The staple of any car is the radio system, a lifesaver for long journeys, and the gateway to the outside world when driving solo. For anyone who’s enthusiastic about music, this is often the first thing to be upgraded when buying a new car, and with so many great units on the market who can blame you.
To assist you in your search for the best single din head unit we have put together this great list of the 5 best units currently on the market.
Additionally, we have included a buying guide complete with an FAQ section to help you understand how we came to these decisions, and why they could be the perfect choice for you.
In a hurry?
If you are in a rush, why not check out our top pick, the BOSS Audio Systems BV9986BI.
This all-round excellent device has so many great features that made it our favorite, including but not limited to:
- 7-inch touchscreen with customizable design and DVD player enabled.
- Bluetooth connection for hands-free calls and streaming your favorite songs.
- AUX, USB, and SD inputs: play music and charge your devices on the go.
- Steering control ready for full driver control with an additional remote control to select radio functions from the back seat.
OUR TOP PICK
First on this list is our favorite single din head unit currently on the market: the BOSS Audio Systems BV9986BI device.
This is also the only product on this list which features a 7” inch touchscreen, something which is becoming increasingly popular in cars.
We think this device is the best for so many reasons, but mainly because of the vast amounts of features it has: its 7-inch, multi-color illuminated touchscreen is totally customizable, and can also be used as a DVD player which is great for passengers on long journeys.
On top of that, this device is also fully Bluetooth enabled so you can use it to stream music from your phone and also as a hands-free device allowing you to accept and make phone calls on your journey.
If that wasn’t enough, the device also features an AUX input, as well as USB/SD ports to allow you to MP3, WMA, and FLAK files to your heart’s content.
Finally, the device comes with a remote control to allow passengers to control the system, it is steering wheel control ready and the touchscreen can even be detached to reduce the risk of theft. With all this on offer, there really is no question why we have ranked this as the best on the market.
- 7-inch touchscreen which is DVD compatible
- Bluetooth connection for streaming and hands-free calls
- Multiple inputs (AUX, SD, and USB) to play media files
- Compatible with multiple devices
- Multi-color illumination which is customizable
- Detachable front screen to reduce theft risk
- Steering wheel control ready
- Wireless remote control included
- Occasional glare on the screen when in direct sunlight
The next device on our list is not as tech-savvy as the last, but never the less it is still an excellent device.
Similar to the last product, this sleek device offers a variety of features all of which making it an excellent product. The Dansreus B08CBRJKC3 is fully Bluetooth compatible allowing you to take and make hands-free calls without distraction, simply connect your phone to the Bluetooth and the device will use the built-in microphone and the speakers of your car, to connect the call.
The Bluetooth function also allows you to stream your music from your phone as well as from apps such as Spotify, while the USB and SD inputs allow you to play other media files too.
This combined with the FM radio, fully automatic channel search function, and 18 preset radio stations, makes this device an excellent choice for any music lover, and one of the best single din radios on the market.
- Bluetooth connection - stream music and make hands free calls
- Charge your devices via the USB port
- USB and SD inputs allow you to play Flak, MP3, and WMA audio files
- FM Radio with automatic channel search and 18 preset radio stations
- Stream your own music and music from apps like Spotify via Bluetooth
- Multiple volume options and equalizer scene selection
- Occasional noise when charging devices
Another great single din unit on the market is the Alpine UTE-73BT Bluetooth receiver. This extremely stylish device is a great addition to any car for a number of reasons. As its name suggests, this devices main feature is its Bluetooth compatibility.
With an external microphone included and its compatibility with Apple and Android devices, it is an excellent choice for anyone looking to make phone calls on the go, while also allowing you to stream music wirelessly from your cell.
It comes with a USB input allowing you to charge devices and also to connect MP3, FLAK, and WMA audio files via this function.
The device comes with variable color illuminations so you can tailor it to fit with your car, and is also compatible with most factory steering wheel controls meaning the driver can easily control what they are playing through their radio.
- Compatible with Apple and Android devices
- Bluetooth connection for hands-free calls and streaming music
- Compatible with most steering wheel controls
- USB port - charge devices and play MP3 media files
- External microphone included
- Does not have a CD player
Up with the best single din head units on the market is the Kenwood KMM-BTT32 car media player. Similar to the other products on this list, this device is fully Bluetooth enabled allowing the user to make and receive hands-free calls and to stream their favorite music and playlists.
