In this video we’re breaking down the five best car stereos in 2021. I’ve included options for every type of consumer. If you’re looking for a single din budget car stereo with just the essentials or an all-out splurge system with HD radio and a high-definition display, I’ll have the product for you.
The fifth product on our list is the Pioneer MVH-S310BT. This is our best budget single din car stereo. The Pioneer MVH-S310BT car stereo is equipped with Bluetooth giving you hands-free calling and wireless music playback when you pair it with your smartphone.
Priced at around 90 this receiver has a 13-band equalizer and is one of the best budget single din car stereos you can get. The MVH-S310BT is an in-dash single-din am FM digital media receiver with 50 watts of power and is compatible with pioneer’s smart sync app and brings maps messages and music together in your vehicle. In addition to the built-in tuner for AM FM signals it also works with your android or IOS phone and is compatible with both pandora and Spotify you can also connect and play from a USB thumb drive.
The front panel is laid out well with a large rotary volume knob and a button below it activates pioneer’s dynamic bass enhancer system. There’s a button for phone calls and six radio preset buttons. There’s an auxiliary port on the right side and just above it is the USB port. And of course, for security the entire faceplate detaches so you can easily remove it from the vehicle.
Use the Pioneer smartsync app to access the 31-band eq to tweak the overall sound and if you hit the navigation button it will fire up your favorite navigation app on your phone. In the box you also get a wiring harness to connect the receiver to your vehicle, a microphone for Bluetooth hands-free calling and it comes with about 10 feet of cord for a variety of installation options.
If you’re looking for a digital media receiver with integrated Bluetooth calling and navigation the Pioneer MVH-S310BT is worth a more in-depth look and its single din and shallow depth are great for hard to fit installations.
The fourth product on our list is the ATOTO A6. This is a great double din car stereo for the money. Not only will your music sound great the ATOTO A6 gives you versatile features for navigation multimedia entertainment and internet access that really adds up to a lot of value for the money. The A6 retails for around 170 dollars and is a double din android-based car stereo system with a 7-inch touch screen display and 24 watts of power over 4 channels.
The 1024 by 600 touch screen is fantastic. It’s large, bright and big enough to let you actually read emails. You get plenty of options to play all your media files including from your micro-SD cards through the SD slot thumb drives or external media storage with the three USB ports and there’s even an aux input. There’s also Bluetooth that is enhanced with dual chips so it can give wireless connectivity to three devices simultaneously one for audio and two for data.
The first Bluetooth chip handles hands-free calling and audio streaming functionalities while the second chip allows internet tethering and data transfer. You can use the easy connect app to cast your phone’s screen onto the display when you’re connected by USB or wi-fi for easy access for your media files, make calls or send texts.
Unlike the Pioneer MVH S310BT that fires up the navigation app on your phone, the A6 is a complete standalone GPS navigation system with a built-in GPS receiver and antenna helping you find your way without pulling out your phone. The A6 comes camera ready with inputs for an optional rear-view camera and two other cameras for additional visibility.
There’s a lot to like about the ATOTO A6 from its standalone GPS system to its large eye-catching touchscreen display and the capability for expansion with the option to add cameras the A6 brings a lot to the table making it one of the best double-din car stereos for the money.
The third product on our list is the Sony XAV-AX5000. This is our best car stereo for most people. The XAV-AX5000 features a beautiful 7-inch capacitive touchscreen and works with both apple carplay and android auto so you can integrate your smartphone add voice control access navigation plus use apps like Spotify, pandora, google maps, Waze and more. Making it one of the best car stereos for most people for about 400.
The capacitive screen is extremely responsive, offers pinch and zoom controls on maps and are as smooth as glass and although the display isn’t HD it still gives you razor sharp clarity, vibrant colors and excellent contrast. It’s also an active matrix lcd so it holds up great against sunlight and off-axis viewing. Since there’s no cd drive in the ax-5000 the face of the unit is doubled in while the chassis behind is singled in.
