Car Radio – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
One of the most common activities to do in the car, apart from driving, is listening to music. This has been one of the most sought-after entertainment, as it offers fun without distracting you when driving your vehicle. However, these devices have evolved and now offer much more than music. A model like the Pioneer MVH-S310BT allows you to receive calls, charge mobile phones and enjoy powerful sound. On the other hand, there are other more modern models such as the Atoto A6VW821P car radio that has a high resolution screen to use applications, see GPS directions, among other things.
The 10 Best Car Radios – Opinions 2022
The variety that exists between car radios is remarkable and precisely for that reason it is advisable to look at all the options on the market before making the final decision. In this case, you will see 10 highlighted options to facilitate the choice.
Bluetooth car radio
1. Pioneer MVH-S310BT Bluetooth RDS Receiver
When it comes to a Bluetooth car radio, most people look for cheap models that offer good quality. In this case, this Pioneer product could be the best car radio, as it provides high performance for an affordable price. As for its structure, the device is small and removable to prevent theft; In addition, it comes with an AUX port and intuitive buttons that make it easy to access all its functions.
However, the most outstanding thing is not its appearance but its operation. Bluetooth technology allows you to connect up to two mobile devices and use all their qualities. You can take calls, access Spotify or Apple Music or simply play the stored music while viewing information about the song and the artist on the screen. Because the device has a 13-band graphic EQ and reads FLAC files, the final quality of the audio is quite faithful to the original material, avoiding sound distortions.
With this model you can get good quality, without compromising your wallet or a lot of space on the dashboard of your car.
Removable: As it is a removable car radio, it will be easy to take it home, to prevent someone from opening the car and taking it away.
Audio: The quality of the audio is maintained to give you a result that is as close as possible to the original material.
Connection: Bluetooth technology allows the simultaneous connection of up to 2 mobile phones, therefore, it will be easy to use the car radio.
Spotify: Support for Spotify will give you an opportunity to access your playlists easily.
Screen: Being a small device, the screen only has space to display the information that is completely necessary.
2 DIN car radio
2. Atoto Android Car GPS Navigation
Seeing this 2 DIN car radio for the first time you will surely be impressed by its design, however, the qualities of this model are even more relevant. The most outstanding thing about this car radio is its great resemblance to a tablet, since it works with the Android operating system and brings with it the most popular apps, including Google Maps to follow directions and the Play Store to download other applications. In addition to this, the 2 DIN Android car radio automatically provides a firmware update to always keep the latest version.
With Bluetooth or USB connection, it is possible to connect smartphones to easily receive calls, and even charge the device quickly. Thanks to this same technology, it will be possible to connect the dashboard or rear camera, giving you the opportunity to see everything on the large screen of the car radio. Finally, as it is possible to expand its memory with an SD card up to 256 GB, you will be able to store these images and other files.
This model is probably the best car radio of the moment due to its neat design and its versatility in operation.
Applications: With this device you can enjoy the radio and different applications such as GPS, Spotify, YouTube, among others.
Operating System: Running on Android OS, this product enjoys all the features of the platform.
Storage: The option of having up to 256 GB of storage allows the use of the car radio to be broader.
Compatibility: This device has been created for use with cars that have a steering wheel audio control function. This could prevent other cars from enjoying the car radio to its fullest.
Android car radio
3. GoForJump 10 Inch Android 8.1 Universal Car Radio
An Android car radio is a great way to get the classic benefits of a radio and the modern qualities of an Android 8.1 operating system, which is why this product stands out. With a touch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 it will be possible to view everything you need, such as GPS navigation or images from the car’s vision cameras. In turn, the device can play multimedia content with little difficulty, either through the USB connection or through the Bluetooth link.
With a simple configuration, this car radio will allow you to load the phone book to make calls easily and with greater security. In addition to that, its Mirror Link quality will give you the opportunity to control your mobile phone from the touch screen or vice versa. On the other hand, if you prefer a more traditional use, you can simply drive and listen to one of the 18 preset radio stations.
With this model you could be more clear about which car radio to buy, as it is a complete and modern device to adapt to you and what you need.
Visualization: On the screen you can see everything that is on your phone, in addition to what the car cameras capture.
Connection: The devices can be connected via Bluetooth or via a USB connection, without any problem.
Android: The 8.1 operating system offers great functionality that also supports different types of interesting applications.
Compatibility: Due to its size, this model is not compatible with all cars. Therefore, you must make sure that the artifact can fit your model.
Pioneer Car Radio
4. Pioneer MVH-S100UB Car Radio with Auxiliary Input
A Pioneer car radio is often the first choice for those who need a new car radio, due to the fame of the brand. Despite its small size, this is a fairly complete device, since it comes with 24 preset radio stations and USB and AUX ports to connect mobile devices; that way, you can hear exactly the music you want. At the same time, your mobile phone will be charging while you use it, if it is connected.
