Your car ride is incomplete without music right?
We cannot even think of not having something to groove to while driving through traffic. Having best single din head units are a one-stop solution to your craving. However, looking for the perfect one is not easy.
Hence, we have curated a list of the best single din head units after a lot of research so that you can choose from the best. We have thoroughly dissected every product separately even though they are some of the best single din head unit in the market.
But first, let us explain to you what the term, ‘Single DIN’ means. It is a standard that was devised by the German Deutsches Institut für Normung after which the acronym is based. It refers to a particular height and width for car head units.
- List of The Best Single Din Head Units
- 1. Pioneer DEH-150MP – Best Single DIN Car Stereo
- 2. Kenwood KDC-168U – In-Dash 1-DIN CD Car Stereo Receiver
- 3. Alpine CDE-HD149BT – Single-Din Bluetooth Car Stereo
- 4. JVC KD-AR565 – Single-DIN In-Dash CD MP3 Stereo
- 5. Pioneer MVH-X390BT – Vehicle Digital Media Receiver
- Single Din Head Units Buyers’ Guide
List of The Best Single Din Head Units
1. Pioneer DEH-150MP – Best Single DIN Car Stereo
This single din touchscreen head unit has a multi-segmented LCD and a CEA-2006 Compliant amplifier. With a peak power output of 50 watts x 4 channels, this radio is one of the best ones available in the market. Moreover, it comes with a detachable faceplate and a wireless remote control that will make sure you are in charge of your musical journey.
This DEH-150MP Single DIN Car Stereo also has MP3 and WMA Playback in spite of being an entry-level model of this range. With a front AUX input, it is very easy to use.
Screen: The stereo has a multi-segmented LCD that also has a LED backlight. The speciality of this model is that the LED backlight is 35 per cent bigger than that of previous models, hence giving better visibility and legibility. It also has options to help you customize the sound with the help of the 5-band graphic equalizer, subwoofer control and high-pass and low-pass filter settings.
Compatibility: This CD receiver can play both the popular formats, namely MP3 and WMA. All you need to do is transfer your digitally encoded audio files onto a CD-R or CD. You will see all the details on the screen.
Expanded Play: The built-in front AUX input lets you carry your entire music collection on the go. You can just connect the 3.5mm mini-jack stereo and enjoy music without any added fuss.
Advanced Sound Retriever: The system will restore all the data that is lost during the digital compression process so you can hear the music with all its warmth and clarity. This technology can improve audio reproduction almost till 20 kHz frequencies.
- Crystal clear music output.
- Support major music formats.
- Wireless remote system.
- Advanced screen features.
- The design might not appeal to everyone.
- The detachable face comes off too easily.
2. Kenwood KDC-168U – In-Dash 1-DIN CD Car Stereo Receiver
This one din car stereo has an AM/FM tuner and comes with a built-in MOSFET amplifier. It also has a detachable face that will impress you with the red button illumination and 13-digit LCD. It will play all your CDs and also supports MP3 and WMA music files.
Smartphone Features: This one din car stereo provides you with special control if you have an Apple device. It works with the Music Control app on certain Android phones and is compatible with the apps, Pandora and iHeartRadio on iPhones.
Audio: The stereo model comes with System Q Sound Control. The Kenwood sound reconstruction can enhance the sound quality of files which have lost some data during compression.
It has a USB port that supports flash drives with MP3, WAV, WMA, and FLAC files. The Drive Change will allow choosing the audio you want to play from some memory cards in a memory card reader or multiple USB drives in a Connected USB hub.
You can access options like bass boost and control the sound effortlessly. The subwoofer level control and a low-pass filter are a bonus.
Expandability: You can control the stereo directly from your Apple device via the USB input without any adapter. You can use the Kenwood’s Optional cable instead of your iPhone cable.
- Works well with smartphones.
- Wide compatibility range.
- Allows control over the sound quality.
- Offers an inbuilt USB drive.
- Enhances the sound of compressed files.
- The controls may not work well.
3. Alpine CDE-HD149BT – Single-Din Bluetooth Car Stereo
This Single-Din Multimedia Receiver has impressed us with its host of features and made it to our list with a detachable faceplate and remote control facility, it has excellent power output.
You will find a Dedicated Subwoofer Preamp RCA Output and a Built-In Equalizer with this product. It also offers a 9-band parametric equalizer that will make sure you are in control of the audio quality. You can preset stations with the help of the AM/FM Tuner. The inbuilt Bluetooth system will make your life easier.
The stereo has a white LCD Text Display. You can select the colour of the buttons from four given choices.
It can be controlled with the help of Apple devices like the iPhone 5. It supports audio playback and allows audio integration with an iPod via a cable. The built-in USB slot will ensure that you do not need to hunt for an adapter. It can play CD-R/RW. MP3 and MP3.
- Impressive Audio Quality.
- Compatible with Apple devices.
- AM/FM Tuner allows you to preset stations.
- Remote control.
- The Bluetooth may malfunction.
4. JVC KD-AR565 – Single-DIN In-Dash CD MP3 Stereo
One of the more popular single din car radios in the market, this model is overall a great choice, and you will know that if you have been scouring the market for a while. It comes with a motorized faceplate that can be easily detached and provides a great sound that will keep you hooked as you drive down the road.
