Best Apple Carplay dongle review (wireless CarPlay adapter)

CarPlay USB adapter and receiver review

In this article, we are going to unveil which is the best CarPlay USB adapter. These devices are awesome add-ons to your car’s infotainment system, letting you pair your smartphone with your car without the fuss of using old fashioned cables. Some even offer mirroring capabilities if you have an aftermarket head unit without CarPlay enabled.

If your vehicle has more than a couple of years old, even if it’s equipped with a factory CarPlay multimedia system, it’s unlikely that it offers wireless connectivity.

But that is not an issue anymore! Nowadays, the market offers a handful of adapters that claim to turn CarPlay into wireless CarPlay for an affordable price.

Although, keep in mind that not every adapter is compatible with every car brand and model, which can be tricky. Manufacturers often make available a comprehensive list with all the compatible car models – read it carefully.

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If your car already has CarPlay from the factory but it requires a USB cabled connection to pair with your iPhone, Carlinkit 2.0 is the way to go to make it wireless.

If you have an aftermarket multimedia head unit and you’re willing to make it CarPlay compatible, mirroring your iPhone’s most-used apps on the screen, Carlinkit is your best choice. And more, it supports wireless connection with your phone, so you can get rid of undesirable cables.

Best Apple Carplay dongle review (USB adapter and receiver)

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 Application Wireless iOS Compatibility

Carlinkit 2.0

Factory Head Unit Yes Not Stated
Carlinkit Aftermarket Head Unit Yes 7.1 and newer
XTRONS Aftermarket Head Unit Yes 8 and newer

ViFun

Aftermarket Head Unit No 9 and newer

Carlinkit 2.0


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Key features:

  • Suitable only for factory main units;
  • The product supports most models, but it is not 100% applicable (check the compatibility);
  • Offers wireless connectivity.

If you have a car with a factory infotainment system with Apple CarPlay enabled but does not offer a wireless connection capability and you want to make it wireless, then this is the CarPlay dongle for you.

This Apple CarPlay receiver is not more than a USB dongle that essentially tricks your car’s infotainment into thinking your iPhone is plugged in.

Setting up this Apple CarPlay adapter is quite easy and straightforward. You need to connect the Apple CarPlay dongle to your vehicle’s USB port (where you would connect your USB cable to pair your phone) then pair your iPhone to the CarPlay adapter over Bluetooth from the Settings app.

And that’s it, you just got rid of undesirable USB cables on your car’s interior.

Pros:
  • Wide range of compatibility with factory head units
  • Wireless connectivity
Cons:
  • On the expensive side

Carlinkit


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Key features:

  • Suitable only for aftermarket multimedia head units;
  • Supports iOS 7.1 and above;
  • Supports 99% of the aftermarket head units (check for compatibility);
  • CarPlay mirroring;
  • Offers wireless connectivity.

If your car has an aftermarket infotainment system, this is your best choice. The manufacturer claims that 99% of the aftermarket multimedia head units are compatible with this Apple CarPlay kit. However, have in mind that this product is not compatible with factory head units.

Your iPhone can be connected wirelessly by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi or, if you prefer, via USB cable. This Apple CarPlay USB dongle mirrors a lot of functions of your phone into your car’s dashboard screen for improved driving safety.

It supports most AppleStore apps: music, maps navigation, voice control, video, messaging, etc. If you’re running iOS 13 or newer, you’ll even be able to open multiple windows from the app in Split View. So you can navigate while enjoying music.

Pros:
  • Compatible with 99% of the aftermarket head units
  • Nice advanced features
  • Wireless connectivity
Cons:
  • None to state

XTRONS


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Key features:

  • Suitable only for aftermarket multimedia head units;
  • Supports iPhone 5 and later models;
  • Supports iOS 8 and above;
  • CarPlay mirroring;
  • Offers wireless connectivity.

This is another option to consider if your car has an aftermarket infotainment system. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to your favorite music. Best of all, it is in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road, without touching your phone.

With this XTRONS CarPlay USB dongle, you can get your car’s main unit to get directions, make calls from there, send and receive messages and listen to music all in your center console screen, while staying focused on the road.

And more, it offers wireless connectivity between the vehicle’s head unit and your iPhone, which is another great feature.

Pros:
  • Wireless connectivity
Cons:
  • None to state

ViFun


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Key features:

  • Suitable only for aftermarket multimedia head units;
  • Supports iOS 9 and above;
  • CarPlay mirroring;
  • No wireless connectivity.

This inexpensive Apple CarPlay dongle can be connected to a suitable aftermarket head unit and offers a smarter and safer way to access your iPhone in your car by mirroring its features on the center console screen. It makes your driving smarter and safer without the need for taking your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.

Unlike the previously reviewed ones, this CarPlay emulator doesn’t offer wireless connectivity. You’ll have to connect your iPhone to your car using a USB cable.

Pros:
  • Affordable price
Cons:
  • Doesn’t offer wireless connectivity

Wrap Up

The market offers CarPlay USB adapters and receivers to cover every driver’s needs. From dongles that give your aftermarket head unit the capability of mirroring your iPhone’s most important apps, to adapters that will work with the car’s factory infotainment system to make it wireless. The choice is yours!

Before buying these Apple CarPlay devices, always double-check the compatibility within your car model, or with the aftermarket head unit you have installed, if that’s the case.

Best double din Apple CarPlay head units 2021

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.

In a hurry? Get these awesome products!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

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.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

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!

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

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.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

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 customers 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.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

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

 

Wrap Up

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.

Regarding Apple CarPlay double DIN head units, you have a lot of great products to choose from, 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.

Some other related articles that may be interesting for you:

Cheapest Apple CarPlay head unit 2021

Best cheap Android Auto stereo head units

What is the cheapest Apple CarPlay head unit? If you are an iPhone user, there are big chances you’ve heard about Apple CarPlay. A system that mirrors the most important apps on your phone directly into the head unit display. Maps navigation, music streaming as well as most basic functions of your phone like making calls and reading text messages.

