5 Best Apple Carplay Stereos Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

We live in a society today where we spend at least thirty percent of our time traveling in a vehicle. Therefore, we want to have devices and tools on hand that make all that time traveling more simple and enjoyable. Moreover, it is good to have a device within our vehicles that function correctly when we are in need.

So what would be the best product in the market that can perform multi-functions for our everyday use? After researching this inquiry, we found the 5 best apple car play stereos with reviews and came up with a simple buyer’s guide for your convenience. We decided to shortlist the cheapest car play stereos to make it convenient for you to go out and purchase.


The Best Apple Carplay Stereos

To make this as simple as possible, we narrowed our search to five products, however, there are so many on the market today we wanted you to get the best of the best. We wanted to give you affordable options that are fully functional with their specifications.

1: Pioneer AVH-1300NEX

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The Pioneer AVH-1300NEX is a product that is innovative and powerful.

Although, that is not the only reason that the apple car plays stereo is highly sought after. It also is highly responsive, user-friendly, and creates a fully customizable interface.

The Pioneer AVH-1300NEX is at a fantastic price for all the features it includes and this is why we made it our number one on the list! We are going to go into the specifications for you to understand this theory and you can see for yourself that it is more than worth the price.

Features, Installation, and Performance

The Pioneer AVH-1300NEX Apple Carplay Stereo has a remarkable list of features.

  • Multimedia DVD receiver with 6.2″ WVGA display, Apple car play, built-in Bluetooth, SiriusXM-ready and AppRadio mode +
  • Apple CarPlay Compatible. Crossover Network HPF/LPF
  • App radio mode+ compatible. Spotify works with Pandora, SiriusXM-ready
  • Hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Item weight is only 4 pounds
  • Pioneer AVG-1300NEX dimensions are 11 x 9.5 x 6 inches WMA Playback: Yes
  • Satellite Radio Ready: Yes
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • MP3 playback: Yes
  • Maximum Power: 200 Watts
  • DIN: 2
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible: Yes
  • CD-Text: Yes
  • Built-in EQ: Yes
  • Aux input: Yes
  • Audio/Video Inputs: 1
  • Display Size: 6.2 Inch
  • Rear USB Input: 1
  • Audio/Video Outputs: 1

The features do not stop there. The Carplay stereo system includes a screen size/aspect Ratio: 6.2″/16:9 with a resolution of WVGA (800 X 480). The Touchscreen has a clear resistive. The Carplay Stereo system also includes a built-in Bluetooth with a simple secure paring. In regards to the navigation, an AVIC-U280 is required.

The car play stereo system is amazing with functions and includes SiriusXM-Ready™ (tuner sold separately) with presets 18 FM, 6 AM. It features software for Apple CarPlay™ (iPhone 5 or later), SiriEyes Free. The Pioneer AVH- 1300NEX supports the following; Android™ Music Support, Pandora: iPhone, Android to make it convenient for you and your devices.

The apple car audio system is simple to use with an instruction manual so you can navigate easily through the system. Here are a few additional features the car play stereo includes we think that you would like to know about this product:

  • CD/CD-R/RW Playback
  • WMV Video Playback: USB
  • RCA Pre outs: 3 (4V)
  • Built-in AmplifierMOSFET : 50 W x 4
  • USB: Single, Rear (1.5 Amp)
  • Aux Input: Rear
  • Composite Video Output:1 (Audio/Video)
  • iDatalink® Maestro™
  • USB Direct Control for iPod®/iPhone®..and much more.

Therefore, with all that said, you can see what a great deal this particular apple car audio system is for the price compared to others that are similar. A fantastic car play stereo system will provide functionality and simplicity while you are on the road.


  • Very responsive screen
  • Affordable price for the Apple Carplay
  • Easy Connection
  • Customizable Interface


  • USB could have been better placed, but if used correctly it will not be a problem
  • HDMI port sometimes reported having flaws. This is dismissed due to a lack of care for the product.


The Pioneer AVH-1300NEX Multimedia DVD Receiver with 6.2″ WVGA Display/Apple CarPlay/Built-in Bluetooth/SiriusXM-Ready/AppRadio Mode is by far the best device that we have found for the price that it is offered and provides so many features that once you purchase the car play stereo system you will not be disappointed.

2: Alpine ILX-107

Alpine iLX

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Alpine ILX-107 is one of the first aftermarket wireless Apple CarPlay receivers. It is an award-winning product and well worth the price. It offers everything from convenience to multi-functionality during the performance.

This is one of the more expensive car play stereo systems but we included it on our list because it has a genuine quality that is striking.

