What The Best Aftermarket Android Auto Head Unit In 2020

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Best Android Auto Head Unit

Finding the right Android stereo dash system can be a challenge. That is because there are so many different ones on the market. There are also a lot of factors to conceder when purchasing one.

Since they are a big investment and you don’t want to have to keep switching it out you want to make sure that you are purchasing the best Android stereo dash system for you from the beginning.

In this article, we will review three of the best Android stereo dash units on the market and give an in-depth analysis for each one. After reading this article you will have a better idea of what to look for in an Android radio system and you will know if one of these is right for you.

Best Android Auto Head Unit

Best Android Auto Head Unit

1. Pioneer Multimedia Double-Din In-Dash 6.2" WVGA Display DVD Receiver Apple CarPlay/Built-in Bluetooth/SiriusXM-Ready/AppRadio Mode/ Spotify & Pandora WITH FREE ALPHASONIK EARBUDS

Pioneer Multimedia Double-Din In-Dash 6.2" WVGA Display DVD Receiver Apple CarPlay/Built-in Bluetooth/SiriusXM-Ready/AppRadio Mode/ Spotify & Pandora WITH FREE ALPHASONIK EARBUDS

Pioneer Multimedia Double-Din In-Dash 6.2" WVGA Display DVD Receiver Apple CarPlay/Built-in Bluetooth/SiriusXM-Ready/AppRadio Mode/ Spotify & Pandora WITH FREE ALPHASONIK EARBUDS

The first system we are going to look at is the Pioneer AVH-1400NEX. This unit is a solid all-around unit. It has dimensions of 6.8 inches x 7 inches x 4 inches and weighs 4.2 pounds. This falls into the about average category when it comes to size. The screen itself is 6.2 inches.

This is a pretty decent size. The screen is also good quality. It is a WVGA touchscreen with LED backlight. This makes it easy to use and function. The AVH-1400NEX is equipped with Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming. It also has a USB direct connection for iPods or iPhones.

This means if your device is not Bluetooth capable this unit will still work. One of the downsides however with this unit is that it does not have a CD player. It can, however, be used with DVD and function as a DVD receiver. Another nice feature about this unit is that it has a spot to plug in your backup camera so if your vehicle has one of those it will still function. Users really like the Pioneer AVH-1400NEX and how easy it is to use.

The interface is simple to follow and the unit is easy to install. It comes with wiring instructions that are easy to understand. Also, the unit will fit into pretty much any vehicle. If you can live without a CD player, which most people can these days, then this is a great unit for you to consider.

2. Sony XAV-AX100 6.4″ Car Play/Android Auto Media Receiver

Sony XAV-AX100 6.4" Car Play/Android Auto Media Receiver with Bluetooth

Sony XAV-AX100 6.4" Car Play/Android Auto Media Receiver with Bluetooth

Next, we have the Sony XAV-AX100. This is another wonderful stereo and radio unit. Sony is a great brand like Pioneer and they make reputable products. This unit has dimensions of 6.4 inches x 7 inches x 3.9 inches and weighs 2.4 pounds. This makes it a little smaller than the previous one. However, even though it is more compact the screen is actually larger. The screen on the XAV-AX 100 is 6.4 inches. The screen is also bright and crisp on this unit. The panel is a touch screen too. The interface is designed well so you can tap on it and get to wherever you need to quickly

The only downside with this unit from Sony is that it does not have a CD like the other one. It also doesn’t have a DVD player either. The system, however, is still Bluetooth enabled so that is how you can connect your devices easily. Also, there is an AUX port for those things that don’t have Bluetooth. The unit has an easy to use rotary dial to make changing things quick and safe while driving. Also, like the other unit, this one can be hooked into your backup camera so you can use the big screen to see when you are backing.

On top of that, the Sony XAV-AX100 also offers a few other features that the Pioneer doesn’t have. The Sony has a virtual speaker system and you can adjust the sound of the speakers up to 10 different ways. You do this with the 10-band equalizer. On top of this, this unit also offers extra ports for more speakers. That means if you want to expand your sound system in your vehicle you can. It has three extra pre-outs for your needs. Users really like all that the XAV-AX100 has to offer and all the features that it has. It is a top of the line radio system if you are wanting something basic, but better than the factory unit

3. Kenwood DDX9703S 2-DIN in-Dash DVD/CD/AM/FM Car Stereo w/ 6.95" Touch Screen with Built-in HD Radio, Apple Carplay and Android Auto

Kenwood DDX9703S 2-DIN in-Dash DVD/CD/AM/FM Car Stereo w/ 6.95" Touch Screen with Built-in HD Radio, Apple Carplay and Android Auto

Kenwood DDX9703S 2-DIN in-Dash DVD/CD/AM/FM Car Stereo w/ 6.95" Touch Screen with Built-in HD Radio, Apple Carplay and Android Auto

The last unit we are going to look at is the Kenwood DDX9703S. It is similar to the previous units that we have looked at. The size of it is a little larger at 12.6 inches x 10.2 inches x 7.6 inches and weighing 7.85 pounds. To go along with this bigger size though is a 6.95-inch screen. That is a massive screen compared to most other units. The screen is a WVGA color LCD that is backlit. This makes it easy to operate and function. To make it even easier to use the screen is motorized and has a 7 step tilt adjustment. This means you can use it at any angle that works for you. The screen is a touch screen like the others. It is also a clear resistive panel so it won’t get burn in.

