Very few car owners are happy with the audio system their car came with. There is always the option to get a premium sound system when purchasing the car as an upgrade, but usually, it is much more expensive than it should be. What most people end up doing is to buy a new car stereo and have it installed instead of the stock one.
The reason why so many chose to get an aftermarket car stereo is the audio quality and extra features. Even today, most stock car stereos do not come with a USB port, card reader or the ability to play MP3 files. Aftermarket models can do all this and much more. We do not have models that even have a 3G module that can connect the device to the internet and stream music from various popular online music streaming services.
Best Car Stereos in 2018
The best part is that they are not all that expensive and they are not that difficult to install although it is recommended to get the replacement done in an authorized service. To keep things short let’s jump right to our list of the top 10 best car stereos in 2018 reviews.
- 10. Pioneer DEH-X6800BT Single DIN Bluetooth In-Dash CD/AM/FM Receiver
- 9. Kenwood DPX501BT 2-DIN CD Receiver with Built-in Bluetooth
- 8. Pioneer MVH-X380BT Digital Media Receiver with Short Chassis Design and Bluetooth
- 7. Pyle PLR27MPBU Bluetooth Stereo Receiver
- 6. Clarion CZ302 Bluetooth CD/USB/MP3/WMA Receiver
- 5. Pyle PLR34M In-Dash Stereo Radio Headunit Receiver
- 4. Pioneer FH-X720BT 2-DIN CD Receiver with Mixtrax and Bluetooth
- 3. BOSS Audio BV9364B Double-DIN 6.2 inch Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver
- 2. XO Vision XD103 Car Stereo
- 1. BOSS Audio 612UA Single-DIN MECH-LESS Receiver
10. Pioneer DEH-X6800BT Single DIN Bluetooth In-Dash CD/AM/FM Receiver
Pioneer DEH-X6800BT is a decent car stereo that comes with some useful features. Maybe the stereo is a bit expensive for what it does, but it is still a great upgrade for a stock audio system.
The model has an in-dash receiver and a removable face plate. It has been fitted with a Bluetooth module that makes it easy to use for hands-free talking or streaming audio directly from a mobile device. Its power output is 50 watts per channel for a maximum of 4 channels.
9. Kenwood DPX501BT 2-DIN CD Receiver with Built-in Bluetooth
The Kenwood DPX501BT car stereo is one of the more advanced models that comes with a larger LCD display and several additional function keys. It has a front USB and Aux port that allows it to be connected to a wide range of devices including USB memory sticks for MP3 file playback.
One of the major pluses of the model is how easy it is to use. It can be connected over Bluetooth to mobile devices for call answering or media streaming, or it can be connected directly to the Pandora app.
8. Pioneer MVH-X380BT Digital Media Receiver with Short Chassis Design and Bluetooth
Pioneer MVH-X380BT is an affordable model that comes with a simple design and useful features. The model does not have a CD slot which might seem like a turnoff for some, but it is still a decent option.
The stereo can be connected using the auxiliary input to devices such as MP3 players or iPods. Using Bluetooth, the model can also be connected directly to smartphones for direct media playback. The USB port can be used to connect something like a USB stick in order to play audio files.
7. Pyle PLR27MPBU Bluetooth Stereo Receiver
Pyle PLR27MPBU is one of the more affordable models in our list. Surprisingly it comes with all the features that more expensive models have. It has an SD card slot that can be used to play media, a USB port for flash drives and an AM/FM radio.
Another great feature of the Pyle car stereo is the fact that it can be connected to smartphones over Bluetooth. This makes it easy to take calls or stream music directly from the phone. Last but not least it comes with a small remote.
6. Clarion CZ302 Bluetooth CD/USB/MP3/WMA Receiver
Clarion CZ302 is a great option for the ones that have a limited budget. The model has a lot of options in terms of music streaming. It can be connected over USB to a wide range of devices including iPods, iPhones or USB flash drives.
As expected the model can be connected to smartphones and tablets over Bluetooth which is more of a standard feature these days. It does not have a CD slot, but it features an AUX input. The model has a removable face plate and a large LCD screen.
You may be interested in: Top 10 Best Car DVD Players in 2018 Reviews
5. Pyle PLR34M In-Dash Stereo Radio Headunit Receiver
The Pyle PLR34M is a great option for the ones that have a really limited budget. It is a simple car stereo with a removable faceplate and a convenient remote. The model has 4 60 watt outputs and a large LCD screen.
In terms of features, the model can read MP3 files off USB flash drives or SD memory cards. It comes with an FM/AM radio and an AUX input. It does not support Bluetooth devices, but it offers plenty of ways of playing music even without connecting a smartphone to it.
4. Pioneer FH-X720BT 2-DIN CD Receiver with Mixtrax and Bluetooth
The Pioneer FH-X720BT is one of the few models in our list that comes with a CD slot. It can read audio CDs and MP3 CDs. At the same time, it has a lot of connectivity options and a large LCD screen. It might seem a bit large, but it is a great device.
The model comes with a built-in Bluetooth that makes it possible to connect a smartphone or tablet to it for media playback and even to pick up calls. It has integrated iOS controls and a small remote that makes it extremely easy to work with.
3. BOSS Audio BV9364B Double-DIN 6.2 inch Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver
The BOSS Audio BV9354B is a great pick for the ones that need a device that can do it all. It is a large stereo that can play DVD movies, audio CDs, or disks with MP3 or WMA files. Its large LCD screen makes it very easy to use. It is a high-resolution touchscreen that makes everything very easy.
In terms of output, the stereo supports 4 80 watt speakers. It has a built-in FM/AM radio tuner and Bluetooth support. This means that it can be connected to smartphones and tablets for direct media playback.
2. XO Vision XD103 Car Stereo
For the money, it is difficult to get a better deal than the XO Vision XD103. It is a basic model that comes with a total output of 4 x 20 watts. Looking at its features, the model offers an SD card slot and a USB port. This means it can read MP3 files from SD cards and USB flash disks.
As with any car stereo, the face plate is removable. Additional connectivity options are provided over the aux port that can be connected to MP3 players or smartphone audio jack ports.
1. BOSS Audio 612UA Single-DIN MECH-LESS Receiver
BOSS Audio 612UA is a great stereo that comes with a very attractive price tag. The model is inexpensive and offers plenty of features. It has a built-in FM/AM radio and supports a total output of 4 x 50 watts.
Looking at the additional features, the model comes with an SD card slot and a USB port. It can play MP3 and WMA files from USB flash drives and SD cards. It comes with an AUX out jack and a large LCD screen.
Car stereos these days rarely come with a DVD/CD slot. Everyone has switched to playing music over memory cards and USB flash drives. Also, it can be much more convenient to play music directly from a smartphone since everyone has the habit of using their smartphone to listen to their favorite tunes. Car stereos usually offer the option to listen to those favorite tracks stored on a smartphone, MP3 player or tablet directly on the card speakers.
Our list contains multiple interesting models that offer plenty of features. There are simple, inexpensive models and more advanced ones. In the end, it is a matter of budget, and all of them offer more than enough features to play music or listen to a radio station.