Best double din Apple CarPlay head units

Best double din Apple CarPlay head units

In this article, we are reviewing the best double din Apple CarPlay head units. You probably know what CarPlay is and how important is to have full iPhone integration into your vehicle’s infotainment system.

Mirroring the most important apps like navigation, messaging, music streaming as well as your basic iPhone functions into your vehicle’s screen is not only very convenient but also a big step ahead in terms of security.

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That way you won’t need to grab your phone and look at it, distracting yourself by taking your eyes off the road. Even if it’s just for a couple of seconds, it may well be the cause of an accident with unknown consequences. It’s better to avoid it.

With CarPlay integration, all the important information will appear in your car’s center console screen, right at your eyesight. It can be controlled using the steering wheel controls, or even with voice commands. Siri’s personal assistant can read your text messages so you don’t even need to look at the infotainment screen.

However, CarPlay has started to be offered in models developed after 2014 and it was only in the last couple of years that this technology is finally getting to a wider range of vehicles. So, if you have a slightly older car it’s unlikely that it is Apple CarPlay compatible.

The good news is that most aftermarket manufacturers are offering replacement head units with CarPlay integration, so that is not an issue anymore. You can now easily upgrade your car’s outdated radio with one with the most recent tech. And more, some of the head units mentioned above are even better than the ones present on a lot of newer cars.

Throughout this article, we are going to review a bunch of great top-spec head units so you can decide which one is the best Apple CarPlay stereo to upgrade your car.

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The Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX is not a cheap Apple CarPlay stereo, but it’s an awesome all-rounder, and the best CarPlay head unit on review. If you’re after the best sound quality, or if you want a great built-in navigation system, go for it.

On the other hand, Sony XAV-AX5000 offers a highly competent package at a very affordable price, being the best value for money head unit.

Best double din Apple CarPlay head units review

In the following table, you can compare these product’s main features. For more information, please click the images to see the products on Amazon and be sure to read this article until the very end.

Product Name Display Size Sound Equalizer Amplification

Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX
7-inch 13-band 50w Peak x 4
Kenwood Excelon DDX9906XR 6.8-inch 13-band 22w RMS x 4
50w Peak x 4
Alpine ILX-207 7-inch 9-band 50w Peak x 4
JVC KW-V950BW 6.8-inch 13-band 22w RMS x 4
50w Peak x 4
Sony XAV-AX5000 6.95-inch 10-band 55w Peak x 4

Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX

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Key features:

  • 7″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 5 display colors, 112 key colors;
  • 50w peak x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 13-band graphic equalizer with time alignment;
  • Compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay w/ Siri Eyes Free;
  • GPS navigation included (Here maps);
  • Remote control included.

This Pioneer flagship model is a true masterpiece in every aspect. It delivers an outstanding audio quality, with a well-balanced sound both at higher and lower volumes. Every equalizer preset sounds awesome. If you’re an audiophile you won’t be disappointed with how this head will sound in your car.

It also features a built-in GPS with 2D and 3D highly detailed maps. Its own navigation system is so good you may even prefer it to your iPhone’s Apple Maps. With the advantage that it won’t consume mobile data.

However, if you prefer to use your Apple Maps for navigation, it’s only a matter of pairing your iPhone with the Pioneer to enjoy all the Carplay features. And more, it is a wireless CarPlay head unit, offering wireless CarPlay connectivity. That means no cables are needed anymore to plug your phone into your car.

The screen quality is on par with the best and the brightness is strong, so that offers no problem using even on bright sunny days. The touchscreen is very responsive.

It may not be a cheap Apple CarPlay head unit but it’s all good with this device. The only major drawback is that you have to pay for map updates, and the yearly value is not cheap. If you’re using your phone’s Apple Maps, that it is not even an issue for you.

Pros:
  • Outstanding sound quality and fidelity
  • Excellent built-in GPS navigation
  • Beautiful and responsive touchscreen
Cons:
  • Costly maps update

Kenwood Excelon DDX9906XR

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Key features:

  • 6.8″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 22w RMS (50w peak) x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 13-band graphic equalizer with time alignment;
  • Compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay w/ Siri Eyes Free;
  • Displays engine performance and other vehicle data;
  • Viewing Angle Adjustment.