This will help you during installation and will make hiding wires and connections easier. But if you’re looking for one that can play CDs, and DVDs stay tuned for the pioneer AVHW 4500 NEX coming up next. The Sony is easy to use the quick access keypanel lets you quickly operate while driving and the keys along the bottom of the receiver give you instant access to basic features. For high audio performance the receiver is fitted with a 4 55-watt dynamic reality amplifier. The 10 band eq lets you customize the sound output and for additional optimization there’s a high and low pass filter subwoofer phase selector overall balance and fader controls and even a toggle for some extra bass.
For audio you can play any PCM mp3 WMA AAC and flac files and for video there’s mpeg4 H264 WMV FLV MKV and XVID video files. The Ax 5000 comes with accessories that include a wiring harness Bluetooth mic and a wireless remote.
The Sony XAV-AX5000 is an impressive device that’s easy to install and use lets you get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road making it an appealing choice for most people.
The second product on our list is the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX. This is our best overall car stereo. From the standard AM FM tuner to HD radio apple carplay and a DVD and CD player the pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is one of the best overall car stereos on the market and retails for around 700.
This in-dash receiver has a fully motorized 7-inch detachable touchscreen and is compatible with android auto google assistant, apple carplay and apple homekit. the basic controls like volume home and display keys and the voice activation key are all easily accessible along the bottom of the unit including the button to activate the motorized screen for either removal or to access the features behind it.
Behind the touch screen you’ll find an SD card slot and the disk slot for the cd and DVD player. The SD card slot and dual USB ports can be used to connect your phone and play mp3’s flak music files and mp4 video. Built-in Bluetooth gives you hands-free calling and wireless streaming audio.
The back panel gives you access to connections like the wiring harness for power audio and optional camera connections, the GPS antenna and the two USB ports that you’ll connect the included USB extension cables to with the opposite end extending into the passenger compartment. There are three sets of RCA outputs giving you the option to hook up external amplifiers and this receiver is both backup camera ready and sirius XM ready too.
There’s also a jack for the included Bluetooth mic along with connections for optional equipment like steering wheel controls, a pioneer nav system, and the Sirius XM tuner. If you’re looking for a car stereo system that has all the bases covered, you’re going to want to take a closer look at Pioneer’s Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX. It has all the features you’re looking for to make it one of the best car stereos available.
The first product on our list is the Kenwood Excelon DNX997XR. This is our best splurge car stereo. If you’re looking to splurge on your next car stereo system the Kenwood Excelon DNX997XR is priced at 1 300 and features a 6.75-inch motorized 720p touchscreen capacitive display that gives you pinch to zoom command over maps wireless apple carplay and android auto compatibility.
It’s Kenwood’s top of the line in-dual din receiver and thanks to the built-in wi-fi you can enjoy. The benefits of android auto and apple carplay wirelessly control everything using your fingers or your favorite digital assistant to control the action the DNX 997XR also gives you a convenient screen mirroring option for both iPhone and android devices using a wired USB connection.
You’ll get radio broadcasts that have depth and clarity with the HD radio tuner that lets you enjoy much improved AM FM sound quality when you’re tuned into a participating station and there’s no subscription required. Of course, you’ll get great sound from all your CDs, DVDs and disks with mp3 music files while an av input offers connection for more audio and video sources.
A pair of rear USB ports let you add audio from a music player or flash drive including high resolution flack and wav files. There’s also an SD card slot for playing digital music files and installing map updates for the GPS system and for adding serious XM satellite radio. The navigation system features Garmin’s 3d terrain view giving you lifelike map contours and a realistic perspective of the terrain in available areas. And if you want to add a backup camera the DNX 997XR is ready to accept up to four camera inputs so you can configure a system that works for you.
The Kenwood Excelon DNX997XR is the perfect splurge car audio system giving you the benefits of wireless android auto and apple carplay, impressive HD sound an advanced nav system and a ton of optional features that you can pick and choose to create an amazing car audio system.