The radio is such a key feature in cars, and that’s why it's such a bother that cars have advanced so much in recent years.
Suddenly your older car which is in perfect condition seems dated because you can only play CDs or even cassettes, and it can be tempting to buy a new car just for an updated dash.
But that isn’t necessary because you can easily buy a new flip-out head unit and fit it yourself, and suddenly you have a fully functioning screen just as good as any new car.
There’s so many available to choose from, giving you the chance to give your car a personal touch, but it can also be confusing to know which one to buy. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to the best flip out head units currently available, complete with a buying guide to make sure you make the choice that is right for you.
In a Hurry?
If you are desperate to get your hands on a flip out head unit, why not choose the Boss Audio BV9979B?
We think this device is the best on the market for so many reasons, including:
- Bluetooth compatible allowing you to make and answer hands-free calls with no distractions, using the device’s built-in microphone and your car’s speakers, and also allowing you to stream music directly from your phone.
- It offers a variety of media playback options including Bluetooth, CD/DVD player, USB, and SD ports for WMA and MP3 files, AM/FM radio, and an AUX input.
- It is stylish with a multi-color light illumination panel offering over 16 million color combinations so you will never get bored.
- This device is compatible with steering wheel controls and can also be connected to a rearview camera for easier parking.
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite flip out head unit on the market is the Boss Audio BV9979B. This device comes complete with so many excellent features, from Bluetooth allowing you to make calls, to DVD and USB ports allowing you to playback video on the screen of the device.
It is compatible with your steering wheel controls but also comes with an additional remote allowing you to control the radio from anywhere in the car.
With a multi-color illuminated display and an equalizer to allow you to play with the sound, it is clear to see why this is one of the best options available.
- Bluetooth compatible for hands-free calls and music streaming
- CD/DVD, AUX, USB/SD ports, and AM/FM radio media playback
- Compatible with steering wheel controls
- Comes with a remote control
- Output options to improve sound and video quality
- Equaliser allows you to alter music to exactly how you want it
- Multi-color illumination display
- No notable drawbacks
Another excellent product to consider is the Pioneer AVH-3500NEX. This is the only single din head unit available that supports both Apple car play and Android Auto making it a truly unique purchase.
Additionally, this device is navigation ready meaning you never have to worry about getting lost on a road trip again and comes with parking assist guidelines to aid you when reversing.
Finally, it allows you to connect your music via the Bluetooth, USB, or AUX cord or simply listen to the old-fashioned radio making this device, without a doubt, one of the best on the market.
- Compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto
- Sat-Nav ready
- Connect your music via USB, AUX, and Bluetooth
- Comes with parking assist
- SiriusXM satellite radio ready
- No SD connection
The next product on this list is the Hikity Android Flip out head unit which doesn’t flaunt a designer name but is packed full of great features.
This device can be paired with the ‘Here We Go’ app on your phone to download maps from the internet which can later be used with the machine’s sat nav to ensure you find your destination safely.
It is also fully Bluetooth compatible giving you the ability to stream your music and make hands free calls, as well as giving you the ability to control the radio from your own steering wheel controls.
Additionally, it has a fully automated radio search feature to help you find the exact station you are looking for, and also comes with parking assist to help you when reversing.
This device may not be by one of the biggest brands in this field, but it is definitely one of the best flip out head units on the market.
- Steering wheel controls compatible
- Sat-Nav ready (just download the map)
- Bluetooth compatible for hands-free calls and streaming
- Fully automated radio station search feature
- Parking assist
- Does not boast a designer name
Another excellent choice is the Power Acoustik PTID-8920B.
Like the other devices on this list, it is fully Bluetooth compatible allowing you to make and receive calls and stream music, but also allowing you to scroll through your contact lists directly on the screen.
It has a fully operational touchscreen meaning you don’t have to worry about pressing any physical buttons to perform actions, and comes with an SD reader to access MP3 audio and MP4 video files.
This is a great choice if you are interested in music quality as it has a subwoofer output, and also if you struggle with parking as it comes with a rearview camera input.
With all these excellent features, this device is definitely one of the best flip out head units available.
- Bluetooth 2.0 for hands-free calls, music streaming, and contact list scrolling
- Comes with an SD reader to access MP3 audio and MP4 video
- Fully operational touchscreen
- Compatible with subwoofer output
- Parking assist
- Does not feature an equalizer
The final flip out head unit on this list is the Pyle PLTS78DUB. This device features a multi-color LCD display and also comes with a rearview camera to help you park easier.