It’s not only very convenient but also very helpful in terms of handling the phone without taking the eyes of the road, being a great improvement in driving safety.

Unfortunately, this connectivity has only started to be offered in models developed during the last 5-6 years. If you have a slightly older car it’s unlikely that it features CarPlay compatibility.

In a hurry? Get these awesome products!

The Pioneer AVH-1400NEX may not be the cheapest Apple CarPlay radio on review but it is the best allrounder. It doesn’t feature any particular weaknesses and offers a great solid overall package.

Dual Electronics DMCPA11BT is the ideal option if you’re after an aftermarket system with a big display. Apart from its great LCD, offers a solid bunch of features for an affordable price tag.

Although, that is not an issue anymore, as most aftermarket manufacturers are offering head units with CarPlay integration so you can easily upgrade your car’s outdated head unit to a whole new one loaded with the most recent tech.

Getting a new head unit can be a considerable investment, that’s why in this article we are going to review some budget systems, so you can purchase the cheapest Apple CarPlay radio that will perfectly fit your needs in terms of price and features.

The Pioneer SPH10BT doesn’t support Apple CayPlay but it has remarkable value for money while you use your iPhone’s screen. Please read on for more information.

The cheapest Apple CarPlay head unit 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 AVH-1400NEX

6.2-inch 13-band 50w Peak x 4

Power Acoustik CP-650

6.5-inch 14-band 14w RMS x 4
60w Peak x 4

Dual Electronics DMCPA11BT

10.1-inch 8-band 16w RMS x 4
50w Peak x 4

Sound Storm DD988ACP

6.75-inch Not Stated 16w RMS x 4
80w Peak x 4

Boss Audio BVCP9685

6.75-inch Not Stated 80w Peak x 4

Pioneer SPH10BT

(doesn’t support Apple CayPlay)

N/A 13-band 22w RMS x 4
50w Peak x 4

Pioneer AVH-1400NEX


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Key features:

  • 6.2″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 5 display colors;
  • 50 watts peak x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 13-band graphic equalizer;
  • Compatible with Apple CarPlay w/ Siri Eyes Free;
  • Optional remote control.

This is a great double din Apple CarPlay affordable head unit from a reputable manufacturer. If you have an iPhone this will work great, offering full CarPlay integration and Siri Eyes Free to guide you through your journeys as a personal assistant.

But this Pioneer Apple CarPlay head unit offers much more than iPhone integration. From high-res FLAC playback to Bluetooth audio streaming to SiriusXM compatibility it’s all there.

If you’re an audiophile on a tight budget, you should know that this cheap CarPlay stereo also sounds awesome, with a great audio amplifier and a 13-band EQ with a bunch of expansive sound-shaping tools to make it sound just like you wish to.

Its 6.2″ touchscreen has plenty of brightness for those sunny summer days. Also, the touch feature is very responsive and works like a charm, being on par with much more expensive head units.

The only downside is that its construction feels a bit cheap, but for the price and all the features and sound quality it offers, you can’t really be asking for more.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

Pros:
  • Awesome sound quality and amplification
  • Outstanding responsiveness of the touchscreen
  • Good value for money
Cons:
  • The unit feels cheap to the touch with flimsy buttons

Power Acoustik CP-650


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Key features:

  • 6.5″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 7-Color RGB LED front panel illumination;
  • 14w RMS (60w peak) x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 14-Band Digital Audio EQ & Surround Sound Effect;
  • Compatible with Apple CarPlay w/ Siri Eyes Free;
  • Remote control included and an external wired microphone.

Power Acoustik offers a nice and inexpensive head unit with the CP-650. It has built-in Apple CarPlay compatibility, letting you safely use your iPhone while driving, putting your phone’s info right in front of your eyes in the unit’s display screen. Siri will also conveniently guide you when using GPS.

The sound quality is good, especially considering the price point, offering a good amplification power, and a 14-Band Digital Audio EQ & Surround Sound Effect.

Its major downside is the display. The brightness is very low and it can be painful to see anything that’s on the display during a bright sunny day. And to make things worse, it is also very reflective.

This Apple CarPlay stereo is cheap but it gets the job done, for sure. If you are on a budget and you just want to listen to your favorite music and be able to navigate by pairing your iPhone using the CarPlay feature, this is what you should get.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

Pros:
  • Very affordable CarPlay system
  • Ok sound quality
  • Good value for money
Cons:
  • Poor display brightness

Dual Electronics DMCPA11BT

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Key features:

  • 10.1″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 16w RMS (50w peak) x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 8-band parametric equalizer with 8 preset options;
  • Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Are you after a head unit with a big display and CarPlay compatibility and you don’t want to spend a lot of money? This one is the best Apple CarPlay stereo for you!

With a huge 10.1″ LCD touchscreen it will make your life easier when using navigation apps. Everything will be shown very clear right in front of your eyes. Also, if you add an (optional) backup camera, the large screen size makes it easy to see what’s behind you! It has an adjustable tilt angle from -10º to +18º and will fit most cars with a 2-DIN slot.

The unit’s operating system is clear and easy to operate and the sound quality won’t disappoint you either. It features a dedicated switch for voice commands and works great both for Siri and Google Assistant.

It is sometimes a bit laggy when changing screens or swiping through the menus. The USB port and SD card covers are flimsy and hard to put back on.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

Pros:
  • Huge display
  • Good sound quality and EQ settings
  • Dedicated switch for voice commands
Cons:
  • A bit laggy in operation
  • Some switches feel cheap

Sound Storm DD988ACP

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Key features:

  • 6.75″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 16w RMS (80w peak) x 4 channels;
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Sound Storm, a brand from Boss Audio Systems, offers this great overall product for an affordable price. If features a bright and clear, sharp, and responsive 6.75-inch capacitive touchscreen, an aspect where many other low-priced competitors fail.