Features, Installation, and Performance

Because of the price of the Alpine ILX-107, you will want to fully know about its features and performance. We have summarized it for better clarity and for your knowledge, that you, in fact, will be getting a high-class product.

  • 50 Watts x 4
  • 3 Pre-Outs (2V)
  • Works with Apple CarPlay over Wireless
  • 7″ VGA display with a capacitive touchscreen
  • Compatible with Alpine TuneIt App for iPhone®
  • 9-band parametric EQ
  • 6-channel time correction set by Alpine TuneIt App
  • MediaXpander
  • Accessory Control Ready (KAC-001 Required)
  • Keep factory controls with iDatalink® Maestro® Module
  • Steering wheel remote control ready
  • 1 camera (composite) input

Since the Alpine ILX-107 is one of the first aftermarket cars that plays stereo systems, it performs beautifully as well. It is so responsive and convenient that you can let your child use it with ease, well maybe if their hands were washed.

The Alpine ILX-107 is groundbreaking with the technology that it brings to the table. There has not been a single strong complaint that can hold value to this car play stereo system.

Here are a few additional features that we thought you would like to know:

  • “System Expansion: Control up to eight external accessories like a light bar, motorized tonneau cover or winch when used with the optional KAC-001 External Accessory Controller (sold separately).
  • Three 2V Pre-Outs
  • Keep your vehicle’s factory controls and see vehicle information with an iDatalink Maestro module (sold separately,
  • retained factory controls will depend on the vehicle)
  • Steering Wheel Control Ready
  • Rear View Camera Ready: Connect an Alpine rearview camera system (sold separately) and get the convenience and
  • peace-of-mind of knowing what is behind your vehicle.”

The car play stereo system includes a high-class performance with applications such as music, Siri, Apps like Pandora, IHeartRadio, Spotify, Podcasts, and more.

The camera’s performance is exceptional as well as you can see in extra blind spots that you might not know you had.

Along with the performance area, you can make a phone call, text message and use maps at ease with the carplay stereo system. In addition, to top that off the instruction manual gives you a systematic layout of the device.


  • Convenient touch screen and interface
  • Easy user-friendly applications and install
  • Maps and phone calls can be intertwined for multi-functionality
  • A high-class device with all-inclusive features


  • Review shows that the sound can be a little musty, but if it is correctly installed there should be no problem
  • The cost is higher than the other five on our list, but it is more than worth it.


The Alpine ILX-107 7″ Mech-less In-Dash Receiver with Wireless Apple CarPlay is a high-end device that has a five-star rating. It is one of the more costly car play stereo devices, but it pays for itself within the first use. You cannot wait to open the box as soon as it arrives at your home.

3: Sony XAV-AX100

Sony XAV

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The Sony XAV-AX100 is an android car play stereo system is an advanced device that provides a user-friendly experience for yourself and your family.

The Sony XAV-AX100 is in the mid-range on pricing, and the features that it brings to the table are adequate for its price.

The car play stereo device provides a powerful sound and adjustment, which is one of the main reasons we put this product on our top five best car play stereo systems for you to get.

Features, Installation, and Performance

The Sony XAV-AX100 is set at a competitive price compared to our other four best apple car play stereo devices, but for good reason. The features and specifications that it is included have ratings of a high-quality standard.

Here are a few key features of the car play stereo system:

  • Smartphone Compatible
  • Mobile Device Syncing: Apple CarPlay, Andriod Auto
  • Bluetooth Enabled
  • Screen Size: 6.4 inches
  • Colour illumination
  • Rear Camera Connectivity
  • Touchscreen
  • Virtual Speakers
  • Clear dynamic Sound with 4x 55w power amp
  • Turn or push control

The performance sets a great standard for this android car playing the stereo system. A full settings menu lets you customize the screen wallpaper.

The volume knob is a great feature and a plus for ergonomics. You and press it one time and a screen will pop up on the interface showing you your options to change the sound. It allows you to change any setting even if your iPhone is connected.

The Sony XAV-AX100 has a restrictive touchscreen which is the less preferred option compared to the competitive touchscreen, but it still functions with high performance.

The system itself is extremely fast and responsive. In addition, the affordable price of having an android stereo device in your vehicle is a great add-on.

Installation of the Sony XAV-AX100 Android CarPlay device is simple to do with their instruction manual. The size of the product is a normal size at 3.9 inches high, 7 inches wide, and 6.4 inches deep.