As for the sound, this car radio has 4 MOS-FET amplifiers with a power of 50W each, so you can turn up the volume without worry. Also, if you want a lot more power, you can use the product’s RCA output to connect another amplifier or a subwoofer. As if this were not enough, this car radio is compatible with FLAC files so that you can enjoy a musical quality faithful to the original audio, without distortions and with stability.
Thanks to its many years in the market, Pioneer can be considered the best car radio brand, as it always offers quality and a good price .
Power: The audio provided by this car radio is powerful, as it has 4 50W amplifiers and an additional output to connect another amplifier.
Removable: The front panel is removable, therefore, you will be protected against car radio theft. Being small, it is also easy to move around.
Connection: Thanks to its ports you can easily connect your devices, you can even charge them if needed.
Calls: It is not possible to answer calls with this device, therefore, it is only to enjoy music.
1 DIN car radio
5. ieGeek Car Radio Bluetooth Car RDS Stereo
With remote control and elegant design, this 1 DIN car radio is a very good alternative from ieGeek. What best represents the product is its versatility and, for that reason, it is considered one of the best car radios of 2022. The device is compatible with various audio formats such as WMA/WAV/MP3 and FLAC; the latter maintains the quality of the original music. Added to this is the possibility of connecting additional amplifiers and subwoofers.
As for the radio, the device can store up to 30 stations and, in addition, its AF function will allow you to find the signal of other stations, even if their frequency is weak. In case you prefer to receive calls and listen to your music, then you can connect your phone via Bluetooth or AUX port; in the same way, you can use the USB ports to connect other devices or an SD card with a maximum capacity of 32 GB.
Among the cheapest car radios, this black and blue model stands out, characterized by a beautiful design and practical operation. Learn about its pros and cons below.
Radio: Its AF function will be able to tune into different stations in remote areas where the signal is weak; giving you more opportunity to listen to music.
Audio: Being compatible with different audio formats and allowing the connection of external devices, you can always enjoy your favorite music.
Power: If you want more power, then you can simply connect an amplifier or subwoofer to complement the sound.
Installation: The installation process is somewhat complicated and you will probably need help to do it.
Kenwood car radio
6. Kenwood KMM-205 Deckless Car Radio with USB
This Kenwood car radio is ideal for those who want to have everything in one place. Whether you want to connect your Android or Apple phone, this gadget will allow you to do so, as well as giving you the opportunity to connect other devices via the USB and AUX port. On top of that, the FM tuner comes with 24 station presets and space to store 6 of them. It should be noted that this car radio comes with an RDS connection, which increases its radio reception.
As for its structure, it has dimensions of 22.6 x 19.6 x 10.1 cm and a light weight of 599 grams. This will make installation easy, which is complemented by the included ISO cable and mounting bracket that come in the box. When it comes to sound, the 4 x 50W MOS-FET amplifiers provide power and the 3-band EQs keep the sound optimal and stable.
Those looking for a simple design, but with a notorious quality, will be able to find a good model in this artifact.
Sound: The powerful amplifiers together with the equalizer bands work together to offer quality sound.
Radio: The RDS connection maximizes radio reception so you can tune in to different stations no matter where you are.
Installation: Since the purchase includes the necessary components and the structure is small, the installation is quite simple.
Update: Updates are not automatic; it is necessary to download them from the official website with a pendrive and apply them to the device.
Sony car radio
It is difficult to choose the best car radio; however, a model like this Sony car radio stands out anywhere. Despite its traditional design, the modernity of its functions is outstanding, as it is one of the few models that allows you to control each quality by voice; avoiding distractions while driving. This is not limited to a single device, as it is possible to connect up to 2 mobile phones simultaneously with Bluetooth, regardless of their operating system.
On the other hand, its small and light structure allows easy installation; In addition, the component box brings everything you need. The front part has an AUX input and also a USB port; in this way, you can enjoy the music stored in the 4 amplifiers of 55 W with extra bass function. The latter, together with a 10-band equalizer, will give you a quality result with optimized sound.
With the Sony seal of quality, this device will provide good quality without taking up much space and without complicated installations.
Sound: The 4 55 W amplifiers, together with the 10 band equalizers, extra bass function and FLAC file playback will provide a sound result faithful to the original material.
Control: Voice control, through your mobile, allows you to use all the functions without having to be distracted from the road.
Connection: You will be able to answer the calls of two mobile phones due to its double connection Bluetooth; so you will always be connected.
Price: The price it has is high considering its classic design; however, its features make every penny worth it.