As smartphones have become an essential part of our day-to-day life, CarPlay integration is getting obligatory. That will let you control the most essential commands and apps of your iPhone through the head unit’s display. And with Siri’s voice commands you can easily get directions, look for points of interest, check your messages, play your music, and a lot more.

Despite being the cheapest Apple CarPlay stereo on review, the sound quality is on par with the market segment and won’t disappoint you, but it would be great if the software included more sound settings and adjustments.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

Pros:
Cons:
  • Not much sound adjustments

BOSS Audio Systems BCPA9685RC

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Key features:

  • 6.75″ LCD touchscreen;
  • Multi-color illumination;
  • 80 Watts x 4 peak power, RBDS Tuner, Balance/Fader and, Preset built-in EQ;
  • Bluetooth Hands-Free, Make and receive calls, Bluetooth Audio Streaming;
  • USB, AV, Rear Camera, Steering Wheel Control Input;
  • WebLink provides access to Amazon Alexa;
  • Compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

This Boss Audio BVCP9685 is a double DIN head unit with a 6.75″ capacitive screen featuring a vertical strip of touch controls along the left side of the body. You can choose a custom color (or rotate through some colors) for the buttons illumination.

Its 800×480 screen, despite not having the bigger resolution of some other models, features nice and crisp colors, and also good brightness levels even during sunny days.

You can plug in your smartphone to the USB port and activate Android Auto or Apple Car Play. You can also connect it via Bluetooth and playback music or podcasts with the media player. Most functions are fairly easy to operate.

This Apple CarPlay head unit offers 80w of peak power amplification (x4 channels), it plays well in higher volumes and sounds good most of the time. Keep in mind this system doesn’t offer a built-in CD player. The overall interface is simple and straightforward.

Boss Audio BVCP9685 is a cheap Android Auto unit that offers a lot for its price.

Pros:
  • Easy to navigate and use while driving
  • Great sound amplification for the price
  • Good value for money
Cons:
  • No CD player
  • The screen is a fingerprint magnet

Pioneer SPH10BT

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Key features:

  • 1-DIN head unit;
  • No touchscreen;
  • Uses your phone as the stereo’s display;
  • 22w RMS (50w peak) x 4 channels;
  • Bluetooth Hands-Free, Make and receive calls, Bluetooth Audio Streaming;
  • Tuner Presets (18 FM, 6AM);
  • Equalizer: 13 Band EQ+.

Let’s start by pointing out this isn’t a true traditional Apple CarPlay aftermarket head unit. The system has a phone holder and a USB connection (or via Bluetooth) to pair your phone with it. Your own iPhone will act as the screen itself.

This Apple CarPlay single DIN is a great addition if you’re driving an older vehicle with a 1-DIN slot and you’re willing to take advantage of full smartphone integration. It will fit almost every car model featuring a 1-DIN space.

The Pioneer head unit itself has 6 large buttons across its fascia, with a very small display. Most of the screen info will be displayed by the driver’s smartphone screen, which fits into a phone holder that folds out of the receiver. The connection between both is done via a USB cable or Bluetooth.

This system presents an exciting way to combine your head unit and your iPhone into a seamless experience. And it works well! Pioneer’s Smart Sync app is the key to getting this unit to work the way you want while driving. It does a great job of using your smartphone’s features for a personalized driving experience.

Not only it is cheaper than a traditional head unit with an integrated display but it also brings some other advantages. Smartphones have generally far superior touchscreens than aftermarket head units, as in terms of operation or even in what concerns to resolution and brightness.

Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

Pros:
  • Great integration with your own iPhone
  • Sturdy phone holder
  • Affordable price
  • A must-have fold older vehicles
Cons:
  • You have to mount your iPhone on the holder every time you’re using your car
  • Can be tricky to install

Wrap Up

The availability of CarPlay head units from different manufacturers is immense. There are models suited for all needs, tastes, and price tags. Therefore, the choice of CarPlay stereos can be complex and tricky.

We hope this article was clear and helpful, and you got all the information you required to decide which budget CarPlay system is the best to upgrade your car’s obsolete radio.

Some other related articles that may be interesting for you:

Best Android Auto BMW F30 retrofit head unit 2021

Best Android Auto BMW F30 head unit

What is the best Android Auto BMW F30 retrofit head unit? 3-Series (F30/F31/F34/F35) and 4-Series (F32/F33/F36) are still recent vehicles and all of those models era equipped with infotainment screens.

While top-end specced ones feature more advanced units with bigger displays and a better role of functions, lower-end models just have a smaller display with a lot less to play with.

Fitting an Android BMW F30 (or F31/32/33/34/35/36) head unit will let you expand your infotainment capabilities enormously, even if you have the higher-end iDrive version.

Having an Android head unit gives you a new world of customization and possibilities. And more, while adding a bunch of new features, these units will work with your car’s factory iDrive commands and steering wheel controls, using the factory sound amplifier, factory cameras, and sensors, etc.

Stay tuned as we’re reviewing some nice aftermarket Android BMW F30 head units.

Attention! BMW F30-series are equipped from the factory with different iDrive types. Make sure you order the correct head unit according to your iDrive version. More information here.

In a hurry?

If you’re after a product from a reputable manufacturer and having Android Auto is a requirement, Eonon is a great option, It offers good specs all-round and won’t break the bank. To use Android Auto and/or CarPlay, also get Eonon’s A0585 upgraded dongle.

Carsoll features the best value for money MirrorLink BMW F30 head unit while offering 4 GB of RAM and Android 9.

Best Android Auto BMW F30 head unit review

Let’s now check our BMW F30 Android Auto retrofit favorite units.