  • Reliable and Fast
  • Easy Install
  • The size that fits most carports
  • Rear camera connectivity


  • Resistivity touchscreen
  • Connect to “Lightning” each time you get into the car


With that said, the Sony XAV-AX100 android car plays stereo system is a great medium range for those looking for many great features and affordable. It is not the most expensive, but not the least and it still holds a quality value for the price.

4: JVC KW-M730BT

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The JVC KW-M730BT is a fantastic car play stereo system for those looking for more features and functionality in their vehicles.

It provides extra sound qualities that you would find on high-end car play stereo devices but for a cost-effective price.


Features, Installation, and Performance

The features and performance that the JVC KW-M730BT provides is another mid-range car play stereo device. Although, it is not to be taken lightly, as the features can surpass some of the higher expensive cars play stereo devices that are on the market today. Here are some of the features that it provides:

  • Bluetooth Receiver
  • Automatic Presetting
  • Bass Boost
  • Quality Sound Enhancement
  • High-Resolution Audio Playback
  • K2 Technology (exclusive technology from JVCKENWOOD)
  • Android Carplay Stereo
  • Dual USB
  • 6.8 inches
  • Crossover with a 2 and 3-way sub
  • Space Enhancement
  • Time Alignment
  • Amazing display and interface

Sri Eyes Free is extremely helpful with this device performing with quality. It recognizes you right away with a few simple words.

The display is responsive and bright. It is simple to use and provides a hassle-free car play stereo system.
Installation can be done with the manual or with Geek Squad.


  • Bright Touch Screen
  • Responsive Touch and Fast
  • Fast response with Sri Eyes
  • Simple to use


  • Limited Apps on the device
  • An install can be sometimes tricky, but Geek Squad is great at helping with this product


In conclusion, the JVC KW-M730BT Android Carplay Stereo system is great, but not the best. The price is reasonable. This product would be great for those who are looking for something extra in their car but not with every feature on the market.

The price is reasonable and you still get the benefits of having a car play stereo system in your vehicle but it is not the most luxurious one on our list.

5: Pioneer AVH4200NEX

Pioneer AVH

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The performance on the Pioneer AVH4200NEX is amazing. Almost everyone that has purchased this product has been thrilled with the outcome it provides for him or her.

It has a large enough screen that is easy to use and bright for daylight use. It includes extra apps that the users love to have within their vehicles.


Features, Installation, and Performance

The features that the Pioneer car play stereo system are incredible for the price. It is not the most expensive on the market and provides many features that the high-end car play stereo devices carry. Here are a few that have been a great add-on with the Pioneer AVH4200NEX:

  • “DVD/CD receiver with internal amp (14 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Detachable 7″ motorized touchscreen with multi-angle adjustments
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Built-in HD Radio tuner
  • Five customizable display colors and 112 key panel illumination choices
  • MIXTRAX for a DJ-inspired audio/visual experience
  • fits double-DIN dash openings
  • Remote control
  • Apple CarPlay compatible
  • Android Auto compatible
  • AppRadio Mode for smartphone integration
  • AppRadioLIVE compatible with free Pioneer app
  • Built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control
  • Playback and control of music files on compatible Android devices
  • Siri Hands-Free compatible with compatible iPhones
  • Pandora and Aha Radio control with iPhone and Android
  • Plays audio/video content from CDs, DVDs, SD cards, and USB memory devices (see Details tab for full capabilities)
  • Plays lossless FLAC audio files (up to 192kHz/24-bit) from flash media
  • 13-band graphic equalizer with 7 preset EQ curves
  • High- and low-pass filters
  • Advanced Sound Retriever
  • Dual-zone audio
  • Auto-EQ equalizes for your car interior automatically”..plus way more

The Pioneer has a performance that is similar to the Alpine ILX107, but it is more cost-effective. It works with SiriusXM SXV300 tuner—supports Tune Mix, Traffic & Weather Now, and Sports Flash features.

The Pioneer also displays your engine performance which is an amazing add-on to help while driving. Moreover, it is compatible with most factory settings of wheel audio controls.

To top that off the Pioneer car play stereo system is compatible with iDatalink Maestro to help you with retaining factory settings.


  • DVD & CD Receiver
  • Built-in iPod, iPhone, & iPad control
  • Works with SiriusXM
  • 7-inch screen


  • Not the best radio reception
  • The daylight screen display is not as bright as some of the others


In conclusion, the Pioneer AVH-4200NEX is one of the 5 best car play stereo systems on the market. It has a great price for all the extra features that it gives you. This is another one of our favorites that we know you will not be disappointed with.