2 DIN car radio with GPS
8. Camecho Android Car Radio 2 DIN GPS
Among so many options it can be difficult to know which is the best car radio, however, this model could be the answer. With a size of 25 x 14.5 x 40 cm, this 2 DIN car radio with GPS comes with a 10-inch touch screen and supports 1080P videos so you can enjoy better resolution. This will make it easier to visualize the functions of your phone, through the Mirrorlink, as well as different routes with the GPS. The latter can be done online or offline, as the map of Europe is preloaded.
By connecting your phone with Bluetooth you can share the contact list and make calls easily on the device; On the other hand, to give you greater security, this car radio with GPS comes with a small waterproof rear camera and night vision to park without worry and see everything that happens.
Of the car radios of this type, this Camecho model is one of the most complete and affordable.
Power: The 4 amplifiers with 45W of power provide quality sound so you can enjoy your favorite music whenever you want.
Driving: The inclusion of a camera in the purchase and the practicality of GPS navigation make driving easier and much safer.
Connection: WiFi, Bluetooth and USB connection will give you more opportunities to use the device comfortably.
RAM: The device’s RAM memory is 1 GB, therefore, you have to take care of the number of apps that are used to prevent it from becoming saturated.
JVC car radio
9. JVC KD-X351BT
Buying a JVC car radio is never a bad idea, as these devices are usually of quality to give you better performance. In this case, the KD-X351BT model has a simple design; however, this does not mean that their qualities are also. The 13-band equalizer, for example, is the first thing that stands out along with its 4 50W amplifiers to provide a stable and powerful sound. Along with this, the RDS tuner with digital processing stands out, to give you a very good radio reception.
Either through Bluetooth or with the USB cable, it is possible to connect your mobile phone to listen to the music you want, charge the device or receive calls; for the latter, there is a noise reduction function and better voice quality. In addition to this, wirelessly you can connect up to 2 mobiles simultaneously.
If you are looking for something simple, but with great performance, this device could be the new car radio for your car.
Sound: With high-power amplifiers and efficient radio reception, you won’t be able to complain about the good sound that this car radio will give you.
Connection: The connection with mobile phones will not only allow you to listen to your music, but also charge the battery of the devices and receive calls.
Design: Its design is light, removable and neutral colors very easy to combine. This makes it easier to use and also more secure to prevent theft.
Design: The design of this product is not very striking, therefore, it is not for those who want more modern structures.
Bluetooth hands-free car radio
10. Aigoss Autoradio Bluetooth Hands-free Car Radio
With a retro design but with all the modern features of a new car radio, this Aigoss model is considered the best value for money car radio, due to its low cost and great qualities. As for radio reception, this stereo comes with 18 preset stations and allows these to be changed using the remote control. However, if you want to listen to your own music, you can connect your phone via Bluetooth or AUX/USB cable. The latter will also allow charging the device.
The hands-free Bluetooth car radio offers versatility and security by allowing you to answer calls, without distraction. It will be possible to hear the voices clearly, since the 4 speakers of 60 W of power provide quality audio, either in MP3 or WMA format. As for the dimensions, the measurements of this product are 17.8 x 13 x 5 centimeters to be able to be installed easily.
This Aigoss car radio will stand out from the moment it comes out of the box, and even more so when you start using it. Read more about its qualities below.
Design: Unlike simple or very ostentatious designs, this device maintains a unique retro look.
Connection: The connection is not only used to listen to music from the phone on the car radio, but also to charge the device and prevent the battery from dying.
Power: The 60 W power of the speakers optimizes the final audio result, which is clear, stable and strong so that you can enjoy every detail.
Material: The plastic of the artifact could be more robust, so careful use is recommended to avoid deterioration.
Car radios are now not simply devices for listening to music, as their constant innovation has brought to the fore their ability to adapt to other needs when driving. For that reason, it is advisable to take the time to check various features to make a wise purchase.
Although the design is not the most important thing when making a guide to buy the best car radio, the external appearance is probably the first feature that we notice when viewing all the options offered on the market.
The most common and those that are usually cheaper are the 1 DIN alternatives, as they are small in size and easy to install. Plus, they feature a classic design that condenses all the main features into one place for intuitive operation.
On the other hand, 2 DIN car radios are those models that stand out for their large size. These usually come with screens to display the relevant information, or modern touch panels to control the device easily. Choosing between one option and another depends on you and what are the characteristics that you value the most.
If the most important thing for you is modernity, then a car radio with a screen could be the best option. However, if you want something discreet and of good quality, then a small car radio is often a more suitable alternative. The latter are usually black except for minimal details in other shades.
The design also affects the ease of installation, as well as the possibility of removing it when leaving the car to prevent theft. On the other hand, the structure greatly influences its resistance to constant use, the simplest being the ones with the greatest durability.