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 Screen Size RAM Android Version Smartphone Mirroring
Eonon 7 10.25-inch 2 GB Android 8.1 Android Auto and CarPlay (requires Eonon’s A0585 upgraded dongle)

Koason
10.25-inch 4 GB Android 9.0 MirrorLink

Xisedo
10.25-inch 2 GB Android 7.1 MirrorLink

CarNavi
10.25-inch 2 GB Android 8.1 MirrorLink

Carsoll
10.25-inch 4 GB Android 9.0 MirrorLink

Eonon (Android Auto and CarPlay head unit)


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Key features:

  • For NBT system (not Evo);
  • Android 8.1;
  • Android Auto / Apple CarPlay compatible (A0585 upgrade dongle required);
  • Two-user interface with BMW-UI and Android-UI
  • 10.25-inch display;
  • 2 GB of RAM;
  • 32 GB storage space;
  • Rockchip PX6 Hexa-Core CPU;
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 4G.

Eonon, an established and well-known aftermarket Android unit manufacturer, offers a great alternative to your factory’s iDrive display. This brand is known for the competence and overall quality of their products, and this one should be no different.

This model, not only adds full Android functionality to your BMW 3-Series but also smartphone integration by featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. It is a great addition for a safer and more convenient drive, letting you use some of your phone’s features directly through the car’s infotainment screen, right at your eyesight.

With its hexa-core CPU and 2GB of RAM memory, it offers a good user experience and 32GB of storage space is enough to fit a lot of Apps from the PlayStore, music, and offline maps.

The only downside is that it could have been using the Android 10 OS, or even Android 9, but it still features Android 8.1 which is getting outdated by now.

For what it offers, this unit isn’t even costly, being a great option for an Android Auto 3-Series F30 head unit.

Pros:
  • Great product from a known manufacturer
  • Good responsiveness and nice user experience
  • Features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Two-user interface with BMW-UI and Android-UI
Cons:
  • Could have been offered with a newer Android version

Koason (Mirrorlink head unit)


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Key features:

  • For NBT system (not Evo);
  • Android 9.0;
  • MirrorLink compatible;
  • 10.25-inch display;
  • 4 GB of RAM;
  • 32 GB storage space;
  • Rockchip PX6 A72 1.8GHz CPU;
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 4G.

This unit offers a nice high-definition 16:9 IPS Hannstar LCD true-color display (1280 x 480 resolution) with a capacitive touch screen, a nice upgrade from your factory system LCD.

It is powered by a fast Rockchip PX6 CPU and offers an above-average 4 GB of RAM. That means using some heavy apps at the same time won’t be an issue for this unit.

With 32 GB of storage, it’s on par with most and does the job of storing your data and apps perfectly fine.

Offers MirrorLink compatibility to display your phone screen through the infotainment display. A very convenient feature.

This system will let you switch between the Android UI or original BMW system at any time, by pressing the Menu key on iDrive controller over 2 seconds.

And for everything it offers, it won’t break the bank either, being a good value for money.

Pros:
  • Good value for money
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • Features MirrorLink
  • Two-user interface with BMW-UI and Android-UI
Cons:
  • None to state

Xisedo (Mirrorlink head unit)


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Key features:

  • For NBT system (not Evo);
  • Android 7.1;
  • MirrorLink compatible;
  • 10.25-inch display;
  • 2 GB of RAM;
  • 32 GB storage space;
  • Quad-Core CPU;
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3G support.

Xisedo has this Android option for (F30/F31/F34/F35) 3-Series and (F32/F33/F36) 4-Series BMW with NBT systems (non Evo).

It is on par with most other manufacturers, offering a 10.25-inch multi-touch screen, a quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage space. Uses MirrorLink to pair with your phone and mirrors its screen into the iDrive display.

This system will also work with your original iDrive system, using the factory iDrive button and the steering wheel controls, as well as the car’s amplifier, cameras, and overall sensors.

The major downside is the adoption of Android 7.1 to run this unit, which is an outdated version by now.

Pros:
  • Features MirrorLink for a convenient smartphone usage
  • Keeps BMW factory iDrive controls and buttons
Cons:
  • Outdated Android version

CarNavi (Mirrorlink head unit)


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Key features:

  • For NBT and NBT Evo (choose the suitable unit);
  • Android 8.1;
  • MirrorLink compatible;
  • 10.25-inch display;
  • 2 GB of RAM;
  • 32 GB storage space;
  • Rockchip PX6(RK3399) 6-core CPU;
  • Bluetooth.

CarNavi offers another good Android alternative to upgrade your 3-Series. It is specced like most competitors with a 10.25-inch capacitive display, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage space, and a 6-core CPU by Rockchip. It is MirrorLink compatible too.

Supports factory fitted iDrive usage by selecting “Original Car” tile within the home screen and all functions including radio, Bluetooth, reverse camera, sensors, etc.

CarNavi has different units to suit your F30 series factory iDrive system. From NBT to NBT Evo, pick the one suitable for your car.

It’s a nice unit overall, but the price is a bit on the expensive side.

Pros:
  • Suitable for NBT and NBT Evo systems (chose according to your vehicle)
  • Features MirrorLink for a convenient smartphone usage
  • Keeps BMW factory iDrive controls and buttons
Cons:
  • Not the most affordable option

Carsoll (Mirrorlink head unit)


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Key features:

  • For NBT system (not Evo);
  • Android 9;
  • MirrorLink compatible;
  • 10.25-inch display;
  • 4 GB of RAM;
  • 32 GB storage space;
  • Rockchip PX6(RK3399);
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi.

This head unit by Carsoll is compatible with the F30 series with NBT systems. It’s on par with others with a Rockchip PX6(RK3399) CPU, and 32 GB of storage. However, it offers an above-average figure of 4 GB of RAM, great to avoid lagging when using some heavy apps at the same time.

Offers MirrorLink integration to connect your Android or iPhone and have it displayed on the dashboard display.

