single din head unit for your car.

Justin Beard
 

I am Justin Beard who is passionate about all things tools and automotive. Now I share my advice and experience in the tools and automotive. I recommend products and services to help you accomplish your goals and simply get the job done.

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