A car without a good stereo? Nuh-huh. A good stereo can mean all the difference between a good long road trip and a near drift-to-sleep experience.
There’s just an overwhelming variety of head units available out in the market. No wonder it can be difficult to choose the right one.
Well, let’s help you out here to filter down your list. In this article, you can find out some tips to find the best head units. Also, we have recommended some of our favorite Android head units.
What Head Unit Should I Get?
Tips for buying the right stereo
Here are some quick tips and the factors to consider before you are out shopping stereo.
Expandability and connectivity
Of course, it is an important feature to look for in the head unit you’re considering to buy. The stereo must support connection to external devices, especially smartphones. Most head units nowadays come with some external connectivity- the ability to get connected to other devices. It can be via Bluetooth, USB or Auxiliary connections etc. Average models would have more than one of these expandability options.
Now having Bluetooth connectivity is, of course, a preferable feature, as it can enable calling or attending calls without having to touch your phone while driving. In some stereos, Bluetooth connectivity can even allow wireless music streaming. Also, know if you’d need some more featured added/ customized.
Some stereos look much sophisticated and elegant while there are other models that are supposed to have a cool bad-guy look. You can take into consideration your car’s interior while deciding on the type of stereo you’re looking to buy. Just for a note- for more sophisticated ones, touch-screen display ones are ‘in’ right now.
Some of the more advanced stereos would come with good security features like security codes. If you have more money to throw in, this is one of the features you can consider to have in your car’s head unit.
Well, that is the core of a stereo ain’t it? Sure is. The head units coming with enhanced preamp tone controls would imply a better possibility of fine-tuning the sounds for best effects. A lot of stereos with built-in HD radio tuners are available. These offer much better sound quality than what you get with your standard AM or FM stations. End of the day, look for ones that offer clearer, cleaner and detailed sound output.
If you’d like to know more about tuning the head unit sounds, check out our sound adjustment guide.
Oh, the obvious thing. This is, actually, one important factor to consider before you buy- not just a stereo- anything. Head units are available for just price you can think of. So, whatever your budget it, you can find one within it- one that you’d love. Still, do keep in mind an average price in mind; too cheap a product can become bothersome within a short period of utility.
Best Head Units 2018
For those who are looking to narrow down their choices to the top ones, here are the best Android head units that we recommend. If you are looking for reliable Android stereos at a reasonable price, you can dive right onto them.
PUMPKIN Android 8.0 Car Stereo
This is a touchscreen head unit, universally compatible and powered by Android 8. The device comes with 4 GB RAM allowing a faster and more efficient performance. Featuring a DVD player, the device allows you to install the applications you wish. Thanks to its dual zone function, the stereo supports music or radio alongside map navigation.
An important feature of the Pumpkin Android stereo includes super-fast boot. The built-in amplifier would ensure that you enjoy your favourite music at the best sound quality. Moreover, given that the device supports online as well as offline navigation, no more worries of getting lost anywhere!
Corehan Car Stereo DVD Multimedia Player
Corehan is a brand that has certainly made a revolution in car stereo industry and Corehan Android 8 Car Stereo DVD Multimedia Player is one of its best products. The latest Android 8.0 version has clearly resolved all the issues that the earlier had some issues and offers a reliable and equally powerful performance. The impeccable features make the device more trustworthy so the user can buy with confidence. Apart from the improved performance and advanced security features, the Corehan car stereo comes with an apparently better touch-screen and better notification features. Moreover, you can download and watch videos with its built-in multimedia player. Some other features supported by the Corehan head unit include the offline navigation system and OBDII scanners. Thus, with this stereo, driving is going to be a great experience.
XTRONS 7 Inch Android 8.0
With the enhanced power and performance, XTRONS Android 8.0 stands out among the other competitive products. Powered with the eight core configuration and having a 4 GB RAM, the stereo ensures good speed and smooth operation. Some notable features of this head unit include clear view reverse cameras, smart view feature to mirror the smartphone, built-in radio tuner, customized themes and surround studio etc.
What are the general features I should check when buying a stereo?
Well, most of these points have been mentioned in the ‘tips’ section. But here you go with the brief- the features you should consider while buying a car head unit.
- Stereo functioning and sound control options
- External device connectivity or expandability
- DVD playback
- Satellite radio
- AAC/MP3/WMA playback
- Apple or Android device support
- Bluetooth connectivity support
- GPS navigation support
- Pandora or other app-based source support
While many of the enlisted features are not the general ones, these features are growing common in current generation of stereos. So check as many as possible in the ones you choose.
Got your ideal car head unit and wondering how to install the stereo on your own, read our guide on installing car stereo.