This Carsoll head unit will also work with your original iDrive system, using the factory iDrive button and the steering wheel controls, as well as the car’s amplifier, cameras, and overall sensors.

With Android 9, it is on par with the best-reviewed here and it is fairly affordable too, offering great value for money.  This one can be a great MirrorLink BMW F30 head unit for many.

Pros:
  • Good value for money
  • Features MirrorLink for a convenient smartphone usage
  • Keeps BMW factory iDrive controls and buttons
  • 4 GB of RAM
Cons:
  • None to state

Wrap Up

Choosing an Android Auto BMW F30 head unit is not that difficult. Most products offer similar specifications, with ones running on newer Android versions than others. They all offer 32 GB of storage space and a capable CPU ranging from quad-cores to six-cores.

Some units have built-in Wi-fi and 3G/4G, some offer Android Auto integration while others are MirrorLink compatible. Choose according to your needs and having in mind the prices do vary a bit between manufacturers.

Some other Android Auto articles that may be interesting for you:

Best BMW E46 Android head unit car stereo with GPS 2021 (1997-2006 3 Series BMW)

Best BMW E46 Android head unit

What is the Best BMW e46 Android head unit? BMW e46 3 Series are awesome cars. It has a loved sleek sporty design and offers a great build quality alongside with a superb chassis and high levels of comfort. Despite the age, it’s still a very usable vehicle that is being driven by many during the daily commute and kept by others as a weekend toy.

Unfortunately, it’s not on par with the most recent models in terms of infotainment technology. Most offer nothing but a basic AM/FM radio and cassette player with not so good sound quality. Others go a little further offering a CD controller or an old-fashioned non-capacitive screen with GPS navigation, with maps out of date for more than 15 years and a useless analog TV module. Your e46 factory fitted stereo font is naturally outdated.

Hopefully, there are many manufacturers that focused on the e46 3 Series to develop awesome aftermarket infotainment systems, offering the latest technologies to upgrade your old but beloved e46 BMW. Even if you’re not a car enthusiast, an updated car stereo will completely change your driving experience.

Some fit flush to your car’s dashboard, like the factory BMW 3 Series navigation system. Others go a bit further and even offer bigger, hi-resolution screens. The choice is entirely in your hands.

In a hurry? Get these awesome products!

In a hurry? Eonon 7″ offers the best sound quality, Android Auto / Apple CarPlay compatibility and a flush-fit integration into your e46 BMW’s center console.

If you’re on a tighter budget, NVGOTEV offers you the best value for money with 9-inch display and good overall specs, for a value that won’t break the bank.

Best BMW e46 Android unit (Android head unit for e46 BMW)

We’ve gathered a pack of 5 great car stereo products for your e46. 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 Screen Size Storage Android Version Smartphone Mirroring
NVGOTEV 9″ 9-inch 32 GB Android 9 None

Dash Nav. BMW E46
7-inch 16 GB Android 9 Mirror Link

Eonon 7″
7-inch 32 GB Android 10 Android Auto and CarPlay

Eonon 9″
9-inch 16 GB Android 9 Android Auto and CarPlay

Hizpo
9-inch 16 GB Android 9 Mirror Link

NVGOTEV 9″ Android unit for e46 BMW

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Key features:

  • Android 9.0;
  • 9-inch 1024×600 display;
  • 2 GB of RAM;
  • 32 GB of storage space;
  • MTK 8227L, Quad-core CPU;
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB connection;
  • Built-in microphone;
  • 4 x 45W (Peak) amplifier output.

This BMW e46 3 Series Android unit offers incredible features for its price. A huge 9-inch display with a great screen resolution and vivid colors is a big plus.

It is also quick in operation, thanks to the quad-core Mediatek processor and the 2 GB of RAM available. Also, with 32 GB of storage, it has plenty of memory for your most-used apps. You can store a lot of music and many offline maps too.

NVGOTEV features a great split-screen function. With the split-screen mode, you can run two apps side-by-side on the screen which is very useful. For instance, you can use half of the screen for the navigation map and the other half to display the audio information.

Bear in mind this product doesn’t fit flush to your BMW 3 Series center console because of the oversized display, but otherwise, the integration is good and the result is elegant.

The AM/FM radio tuner lacks in some areas, and no settings can be changed within the tuner other than the equalizer settings. Apart from that is a great E46 Android stereo for its price, offering a great value for money.

Pros:
  • Great screen size and image quality
  • 32 GB of storage space
  • Works with factory steering wheel controls
  • Great price for the overall specs
Cons:
  • It isn’t a flush fit to the E46 console
  • Lacks some tuner settings
Now that you’ve read our review on this product, read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com: click here for more information.

 

Dash Navigation Android stereo for e46 BMW

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Key features:

  • Flush-fit into your car’s console;
  • Android 9.0;
  • Mirror Link: Easy-Connect for Android phone and AirPin(PRO) for iPhone;
  • 7-inch 1024×600 display;
  • 2 GB of RAM;
  • 16 GB of storage space;
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB connection;
  • Backup camera included.

This affordable BMW e46 3 Series Android 9 stereo offers some great features for the price. Mirror Link is a big plus for many buyers, as it lets you mirror your phone screen into your head-unit screen. And more, it features an elegant design and fits flush to your console like the factory unit.

It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so connectivity won’t be an issue. Your BMW 3 Series factory steering wheel controls will still be working to command this unit.

The sound amplification is ok, not on par with the best but won’t get you disappointed either. With 16GB of storage space, you shouldn’t have issues storing your favorite music and apps, as long as you keep the essentials.

And more, a rear view camera is offered with this head unit, another great addition to your upgraded infotainment system.

If you’re on a budget, this one’s a great choice for a BMW e46 3 Series Bluetooth Android operating system device.

Pros:
  • Affordable wireless Android stereo
  • Offers MirrorLink
  • Reverse camera included
  • Works with factory steering wheel controls
Cons:
  • Not the best sound amplification on the test
Now that you’ve read our review on this product, read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com: click here for more information.

