Built-in sat-nav: No | Screen Size: 7in | Bluetooth: Yes | DAB Radio: No | Single/double DIN: Double. But using CarPlay or Android Auto with the unit requires a wired USB connection, and depending on your car’s dash, the screen might block climate controls or vents (it extends about 4 inches above the stereo). Better still, it plays nicely with reversing cameras and easily hooks up with voice command functionality, so you can make and receive hands-free calls and make the most of your favoured voice assistant to control much of the functionality. Its screen can be finicky, though, and we often had to hunt and peck to find what we wanted in the menus. Most head units come with dual- or quad-core CPUs, 2 GB of RAM and no ROM (storage); more powerful varieties will incorporate octa-cores, 4 GB of RAM, around 32 GB of ROM and sometimes support for SD or microSD cards. In each case, we did our best to mimic all of the situations we’ve experienced while driving, to see how easy each model made it for us. The screen can be adjusted for day or night modes manually, by setting a timer, or automatically when the car’s headlights are turned on. We’ll be doing a new round of testing to evaluate a selection of those models, as well as a number of less-expensive stereos to fill the shoes of our current budget pick, which is being phased out. It is, therefore, super easy to use. Our former also-great pick, the Alpine iLX-107, was the first replacement car stereo to offer a wireless connection to Apple CarPlay, although it doesn’t include Android Auto. The 6.4-inch touch screen makes it even easier to access all the auto head unit… Through two rounds of testing, we researched about 70 replacement car stereos, from nine brands, that run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Combined with in-vehicle wireless charging pads, connecting to Apple CarPlay … The Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX is nearly the same stereo as our top pick, with the addition of a built-in navigation system and a capacitive screen that allows multitouch, pinch-to-zoom-type control. The Best Premium Double DIN System: Kenwood Excelon DDX905S ($900) If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to dropping a new head unit in your car, the Kenwood DDX9905S is where it’s at. Like Alpine, Pioneer has also recently adapted its popular 4400NEX head unit with added wireless Apple CarPlay support. This Sony has an easy-to-use volume knob and large buttons on the left side of the faceplate, close to the driver. Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing, Pioneer, phone interview, November 27, 2017, Tony Mercado, former marketing development manager, JVCKenwood Corporation, phone interview, November 28, 2017, Seth Halstead, Eastern regional training manager, Kenwood USA, phone interview, November 28, 2017, Christopher Mascari, director of business operations, Wirecutter, phone interview, November 21, 2017. Features: Different Apple CarPlay head units … As we explained in How we picked, using the built-in navigation instead of Google or Apple Maps can be especially useful in areas with poor cellular reception, where phone-based mapping is unreliable. Our main gripes are the three tiny hard buttons across the top, which offer less functionality and aren’t as easy to access on the fly as those on the other models we tested. To connect wirelessly to Android Auto, an auto head unit must support Android Auto and 5GHz Wi-Fi. Similarly, while CarPlay or Android Auto was playing, we could easily access the stereo’s settings and other functions. The cheapest models sometimes sell for as little as $550. Android Auto displays cards for active functions that you can slide with your finger and easily switch from one to another. Because the Kenwood and JVC brands are owned by the same company—JVCKenwood Corporation—the JVC KW-M845BW is similar to the Kenwood DMX905S, above, with wireless Android Auto and only minor design differences. Even if you can stream audio and conduct hands-free calls via Bluetooth, you’re likely having to use your phone’s small screen to navigate, which means, even if you have your phone secured in a car mount, it’s difficult and potentially distracting to interact with if you need to. And we liked that while navigating with the map on the screen we could still see our AV source along the bottom of the screen, and vice versa. This is the go-to unit for replacing extremely shallow factory head units. The additional features tack a couple hundred dollars onto the price, so we recommend this model only if you need them. The AVH-W4500NEX is our pick for the best overall Android Auto-capable head unit. If you’re looking for an auto head unit compatible with both Android Auto and CarPlay, you’ve found it. Wish Basket. On the subject of fitting, this can be done fairly easily for those with a bit of car-related knowledge, some tools and plenty of patience (check out the numerous YouTube How-To videos if you fancy a spot of DIY), but buy from from Halfords, for example, and they will offer to fit it for you. I want to see what's the best aftermarket head unit is. 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