Are you shopping for a new flip out car stereo?
We’ve put together this buying guide to help you sort out the best touchscreen head unit on the market today.
The latest touchscreen and connectivity technology has made upgrading an older stereo more attractive, and we were impressed with the innovative ways these head units integrated with today’s technology.
- The Top 5 Single-DIN Touchscreen Head Units in 2019
- 1. Pioneer AVH-3300NEX – Highest Rated Head Unit
- 2. BOSS Audio BV9986BI – Most Popular Head Unit
- 3. Power Acoustik PTID-8920B – Best Overall Value
- 4. BOSS Audio BV9976B – Most Affordable Choice
- 5. Soundstream VIR-7830B – A Good Audio/Video Head Unit
- How To Buy The Right Single Din Touchscreen Head Unit
The Top 5 Single-DIN Touchscreen Head Units in 2019
|Product||Peak Power||RMS Power|
|1. Pioneer AVH-3300NEX|
|50 Watts||14 Watts|
|2. BOSS Audio BV9986BI||85 Watts||15 Watts|
|3. Power Acoustik PTID-8920B||52 Watts||17 Watts|
|4. BOSS Audio BV9976B||85 Watts||20 Watts|
|5. Soundstream VIR-7830B||50 Watts||17 Watts|
1. Pioneer AVH-3300NEX – Highest Rated Head Unit
The AVH-3300NEX comes with a 7-inch touchscreen that folds down when the unit isn’t powered. The interface is responsive, and Pioneer has gone the extra mile to integrate it with mobile devices.
You can connect an iPhone to it using Apple CarPlay and then play music over a Bluetooth connection. We could even select songs with voice commands to Siri. You can use a Bluetooth microphone with this stereo, and the system comes with pre-installed services like Spotify, Pandora, and SiriusXM.
2. BOSS Audio BV9986BI – Most Popular Head Unit
BOSS Audio’s BV9986BI is a popular model, and the number of Amazon reviews stands at over 2,000 as we write this review. It’s also an affordable head unit compared to premium audio systems that delivers advanced features. The BV9986BI has a 7-inch folding touchscreen, plays DVDs videos, and can make phone calls with a Bluetooth microphone.
BOSS Audio include a built-in amplifier with an 85-watt output to each channel, which makes it less likely that you’ll need an external amplifier. You can also connect your Apple or Android devices to stream music or make calls. The biggest issue we had with this unit was the sluggishness of its interface.
3. Power Acoustik PTID-8920B – Best Overall Value
It comes with a 7-inch screen that adjusts its angle with built-in motors. It also has a decent pre-amplifier that delivers 52 watts to four channels, making it a good option for most audio systems.
It also includes many of the technology and connectivity features that buyers are expecting from a modern head unit. You can play playlists from other devices and make calls using USB and Bluetooth connections, and there’s a connector in the back for setting up a video camera. It’s also subwoofer-friendly with an 80Hz RCA output.
4. BOSS Audio BV9976B – Most Affordable Choice
If affordability is more important for you than advanced features, BOSS Audio’s BV9976 is the rock-bottom best value for what you get. It can handle Bluetooth phone calls, play music playlists from other devices, and comes with an AM/FM radio and CD player. Its biggest drawback with a lack of support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
This head unit has great connectivity features, though. You can stream music from another device like an MP3 player or a smartphone, or you can plug in an SD card or USB stick. There’s a video output port if you want to watch videos on a larger screen. Bluetooth mics are also supported to make phone calls.
5. Soundstream VIR-7830B – A Good Audio/Video Head Unit
As a stereo system, it includes all the connectivity features we’ve come to expect from modern head units like USB, SD card, and Bluetooth support. You can stream music from a mobile device over Bluetooth, but it doesn’t include Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
It does have A/V outputs that support mounting video players on the ceiling or headrests of your vehicle. The audio system support includes 52 watts of power delivered to two channels and a dedicated output for a subwoofer.
How To Buy The Right Single Din Touchscreen Head Unit
The head unit is the central part of a vehicle’s sound system. In addition to the quality and power of the sound it delivers, there are other features to consider with today’s innovative car stereos. You’ll want to think about the media a head unit can play, the design of its interface, whether it integrates with your mobile devices, and if it fits your budget. Below is a summary of the most important factors.
Factors To Consider
– Audio sources: Head units will usually include an AM/FM radio and CD player, but they can vary on additional options like playing DVDs, connecting to music players and mobile devices, or streaming audio from internet radio services.
– Interface: Touchscreens are standard on new head units this year. Their size and resolution matters if you want to access mobile apps or set up playlists.
– Audio output: The wattage that the stereo can deliver to your speakers is important as well as the number of channels. A two-channel output will let you balance the front and rear speakers, but a four-channel stereo can balance right and left sides as well.
– Cameras and microphones: Many head units include inputs for cameras and other accessories. They also commonly support making calls with built-in mics or connect to Bluetooth microphones.
– Size: Head units designed for vehicles fit a couple standard sizes, referred to as single DIN and double DIN. A single DIN port will be about one inch tall, and a double DIN will be two inches. If you have a double DIN vehicle, you can install a single DIN head unit with a spacer kit, but a single-DIN car is limited to single-DIN head units.
– Cost: Finding the right mix of features that fit your budget can be a juggling act. It can help to filter your list of choices by price and the features you need most.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you make sense of the wide range of choices that exist on the market today for single DIN touchscreen head units. This year’s variety of options made it tough to choose just five products for this guide. We’ve included both premium head units like Pioneer’s AVH-3300NEX and the best of the more affordable stereos like Power Acoustik’s PTID-8920B. We’re looking forward to what’s in store for next year as audio system makers continue to innovate.