 

Eonon 7″ Android stereo for e46 BMW

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Key features:

  • Flush-fit into your car’s console;
  • Android 10;
  • Android Auto / Apple CarPlay compatible;
  • 7-inch display;
  • 2 GB of RAM;
  • 32 GB of storage space;
  • Rockchip PX30 1.5GHz Cortex A35 Quad-Core CPU;
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and, 4G.

Eonon is a reputable and well-established brand in aftermarket infotainment systems. This brand works for a lot of manufacturers providing modern head units that fit flush to each model’s interior, just like the factory radios.

This one offers Android 10 which is a plus for a powerful and smooth experience offering split-screen multitasking and other advantages. With 32GB of available space, it is bit storage for your apps, music, and videos, which is a lot for a system of this kind. And you can even expand it via SDcard.

And more, unlike many, it also features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility to improve safety and convenience when using your personal smartphone.

Just connect your Android or iPhone device to the Eonon and use the smart voice assistant or touch the display to get directions, make calls, send and receive text messages, listen to your Spotify music, etc.

This BMW e46 3 Series Android auto head unit offers a great sound amplification, superior than then factory system which is another point in its favor.

And if you’re keen to maintain your center console aesthetics and 7″ is enough screen size for your needs, Eonon 7″ will suit you perfectly.

It’s not the most inexpensive Android Auto BMW e46 3 Series on the market, but it is for sure among the best.

Pros:
  • Compatible with Android Auto and CarPlay
  • Android 10
  • Great car audio improvement
  • Good overall specs
Cons:
  • Not the most affordable option
Now that you’ve read our review on this product, read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com: click here for more information.

 

Eonon 9″ Android stereo for e46 BMW

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Key features:

  • Android 9.0;
  • Android Auto / Apple CarPlay compatible;
  • 9-inch 1024×600 display;
  • 2 GB of RAM;
  • 16 GB of storage space;
  • Rockchip PX30 1.5GHz Cortex A35 Quad-Core CPU;
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 4G;
  • 4 x 45W (Peak) amplifier output.

If you were interested in the Eonon stereo receiver, reviewed above but you want a bigger screen, this is the one for you. It doesn’t integrate seamlessly with your console like the previous model as it is bigger than a 2 DIN slot, but it offers a wide 9-inch display like many modern vehicles.

Despite having a bigger and better display, some specs are a little lower, i.e. it has Android 9 and just 16GB of storage, but apart from that, everything’s the same as Eonon 7″.

It still offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for improved safety and convenience and offers great audio quality and a strong amplification.

If having a BMW e46 3 Series Android Auto compatible system with a big 9″ display is what you need, go after this one!

Pros:
  • Compatible with Android Auto and CarPlay
  • Awesome 9-inch display
  • Great sound quality and amplification
  • Good value for money
Cons:
  • Doesn’t fit flush into your center console
Now that you’ve read our review on this product, read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com: click here for more information.

 

Izpo Android unit for e46 BMW

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Key features:

  • Android 9.0;
  • Mirror Link/EasyConnection function;
  • 9-inch 1024×600 display;
  • 2 GB of RAM;
  • 16 GB of storage space;
  • Rockchip 3188 Cortex A9 Quad-Core CPU;
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3G support;
  • 4 x 45W (Peak) amplifier output.

Izpo offers an interesting BMW e46 3 Series Android head unit with Mirror Link. A great safety feature many manufacturers doesn’t yet include in their products.

But this system’s main attraction is its 9-inch display. You can have a lot of information being displayed on the screen which is a big convenience for the driver, especially when using navigation. It offers good image quality and has a built-in dimmer for night driving comfort.

The touch screen works fine, almost like an Android tablet and the sound amplification and quality is great too, on par with most units.

This BMW e46 3 Series Android Navi unit offers a good value for money, considering its great display and the offered Mirror Link capability. It’s a good choice for a BMW e46 3 Series 9 inch Android system.

Pros:
  • Compatible with MirrorLink
  • Awesome 9-inch display
  • Good overall specs
Cons:
  • It is not a flush fit to the center console
Now that you’ve read our review on this product, read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com: click here for more information.

 

Is MirrorLink better than Android for the BMW e46?

If you’re looking for an answer on if Android Auto is better than MirrorLink for your e46, it really depends. For more information on that please read our article on Android Auto vs MirrorLink.

Is a DVD player featured in these BMW e46 multimedia head unit products? What’s their screens inch size?

Some of the products reviewed in this article do feature a DVD player but not all of them.

In terms of screen size, these products vary between 7″ and 9″.

Please click the link on each product to check their specifications.

Wrap up on the best Android e46 BMW head unit

Improving your e46 3 Series with an up-to-date head unit infotainment system is a great idea to modernize the car’s multimedia navigation capabilities and to have a safer and more convenient drive. Throughout this article you got some crucial info to let you know what is the best BMW e46 3 Series Android head unit attending your preferences.

You’ll not only improve your center console looks giving it contemporary design, but you’ll also get the latest tech in GPS navigation, DVD playback, integration with Spotify and other music apps, and in many cases, you’re also improving your BMW 3 Series sound quality comparing to the factory system. Getting one of these head unit products will be a great update to your car usability.

And more, some units even offer full integration with your personal phone, offering Mirror Link and Android Auto / Apple CarPlay compatibility. An unquestionable plus for your safety, getting you focused on the road ahead while driving your BMW 3 Series.

Some other Android Auto articles that may be interesting for you:

Best cheap Android Auto stereo head units reviews 2021

Best cheap Android Auto stereo head units

What are the best cheap Android Auto stereo head units? Android Auto has been available for some years, and nowadays most newer cars come equipped with it from the factory.

The advantages of Android Auto are countless! It mirrors your phone data into your car’s infotainment screen granting a more convenient and, especially, safer driving experience while using GPS navigation, answering calls, and even reading and writing text messages using nothing but voice controls.