This device also offers AUX and USB inputs to charge devices and play music through a wired connection and allows two devices to be connected simultaneously. Its bright, variable color LCD screen allows you to know exactly what is playing on your radio at any given time, and its 13 band equalizer produces excellent sound quality.
The most unique feature of this device is that it comes with a companion app which you can download on your phone and control the radio with.
However, similarly to the Alpine device, this also does not support CDs so if you want a radio that is compatible with CDs this may not be the one for you.
- Bluetooth function for hands-free calls and music streaming
- USB input - connect your music and charge your devices
- AUX input to connect your phone
- Connect 2 devices simultaneously
- The companion app allows you to control the device from your phone
- Screen display tells you what is currently playing on the radio
- Does not include a CD player
The final device on this list is the JVC Single Din Stereo, this one stands out from the rest of this list as it is the only one included which is not compatible with Bluetooth.
Despite not offering a Bluetooth connection, this device has a variety of other features which make it a valid contender for one of the best single din head units on the market. With a sleek and stylish design including a single-line LCD display, CD text display, and brightness control to alter to your chosen brightness.
Despite not offering Bluetooth connection, you can still connect devices via the USB or AUX input to play your favorite music, and control this via the steering wheel as this device is steering remote control ready.
- Sleek and stylish design
- Brightness control
- USB and AUX input - play music and charge your devices
- Steering Wheel Compatible
- Not Bluetooth compatible
Best Single Din Head Unit Buying Guide
For many people, the radio can be a big factor when buying a car, and for others they may decide to upgrade the radio system after buying their car.
Whether it be an upgrade or a necessary replacement there are a huge amount of single din head units on the market, all with their unique features that make them stand out from the others.
With so many on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which one is the best for you. The products listed above are some of the best of the market, but the perfect one for you will depend on what features you value as the most important.
We’re here to help you with this guide full of the key things to look out for when buying a single din unit.
As technology has developed there have become more and more ways to listen to music. Gone are the days where you had to download your favorite songs onto a CD to be able to listen to them while you drive, now the playback options are endless.
Different units will offer different playback options, such as CD, Bluetooth, AUX, USB and SD among others, and so it is important that you think about which one you would use most often before deciding on a device to purchase.
The playback options also influence how versatile the device is, for example one with Bluetooth will not only allow you to play current music for many years to come, but also allow you to make and take phone calls in a handsfree and safe manner.
Likewise, a device with a USB input not only allows you to play music but also allows you to charge your phone when needed.
Different single din units will offer various ways to control them. Some will offer the traditional controls on the radio itself, while others are steering wheel control compatible and can be easily controlled while you drive.
Some devices come with an additional remote control which can control the radio from anywhere in the car, and others come with a touchscreen allowing you to use the radio like you would your phone.
Ultimately the right controls come down to what works best for you but this is definitely something you should think about when buying a new radio system.
The design of the unit is something that will be extremely important to some people, and with so many different options available it is definitely something you should consider.
Whether you want the radio to match the rest of your interior, you want it to stand out with multiple color-changing lights or you want a large screen that allows you to control the radio itself, there are options out there for everyone.
One final thing to look at when buying a single din head unit is the power, especially if your main priority is sound performance. The rule of thumb for finding out how a device will perform is by looking at its advertised RMS power output, this is the power the device will continually perform at and the higher the power rating the better performance.
Similar to the other points, how important this is will depend on what you are looking for out of your audio system, but if you want excellent performance this is a great way to find the device that is perfect for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between single and double din head units?
The main difference between single and double din head units is the size. Generally, single din units tend to be smaller and easier to operate, whereas double din head units are larger, usually double the size of single din units.
Are all single din radios the same size?
Usually, single din units tend to be the same size, measuring at 2”x7” inches. However, if you are uncertain about the fit, you could measure the size of the radio in your car and compare it.
What is the best audio system for a car?
There are so many manufacturers of car radios, with top brands including Pioneer, JVC, Alpine, and Sony. Ultimately though, the best audio system for your car depends on what you want from it, our buyer’s guide can help you make this decision.