After looking at the design when comparing car radios, we come to the most important thing about these devices: the sound. If a car radio does not provide you with quality audio, then it makes no sense to buy it, because this type of device is purchased for exactly this.
Most car radios come with connections for 4 amplifiers, which vary in power between 30W and 60W, approximately. Although this figure may vary and be lower or higher, a large part of the models are within this power range and this is usually adequate for the operation they are given. However, certain car radios come with connection outputs so that another speaker or subwoofer can be adapted, which will allow you to listen to music at a higher volume without forcing the device.
To this we must add compatibility with different multimedia playback devices. Most devices no longer come with a CD slot and instead come with USB, AUX or Bluetooth ports to connect your sound source. In addition to that, it is remarkable that the device can read different audio formats, especially FLAC. This type of format, for example, is important because it prevents details of the original recording from being lost and provides more noticeable audio fidelity.
Finally, it is recommended that your equipment is built to be able to pick up different audio signals without much effort. A powerful RDS reception system will give you the opportunity to find alternative frequencies and enjoy radio broadcasts with a good signal, even in remote places.
If you focus not so much on how much a car radio costs but on the qualities it offers, you can find truly multifunctional devices that will not only make driving more enjoyable, but also safer.
For example, some modern car radios with a screen offer the possibility of accessing GPS navigators to receive audio directions and also be able to guide you through maps with total clarity. In fact, certain models come with preloaded maps, so you can check the routes even if you don’t have a stable internet connection.
Another positive aspect of this product is usually the compatibility with dash and rear cameras to give you a better view of your surroundings. Also, because these gadgets allow you to store high resolution video, you can also save visual evidence in case you suffer a crash or simply if you want to have memories of your last route. For the latter, it is advisable to purchase devices with space for a large capacity SD card. In this sense, you can get components that support up to 250 GB.
A cheap and classic car radio can also provide good features, such as a stable and simultaneous Bluetooth connection between several devices to be able to receive calls. Lastly, when it comes to connectivity, another highlight would be the ability to fast charge the phones battery via USB cable.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use a car radio?
After installation, all you have to do is turn it on and tune in to your favorite station, insert a music CD or connect a multimedia device.
Q2: How to adapt a USB to a car radio?
If you don’t want to mess with difficult installations, but want to convert your classic car radio to be able to use USB connections, simply get an FM transmitter with a USB port.
No need to install, you just have to connect the transmitter and insert the USB device. The best thing about this is that most transmitters also have AUX inputs or Bluetooth systems to allow connection with mobile phones.
Q3: How to install a car radio at home?
For this you need 4 steps:
The first of them consists of connecting the speakers to the car radio. For this, you need to identify the cables to, immediately, connect the gray and black/gray ones to the right speaker and the white and black/white ones to the left speaker.
To do this, remove 1 cm of insulation from each lead wire and wrap the wires with the speaker wires, covering with insulating tape.
As a second step, check the wiring harness and find the red, black, and yellow wires. Strip the insulation so that each wire has about 2 cm of free wire.
The yellow and red cables must be twisted, and then connected to the positive terminal of the 12-volt AC and DC power supply. Meanwhile, the black wire should be connected to the negative terminal.
Plug in the power supply and go.
Q4: How to remove a car radio?
If you already have a new car radio and you need to disassemble the old model of your car, you will need some tools to facilitate the process.
Have a screwdriver and the unlock keys for the radio you want to remove handy.
Cover the screwdriver with adhesive tape to avoid scratching the frame of the car radio and start gently prying the tool so that the frame gradually gives way. Use the unlocking keys and extract the car radio, disconnecting it so as not to damage the cables.
If you do not have the unlocking keys, then it is preferable to go to someone professional so as not to risk breaking the device.
On the other hand, if it is a small modern car radio, these usually have an extraction method that is achieved by pressing on a corner to release it.
Q5: How to install a 2 DIN car radio?
When it comes to installation, it is best to follow the instructions in the appliance’s user manual or ask a professional to do it; otherwise, you risk doing a job incorrectly.
Q6: How to connect the phone to a car radio?
The 3 most common ways to connect the mobile phone to a car radio are: Bluetooth, USB and AUX.
With the first, you will have to link the phone to the device using Bluetooth technology and wait for the pairing.
On the other hand, making the connection through a USB or AUX port only requires the use of the corresponding cables for it.
Q7: How many amps does a car radio need?
This does not have a universal answer, since the amperage depends on the model of the car radio and, in addition to that, the use that you are going to give it also has a great influence.
Most of the time, common car stereos will require about 5 amps of power; only if you plan to use the device at a moderate volume and occasionally. If you want to use the equipment with maximum volume