The Android system is laid out very well on this unit and it is easy to use. The unit has everything you could want. AM/FM radio, CD, DVD, and Bluetooth. It can also hook into your backup camera, so you don’t lose function of that. The system has plenty of inputs and outputs to accommodate most sound systems. Since it is a larger size though some smaller dashes may have a hard time fitting it in properly. Users really love the Kenwood DDX9703S. It is easy to install and provides everything you need out of your car radio.

Which to get?

 So, now that you have read about our top Android radio systems you are probably wondering which one to get. Well, the first thing to do is to measure the space in your vehicle for the radio system. You want to do this because you want to make sure the one you get will fit. The next thing to consider is what do you want out of it? If you want to run more speakers in your car or if you need a CD player, then you will need to get a unit that provides that. Once you have those things figured out you can start to decide which system is the best for you.


 So, now you know the things you need to look for when picking out a stereo system for your car. You know that if you want a CD player, then the Kenwood DDX9703S is the right option for you. If you are wanting to add extra speakers to your car, then that means the Sony XAV-AX100 is the best stereo for your needs. If you are just wanting a basic upgraded unit though, then you should probably consider the Pioneer AVH-1400NEX. All three of these car Android stereo units

Buying Guide for Android Auto Head Unit

A head unit is the most important aspect of your car stereo.  If you are not an iphone user then you will require an android auto head unit.   A head unit is important because you use it to control all the features of your car stereo.

Our focus here is the android auto head unit.  When shopping for one, consider the following two points.

You can shop by brand

  • Some of the popular brands you can select to buy are such as Sony, JVC, Pioneer, and Kenwood. Pioneer has a range of head units ranging from basic ones to high end car stereos with a wide number of functionalities.  With Pioneer, you can purchase one that has an in-built equalizer, a removable face which helps prevent theft of the unit, remote control and has good connection to your android device.
  • Sony has variety in head units and affordability. Options that one considers when buying a Sony head include efficient browsers that allow you to jump to songs quickly, crystal clear sound, USB inputs, and easy remote control accessibility.  Sony head units offer users plenty of functions.
  • Kenwood produce high quality head units, and optimize the sound production of their products. With Kenwood, you can expect maximum power, built-in equalizers and bass boost on some models.  Kenwood car stereos are known for their superior quality.
  • JVC combine affordability and superior quality. Features of JVC stereo heads include Bluetooth and phone book transfer capabilities, controlling radio through phone, text notifications and ability to play CD-RWs and CDs. Their stereos come with detachable faces to prevent theft.

After you have decided on the manufacturer you want to buy from, you can then choose the functionality you want in your car stereo.

You can shop by function

You may decide to buy a car stereo head that can perform any of the following.

  • Some stereo have CD Cassette player included. Most brands no longer include a cassette player but some vintage ones can be found that have this.  Modern units mainly include CD players as well as radios.
  • You may be interested in a head unit with the ability to play MP3. Portable MP3 players hold a lot of music.  Some stereos come with ports to plug in MP3 players so that you can have the ability to play your music without bringing along a large number of CD players.

Some models offer ability to plug in SD cards filled with music or use smart phones.  Varying inputs give you options to play your MP3s conveniently.

  • Bluetooth functionality offers you hands free options to use your stereo. Voice enabled technology allows you to perform a number of functions while keeping your concentration on the road.  You can take calls and dial numbers without even pressing a button.  Head units have built-in Bluetooth microphones and a headset can be plugged in if the user so desires.
  • Stereo head units can have a CD changer so that you can load more than one CD into the player and change the one playing at the press of a button. A head unit with this function makes playing CDs on the go easy and convenient.
  • High end models of head units have large screens which offer the ability to play DVDs. If you are a media lover or you want to offer top notch entertainment on a long journey to youngsters, this is the functionality to go for in a head unit.  Such heads often also have sound immersion, remote control, headphone jacks and the option to plug in more than one device at the same time for users who may want something different.
  • A steering wheel remote does not come with a head unit but is a fun extra feature that can be purchased separately. It is installed directly on the steering wheel and allows the driver to perform a number of functions by pressing buttons.  The driver can switch radio stations or songs, adjust equalizer, alter volume and perform other such functions.

If you consider the above two mentioned points, you will be able to purchase A double din  head unit that is suitable for you.  But do also consider the following points.

  • Consider how you listen to music in your car so that you can be able to determine what features may or may not be important to you. If you have plenty of music or podcast files stored on your phone or tablet, the best android auto head unit for you will be one that supports playback and music browsing.  As well, you can select music or just browse through the head unit.
  • If your digital music is not in physical storage media but you prefer streaming services, such as Pandora, Spotify, rdio etc, then your head unit must support app control. These units hook into your phone and directly control streaming radio apps.
  • USB Vs Bluetooth. Now available are head units that provide USB connections for non-apple devices.  Unfortunately compatibility is not always perfect.  Though your listening habits matter, Bluetooth may be the better choice.  Where Bluetooth is the preferred option, you require an android auto head unit that supports the A2DP Bluetooth protocol.
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