The stereo comes with front USB AUX inputs that will allow you to play flash drives full of music. If you want to connect the stereo to your Apple or Android smartphone, then all you will need is a cable.
You can control the device using your iPhone or iPod. It also serves as a radio and comes with an AM/FM tuner. If you are more traditional and prefer CDs, then this model will give you a perfect dual service.
The model has a single line LCD text display which is easily readable and legible. You will be able to view the details of every song you are playing on the screen. Be it the title, artist or album; the system can detect the data from the digitally encoded audio files.
The receiver comes with a remote control which will make your experience much smoother.
- Compatible with the MP3 format.
- USB AUX inputs allow you to connect drives or smartphones.
- Serves as a radio.
- Can be remote-controlled.
- The model tends to restore factory settings often which means that you have to set the time over and over again.
5. Pioneer MVH-X390BT – Vehicle Digital Media Receiver
Widely regarded as one of the best car radio head units, this model is much more advanced than the previous one that has been mentioned. It will meet the needs of the modern millennial who cannot imagine a day travelling without music.
Often, music is interrupted by incoming calls when we are driving. Receiving the call using our phone is not only inconvenient but is also not advisable for safety purposes.
The Pioneer MVH-X390BT built-in Bluetooth will help you answer the call without using your hands. The Bluetooth helps you stream audio directly from your phone providing a major advantage.
The design of the stereo is compact which makes it a perfect fit for your car. The chassis design will help you attach the stereo snugly onto the dashboard lessening your headache about installation.
The stereo comes with a Digital Media Receiver which is compatible with the Pioneer ARC (Advanced Remote Control) app. This function will let you control your music output using different settings from the Pioneer receiver.
Moreover, this model will also work with Spotify which means you can listen to your favourite playlists when going to work. The model also works with MIXTRAX and provides USB Direct Control for Apple devices and some Android Phones.
The Pioneer ARC App is helpful in particular because you will be able to perform functions like presets, rewind and fast forward. You can also directly search for your favourite artist or song.
- Pioneer ARC Compatible.
- Built-in Bluetooth and USB service.
- Compact Design.
- Offers a range of functions.
- The only con is that it does not tune to even-numbered FM frequencies.
Single Din Head Units Buyers’ Guide
Now that you know about the single din head units, you might think that choosing the perfect stereo will become very easy.
However, there is a little more way to go. While this list is meant to help, you will not be able to make a satisfactory purchase unless you know what to look for.
You should check against certain parameters when browsing through different single din car radios. There are certain features, apart from price, that should make or break a deal for you.
Consider the Design
You should choose a stereo the design of which goes well with the car and appeals to your aesthetic sense. Since they are single-din, they are sleek and compact and can be made to look sophisticated and trendy.
If the stereo you choose clashes with the interior of the car, you will begin to feel displeased with the purchase soon.
The advantage of having a single DIN stereo in a double-DIN space is that you get extra room for storage. While the look of the model is not as important as its features, it should still play an important role in helping you make the correct choice.
The single din head unit comes with an excellent display which gives you an immersive music experience even while you are in your car.
The display screens vary according to the price range you are aiming for. The higher the money you are ready to spend, the more advanced a display you will get.
They can be LED or LCD, with or without a backlight and of different colours- these are choices you have to make based on your preference. Most display screens will allow you to control the brightness as and when you need.
The sound is the most important factor that needs to be considered when buying single din car radios for obvious reasons.
If you are running on a budget, then you should know that cheaper head units often compromise on the sound. Since they do not have built-in amplifiers, the sound will not fill your car.
However, if you buy a model that has preamp outputs, then you will be able to enhance the sound externally later by adding an equalizer, amplifier, and digital sound processor.
On the other hand, if you can spare the money, then go for excellent sound quality. Some of the single din head units can even restore the quality of compressed audio files.
The placement of the controls will decide if your one din car stereo is easy to use or not. Since you will be driving, you need the stereo controls to be placed strategically so that you can change the configuration easily.
Moreover, the controls should be simple and easy to implement so that you do not have to divert your attention from the road. This is an important parameter not only because of the convenience but also for your safety.
Most of us stash our music collection in our smartphones because it is so convenient to attach earphones and listen to our favourites all the time.
However, you cannot do that while driving because it might end up shifting your focus. In this situation, it is best to opt for a single din head unit that will connect to your smartphone easily, whether it be via Bluetooth or USB cables.
You will be able to access the music files and playlists on your phone and stream them to your car. Certain units also allow wireless hands-free calling so that you do not have to take your eyes off the road even once.
Not all of us can understand the technical specifications of a single din stereo like a pro, but it definitely gives us a better idea of how the model will work. If you want an idea of its functionality, you should check out the power ratings.
There are two figures you need to understand. One is the max power output or the peak which will give you an idea of how much power is produced by the stereo in a short period. The other one if the RMS Power Output which refers to the amount of power that is being continuously produced.
You need to understand how versatile the car stereo should be for you to have a good musical experience. An expandable car stereo will let you connect to a host of external sources. Some audio/video inputs and outputs along with a microphone input will make for an excellent device.
If you choose to buy a model from our list of best single din head units, then you will not be disappointed.