The Kenwood Excelon DDX9906XR features a truly beautiful and elegant design, integrating a nice 6.8-inch capacitive display with high-contrast levels, making this receiver easy to control in the bright sunshine. And more, it features a customizable digital angle adjustment to perfectly fit your eyesight.

It offers wireless CarPlay, so you can operate it wirelessly, without the need to connect your phone to the head unit via a USB cable. Also, its Bluetooth capabilities let you pair 2 phones at the same time.

And there’s more, in a lot of vehicles, this Kenwood audio system is able to show on-screen performance data about your vehicle. Usually, non-factory head units are not capable of that, but with the DDX9906XR you can maintain many of the factory features you’d lose if you’re installing other aftermarket radios.

Pros:
  • Beautiful design
  • Impressive screen quality
  • Displays engine performance and other vehicle data on touchscreen
Cons:
  • Wireless CarPlay connection sometimes has delays
  • Not the cheapest CarPlay head unit

Alpine ILX-207

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Key features:

  • 7″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 5 display colors, 112 key colors;
  • 50w peak x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 9-band graphic equalizer;
  • Compatible with Apple CarPlay w/ Siri Eyes Free;

This sleek-looking, user-friendly digital receiver offers a nice set of features for its price. Let us start with the sharp 7-inch capacitive touch screen that won’t let you down in terms of image quality. The touchscreen also works great, it feels like using a tablet installed in your dashboard.

If sound quality is one of your top priorities, then this is a head unit to consider. Its sound quality beats pretty much every other receiver at this price point. The sound is loud and clear, with a great built-in 9-band equalizer.

Also, this Alpine head unit is compatible with the i-Datalink Maestro. It’s optional (not included) and it will let you collect information about what’s going on around your car. You just have to use it with an iDatalink Maestro interface module and you’ll get customizable gauges with all of your car’s technical information.

This is one of the best CarPlay stereo head units your money can get!

Pros:
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Great display
  • Capable of displaying vehicle data
Cons:
  • No front USB and only one USB port

JVC KW-V950BW

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Key features:

  • 6.8″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 22w RMS (50w peak) x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 13-band graphic equalizer with time alignment;
  • Compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay w/ Siri Eyes Free;
  • Viewing angle adjustment.

JVC brings us this high specced Apple CarPlay Bluetooth head unit which offers some nice features. They know how to deliver high-quality and they achieve it with this amazing infotainment system.

With a nice and sharp display screen with good viewing angles and angle adjustment so it is always easy to read. It also produces superb audio quality for the price and offers a bunch of adjustments to tune the sound to match exactly your preferences.

This JVC KW-V950BW is also compatible with the optional iDataLink Maestro module to view engine performance and data directly on-screen, making it an awesome Apple CarPlay retrofit.

Pros:
  • Excellent sound clarity
  • Capable of displaying vehicle data
  • Viewing angle adjustment
Cons:
  • The display is a little too bright during night time driving

Sony XAV-AX5000

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Key features:

  • 6.95″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 55w peak x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 10-band graphic equalizer with time alignment;
  • Compatible with Apple CarPlay;
  • Remote control included.

Sony is another big name when it comes to in-car entertainment and it has been on the market for decades. That speaks for itself and gives us costumers an extra piece of mind when buying their products.

The sound quality offered by this digital media receiver is top-notch. With a 10-band graphic equalizer as well as Sony’s proprietary Dynamic Stage Organizer to deliver a powerful yet clear sound.

It may not offer wireless CarPlay – you have to connect your iPhone with a USB cable – and may not feature the best display or touchscreen of this lot, but it is for sure the most affordable unit, and for what it offers, it’s indeed a great value for money.

Pros:
  • Excellent sound clarity
  • Affordable price
  • Remote control included
Cons:
  • HD radio tuner only as an accessory

Wrap Up

Regarding Apple CarPlay double DIN head units, you have a lot of great products to choose, from a bunch of well-known manufacturers.

Always take caution to go after an Apple CarPlay unit that is suitable for your vehicle’s console. If your car features a 1-DIN space, then none of the reviewed are compatible, and you should instead look after an Apple CarPlay single DIN system.

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