It allows you to connect your phone via Bluetooth to make hands-free calls and stream music, or you could listen to the device’s AM/FM radio or use its CD/DVD player.
This device is compatible with a variety of different devices allowing you to play music from your Apple or Android phones/tablets, and also comes with a remote control which means you can control the radio from anywhere in the car.
This is an excellent device to play videos on if you are road-tripping with your family, and definitely one of the best flip out head units on the market.
- Multi-color LCD display
- Parking assist
- Compatible with Bluetooth for calls and streaming
- Comes with a remote control
- Fully equipped with AM/FM radio and CD/DVD player
- Touchscreen calibration is sometimes slightly inaccurate
Best Flip Out Head Unit Buying Guide
The great thing about cars is that they give you the ability to modify them, and while some people take great pleasure in making huge modifications to their motors, it really could just be updating your radio set.
The installation of a new radio, complete with its own screen, can turn your old banger into a fresh new whip, and we’re here to help you make the right decision with this helpful buyer’s guide to aid your search.
Design and Display
The first things you should consider when buying a new head unit is the design of the unit itself and, in the case of a flip out head unit, the display of the screen itself.
There are so many different designs out there, with lots of different features including flashing LEDs and customizable light displays, so you have a lot of choices there.
Most people choose to buy a design that compliments the interior of their car, but the decision is entirely yours. You should also consider the device’s display in terms of brightness and readability.
Readability is important to prevent distraction, and brightness is important for when the device is used on sunny days. These two factors will ultimately impact how user-friendly the device is and so you should definitely consider them.
Controls and Connections
Additionally, you should consider the controls that you can use when operating the unit, and the things you can connect to it.
Most devices will come with either touch screen controls or buttons on the interface itself, but many devices will often come with additional ways to control the radio.
In particular, it is handy for the driver if the device is steering wheel compatible as then you will never have to take your hands off the wheel, some devices will also come with an additional remote which is great for any passengers in the back seat.
It is also very important to consider the connections that the device is compatible with as this will dictate what you can listen to. Most units will be compatible with Bluetooth, USB, SD, and AUX inputs which will allow you to listen to music from your devices in a variety of different ways, it is also common for most units to have AM/FM radio, and CD/DVD players.
What connection is most important to you will depend on your situation so you should definitely consider it before making a purchase.
The technical specifications of the unit are something that will be more or less important depending on what you want out of the device, however, it is always good to have an understanding of the tech specs of your device.
Firstly, you should identify if your car is compatible with single or double din head units as this will have an impact on what devices are available to you. You should also consider the power that is generated by the device while it is in operation.
There are two important things to look at in terms of power, and that is the RMS and Max watts output. The max power is that the maximum amount of watts that will be generated by the device within a short amount of time, while the RMS is the continual power that will be generated by the device.
It is important to check that the device’s tech specs are compatible with your car before making a purchase.
Finally, you should consider any additional features that the unit might offer which will increase the value of your purchase. It is very common for manufacturers to offer additional features within the product, and this is no different with flip out head units.
Some features to keep an eye out for, in particular, include rearview cameras which will help you park easier, compatibility with Apple Carplay or Android Auto which will allow you to mirror your phone onto the device’s screen, and the ability to use the device for GPS to give you directions on how to get to your destination.
These features are not essential for a good flip out head unit, but they can be a helpful extra so it is always handy to look out for the additional features included within the device you are buying.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my car is a single or double din?
The easiest way to identify if your car radio is a single or double din fitting is by measuring it. If it measures at 7-inches by 2-inches then you will only be able to replace it with a single din fitting, however, if it measures 7-inches by 4-inches you should use a double din head unit.
What is a flip out head unit?
A flip-out head unit normally consists of a single din head unit that has a slide-out hinged tray which is attached to a touch screen that can be fitted in your car to replace your existing radio system.
What is the best flip out head unit for my car?
The best flip out head unit for your car will totally depend on what you want out of the radio set. If your main priority is sound quality, the main feature you might look for is compatibility with a subwoofer, whereas if you wanted to be able to play videos for your kids while on the go, a device with DVD compatibility might be more important.