Final Verdict

The final verdict for the 5 best car play stereo systems is three out of the five we have provided for you. The Pioneer AVH-1300NEX Multimedia DVD Receiver with 6.2″ WVGA Display/Apple CarPlay/Built-in Bluetooth/SiriusXM-Ready/AppRadio Mode.

The Alpine ILX-107 7″ Mech-less In-Dash Receiver with Wireless Apple CarPlay and the Pioneer AVH4200NEX 2-DIN Receiver with 7″ Motorized Display/Built-In Bluetooth/Siri Eyes Free/AppRadio One/NEX are the best of the best on the market. The features, installation and overall performance of these three top the list.

They range in price but they are reasonable for what the product is worth. You will obtain value and quality with each one of the 5 best car play stereo devices and will also be thrilled to share them with your friends and family.

You may also like this post: Best Touch Screen Car StereoBest Double Din Head Units

Carplay Stereo System Buyers Guide

What is the technology behind a car play stereo system?

The technology behind a car play stereo system is rather interesting. If you go back in time when vehicles only had a clock or maybe a thermometer, technology has come to a far distance to provide you with devices that help with our everyday needs. As the smartphone improved with its technology so did the needs and wants of consumers.

Because of the demand for more useful tools in vehicles, similar to what the phone could provide, car manufactures had to step up their game. Therefore, that is where the Apple CarPlay came in. It allowed cars to have a user interface that was safe to use while driving that gave you all the features that your phone was capable of doing.

CarPlay does not include every feature that is on your phone, but it does include the ones that are used the most, such as phone calls, maps, incoming messages, and rear camera display. It allowed consumers the ability to drive safer on the road instead of having to use their phones. Here are some key features that the Apple CarPlay stereo system provided:

  • Touchscreen
  • Applications
  • Install
  • Quality
  • Connectivity
  • Performance

Features of Function

The touchscreen allowed consumers to quickly skip through interfaces to get the application they needed for quick and easy access to information. When you are in the market for a great car play stereo system, one of the first things to look for is a usable touchscreen with a fast response and quality interface.

The resolution will need to be around 480 and support a 16.9 ratio. Although not all can play stereo devices provide this technology, getting one that has those incorporated within it would be ideal.

The operating systems are necessary to have when in the market for a car play stereo system. The variety of operating systems can vary depending on the manufacturer, however finding one that has Android or Apple is one of the better options that are on the market.

The connection is key with a car play stereo system. Since you have to use your smartphone for most of the applications, it is always great to be on the lookout for one that provides a high function in connectivity. There are many older versions that still use wires, but if you find one that is Bluetooth capable, you will be on the right path.

Another function to be aware of when you are in the market for an Apple Carplay Stereo system is the ability to have third-party integration. Apple products are far more secure than Android. This mostly is made for those that drive a self-driving vehicle, but that might not be a primary function currently, it could be a near-future concern.

Overall, the functions of an Apple Carplay Stereo or an Android Carplay Stereo system can be complex with the variety of applications that are available. If you are in the market for a simplified version then look for a car play stereo system that does not have any extra features and that is affordable.

If you like the ability to have multi-functions and extra applications, there are a variety of great car play stereo systems that are available.

We have listed 5 of the best car play stereo systems that are compatible with almost anyone and what they are looking for. They range in price and range in function, but you will not be disappointed with the list when you purchase one of the above-mentioned products.

What to do now?

There is a lot of information that needs to be considered when looking for an Apple CarPlay Stereo system. However now that you have all this information, what should you do now? Here is a quick review of what to be on the lookout for before you make your purchase of the car play stereo system.

  • Make sure the system has great connectivity
  • Find one that is affordable with quality functions that will be good for you and what you need
  • Make sure the dimensions will fit the vehicle
  • Find a system that has great ratings and reviews that will best fit your lifestyle
  • And lastly find an Apple CarPlay Stereo system that will make your travels easier, safer, and fun to use while you are on the road.

Final Words- Wrapping it up

Overall obtaining a fantastic and quality car play stereo system for your vehicle can be simple if you know what you want to have as an easier function in life. For example, if you want to make hands-free calling and messaging, look for a car plan stereo system that has a great Bluetooth connection and a high-rated operating system.

The market is saturated with a variety of systems, but keep in mind our 5 best car play stereo systems when making your decision. They are reasonable in cost and all of them provide features that you will be proud to use on a daily basis.

We hope that this list helps you pick your car play stereo system, just keep in mind that there is no one product that will have everything that is on the market because of the manufactures. However, you can find one that will fit your lifestyle as close as possible.

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