In a hurry? Get these awesome products!

The Pioneer head unit DMH-1500NEX offers the best sound quality with 13-band graphic equalizer and time alignment, as well as a bunch of great features for an affordable price.

If you’re after a cheaper alternative, Atoto SA102 should be considered. It is one of the most affordable Android Auto head units and still offers decent sound quality and nice features that will get most buyers happy without breaking the bank.

That’s why you should consider an Android head unit or, even better, an Android Auto head unit. That’s our best recommendation if you use an Android phone as you’ll get an awesome car stereo system with vast possibilities.

Android Auto has the simple purpose of seamlessly integrate your Android phone into your car’s infotainment system. With no need to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, it is, hands down, the easiest and safest way of using your phone while driving.

But what if you have an older car without Android Auto from the factory? Even if you drive an older vehicle that precedes the Android technology, you are still able to install an aftermarket unit and get the same functionalities – and sometimes even add some more.

Most older cars come with a dull head unit that does no more than playing radio tunes. Having an Android Auto head unit not only improves your driving safety but also adds a bunch of new features.

Just like in an Android head unit, you’ll be able to use GPS navigation with Google Maps, Waze, or other apps of your preference. It lets you listen to your favorite Spotify music, enables voice-controlled text messaging using Skype, Whatsapp, or other apps, between a lot of other great and useful features.

Next, we are comparing the best budget double DIN Android Auto head units. You can touch screen in all of these products to control them.

What about an Apple CarPlay head unit?

Well, although this article is meant for Android smartphone users who want to take advantage of Android Auto app, there’s not one stereo system in this article that won’t support Apple CarPlay.

So, if you’re an iPhone user or are looking at the possibility of getting an iPhone soon, we also got you covered. Every one of these is also an Apple CarPlay head unit.

Best budget Android Auto head unit 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.

All of these are double din car stereo system products as a double din unit is a much more interesting option which will be a serious upgrade to your car audio experience.

Please click the links to check the current price on Amazon or to check current specifications and buyers’ feedbacks.

Product Name Display Size Sound Equalizer Amplification

Pioneer DMH-1500NEX
7-inch 13-band 14w RMS x 4
50w Peak x 4

Boss Audio BVCP9685
6.75-inch Not Stated 80w Peak x 4

Atoto SA102
7-inch 7-band 24w RMS x 4
45w Peak x 4

Alpine iLX-W650
7-inch 9-band 18w RMS x 4
50w Peak x 4

Sony XAV-AX5000
6.95-inch 10-band 20w RMS x 4
55w Peak x 4

Pioneer DMH-1500NEX Android Auto head unit

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Key features:

  • 7″ LCD touchscreen;
  • Multi-color illumination;
  • 14 watts RMS (50 watts peak) x 4 channels);
  • Digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner;
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming;
  • 13-band graphic equalizer and time alignment;
  • WebLink provides access to Amazon Alexa;
  • Compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Here’s our first double din stereo. The Pioneer DMH-1500NEX is one of the best budget Android Auto head units you can get from a reputable manufacturer, being a great Android Auto retrofit.

It will give you great sound amplification with a level of detail and clarity you won’t be expecting for its price. Featuring a 13-band graphic equalizer, you’ll get the most out of any type of music. It would worth its price just for the upgrade in audio quality compared to most factory systems.

This unit supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You just have to plug it to your phone via USB Cable. It doesn’t feature a wireless connection. If wireless is an absolute demand, you need to have a higher budget for it.

The only major drawback is that it takes a lot to boot up and be ready for use – about half a minute. Also, it doesn’t feature an optical CD player, so if you still want to play CDs in your car, it may not be an option.

Pros:
  • Above-average sound quality
  • 13-band graphic equalizer
  • Awesome value for money
Cons:
  • No CD player
  • The screen can’t be shut off
Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

 

Boss Audio BVCP9685 Android Auto head unit

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Key features:

  • 6.75″ LCD touchscreen;
  • Multi-color illumination;
  • 80 Watts x 4 peak power, RBDS Tuner, Balance/Fader and, Preset built-in EQ;
  • Bluetooth Hands-Free, Make and receive calls, Bluetooth Audio Streaming;
  • USB, AV, Rear Camera, Steering Wheel Control Input;
  • WebLink provides access to Amazon Alexa;
  • Compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

This Boss Audio BVCP9685 is a double DIN head unit with a 6.75″ capacitive screen featuring a vertical strip of touch controls along the left side of the body. You can choose a custom color (or rotate through some colors) for the buttons illumination.

Its 800×480 screen, despite not having the bigger resolution of some other models, features nice and crisp colors, and also good brightness levels even during sunny days.

You can plug in your smartphone to the USB port and activate Android Auto or Apple Car Play. You can also connect it via Bluetooth and playback music or podcasts with the media player. Most functions are fairly easy to operate.

With 80w of peak power amplification (x4 channels), it plays well in higher volumes and sounds good most of the time. Keep in mind this system doesn’t offer a built-in CD player. The overall interface is simple and straightforward.

Boss Audio BVCP9685 is a cheap Android Auto unit that offers a lot for its price.

Pros:
  • Easy to navigate and use while driving
  • Great sound amplification for the price
  • Good value for money
Cons:
  • No CD player
  • The screen is a fingerprint magnet
Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

 

Atoto SA102 Android Auto head unit

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Key features:

  • 7″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 1024×600 IPS screen with 178º viewing angle;
  • 4x24w RMS (4x45w peak) of sound amplification;
  • Bluetooth with SBC, AAC;
  • Rear/Front Camera Input/USB Port/Aux Input;
  • Constant Firmware Update From ATOTO;
  • Preset 7-band EQ with 12 section adjustable frequency;
  • Built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

This head unit from a not very well known brand is the cheapest Android Auto head unit in our review and one of the most affordable on the market.

It features a 7″ capacitive touchscreen with thin bezels to maximize the viewing area, offering a great resolution for the price and good viewing angles thanks to the IPS technology. The use under direct sunlight is not so friendly, as it lacks brightness.

Being Android Auto compatible makes it an incredible choice at this price tag. Just use a USB cable to connect your Android phone and have every info mirrored into the device’s screen. From traffic information, lane guidance, and real-time navigation assistance from Google Maps.

You can also send and read text messages, make and answers phone calls, or check your email through its interface. It also includes outstanding voice-recognition technology, so you can control everything just by speaking. From getting directions to sending messages, answering calls, and control your music while keeping your hands safely on the wheel.

The interface can be a bit sluggish at times, but other than that it’s very easy to use and as a lot of customization options. The unit is well built and doesn’t feel cheap despite being a cheap Android Auto stereo.

If you want to upgrade to Android Auto without breaking the bank, this cheap Android Auto head unit is for you. It is not a top-of-the-range unit, but for its price, you really can’t expect anything more!

Pros:
  • One of the most affordable Android Auto units on the market
  • Good display resolution
  • Very customizable software
Cons:
  • No CD player
  • The screen is difficult to read under direct sunlight
Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

 

Alpine iLX-W650 Android Auto head unit

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Key features:

  • 7″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 18 watts RMS (50w peak) x 4 channels;
  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity;
  • Rear USB port, rear Aux input, two camera inputs. works with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner (not included);
  • Shallow-mount chassis design (2-13/16″ deep);
  • 9-band parametric equalizer;
  • Works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, hands-free control.

The Alpine iLX-W650 is another affordable head unit from a well-established and well-known manufacturer. It features a very elegant design with slim bezels. It has not a flashy look and fits your vehicle as it is a factory unit. Also, it’s shallow chassis makes it easy to install in every car featuring a 2-DIN slot.

Touch responsiveness is incredible, without any lag, just like some top-end products and not different from a good smartphone or tablet. Besides, Alpine has improved the touchscreen experience with swipe control over volume, track-skipping, and other useful features.

Sound quality is on par with the best, just what you’d expect from a brand like Alpine. Offering a 9-band parametric equalizer you can customize it to sound good to whatever type of music you listen to.

Also, you can enjoy both Android Auto and CarPlay at the same time, no matter if you have Apple or Android phones, it will get the job done. You can use Google Assistant and it can search for both audio and video.

This Alpine unit is not one of the most affordable, but yet it is among the best on a price tag that won’t break the bank.

Pros:
  • Elegant and sleek factory-looking design
  • Outstanding touchscreen experience for its price
  • Very customizable software
  • Great sound quality
Cons:
  • No CD player
  • Not the most affordable unit
Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

 

Sony XAV-AX5000 Android Auto head unit

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Key features:

  • 6,95″ LCD touchscreen;
  • 20 watts RMS (55w peak) x 4 channels;
  • Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Connectivity;
  • Dual USB ports;
  • 10 Band Equalizer;
  • Total Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.

This Sony head unit features a simple yet functional design. It’s elegant and integrates well with your car’s center console. With a 10-band graphic sound equalizer as well as Sony’s proprietary Dynamic Stage Organizer, sound quality is on the plus side too.

The 7″ touchscreen offers an ample and clear view and it’s great in terms of responsiveness. And more, it can be fully customized.

This head unit includes a remote control and it operates using RF signals. It is a great feature for anybody seating in the backseat that wants to control the media while you drive. Your kids will love it.

It is not the most inexpensive device, but it is slick looking and well-designed. However. it doesn’t only look good to your eyes, it will feel good to the touch too. And the sound quality won’t disappoint you either as you’d expect from a Sony device. It doesn’t feature a CD player and doesn’t support HD radio too. Those are its major downsides.

Pros:
  • Simple and elegant design
  • Great touchscreen experience
  • Nice sound quality
  • Remote control included
Cons:
  • No CD player
  • No HD radio
  • Not the most affordable unit
Click here to read the buyers’ feedback on Amazon.com.

 

Wrap Up on the best Android Auto head units

We hope this article focused on the best cheap Android Auto stereo head units has been useful to make your mind and help you decide which one to go for. Choosing the right car stereo with Android Auto depends on the factors that are most relevant for you.

While all of them offer decent amplification, you’ll find the best sound quality is offered by devices from reputable and well-established brands.

Having an android car stereo is an awesome improvement for the time you spend in your car.

All offer Android Auto (and CarPlay) integration and none feature an optical CD player drive. If you’re still used to listen to audio CDs, it’s better to check on some higher-end devices. Cheaper ones do not include CD players as it’s getting out of use for most buyers. Also, none of them has a DVD reader.

The advantages of Android Auto are countless! It mirrors your phone data into your car’s infotainment screen granting a more convenient and, especially, safer driving experience while using GPS navigation, answering calls, and even reading and writing text messages using nothing but voice controls.

That’s why you should consider an Android head unit or, even better, an Android Auto head unit. That’s our best recommendation if you use an Android phone as you’ll get an awesome car stereo with vast possibilities.

Android Auto has the simple purpose of seamlessly integrate your Android phone into your car’s infotainment system. With no need to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, it is, hands down, the easiest and safest way of using your phone while driving. All pros and cons considered, we’re sure to recommend an Android head stereo.

And remember, if you’re willing to buy Android Auto head unit, after picking one of these, make sure your car’s console is compatible with double din units. If it does feature just a 1-DIN space, a single DIN Android Auto unit is what you should go for. If you are not sure about which one your car uses, read more on single din vs double din.

If you want a single din car stereo and you don’t need Android Auto or Apple CarPlay but require a Bluetooth radio, check this option.

If you enjoy the Android wireless capabilities, check out our article on wireless Android Auto.

Some other Android Auto articles that may be interesting for you: